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Health official comments on setting up local laboratory for viral load testing
Two months ago the Collaborative Network of People Living with HIV, known for short and CNET Plus, went public with concerns over a delay at the Ministry of Health level in getting viral load testing done in Belize for persons living with HIV/AIDS. CNET’s concern was based on the suspicion that the medication that the Ministry was distributing was not effective in fighting the disease and hence, not having the testing done to determine the effectiveness of the drugs was keeping patients at risk of dying sooner than necessary. But in a recent interview with the Director of the Ministry’s HIV Program, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, he said that while the Ministry is still in the process of getting our own lab up and working, the plan B, which is to get patients’ samples sent to Mexico for testing, has also had its share of hiccups.
But getting the samples tested is not the only glitch in the process, because Manzanero says that he was alerted of this by the United Nations Development Fund, which is sponsoring the project.
And as far as that important concern that CNET Plus brought up of the efficacy of the drugs that the Ministry’s hospital and health posts administers to patients, Manzanero says that the results of the first batch of samples sent last year in no way suggests that the medication is useless.
In as far as Belize’s efforts go to have the tests done locally, Manzanero said that the Ministry is working on a lab up and running. That lab was projected, by the CEO in the Ministry, Dr Peter Allen, to be functional by the next month, but again, there are a few challenges in meeting that goal, according to Manzanero.
Lastly, the latest HIV figures of new infections show a trend that the group that is getting infected are men who have sex with men, according to Manzanero.
Meanwhile, today, February 20th was the target date for the first batch for 2013 to be sent for viral load testing. That batch, which contains samples from HIV patients from Belize City, and should undergo a series of testing, including viral load, CD 4, geno type, feno type resistance, and hepatitis B and C.
Guatemalan national acquitted of 2008 murder
A Guatemalan national has been acquitted of the 2008 murder of a Belizean man. After a jury of 12 deliberated for some 3 hours yesterday, 44 year old Guatemalan Edilio Rios was found not guilty of the stabbing death of Belizean national 35 year old Pedro Arturo Romero. What...
17 year old died after eating a bucket of soap
Yesterday Plus News received disturbing information surrounding the sudden death of a 17 year old from Golden Street Village in the Toledo District. According to PGTV, the teen, Milka Sho was found dead on Sunday Morning. Initial reports to PlusNews had indicated that Milka died from injuries received from...
Belize Territorial Volunteers are Clearing Our Borderline
“Belize Territorial Volunteers” Clearing the Border. Incursions into Belize territory haves long been a problem. Recently there have been an increasing number of incursions and as a result some villagers mainly in the south have been negatively affected. Guatemalans have come into the villages and pillaged people’s farms and...
Athletes to be tested for PED’s
Athletes to be tested for PED’s. Belize is preparing for the Central American Games to be held in March but a few athletes will spend the next few days worrying whether they could get kicked off their team for having performance-enhancing drugs in their system. PlusNews caught up with...
Major renovations in Belize City
BTL Park to be renovated. It has been talked about for years but the opening stages of a four-month renovation of BTL Park on Newtown Barracks formally commenced today. Mayor Darrell Bradley described what the project is about, how much it will cost and who will fund it. Mayor...
Mayor Darrell Bradley may not run for second term
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley says he may not run for second term. The term of a City Council is three years and surely thoughts must be turning to the 2015 campaign. But Mayor Darrell Bradley is not at all sure whether he will run for a second term....
Construction of football field in Arenal Village still causing problems
Last week we gave you a preview to an ongoing problem in Arenal Village due to the construction of a football field. As promised, we bring you the second part to that story. The footage you are seeing is that of the football field located in Arenal Belize and...
Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop at the UB Auditorium
A workshop geared toward empowering Belizeans with keys and tools on how to create employment for themselves is slated for this weekend. Last year, the Statistical Institute of Belize, in their Labour Force Survey reported that the country’s unemployment rate was at an alarming 14.4%. That’s over 21,000 persons....
