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#450509 - 11/07/12 01:49 PM Today's Belize News: November 7, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Belize Dance Company provides phenomenal performance at Baltazar Benefit
Over 500 residents flocked to the Rafael Angel Nuńez Auditorium in a show of love and solidarity on Saturday November 3rd for the Rosita Baltazar benefit concert. The concert was one of the best that the island has seen in quite some time and the people’s support was equally amazing. The event was organized by the San Pedro Cultural Committee with the support of many organizations including the San Pedro Cancer Society and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Hosts for the night were David Marin of Reef Radio and Mary Gonzalez of The San Pedro Sun who did an excellent job of introducing the performers on stage. First on stage was the Trisha Davidee Strokes that did her rendition of the Belize National Anthem as well as a prayer. San Pedro Dance Academy then took center stage with five performances, including one of the most loved dances by the colorfully dressed Senior Group entitled “Arrow”. After the spectacular performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, it was time for the Belize Dance Company. They commanded the stage with dance presentations from three of Belize’s main ethnic groups: the Maya, the Creole and the Garifuna under the theme “Belize – Diverse Cultures and Rhythms.” With a thrilling Maya performance that featured the goddess Ix-Chel and her worshippers, gorgeous costumes and pure talent, the Belize Dance Company took over the stage in style. Combined with modern day drumming, their follow-up Creole dances depicted many aspects of the Creole lifestyle with a brukdong soundtrack that paid homage to one of Belize’s three kings: Mista Peetaz.

SP Sailing Club invited to compete in the 2012 Belize National Regatta
The Belize Sailing Association has invited 17 young Optimist Class Dinghy Sailors from San Pedro to compete in the 2012 Belize National Regatta. The 2-day regatta will be held here in San Pedro, off Central Park, the weekend of November 17 – 18. The San Pedro Junior sailors are: Jerdon Andeson,Davin Puc, Zulema Ayala, Alexander Rhaburn * , Luis Blanco, Cade Segura, Cllifton Everett Cain, Mitchell Sersland, Lily Heyden, Christian Trejo, Morgain Jones, Blanca Velasquez, Stephanie Keating, Kevin Velasquez, Faith Noel, Samantha Velasquez and Jorge Oliveres.

Ambergris Today

All Saints Fair a Success at San Pedro RC School
San Pedro RC School held its annual All Saints Day Fair this past Friday, November 2, 2012, and the school grounds was teeming with people enjoying the games and Saints Costume competition. This year’s fair was organized by the newly formed Parents-Teacher Association and with the help of all the teachers the fair was a total success. There was plenty to eat and drink; fun games such as tombola, saints ring toss, walls of Jericho and much more that had the entire family entertained. There was a well supervised and fun disco for primary school students who danced the night away in the company of friends; plus the great music of Rompe Raja that had every one dancing and enjoying their fun songs.

US Government Donates over US$150K of Equipment to Belize National Security Ministry
The Ministry of National Security has received a new donation from the United States Government to help upgrade security at key locations. The donation includes three (3) Smith Detection X-Ray Inspection Systems (HI-SCAN 6040i, 6030di, 7555i) and two (2) Walk-Through Detectors (METOR 200/MELS 1812, at a total value of US $156,000. The handover took place on Monday, November 05, 2012, at the Sir Edney Cain Administration Building in Belmopan, which houses the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and other Government offices. Handing over the equipment on behalf of the US Government was Deputy Chief of Mission, Margaret Hawthorne, and receiving them on behalf of the Ministry of National Security was Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security.

Tranquility Bay Resort Staff Rescues Lost Tourist
The man was identified as 56-year-old Mr. Hal Wulff, an American national of San Bruno, California and his story was that he arrived in San Pedro on October 31 and stayed at the Conch Shell Inn. The next morning, he rented a golf cart and drove north of the island with the intention to meet Greg, the Turtleman, but having reached his house just north of Tranquility Bay he was not there. At about 1:30 pm, Wulff decided to walk a bit in the bush while waiting for the Turtleman. He then got lost and could not find his way back to the beach; he spent the night in the wilderness. Kudos to the management and staff of Tranquility Bay Resort for handling the situation as a caring team and rendering help to Mr. Wulff.

Earning Students' Respect
Teaching, whether in public or private schools, without having students’ respect is never successful – not for teacher nor student. Disrespectful students cannot and do not learn; disrespected teachers cannot teach. Yet, respect cannot be taught like a class subject to students, nor can it be forced out of or into them. In today’s advanced and super technical world, the best way to obtain students’ respect is by earning it. It’s the first, and most important, lesson that anyone who wants to be a successful teacher should learn. Many first-time teachers make the mistake of trying to teach while demanding respect from students. Sadly, they end up having very miserable experiences in the classroom. That is because respect cannot be screamed at students, nor can it be pounded into them by teachers who give hysterical and impassioned speeches everyday. Respect may be required or it may be demanded; but it comes easiest when it is earned – one class and one day at a time. Teachers who lead students in class each day, are passionate about what they teach, and show students compassion and integrity will easily earn their respect and trust.

Letters to the Editor: Guatemalan Incursions Continue into Belize Sovereign Territory
The rapid incursion of Guatemalans into Belizean territory has been escalating and continues to be a huge problem to the Belizean people and to our security forces. The Belizean people especially the rural villagers have been affected by this because these Guatemalans are entering our territory armed. Villagers feared for their lives and property and feel threaten by the growing problematic crisis. I asked myself when will this all come to an end? When will Guatemalans start respecting our territory and our natural resources? If my memory serves me well I recalled two incidents occurred late July and early August of 2012. The first incident that occurred in late July was that of Guatemalans panning and stealing Belize’s gold in the Chiquibul Forest Area. According to the Amandala Newspaper dated Sunday, July 29, 2012 stated that about 300 Guatemalans including young girls were caught red handed extracting gold from the Chiquibul national park. The other incident in August founded bales of Xate which is estimated to have worth a significant sum of monies in Guatemala. However, one must not forget the constant illegal logging and disregard for our sovereign borders that also continues to be an eye sore for us Belizeans.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fall Fashion Show Backstage
The Fall Fashion Show by Add!ction and Davina went superbly, and the pictures are coming in. The setting was the Bedran Hall at the SIRH. "First album from the Fall Fashion show 2012 have been released.."

NBHA Barrel Horse Race at BEA
The NBHA Belize had another barrel race at the Belize Equestrian Academy, and they got some great pictures. Check out their page for point standings. 2 more events.

Kontiki Neighborhood Watch Family Fun Day
Kontiki Neighborhood Watch is having a Family Fun Fest this Sunday from 9:00am until 6:00pm. They'll have food, pastries, games, raffles, and sports competitions, along with Digicell specials. This free event will be on Figeroa street. Proceeds will go towards making the roads safer for everyone, so go support a great cause.

Benque HoC's Dia de los Muertos
The Benque House of Culture also did a display for Dia de los Muertos. "Our roots, our history, our culture, our traditions, Benque Viejo's Finados is one of the best livig traditions. Images thanks to our friend, Mr. Basu."

