#449241 - 10/20/12 09:28 AM
Today's Belize News: October 20, 2012
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
The November 2012 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE
This Issue's Stories:
- Fertilizer expert visits
Spanish Lookout: The Ministry of
the ROC (Taiwan)
Technical Mission (TTM) held a 2-day workshop on 25-26
July on the University of Belize, Central Farm campus, to
introduce the efficient and effective application of soluble
fertilizer for plant use through irrigation systems.
- Apples of Belize: Featuring the Velvet
Apple and the Red Custard Apple
By Mary Susan Loan of Cristo Rey Village. Generally apples are considered a fruit that grows in the land
of four seasons, not in a tropical environment. Belize and
other Central American countries are also “apple” producing
countries. Apple varieties in Belize include: Malley Apple,
Custard Apple, Rose Apple, Velvet Apple, green and purple
Star Apples, Wax Apple as well as classic Red and Yellow
Apples. This article will feature the Velvet Apple and Custard
- Flame Weeding: Fighting Weeds With Fire.
Flaming Provides Alternative Weapon in War on Weeds. Chemical weed control in Belize is changing to flaming methods
The methods of controlling weeds by chemicals and adverse expensive products, is turning in Belize, to flame throwers. The trick apparently is to flame the plot, or land and burn the weeds, about a week after you plant the seeds. Doesn't touch the seeds and new plants, but gets rid of the weeds, and the charcoal produced enhances the fertility of the soil. As in ashes. Good article in AG REPORT issue 18. with a lot more details. Written by Francesca Camillo. You can find it online.
This type of operation was popular early in the last century, and of course by the Maya milpa farmer even today, here. About the middle of the last century, commercial pesticides became cheaper, easier and popular, but the cycle of cost, advantages and such are bringing FLAMING, either spot burns, or wider field operations back in vogue. A guy by the name of Charles House is leading the revolution. He sells such farm equipment from his Earth & Sky Solutions business based in White Hall, Virginia, USA.
- Permits Simplified! An Overview of the Import Permit
Application Process for Agricultural
BAHA By: Francisco Gutierrez, Technical Director,
Plant Health Services: The Belize Agricultural Health
Authority (BAHA) has been
designated as the competent
authority for agricultural
health and food safety. This
means BAHA is in charge
of all those aspects related
to veterinary services, plant
protection, quarantine procedures, and regulations for safe
and wholesome foods. In essence, the role of the organization
is to mitigate risks associated with these broad roles. All these
services are arranged into two main categories of work: export
compliance and import regulations. This article focuses on
the latter aspects of our work.
- Black Pepper in
Southern Belize: Visit a Tropical Kerala (India) Spice Farm… right
here in Golden Stream, Toledo District
Presenting The Belize Spice Farm & Botanical Gardens By Beth Roberson. One of the
delights of being
a writer for the
Ag Report is
One of the very richest agricultural veins we have struck is The
Belize Spice Farm and its owners, Dr. Thomas Mathews and
Mrs. Tessy Mathews.
- Light Rein on Vaccination: By Marjie Olson. Here in Belize vaccines are
often hard to find, or are expired, and
when you own several or many horses,
can be very costly…
- BEYOND THE BACKYARD:
SPUD BUCKET. Covers in detail the growing and storing of potatoes in the tropical conditions of Belize. This is knowledge under actual tropical conditions, found no place else to my knowledge in the world. We have commercial farming of potatoes in Belize, but it is nothing like they do in Canada, or Northern USA.
Plenty of rice husk hulls available in Belize and apparently they make excellent storage of potatoes, in our heat conditions. ( separate article in Ag Report )
- Blue Creek Cowboys Take the Lead By John Carr, BLPA Chairman: On July 25th, 2012 The Blue Creek Cattle
Committee started a pilot testing program. This
included testing for brucellosis, tuberculosis and
putting identification tags in each ear. These
numbers with statistics are being entered into the
National Computer System located at the Belize
Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) office. The Blue Creek
cattle men had good corrals and only had to rope 15 head at one
farm. While a few cattle had to be re-checked for some reactors,
on the following tests they proved to be clean of brucellosis and
TB infections. Most of us never thought our cattle had these
problems, but it is a very comforting to be proven clean.
- Pasture Planning By Maruja Vargas: Planning more pasture for next season? The choice of grass to
plant depends on the animals you intend to graze there.
For example, the choice for cattle is Brizantha, Humidicola
and/or Mombasa. On the other hand, the top choices for
horses are Tanzania, new hybrid “Aires” and Mombasa. All of
these grasses have their origin in Africa. All have been tried
and tested extensively in Belize. All are perennial. (The two
legumes mentioned further into this article originate from
South America. )
- Increasing Yields With Sulfur By Cory Schurman, Sr. Agronomy Manager,
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers:
Sulfur deficiencies are becoming
common throughout the world.
The primary reason is that in the
past, soils received 15-25 pounds
of sulfur (S) per acre, per year from
emissions from the burning of coal,
and from sulfur dioxide emissions
in fuels. Now with coal plants having scrubbers, and with the
use of lower sulfur fuels, and overall concern for environmental
quality world-wide, growers are typically now getting much
less sulfur in a year on each acre. At the same time yield levels
have risen, increasing the need for sulfur, so growers are seeing
increasing shortages of this secondary nutrient.
The following is a list of the roles sulfur plays in plant growth
- BEL-CAR Updates: Corn, Red Kidney Beans, Black Eye Beans, New Bean Cleaning Equipment
- Making Cocoa Powder in Belize
By Kerry Goss of Goss Chocolate, Placencia
- Potato Storage Using Rice Hulls
By Dottie Feucht
- What is a Rainy Day?
- Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$ October 2012
- NBHA BELIZE RESULTS SEPT 1st 2012
- RAISING SHEEP IN CAYO, BELIZE By Jerry B. Stevens
- Wild Edibles of Belize Part 2
Common Names: Red Head, Firebush
By Dr Mandy Tsang. Also recipes for ‘Red head’ berries
- The Stinkhorn Mushroom
Dr Alessandro Mascia: Stinkhorns are one of the easiest
mushrooms to identify; in one
form or another they resemble
phallic protrusions when mature.
They are different from other
mushrooms in that they spread
their spores with the help of
flies and carrion beetles (lovely,
isn’t it!) which are attracted to
the smelly, slimy spore mass
that adheres to the tip or head. The stinkhorns’ most outlandish feature, however, is the
unpleasant or provocative odour of the mature spore slime, which
has been variously characterized as “foul,” “fetid,” ”compelling,”…
”disconcerting,”…”nauseating,” “like rotting carrion,”…and most
apt and understated of all: “indiscreet.”
- Conserving Food Freshness
By Dottie Feucht:
To some companies in the food industry preserve connotes
adding chemicals to extend shelf life but conserve means
maintaining the original flavor and texture and interrupting
the aging cycle by means of modified atmosphere packaging
(MAP), a procedure of extracting the air from a package and
replacing it with the optimum combination of oxygen (O2),
carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and nitrogen (N2) for conserving its
- ASK RUBBER BOOTS, Snake ID: The best snake identification book
that we have found is A Field
Guide to the Snakes of Belize
by Tony Garel & Sharon Matola,
ISBN 9968-730. Rubber Boots
& family have identified many
snakes with this, and found their
information ultra-accurate. The
preface of the book expresses the
writers’ hopes that the field guide may be useful to identify snakes
in the wild. Rubber Boots has found it useful both in the wild and,
unfortunately, in our home as well.
- Ag Briefs
- Letters To THE EDITOR
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
Family alleges that toddler was sexually molested while at pre-school
The family of a 3 and a half-year old minor of San Pedro Town is alleging that their child has been sexually molested at the preschool he attended. The incident allegedly occurred sometime last week and a formal report was made to the San Pedro Police Station. The school where it is alleged that the incident occurred is the Little Angel Preschool.
San Pedro Police confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that the grandmother of the child, along with the victim visited the police station sometime last week and filed a report. According to police the child has been checked by two doctors; in the first instance the family took the child to a private doctor who certified that child had been sexually molested. As is police procedure, they took the child to a public health facility, in this case to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II where a doctor certified the child presented signs that he has been sexually molested.
Four charged for the death of Emerito Itza
San Pedro Police has officially charged four students accused of being responsible for the death of 46-year-old Emerito Itza. The four boys who are of ages 14 and 15 and who are students of both San Pedro High School and San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School were jointly charged for manslaughter.
The students were charged shortly before 7PM on Thursday October 18 and were read charges by a Justice of the Peace who remanded them to the Kolbe Foundation at the Belize Central Prison until they can appear before a Magistrate Judge.
