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UB Board of Trustees issue statement
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize today issued a statement assuring faculty and staff that it has noted the concerns raised by UB’s Faculty and Staff Association and is dealing with these concerns with appropriate regard for due process. The board statement says that the trustees are committed to accountability at the national university and proof of that is demonstrated in the fact that after not producing independent audits for the first six years of its existence, the University of Belize now has up to date audits, enabling scrutiny of the use of its finances. The statement goes on to say that a payroll audit is currently being carried out by an independent external audit firm and that after reviews of a number of draft reports submitted by the audit fir, the president will table the final report from the auditors subsequent to clarification being sought on a number of points. The UB Board of Trustees statement ends by saying that the national university should demonstrate a respect for due process and natural justice in its governance as these attributes are essential to ensuring that the university can attract talented Belizeans to work with the university or become partners in helping the university to fulfill its potential and its role in the development of Belize.
New Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal appointed
A new justice of the Belize Court of Appeal has been appointed. Fifty one year old former Supreme Court judge Minet Haffiz-Bertram took the oath of office this morning from Governor General Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan.
Justice Hafiz-Betram who is originally from Guyana, has serves as a Supreme Court judge since 2007. She was worked in the judicial system in Belize, serving previously as Registrar General and Registrar of the Supreme Court. She has also served as a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Ministry. She studied law in Guyana and at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago where she earned her legal education certificate in 1997. Justice Hafiz-Bertram’s appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal is effective February fifteenth and will last until she attains the age of sixty five years old. Present at this morning’s swearing-in ceremony were Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justices Denis Hanomansingh, Michelle Arana and Courtenay Abel.
UDP holds national convention in Corozal; approves policy positions
The governing United Democratic Party held its national convention on Sunday in Corozal town. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Brian Castillo traveled north for the event yesterday and bring you the following report.
UDP issues policy positions:
During its national convention the United Democratic Party presented its policy statements on a number of issues. As it relates to youth the party says it will continue to recognize and encourage youth leadership by appointing them to decision making bodies of government in which their position will be afforded legitimate and equal power. The statement on the upcoming ICJ referendum was also released. The UDP says it supports both the referendum process and a yes vote on referendum day. However the party says while it supports a yes vote, this does not restrict supporters from voting their conscience. The party has repeatedly come under fire for lack of women on the frontline. In its policy statement the party says it will put mechanisms in place to achieve gender equality or equity within the party. The party says it looks to have 30% of women in leadership of the party and in local and national elections as well as introduce a national gender policy. In its statement on crime the UDP says it supports the government initiatives which include the restore Belize strategic plan, the establishment of the special gang unit among others.
Vaccination campaign against Equine Encephalomyelitis starts
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has begun a vaccination campaign in the north and western parts of the country, following an outbreak of Equine Encephalomyelitis. According to a press release issued at the weekend, BAHA has confirmation from the USDA laboratory that the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus is currently circulating in Belize, with outbreaks detected in the Corozal and Cayo districts. Love News spoke with Dr. Miguel DePaz who is the director of animal health at BAHA and asked him to explain what Equine Encephalomyelitis is.
There are no reported cases of the viral disease being contracted by humans in Belize; but Dr. DePaz says measures must be taken to ensure the safety of animals and people.
Measures to prevent mosquito bites, including the use of repellents and protective clothing are also being recommended to reduce the risk of infection in humans.
Red Cross holds annual general assembly
The annual general meeting of the Belize Red Cross was held this past weekend in Belize City. During the course of the AGM, reports were presented on the work of the service organization last year. Lilly Bowman is the director general of the Red Cross.
During the election of officers, Hugo Lopez was selected as the new president for the Belize Red Cross, while Nigel Ebanks was elected as an ordinary member of the executive. Bowman says there are exciting plans for the Belize Red Cross going forward.
Bowman says there are six main branches of the Belize Red Cross around the country, with some sub-branches in particular areas. Total membership of the service organization numbers around two thousand, but Red Cross officials say of that number about five hundred and very active; and about three hundred are extremely active members.
Double murder in Munoz Alley
A spate of weekend violence in Belize City has left two persons dead and several others injured. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.