Is Cupid responsible for all the Scorpion birthdays in Belize?
Is there a corrolation between unusual amount of Belizean November birthdays and Valentines Day??? It’s a thought, I mean, Feb 14th is give or take a day 9 months before this Scorpion burst?? From Raggamuffin alone there is Lee Shane, Jimmy, Ellis and Keith (or Dice) to name but a few … not to mention the enormous number of November birthdays on Caye Caulker. So when Cupid fires his bow in February it creates this unusual spike in births for November – interesting fact hey!! For now we will be celebrating the birthdays of two of our favorite crew members – Shane Sho (Lee Shane) and the originator, Captain Jimmy. Shane will be celebrating his birthday today and Jimmy will celebrate his tomorrow (I gather with a party on the North side with a bonfire etc etc – you coming??). So for now we want to wish Shane a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY from all his fellow crew members and extended family – we will surely be having a few drinks tomorrow to celebrate with you!!

How to get rid of ants (The illustrated guide)
Step 1, Locate the ants and their trails

Channel 7

Walkout At Belmopan Baptist High
Belmopan Baptist High School has had more than its share of worries over the past few months - after its former principal, Norman Willacey was dismissed for an inappropriate relationship with a female student. Willacey wasn't any old principal: he had been there from the school opened - so replacing him would inevitably cause some transitional tremors. And so, tonight, the heat is on Willacey's replacement Delvorine Hamilton, the former vice principal who was thrust into the job a week before school opened in August. It hasn't been easy going - as the staff had issues going back to Willacey's time. It culminated in a mass student and teacher walkout this morning - and 7news was there when it happened. Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At 8:30 this morning, the entire student body at the Belmopan Baptist High School attended classes as per normal. 10 minutes later, however, they all walked out as part of an industrial action in solidarity with teaching staff. It's a situation that has slowly been brewing since the departure of the former principal, Pastor Norman Willacey.

The Other Side Of The Walkout
After the students were sent home by the Administration, members of the BNTU arrived on the campus and met with the faculty of the Belmopan Baptist High School. While those meetings were being conducted, the members of the Ministry of Education and the General Manager of the school met with the principal and vice-principal in a separate room. After both sides held their separate meetings, the faculty sat down and had a 4-hour discussion on all of those problems. After they came out, we spoke to both sides what this discussion yielded. Here's what they told us: Luke Palacio "The meeting like you rightly indicated took quite a bit of time and we were there dealing with a number of issues. Basically what has stood out in this discussion is that the entire management of this institution does have a number of problems that needs to be address including the manner in which they have appointed their board members. We find that to be very disturbing. There is the whole issue of communication; miscommunication, bad communication at the institution. Our teachers and members here at this institution have become very frustrated. We were here earlier in the month of October trying to resolve some of these issues and we are like back to square one. At the end of this evening's meeting though we have agreed that the teachers will come back to school tomorrow and so classes should resume on the condition that; we are going to meet with the board of management of this institution either on Monday or Tuesday of next week to address these issues and secondly, that none of our teachers will be reprimanded for the action they took today."

OW Tech Students/Teachers Walk Out, Again
And while students and teachers were walking out in Belmopan, the same was happening in Orange Walk at the Technical High School. Yes, they also walked out a month ago - and the Education Minister came in to smooth things over. But what was made smooth is rough again - and this morning as school was about to start, the teachers walked out again. This time they are alleging mismanagement of the school's finances and blaming the principal for it. But today's walkout did not end up like the last one where students were free to walk on the street. The gates were kept closed and the teachers were quickly corralled into a meeting. The district education officer responded immediately and set up that meeting - which was still ongoing until 4:00 this afternoon. According to reports from CTV-3, the students milled around on the compound for much of the day while some parents came to pick up their kids and take them home. Whatever the case, it was a school day wasted - and there's no word on what will happen tomorrow.

Frank's Eddy Pastor Under Suspicion
Tonight, a pastor from the village of Frank's Eddy is at the Belmopan Police station facing an ID Parade - after an 11 year old girl accused him of having sex with her inside the Church building! The child told police that the pastor has sex with her on October 28th and again on the first November. A Doctor has certified that the child was carnally known. The pastor from Frank's Eddy Baptist Church - whose name we can only release if he is charged - is going through an ID parade at this hour. If he is positively identified, police expect to charge him tomorrow.

Is Vidal Leaving The GSU?
ASP Mark Vidal - he's led the GSU since it was formed in October of 2010 - but, tonight, official reports says he's on the way out. Press Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvin today told us via text message that Vidal should be going to Special Branch as the second in command. Cuthkelvin tells us that Superintendent Dennis Arnold will be taking over the GSU. Arnold is presently the second in command at Special Branch, so they will be trading places. Sounds straightforward enough, but Vidal says he knows nothing about it. He told us that he has not received any letter of transfer - and added that he will probably be the last to know. If it goes through, it would be a dramatic change because Vidal designed the GSU himself, based on gang interdiction training he received from the US. It is a unit unlike any other in the police department: it is self-contained, housed separately from the police department, and staffed with a handpicked cadre of police officers. To a great extent, the unit has also taken on Vidal's personality, no nonsense and uncompromising which has simultaneously earned it high praise, mass condemnation and scoldings from politicians. But while Cuthkelvin is the Ministry's PR and he says the transfer is going through - late this evening, Vidal told us quote, "there is no move afoot to remove me as Commander of the GSU. I am sure of this." End quote.

Woman Bailed For 4.4 Pounds Of Product
Yesterday, we told you about the woman who was busted with 4.4 pounds of marijuana. Well, tonight, she is out on bail after she was taken to court today. As we reported, at around 9:15 a.m. yesterday, they the GSU were on McKay Boulevard and they conducted a search on 31 year-old Tanise Smith, a vendor of Taylor's alley. Inside a sling bag, the officers discovered 1.97 kilos - or 4.4 pounds - of marijuana which was packaged off in 5 parcels. As a result, Police arrested and charged her with drug trafficking. She was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where she pleaded not guilty to the charge. She was granted bail of $1,000, which she was able to meet. She is expected to return to court on December 21, her next court date. She is represented by Dickie Bradley.

22 Pounds Of Weed On Caesar Ridge
48 year-old Lawrence Noralez, an unemployed of Caesar Ridge Road, is at prison tonight, after police busted him with over ten kilos - or 22.1 pounds - of marijuana. According to police, the Special Branch searched Noralez's home at around 9 a.m. yesterday. They found a crocus sack filled with marijuana under his bed, and as a result, he was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, where he pleaded not guilty. He said that he was mentally challenged, and that the drugs don't belong to him. He was granted bail of $8,000, which he could not meet. As a result, he was taken to prison, and he is to return to court on January 3, 2013, his next court date.