The four were charged for the death of Emerito Itza. Sometime around 8PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, San Pedro Police and Poly Clinic Doctors were summoned to an area just off the beach south of the San Juan Roundabout where they discovered two injured males. The doctor on duty noticed that they were suffering abrasions to the head, and asked that they be taken to the clinic for further treatment. 24-year-old Marwin Lizama and 46-year-old Emerito Itza were treated and released after no open wounds were observed. Itza had a swollen right eye along with other injuries, and seemed to be seriously wounded. Itza was released then re-admitted to the Poly Clinic the next morning and later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Thursday afternoon. At KHMH Itza received several operations in an attempt to save his life. However, early Monday morning, he succumbed to his injuries.
Based on information received, San Pedro police picked up one individual and during questioning, the minor revealed the names of the other individuals who were later picked up.
Miss Belize Enjoying Okinawa, Japan at Miss International Events
Destinee Dominque Arnold is enjoying Okinawa, Japan to the fullest! The Miss International Pageant final is set for Saturday, October 20, 2012, and for the past few weeks Miss Belize - Destinee Arnold along with 68 participants have been busy attending many events.
Miss Belize seems to be a favorite for the photographers as she is being photographed a whole lot and appears in most if not all the post made of the pageant. Some events that Miss Belize has been a part of include The Naha Great Tug of War Festival, The Yukata Experience, Introduction to History & Culture Program (Ryukyumura), Marine Activities and Shopping, Okinawa City Visit, Visit & Eschange at Ozato Junior High School and Urasoe Weaving Factory.
Four Minors in San Pedro Charged for the Death of Emerito Itza
On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, San Pedro Police detained four minors in connection with the death of male person who died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after having been attacked and beaten and left along the beach in San Pedro Town. Police reports are that the minors were jointly charged for manslaughter by a Senior Justice of the Peace on Thursday, October 18, 2012, in San Pedro.
Because the boys are all minors, their names cannot be released. Three of them are 14 years old while the fourth is 15 years old. The Senior Justice of the Peace has remanded the boys to Hattieville Prison in the mainland until they can be formally arraigned before a magistrate.
Misc Belizean Sources
Water, water, water
Water, the most aboundant substance on planet Earth yet 96.5 % is not fresh & adequate for drinking; 1.74% is stored in thick ice caps, glaciers & permanent snow; 1.70% is in the ground where a large portion is saline and inaccessible; the rest is in lakes, rivers, ground ice and permafrost, the atmosphere, swamps, biological reserves and stored as soil moisture. Yet, the small fraction of a percent that is fresh and accessible we humans contaminate, misuse and waste." This is a crisis! Fresh water is biologically more precious than gold and is becoming scarcer globally... As individuals and denizen on planet Earth, what are we doing about it!
The Purple Movement Fundraiser
Support the Purple Movement tomorrow by buying some BBQ or pastries at the Saturday market. They'll be there early to get things started.
"The Purple Movement will be holding its first fundraising event by doing a Barbeque and pastry sale at the local market square. This is one of many fundraising events that will be hosted to raise funds for the planning and construction of a Forensic laboratory in San Ignacio as proposed to the Government of Belize. If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser. Feel free to take any baked goods or small monetary donation and drop it off at the market at The Purple Movement tent."
BWRC Inauguration Ceremony
Danny Chung got some great shots at the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network's inauguration this morning. Thanks go out to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for all their donations and help with the BWRC, and for donating some delicious food for the event. Congratulations, DR. Isabelle on a dream come true!
"The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic located in Central Farm, Cayo was officially opened today October 19th. With an Inauguration Ceremony. The program of events commenced with the National Anthem performed by the Cayo Music School. Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand, a Wildlife Veterinarian, Educator and Consultant and who is also the Founder and Director of the Clinic delivered the Welcome , Mission Objectives as well as the note of thanks. The Inauguration Address was done by Honorable LIselle Alamilla who also did the honor of cutting the ribbon."
Cayo Arts Collection Exhibit Launch
Last night, at the SISE House of Culture, they launched the Cayo Arts Collection exhibit. See a wide range of art from many local artists.
Self Defense Workshops
The University of Belize has been holding self defense workshops. Sacred Heart Junior College is holding some in the next few weeks also. A big thanks to the schools and the instructors for helping to keep our kids safe.
"A self-defense workshop was held on Wed, 10 Oct, evening under the white tent on the Central Campus. Over 40 women and girls participated in the 3 hour training. Even though the rain started to pour and the lighting was striking, the women and girls stayed to learn all they could about self-protection and safety. The daughter of the man who sells hotdogs at the campus enterance even came over with her young friend and learned how to be safer. Thanks to all for coming out and look for more workshops on safety and self-defense in the near future."
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is having their inauguration today. They've finished their facility in Central Farm, and are officially ready to help save Belize's wildlife.
What Raggamuffin’s do on their time off!
We are closed for the month of October and it is a month that we re-energize and renovate! Many of the crew .. Ramsay, Jacob, Ellis and Kimani .. are spending their time off with their loved ones around the globe. For others of us with responsibilities in Belize and perhaps even children we are locked to the island and therefore we holiday here on the island.
For the boats and the equipment the vacation is one of renovation. Ragga King and Prince already were dry docked during June but in a week’s time, they will get their second lick of paint for the year to ensure that they are looking good for the up coming season.
Ragga Queen – the largest of our boats is currently at Moho Caye in Belize City. They have an electric crane that they can haul boats out of the water so that they can sit on land. These beauties in the water somehow look a little like sitting ducks out of the water but the process is necessary for renovation. Ragga Queen, although now almost entirely fibre glassed it has had time to dry and sanded and soon she will be painted from top to bottom. This boat gets by far more use than all our boats and the cost of maintaining her quite definitely is the same as all the other three wooden boats put together!
An exciting addition to the boat when she returns will be her in-board engine. This was removed at Easter time and an outboard has been pushing her for too long – this now will become the back up engine with the inboard diesel being the powerhouse behind the boat.
Ragga Gal is a different story – she is the lightest and the smallest of our boats and since the addition of Prince, she only really gets used in high season. Gal is so light that, with the help of Tiger and his big truck, we pulled her on to dry land about three week’s ago so we can see her progress from day to day. She has also been sanded and already given her coat of gluvit (to give the wood that water tight feel) and will be finished painting in the next week.
These are not the only Raggamuffin items that are getting a lick of paint .. the shop will gain a new roof and a full lick of paint and even the dock we use in front of Sobre Las Olas is getting a complete overhaul!! All of this put together … refurbished and repainted boats and re-energized Captains and Guides means that Raggamuffin will be better than ever to perform to an even higher standard than we have before – watch out Belize, here we come!!
There are 76, 560 Belizeans on Facebook today, which means that 24.34% of the total population of Belize has at least one Facebook account.
According to social bakers, a company offering monitoring and tracking tools for analysis of social networks, there are 76, 560 Belizeans on Facebook today, which means that 24.34% of the total population of Belize has at least one Facebook account.
Compared to our last Facebook infographic on March, there is an increase of 10,300 users from Belize on Facebook and the number continues to grow rapidly.
That staggering number puts us at #158 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country.
49% of the 76,560 are male users and 51% are female users. The largest age group is currently 18 - 24 with total of 25 265 users, followed by the users in the age of 25 - 34.
Fortis Injunction Request Refused
There is breaking news this evening from the Court of Appeal. This evening after 5:00, the court handed down a judgment refusing the Fortis request for an injunction on the sale of BEL's preference shares.
As we had reported on Wednesday, the former owners of BEL, filed an application at the Court of Appeal for an injunction to restrain the company from issuing these shares.
Epic arguments were advanced - but they were resisted, and the injunction refused.
The effect of this is that BEL can now sell 10 million dollars worth of preference shares at 5% to Social Security. The Social Security Board of Directors has approved the investment and after it is advertised for two weeks in the newspapers, disbursement of the investment can proceed.
Can WIKILEAKS Cables Save Rhett?
Can Wikileaks save Rhett Fuller from extradition to the United States?
As we've been reporting, he's been fighting extradition to the US for 14 years. He is wanted for first degree Murder in connection with the fatal shooting of an American National Larry Miller which occurred in 1990. He has tried almost everything legally possible to resist the request from the US, and today, as part of his last stand in the Belizean courts, his attorney, Eamon Courtenay, made an application to the Court of Appeal.
They wanted to have new evidence admitted to the case which included 3 US diplomatic cables sent to the US. These cables documented proof that Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, had contact with members of the US Embassy of Belize.
