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The San Pedro Sun
Two Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
Two prominent Belizeans were honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. They are Sister Maria Caritas Lawrence, RSM, EDD; and Right Reverend Philip Wright B.A. (Hons) M.A. who were bestowed with the insignia of the Order of the British Empire.
The Governor-General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young pinned the emblematic medals on them, reciting a short biography of each for the benefit of a number of distinguished invitees to the occasion.
Bishop Wright currently sits on the Board of Governors of the University of Belize, is a member of the Council of Churches, and works with a number of NGO groups within the church in the Province of the West Indies; and now is the third most Senior Diocesan Bishop in the Province. Today Bishop Wright was honoured by the Queen for his outstanding services to Belize in the field of religion. Bishop Wright is married to Mrs. Carla Suite-Wright.
Misc Belizean Sources
2012 BOOM NEWS AS BAKTUN MAYAN CALENDAR, FORECASTS CHANGES FOR BETTER IN BELIZE.
BOOM ECONOMY FOR BELIZE IN 2012
With no hurricanes in 2012, the economy of Belize took an upswing. Prime Minister New Years speech says ALL ECONOMIC INDICATORS SETTING NEW HIGHS for production.
SUGAR TONNAGE UP
CITRUS TONNAGE AND PRICES UP
BANANAS DESPITE DAMAGE FROM USA TREASURY, STILL UP
SUPER BOND HAS BEEN SETTLED ON SATISFACTORY TERMS.
ASHCROFT OFFERED $50 MILLION DOWNPAYMENT ON SETTLEMENT OF BTL CLAIM. ASHCROFT HAS PLAYED HARD BALL UNTIL NOW WITH EXAGGERATED VALUE CLAIMS FOR NATIONALIZATION.
NEW DEAL WITH VENEZUELA SUPPOSED TO HELP ECONOMY, BUT NOT SURE IN WHAT FORM?
INDIA RIDES TO RESCUE OF BELIZE INDUSTRIALIZATION DIVERSIFICATION EFFORTS, WITH OFFER FROM EMBASSADOR H.E. SUJAN CHINOY, RESIDING REGIONALLY IN MEXICO CITY.
Rotary Truck Winner
Congratulations, Mr. Shane Reyes, on winning the Rotary grand prize of a new Isuzu truck. Thanks also go out to Bravo Motors, Love FM, and RFG Insurance.
"...And the Winner is... A heartfelt "thank you" to all who purchased raffle tickets in the support of Rotary Belize. Our projects are of great benefit and your generosity is greatly appreciated."
Lucky 5 Sports Bar & Grill
Live music by the World Culture Band last night and on New Year's Eve at Lucky 5 Sports Bar and Grill.
Armed robbery nets thieves close to 20 grand
Police are looking for one man pending investigations of a robbery last night in Belize City. A thirty three year old salesman reported to authorities that he collected nineteen thousand, five hundred and ninety eight dollars and thirteen cents from a business establishment on Central American Boulevard around seven thirty last night. The salesman says that he put the money in a carton box, exited the store and was getting onto his motorcycle when he was accosted by two men, one of whom carried a handgun. The alleged robbers relieved the salesman of the carton box containing the cash, and a knapsack containing business documents and an I-Pad. Police say they have since detained Patrick Bevans and are looking for Jermaine Matura pending investigations.
Ladyville man murdered; 4-year old grazed by bullet
Three days removed from the commencement of a New Year … the perennial problem that plagued Belize for the last twelve months continued last night in Ladyville village. The continuing crime wave has left another family mourning, and police searching for answers. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo report from Ladyville.
Report shows good cacao beans production for 2012
The Toledo Cacao Growers Association is reporting high cacao beans production for 2012. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.
Belizeans to pay more for electricity
It was almost a year ago that Belizeans began to enjoy cheaper electricity rates, but now, the Public Utilities Commission has decided to adjust those rates. In essence this means that come January, we will see a slight increase on our electricity bills. It came after BEL announced two weeks ago that it had been absorbing a loss since July due to increase in the cost of power from its Mexican provider, coupled with low rainfall levels at the dams in 2012. Today at a press briefing at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, PUC Chairman, John Avery, explained that this all came about due to low rainfall in 2012 and higher cost of power from our Mexican source.