From the police blotter
There was a sequence of shootings that took place over the weekend, one of which happened about twenty minutes to ten on Friday night and left three persons injured. 48 year old Wallace Matura was standing at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal, and housewife, 26 year old Carmita Chan and 32 year old Alchea Harris, a mentally challenged person were walking on Orange Street when the incident unfolded. Police say that a man came from the direction of East Canal and fired about eight shots towards Matura, hitting him in the abdomen, testicles, left hand, right hand and left leg. Chan got hit in her left buttocks and Harris was grazed to his left hip. Matura is said to be in a critical condition while Chan and Harris were treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Matura issued a statement this evening asking the media to focus their attention on the true heroes in the situation including the medical personnel, law enforcement officials and those who assisted in saving his life by taking him to the hospital in a timely manner. Meanwhile, on Sunday evening at around twenty minutes to seven, Randy Harris, a 19 year old resident of Neal Pen Road was shot to the right hand, while 24 year old Deon Gibson, a construction worker was shot to the left hand and 39 year old Orlando Velasquez of Rivero Street suffered gunshot wounds to the left thigh. Police say that the three were standing in a yard on Kraal Road when a man entered and fired several gunshots in their direction. Vasquez is being hospitalized in a stable condition while Harris and Gibson were treated and released. Earlier on Sunday, sometime after four in the morning, 47 year old Mario Ramos, a mason of Mayflower Street was hit to the right hip and right thigh as he sat on his bed. Ramos told police that he heard four shots and then realized that he was shot. He is in a stable condition. Lastly, last Thursday in Corozal, a sixteen year old labourer of San Narciso Village was shot in his left instep and the left side of the back at 4:30 that afternoon. The youth told police that he was selling oranges at the Corozal Free Zone and had left to go home, but upon reaching the road that leads to the new bridge, and shortly thereafter he saw some Custom Officers shouting. That was when he heard several gunshots and realized that he was shot. The youth remains in a stable condition. Police continue to investigate these incidents.
Forty-six year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. “Show”, who allegedly stole assorted jewelry and money amounting to $1,250.00 from the house of Belize City Council Traffic Manager Kevan Jenkins, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. Romero pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent, that the offence is of a serious nature, that the accused has convictions for theft and handling stolen goods and the investigation is still ongoing. Romero did not give Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith a good reason why he should be granted bail so she upheld the objection and remanded Romero into custody until April 4. The incident occurred on January 28. Jenkins reported to the police that while he was at work someone broke into his house and stole assorted jewelry, a pair of shoes and $150.00. Police say that a scenes of crime technician processed the scene and lifted fingerprints that matches with Romero’s fingerprints.
Ambulances donated in the US arrive in Belize
The Southern Regional Hospital will soon have the use of two new ambulances donated by a group in the United States. Our Stann Creek correspondent Harry Arzu reports.
Research equipment installed at Calabash Caye
The Calabash Caye Field Station, CCFS, is Belize’s first Nationally owned and managed marine research facility located in Calabash Caye on the Turneffe Atoll. The CCFS was established on September 27th 1995 and in 2009 the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize took Charge. On Friday, reporter Natalie Novelo and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the facility in a UB sponsored trip, to learn more about the station and the new equipment which will help in its expansion.
Firemen back home after regional training course
A group of fourteen firefighters from Belize returned to the country on Sunday following a one week training course in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The training course was made possible by the United States Southern Command and was designed to assist fire fighters from the Central American region to network and improve their operational capabilities. The Tegucigalpa training course, dubbed Central American Sharing Operational Knowledge and Experiences Exercise, promotes peace, growth and stability throughout the region through peacetime engagement to improve capabilities and strengthen regional partnerships. Among the topics covered in the exercise was the use of personnel protective equipment, self-contained breathing, fire hose evolutions, helicopter fire operations and automotive live fire operations. The returning Belizean fire fighters also received training on handling structural fires, and medical procedures including cold and hot loading procedures for medical evacuation.
Unions are preparing counter-proposal for Government
Unions preparing counter-proposal to Government. For the last week or so members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU) and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) have been listening to their leaders present the proposal from Government as to how to handle a salary...
Super Bond holders agree to Belize’s new offer
After nearly a year of negotiations, the committee representing the Belize bondholders has agreed to government’s bond offer. This is after the Committee made a unanimous decision to swap their old U.S. dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038. The deal put forward by the...
