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NEW YEAR’S GIFT – 16.87 % ELECTRICITY RATE INCREASE
Monday, January 7, deadline for public’s comment – but documents not on website yet!
The year 2013 kicks off with a painful increase in electricity rates, with the average cost per kilowatt hour seeing an increase of nearly 17 cents on the dollar.
“The new approved electricity rate is now 48.86 cents, which is approximate 16.87% above the existing 41.81 mean electricity rate,” chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), John Avery, told the media at a press briefing last Friday afternoon.
Whereas the rate increase is going to be applied to January light bills, as of January 1, the PUC has set a deadline of Monday, January 7, 2013, for the public to comment on the decision. (We note that the documents had, at the time of this report, still not been released on the PUC’s website.)
News from the Commission is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow will travel to Mexico in the coming weeks to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, to negotiate a better price for power supplied by the state-owned Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
Avery acknowledged that Belizean consumers, including the already struggling productive sector, will take a hit with the hike in electricity rates, but he noted that the cost of power, which had been unexpectedly high in the second half of 2012, is by law a direct pass-through cost that must be billed to consumers.
LOVELY LANE RESIDENT FIGHTS FOR HIS LIFE AT THE KHMH
A gunman shot him four times when he went to buy boledo.
Paul Alvarez, 20, a resident of Lovely Lane in Belize City, is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot four times by a gunman who fired about six shots at him at about 7:30 p.m. today, Thursday, in the Ming Ming Shop on Lovely Lane. He was shot in his shoulders, stomach, arm, and leg.
Alvarez’s mother told Amandala that they live in the Lovely Lane area, and her son Paul had just gone to the Chinese store to buy number (lottery), when shortly after, she heard shots fired.
A neighbor came and told her that Paul had just been shot, and when she ran outside, she saw his friend bringing him on his shoulder. She immediately took a car and rushed him to the KHMH.
Paul told his mother that while going to the store, he saw the man, but did not pay attention to him. When he arrived in the store, he heard a gun cock, and when he turned around, the man fired at him.
CITCO GRABS “DEAD PEOPLE” BUSINESS!
All construction of graves, tombs etc. taken away — funeral home owners out in cold!
The Belize City Council has informed all undertakers in a press release sent out in December 2012, that effective Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the City Council cemetery workers would take over several duties from the undertakers.
Those duties include the construction of common graves and enclosed graves, the re-opening of graves at the Lord Ridge and Eternal Gardens Cemeteries, and the construction of “vault/mausoleum, tombstones, tomb tablets, statues, and niche in columbarium.”
The press release went on to state that the listed structures were to be done only by authorized workers from the Cemetery Department, and that the construction of those structures would cost $1,000.
David Coye of Coye Funeral Homes said the arrangement does not seem plausible because it has not been made law.
“Laws like that have to pass through the Cabinet, not happen overnight,” he said. He went on to say, “I’m looking into getting a lawyer. The cemetery is not for the City Council; it’s for the people of Belize, the people of Belize City. If they want to compete, no problem. But they can’t just stop us, though.”
PG MAN KILLS GIRLFRIEND, THEN HIMSELF
They leave behind a 2-year-old son.
A Punta Gorda family, of Forest Home, is mourning the death of their daughter, Carlita Williams, 21, who was shot to death by her jealous and abusive boyfriend, James Staine, 24, who killed himself after killing her.
The murder/suicide occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, December 30, under a thatched shed near the road by the sea in Punta Gorda.
Witnesses said that Staine, Williams and their son, 2, were seated at the beachfront under the thatch when he took out his gun and shot her, then turned the gun on himself.
Inspector Ernel Dominguez, Commander of Toledo District Police, said that their initial investigation revealed that both Williams and Staine were under the shed when two gunshots were heard by a neighbor in the immediate area.
The neighbor looked out to see what was happening, and that was when he saw both bodies under the shed. Police said that Staine, who is the father of the couple’s son, shot Carlita in the right side of her head and thereafter shot himself under the chin. The shooting came after Staine and Williams had a misunderstanding on Saturday, December 29.
DAVID HENDERSON, JR. TAKES KREM CLASSIC 2013
New champions of 23rd Krem New Year’s Classic – David Henderson (Elite), Shalini Zabaneh (Women), Tarique Flowers (Junior).