Avery said the PUC gave this scenario similarly to how it treated cost of power differences that were in favour of consumers when it last set rates in a rate review.
But the PUC is optimistic that BEL will be able to purchase electricity from Mexico’s state owned electricity company, Comercial Federal Electricidad in the very near future.
Meanwhile, consumers can still cut costs in electricity rates by plugging out electrical appliances that are not in use, using fans in air conditioned rooms, and ironing clothes in one session rather than on a daily basis.
Taiwan embassy hosts end of year luncheon
The Embassy of the Republic of China, Taiwan today hosted its 2012 end of year lunch at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel on Marine Parade in Belize City. The lunch was preceded by a ceremony which included a briefing on Taiwan’s latest development, as explained by Ambassador David Wu.
This morning’s ceremony also included an introduction of a proposal made by Taiwan called the East China Sea Peace Initiative.
Wu told Love News that the relationship with Belize and Taiwan is one that is truly cherished and they are working together with the country to bring it to further development.
New Ombudsman takes oath of office
A former teacher from the Toledo district now occupies the post of Belize’s newest appointed Ombudsman. Lionel Arzu was officially sworn in as Ombudsman during a brief ceremony this morning at Belize House in Belkmopan by Governor General, Sir Colville Young. According to a Government press release, Arzu leaves behind his post as teacher at the Julian Cho Technical High School in Toledo, where he lives. Before being a teacher, Arzu served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Belize’s Toledo Campus, Project Coordinator for the Mesoamerican Project and many other posts in the agricultural sector. Arzu also holds a Master of Science Degree in International Commerce and Policy from Valparaiso University, and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with Management and Computer Science Concentration from Knoxville College.
A Tale of Five Cities: Tulum Food, Part 1
We'd heard raves for Tulum's food (thanks Rebecca aka SanPedroScoop.com!) so came here with high expectations, and Tulum delivered. It's going to take two posts just to cover it all!
Right after arriving in town and checking into the hotel, we stopped in at a little coffee shop on the main street. Rebecca had recommended their reasonably priced cappuccino, and I hadn't had one in ages, so it was on my brain. Yes, it was perfect at about $2 US and perked me right up after our morning of travel. Barry ordered a tropical fresh-fruit smoothie. Delish!
On our first evening, we walked down to El Camello, recommended by Rebecca and Joshua (who owns the Secret Garden Hotel, where we were staying). Supposedly it had the freshest seafood in town at the best prices. Nothing fancy, just good, honest food. You know a place is good if it's packed, and El Camello was certainly busy, even at the early hour we like to eat. Many of the diners were locals, another good sign. We both had the grilled fish with refried beans, salad, fresh tortillas, chips, and a couple of Mexican beers apiece. We walked out of there for a grand total of $300MX or about $24 US, including tip. Wow!
The next morning we tried a place for breakfast that had also been highly recommended by both Rebecca and Joshua -- Azafran. We arrived around 7:30 am and were surprised to find that they didn't open until 8, but they said we could sit down and they'd serve us coffee. They ended up taking our order after all, and we had an a delicious omelet breakfast with some wonderful grainy bread and the best coffee I've had in ages, all in a lovely garden setting that we had to ourselves. Service was excellent.
Let’s Get It On
I set off to see the concrete pour for the Ground Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize this morning at 6.45 am full of enthusiasm. We have been looking forward to the day when the floor was laid since we first appointed Daniel Camal to build our home for us.
I arrived at the site around 7 am but the guys started at 6 am and I saw evidence of their early start as soon as I got there. They had already poured the concrete for the Ground Floor bedroom veranda and had started the pour for the bedroom and living room/kitchen area working from north to south.