Olympic Committee holds rare election
Olympic Committee holds rare election. On Saturday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Belize’s National Olympic Committee affiliated to the International Olympic Committee, called a special meeting. It was also a historic meeting, because the torch was passed from founding member Edward...
Trade Opportunities with El Salvador
The Ministry of Foreign Trade is in the first round of negotiations with its counterparts from El Salvador as part of the process to ink a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA). The negotiations will address issues such as market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements.
Three New Trucks for Climate Change Campaign
On Friday, February 15th, Hon. Lisel Alamilla accepted three new Isuzu DMAX pickup trucks on behalf of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development as part of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”.
Conflict Mediation Workshop for School Disciplinarians
In May 2012, over a dozen representatives from various community organizations took part in a conflict resolution workshop organized by Restore Belize and the United States Embassy. The workshop was facilitated by Julie Walton of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) in the U.S. Department of State. CSO advances the United States’ national security by breaking cycles of violent conflict and mitigating crises in priority countries such as Belize where the focus is engaging in conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization. The participants that completed the course are now training other community workers across the country.
Belize jumps 32 spots in FIFA Ranking
The Football Federation of Belize is proud to inform Belizeans that Belize has now been ranked by FIFA at 132 of 207 National Member Associations. The 32 point jump in FIFA rankings from 164 to 132 is due to the exceptional performance by the Belize National Selection at the Copa Centro-Americana under the leadership of Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis.
We are proud of our National Selection who represented Belize well and the Federation, through its National team committee, is working harder to ensure that Belize has the best representation at the Gold Cup in July of 2013.
Land Tax Amnesty
As of February 4th, of this year and running for 6 months thereafter, the Ministry of Natural Resources is conducting a Land Tax Amnesty program. Under the program, people who have not been paying their land taxes will be forgiven interest and fees along with a 25 percent discount on moneys owed to the Lands Department.
What Petillo isn’t saying
Nigel Petillo, of BGYEA fame, has taken to the airwaves to say that he will be holding a demonstration next week. What Petillo is not telling the Belizean public is that since he began to advocate for land, the Ministry of Natural Resources has immediately responded to just about every request that he has put to the Lands Department. Even more, those requests have been attended to with undue speed. It is because of Petillo that the Lands Department has had to open on weekends to process and deliver the land leases to people who have applied.
What happened to PLUS TV?
These days you can hear those on Plus TV snapping here and there at the Government for no real reason. They behave like a viper with a broken back, can't crawl anymore so the last actions are to poison anyone who comes near. But it is an interesting analogy and one which is not too far off. The Guardian has been receiving numerous reports that the organization was on the brink of collapse; it had run nearly broke and was grasping at straws to stay afloat.
Police Minister awards Cayo District Zone and San Ignacio Formation
Officer Commanding Sr Superintendent Guzman Receives Award Cheque of $1000 from Minister Saldivar
On February 13th, 2013, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar presented awards to officers commanding the Cayo District Zone and the San Ignacio Formation for their performance during the month of January in reducing crime within their jurisdiction.
Seven Illegal Immigrants caught in Belize: They were heading to the USA
On Tuesday, February 19th, seven illegal immigrants were taken to the Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of illegal entry.
Five Salvadorans, Maria Deisy Leon Tobias, 27; Jose Omar Guevara, 17; Jose Antonio Gonzalez Arevalo, 34; Uvaldo Antonio Alvarado Murillo, 22; and Jose Obdulio Escobar, 25 were caught in a white van that was parked near a checkpoint at Mile 13 near to the Burrell Boom Junction on the Phillip Goldson Highway.
The other two immigrants have been identified as 33-year-old Honduran, Rigoberto Mendoza Palma, and Salvadoran, Santos Alexander Guevara Amaya, 19.
Palma was caught by police on Tuesday morning at #64 Antelope Street in Belize City while Santos Amaya was caught by Immigration officers on Monday morning at the Belize City Bus Terminal as he got off a D&E bus from Benque Viejo Del Carmen.
In court, the group of 7 wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal entry.