Their contention was that Elrington, being the minister who was the final arbiter as to whether or not Fuller should be extradited, introduced bias in his judgment when he had these discussions with the US Embassy representatives about Fuller's case, which, they say, would have been as serious as a judge speaking casually to an attorney about a case outside of court.
Courtenay asked the court to consider admitting the cables because Minister Elrington should have disclosed this information in the original case for judicial review which was argued and struck down by Justice Awich in the Supreme Court.
After hearing the application, the Court of Appeal refused it. We spoke to Fuller's wife outside of court who told us that this is just a minor loss, and the full appeal is still pending.
Minors Charged With Manslaughter, Standard Six Student Included
On Wednesday, 7News told you that police had 4 minors detained in connection with 46 year-old Emerito Itza, a resident of San Pedro who died of injuries he sustained in a brawl last week Wednesday. Well tonight, those 4 minors, one of them a 14 year old in Standard six and three of them 15 are all at prison after they were taken to family court today.
They were arraigned this afternoon in the presence of their parents and their attorney, Simeon Sampson, on a single count of manslaughter not murder. Due to the nature of the offence, they were all remanded to prison until November 20.
As we reported, at around 7 p.m., Itza and 24 year-old Marwin Lizama were hanging out on the beach at the eastern end of Sand Piper Street.
Guatemalan Pleads Guilty to Crystal Meth
41 year old Guatemalan Eric Granados will spend his first night in jail tonight after he pleaded guilty to trafficking Crystal Meth today.
Granados took the plea in San Ignacio Magistrate's court. He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined one hundred thousand dollars. And if he can't pay the fine, he'll serve another 2 years in prison.
He took the plea so that his 22 year old son, Guillermo Granados could go free. Charges against him were dropped and he was released. Police also released the Volvo car to the younger Granados - as it is registered in his name.
As we reported, on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 the ADU and the k-9 Unit set up a checkpoint near the Belize - Guatemala border. They intercepted the car coming into Belize. A search by the K-9 unit inside the door panels turned up four parcels of Crystal Meth - weighing just under 11 pounds with a street value of a quarter million Belize dollars.
There is no known market for the highly addictive drug in Belize - so it is believed they were only passing through Belize possibly on their way to Mexico.
Teenager Killed In Traffic Accident
A teenager lost her life in a terrible traffic mishap yesterday in southern Belize.
18 year old Nalleli Canelaas, a third form student of Independence High School was knocked down after she got off a bus in San Juan Village.
Reports are that Canelaas got off the bus and was crossing the Southern Highway when she was struck by an oncoming SUV. She received massive head and body injuries and died on the spot. A notice of intended prosecutions has been served.
Luke Jones is well known in Belize City. He is a physically challenged messenger for the Belize City Council. And despite his impairment, for the past 12 years you've probably seen him making his way throughout the city streets on his messenger rounds without complaints or procrastination.
But that's in the past now since Jones has been ruled as medically unfit and so he had to retire at the age of 33. He is ok with that but he says that City Council is giving him the run around for his gratuity and pension payments. According to the calculation of City Hall which he shared with us, Jones is entitled to sixteen thousand five hundred dollars - but one month after his retirement he has only gotten two thousand dollars.
That won't do, because Luke told us he has bills to pay.
"Luke, tell me what brought you to our studios here this afternoon?"
"Because I am getting tired. Enough is enough and I need my money. I told the Mayor that I want to see him but when I brought it up the Mayor says that he is in a meeting at the same time."
Freak Accident Leaves Car Suspended Over Drain
During the newscast last night, 7News was called out to the corner of Central American and Jane Usher Boulevard, where a serious accident happened.
What we found on the scene was an extensively damaged late model Kia Spectra, suspended over the drain at the side of the road. Police have not released the full details, but according to them, Homer Dakers, the driver of the car, was driving on Central American Boulevard, where he lost control and slammed into the parked truck, seen here.
Fortunately, Dakers, or the male minor in the passenger seat managed to avoid a fatality, but reports to 7News are that the minor suffered several injuries.
Police arrived shortly after and escorted both men to the hospital.
KHMH Burns Red Bag Waste On Roadside
Red-bag waste - within hospitals all over the world - that means infectious waste - to be handled and disposed of with extreme caution. That's because the contents, as the name states, include infectious material, which has to be incinerated under strict supervision - to make sure everything is burnt and no traces or stray pieces of waste are left behind.
But - there are reports that - in what seems that in a cost cutting decision - the KHMH - which usually contracts Belize Waste Control to incinerate its infectious waste - has been burning some of its red bag waster at a site off the Boom - Hattieville Road.
Professionals tell us that the practice would seem to be at best questionable because infectious waste is not the kind of thing that one burns on the roadside.
The clue came to us form a photo someone leaked to the media which shows infectious waste stuffed inside a road-ready trailer parked in a corner of the KHMH compound.
At first, we were told that the trailer is only used to pick up infectious waste within the compound. But today, the Hospital's CEO admitted that when they have what he calls "excess waste" they do burn it themselves:..
Maternity Mishaps at Northern Regional
And while KHMH has that mess to clean up - so does the Ministry of Health - in view of a burgeoning crisis with maternity cases at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk.
Our attention was drawn to irregularities with the case of a 30 year old female - who remains hospitalized tonight two weeks after she delivered a boy via c-section.
Her family has asked us to with-hold her name - but there were complications after the mother of two delivered her child and then had to undergo three emergency surgeries in 24 hours - two at the northern regional and one more at the KHMH. During this process, both her womb and her ovaries had to be removed - and worse than that she nearly lost her life. She was in intensive care a the KHMH for a few days, and then after a 13 day recovery during which she only got to see her newborn for a few minutes - she was released last Saturday - only to be hospitalized again this week at the Northern Regional - which is where she remains tonight.
The Ministry of Health refused comment because they expect that the family will take legal action against the hospital for malpractice. But, our investigation into the sad case shows that more than malpractice, there is mismanagement of multiple maternal cases at the Northern regional plus what looks like ministerial interference in healthcare management.
SBB: Back To The Drawing Board But At What Cost?
In October of 2007, 7news attended a Social Security Press conference where the then Chairman and CEO were boasting about a Strategic Business Transformation Project that was going to cost $400,000 dollars.
So imagine our surprise today - 5 years later - when we heard that the same consultant was here to do the same strategic transformation all over again!
Sure, history has a way of repeating itself - but at 400 grand per repeat, and just 5 years later - we wondered if the strategy is about wasting contributors' money!
Well, it turns out that the first strategy - which was devised at the end of the PUP's second term was never fully implement - and so now, exactly five years later, it's back to the drawing board.
We found out more at Social security Headquarters in Belmopan today:..
Richard Flowers, Chief Executive Officer - SSB
"That decision about moving from a culture where people are going in various directions and they have good ideas and good plans but they are not executing these plans, so we need strategy to get everybody aligned to find out where the errors and weaknesses are and make corrective actions."
"Actually in 2007 they had already done this exercise but it was never implemented for various reasons, so now we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. What we are going to do is start the process over, dust off and make adjustments where we need to make and move forward."
She Committed Suicide; He's Accused of Attempted Murder
On Tuesday night's newscast we reported about Karina Howard, the 24 year old mother of 3 who was found hanging from a shed on the riverside in Sittee River. She was found by her 21 year old boyfriend Jason McKenzie - who is tonight in police custody after he was arrested and charged today with Attempted Murder.
On March 24 of this year, McKenzie allegedly stabbed 26 year old Kenroy Flowers after the two got into a misunderstanding on Kut Avenue. McKenzie went into hiding but his name resurfaced when Howard allegedly committed suicide.
Police arrested and charged him with attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford this afternoon. Due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken and no bail was offered.
McKenzie was remanded to prison until December 20, when he will brought back before the Senior Magistrate.
DOE Disregards SATIIM; Continues With EIA Consultations
The Minister of environment Lisel Alamilla may be from the Toledo District and in her previous career as conservaitonist - was chummy with groups such as SATIIM. But tonight they are not happy with her, after the Department of the Environment refused to postpone public hearings for the US capital Energy Environmental Impact Assessment.
A release from the DOE says that the consultation will be held on October 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm in Sunday Wood Village, Toledo District. The EIA is for petroleum exploration drilling (inside and outside) of the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
The public notice advises that copies of the EIA report may be perused at the Punta Gorda Town Library, and the Chairmen of Sunday Wood Village, Conejo Creek, Barranco, Crique Carco and Midaway.
A release from SATIIM says that the EIA comprises over 300 pages in technical English and a challenge for the communities to effectively participate.
The statement says SATIIM considers this an act of bad faith on the part of the Government of Belize. The statement concludes, quote, "It is obvious that the Government has decided to engage with Indigenous peoples with their fists clenched."