Leroy Sherrier returns to coach Belize’s national team
Leroy Sherrier Lewis returns to coach Belize. Costa Rica’s Leroy Sherrier Lewis was architect of Belize’s best performance at a regional football tournament ever: 4th place at the Central American Nations’ Cup in January, in which we defeated Nicaragua in a nail-biter and respectably draw with opponent Guatemala while...
CREI initiates Research to find Biological Control to combat Citrus Greening
Biological Control is a systematic method of killing parasites, bacteria and predators using other living organisms. It is an environmentally sound and quite effective means of protecting plants and it has extended to countries all over the globe. Instead of the traditional use of chemically-induced sprays, environmentalists are now...
Belize City and Corozal Police are investigating reports of Arson
Belize City and Corozal Police are investigating reports of Arson. A 23 year old Belizean sales clerk of Belize City reported that at 11:00pm on Saturday, he parked his 2007 pick-up, valued at $45,000.00bcy on Cran Street and upon returning at 2:50am Sunday morning, he saw his pick-up completely...
Busy weekend for fire officials in Belize City
It was a busy weekend for fire officials in Belize City. On Saturday reports came to PLUS News of a fire in the vicinity of Dario’s’ Meat pies on Hyde’s Lane but it turned out to be only a false alarm; fire men found a small brush fire under...
Two teens remanded for firearm offences
In Belize City, Police conducted a search at the home of Aaron Reynolds, an eighteen year old believed to be a member of the Southside Gang. The search turned up a nine millimeter pistol and eight rounds of ammunition. Also present at the residence at the time was nineteen...
UB Student robbed on Belmopan Campus
A 19 year old student of the University of Belize, was robbed on campus last night in the City of Belmopan Campus. The student stated that on Monday the 18th of February, at about 8:45pm he was walking on the University compound beside the Jabirou building sending a text...
The Ministry of Health installs National Communication System
The Ministry of Health installed a National Communication System that will facilitate communication during public health emergencies and disasters. The system, installed last week, is located at the Baldy Beacon, Mountain Pine Ridge and will be used to network with Public Health Providers across the country. This is how...
Wild Tracks wins Audubon Society Award
The Belize Audubon Society yesterday named its 2013 James A. Waight Award recipient. This year’s awardee is Wild Tracks, a non-governmental organization located in Sarteneja Village of the Corozal district. Co-founders of the organization, Paul and Zoe Walker, in partnership with Fireburn Community, opened and manage the Fireburn Private...
Educators in conflict mediation training
Educators in conflict mediation training. RESTORE Belize and the US Embassy are sponsoring a series of trainings in conflict mediation for educators around the country and the latest session took place in Belize City today at the ITVET. We spoke to a participant, Zeni Perdomo of Corozal Community College...
Hotdog vendor robbed at gunpoint
A Hotdog vendor was robbed at gunpoint. 53 year old Bertha Arias, Honduran Vendor of Sarawee Village reported that at 12:25am on Friday Feb 15th, while selling hotdogs in front of Ilagulei Night Club located on George Price Drive, in Dangriga Town, she was approached by a dark complexion...
Ramona Cabrera has succumbed to her fire injuries
On Monday February 4th we told you about a three year old who had perished in an early morning fire in the Corozal district. Her mother 40 year old Ramona Cabrera, also received 1st degree burns on her face, back and 2nd degree burns to her left and right...
More missing BDF Firearms recovered
Firearms believed to have been stolen from the B.D.F have been discovered. Over the weekend, GSU came upon a garbage bag hidden in the sand, in the Seine Bight and Placencia area. A search of the bag led to the discovery of an M-sixteen rifle and a nine millimeter...
BOXING FEVER AT BIRD’S ISLE THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Things are fast taking shape for a real renaissance in the sport of boxing in Belize, beginning with this Sunday’s return to Bird’s Isle showcasing a number of young boxers.
Manager Frank Martinez of Cayo Lions Den Gym, which will feature 3 boxers on Sunday’s card, is of the firm belief that “we have to start with the development of the youths, from ages 8 to 16 years, if we want to go anywhere in any sport.” He says he has about 25 youths training right now at the gym in Cayo, and his vision, which he shares with manager/promoter Clinton Tucker of the Ladyville Lions Den Gym, is for us to have an active development program going in each district, focusing on the youths.
