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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The March 31st, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Zamir Guerra Makes Us All Proud:
    Santa Elena’s 16 year old Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road Cycling Team shattered the record to be crowned the new Junior Cross Country Cycling champion of Belize. With 19 riders participating, the 14th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic got underway at 9:00 am on Sunday March 24, from the village of San Jose Succotz on the George Price Highway for the 72 mile ride to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports, mile one just outside Belize City. Guerra completed the race in three hours, 34 minutes and 38 seconds leaving the chase group a whopping 12 minutes behind and in the process crushing the record set six years ago by Byron Pope. Although he is young in age, Guerra has been riding for the past four years competing in other youth races. This is however, his first time in the Junior Cross Country Classic.
  • Roni Banos Crowned Best Reggaeton Artist in Belize:
    Good things have been happening in Santa Elena, Cayo: The reigning Cross Country Champion comes from Santa Elena; The current Junior Cross Country Champion hails from Santa Elena and the Reggaeton Superstar also comes….. you got that right ……..from Santa Elena. The circle would have been complete if only our Dream Marching Band would have been, last Saturday, crowned Band Fest be competed if we recapture the garland in this Holy Saturday’s Cross Country Classic. Santa Elena’s Reggaeton superstar Roni Banos has been crowned the 2013 Best Reggaeton Artist at the third annual Belize Music Awards held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Bliss Center for the performing arts in Belize City.
  • Two Alleged Rapists Continue In Uniform:
    The news began spreading like wild fire on Sunday morning of the Saturday night brutal raping, by two policemen, of a woman from Bullet Tree Falls Village, Cayo. Given the implications of the grave betrayal of the public trust, we moved swiftly to check into this matter and found that such a report indeed existed. There was also the simultaneous indication of the attempt to cover up the allegation at the highest local level of the police in San Ignacio. The incident began at around 4:00 pm when a first report was received at the Bullet Tree substation which is manned by elements of the Special Patrol Unit on weekly and sometimes bi-weekly rotation mostly for the purposes of anti drugs and anti contraband activities from across the border in the Peten Area of Guatemala.
  • Left at the Altar…Again?:
    Contributed by: Karla Heusner. I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a real sense of deja-vu in the latest communication from the Guatemalan government regarding the long-standing territorial claim. Despite their previous bravado about being more than willing to take the issue to the International Court of Justice, it seems they are reverting—once more—to their previous pattern of stalling, postponing, and giving every excuse they can come up with to keep from participating in the agreed-to referendum in October. Yes, my friends, we have on our hands, once more, a runaway groom… The most recent proposals from the Guatemalans shared with us by the Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have done little to improve my confidence in Guatemala’s good faith stance. As of this writing, their latest proposals ask Belize to change our referendum law to require a simple majority vote, and then they would agree to honor the agreement to hold the referenda simultaneously. Their second proposal is that they would wait and see if our people vote “Yes,” then they would hold their referendum.
  • Ambergris Caye Wins 2013 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands Award:
    Ambergris Caye as the top recipient of the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands awards. These awards honor top islands around the world, based entirely on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. In total, more than 100 winning islands were named across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. Honourable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Culture, said, “We are delighted that Ambergris Caye of Belize has been recognized as the world’s top island in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards. We would like to thank all the travelers who have made this win possible, simply by sharing their love of Ambergris Caye with the TripAdvisor travel community. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to our paradise this year and beyond.”
  • Leave The Rest To God:
    Submitted By: Ernestine Patnett. This is a beautiful and touching story of love and perseverance. Well worth the read. At the prodding of my friends I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Honor and I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines, Iowa, USA. I have always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons - something I have done for over 30 years. During those years I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the pleasure of having a prodigy, I have taught some very talented students.
  • Belize Rejects Guatemalan Proposals:
    The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today informed that after having reviewed the proposals by the Republic of Guatemala as presented in writing on 17th March, 2013 to Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, for the parties to consider postponement of the referenda for an indefinite period or for Belize to proceed on its own to hold a referendum on the agreed date, has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety. The Government of Belize notes that tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution that would bring to a definitive end Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize, and that the failure of these attempts is what led to the signing of the Special Agreement by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on 8th December, 2008.
  • Colombian Police Seize Cocaine Stashed In Bricks:
    Police in Colombia say they have seized half a tonne of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bricks. Officers said the drugs had a value of $1.7m (£1.1m) - and were intended for the US. The cocaine was found stashed inside the cargo in the Colombian port city of Cartagena. Police are investigating the construction firm behind the shipment, which they suspect was set up solely for the purpose of smuggling drugs. The shipment was destined for Honduras, from where police believe the cocaine would have been smuggled to the United States.
  • Mexico Uncovers Ancient Pelota Courts At Tajin Site:
    Archaeologists in Mexico say they have uncovered three ancient playing fields at a pre-Hispanic site in the eastern state of Veracruz. They found the courts, dating back some 1,000 years, at the Tajin World Heritage site by using laser scanners. They believe the fields would have been used to play pelota, a game in which players used their hips to propel a rubber ball through stone hoops. The sport was widely played by Mayan and other pre-Columbian people. Experts from the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) said the use of aerial photography, remote sensors and laser scanners had made it possible to find the ancient structures, hidden by layers of soil and dense vegetation.
  • Tv Time 'Does Not Breed Badly Behaved Children':
    Spending hours watching TV or playing computer games each day does not harm young children's social development, say experts. The Medical Research Council (MRC) team who studied more than 11,000 primary school pupils says it is wrong to link bad behaviour to TV viewing. Although researchers found a small correlation between the two, they say other influences, such as parenting styles, most probably explain the link. But they still say "limit screen time". This cautionary advice is because spending lots of time in front of the TV every day might reduce how much time a child spends doing other important activities such as playing with friends and doing homework, they say.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Too young to get married?
Someone has accepted a marriage proposal. Now she's worried that she may be getting married too soon...