The New Year started with a “bang” indeed, as there was bright sunshine on the morning of January 1, and the 23rd running of the Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic, from the Corozal border to Belize City, went off without a hitch or a spill, despite the absence of an official Belize Cycling Association executive.
All the big name cyclists were there, but in the Elite and Junior male races there were new names entered into the record book of past Krem Classic champions, as U-23 rider David Henderson, Jr. beat all the big boys in the Elite/Open race, and newcomer, 16-year-old Tarique Flowers surprised the Junior field by taking the top prize in impressive fashion. In the Women race, former 3-time Krem Classic champion Shalini Zabaneh, who was dethroned by Kaya Cattouse last year, came back to claim #4, as she overpowered all competitors in the last leg of an aggressive 55-mile ride from Orange Walk Town Hall to become the Krem Classic Women Champion 2013.
BANDITS WIN; CHARLIE RETIRES AT PLB AWARDS CEREMONY
Belmopan Bandits defeat Police United, 1-nil, for PLB championship.
A massive crowed thronged the FFB Stadium on the outskirts of Belmopan yesterday afternoon in bright sunshine to witness the final championship game of the Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament 2012-2013 between two teams who called Belmopan “home” during the competition – Belmopan Bandits and Police United FC. Police were “bridesmaids” in the previous competition behind Placencia Assassins; but it was the Bandits, who were also “bridesmaids” some years ago in the semi-pro football league, who finally captured their first national football title.
The two clubs, both connected to Hon. John Saldivar, as sponsor of Belmopan Bandits, and as the Minister in charge of Police, had met only once before, and that was in game 1 of the championship finals, in which they drew last week, 1-1.
During the course of the regular season, all of the Bandits’ home games had been on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Police had used the FFB Stadium for 3 of their games, but subsequently retreated to the Isidoro Beaton also, playing their remaining home games on Sunday afternoons. When the two teams met in the finals, and Police chose to play on Sunday afternoon, December 23, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium for their home game, it was assumed, and it had already been released by the league, that the Bandits home game the following weekend would be on Saturday night, December 29, at the Isidoro.
FFB ANNOUNCES NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS, SPONSORS, PREP GAMES FOR COPA CENTROAMERICANA
At a press conference this afternoon at the Toucan B Room of the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City, the National Team Committee of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) announced the final list of 20 players comprising the National “A” Team that will represent Belize at the Copa Centroamericana 2013 (formerly Nations Cup), the qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
National Team Committee member Onan McClean was master of ceremonies, and seated at the head table were the Assistant Coach, Charlie Slusher; Head Coach, Le Roy Sherrier Lewis; Team Co-Captain, Dalton Eiley; Committee Chairman, FFB Vice-President, Rawel Pelayo; and Team Manager, Dean Flowers.
7 Central American countries will participate in the Copa Centroamericana, which commences on January 18 in host country Costa Rica. 5 of those 7 will qualify to the Gold Cup, and Belize’s national coach Le Roy Sherrier Lewis said he feels very good about Belize’s chances at qualifying.
EDITORIAL: …. OF DARK COMPLEXION ….
Those of us who came on the scene after World War II know that Southside Belize City, and indeed the entire city, was an area of heavy, heavy discipline. In those days, men ruled boys. Men ruled with a hard hand, as did single mothers. Wayward boys were beaten into submission, at home.
Some things went wrong between then and now, and today the Southside is ruled by gangs, headed by young men and featuring teenaged boys, with young women and teenaged girls supporting them. After Hurricane Hattie, a couple generations of adult men went looking for better jobs in the United States, and into Belize, along with the marijuana of the 1970s and the cocaine of the 1980s, there came guns. Boys started to rule men.
Our newspaper competitor last weekend editorialized in an authoritative, confident manner. “It is time to dismantle the gangs!” This is an impossibility, unless you also physically destroy Southside Belize City, and parts of the Northside. The socio-economic conditions in specific parts of the old capital are such that you could wipe out the present gang leaders and their followers, and in a matter of months, new, similar organizations would emerge, with younger leadership.
Our competitor’s editorial is a declaration of war on the gangs, on behalf of the elected government. Theoretically, the elected government has the power to crush the gangs, wipe them out, but they would be destroying children and grandchildren of the same families which went to the polls and elected UDP area representatives in every single constituency of the Southside in March 2012.
