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The San Pedro Sun

Mayor Daniel Guerrero takes more initiative in battling crime
Sagging discouraged – Shops & Restaurants closing at 10pm It has come to a point that residents on Ambergris Caye, along with its Town Council and the Police Department, have to take serious measures in battling crime on the island. To many residents, fear has replaced the sense of security once felt while walking around our island home. Over time, perpetrators have even managed to infiltrate the place where one should feel most safe – in the home. The San Pedro Town Council is intent on bringing San Pedro back to the carefree paradise that so many residents miss; to a time when we could feel a sense of safety and security once more. As such, the council is sending a plea to residents, especially parents, to play a more active role in their children’s lives. Residents are asked to take pride in their island home, by keeping it clean and adding to the aesthetic beauty of the community. We promote our island as “La Isla Bonita”; Mayor Guerrero reminds everyone that a major part of the “beauty” of our island that people keep coming back for is us – the people of San Pedro. It is with this in mind that “sagging” is being actively discouraged. Sagging is the practice of wearing pants below the waist, revealing much of the underwear. It is predominantly a male fashion. According to Wikipedia, the practice originated from United States prisons where belts are prohibited. In the 1990’s, hip-hop artists popularized the style as a fashion statement, and the trend has held fast.

2012 Taste of Belize heads to San Ignacio!
Taste of Belize (TOB) 2012 is here! BTB’s signature culinary event will be in San Ignacio, Cayo on December 1st and 2nd. The Belize Tourism Board, through this medium, seeks to develop and recognize the best in culinary arts in Belize. The event, which has been on a hiatus, returns with new twists and grandeur. On December 1st, the gala starts at 7p.m at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The Resort Hotel will be transformed like never seen before, from body painted models, to exotic animals and a photo booth. Entertainment for the evening will be the highly acclaimed, Belize Dance Company and Marimba players. A ticket to this event entitles each attendee to a five course meal, prepared by local celebrity Chef Sean Kuylen; consumption of available beers and wines; access to the cocktail hour; and a complimentary gift bag. The highlight of the night will be the live food and beverage competitions, in the categories of the Pro Chef, Bartending and Cake Decorating. For the Pro Chef competition, the BTB wants to include the entire country of Belize in celebrating the talents of our local chefs, and as a result, this portion of the event will be televised live on LOVE TV at 8:30 p.m. The battle, which will feature four professional chefs in a ‘winner takes all’ format, will be hosted by Indira Craig & William Neal. This epic three course meal battle will see contenders face off in three rounds, the appetizer, entrée and dessert, which must include a basket of mystery ingredients and be completed in one hour. At the end of the competition, a panel of four judges will select one chef to be recognized with the title of “Belize’s Master Chef,” a trophy and two thousand five hundred dollars.

Belize’s portion of Bi-national Border Bridge to be completed by Mexico
The Mexican President Felipe Calderón through the Federal Executive on Tuesday, November 20th, asked the Senate to authorize the Mexican Government to dispatch personnel from the Mexican Army to Belize. The reason for sending the Mexican Army to Belize is to support the Belizean government in the construction of a stretch of highway in the Bi-national Border Bridge that is located on the Belizean side of the northern border in the Santa Elena area of the Corozal District. Belize and Mexico signed an agreement for the construction of the bridge back in June of 2005 when the then-President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, visited Belize. The Mexican government agreed to finance the construction of the bridge, 500 meters of road from the bridge into the Belizean territory, and the access road from the bridge to the Subteniente Lopez community in Santa Elena located in the state of Quintana Roo. Those projects were completed since 2008. However, the Belize government has been unable to construct the stretch of road, approximately a quarter of a mile long, from the end of 500 meters off the foot of bridge on the Belize side of border to the current Belizean Border facilities. The office of President Calderón said that in the framework of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize made a request to the Mexican government to finance the construction of the section of the highway that is still pending for the bridge to be officially opened.

Misc Belizean Sources

BEL's Series 5 Debenture Prospectus
Series 5 Debenture Offering A local investment... with BIG returns Price: $100 per Debenture. Minimum purchase of one debenture required. Interest: 7.0% per annum, calculated from the date of allotment and payable quarterly on March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 of each year. Maturity Date: December 31, 2024 Use of Proceeds: The Company will use the proceeds to re􀃶nance the Series 1 Debentures and to help fund its general operations and medium term needs. Prospectus is available online HERE.