World Bank Praises BOOST Programme As Best In Hemisphere
When international notice is taken of some formal programme in Belize - it's usually not good news. But tonight the news is that the Boost Social assistance programme is considered the best in this hemisphere! The World Bank has stated this in previous formal documents, but this morning, the Bank's Social Protection Specialist Sarah Berger told us herself at a media breakfast with the Ministry of Human Development. She said as far as conditional cash transfer programmes go, BOOST is excellent:.. Sarah Berger "I've seen a lot of substitute programs in my days. Brazil and Mexico are the largest in the world. Brazil covers 23 million individuals and it's been around for 15 years. In Belize we have seen the results that BOOST has produce in 2 years that it's been in implementation, 2 years and not 15 years. There is nothing comparable; 94% of the beneficiaries are receiving their transfers through credit unions. I have not seen this anywhere else in the world. In fact the World bank right is starting to talk about how do we use Belize as an example."

Fifteen Year Old Missing
A 15 year old from Ladyville has gone missing. Angelita Elvira Hernandez, a student of Unity Presbyterian School was last seen by her sister on Monday morning, dressed in her uniform and headed for school. Her father 34 year old Freddie Hernandez reported her missing that night. The teenager is five feet three inches tall and has shoulder length black hair with brown streaks. Anyone seeing her is asked to contact Ladyville police AT 205-2357 or call 0-800-922 TIPS.

Fake Fifty's Floating
Fake fifty dollar notes are floating around Cayo. Police say that they have received a number of complaints that counterfeit notes with the serial number DE388723 have turned up at businesses in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. These have appeared between April and October of this year. So if you get a fifty dollar note, you are advised to check for the sleeping giant watermark or for the serial number: DE388723.

Psychological First Aid?
We all know about First-Aid, but have you ever heard of psychological first aid? Well that's what they were teaching today in San Pedro. It's training for disaster first responders who have to treat the mental and physical trauma of those who have been involved in a disaster. As we found out, it even included some post disaster play acting:.. Dr. Claudina Cayetano - Psychiatrist in the Ministry of Health "Actually this is number 7 training of this kind and I am very excited that we are doing it in San Pedro because we have done it in all the other districts. The difference with the districts is that we do it with the community health workers but in San Pedro as you notice we have different background of people in the room which is great because in providing psychological first aid, anyone who has the skill can do that."

Salima Y Las Limas
On Friday - we showed you the Prime Minister's daughter Salima Barrow and her friends squeezing limes to make Lemonade for a charity sale. Well, on Sunday she went ahead with her Lemonade stall at the BTL Park - and with a little help from her friends and Bowen and Bowen, it appears to have been a smashing success. Today, they counted their pennies - and some larger contributions, and she told Monica Bodden how much they raised:.. Monica Bodden "What was the experience like being out there selling limeades?" Salima Barrow "Well you know how we do it; Hayley then me, Abigail, then Gianna." Hayley Thurton "A lot of people out there came to buy." Monica Bodden "What was your job on Sunday? What did you do?"

Best Brains Recognized
The names of Belize's top students in this year's C-SEC and CAPE Exams have been released. Dorien Villafranco from Saint John's Juniour College did the best on CAPE and so he wins the Belize Scholarship for 2012. Villafranco - who was also the top CSEC candidate two years ago - earned six Grade I's in Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Physics Units 1 and 2, and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2. In the high school's CSEC exam, Juana Meza of Stann Creek Ecumenical College received the most outstanding candidate. She earned thirteen Grade one's at the General Proficiency in: Biology, Chemistry, English A and B), Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Religious Education, Social Studies, Spanish, Physical Education and Sport, Human and Social Biology and Electrical and Electronic Technology and two Grade three's in Caribbean History and Economics. Meza also achieved first place in the Sciences Subject Group and first in Spanish in Belize. Kaylyn Habet of St Catherine Academy obtained second place in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. She had twelve Grade ones at the General Proficiency in Biology, English A and B, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Social Studies, Spanish, Physical Education and Sport and Human and Social Biology and one Grade two in Chemistry.

Channel 5

Did another pastor sexually molest a minor?
There is a most disturbing allegation that involves the heinous crime of carnal knowledge to report tonight. At this hour, police have in custody and are carrying out an ID parade of a man who is accused of sexually violating an eleven year old school girl. The report is all the more alarming because at [...]

Teachers and students protest Baptist High School in Belmopan
While Pastor Norman Willacy stepped down from the Belmopan Baptist High School after he admitted culpability, the school is still facing a myriad of problems. This morning, a protest was held by teachers and students who were calling for the firing of Willacey’s replacement. The Belize National Teachers Union as well as the Ministry of [...]

Women, also victims of senseless murders
The Crimes Commission has not yet approved of the Ministry of National Security’s intention to have some areas of Belize City demarcated as Crime Ridden Areas. The designation would allow security forces to cordon-off areas and search houses and people without the need of a warrant. The tough initiative is within the purview of the [...]

Do you support anti-crime measures such as searches without warrants?
And our question for tonight is: Do you support the anti-crime measure that provides for searches of houses without warrants? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

World Bank note shows some pro-poor initiatives work and some don’t
Government has spent five point two million dollars on a BOOST program as part of its pro-poor policies. Another two point five million was spent on a food pantry program in the Belize and Cayo Districts. But is there value for the millions spent? That is what a team from the World Bank has been [...]

BOOST Program, supported and successful in the region
One of the initiatives that came up at the breakfast session attended by the World Bank Representatives, the Ministry of Human Development and the media, was the Food Pantry Program. Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation said the program is being run in Belize and Cayo Districts. It targets [...]

Mayas meet with attorney to consider legal action against G.O.B.
Since an unsuccessful public consultation exercise, held in Sundaywood Village on October twenty-fifth, to discuss the results of an environmental impact assessment conducted by U.S. Capital Energy Ltd., Maya leaders across all thirty-eight communities in Toledo have been meeting to discuss a legal way forward.  Today, representatives from the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous [...]

Mayas concerned about G.O.B.’s production sharing agreement with Oil Company
According to Alfonso Cal, President of the Toledo Alcaldes Association, concerns have been raised by fellow community leaders regarding the terms of agreement between the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy pertaining to a production sharing agreement.  That concern prompted a letter, written by the association to government, asking for disclosure of that contract.  [...]

GST team busts 2 businessmen without proper cash registers
Two Chinese grocers were hauled before the courts today following a crackdown by the General Sales Tax Department. Forty-three year old Yue Ling Huang Wong, owner of Julie’s Supermarket located in the Belama Phase Two area of Belize City and fifty-two year old Hong Ging Huang of Seashore Store located at Mile Two on the [...]

Bar votes to support the extension of Appeals Court Judge
The Bar Association met on Monday night at the Radisson Hotel. One of the issues discussed was the extension of the term of Justice Manuel Sosa as the President of the Court of Appeal for another eight years.  As News Five understands, the leader of the opposition, who is being consulted on the extension, sought [...]

Top CXC and CAPE students revealed; SJCJC has top 3
The Ministry of Education has released a list of top performers for external exams. Dorien Villafranco of St. John’s College Junior College is the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May/June 2012 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and is therefore the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2012.  The CXC National Committee of Belize announced that [...]