EDITORIAL: 16.87 PER CENT
The Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) announcement last week that they are granting a 16.87 percent increase on electricity rates to the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is a bad blow to what is sometimes called our “productive sector.” This is also a bad blow for Belizean merchant businesses and hotels and restaurants and homeowners, and the whole country of Belize really.
PUC and BEL blame low rainfall for the sub-par performance of the hydroelectric facility, and the problem is compounded by production shortfalls from the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) machinery which was supposed to generate electricity by burning bagasse. This meant Belize had to buy a greater amount of electricity from the Mexicans at Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), and Mexicans don’t play. In the words of a Chetumal police chief in the 1970s” “When you have me, I pay. When I have you, you pay.) CFE has us: Belize has to pay.
The increase in electricity rates will have an immediate inflationary effect, which is to say, the prices of goods and services will start going up, which means that the value of our Belize dollar, in real terms, goes down.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Beginning in this issue of the newspaper we’ll be serializing an article entitled OPERATION DELIRIUM I found in the December 17, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. I’m using this column to call special attention to the article because these types of long, introspective articles can easily escape readers who are not absolutely focused.
I was struck by the article because the writer is discussing matters which had to have been American state secrets during my time in school there (1965 to 1968). Because the United States, compared to Russia and China, is a democracy, most of their state secrets become declassified after forty years, as I understand it. That is to say that secret materials become available for researchers to study and submit to the general public for the people’s perusal and analysis.
A lot of changes took place within the student population at Dartmouth while I was there. These changes essentially coincided with the escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War, which was, generally speaking, a civil war between capitalist Christians and communist revolutionaries in Vietnam. During the period between 1965 to 1968, the American military required more and more bodies for their war effort in Vietnam on behalf of the capitalist Christians. The draft law was still in effect in America; this was a law which required all able-bodied American males to register for the military once they reached the age of 18. Students on American college campuses began to panic between 1965 and 1968 because the military was coming after them, and these students, unlike Belizean immigrants for instance, knew exactly what was going on in Vietnam – death and derangement.
Letters: HON. GODWIN HULSE IS “NATIONAL HERO”
Minister Godwin Hulse should be declared a national hero!
Citizenship is the single greatest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual; it affords a person certain privileges and protection, but it also imposes certain duties. One of the most important duties imposed by citizenship is the duty to defend one’s country. Societies all over the world understand that it is extremely difficult to perform this duty when a person shares allegiance with two or more countries, and particularly so, when those countries are in conflict with each other.
The Belize Constitution also recognizes this challenge and made provisions for it at Section 29. However, despite a clear constitutional ban, government after government since 1981 has granted Belizean nationality to citizens of Guatemala. The politicians who sponsored this sustained breach of our Constitution did so not because the Guatemalans brought any special skill or talent to Belize. Their behavior was and is motivated solely by the fact that these Guatemalans represented votes. It was and is, more important to the political class to attain high political office notwithstanding the adverse national security implications of this unconstitutional practice.
Incredibly, it took more than thirty years for a brave and patriotic Minister of Immigration to stop the treasonous behaviour of granting Belizean citizenship to Guatemalans. It took Godwin!
Letters: “CONTINUAL MEDIA ATTACKS ON THE CATHOLIC DENOMINATION IN BELIZE …”
People blaming Christianity for the drawbacks of society is like law breakers blaming the law for their crime and sentence. I am writing in response to the editorial titled, “Bitter vibes of the post-modern Pascua,” in which Christianity and the church-state system of education are blamed for Belize City’s lagging behind Chetumal in development and national pride. It is important to pinpoint the right cause of a problem to devise a right solution. We will see that pointing fingers at Christianity or the church school system is unfortunate, at the least.
Mexico became Independent from Spain in 1821, 45 years after America. Belize became independent in 1981, 160 years after Mexico. Belize’s tender age is one of the major reasons for her underdevelopment. Mexico also fought for independence for 10 years in the “Mexican War of Independence”. Belize’s Independence came relatively easy. People more readily value and take pride in what was fought to gain.
The fact that Belize has suffered from a corrupt government system is another contributing factor to our underdevelopment. Look at it from an individual level. At election time large numbers of Belizeans won’t vote unless paid. People sell votes for anything from $20 to loads of sand. Some wealthier families pool their family members votes together and sell to politicians for properties or a few thousand dollars.
Letters: “UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES” …NOT TO BE MISSED !