In related news, promoter/manager Clinton Tucker said this morning that a meeting is planned for today to determine the way forward for the Boxing Federation, in light of recent charges against the president Moses Sulph. “As a matter of principle, in light of the present case, we have to take the necessary steps now to safeguard the image of the Federation.”
BDF AND BELMOPAN BANDITS ON A ROLL AT WEEK 2 OF PLB 2012-2013 CLOSING SEASON
Week 2 is in the books for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2012-2013 Closing Season, and already there are only 2 teams still undefeated – defending champion Belmopan Bandits FC and Belize Defense Force FC.
With last season’s MVP Woodrow West exploring his options in the U.S., defending champions Belmopan Bandits turned to seasoned veteran William Johnson, who broke his leg in the first game of a Super League season a couple years ago with City Boys United. And, despite a couple close calls, Johnson and the Bandits are off to a stellar start, being the only team not to concede a goal so far in the competition. On Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home-standing Bandits took advantage of a penalty opportunity, when striker Brandon Peyrefitte was taken down in the eighteen, and David Trapp converted for Bandits at the 27th minute. The equalizer almost came early in second half, when San Felipe defender Andrew Allen sent a swerving center that Johnson had difficulty corralling; but recently inserted San Felipe striker Eder Evans was too eager to strike the high bouncing ball in front of an open goal, and mis-fired. A Brandon-Peyrefitte free kick from the left side in the closing moments found an open Ian Gaynair on the right side, and Gaynair made no mistake, directing his header down in the right corner to close the curtain on San Felipe, 2-nil, at the 89th minute.
GAPERO OVER FABERO Editorial
UDP Education Minister Patrick Faber’s decision late last year to challenge Natural Resources Minister, Gapi Vega, for the First Deputy Leadership of the ruling UDP and, by extension, the Deputy Prime Minister’s post, was a surprise at the time, and early speculation was that some large force, like Lord Ashcroft, for example, must have contributed to Faber’s decision. The reason for that early speculation was that, while Patrick had always been an acknowledged favorite of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s, the change in the national political dynamics occasioned by the results of last March’s general elections, suggested that Mr. Barrow would have no choice other than to throw his support behind Mr. Vega.
The results of the March 2012 general elections had shown that there was a clear difference in thinking between Belize City voters, who went UDP, and the District voters, who went PUP. Even though the UDP failure in the Districts could be considered, to a substantial extent, Gapi Vega’s failure, Mr. Barrow needed Mr. Vega more than ever, in the wake of the unprecedented March 2012 results, for “ethnic and geographical balance.”
A powerful element in the Opposition PUP, which had made up its mind that they did not need Belize City to win the next general elections, welcomed, in fact embraced, the Faber challenge to Vega, because it would prove that the UDP was a Belize City-based party if Faber won, and upset the Prime Minister’s apple cart.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
It is in the nature of the situation where a specific group finds itself at the bottom of the socio-economic barrel, that there will be treachery in interpersonal relationships within that group. We usually use the reality of the treachery amongst our people to increase the negativity of our assessment of our situation. But it is not because we are inherently wicked or inferior that we are treacherous: it is because our existence is so marginalized that the self-preservation instinct makes the incidence of treachery higher. The fault lies not in ourselves, but in the harshness of our oppression, that we appear more flawed than our oppressors.
There were members of our group who made personal and family progress by becoming loyal and valuable to the colonial masters in British Honduras. In a colonial situation, such opportunities only exist for a minority, who then form somewhat of an elite. If such opportunities were available for the broad masses of the people, then the socio-economic situation of the masses would not be one of colonialism: it would be a condition of liberation.
Consider the interpersonal relations on a slave ship. Our ancestors were chained as tight as canned sardines in the dark hold of a sailing ship for the two, three months it took to cross the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to America. Our ancestors would be expectorating, vomiting, urinating, and defecating on each other, and they would be in a chronic state of hunger and thirst, not to mention claustrophobia. The captain and crew of the slave ship, in a position of absolute power over their human cargo, would be able to tempt individual slaves with offers of more food, more water, more sunshine, a little freedom from the grinding of the iron shackles, whatever … Most individual slaves who yielded to any temptation would rationalize their “selfishness,” and it is not easy to blame them.