Dorien Villafranco, Most Outstanding Cape Student
Dorien Villafranco, the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May/June 2012 CAPE is the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2012. Villafranco, a resident of Belmopan, is studying in the United States at Saint Louis University. News Five spoke to him via phone about how he achieved his academic success.   Via Phone: Dorien Villafranco, Most [...]

The Next Superstar winner to be revealed
The competition is over and tonight the name of the Next Superstar will be revealed at an all star studded event at the Bliss Institute. From a lineup of twenty-six only three groups survived the voting and the judges’ evaluation of performances during fourteen weeks of competition. Colin, Kristen and Ashanti, the two Jeremy’s and [...]

LOVE TV

Belizean youths unite against violence
A new initiative designed to help combat youth violence in Belize was launched over the weekend. During a press conference on Saturday morning, the Belize chapter of the Central American Youth Movement against violence was launched. The movement began back in 2009 as a response to the growing crime problem in the region. Since then the organization has grown to include all the countries of Central America with the exception of Guatemala. For Belize, the local chapter of the movement includes the participation of different organizations working primarily with youths who want to make a difference, particularly in reducing the prevalence of crime. Leaders of the Belize chapter of the Central American Youth Movement against Violence say they will now consolidate their efforts and let the public know what the organization is all about, with a view to getting everyone on board the initiative. During Saturday’s press conference, some the youths heard some staggering statistics, indicating that this year Belize became the fifth dangerous country in Central America with a homicide rate of thirty nine murders per every one hundred thousand inhabitants. That means that every two days, someone looses their life due to violence.

Department of Youth Services holds open day
The organization formerly known as Youth for the Future today held an open day at its offices at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge in Belize City. The purpose of the forum was to showcase the services that the new Department of Youth Services has to offer and give young people a chance to network. Crystal Dacoff is one of the organizers of the event. Because of the murder of their colleague Gayle Escarpeta, the staff at the Department of Youth Services is doing their best to cope and continue their activities for Youth Week. Among the activities today were hair braiding, face painting and a cooking competition.

Belize Red Cross to help Sandy Victims
The Belize Red Cross Society is turning to you to help in the global appeal to help victims of Hurricane Sandy who got affected in Cuba. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent has estimated that the losses suffered in that country amounts to almost six million US dollars. In order to help them recover quickly, everyone’s help is needed, including yours. Director General of the Belize Red Cross Society, Lily Bowman, says that there is an account where you can deposit money towards that initiative. For the next month, you can make deposits in the Belize Red Cross Disaster Appeal Fund countrywide.

DAVCO Cayo holds annual general meeting
The seventh annual general meeting of the Cayo District Association of Village Councils was held on Saturday in Central Farm. According to an attendee, twelve of thirty two villages in the Cayo district attended the forum, which observers say is a sow of the disinterest in the affairs of their communities by village leaders. At one point during the AGM, rural development officer Hilberto Lopez noted that the national association of village councils appears to be dormant; but NAVCO responded by saying that the Ministry of Local Government has not released funds to the association since August and that financial assistance is crucial to the carrying on of the functions of NAVCO at both the district and national levels. Reports from the meeting say that consensus was reached that if there is a problem with the National Association it is because of a lack of effective leadership. It is understood that meetings to report on the status of the National Association have not been held recently, even though the NAVCO executive is being paid to administer the affairs of the organization. In the discussion segment, Mr. Hilberto Lopez chastised National Association with the point that the association seems to be non-functional, this was rebutted by NAVCO stating that the Ministry is not releasing funds approved as of August this year which is allocated to carry on the general functions of the Associations at national and District Level. During the meeting, there was a presentation by the director of Destination Planning for the Belize Tourism Board Kevin Gonzalez who noted that a Village Web page will soon be launched along with a new Dive map known as the Village Dive map. This new resource will include, apart from the Diving Destination, a map of Belize with the names of all villages of the country. One of the guest speakers at the NAVCO general meeting was Anthony Mai from Galen University, who spoke on the promotion of sustainable Management of the Environment. The other guest speaker, the Regional coordinator for NEMO, Keith Emmanuel, stressed that village leaders need to lead by the will of the people and to be held accountable and transparent, since the greatest threat that affects institutions is corruption. Village council elections across Belize are scheduled for March and April of 2013.

Students visit physical border marker in south-western Belize
A group of five students of the University of Belize have ventured deep into the jungles of southwestern Belize over the weekend. According to Wil Maheia, the five female students made the journey by on Saturday to see for themselves Belize’s border marker at Gracias Adios. The women journeyed by boat on the Sarstoon River and then trekked into the forest to reach the cement marker which separates Belize and Guatemala. The expedition followed a lecture given by Toledo resident Wil Maheia of the People’s National Party on Guatemala’s unfounded territorial claim to Belize.

Metal detectors donated to the government of Belize
Walk-through metal detectors are being installed at the Belize Central Prison managed by the Kolbe Foundation in Hattieville village and at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Administration building in Belize City. The metal detectors are a donation from the government of the United States. The donated metal detectors, according to a government press release, will assist the Ministry of National Security in upgrading security at key locations. One of those locations is at the Sir Edney Cain Administration Building in Belmopan, which houses the office of the Prime Minister. Valued at one hundred and fifty six thousand US dollars, the donation of metal detectors was handed over this morning in Belmopan by the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy in Belize Margaret Harthorne. On hand to receive the donation was the Minister of National Security John Saldivar.

St. Luke Methodist primary school gets help from former student
The St. Luke Methodist primary school in Belize City is this week benefitting from the generosity of a former student. Glenda Flowers who migrated to the United States four decades ago has been giving back to her alma mater for the last five years. Her generosity is channeled through an organization called Miss America-Belize. Flowers stopped by our studios this morning to talk about her latest venture. Flowers and her team, which includes two other beauty queens will be at the St. Luke Methodist school on Wednesday afternoon to distribute the supplies to the institution’s over eight hundred students. Flowers say her organization will also be assisting other needy persons during this year’s outreach. Two of her assistants Sharema Tillett and Lechille Dixon say they are honored to be a part of this philanthropic effort. That was assistants Sharemah Tillett and Lechille Dixon. Tillett is Miss American-Belize, 2012, while Dixon is Miss American-Belize Popularity.

Woman seeks help for brain tumor surgery
A Belize City woman is asking for the public’s assistance to get surgery that will rid her of a never ending headache. Thirty one year old Nicholee Ramirez was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year and has been in constant pain as tests show that it continues to grow, despite treatment with medication. Today, Ramirez stopped by our studios to appeal for financial assistance to get the surgery which will be done in Merida, Mexico. Anyone wishing to assist Nicolee Ramirez can do so at Holy Redeemer Credit Union, account number 9847. She can also be reached at telephone number 668-4242.