MCHS Walk/Run for Life
Mount Carmel High School had their first Walk/Run for Life last week. Looks like it was a great day for a walk to the border. "Headed by Ms. Lucia Muniz & Class of 3M....."

Western Spirit Cycling Team Debut
Last night in the new Cayo Welcome Center, Belikin had a debut party to introduce the Western Spirit Cycling Team. They had specials on beer and BBQ too. Go meet the cyclists, just look for the tent. And listen for Mistah Geeh, who'll be mixing for your enjoyment. "We having a party to introduce the Belikin Western Spirit cycling team! So come out to San Ignacio this Saturday at meet the guys. Oh, did i mention deals on Belikin Beer and 2013 calendars? ;) Like the post and share the good news."

Blogs

San Pedro Poker Run
If you are in town looking for something fun to do tonight, November’s poker run is a great option, sign up is at 6:00pm starting at Roadkill Bar. Afterward it moves onto Average Joe’s, Lola’s, Wayo’s and ends at Pedro’s Inn for the final draw. If you are on the fence, here is something that might help you decide – last time a very happy Memo won the pot and took home BZ $1200. For those that are new to the whole poker run idea, you do not have to be a poker pro to play, it is very easy and you will meet lots of people. It used to be done Texas Holdem style but they are now doing it Omaha in order to give everyone a better chance to win right up to the end. Cost is $25 BZD to enter, you can buy in as many times as you like or split one entry with a friend. The poker run stops at 5 different Bars. At each place you receive 1 card (for each $25 you have paid in). At the final stop, you take your best two of five cards from each bar and match them up with 3 cards from the flop drawn by the dealer to see who has the best poker hand. The winner takes the pot, very simple, very fun and very lucrative for the winner. If you are not in town for this poker run and would like to go on one in the future, join Roadkill Bar facebook page and let them know when you are coming down and they will do their best to schedule a poker run if the timing is right. The pictures below are mix from a few past Omaha poker runs and some of them were taken by Jo King.

My Top Reasons to Vacation in Belize in December
With the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice just weeks away I am taking a break from the holiday hecticness to reflect on my life and career since my last visit to Belize. In 1998, as an undergraduate in college, I traveled to northwestern Belize to work at the Maax Na Archaeology Project. I camped in the Rio Bravo Conservation Area for one month, surveying and mapping a Mayan ceremonial center. The experience of this different place, culture, and environment was the start of a new adventure and the beginning of my career. At the trips end my boyfriend (now husband) traveled from Maine to visit me and for several days we explored the Belize landscape. Although we spent only one day at Chaa Creek, we still reminisce about the adventures we had and dream about returning to explore. Belize is a place rich in culture, enveloped in nature and steeped in magic. It is a place like no other. So much has happened since my last visit to Belize, a journey that has included loss of loved ones, new additions to family, internal growth, and the development of my career. I want to return to Belize, specifically Chaa Creek, to reconnect with what I found there 14 years ago. It would be a chance to bring my experiences full circle, seeing the land with new eyes, reconciling and fully accepting the changes that have happened in the world. Most importantly I want to visit Chaa Creek to show my 9-year-old son what I found there. For him to experience this remarkable place at such a malleable age would give me hope for the future.

Camping in paradise during a tropical storm: Belize Raggamuffin Tour, Day One
I confess: I’m not really much of a beach person. Shocking, isn’t it? Seriously, who doesn’t like the beach? I suppose I have nothing against the beach. It’s beautiful. It’s relaxing. But perhaps a little bit too relaxing. I mean, I can only lay in the sun for so long before I become bored and restless. It is because of this, my mild aversion to intensive relaxation, that we have typically opted to take more active trips together. We’ve gone hiking and camping, explored medieval fortresses and historic ruins. So when we mutually decided to take our vacation this summer to sunny, sandy Belize, I began to question my sanity. Sure, I knew Belize would be beautiful, but had I signed up for three weeks of total boredom with a great view? I can only do this for so long ... Fortunately, our friends Mike and Anne, who are taking a year-long honeymoon (or, HoneyTrek!) around the world, proposed the perfect solution for my beach-going woes: a three day snorkeling, fishing, sailing, and camping adventure along the Belize Barrier Reef with Ragamuffin Tours, an outfitter based on the easy-going island of Caye Caulker. The trip would involve snorkeling the reef and camping on remote islands as we traveled by sailboat from the island of Caye Caulker in the north to the town of Placencia, along the southern coast of Belize. Relaxation plus adventure? Perfect!