COMPTON FAIRWEATHER WRITES Letters
The Editor Amandala
For those who are not aware of the limits of our beloved country, which were established more than three decades before the iron-clad 1859 Treaty “was carved in stone” (and which, because of established international law, the ICJ cannot change), the following letter may help to explain.
The explanation had to be given to a British-owned company which was operating in Vera Paz, Guatemala, registered as the Eastern Coast of Central America Company, which wanted to make sure they were not trespassing on Belizean territory while doing their farming operation.
They had written to His Majesty’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Lord Glenelg.
ROGER ANTHONY, 35, FINED $1,000 FOR SHIRT SUPPORTING CRIMINAL GANG
Anthony told police he is the “boss of the Ghost Town Crips”
Today, inside the courtroom of Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., Roger Anthony, 35, pleaded guilty to displaying support for a criminal gang and professing to belong to a criminal gang, namely the Ghost Town Crips gang.
According to the report, at 10:00 yesterday morning, members of the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol on Vernon Street. Upon reaching the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets, they stopped their vehicle when they observed Anthony talking to another person.
They searched the men, but nothing illegal was found on their persons. However, the officers noticed that the shirt that Anthony was wearing had “GTC” on the collar with “30’s”. They also noticed that the pocket of the shirt had “OG” printed on it, along with the word “MOB.”
When police asked Anthony what “GTC” meant, Anthony allegedly replied “Ghost Town Crips,” and that he is the leader of that gang. He allegedly further stated that “MOB” was his alias.
GAPI LASHES PATRICK!
Patrick Faber said that had it not been for the Prime Minister’s “interference,” he would have won
Both Alberto August and Fern Gutierrez, who won their posts, ran on Gapi Vega’s slate
The United Democratic Party held its National Convention on Sunday, February 17, 2013, in Corozal. The UDP claims that a crowd of over 8,000 attended the event to witness and support the appointment and election of new party officials.
Hon. Dean Barrow was endorsed as the party’s leader, and Hon. Erwin Contreras was confirmed in his post as the party’s second deputy leader.
Elections for the positions of first deputy party leader, party chairman and vice chairman were held at the bi-annual convention. Votes were cast by 567 delegates, which encompass representatives of the 31 divisions, senators, central executive members, parliamentarians and other senior members of the party.
The highlight of the day was the elections for the first deputy party leader, contested by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. The faceoff between Faber and Vega had received major media attention, as Faber aggressively promoted himself as the better man for the job.
CITY WEEKEND MAYHEM – 12 SHOT, 2 DEAD
Gunman shot 2 in Muñoz Alley; one died, but other victim killed the shooter
Deadly violence from gangland shooters continues to rock the mean streets of the city. This time it was Majestic Alley figure Lincoln “Kilo Boy” Allen, 39, the father of 11 children with ages 3 months to 17 years, well known to police, who lived in the Majestic Alley hutments of the city.
The shooting was the third in a record weekend that saw 12 people shot in the city in different shooting incidents, with two dead and a number of victims in critical condition.
A gunman approached Allen, listed as a laborer by police, in Muñoz Alley, in the same vicinity as Majestic Alley, and shot him in the head and mouth at about 1:34 Saturday morning, February 16.
Also dead is Allen’s shooter, Devon Dean Saldano, 23, of a West Street address, who was shot in the back of the head by someone he shot and injured — Derek Cervantes, who was in Allen’s company.
Police say that they found Saldano’s body about two feet away from Allen’s body.
NICOLI RHYS, 22, FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ANDRE TRAPP’S MURDER
Trapp was shot and killed in historic fashion at the steps of the courthouse
Today, Nicoli Rhys, 22, was found not guilty by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for the murder of Andre Trapp, the reputed leader of the South Side Gang.
Readers will recall that the gang boss had been shot and killed, of all places, on the steps of the courthouse in Belize City.
At 10:00 a.m. on June 10, 2010, Trapp had just left the Magistrate’s Court and was speaking with an old classmate. After their conversation, Trapp was walking toward his vehicle when gunshots rang out in the parking lot of the court. After everything settled, Trapp lay dead on the side of the steps leading to Courtrooms 1 and 2.