Woman charged after being found with bag full of drugs
Eighteen year old Jaslyn Cadle, an unemployed of Supal Street charged with drug trafficking for 159 grams of cannabis, was fined 10 thousand dollars today by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she pled guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith ordered her to pay $2,000.00 forthwith and the balance by December 31, 2013. If she defaults on payment she will serve two years. If she defaults on payment of the eight thousand dollars, she will serve three years. The bust occurred around 6:25 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. The police, members of the GSU, reported that they were on patrol on Newtown Barracks when they saw Cadle with a bulky knapsack on her back, standing in front the gate of MCC Grounds. They approached Cadle and when they searched the knapsack they found several parcels of transparent plastic bags which contained cannabis, which amounted to 195 grams. They also found $195.00 on her person.

Man charged in murder of David Myvette
Twenty-seven year old Leon Yorke, a resident of Berry Street, was charged with the murder of David Myvett when he appeared in Court today. Yorke was also charged with escape. According to the allegation, Yorke shot and killed Myvett on Electric Avenue on November 1. Yorke reportedly escaped from Sergeant Alejandro Cowo on Friday, November 2 when Cowo went to arrest him.

Police special operation continues
Belize City police are currently on the fourth day of a special operation to rid the streets of crime and violence. In this regard, the hot zones within the city are the subjects of frequent and random searches and raids where necessary. Martinez says that in order to make the operation a success, the cooperation of both police elements and the residents is required.

Woman shot dead in Belize City
Gayle Escarpeta A Belize City woman is dead following a shooting incident in the early morning hours of this past Saturday. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Family charged after police radio found in their home
Five persons were charged with possession of a police hand held radio for which they did not have a license, when they appeared in court today. They are 50 year old Raquel Baptist, her sons 25 year old Emmet Baptist and 27 year old Linval Baptist, 27 year old Giovanni Smith and a 17 year old boy. Emmet Baptist wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Dale Cayetano entered an equivocal plea of not guilty after he said that he found the radio in front of the Complex Building on Mahogany Street. The others pled not guilty to the charge. They were each offered a bail of $3,000.00 and their case was adjourned until December 4. The incident occurred on Saturday, November 3. The police reported that when they searched a house on Lavender Street they found the radio on the television stand. As a result, all those who were in the house at the time were charged.

Man jailed for stealing cheese
Fifty-eight year old Henry Hulse, a salesman of 78 Barrack Road who stole three packs of Cracker Barrel cheese from Save-U supermarket, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment today after he pled guilty to the charge. Hulse will have to serve an additional two years because he owes court fines for which the total sentence is two years and Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who imposed the sentence, stipulated that it is to run consecutively to any other sentence. The theft occurred around 10:20 a.m. yesterday. A security guard at Save-U reported to the police that he saw Hulse putting items in the pocket of his pants and Hulse exited the supermarket without paying for them. As a result, Hulse was detained and a search of his person led to the discovery of the cheese in the pockets of his pants. The value of the cheese was $27.21. When asked by Senior Magistrate Fraser why he stole the cheese, Hulse said that he was hungry. She told Hulse that where he was going he would not have to worry about being hungry because he will be fed every day. Hulse had previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty.

PlusTV

Baptist High School teachers walk off campus
Belmopan Baptist High school was recently in the news when its former principal was accused of having an inappropri...

GST crack down on supermarkets not issuing tax receipts
General Sales tax Department is cracking down on Chinese nationals who refuse to use their programmable cash regist...

Fisherman charged with two counts of robbery
Two women were the victims of a robbery on Saturday and today and a Fisherman of Cannon Dale Drive was slapped with...

Mass registration for children aged 0 -18 years
The Make Your Child Count Birth Registration Campaign continued today in San Ignacio. UNICEF and its partners have ...

A 15 years-old girl from Ladyville is missing
AA 15 years-old girl from Ladyville is missing. Angelita Elvira Hernandez was last seen by her 10 year-old sister y...

World Malaria Day 2012 is being observed today in the America
World Malaria Day 2012 is being observed today in the Americas. Belize is joining in to commemorate the day under t...

Belize going up against US NGO to defend right to harvest
Belize's conch industry is valued at $10 million Belize dollars annually. But what would happen if the United states placed a ban on importing the seafood delicacy? Currently, estimates are that 95% of Belize’s exported conch head to the US. According to an article by Caribbean 360, in March of this year, the WildEarth Guardians, a non-governmental organisation in Denver, Colorado petitioned the US Secretary of Commerce, to have the conch species listed as threatened or endangered. If that petition is granted, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, no country would be able to export conch to the USA.

Pastor accused of sexual crime
A pastor of Frank’s Eddy village is being accused of having sex with an 11 year old girl. Police have not made an o...

Most Outstanding Candidate for CAPE receives scholarship
The Ministry of Education and the CXC National Committee have announced the most outstanding CXC candidates for th...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The Girl Effect Project – Ocean Academy
Do you know about The Girl Effect Project? A $10 donation in November to Ocean Academy’s FLC (Female Leadership Community) will help the girls earn one of twelve spots in this fundraising initiative. If we win, Nike/Global Giving will help fundraise one full year for the girls’ needs. Projects with the MOST DONORS (not the most money raised) will earn a spot so if you want to give more than $10 please sponsor a friend’s donation so we can show a large base of supporters. Check out the club blog to read the girls’ writings and thoughts. Thanks, as always, for your support. For more information on this project contact Joni Miller at Ocean Academy at 226-0321. To get more information about The Girl Effect Project in Belize, here is the link: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/flc-belize-girls/

Grand Reopening of Magandon

Halloween on Caye Caulker
Although Halloween is not a Belizean tradition, children look forward for this day as they dress to come out and trick or treat and get all the candies they can get. Here are a few pictures of the kids trick or treating.

Amandala

STEPFATHER CONFESSED TO KILLING ORANGE WALK TEEN IN QUIET TEXAS TOWN
Residents of Rockwall Texas, USA, and friends of 15-year-old Surie Baeza, who attended her Friday night memorial, have been in shock over her killing last Tuesday, allegedly by Juan Enrique Torres, 41, her estranged stepfather and father of her seven-year-old brother, who attacked her in “a fit of rage” after she threatened to call the police on him. Multiple international news reports, including reports carried on CBS and NBC, recount the tragedy described by the written confession of Torres, a Belizean, reportedly made to police two days after the incident. Torres is said to have confessed to stabbing the girl, originally of Orange Walk, to death following an argument over money and a possible transaction with a pawnshop. Torres was wearing Baeza’s jewelry, police said. Torres allegedly beat Baeza in the head with a wooden closet rod and stabbed her before leaving her locked insider her bedroom, where she later died. Based on accounts of when the girl was last seen, police indicate that the killing happened between 2:00 and 4:00 that afternoon. Surie’s mother found her dead inside her bedroom at around 7:30 p.m.