Turning Rifle Stocks Into Scrap Metal
This morning, the destruction of guns continued at the Eastern Divisions police station.
Yesterday they started on a mission to destroy over 700 weapons that had been confiscated or become unserviceable. The hydraulic shears crushed all day - but it wasn't enough and the effort continued today with copious documentation of every gun destroyed - to meet UN standards of reporting.
At the end mountains of scrap metal were left behind - cut small enough so that they cannot be used to outfit home0-made weapons. The United Nations Dept. of Peace, Disarmament and Development oversaw the process.
From Free Healthcare To Fee Healthcare
The KHMH is the national referral hospital for Belize - and recently we've documented their successes with open heart and spine surgeries.
But it doesn't come cheap - and most of the services at the hospital are heavily subsidized. But the free ride is over; the subsidies will remain, but the hospital is implementing new fees.
7news sat down with CEO Gary Longsworth who explained these minimal flat fees that go into effect November 1st.
Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH
"Over the last several years we have done a great deal to improve the existing services at the KHMH and it that regard we've invested a lot in staffing, equipment and we have upgraded a lot of the procedures that we do and we've also gone into the expansion of services where we are looking at new areas of service and this includes cardiology; where we have now gone in the area of cardiac surgery and the attendant services of cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and so on."
"The same thing has happen in pediatrics; where the demand for pediatric intensive care unit has been on the table for a long time and thanks to help from the special envoy for children Mrs. Kim Slmplis Barrow, we have that project on the board now for full implementation and that will include building a NICU facility on the grounds of the Karl Heusner. When you take into consideration all that we've done so far in improving the existing services and the expansions that we have gone into and what we plan to do. This is setting the stage for Karl Heusner to be the premier institution for tertiary care in Belize."
Teenager Hugo Moreno Still Missing
And before we close of tonight's news, a few public notices.
First the Jasmine alert for 17 year old Hugo Moreno remains in effect. The 17 year old Orange Walk Resident has not been seen since he left home Sunday morning at 1:00 am.
Orange Walk police have contacted their Mexican counterparts as they now extend their search across the border. In other news, the passport office in Belize City has re-opened after a 17 day closure for review of all operations. They are now only accepting passport applications.
Rhett Fuller fights extradition to U.S.A. in Appeals Court
Rhett Fuller walked up to the Court of Appeal today for the umpteenth time in his protracted fight against extradition to the United States. Fuller was implicated in the murder of U.S. national Larry Miller, which occurred in Dade County, Florida in 1990. While he has been in and out of the courts, today in [...]
4 minors get manslaughter charge for killing a man
Four minors, including a standard six student, were read charges of Manslaughter and not murder by a senior justice of the peace in San Pedro late Thursday evening. Today, the youths who are all students between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, were formally arraigned before a magistrate in the Belize City Family Court. The [...]
Northern Regional Hospital has too many post operation complications
When we last reported on the Northern Regional Hospital, the story was about Michel Gonzalez whose ultra sounds and treatment were for the delivery of twins but when she actually gave birth, she was told there was only one baby. Tonight there is another most disturbing report involving charges of malpractice against the Northern Regional [...]
Court rejects application to stop S.S.B. investment in B.E.L.
Before news this evening, the Court of Appeal delivered a decision in respect to an application by Fortis, the previous owners of Belize Electricity Limited, to stop an investment totaling fifteen million dollars in shares. The court rejected an application for an injunction to stop the investment by the Social Security Board, which means that [...]
If conch becomes endangered in US, will it affect Belize?
Thousands across the Caribbean depend on the queen conch for a living. There is currently a proposal being promoted by a US NGO to list the conch as an endangered species, which would stop its exportation to the United States. The move was discussed this week by Ministers of the Caribbean, who met in Antigua [...]
Edward Martinez again? More allegations of land scams
A land scam involving a highly connected Belize City resident is growing legs. Allegations against Edward Martinez continue to pour in and more Belizeans in the US have been calling this station claiming that they paid him for land and construction services which he never provided. On Thursday, we spoke to Dorothy Fairweather, who says [...]
Belizean Americans keep calling about Martinez land scam
After seeing Thursday night’s interview with Dorothy Fairweather, Ethlyn Lindsey contacted our newsroom today, alleging that she has also been conned by Martinez. Lindsey says she sent money to him for a parcel of land in Rhaburn Ridge, but never received the land title. She claims that Martinez took her to see the property and [...]
Sittee River resident gets attempted murder charge
Twenty-six year old Kenroy Flowers almost lost his life on March twenty-fourth when he was stabbed to the abdomen while trying to break up a fight between his friend and another man. It took police seven months, but tonight the man accused of inflicting the injury is behind bars. Twenty-one year old Sittee River resident, [...]
Husband allegedly kills wife’s lover, but eager wife barred from testifying
A murder trial that began on Monday came to a sudden halt in the Supreme Court this morning when Justice Troadio Gonzalez discharged the twelve member jury and ordered a retrial. The case involves thirty-four year old Alvaro Rene Gregorio, who is accused of killing forty-three year old Roberto Jimenez Maroquin. Gregorio’s wife, Aura Molina [...]
SATIIM wants postponement of EIA community meeting; DOE says no
The Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, the Coalition to save Our Natural Heritage along with APAMO requested the government to delay consultations on an Environmental Impact Assessment developed by US Capital Energy Belize Limited for oil exploration and drilling in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The request was made on the grounds that the communities [...]
2 accidents; one student loses life in the south
Just after seven on Thursday night, an extensively damaged white car was seen off the right hand side of Central American Boulevard. The car, driven at the time by Homer Dakers, was allegedly speeding from the direction of Faber’s Road and lost control on a curve. But before coming to an abrupt stop in the [...]
COCABA U-16 Championship Tournament in Tegucigalpa
Twelve basketball players from high schools across the country left this morning en route to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to compete in the five-day COCABA U-sixteen Championship tournament. Over the past month, the national team has been training with Coaches Matthew Smiling, Bernie Tarr and Raymond Sanchez. A silver or gold medal in the tournament will qualify [...]
Punta Kings release CD and DVD
We are inching closer to Garifuna Settlement Day in November which normally sets off a huge cultural explosion. Punta Kings is already taking a lead in that respect, the group is releasing a new CD and accompanying DVD with music videos. According to Raymond Gomez, the band’s manager, the group is showing off versatility because [...]
Butane and dive tanks getting old, U.S. firm says there is a way to prevent disaster
When a veteran diver was killed at Amigos del Mar in San Pedro Town while refueling an oxygen tank, it was an instant tragedy and many wondered if it could have been avoided. Hector Duran’s death affected the lives of his colleagues and raised concerns about the lifespan of dive tanks as well as butane [...]
O/W Mayor Meets With Head Of O/W Police To Discuss Crime
Crime in the country of Belize is at a high rate and it seems that instead of reducing, the barometer just keeps climbing. Truth of the fact is we all need to do our part in order to safe the country from the constant blood flow. In sight of this Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard along with councilors Neri Ramirez and Ian Cal, met with Superintendant of the Orange Walk Police Station Joseph Myvette today. During the meeting three main points were discussed.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor OWT
“My letter to the Senior Superintendent requesting a meeting was to be based on three points; one to discuss the criminal activities in Orange Walk and what is being done or what will be done to curve this issues in Orange Walk, two; to discuss the possibility to coming up with a crime forum where we will invite the businesses, the residence and our people from all walks in the town so that they could come and voice their concerns and to also find a way where we could work together and build a coalition committee that meets every once a month but we want see where we can get more activity, we need to look at several things like the neighborhood watch groups, we have to look at all these initiatives that they are working on and so the third point was cooperation between the police and the municipality with the police.”
Local Entrepreneurs Showcase Their Products
As mentioned at the top of the newscast credit unions worldwide celebrated International Credit Union Day and here in the north La Inmaculada Credit Union paid tribute to the day by holding a marketing expo with the aim of promoting the local products produced in Belize by our local businessmen and women. Of course the local producers took advantage of the opportunity offered, after all, who wouldn’t want for their product to be known. So, in this following news piece we pay tribute to our local entrepreneurs, who, with the assistance of LICU, are climbing the ladder of success.
Today’s expo featured the work of established and upcoming businessmen and women. There were also sorts of products on display making it difficult for visitors to choose where to start from. Our taste buds; however, led us to this booth belonging to Luis Marin. Marin joined the San Pablo women’s group a year and half ago where he mastered the world of pastry making. With hard work and dedication Marin now owns his pastry business and takes it upon himself to teach others about the trade of cake decorating.