In the trial which started on January 29, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, in her opening statement, informed the court that her case against the accused was based on circumstantial evidence.
She also made reference to an oral confession allegedly made by Rhys to an officer who responded to the shooting.
WEEKEND CRAZINESS SEES 5 SHOOTINGS
Apart from the shooting deaths of two persons and the hospitalization of another victim, which are reported on the front page of this issue, there were four other shooting incidents that left nine other persons injured or hospitalized over a bloody weekend.
The shootings began at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 15. Police said that Kenroy Tillett and Alton Roches were repairing Tillett’s truck in front of his house at the corner of Neal Pen Road and Monroe Street, when a gunman approached and opened fire on them.
Reports are that the gunman rode up from Monroe Street into Pen Road, where the men were working on the vehicle, and fired about 12 shots at them. In their attempt to escape the gunfire, they tried to run into the house, but the gunman shot at them several times and then rode away on his bicycle, disappearing into the area of Kraal Road.
The white Ford Ranger single-cab pickup, owned by Tillett, was seen with bullet damages on it. Bullet holes were in the back and front windshields and in both the passenger and driver side doors.
See a Beautiful Day in Placencia Belize
The above photo was posted by @Earth_pics on twitter and has been re tweeted 543 times. It represents an amazing sunrise in Placencia Belize.
Placencia, Belize, is one of the most laid back, pretty and interesting places in the Caribbean. This friendly little village situated on the tip of a long sandy peninsula in south eastern Belize is an affordable, uncrowded little gem of a tropical paradise.
Kayaking with Purpose
While Caye Caulker is well known for its laid back and slow pace, it is full of active water sports and activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and many more.
During my visit to Caye Caulker, one of the activities that caught my attention the most was kayaking. But not just any kayaking, it was kayaking with Ocean Academy.
Since Caye Caulker is a small island with a small population, it didn’t have the means to provide for a public high school – so all kids had to either drop out or go to San Pedro to continue their education. Education in Belize is not free, and for some families this is an expense outside their limited budget. But in September 2008, Ocean Academy –a non-profit community high school– opened its doors to provide a high school education to local residents. While the school is much more affordable than going to San Pedro, students still need to pay for their education, either with paid tuition or with tuition credits like community service. And, here’s where kayaking comes in…
As a way to earn tuition credit and gain valuable job training, many of the 60 students of Ocean Academy volunteer to guide visitors around Caye Caulker; either by foot, bicycle, or kayak.
Harlem Shake Belizean Style [VIDEO]
So I finally found two Harlem Shake Belizean Style video. HAHA! These guys are studying at UWI and are from Belize.
These ones look like local Belizean kids:
These one are from Orange Walk:
BCCI – Professional Etiquette Training in Belmopan City
Feb 20th, George Price Center. Facilitated by Ms. Mapye Smith. $300 + GST
PARTIAL SCOPE AGREEMENT – BELIZE / EL SALVADOR
First Round of Trade Negotiations – Belize & El Salvador, San Ignacio Hotel, Cayo Belize. 18-21 Feb., 2013
Had been out on the veranda around an hour when there was a heavy downpour at around 6.15 am. It didn’t last long but came down heavily enough to ‘force’ me inside. Good opportunity though to replenish my cup with coffee.
Resettled I proceeded to catch up with the news via my The Times on-line subscription and was enjoying the read when the rain came down again at around 7.15 am and it coincided with a power failure which took out the Internet. It only lasted around 10 minutes but power outages are something that if you are contemplating relocating to Belize occur reasonably frequently (eg we had one last Saturday as well).
After finishing off The Times (or did it finish me off?) it was time for a quick shower before heading over to the Belikin/Crystal Water depot to get a 5 gallon water bottle (BZ$3.50 if you have your own bottle). The depot is conveniently located now but when we move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize I will probably get five or six bottles per trip ( for this I will have to pay a refundable BZ$25 deposit per bottle).
Rose and I then spent a little time finding storage space for some of our stuff to create space for the visit that some friends of ours are going to make. They will arrive three days before we set off on our trip to Dallas and will stay at the condo we are renting. We then get to spend a further three days with them when we return before they head off home. Works for all of us. We get someone to ‘condo sit’ and they get a relatively inexpensive holiday.