Perhaps you’re already aware of this sober and well-thought-out mini-series, “Untold History Of The United States,” being offered on Showtime television by acclaimed director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Born On The Fourth Of July, Wall Street, and Salvador, among others).
Once again, this 3-time Oscar Award winner brings his intelligence and trenchant observations to the documentary form of cinema, of which I’m a great fan. In its own way, this series is as equally important as your Amandala series on the American Indian, and even more important—and current—to Belizean concerns.
I encourage you to not miss this superb offering.
Thank you and keep up your good work at Amandala.
EDWARD CASTILLO, 33, CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION
Castillo, a corporal of police, challenged an Assistant Superintendent of Police.
Cpl. Edward Castillo, 33, attached to Patrol Branch, today found himself on the other side of the law when he was read charges in the #4 Magistrate’s Court.
Cpl. Castillo was charged with obstruction, driving a motor vehicle without third-party insurance and with rescuing a person for cause other than a crime.
According to the police report, at 6:30 p.m. ASP Anthony Rosado and other officers were on routine patrol around Central American Boulevard. As they approached the roundabout by Cemetery Road, they saw a blue SUV suddenly stop, which seemed suspicious to the ASP.
As he approached the vehicle, he noticed there were five persons occupying it, one of whom was Cpl. Castillo. ASP Rosado asked the driver to present his license and identify himself, and he was told that an inspection would be done on the vehicle. He proceeded to check the license and insurance of the vehicle, and discovered that the insurance had expired on December 24, 2012.
UB STUDENTS OPPOSE TUITION INCREASE OF $350
University of Belize students are heated up over the government’s decision to stop paying subsidies and adding a $350 increase to tuition rates. The government stated that they can no longer provide the financial aid for the students, but some students are in strong opposition to paying an increment on tuition.
Hope Amad, Student Government President, Belmopan campus, said that he does not understand how the government could say that they cannot afford to help Belizean students further their education.
“The government is the richest in the country, the people don’t have money like that,” he said. “If they can’t help us, then who will? They want us to get an education, but won’t help us.”
Amad said that he has been writing to the Ministry on behalf of the students requesting that they reconsider the increase, but they have not received any response in favor of their demands. Their next step was to sign a petition, which begun in October 2012.
The fee increase will be imposed on students who are registering to start new programs at the University of Belize. Although this increase will not directly affect all returning students, they are still livid over the matter because they see it unfair for the ones who have to.
POLICE WITNESSES NOW OFFERED SOME PROTECTION
Police assistance for witnesses in major court cases, will now be carried out by the Police Department beginning in January 2013. The assistance will be to counsel witnesses, give them transportation, court reminders, and other relevant assistance, including their safety.
The announcement was made on Monday, December 24, by Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Jr., the Commanding Officer of the Belize District Police, during a police press brief at the Racoon Street Police Station.
ACP Aragon said that a new unit has been formed which will be known as the Witness Support Unit. The unit was formed with assistance from the Embassy of the United States in Belize.
Aragon said that it was not a witness protection program, because the department cannot afford or sustain a full witness protection program, but the unit will do its best to assist witnesses.
ACP Aragon reminds the public that any information that can help in the investigation of cases can be relayed to the nearest police station or 0800 TIPS.
Superintendent Alden Dawson, the commander of Crimes Investigation Branch, reminds people that if they see crimes being committed, they can also call the nearest police station, or 0800 TIPS
THE NEW YEAR OPENS WITH MURDER
Victim was shot 7 times; motive unknown.
New Year’s Day brought nothing new in the line of lethal violence to this tired city. In fact, there seemed to have been no let-up from the killing from the previous year, 2012, which closed with 146 murders.
The year 2012’s last murder was that of Carlita Sienna Williams, 20, who was shot to death on Sunday, December 30, in Punta Gorda.
Just two days later, in Belize City, on New Year’s Day, at about 9:30 p.m., Orlando Sylvester Williams, 45, a labourer of Dean and West Canal Streets, was ambushed on Dean Street and shot a reported seven times; he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Police, when they arrived at the scene, found Williams lying on the street side, shot up and dead. Police say that at about 9:45p.m., Williams was at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal talking with a friend when a gunman came walking up Dean Street from Plues Street and shot him. The gunman then ran back into the area and disappeared into the night.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – DIFFERENT SUBJECTS
To the Teachers:
To be a teacher is a wise and wonderful vocation. Yours is the power to place a child on the road to becoming a good, decent, honorable and productive citizen. You will be doing your duty, if you teach well the subjects in the curriculum set by the Ministry of Education. That would be commendable, but if you teach your students a love of learning; to appreciate fine literature and the arts; to cultivate good manners; to practice personal hygiene; to respect and obey proper authority; and to live by the Golden Rule, the angels in heaven will rejoice. Then you will have fulfilled the promise of your high calling.