San Pedro Police Investigate Sexual Abuse Of Three Year Old
Tonight there is an extremely disturbing case coming out of San Pedro involving a preschooler and a resident of the island. Police has confirmed that on Thursday October 11th the Grandmother of the three year old boy visited the San Pedro Police Station where she reported that the minor had been sexually molested at the preschool he attended. We understand that the child’s family took him to a private doctor who certified that the he was sexually molested. After the official report was made, police took the 3 year old to the one of the health clinics in San Pedro where a doctor also certified that the child presented signs that he had been sexually molested. CTV3 News understands that yesterday the principal of the pre-school called an emergency meeting with the PTA where the details of the incident were discussed. The principal informed the teachers and parents that she was aware of the incident. According to the principal it is highly unlikely that the incident occurred at the school grounds since preschoolers are never left unattended by the three teachers who take care of them. We understand that the Ministry of Education is aware of the situation but will not intervene since it is now a criminal matter. We understand that San Pedro Police is looking for one person of interest. We will keep following this story and bring to the details as they unfold.
Support A Worthy Cause
The month of October is being observed as Breast Cancer Month and its main purpose is to increase awareness of the deadly disease. During this month, the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group has been offering information and financial assistance to those who are affected by breast cancer. But the money has to come from somewhere and to keep their efforts going, the group is holding a dance at Butchy’s Nite Club tomorrow night. President of the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group, Badra Coleman, told us why you should be a part of the fundraiser.
Badra Coleman, President OWCSG
“The community has been giving me prizes that we will raffle off every hour we will be having a raffle and all the prizes that I have received worth more than your tickets so come out and support and remember that you are helping someone.”
LICU Holds Marketing Expo
Today credit unions worldwide celebrated International Credit Union Day under the theme “Members Matter Most”. This year’s theme, without a doubt, speaks to the heart of the credit unions’ philosophy, “people helping people.” The day symbolizes a great opportunity for credit unions’ worldwide to raise awareness about the work they do and also gives members the opportunity to get more involved. Here in Orange Walk the La Inmaculada Credit Union celebrated credit union day by holding a marketing expo for various governmental and non-governmental organizations and local entrepreneurs. The activity took place at the institutions parking lot and our news team was present and filed the following report.
This morning La Inmacualda Credit Union welcomed its member’s/owners and visitors to its first ever marketing expo with a sign that brought to light the future of the credit union “growing stronger and more vibrant”.
Working along the line of their “people helping people” philosophy, LICU decided to hold a marketing expo with the aim of promoting the products produced by local entrepreneurs and the work of governmental and non-governmental organizations.
BTB Holds Consultation For 2013/2015 Tourism Plan Of Action
Today the Belize Tourism Board held a workshop at the BSI Staff Club where their 2013-2015 plan of action for the tourism industry was laid on the table. It was a regional gathering that saw the participation of both the Orange Walk and Corozal Tourism Sector. Our news team dropped by the workshop this morning and here is that report.
Hipolito Novelo - Reporting
BTB’s 2010/2012 plan of action to promote Belize as a tourism destination was successfully completed. But when it comes to the world of tourism, a country always has to be on its feet in order to compete with other countries. With that in mind the Director of Tourism Laura Frampton met with a number of stakeholders from Orange Walk and Corozal where suggestions were taken for the 2013/2015 national plan of action.
Laura Frampton, Director of Tourism
“A national sustainable tourism master plan has been created and that will take us to the year 2030, so what we are doing is that we are going out to our various zones meeting with our industry partners, letting them know what we have completed and also giving them a glimpse as to how the master plan says we should complete within the next three to five years and we are getting their input on how the BTB can write programs and projects and implement these projects that will be beneficial to the industry while looking at the overall goal of meeting the master plan.”
N.T.G.A. to train Future Tour Guides
Back in July tourist arrivals saw an increase of 7.2% adding up to 1,736 more foreign visitors to the country. In August, Belize hosted 1,793 more tourists, a 10.1% increase. With the end of the Maya Calendar, this year the National Institute of Culture and History is expected to host hundreds of thousands of tourists. But there is one problem, Belize is lacking tour guides. By law a tour guide can only chaperone 12 tourists at a time. Going above that number is illegal and can lead to serious repercussions.
Tonight; however, there is some good news for those who want to venture into the tourism industry. Professional tour guide Antonio Novelo, shared with us this morning that with funding granted by the European Union, the Northern Tour Guide Association, will start training future tour guides.
Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide
“There is much need for guides and to learn for guides comes in. We want effective tour guides in Northern Belize so we will be inviting applications later on for tour guides and that is why we are here today.”
Hipolito Novelo – Reporter
“Now when it comes to the funding, how much exactly did they give you?”
Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide
“In Euros it would be like BZ$25000.00 which will be good for at least 33 guys.”
Hipolito Novelo – Reporter
“And if a person is thinking to apply and being part of the program, what would be the requirements?”
From the Crime Beat: suspected meth bust in Cayo
Two Guatemalan nationals are in police detention in Cayo pending charges of drug trafficking. [VO STARTS] The two men, a father and son duo, were detained on Wednesday afternoon at a police checkpoint on the George Price Highway near the Western Border in Benque Viejo del Carmen. According to police reports, a car with Guatemalan license plates was intercepted at the checkpoint and a search of the vehicles resulted in the discovery of four parcels of suspected Methamphetamine. The suspected drugs weighed in at 4.9 Kilograms.
One person is in police custody and authorities are looking for another following an armed robbery on Wednesday morning. The incident happened at Laker’s Mini Mart in Belize City around eleven forty yesterday morning. According to police reports, the cashier at the establishment Malcolm Mortis was accosted by two male persons, one of whom placed a knife to his neck and demanded his properties. The man with the knife described as being of Indian descent, reportedly searched Mortis’ and took away his cell phone and wallet. Mortis was then taken to the cash register and ordered to open it. The thief helped himself to an unknown amount of money. After the robbery, both persons fled the scene on separate bicycles. Police say that shortly after, the Indian descent person was caught on McKay Boulevard by Mortis and his uncle; but the other robber managed to escape. The person in custody is a minor and a resident of Alta Vista, Belize district. Authorities say they have recovered the stolen cell phone and wallet belonging to Malcolm Mortis, in addition to a silver-colored knife and a pair of scissors. These have all been labeled as exhibits as police investigations continue.
A Belize City woman claims she was threatened with death by the father of her child. Twenty one year old Layla Fuentes reported to police that on Tuesday afternoon she went to the home of twenty year old Patrick Jones to collect money for her daughter. Fuentes says that when she got to Jones’ Banak Street house, the young man pointed a black revolver at her and threatened to kill her. Fuentes says that Jones then punched her on her face and knocked her on her head with a stone causing a cut wound. Police have since detained Patrick Jones pending the outcome of their ongoing investigation.
A burglary has been reported in Belize City. A thirty year old Belize City woman reported to police that sometime between September twenty second and yesterday morning, her house on Queen Charlotte Street was burglarized. The woman says that an assortment of items, including clothes, was stolen. Another burglary, this time in the Cayo district is also being investigated by the police. Santa Elena town businessman, thirty three year old Jonathan Lohr has reported a burglary of his house. According to Lohr, the burglary happened sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Lohr says that the thief or thieves made off with an assortment of tools and cement with an estimated value of two thousand dollars. Preliminary investigations indicate that the robbers gained entrance to the building by breaking the lock on the door of the unfinished house.
In another crime of dishonesty, a woman lost her cell phone when it was grabbed from her hands on Tuesday evening. Twenty year old Elia Lanza told police that she was at the corner of Youth for the Future Drive and Vernon Street around five forty five on Tuesday evening when the incident happened. Lanza says she had her head down about to text, when a man grabbed her phone, valued at one thousand four hundred dollars and rode off on a bicycle. Lanza describes her assailant as being of dark complexion, fat and has afro hair. Police investigations continue.
Police destroy hundreds of guns
A number of firearms were destroyed this morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo were at the Queen Street Police Station for the event and bring you the following report.
Visiting group helps with reading in Cayo
Primary School students in Cayo are this week getting some help to boost their reading skills. But as we hear in this report from correspondent Elaine Berry, parents are also brushing up on their reading skills.
Toledo volunteers celebrate upgraded street
A group of volunteers has completed repairs to a section of Front Street in Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo Bureau Chief Paul Mahung reports.
Disaster preparedness training for the Red Cross
Disaster preparedness, as it is coined, is always a top priority on the to-do list for the Belize Red Cross Society. Today, the Society completed another of its training for that eventuality and it teamed up this time with the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO. Director General of the Belize Red Cross, says this course is for people who manage emergency operation centres in times of disasters.
PAHO, in this instance, is offering technical assistance, says Ivan Cabb of that organization.