International Sources

Seriously Old School
Imagine large families where everyone works hard, contributes and there are no surly teenagers. Every meal is made from scratch, the milk, cream and butter are fresh and all the vegetables are grown by you or your neighbors. Those vegetables are canned at harvest time (in mason jars), stored in the basement and brought up to the kitchen (complete with a wood burning stove) as needed. Sometimes a couple of families get together and slaughter a cow, divide it up and they “can” that too. Meals are events where everyone eats together, talks about their day and shares stories and laughter. The family cart (buggy) is drawn by the horses that also pull the plow and any other heavy thing that needs pulling like the trees used to make the lumber for your house. If a neighbor is in need the people come together and meet the need, maybe help build a house or assist with the crops. Most births happen at home with the help of a midwife from the community. Of course there is no television or video games and the home is well lit by bright kerosene lanterns in the brief period between darkness and bed time. There is no alcoholism, drug addiction or divorce and most everyone is prosperous. Where and when is this place? Is Andy Griffith the sheriff? I live next to a community of Mennonites in Upper Barton Creek here in Belize and what I’ve described is an accurate picture of their life. We have a close relationship with the two families that live nearest to us and we know many other families in their community of about 250. I have spent a considerable amount of time with them in many different circumstances and they are intelligent, open, friendly and quick to laugh. They have helped me get my truck unstuck (more than once), build a cabana, tend to our horses, build 2 outhouses, haul supplies, clear trees after a storm, work in our orchard and more. During the harvest they sell us their excellent produce at wholesale prices and through the years we have bought many things from them including chickens, eggs, cows, whole milk, cream, butter, pies, cakes, muffins, chocolate, honey, fruit, granola, bread, lumber, kerosene, lanterns, umbrellas, knives and more. Like any good neighbor they are always there if we need to borrow an item or two and like good neighbors they never ask us to borrow anything (though I have rushed a few to the hospital).

Market sources suspicious of huge tanker export of gasoline to Belize
Unknown companies Zovnitransgaz LLC (Simferopol, Crimea), Armada-Plus (Svitlovodsk, Kirovohrad region) and Petrol subsidiary (small private company Petrol-Forwarding, Odessa) in October exported around 117,000 tons of gasoline to Zevidon Trading Ltd (Belize), a source on the market told Interfax-Ukraine. "Under the documents, gasoline was shipped by tank trucks (the origin of the gasoline is unknown) to tankers. Then fuel was allegedly shipped to Belize. It's unrealistic, even from the technical point of view," the source said regarding the trustworthiness of the transactions. The source said that Kremenchuk, the largest oil refinery in Ukraine, at the peak of its operation shipped around 120,000 tons of fuel via tank trucks annually, not monthly.

Unknown companies start exporting petrol from Ukraine in large volumes in Oct
Unknown companies Zovnitransgaz LLC (Simferopol, Crimea), private company Armada-Plus (Svitlovodsk, Kirovohrad region) and Petrol subsidiary (small private company Petrol-Forwarding, Odesa) in October exported around 117,000 tonnes of petrol to Zevidon Trading Ltd (Belize), a source on the market has told Interfax-Ukraine. "Under the documents, petrol was shipped by tank trucks (the origin of petrol is unknown) to tankers. Then fuel was allegedly shipped to Belize. It's unrealistic, even from the technical point of view," the source expressed his doubts regarding the trustworthiness of the transactions. The source said that the largest oil refinery in Ukraine in Kremenchuk in the peaks of its operation shipped around 120,000 tonnes of fuel via tank trucks, annually, not monthly. The state could accrue refunding of value added tax worth around UAH 200-300 million to the companies for exports of 117,000 tonnes of petrol, the source said. Earlier this year there was information on transactions arousing doubts, but concerning imports of petrol to the country. According to sources from the State Customs Service and Ukrzaliznytsia, starting from May, the fuel volume supplied to the domestic market by rail considerably exceeded the volumes of petrol which passed the customs clearance on the border, which could be evidence of the application of a scheme of the stopped transit to import petrol to Ukraine without paying the excise duty and value added tax.