They were fined $1,000 each plus a$5.00 cost of court by Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., who ordered that they all pay the fine immediately or in default 1 year in prison.
Bert Vasquez in Court for Forcible Abduction
Bert Vasquez, who was charged in June of last year in the killing of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe in San Ignacio, appeared in the Supreme Court in Belize City where he is to face charges of forcible abduction.
The case of attempted abduction by Vasquez of a 16-year-old girl was called up before Justice Adolph Lucas where he was told that his next court date is set for March 21st, 2013. This date is also tentatively set for trial.
This case was committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court by Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart on Wednesday, February 22,nd 2012. Vasquez was initially granted bail in the sum of $5,000 but he was later charged with the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Since then he has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville.
Sixth Suspect in Robbery of Chinese grocer remanded
On Friday, February 15th, the last of 6 suspects who police said they caught inside a grocery store in mid-January, after a robbery of Jian Vin Shop on Mopan Street, was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court.
He is 19-year-old Jean Pascual, a resident of #8445 Cannondale Drive and a student of ITVET evening division. Pascual was released a day earlier from the KHMH after being shot in his foot. When he appeared in court on Friday, he was charged with robbery and keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
He is still recovering from his injuries and as a result, had to use a crutch as support as he was escorted into Court to appear before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer.
Acquitted of Murder of Andre Trapp
On Friday, February 15th, 22-year-old Nicoli Rhys walked out of Supreme Court in Belize City all smiles after he was acquitted of June 10th, 2010 murder of Andre Trapp.
Rhys had his case heard before Chief Justice Kenneth. Benjamin, being the first man to be tried for murder in a trial by judge without jury.
During the trial, DPP, Cheryl Lyn Vidal called as many as 10 witnesses to testify in the case. In a one-hour summation of the case, the Chief Justice ruled that while there were elements of murder proven by the prosecution, the final element, that of the identification of Rhys as the shooter, was not proven giving great doubt about the guilt of the accused. He noted that while there was identification of Rhys by the Crown’s witness, who put him to the murder scene seconds after Trapp had been gunned down, there was no identification parade conducted by the police. In his sum up the CJ stated that “There was a loop hole in the prosecution’s case.” He further said, “The court must be extremely cautious before accepting the visual identification by PC Alrick Arnold since the prosecution admitted that there was no identification parade conducted by the police investigating officer, Sgt. Manuel Espat.”
Pleads guilty to belonging to gang
Roger Anthony, 35, appeared in Magistrate's Court where he pleaded guilty to professing to belong to a criminal gang and one count of displaying support of a criminal gang.
Anthony appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. where in mitigation Anthony asked the court to be lenient on him and to impose a fine. Magistrate Lucas imposed two $500 fines plus two $5.00 costs of court.
The first fine of $500 was ordered to be paid by April 12th, 2013 or in default 5 months imprisonment while the other $500 fine was order to be paid by June 14th, 2013 or in default another 5 months imprisonment.
Roger Anthony, a resident of the Crooked Tree area in the Belize District was picked up by police over the weekend in the area known as “Ghost Town. At about 10:00 a.m., members of the GSU were on mobile patrol in the area of Vernon Street, when they stopped at the intersection of May Flower and Vernon Streets and saw Anthony and another man in the area. Both men were searched for illegal drugs and firearms; however, nothing incriminating was found on either man.
Accused of burglarizing Home of Traffic Manager
On Monday, February 18th, Luis Romero, 47, a resident of #40 Plues Street appeared in Magistate's Court to answer to charges of burglary.
Romero appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith.
Allegations are that Romero, entered the home of Belize City Traffic Manager, Kevan Jenkins which is located at #7135 Lumber Yard Crescent. The incident is said to have occurred on Monday, January 28th 2013, where over a $1,000 in items were stolen from Jenkins' home including $150.00 in cash, a pair of scandals and jewelry.