Around 12.05 pm we had another power failure but fortunately like the previous one it didn’t last long and we continued clearing space until the Arsenal Champions League game versus Bayern Munich commenced and that’s when I wouldn’t have minded another power failure . Quite simply it was men against boys and now in only February Arsenal have a season with only forth place to play for.
Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Applecrisp Cheeseecake
Whut do y'all do wen y'all have guest fer dinnr? Do y'all make t'entire meal er do y'all ast 'um brang sumthin?
It varies fer me. Sumtimes I like t'do t'entire thang, and sumtimes t'guests contribute. That way we share t'cost and preparatyuns t'ease t'event fer t'hostess.
I luv that air friens enjoy contributin' t'hat kine uf dinnr. It shure makes it easir, and thay knoe that wen it is thar turn t'host, we all brang sumthin n' return as well.
Mah cuzin Deris brung thishere deliciyus cheeseecake fer deessert that I jes had t'share with y'all! Nex time y'all air ast t'brang deessert sumwhars, cunsidder thishere Apple Crisp Cheeseecake. Mmm,so good! Thanks Deris.
Arctic sea ice volume now one-fifth its 1979 level
The stunning loss of Arctic sea ice extent in recent years is undeniable--satellite measurements have conclusively shown that half of the Arctic sea ice went missing in September 2012, compared to the average September during 1979 - 2000. But the extent of ice cover is not the best measure of how the fire raging in Earth's attic is affecting sea ice--the total volume of the ice is more important. But up until 2010, we didn't have the measurements needed to say how the total volume of ice in the Arctic might be changing. Scientists relied on the University of Washington PIOMAS model, which suggested that the loss of Arctic sea ice volume during September might be approaching 75% - 80%. The model results were widely criticized by climate change skeptics as being unrealistic. However, in April 2010, a new satellite called Cryostat-2 was launched, which can measure ice volume by beaming pulses of microwave energy off of the ice. With two years of data to Cryosat-2 data to analyze, the results of the PIOMAS model have now been confirmed by a study published on-line in February 2013 in Geophysical Research Letters. In a University of Washington news release, co-author Axel Schweiger said, "people had argued that 75 to 80 percent ice volume loss was too aggressive. What this new paper shows is that our ice loss estimates may have been too conservative, and that the recent decline is possibly more rapid."
Real Estate Sales in Belize Increase Due to McAfee Publicity
The tiny Central American country of Belize made headlines around the world recently after Belizean authorities embarked on a nationwide manhunt for software antivirus pioneer John McAfee, and some Belizean companies say business has increased as a result of the massive international exposure.
"When that whole debacle started with McAfee all of the huge media outlets like CNN, ABC news, NBC news, the Associated Press, Reuters, you name it, they all started covering it," said David Gobeil, owner of Belize Property Agents Realty, located in Dangriga Belize. "Not because an expat sadly died in Belize, but because a world-famous individual like McAfee was implicated," he said.
Belize bondholders group agrees to superbond exchange
A committee representing Belize bondholders said on Tuesday its members agreed to a debt exchange on the country's $550 million superbond, after almost a year of often heated negotiations.
Committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old U.S. dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038, the group said in a statement.
"The Committee appreciates the (Belize government's) willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process," said AJ Mediratta, joint chair of the committee and co-president of Greylock Capital Management.
UTSA International Trade Center hosts delegation from SBDC Belize
The International Trade Center in the UTSA Institute of Economic Development hosted a delegation Jan. 22-25 from SBDC Belize, a newly launched Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
During the four-day visit, the delegates met with directors and staff of the various centers and specialty centers with the Institute for Economic Development and Southwest Texas Border SBDC Network. Best practices and practical direction were provided to give SBDC Belize the best chance to succeed in creating economic impact in Belize.
"We had frank conversations about the realities of running a high-performing SBDC and SBDC Network," said Albert Salgado, director of the South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center Network. "Our South-West Texas Border SBDC Network has been very successful, but it is because we strive to meet the demands of the small-business community and prepare our advisers with professional development and resources to provided relevant services. We want SBDCBelize to succeed in the same way."