PM BARROW ANNOUNCES $3.5 MIL MORTGAGE GUARANTEE PROGRAM
Usually, commercial banks require that customers who want to borrow for a housing mortgage put down 10% of the total cost of the home. For persons without savings or assets, this is often an obstacle to home ownership. However, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Thursday, November 1, at the Second Business Forum aimed to solidify private-public sector partnership, that the government has earmarked $3.5 million for a new mortgage guarantee program which would enable 350 first-time home owners to meet their down-payment requirement. Barrow said that the program is intended to help the middle-class, and the mortgage limit is $100,000. “The proposal here is for Government to provide a repayment guarantee of up to 10% of a housing mortgage loan from a commercial bank or DFC (or other approved lender) for first time buyers of residential property to be owner-occupied, provided that the original loan amount does not exceed $100,000,” Barrow announced to a room full of businesspersons, chief executive officers and ministers, who were gathered for the forum at Old Belize.

TOLEDO MAYA GET READY TO FIGHT GOB!
Maya asserting ancestral land rights; say Gov’t leaders ignoring them Oil continues to be a big front-burner issue in Belize, and Maya leaders from Toledo will tomorrow kick off a public awareness campaign to get their voices heard. They contend that key officials of government have been ignoring their communications and their position paper, calling for the people of the South to be properly consulted so as to ensure that they are not left behind in an impending petroleum exploration project that could span as many as 38 Maya villages in Toledo and several other communities, including the indigenous Garifuna community of Barranco. Spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc, told Amandala today that representatives of the Maya villages are looking at court action, and more specifically, judicial review, as one option, because, in their view, the government is violating a court injunction that bars them from proceeding with any petroleum project on Maya ancestral lands without their free and informed consent. She also said that nowhere in the contract with the petroleum company in question, US Capital, does it ever state that the lands upon which the concession has been granted are owned by the Maya. Coc said that because the Maya do own the land, the company cannot explore for oil there without their consent and without giving them proper compensation, in the event that they do consent to drilling.

ROCKY ROAD SHOOTING — MOTHER OF 2 DEAD
Gunmen sprayed bullets at the car in which she was travelling Senseless gun violence in the city has again claimed a life, but this time, it is the life of a mother of two children, Gayle Escarpeta, 27, of the Fabers Road Extension area, who was shot to death around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, in the Rocky Road Bridge area of the city by unknown gunmen who fired at the vehicle she was travelling in. Escarpeta was employed at Youth for the Future as a computer program assistant. When police went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), they saw her with three gunshot wounds. She had been shot twice in her right arm and had also been shot in the right armpit. She was declared dead on arrival at the KHMH. Police said that their initial investigation revealed that Escarpeta had been travelling in a white Mazda Tribute on George Street with a male friend, who was the driver, when they were approached by a green car with four male occupants inside.

LEON YORKE, 27, CHARGED WITH MURDER
Police say Yorke murdered David John Myvette, 43 Today, Leon Yorke, 27, a resident of #40B Berry Street, was taken before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, where he was charged with murder and escape. Police say that Yorke is the man who shot and killed David John Myvette, 43, last week Wednesday, October 31, while on his worksite, Electric Avenue, a street in the Lake Independence area. Myvette, who worked with Meheia’s United Construction Company, was cementing the street on Wednesday morning when at about 9:30, he was approached by a dark-complexioned man who shot him in his head and body. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he died shortly after arriving. Police are not sure what the motive was for his killing, but his friends and family believe that it was a case of mistaken identity. No plea was taken from Yorke, as murder is an indictable offense, which will be heard in the Supreme Court.

COPS WEAKEST IN CRITICAL AREAS: INTELLIGENCE GATHERING, PROSECUTION, INVESTIGATION, ADMITS NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER
DNA lab coming soon, minister pledges It has for some time now been public knowledge that the police have not been faring off well in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, particularly major crimes such as murders, with the conviction rate known to be in the single digits. In a public address on Thursday, November 1, National Security Minister John Saldivar acknowledged that the police are weakest in three critical areas: intelligence gathering, prosecution and investigation. The Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal had previously indicated that “…the main factor affecting the conviction rate at this time is not perverse verdicts, but the inability of the prosecution, in most murder and attempted murder cases, to secure the testimony of witnesses to enable a case to be put before the jury.” She had indicated that there were several cases which had collapsed when witnesses were put on the stand, and they simply refused to assist the prosecution. According to Saldivar, there are also other factors: The prosecution fails, as well, because of lack of training, and that arm of police has been weakened because of “routinely transferring the more skilled prosecutors from the department” once these officers are promoted from the rank of sergeant.

INTER-DISTRICT QUARTERFINALS WEEK 1 RESULTS
Bombers, Benguche, San Antonio and Scorpions win The 16 teams that started the competition are now down to 8, and the home-and-away quarterfinal series began over the weekend in the FFB Champion of Champions Inter-District Tournament with one game on Saturday and three on Sunday. At the MCC on Saturday night, Brown Bombers clipped Progresso FC, 1-0, on a goal from Darrell Myvette, a header in heavy traffic off a swerving corner by Edon “Yellow Man” Rowley at the 4th minute. Progresso came back strong in second half, but Bombers held on for the 1-nil win. On Sunday at the Carl Ramos Stadium, Benguche FC crushed Estrellas FC, 6-2, with goals from Tito Flores (33 min), Darwain “Cayo” Castillo (46 min pk & 73 min), Carlos Lino (66 min) and Raymond Ramos (69 & 84 min). Estrellas got a goal apiece from Darrol Lambey (25 min) and Christopher Burke. Meanwhile, at the Ricalde Stadium it was San Antonio FC, 2-1, over Madrid FC. Russel Cassanova (45 min) and Darnel Mossiah (52 min) shook the net for San Antonio; while Eder Diaz (14 min) tallied for Madrid. And at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, Independence Scorpions bombed Santa Elena Synergy, 6-1. Sharing in the scoring for the Scorpions were Devaughn Thompson (40 & 50 min), Ever Centeno (45 min), Jose Melendez (69 min), Edwardo Oliva (88 min) and Elmer Godoy (89 min). Santa Elena’s consolation goal was by Calbert Neal (76 min).

4 WEEKS LEFT IN PREMIER LEAGUE RACE TO SEMIFINAL PLAYOFFS
Week 10 of the Premier League Opening Season tournament is history, except for one incomplete game whose result is all but academic (BDF leads Juventus, 3-0, at half-time); and, with 4 weeks of games remaining, the battle for the 2 playoff spots in each Zone is still raging hot, with previous standings leaders losing or drawing in last weekend’s games. (See standings below.) Results in so far are: Police United FC, 2-1, over Placencia Assassins at the Isidoro Beaton on Saturday. (Police – Orlando Jimenez 51’ PK, Evan Mariano 83’; Placencia – Garry Young 17’). R.G. City Boys United, 3-2, over Paradise/Freedom Fighters at the Michael Ashcroft on Saturday. (City Boys – Jason Young 29’, Deon McCaulay 33’, Dalton Cayetano 37’; Freedom Fighters – Leonard Valdez 58’ PK, Wilmer Garcia 89’) Verdes FC drew 0-0 with San Ignacio United FC at the Marshalleck on Saturday. San Pedro Sea Dogs FC, 3-1, over FC San Felipe Barcelona at the Ambergris on Sunday. (San Pedro – Mario Chimal 55’, Angel Cantun 82’, Jesse Smith 85’; San Felipe – Oscar Accevedo 25’) BDF vs Juventus was incomplete on Sunday at the Louisiana Field. And F.C. Belize and Belmopan Bandits drew, 0-0, at the MCC on Sunday. It was a “mano-mano” affair at the MCC yesterday, where F.C. Belize, despite losing their captain Christopher Gilharry to a red card in their last outing, still held their ground against highly touted North Zone leaders Belmopan Bandits, who had to settle for a 0-0 draw in their first visit this year to the MCC.