In court, prosecutor, Sgt. Egbert Castillo objected to bail being granted to Romero stating that he has two convictions for crimes of dishonestie, which include theft and handling stolen goods. He also submitted that bail should not be offered to Romero because of the prevalence of the crime, the gravity of the crime, the strength of the prosecution's case especially since the Scenes of Crime technicians have lifted fingerprints at the crime scene that positively match Romero’s, the fact that there is a possibility that he may or could interfere with the witnesses and the fact that the police case is ongoing.
Two Dead, 10 survive Weekend Shootings
The weekend of Friday, February 15th, to Sunday, February 17th, was extremely violent in Belize City. The three-day span saw twelve victims of gun violence. Ten of them are lucky to be alive.
The first shooting incident took place at about 3:30 p.m. on Neal Pen Road. 34-year-old Kenroy Tillett and 32-year-old Alton Roches were doing repairs on a white Ford Ranger pickup truck when a dark complexioned man rode up on bicycle and opened fire in their direction. Both men got into the vehicle in an attempt to flee but during that time Roches received a gunshot wound to the left side of the abdomen and Tillett received gunshot wounds to the left side of the neck and left hand. They were then assisted by a friend who rushed them to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police recovered ten 9mm expended shells from the scene but have not reported any arrest in this incident as yet.
Hilly Martinez to lead Olympic Committee for the Next Four Years
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association held a Special General Assembly on Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, where the seventeen (17) National Federations/Associations that belong to the local Olympic Committee were in full attendance. Each of the national federations/associations was represented by two delegates at the Special General Assembly.
The Special General Assembly was held in order for the elections of officers for the Quadrennial period 2013-2017. The Quadrennial period comes to a close at the conclusion of the Summer Olympics.
Before the elections of officers for the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young was unanimously elected and appointed the Patron of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.
The Elections was presided over by an Election Commission, appointed in coordination with the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) and Charles B. Hyde Sr, President of Belize NOC/OA Fair Play Commission, which comprised of Raymond Lashley, Retired. Pharmacist, Sharon Frazer, Senior Magistrate, and Hadie Gomez, Retired Principal.
Anti-Doping Samples to be collected before Central American Games
The National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize will be carrying out five Anti-Doping Sample Collections from athletes that will represent Belize at the 10th Central American Games scheduled for San Jose, Costa Rica from March 3rd - 17th, 2013.
The samples will be collected from athletics, football, softball, volleyball and basketball from Thursday, February 21st, 2013 to Saturday, February 23rd, 2013, between the hours of 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight.
The random selection will be carried out by the Doping Control Officers of the National Anti-Doping Organisation.
All athletes are reminded that they are to make themselves available for Anti-Doping Sample Collection. The Anti-Doping Samples will then be sent to the UCLA Olympic Laboratory for analysis.
Belmopan Bandits lead Premier League Football Competition
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week with four games on the schedule.
On Saturday, February 16th, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions and the current leaders in this year’s competition, the Belmopan Bandits blanked the visiting San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 2-0. The goals for the Belmopan Bandits were scored by David Trapp via a penalty kick in the 27th minute of play and the 2nd and final goal of the game was scored by Ian Gaynair in the 89th minute of play.
Meanwhile, out at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the visiting San Ignacio United shut out the home team Verdes by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Leonard Valdez in the 48th minute of play.
The competition then continued on Sunday February 17th, 2013, with two more games. At the MCC Grounds, the visiting FC Belize defeated Police United by the score of 1-0. The goal for FC Belize was scored by Michael Hernandez in the 30th minute of play.
And in the final game of the week that was played at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, it was the Belize Defence Force winning over the visiting Placencia Assassins FC by the score of 2-1.
US Olympian Corey Hicks was in Belize
Former US Olympian in Decathlon and current Athletics Director for Track and Field at American Heritage Prep School in Plantation, Florida, Corey Hicks arrived in Belize on Friday, February 15th, 2013 and departed the country on Sunday, February 17th, 2013 after spending the weekend with track athletes at the Marion Jones Stadium.