Cookbook Review: The Flavors of Belize May Not Be Perfect, But It's Hard Not to Love a Fried Breadfruit (!) Recipe
A good cookbook collection does not look like it came straight out of a food stylist's studio. Sure, it will include several near-perfect volumes, those monumental titles that still capture your attention. But some cookbooks, like Flavors of Belize, will sport a few flaws.
You might keep them because there haven't been many cookbooks on the subject. Or because within their pages, you can find recipe ideas for obscure stateside ingredients like breadfruit (get a recipe for fried breadfruit after the jump). You can overlook the minor annoyances, like the promotional tone of many of the restaurant/chef listings in the glossary and specific products. In the recipe for "Belikin beer bread" ("the beer of Belize") any light lager would likely work fine; those fish panades (similar to fried empañadas with a crispy corn shell) call for Quaker brand masa harina mix.
Belize Bondholder Group Agrees To Restructuring
A group representing a majority of Belize sovereign bondholders has agreed to a restructuring that will give the country nine more years to pay off some of its debt.
The Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders said in a statement Tuesday that its members agreed unanimously to exchange their old dollar-denominated bonds due 2029 for new ones that fall due in 2038.
The negotiations that began late last year led to "what was in the end a fair and transparent process," said AJ Mediratta, co-president of Greylock Capital Management and co-chairman of the bond holder group, referring to a series of announcements the Central Bank of Belize made along the way concerning its progress.
Under the terms of the debt exchange, the Belize government will reimburse the committee for certain expenses, including reinstating principal in the event of a future default.
Belize has $548 million of dollar-denominated bonds outstanding.
Belize bondholders group says members agree to superbond exchange
Feb 19 (Reuters) - The Belize bondholders group said it members agreed to a debt exchange proposed by the Belize government, a statement from the committee representing the majority of bondholders said on Tuesday.
Letter: Questions for the government of Belize on the Guatemala-ICJ issue
Dear Members of the Belize Referendum Commission,
I am thanking you in advance for better equipping me to participate in the upcoming decision-making process through your clarifications on my few remaining questions:
1. What is Guatemala’s official position as to how much of the territory being claimed? How can we know determine if the rewards will outweigh the risks if the risks haven’t been clearly or at least officially specified?
2. How was the budget for the ICJ education campaign in Belize derived and mechanisms are in place to supervise the use of funds?
3. What will be the content of Guatemala’s message in its half of the education campaign and what are some of the ways it might affect the on the ground relations between the people of our two countries? What might be the result of 40 million dollars being spent on ‘educating’ Guatemalans of the strength of Guatemala’s claim to Belize?
4. Detail the actions we should expect the Guatemalan government to take to reduce border incursions should the ICJ decide in our favour?
Honeymoon Planning Spotlight: David & Brandi in Belize
One of the best parts about my job is being able to help match my clients to the perfect destination for what they’re looking for. I love getting to know couples and planning an itinerary to fit their every need. My absolute favorite part of the job, though, is to receive feedback upon their return about how the trip was exactly what they were looking for. That’s why I’ve decided to start sharing some of the feedback and hand-crafted itineraries so you can get a better idea of my travel planning from start to finish!
When David and Brandi were originally referred to me, they had their minds set on a honeymoon to Argentina. After bouncing around a few ideas and exploring the Argentina idea a bit more, they were hesitant as to whether the destination would be a good fit for what they were looking for in a honeymoon. So, I got to the core of their search: they wanted sightseeing and adventure with a nice balance of relaxation. They weren’t the type to sit at one resort for the duration of their stay – they wanted to explore about 2-3 cities within the destination.
200 Countries & 200 Years in 4 Minutes, Presented by Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling, a professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, focuses on ‘dispelling common myths about the so-called developing world’ (as his TED bio well notes). And he has established a reputation for presenting data in extremely imaginative ways. Just watch the video above, an outtake from the BBC show “The Joy of Stats”). In four minutes, Rosling visually traces the health of 200 countries over 200 years, using 120,000 data points, and we end up with a little reason for optimism. Great stuff…
The River of Myths by Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling shows how measurement reveals incredible progress in saving the lives of children in what were once labeled "developing countries". If the few countries that still have high child mortality rates can follow the path of Ethiopia, preventable child deaths may be history by 2030. We must continue to closely measure this progress. Video created in partnership between The Gates Notes and Gapminder. #BillsLetter