Edited by Marty (11/16/12 05:53 PM)

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#450510 - 11/07/12 01:50 PM Re: Today's Belize News: November 7, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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Editorial: Dog Days
If we remember correctly, there is a part of the Bible which says, to those who have much, more will be given, and those who have little, even the little they have will be taken away. These are dog days in our community, because we are in that economic lull between the September celebrations and the Christmas season. Normally, Belize’s tourist industry picks up in November when the United States starts to get colder. Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the American East Coast, will, however, probably affect our tourism negatively. The thing is, the depressed Southside of Belize City gets very, very little out of the tourist dollar in any case. That is because, it is dangerous to take people into the Southside; because things are so bad, desperation breeds aggression. You can’t attract money into the Southside because of the level of violence, even though this is the area which needs some money to circulate in the worst kind of way. Politicians from Toledo say that their District is the one most affected by poverty, but the level of interpersonal violence is much less in Toledo than in Belize City. There are different ways to measure poverty, you see, and because Toledo is a District with a lot of rural communities, there are ways to eat without having cash money. You can farm or fish. You can’t do much of that in the city. If you are hungry, you have to become a criminal. The poverty on the Southside, it appears, is of a more deadly variety. The level of political awareness in the old capital, partly because of the proliferation of the media, is higher than in the rural areas. The Opposition PUP has been trying to convince Belize City voters that they made a big mistake in going so overwhelmingly for the ruling UDP in March, but their agitation seeds are not falling on fertile ground. This is because of skepticism about the PUP’s Francis Fonseca leadership. Why this is so in the old capital, we could submit a thesis, but we won’t bother. The UDP government has decided that the crime and violence are so bad they have to take draconian measures on the Southside. Certain areas of Belize City will be declared “crime ridden” areas, allowing the police and other security forces “to search any or all houses in the area without the need for a warrant” and “allowing them to restrict movement in and out of” specific areas that will be cordoned off. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, said, “Every person entering and exiting the area will be searched. A systematic house-by-house search of these areas will be done with immediate effect.” Wow! “The cost of the new measures, said Saldivar, is in excess of $100,000 weekly.” More wow!!

FROM THE PUBLISHER
“One of the brutal consequences of the Spanish Conquest was the division of the Guatemalan population into criollos (native-born Spaniards), ladinos (the product of intermarriage between Spaniards and natives), and the native population, called ‘indios’ by the Spanish but who refer to themselves as ‘naturales.’ The distinction between Indian and ladino is still present today but it is cultural rather than racial. Racially, most of the Guatemalan population is some degree of mixture between Indian and early conquerors or later immigrants. Culturally, however, there are differences in dress, language, and customs that set the indigenous population apart from the others. The ethnic boundaries are not always clear, but by most definitions over half of the Guatemalan population still can be defined as ‘Indian,’ in spite of the official census figure of 43 percent (1964).” - pg. 28, GUATEMALA, North American Congress on Latin America, 1974 During the thirteen years I attended schools in Belize, from 1952 to 1965, I can recall just once coming across a reference to the Caste War in one of the many textbooks I was required to read. This reference was in a single sentence, and that reference left me with many questions in my mind. Just when it was that the Rt. Hon. George Price began referring to Belize’s Maya past and the Maya glory in his public speeches and conversations, I am not in a position to say. If I had to guess, I would say it must have been after the PUP won 18 out of 18 seats in March 1961 in the first national elections held here under a new Ministerial constitution. In 1961, Mr. Price was at the zenith of popular power, having survived expulsion from a London conference by the British in 1957 and a sedition arrest/trial by the said British in 1958. Apart from the fact that Mr. Price’s mother was of Maya extraction, exactly how much Mr. Price himself knew of the Maya it is hard to say. He never went beyond generalized references to the ancient Maya civilizations which existed in this territory before the British came. For my generation of “Baby Boomer” Creole students in British Honduras in the 1960s, then, we had no real idea of what Mr. Price was speaking when he spoke of the “Maya.” The only thing we were sure of in the capital city was that we ourselves were not Maya. Remember now, we were ignorant of the differences between Spaniards, Mestizos, and Maya. They were all a hodge-podge of people from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, and from San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, whom we, in our ignorance, referred to as “Spanish.”

BANKS HOLDINGS OPEN TO BUY-BACK NEGOTIATIONS – BUT AT WHAT PRICE?
Banks Holdings, the Barbados-based company which bought into the Belize citrus industry in 2006, has confirmed that it is willing to consider an offer from the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) to resell the shares the Caribbean company now holds in the Belizean company, Citrus Products of Belize Limited, based in Pomona in the Stann Creek Valley. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Banks Holdings, Richard Cozier, told Amandala today that Banks Holdings is a publicly traded company with investments in various parts of the Caribbean, and they would have to listen to what is being offered by CGA to see if it is in the best interest of Banks Holdings and its shareholders before making a decision to sell back the shares. As we reported in the weekend issue of Amandala, CGA sources have indicated that another Caribbean investor, with strong international ties, is interested in buying the CPBL shares. Cozier said that the 2006 investment agreement—under which CGA’s shares in CPBL, amounting to 46.58%, were sold to Banks Holdings despite strong opposition from some growers—had always been a bone of contention between the parties. Asked to describe the current status of relations between the two shareholders, Banks Holdings of Barbados on the one hand, and CGA of Belize on the other, Cozier recounted that there had been no issue between the parties for the first three to four years since the investment agreement was signed in late 2006, but when the leadership of CGA changed, to include persons who were publicly against the sale of shares to Banks Holdings, the entire relationship changed.

Blogs

Medical Safety growing strong in Belize
The Belize Red Cross is pleased to announce the beginning of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety website button initiative. We would like to thank Punta Gorda and San Pedro branches for being the first districts in Belize to launch this ongoing effort and Bandage International for coming to Belize to teach the first official Certified First Aid training course in the Red Cross Belize Medical Safety program. Businesses country-wide are stepping up to make Belize a safer place to visit by sending staff to the upcoming Certified First Aid / CPR Courses being held at the Parish Hall, Punta Gorda on November 12th and 13th and Nov 14th and 15th upstairs at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro. The course will cover many areas of safety including the following topics: Heart attacks, asthma, stroke, diabetes, seizures, allergic reactions, water emergencies and pregnancy. Participants will also be trained in: Bandaging and splinting & new CPR guidelines. Those who successfully complete the two-day course will be able to recognize and treat the following injuries: Head and Spinal injuries, Chest and Abdominal injuries Extremity injuries and Soft Tissue injuries, Shock and Bleeding, Burns. Attendance is required for both days in order to receive a one year certification.