On Saturday, Hicks held a motivational talk with the athletes and coaches that were present and he also held demonstration clinics with them. He also told the athletes and coaches that the track at the Marion Jones Sports Complex is a world class track and is of the very same stock that Florence Johnson established her World Record on.
Hicks, for his part, will develop a training package for Belizean athletes that will help to enhance their performance and their potentials for acceptance to American universities. Apart from the training programme, he will also develop a profile for each athlete that will help to place them in schools.
Corey is expected to be back in Belize very soon.
Independence High School National Football Champions
Independence High School Female National Football Champions
The 2012-2013 National Secondary Schools Sports Association National Football Championships were played on Friday, February 15th and Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town.
The schools that participated in the National Football Championships are as follows: from the North, Orange Walk Technical High School (females) and Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (males); from Central Wesley College (females) and St. John’s College (males); from the West Belmopan Comprehensive High School (females) and Mount Carmel High School (males); and from the South Independence High School (females and males).
On Saturday, February 16th, in the female championship game, Independence High School defeated Orange Walk Technical High School in penalty shoot out by the score of 4-3 to capture the female title. At the end of regulation time, the score was 1-1. The goal for Independence High School in regulation time was scored by Yosselin Pacheco, while the goal for Orange Walk Technical High School was scored by Norelia Terry.
In the penalty shoot out, the goals for Independence High School were scored by Sylvia Cabral, Yosselin Pacheco, Kelsey Polanco and Erica Vallecillo. Meanwhile, the goals for Orange Walk Technical High School were scored by Yanira Chan, Gisel Baizar and Elizabeth Quintana.
Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram Sworn in as New Justice of Appeal
Governor General, Sir Colvile Young and Justice Minnet Hafiz
Belmopan. February 18th, 2013.
Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, at Belize House, Belmopan.
Equine Encephalomyelitis Outbreaks in Belize - VACCINATION FOR HORSES STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) strongly recommends to all horse owners throughout Belize, and especially in the Northern and Western Regions, to vaccinate their horses against Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis.
BAHA has confirmation from the USDA laboratory in Iowa, USA that the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus is currently circulating in Belize. Outbreaks have been detected in the Corozal and Cayo Districts. The viral disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and alternate infection of birds or rodents and mosquitoes maintain the virus in nature. Equine Encephalomyelitis viruses can also cause infection in humans.
The risk of infection can be reduced in horses by vaccination and housing horses in screened barns, particularly during the hours of high mosquito activity. Repellents and fans can be helpful. Measures to prevent mosquito bites, including the use of repellents and protective clothing (that is, long pants and long-sleeved shirts) can reduce the risk of infection in humans.
Additional information can be obtained from BAHA veterinary officers and the Ministry of Health.
It Seems too Good to be True
If it seems too good to be true, goes an old adage, then it probably is. Unfortunately, there are always people who want so much for things to be true that they suspend all critical thought and there are always others who are ready to take advantage of this need. There is never any shortage of snake oil or snake oil salesmen. (Snake oil originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicinal value but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud. The snake oil salesman often uses accomplices in the audience who proclaim the benefits of the product on sale.)
Call me a cynic but it is in this context we must examine the seemingly extravagant claims of motivational speakers. Undoubtedly, a good motivational speaker, like any successful preacher, can fire up a crowd and make its members feel good, powerful and/or motivated but whether this translates into any long term or even short term change in behavior is debatable. A good presentation by either a motivational speaker or a preacher may lead to a desire for change but there is no evidence that it leads to actual change.
New Bond floats
On Tuesday, February 19th, the Belize Coordinating Committee negotiating the restructuring of the Superbond announced that they would accept the exchange of the old bonds, which were due in 2029 for new ones which will be due in 2038. Through a press release, the committee announced that "all of its members have agreed to tender their Old Bonds in the exchange offer."
The release goes on to quote the co-chair of the negotiating committee, AJ Mediratta as saying that "The Committee appreciates the GOB’s willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process.” He continued saying, “I wish to thank Prime Minister Barrow for his personal efforts and leadership in working with the Committee to facilitate this process.”