Maritta Vauri is the Emergency Health Coordinator for the International Federation of red Cross and Red Crescent. She told Love News that while disasters vary from continent to continent, the needs are the same and coordination is one key element wherever that need arises.
The participants hailed from the National Emergency Management Organization, the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Department and the local Red Cross Society.
Refurbished computer lab for Women’s Department
The Women’s Department in Belize City is the beneficiary of a refurbished computer lab. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett were present for the handing over and bring you the following report.
Hattieville man acquitted of firearm charge
Thirty year old Francis Benitez, a resident of Windmill area, Hattieville, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was acquitted of both charges today. The incident occurred on June 28, 2012. The police was conducting a roadblock at mile 4 on the Western Highway when they stopped a pick-up truck coming from Hattieville and heading to Belize City. A woman who was in the driver’s seat identified herself as the owner of the truck and there were four persons in the pan of the truck and Benitez was one of them. The police noticed that Benitez was acting in a suspicious manner so they searched him. The search resulted in the discovery of a .38 special pistol with 2 rounds of ammunition in Benitez pants pocket. As a result, Benitez was arrested and charged. Benitez, who was not represented by any attorney, testified and said that he found the firearm and ammunition by the football field in Hattieville and his intention was to take it to the police station and hand it in. Under cross examination, the prosecutor suggested to Benitez that he should have taken the firearm and ammunition to the police station in Hattieville which is near to the football field. In giving his decision Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. said that he believed Benitez that he found the firearm and intended to take it to the police station and so he found Benitez not guilty. The prosecutor gave verbal notice to the court that he is going to appeal.
Edited by Marty (11/17/12 09:42 AM)
#449242 - 10/20/12 09:29 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 20, 2012
Cayo taxi cooperative holds AGM
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Savannah Taxi Cooperative in San Ignacio town. The election was of the new executive headed by Medardo Rodriguez took place during the cooperative’s fifteenth annual general meeting which was held this past weekend at the ITVETT resource centre in San Ignacio town. Joining Rodriguez on the executive of the Savannah Taxi Cooperative are Rene Young, Manuel Garcia, Luis Estrada, Miguel Aguilar, Martin Velasquez and Carlos Cifuentes. The executive will serve for one year and the election was supervised by senior officers of the Cooperatives Department.
Hair braiders undergo training in Belize City
When we think of hair braiding our minds might venture into the latest styles and tight corn rows, but the Belize Tourism Board is taking hair braiding to another level by providing a special two day training session for women of the Fort Street Tourism Village Zone at the ITVET in Belize City. The training comes as part of an effort the BTB is embarking on to enhance the visitor experience of cruise tourists. The training which began today, has as facilitator, cosmetologist Mapye Smith from Belize City. Perry Bodden Jr. works in Capacity building in the Quality Assurance Department of the BTB told us why the organization decided to target hair braiders.
At the end of tomorrow’s session, the participants will not only receive a Certificate of Completion, but they will also take home a braiding kit with hair products and sanitizers courtesy of the BTB. To allow the proper organization of Hair Braiders of the Fort Street Tourism Village and the rest of the country, a review and update of minimum standards is scheduled to take place soon. Once these are legislated by law, Hair Braiders will have to go through a licensing process every year in order to conduct business.
Hostile take-over of Citrus Industry at Boiling Point!
When it comes to Belize's industries, all eyes have been on the sugar industry up north in recent months with the n...
Minister Elrington off to Guatemala
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, is off to Guatemala. He leaves on Sunday to hold meetings with his ...
Belmopan CitCo considers launching Municipal Bond
The Belize Municipal Development Project is targeting seven municipalities and has an attached cost of $30 million ...
Payroll irregularities found at UB
Reports reaching plus news is that Belize's National University; the University of Belize have some problems at han...
SIF approves Multipurpose centre for Guinea Grass
A project for the construction of a new multipurpose centre for the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk Dist...
Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve is closed while Succotz Ferry is replaced
A contract for the construction of the new ferry was signed in June of this year. According to Christy Mastre of th...
Police believe Katrina Howard was murdered
Last night we reported on the death of 24 year-old Karina Howard in Sittee River in Stann Creek District. It was in...
Couple arraigned on counterfeit currency charges out on bail
At the beginning of last month Police conducted a search on the premises of Denvoy Domingo situated on Lake View St...
Laptop stolen during car break-in in Belize City
Another vehicle break in deprives a man of his belongings. PAUL WADE JR, a resident of Bella Vista Area, in Belize ...
Police update - Arrest made for murder of Kenroy Flowers
Reference the Jasmine Alert for Hugo Moreno, Orange Walk police have contacted their Mexican counterparts as they e...
NO COMPENSATION; SEDI “HAFU GO!
A newly launched coalition—Belize Coalition for Justice (BCJ)—today ramped up the pressure on the Government of Belize, as they resurrected a public call for the resignation or removal of Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, after the minister appeared on national television declaring that the Government of Belize had decided to pay a grant to the family of Francisco Quim Cab, 35, a Guatemalan gold panner who was shot and killed after allegedly threatening to harm a Belize Defence Force soldier with a machete 7 miles inside Belizean territory.
At a press conference held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City today, Geovanni Brackett, president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), one of thirty organization members of the BCJ, read the coalition’s position statement on the Belize-Guatemalan differendum, in which he said Elrington “must be made to resign from the ministry and be replaced with someone who is more competent and someone that the Belizean people can respect.” He went on to condemn “all past and present actions of Elrington…”
Amandala readers will recall that the last wave of demands for Elrington’s removal came in December 2009, when, in an international statement, he described Belize’s border with Guatemala as “artificial”—which many understood to give the connotation that it is “not real.”
GOB STONEWALLS MAYA ON US CAPITAL PROJECT: SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) issued a late evening statement reacting to a decision by the Government to proceed with the public consultation scheduled for next Thursday, October 25, 2012, to discuss a 300-page Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted earlier this month by US Capital Energy, as they prepare to drill for oil in at least 6 Maya communities in Toledo and inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP), which SATIIM co-manages.
Executive Director of SATIIM Greg Ch’oc told Amandala that it is obvious that the Government of Belize wants to proceed with drilling “by any means necessary.”
Last week, both SATIIM, and leaders of three Maya communities – Crique Sarco, Midway and Conejo, and one Garifuna community – Barranco, wrote Chief Environment Officer Martin Alegria, to request the extension of the scheduled consultation date to Thursday, November 22 or thereafter.
Ch’oc told us that the DOE responded today, saying that the one-month extension won’t be granted.
GUNMAN AND ACCOMPLICE HOLD UP PRESCHOOL
Lawlessness and disrespect by criminals for any institution have sunk to a new level. A preschool with around 10 toddlers, ages 3 and 4, was held up by two thieves, one of whom was armed with a gun.
The thieves robbed the teacher at gunpoint in front of the babies, and got away with $5 — her lunch money, jewelry and a cell phone.
The babies were traumatized, and ran onto a bed in the classroom, and some ran under the bed to get away from the robbers.
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday, at the Little Cadet and Academy Preschool located on Louise Bevans Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard area.
The teacher, 23, told Amandala that a man came up to the class door and asked for one of the kids, but as soon as she opened the door for him to come in, another man who was at the side of the building, whose face was covered with a stocking and who had a gun, rushed in and immediately grabbed her.
The gunman cocked the gun and put it at the side of her head. He then demanded money and everything that she had.
FAKE POLICEMAN ATTEMPTS TO RAPE WOMAN AT GUNPOINT
A woman, 25, a domestic, escaped from certain sexual assault, and maybe with her life, after a fake policeman kicked open her door and at gunpoint, ordered her to take off her clothes.
As the intruder was about to rape the woman, however, her husband, 32, a laborer, come home and the intruder ran out of the house.
The incident occurred in the city around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 14. The woman told police that she was at home sleeping alone when someone awoke her by knocking on her door. She got out of her bed and peeped to see what was happening, and that was when a man identified himself as a police officer and said he wanted to get into her house.
The woman told police that the man was dark-skinned was wearing a white undershirt and black 3/4 pants. She immediately became alarmed and refused to open the door, and that was when the imposter kicked open the door and entered her house.
POULTRY AND GAS PRICES RISE 9.5% — INFLATION TO DATE 1.5%
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has released inflation rates for September 2012, indicating that, “At the end of September 2012, the average national year-to-date inflation rate was 1.5%, down from 1.7% the previous month.”
Health, recreation and culture, and miscellaneous goods and services continue to drive the upward trend, with increases of 6.8%, 5% and 4.1%, respectively.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a slight overall price increase of 0.8%; however, meat prices have spiked by 3.8% and poultry prices by 9.5%.