New Things Around Town: Restaurants, Stores and NEW Micro-Brewed Beer!
Yesterday I took a walk into town. There is usually some new business or a bit of action or exciting gossip to be found. Yesterday, I found all three. This post really is a "mash up" of topics but generally, this is how my days go. After a very rainy morning, things were looking up. Not perfect but not bad at all. All over Facebook there are gorgeous pictures of a full double rainbow and even a full triple rainbow and I missed the whole thing. Perhaps the best one I've seen is by Jose Luis Zapata Photography. Take a look. The Belize Yacht Club continues to put up new signs and get ready for new businesses. And the new creperie/bar on the beach with seating for about 1000. Not yet open for business but very very close. A bit of excitement. A woman was trying to enter the property to (as she said) "go to her home". She was with a small child and videotaping the whole time. Two BYC security guys were quite aggressively trying to keep her at bay. Apparently over the past few weeks, some long term renters have been vacated. From what I hear, owners cannot independently rent their units out anymore. Apparently this has caused some...ahhhh...complications. Not my business...time to move along. It's turkey time in San Pedro. Though Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated by Belizeans, Christmas time is turkey time. You'll see lots of businesses, fundraisers and vendors selling "turkey plates".

Funny Beliefs And Superstitions Of Belize
I should have named this post, funny beliefs and superstitions of OLD Belize since for one reason or the other, the younger generation of Belizeans aren’t as superstitious as the old generation. Actually, when you look at some of the beliefs that old people believed in, you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous they sound. But mind you, I respect and understand why these superstitions played such a vital part of their lives. These beliefs were passed down from parent to child over several generations, and these stories were used as tools to keep their children at bay from too much mischief and even possible harm. The same goes for Belizean Folklore. Never sharpen your pencil on both sides, bad things will happen

International Sources

BSHS senior plans 5k to benefit children in Belize
Running is a big part of life for T.J. Kimbrough-French. The Bonner Springs High School senior, who just went to the cross country state tournament for his third straight year, wanted to use his love of running for his senior project. A little bit of planning brought it together with another passion, helping children, and morphed into this weekend’s “Keep It Moving, Brough” 5k run and walk, benefiting the Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus organization. Kimbrough-French said running has been a favorite sport since his childhood, so it was a natural choice of focus for his senior project. “When I first started out I was really good at it,” he said. “I always liked running and beating people when I was a kid, so I thought it would be perfect.” Choosing the beneficiary of a 5,000-meter run/walk also was easy: Kimbrough-French’s church is planning a mission trip in early 2013 to Belize through Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus, a nonprofit that provides food and school supplies for poverty-stricken children.

Caribbean fishers to benefit from Euro 117,956 project
November 6, 2012 - Thousands of fisherfolk from across the Caribbean are poised to benefit greatly from a unique and timely Euro 117,956 (US$150,000) project which will help them develop a more sustainable and professional industry, and improve their quality of life as well as the nutrition they obtain from seafood. The project, entitled Implementing the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy: Positioning and Engaging Fisher Folk Organizations, is to be undertaken through Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), which has recently been awarded a 12-month contract by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA). The agreement was signed by Milton Haughton, Executive Director of CRFM and Michael Hailu, CTA Director on 18 October 2012. Through the project, Caribbean fisherfolk will be continuously engaged with decision-makers, as they increase their participation in the formulation of key regional fisheries policies. The partner organizations, CRFM and CTA, have been working together in the support of the dynamic process initiated by fisherfolk groups to create a Caribbean Regional Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), which was established in 2009. The direct beneficiaries of this new project will be the national fisherfolk organizations (NFOs).

Activist, social commentator Ron Mudd crosses over at 66
The city lost a unique creative talents nearly two weeks ago. Playwright, social commentator, videographer and filmmaker, Ronald “Ronnie” F. Mudd, departed this life on Saturday, Oct. 25. He was 66. Born on Oct. 19, 1946, Mudd, who spent much of his formative years between Fort Wayne and Ohio, had returned to the city in recent years after having spent time living in places such as Germany after a stint in military service, and in the Central American nation of Belize. Nellems said Mudd’s travels and unique life experiences helped shape his perspectives on the world and gave him deep insight. “He talked a lot about Belize where he learned about life and how to live a life where you didn’t have many resources,” she explained. “He was very resourceful.” Nellems said he also spoke often of how his aunt—the late Corrine Brooks, a noted Fort Wayne civil rights activist—was a primary influence in his life.

Travel Review: Caye Caulker
Formerly known as Cay Corker on early British maps, Caye Caulker is located one mile west of Belize Reef and is a a four mile long island, part of a chain of islands forming the Belize Barrier Reef. This small limestone coral island has a population of only 1,300 and boasts of having a relaxing atmosphere with white sand streets, golf carts for transportation, and a laid back casual dress code with shoes always being optional. Tourism started on the island in the 1970's and though small as the island is, tourism continues to be one of the islands thriving economic builders. Along with tourism the island has survived on fishing as its main income as well as scuba diving. The diving immediately around Caye Caulker is easily accessible where divers will enjoy the shallow dives and get to see a good variety of sea life and coral. Diving around Caye Caulker is spur-and-groove with some deep canyons, swim through, a variety of underwater caves and reef cuts. Visibility is terrific, often 150 feet or more and many of the dive sites are best for intermediate and advanced divers. Caye Caulker is also the shipbuilding and boat racing center of Belize; being famous for its tradition of ship building. This 'building' is a craft and skill that has been passed from generation to generation on the island and continues to be a major hobby for island inhabitants today. Also to be enjoyed are sailing, birding, jungle tours, and windsurfing in the clear azure waters of the Caribbean that surround the island. The local tour guides are happy to arrange jungle trips up the rivers of the mainland, where you will see orchids, bromeliads, cactus, a variety of birds, monkeys, bats and other wildlife. There are over 30 hotels, along with a variety of restaurants and shops, but Caye Caulker remains friendly and easy-going, avoiding the commercialism of other destinations. Have a chat with your travel agent today about making your plans to visit this beautiful island.

Epic Belizean Inland Adventures
Cayo gets some more publicity with 3 extreme inland adventures. Ultralight flights, cave tubing - misspelled as cave tumbling - and jungle horseback riding are the main focus. Xunantunich and Chaa Creek get mentioned in the article too. "One of the most spectacular & accessible Mayan ruins in Belize is Xunantunich. This architectural wonder is set on a leveled hilltop and is reached by crossing the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry. The ruins are impressive when viewed from the ground but the sheer size and magnificence is not fully comprehended until seen from the sky. A bird’s eye view from a gliding ultralight is the best way to fully experience the wonder of the ancient Mayan Civilizations. There’s nothing like reaching a height of 3,000 feet when the pilot turns off the engine, and one gently glides over the ruins in absolute silence."


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