Those who have now accepted the new bonds held over $338 million of the $548 million of Bonds outstanding.
Work gets off on BTL Park
Reclamation work began at the Newtown Barracks BTL Park on Wednesday, February 20th. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, a contract was signed with RJB Construction Company on Monday and by Wednesday, heavy equipment and landfill began to be mobilized at the park.
The contractor says that in excess of 25,000 cubic yards of material will be placed into the sea to reclaim an area of 100 feet by 75 feet. Work on the reclamation is expected to run for 2 weeks after, which a retaining seawall will be constructed to prevent erosion. This phase of the BTL park renovation project will run for approximately two months and comes at a cost of over $700,000. It is being financed by the Belize City Council. Mayor Bradley says he anticipates that BTL will be providing some counterpart funding for the project.
At the completion of the reclamation and seawall construction, work will commence to build 18 stalls for small businesses and a food court. A multipurpose bandstand to accommodate concerts as well as a 100-foot pier, which will project into the Caribbean Sea will also be constructed thereafter.
The BTL Park renovation project is part of a greater move by the Belize City Council to improve on existing facilities to be utilized by residents and visitors alike.
UDP’s Unity Convention
As could have been expected, the United Democratic Party held and extremely successful National Party Convention on Sunday, February 17th at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town. Some 8,000 party supporters gathered as the party’s national convention delegates, 567 of them came together to make important decisions for the forward movement of the UDP.
During the convention, what took center stage was the election of officers which included that of the 1st Deputy Party Leader, Party Chairman, and Deputy Party Chairman. At the end of the voting the Deputy Party Leader’s position was taken by Hon. Gaspar Vega, who received 311 votes while Hon. Patrick Faber received 233. Taking the Chairman’s position was Alberto August, who secured 379 votes while Roosevelt Blades got 183 votes. Holding the position of Deputy Party Chairman is now Fern Gutierrez, who received 378 votes while Roger Espejo, who also contested the position received 180 votes. If the votes do not add up to 567 votes its because there was one delegate who did not vote while the others represent spoilt ballots.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Book Fair at Cayeboard Connection
Cayeboard Connection along with Producciones de la Hamaca is hosting a Book Fair, Saturday February 23 from 3 – 6 pm. Stop by and see all the books that have been published by this Caye Caulker publisher. Meet the authors and buy an autographed book at a discount.
Tourism Presentation at Ocean Academy
For the past 3 weeks, students of 2nd form have been learning about the Tourism Industry in Belize with Ms.Elizabeth Usher. The students were then assigned presentations, whereby they they were to host a show or mini Trade Show in order for them to be able to market and promote Belize. They had about a week and a half to prepare and present. They did an excellent job. Students projected pictures and maps of Belize while doing their presentations all geared towards marketing & promoting Belize as a Tourism Destination.
Today students will continue their Tourism Unit with Careers in Tourism. Mr. Efren Perez who is the Executive Director of BTIA in Belize has been asked to come to Ocean Academy to do a presentation on Careers in Tourism. Also invited is Mrs. Noeli Kuylen, owner of Rainbow Grill & Bar, who will be speaking to the students about her business and the excellent services they provide.
I was so Surpised
A while back Zac made me the offer that I could use one of his ph strips to test what my level was but that I had to take it seriously as it is not something you can just run out to the store and buy here. By taking it seriously he said I needed to give my self a day or 2 of cleaner eating before my reading.
With yesterday being day 3 of our cleanse, I decided it was a good time to test so I sent him a text and got a fast reply to come by in 1/2h. When I got there he took the book strips out of a plastic container. They have to be kept airtight so moisture will not get at them, a common effect o living in the tropics. Since you are supposed to do the urine test first thing in the morning and we missed the boat on that we both opted for saliva method where you put it on your tongue. I was so surprised that I came slightly above neutral and out more alkaline than Zac did as he is one of the healthier eaters I know on Ambergris Caye and one of my main sources for heath info besides Google. I was very pleased that I was more alkaline than I thought. Since ph balance test strips are a handy guideline for helping moderate, I deiced to order some of my own strips off ebay for $2.96 for 80 and $2 shipping to Belize from Kentucky.