“Nationally, the average price for a pound of whole chicken went up 9.5% from $2.53 to $2.77,” said the SIB report. “This was as a direct result of higher feed grain prices, as drought conditions in the Midwestern and Western United States have led to global grain shortages.”
Gas prices increased as much as poultry prices: 9.5% overall, with the price of premium gasoline leading with a 13% increase.
Reporting on the September data, the SIB said that, “In Belize City, for example, the average price of a gallon of premium gasoline jumped from $11.48 to $12.97, while the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose from $11.05 to $11.95.”
Again, Orange Walk has recorded the highest inflation rate, 2.1% this month as compared to 2.8% last month. The overall inflation rate in Belmopan has again dipped, this time by 0.8% as compared to 0.6% last month.
The SIB said, “There was virtually no change in the price level in Belize City and Punta Gorda Town…”
Bandits (North) and Assassins (South) remain Zone leaders at PLB Week 8
With the completion of Week 8 and only 1 more out-of-zone weekend of games remaining in the Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament 2012-2013, defending champions Placencia Assassins remain at the top of the South Zone, [...]
BDFA reports on San Pedro 1st Division and “W” Cup tournaments
In the first week of the San Pedro First Division Tournament 2012, four games were played, three on Sunday, October 14, and one on Monday, October 15. In game 1 on Sunday, Club United FC played [...]
Editorial: AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER
Those of us who live in the hurricane belt of the Caribbean and Central America know that the most powerful of hurricanes can begin with what meteorologists call, “an area of disturbed weather.” We mean no disrespect when we say that this is what we thought of when we saw Wednesday evening television news footage covering a Belize City press conference organized by a new Belize Coalition for Justice (BCJ). BCJ, which describes itself as a coming together of many different Belizean organizations, represents an area of disturbed weather. The Dean Barrow administration would do well to pay heed.
There were several speakers from the BCJ head table at the press conference, but BCJ has not yet chosen a specific leadership. On principle, this newspaper supports such attempts by concerned Belizean citizens to inform and mobilize the Belizean people. At least three of the head table speakers had been prominent in the demonstration/rally held in San Ignacio Town last week Thursday, which, among other things, called for the removal of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – Cheryl-Lynn Branker Vidal, on the grounds of incompetence in the prosecution of crime. On Wednesday, BCJ speakers were focused on the personality of Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, whom they wanted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to replace, because BCJ was of the opinion that Elrington’s position on the Guatemalan claim and Guatemalan incursions into Belize had been consistently soft and appeasing.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
by Evan X Hyde
A wealthy, inter-connected core of Belizeans and transnational foreign investors have made Belize’s political campaigns into what they are today – electronic, entertainment exercises wherein the disenchanted masses of our people, especially in the urban areas, view the campaign as more of an opportunity for handouts than a chance to make important decisions about their lives and the future of their children.
Before I was born, the political system of British Honduras only allowed citizens with certain property qualifications to vote, and for a long time women were not allowed to vote. All this changed permanently in 1954, when universal adult suffrage came into effect. From 1954 onwards, all Belizeans 21 years and older became eligible to register, and to vote in municipal and national elections. In 1978, the right to vote was moved downwards to include all citizens 18 years of age and older.
Theoretically then, since the vast majority of our people are not rich people, universal adult suffrage gives poor Belizeans and Belizeans of modest means the right and opportunity to organize themselves and present candidates for election who would use the public finances and public resources of Belize for the benefit of poor Belizeans and Belizeans of modest means.
Belize and Guatemala officials due to meet Monday in Guat City
Despite flared border tensions between the parties, high-ranking officials from Belize and Guatemala are due to meet next week to launch a major fundraising effort to amass the millions of dollars programmed to finance public education [...]
Belize to defend $10 mil queen conch industry as US prepares to review petition for trade ban
The Belize Fisheries Department this morning met in a two-hour session with fishers from across the country, as they unveiled the results of the 2012 national conch survey, decided on this year’s catch quotas and discussed a pending petition before the US Congress that could see a ban on conch trade with the US, which purchases 95% of Belize’s queen conch harvest.
Acting Fisheries Administrator James Azueta, Fisheries Officer at the Belize Fisheries Department, told journalists after this morning’s meeting that although Belize can currently trade conch, it has been mandated under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) since 2006 to report on conch production.
The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), which is prevalent in the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Central America, such as Honduras, is listed under appendix II of CITES, which means that all trade has to be documented.
In March of this year, the NGO, WildEarth Guardians, of Denver, Colorado, submitted a petition to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, acting through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to have the species listed as threatened or endangered.
If the petition is granted and the Queen Conch status is downgraded from appendix II to I (prohibited trade), no country will be able to export conch to the USA or any other country, said Azueta.
Ideas and Opinions – Crime and punishment
Our penal system in Belize consists of two punishments: incarceration and fines. Primarily incarceration. Starting with life imprisonment for murder, continuing downward depending upon the descending order of comparative heinousness to a few months for misdemeanors as an alternative to paying a fine. This is the system in the European countries, who are our friends, models and benefactors.
It was not always so. Britain, for example, up to some years ago had capital and corporal punishment for specific crimes in addition to incarceration and fines. They have seen fit to abolish capital and corporal punishment. Before that they had little or no juvenile delinquency and no gangs. Now, they have them both. They have also embraced homosexuality, which they now consider as normal behavior. Are these signs of approaching decline in the once mighty British Empire?
Islamic countries and non-European countries alike have the same penal system which existed from the time of Moses, acknowledged as the Great Law giver, which employed capital and corporal punishment to preserve Peace and Order in their societies. You will observe that in those countries which retain the traditional forms of punishment, there are no gangs, a low level of violent crime and little or no juvenile delinquency.
Recently the citizens of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena came together as a body to protest against the increasing level of violent crime in their communities: specifically, three rape/murders and one infanticide, within what they considered to be a short period. They held public meetings to express their dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice System. Out of these meetings came a letter to the Prime Minister listing their demands for effective action by the Government. The Prime Minister responded by meeting two of their demands and, delegating the Honorable Attorney General to meet with the citizens of the Twin Towns to dismiss their other demands.
FFB Interdistrict results, schedule, standings; 2 weeks to quarterfinal playoffs
In its original incarnation back in the 1970’s, the Interdistrict Champion of Champions competition featured the best players representing their respective district selections in a battle to determine the best in the country of Belize. Today’s [...]
CPBL holds AGM, reports modest profit after two years of losses
Citrus producers Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) held their annual general meeting at their compound on the Stann Creek Valley Road this past Friday afternoon, October 12. A copy of the company’s annual report shown [...]
Villanuevas lose appeal – $400,000 plus interest
“This in my mind is not justice,” Villanueva, Sr., told Amandala Veteran broadcaster Rene Villanueva, Sr., his son Rene, Jr., and their company Cahal Pech Limited have been ordered by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall to [...]
Off the menu like list
Sometimes people fall under the impression that bloggers always like everything and give only rave reviews. Any thoughts on that from those who currently blog?
Last night I was on my way home from afternoon meetings and decided that picking up dinner at our neighborhood tostada stand was a much better option than cooking – imagine that There no shortage of local food options with tasty well priced meals around San Pedro. In my almost 7 years of living here, I can honestly say I have had very few mediocre food shack or street meat experiences. At $8 bzd a plate, the price was right and although the food looked good, it was a reminder smaller local food places can be a crap shoot.
Sometimes you get what you pay for, and that turned out to be cheap cut of meat making the pork on the chewy side, the rice was really good and the coleslaw passed, although it was a but creamy for my taste. We both agreed that their stewed pork is off the like list and we will stick with their stewed chicken and tostadas. There was only one order of chicken left which is why I did not go with my preferred choice.
As I watched them putting our to go plates together, I noticed the woman serving me was about to put the styrofoam containers in the microwave but I caught her and said no thanks. One thing about fast food places you have to watch out for things like that and or a large half full jar of mayo being taken off the shelf instead of from the refrigerator. I had that experience in Boca Del Rio once and they also tried to heat my styro
The endearing side of food stands is watching one of the women who works there coming out of the hot pink tienda [store] across the road with 2 cabbages and a carrot so she can make your coleslaw. I keep thinking I need to find a couple of 3 portion Rubbermaid containers that match the size of styro take out containers. Anyone seen anything comparable? Note to self: check ebay.
Around Town: Geo's Hideaway, The Post Office, Wild Mango's and More
Yesterday I decided to try a new spot for lunch. You might think that would be a tough task in such a small town. San Pedro's population is under 30,000. But there is a new bar or restaurant springing up constantly. CONSTANTLY.