You remember how it was in your early school life. How one year was a struggle to get through, because your teacher seemed always to be in a bad mood. How the subjects taught were dull and boring. How it was difficult to be attentive and, how you wished that the year would end and, you could go on to the next class. That was your fault, because you did not understand why it was necessary to be schooled. Not entirely so. It was also because there are teachers who are only doing a job for pay. They do not have a real vocation. This essay is intended for them, for if children do not enjoy being in your class, you’ll not enjoy teaching them either, and you should, and they could. First of all, school should be a controlled environment. There has to be discipline and order. Without these, even the teacher with the strong commitment to serve, might be unsuccessful. Teachers are authority figures and should have the power to exercise disciplinary control over the students in their class. Can they do it without resorting to the cane or the ruler, or some other instrument of discipline? Of course, provided they are child psychologists, or they have an imposing presence that instills fear, or they can command respect like a Sergeant Major in the Army. There are a few willful, high-spirited and headstrong children, not unintelligent, who have the capacity to lead, and who if brought under control, will amount to something. If not, they will take away the class from the teacher and go on to become a troublemaker in the society.
City Council burying the undertaking business
Belize City undertakers may very well be forced to financial straits due to the Belize City Council (CITCO)’s decision to monopolize certain funeral services.
CITCO’s Sanitation Manager, Percival Murillo, in a letter dated December 17th, informed undertakers that “effective January 1st, 2013” the Council’s Cemetery Workers will take over services such as the re-opening of graves at both Lord Ridge and Eternal Gardens cemeteries; the construction of tombstones, tomb tablets, statues, vaults, mausoleums, columbarium niches; and the preparation of common and enclosed graves.
David Coye, of Coye Funeral Home, said the new policy to have CITCO’s Cemetery Department monopolize those services has hit undertakers hard.
Where in the past he employed as many as 15 workers, he is now down to a skeleton crew of six.
Coye described the new measure as unfair because the City Council charges him an annual trade license fee, as well as property tax. Now it is seeking to remove the means for him to earn the income to pay those taxes.
Leadership changes in Police Department to improve efficiency and effectiveness
The Ministry of National Security announces the following changes in the Ministry and in the High Command of the Police Department to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in the New Year.
Mr. David Henderson leaves the post of Acting Commissioner of Police to take up the post of Director of the National Forensic Science Service.
Mr. Allen Wyllie is promoted from Deputy Commissioner of Police to the post of Acting Commissioner, thereby assuming command of the Police Department.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr. is promoted to Acting Deputy Commissioner with additional responsibility for Operations, relinquishing his post of Officer Commanding Eastern Division.
Assistant Commissioner Miguel Segura moves from Head of National Crimes Investigation Branch to Officer Commanding Eastern Division.
PUP divided over Cordel Hyde’s return?
Cordell Hyde, the former three-time Peoples United Party (PUP)’s Lake Independence area representative, may want to come back to the party, but the PUP’s Southern Caucus said Thursday that he should not be allowed to return.
The Cayo South area representative, Julius Espat, said that “the Party has moved on.”
Mike Espat, the PUP area representative for Toledo East, said that both Hyde and Espat left together and he thinks that it is just a matter of time before both of them may want to come back, but the PUP Executive had already made a decision about both men: “The answer is no!”
The Reporter spoke to both Mike and Julius Espat after a Thursday afternoon meeting of the party’s Southern Caucus, where they explained that the Party’s Executive decision about Hyde and Espat is still pending a National Party Council.
The matter may still go before a National Convention, they explained.
The Reporter also asked PUP Leader Francis Fonseca about Hyde’s return.
No to Cola and yes to ICJ!
The COLA article by Geovannie Bracket which appeared in the Amandala merits a reply because of its absurdities and contradictions. The Declaration presented by “Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action,” seems to be their position paper on why Belize should not go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the Guatemalan Claim.