DJ's Seaside Bar and Restaurant: Is It Really the Best Burger in Town?
There has been a ton of hype about the newly relocated DJ's Restaurant for the past few months. I have been instructed by what seems like countless people to try "the best burger in Belize". I do love a burger. Yesterday, my first full day back on the island, seemed like the perfect time to weigh in.
Glitter always gets you points on my scorecard. Owned by partners, the newly relocated restaurant sits right on the beach overlooking Boca Del Rio Park. They have a long oval bar...my favorite kind. So you can sit and chat with the whole drinking group.
Meet DJ, the chef and burger creator and original owner (I practically forced the poor guy to pose for a picture after hours and hours of cooking)...
Celebrities Drawn to Belize
As Belize becomes one of the biggest boom areas of the Caribbean, affluent visitors-and more and more celebrities-soon find themselves switching from the adventures of island-hopping to the pastime of island-shopping… at the same time provocative options on the mainland are taking off.
Whether fly fishing, diving or sailing, wealthy visitors soon hear that private islands and prime properties can be purchased in Belize from original owners for a fraction of what waterfront costs back in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lennox Lewis, Harrison Ford and Francis Ford Coppola have all either visited or bought property in Belize, with Tiger going non-stop fly-fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and diving, according the San Pedro Sun.
Tiger is an avid diver, who has been all over the world underwater, plunged in the waters off San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Lighthouse reef. “These waters are incredible!” he told the Sun. “I have been diving in many places and Belize is definitely top notch. The Blue Hole is spectacular. The water was so clear everywhere we went. The diving near San Pedro was really impressive. Hol Chan is a very special place with the sharks and rays, and the people of San Pedro have done a great job taking care of it.”
Lonely Planet Picks Belize as a Top Family Friendly Destination
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world has selected Belize as a top family friendly destination. In an article entitled “5 family-friendly destinations you might not have thought about” written by Robert Reid and published on February 20 on the Lonely Planet website, the writer describes Belize as an affordable Caribbean destination for families.
“ It’s compact, cheap and nearly everyone speaks English. There’s super wildlife to see – growler monkeys and crocodiles by land, sea turtles and (harmless) nurse sharks by mask and snorkel. First-timers will enjoy nice array of cabanas, often with kitchenette, from US$50 per night at the beach/diving center of Placencia, a couple hours south of the Belize City airport.
But the interior doesn’t mean sacrificing fun in the water, with underground rivers to tube, jungle lodges on swimming holes and Mayan ruins reached by boat. If you rent a car, a tad pricey (about US$80 per day), you can connect a few dots at your own leisure. For an unforgettable stay, try the remote and family-friendly Barton Creek Outpost in the Cayo District, with a rope swing on the country’s finest swimming hole. And pull in for Garifuna drum lessons at the laid-back beach of Hopkins” asserts the writer.
Caribbean Civil Registry and Identity System (CCRIS) coming to Belize: OAS completes work in Caribbean Civil Registry & Identity System in SVG
The Organization of American States (OAS) has completed implementation of a Caribbean Civil Registry and Identity System (CCRIS) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The implementation was done through the OAS’ Department for Effective Public Management (DEPM), with funding from the Governments of Chile, Canada, Luxembourg and Korea,
CCRIS was developed under the OAS/DEPM’s Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA) to facilitate birth registration and to provide uniform vital statistics in the Eastern Caribbean, a release said.
With equipment purchased by the OAS, CCRIS facilitated the scanning of the vital records maintained in ledgers at the Civil Registry’s Vault and their uploading to a central database.
The equipment comprises one BookDrive scanner, two servers, seven computer workstations, network equipment and other computer hardware components.
From September to December 2011 and June to December 2012, the project scanned a full 100 per cent of the 468 ledgers at the Civil Registry, for a total of 120,320 pages containing 614,200 birth, death, marriage, adoption and legitimization records.