Things could always be worse
Yesterday was a good reminder than things could always be worse. I was heading to a morning marketing meeting and when I arrived at Coastal Xpress the 9:30 boat I quickly learned that I had accidentally misread the water taxi schedule, I also learned that I had forgot my wallet and reading glasses. Luckily I had some bills stashed in that bag. Taking the 8:30 water taxi would have made me way too early as the meeting ended up starting on Belize time.
I decided I would hitch a ride somewhere along the way and started walking and made it to the bridge in about 15 minutes. As I crossed over I saw a Tractor that had got 2 wheels stuck in the mangrove mud. That was my “things could always be worse moment.” Not long after I passed Felize Bar and Grill, my ride found me and it turned out to be that Chris from Pelican Properties was going to the same place
2012: From Guanaja to A State Fair to Medellin...Good Times, Part One
This year has been pretty cool. Taking a year to travel...to blab, to turn 39 (the joke age) and to look at Belize in a totally different way has been...well...awesome. I am no writer, definitely no photographer but I would recommend writing a blog to everyone. Looking for the beautiful, the interesting, the weird or funny in your world does actually make it better. Who knew?
Here are some of the awesome things that I saw and did in 2012.
February: This month is all about carnaval in San Pedro. Painting and getting painted. Which I did. Reluctantly...
February: I went to Belize City to see the Jade Head of Altun Ha. It only comes out of the vaults every few years and it was well worth the trip.
March: I met Prince Harry. Okay...MET is a strong word. But I stood right next to him and saw his sweaty armpits and his sweaty face. I watched him do a shot of rum. Good enough?
Sailing into the future of global trade?
"We wanted to keep the energy that the producers had already put in the wine, and not break the chain. And, I'm telling you... this wine just tasted amazing." In 2008 a company called Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile (CTMV) announced plans to ship French wine by sailing boat. Several shipments took place but the company folded in 2010.
But this hasn't stopped other companies trying their luck.
The Tres Hombres set sail in 2009 from Amsterdam and has been shipping cargo ever since. It also gives land-lubbers the chance to sign on as part of the crew for a fee.
The wine shipment was planned with their business partners, the sailing freight transport company TransOceanic Wind Transport (TOWT). The company works with a small fleet of sailing ships, and provides buyers with a means of tracking the journey the goods take.
"It's not some sort of adventurous poetic revival of 19th century technology, on the contrary it's something that is definitely addressing energy transition at sea," says TOWT founder Guillaume Le Grand.
The maritime industry is estimated to produce 3%-5% of global carbon dioxide emissions - making sailing very attractive to the organic and eco-friendly sector.
But as the price of oil rises, so does the cost of traditional cargo options.
This has led to research into alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and a slowdown in the speed at which cargo freighters move at - a practice known as slow steaming.
For Mr Le Grand this all adds up to opportunity.
"Until 10-12 years ago, most of the ships were crossing oceans at about 20 knots average speed. Now they're going down below 15 knots," he says.
"[The Tres Hombres] crosses the ocean at 8 to 10 knots. It's not something that's ridiculous in terms of speed."
There are other challenges. Arrival times are unpredictable, capacity is limited, and at the moment sail shipping is relatively expensive.
"We are using solutions of the 19th century to speak to people of the 21st century," says Mr Le Grand.
The long, strange fall of software mogul John McAfee
Before John McAfee was the world's most prominent techno-fugitive, on the run from authorities in Belize for questioning in the fatal shooting of his neighbor and profiled in Wired (a ebook special) and the New York Times (front of the Sunday Business section and two solid pages inside), he was a minor celebrity in Rodeo, NM. This was, of course, after McAfee founded and sold — for $100 million — the antivirus-software company that still bears his name. What brought McAfee and some 200 fellow "Sky Gypsies," ages 11 to 84, to a remote corner of southwest New Mexico was "aerotrekking," zipping in and out of desert canyons in souped-up ultralight aircraft. "It's the dream that Icarus had — to fly like a bird," McAfee told me in the fall of 2007, when I interviewed him ("The Dream of Icarus," November 2007).
That dream also had a deadly downside.