Police say man killed in Ladyville shooting was not intended target
Allen “Deebo” Davis, 21, a young man who moved from the crime-ridden Belize City streets several years ago to live in what was peaceful Ladyville Village, became murder victim 143 for 2012 on Thursday night when a gunman emptied a clip full of bullets into his body.
Link between pot, psychosis goes both ways in kids
Marijuana (cannabis) use may be linked to the development of psychotic symptoms in teens – but the reverse could also be true: psychosis in adolescents may be linked to later pot use, according to a new Dutch study.
David Henderson Jr wins KREM New Year’s Classic
Santino’s cycling team swept all top three places as well as fifth place in the 23rd annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic held under the auspices of the Belize Cycling association on the Philip Goldson Highway on Tuesday, January 1.
Bandits win PLB football championships
The Belmopan Bandits, bridemaids at many Belize Premier Football League finals in the past, won their first national championship by a 1-0 victory over the Police United in the second match of the Premier League of Belize Championship Finals.
A Tale of Five Cities: Merida's Paseo de Montejo
There are so many interesting sights, buildings, and homes in Centro Merida, in Mexico's Yucatan state, it is hard to know where to begin, but since we spent more time walking along the Paseo de Montejo than just about anywhere else, it seemed as good a place as any to start.
This elegant tree-lined boulevard, often called Merida's "Champs Elysees", was just a short walk away from La Casa Lorenzo (link), where we were staying, so we walked there a couple of times each day. The shady, wide sidewalks were a pleasant change from the sometimes narrow, bustling sidewalks closer to downtown. Here, people moved more slowly and there was room to amble, to take in the beauty and history all around. The Paseo is a pleasant mix of private homes, public buildings, hotels, shops, churches, and restaurants.
Loved these wide, tree-lined sidewalks
The clip-clop of horsedrawn carriages provided a nice break from traffic noise
Unfortunately, the elegant Palacio Cantón, which houses the Regional Museum of the Yucatan, was closed for renovation. It was the gem of the Paseo to our eyes.
Another view of Palacio
Front of Palacio/Museum -- the sign explained about the closure and renovations
We Can Work It Out
Forgot to mention in yesterday’s edition that the potential remodelling of the Ground Floor to incorporate an additional en-suite and, as a consequence, repositioning of the store room is not the only change.
Because the foundations for the house are higher than the architect’s plans specified ( the land is low lying) the specifications for the golf cart ramp have had to be amended. Had the plan been rigidly adhered to the gradient would have been too steep for the golf cart to ‘climb’ so the length of the slope is being extended.
We I got to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today there was a lorry delivering a further supply of concrete blocks – we ran out of them yesterday afternoon.
Five Things You Didn’t Know about the Elkhorn Fern
Staghorn or Elkhorn Fern is a beautiful and epiphytic plant native to the new and old world tropics such as South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Guinea. Here are five things you might not know about this fern:
1.) They get their name because their fronds look like the antlers of a staghorn deer. The plant bears two types of fronds: The sterile fronds are flat, round, and located at the base of the fern, and the fertile fronds are irregular, lobed, and usually ascending from the plant.
2.) These ferns are commonly cultivated as ornamental plants and grow on trees and rocks and can be found in gardens, especially tropical gardens like the one at the Chaa Creek bar.
3.) One of the most interesting things about the Elkhorn fern is that it does not need soil to grow.
4.) The Staghorn ferns are epiphytes plants which mean they are air plants and are one of the most interesting plants to grow at home because it is quite easy to maintain.
5.) The only problem with this fern is that it can grow so large that moving becomes a major project.
Escapes: On the trail of ancient Maya temples in Belize
City of Lamanai, High Temple bring ancient world back to life. A white-hot sun bore down on the small boat as we rode upriver through the thick jungle of northern Belize.
We were headed to the ancient Maya city of Lamanai. It’s a place of dark secrets, not the least of which was the cause of its demise. The city, which once had a population of 50,000, was buried by dirt and foliage for four centuries until archaeologists started an excavation in the 1970s.
Only five buildings have been uncovered. About 732 buildings remain hidden in the firm grip of the jungle, an entire city never seen by modern eyes.
The boat cruised up the New River past crocodiles resting on the muddy banks, seemingly immobilized by the tropical heat. One of them came to life and slid into the river, his ridged tail propelling him swiftly across the surface, his eyes locked on the boat. Just when I thought he was going to come aboard, he dropped like a stone to the river bottom.