By Dec. 24, 2012, it had scanned and cropped 93 per cent of the scanned records and initiated data entry.
The Civil Registry is now able to view the images cropped by CCRIS in their existing application, and has the ability to image, crop and process birth, death and marriage records, along with data entry, verification, editing and printing, the release said.
The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth
From the air, the Great Blue Hole of Belize resembles an otherworldly maw, intent on drinking down the surrounding Lighthouse Reef Atoll. In reality, the 1,000-foot (305-meter) wide hole is simply a sinkhole in the ocean. Geologists believe that an underlying cave system collapsed under increased pressure some 10,000 years ago due to rising sea levels.
The dark hole descends 412 feet (126 meters), terminating in lightless depths where a lack of oxygen prevents most forms of life from thriving. Divers rarely plunge these depths, however, as most are content to explore the stalactite-rich caverns accessible from depths of some 130 feet (40 meters) below the surface.
Historic CARICOM Group Meeting Opens In Haiti
The Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) begins in Port-au-Prince on Monday, the first that Haiti is hosting after more that 10 years of becoming a member.
That Haiti is hosting its first meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government more than ten years after becoming a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could be no greater indicator that it had taken its rightful place within the Community, CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque, said.
"This is certainly one occasion that the use of the word historic is most fitting. Ten and a half years after its formal accession as a member state of CARICOM, for the first time a president of Haiti is chairman of CARICOM.
Caricom maintains independence in external negotiations
The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) will be funding all future negotiations itself, according to Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett. She recently informed the 65-seat National Assembly, current negotiations between Caricom and Canada for a Trade and Development Agreement are being funded by the region.
Rodrigues-Birkett’s statement came in the form of a written response to a series of questions by opposition front-bencher Carl Greenidge, who was previously a senior negotiator with Caricom’s Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN).
This stance comes as concerns linger that the Caribbean Forum countries might have been compromised in their negotiating abilities since the rounds of negotiations leading up to the 2008 Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between them and the European Union (EU) were in fact funded by the EU.She recently informed the 65-seat National Assembly, current negotiations between Caricom and Canada for a Trade and Development Agreement are being funded by the region.
New World Oil & Gas set to move on 'giant prospect'
New World Oil and Gas CEO, Bill Kelleher, tells Proactive Investors why he remains very excited about the firm's prospects in Belize, despite recent drilling disappointment in the country. He also explains the potential of the company's 'giant prospect' in Denmark, as well as talking about plans for a tie-up with a 'large European oil and gas company'.
Belize debt debacle nears end
Reuters is reporting that a committee representing major Belize bondholders has agreed to a debt exchange on the country's US$550 million “superbond” after almost a year of negotiations.
Committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old United States 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.
Under the deal put forward by the government, creditors would write off 10 percent of the value of the bonds, far less than the 45 percent haircut Belize had proposed as one of the original restructuring options.
The maturity of the bonds will be extended by nine years to 2038. The interest rate will be set initially at 5 percent for 4.5 years and stepping up to 6.788 percent for the remaining term, a reduction from the current 8.5 percent rate.
Glenford Ysaguirre, Belize's central bank governor, said the committee represented holders of 66 percent of the superbond's value. The remaining 34 percent is held by others, who must be dealt with individually by the Belize government, he added.
EXPLORING BELIZE: THE ADVENTURE
The skies are gray when we arrive in Belize—the season lingering somewhere between wet and dry, the only two seasons this country knows. It’s mid-January and a group of us—journalists from all types of publications: New York fashion blogs, outdoor adventure magazines—are here to test the latest products from Helly Hansen, Cascade Designs, Quiksilver, and, surprisingly, Microsoft. As a professional gear tester, it goes without saying that I’ve also brought a spectrum of previously received samples to test so that I can take advantage of the spring-like weather while it snows back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Exploring Belize: 10 Must-Have Pieces of Gear
Ali Carr Troxell visits the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, a noted Maya archeological site. Read about her trip here and then check out her list of 10 must-have pieces of gear for a perfect Belizean expedition.