And, the scuttlebutt around town is that Geo's Hideaway Cafe and Meat Market (interesting combo, right?) not only sells a mean Angus steak but also makes great coffee drinks and paninis. (Angus steak is relatively new to Belize. Hump-backed Brahman cows are made for tropical climates but let's just say that their meat is a bit...tough.)
Geo's has been open since April. Time to check it out.
This, as you can imagine, is Geo. He has lived on the island for quite a few years and worked at Searious Adventures (that's where I first met him), for a para sailing company, he opened a Butterfly Farm by the Belize Yacht Club and now he has opened this bar and restaurant. He even worked at Chaa Creek for years before he moved to San Pedro. Lots of good experience.
And here is the entrance. They are right across from the San Pedro Police Station just north of town proper.
In the back of the large space is the meat market. Quite an extensive list of products. I'll admit...I don't even know what a few are. Picana? Butt bacon?
All the meat is from Running-W (who also run what is supposed to be an amazing steak house in the Cayo District of Belize). I am a big fan of this brand. The bacon? The best I've ever had. At the Belmopan Agriculture Fair last spring, I was parked by their booth of grilling meats for at least 2 hours.
Belize’s Winter Wonderland Welcome
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is kicking off its “Belize, a Winter Wonderland” promotion with a list of six reasons to visit Belize this winter.
Larry Waight, Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator, said that in the rush to escape colder northern weather, people from North America sometimes overlook Belize, which he describes as “the little quiet, affordable, stunningly beautiful tropical getaway in their own back yard.”
“The more well-known winter destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica and Costa Rica may be more established and have bigger marketing budgets, which means that their smaller, quiet cousin, Belize sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to get away from the cold,” he said.
“But there are many reasons to come to Belize, and to kick off our “Belize, a Winter Wonderland” initiative, we’re making it easy for people to make an informed decision by giving a half-dozen very good reasons to visit Belize this year,” he said.
Mr Waight listed the reasons as:
“First, we have what is as close to a perfect climate as it gets. Temperatures hover around 80°F (27°C) all year long, and with an average of between 75°F (24°C) for December, Belize is never too cold and never too hot, making it the perfect tropical winter vacation destination,” he said.
Belize’s Debt Payment
Venture in chocolate
A new business venture wants to help raise Maya farming families out of poverty by exporting their cacao from south Belize to the United States.
Through a start-up company called Chocolate House LLC, Joel Alexander, a University of North Texas applied anthropology student and a winner of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship’s New Venture Creation Contest, is working with the farming families to import and sell their one-of-a-kind natural organic, raw ground cacao from Central America to markets nationwide.
“Help us sell our cacao in the U.S., so [that] our children can go to school,” said Alexander, 66, about the request offered by Mayan farmers five years ago.
Alexander began traveling regularly to Belize and meeting with the farmers who speak English, Spanish and their native Mayan.
Alexander said after staying with the farmers and learning about their environment, each found they could help each other.
He wanted to find a way to help the community in Belize by selling their world-class “hybrid-criollo” cacao beans to chocolate makers, confectioners, coffee houses, natural food stores and convenience outlets. And they wanted to improve their standards of living.
From there, Alexander developed his business plan to start what is known as a for-profit social entrepreneurship.
Now, the farmers sell their cacao beans to wholesalers in Europe. In 2009, Alexander, at their request, not only helped the farmers set their own growers group called BEGAT (Belizean Ecological Growers Association of Toledo) but also agreed through Chocolate House to become their main distributor in the United States.
Lionfish hunting in Belize
Sinking slowly through Belize’s turquoise sea, Giovanni Gonzalez has murder on his mind. The dive guide scans the reef, his dreadlocks moving like a sea creature. I see only the usual confetti of tropical fish, but I can tell that Gio has spotted a lionfish tucked into the coral.
He readies his spear, takes aim and fires. The impaled fish materializes in a cloud of silt, thrashing to free itself — or at least sink a poison-barbed fin into someone’s skin. No fool, Gio pulls out a pair of scissors and disarms the fish by snipping off its spiky fins. A squeamish vegetarian, I turn away and watch the fins drift like feathers toward the ocean floor. Gio is clearly having a lot of fun, but he’s also ridding the reef of a dangerous invader. Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, lionfish were released into the Atlantic in the 1980s — most likely by Florida aquarium owners who tired of feeding the voracious creatures. Since then, these orange-and red-striped devils have colonized coastal waters from Rhode Island to South America, devastating local fish populations wherever they go.
A culinary 'Little Belize' in South L.A. area
The last undiscovered ethnic culinary enclave in L.A. might be a dozen-plus Belizean restaurants in the South Los Angeles area, a "Little Belize" offering the multi-culti flavors of the tiny country formerly known as British Honduras.
Drive south from the 10 Freeway down Western Avenue to the limits of South L.A. and into Gardena you'll encounter a cache of Caribbean culture, where food is ordered in Belizean Kriol, an English-based Creole language that teases but evades comprehension. The Belizean restaurants are inconspicuous among Mexican, soul food and other Central American diners in a neighborhood full of no-tell motels and possibly the largest collection of Latino storefront Pentecostal churches imaginable.
On their tables you'll encounter the food of two distinct Belizean cultures: Maya and Kriol. Most of L.A.'s Belizean restaurants draw from both the Yucatan's Maya heritage and the British and West African mix known as Kriol. You can start with a Maya appetizer such as panades, tuna stuffed in a folded, paprika-stained, fried tortilla. A Kriol main like boil-up is a Saturday indulgence of pig tail, fish, hard-boiled eggs, yams, plantains, boil cakes made from flour, sweet potato, yucca and taro (called cocoa in Belize) covered in a stew of tomatoes, onions and peppers.
The only Central American country that was ruled by the British, Belize's dishes are a mix of multiethnic influences, more so than the cuisines of neighboring countries that fuse along an indigenous-to-Iberian continuum, though there are rice and beans — every day.
The three restaurants that stand out here are Ella's Belizean Restaurant, Joan and Sisters and Mar's Caribbean Gardens. Ella's is a Belizean snack-shack, Joan and Sisters boasts Kriol home cooking and extended hours (most Belizean restaurants seem to close by 7 p.m., or when the food runs out), and Mar's is a fancy island lounge serving solid Kriol cooking to go with cold Belikin beers.
Credit Card Numbers Are Not Random: How To Read & Understand Them Yourself
You may have heard before that credit card numbers follow a certain pattern and structure so that they can be validated before a transaction is accepted. However, it’s one thing to know that the structure is there and another thing entirely to understand how credit card numbers work.
Why would this knowledge be useful? Well, if you run a small business that doesn’t process credit card payments immediately, you could save yourself money by ensuring the card details are valid. If you don’t, well it could still be fun to show off your skills at parties. Here’s how you do it.
Learning Where The Numbers Come From
Credit card numbers are not random. There’s a special set of numbers to show information about the card issuer and another set to show information about the card holder. One other number is also important, but we’ll come to that later.
The very first number is the Major Industry Identifier (MII) and it tells you what sort of institution issued the card.
1 and 2 are issued by airlines.
3 is issued by travel and entertainment.
4 and 5 are issued by banking and financial institutions.
6 is issued by merchandising and banking.
7 is issued by petroleum companies.
8 is issued by telecommunications companies.
9 is issued by national assignment.
The first six digits are the Issuer Identification Number (IIN). These can be used to look up where the card originated from. If you have access to a list that details who owns each IIN, such as this list of popular IINs on Wikipedia, you can see who issued the card just by reading the card number. The seventh digit to the second-to-last digit is the customer account number. Most companies use just 9 digits for the account numbers, but it’s possible to use up to 12. This means that using the current algorithm for credit cards, the world can issue about a trillion cards before needing to change the system.
We often see 16-digit credit card numbers today, but it’s possible for a card issuer to issue a card with up to 19 digits using the current system. In the future, we may see longer numbers becoming more common.
88 Best iOS Apps For Mobile Learning
Do you ever stop to think about how you gathered information before the Internet? If you needed to find an answer about anything, what did you do to find it? I don’t really remember, but I think we called people on the phone, asked our parents or looked it up in an encyclopedia. No wonder learning was kind of boring back then. One of the best parts of having access to all the technology we have today is the opportunity for so much learning. I’m not just talking about at-home learning either, now we can educate ourselves about anything anywhere via mobile learning too.
Unlike our computers, the human brain has an unlimited amount of storage space to hold everything we put in it (thank goodness). If you are like me, you are constantly looking things up. I think I access Google around 80 – 100 times each day. How many times do you go there? Since I delete my web history, I can only guesstimate, but I think my number is close to accurate.
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