National News: Belize-Guatemala Referendum scheduled for October 6th in limbo
The simultaneous Belize-Guatemala Referendum scheduled for October 6th is in limbo after the Republic of Guatemala has made two proposals. These were presented to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza on March 7th and completely diverted from the Special Agreement signed by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on December 8, 2008. Both the Government of Belize (GOB) and Belize’s main opposition party, People’s United Party (PUP), have rejected Guatemala’s proposals. The referendum came about as part of the compromise made between Guatemala and Belize, following several rounds of failed negotiations in an effort to peacefully settle Guatemala’s territorial claim over a portion of Belize. Speaking at the sitting of The House of Representative on Thursday March 21st, Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington disclosed the proposal in addressing the parliament as a matter of national importance. “The first proposal is that they (Guatemala) wanted us (Belize) to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation will be identical to theirs in terms of the requirements for the referendum to be successful – just a simple majority vote. They said that if we did that, if we amended our legislation to confirm with theirs, they would then be prepared to agree on another date when we could hold simultaneous referenda. They were not prepared to indicate when that date would be and they were not even prepared to give a timeline. The second proposal was that we would go ahead as planned, have our referendum on October 6, and if we had a successful ‘yes’ vote at that referendum, then they would prepared to hold their referendum at a date not later than the end of June 2014,” said Elrington.

Letter to the Editor: Regarding the Lionfish Invasion
I wanted to share some of the recent information we have been finding regarding the lionfish invasion that is threatening to severely damage to our eco-system and sequentially our tourism and livelihood. We are hosting another lionfish tournament in May and are hoping this information will inspire the people of San Pedro and the fishing and diving community of Belize to get on board with the efforts to help eradicate this escalating crisis. Here are a list of facts that were pulled from THE REEF website. The Reef.Org is an organization of divers and marine enthusiasts committed to ocean conservation. As you can surmise by the information presented below, we need to act and act now. We are asking the community to help us continue the fight with any donations for fuel for the fisherman and divers, for prizes to motivate people to participate in the tournament, and to begin to request restaurants add lionfish to their menu, creating a regular demand for the product.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Little Pills
Now, why would a little 86-year-old need 10 Viagra pills cut up into 6 pieces each?

Misc Belizean Sources

Episode 4 of Loving Belize 'The Guatemalan Claim to Belize'
In this episode we looking at the Guatemalan Claim to Belize. The history and how it came about, and how different people in Belize are reacting to it today. I follow Darrell Bradley as he tries to encourage peace between the two countries by signing a Sister-ship agreement between Belize City and San Bentio Guatemala. With interviews from: COLA's Giovanni Bracket Journalist and activist. Darrell Bradley Mayor of Belize City. Sonia Rivera Mayor of San Benito Guatemala. With the point of view from two young Hiphop artists and students in Belize City, Saga the next Chapter and D Whizzel.

Allen Martinez shot in San Pedro
The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that an individual socializing on the beach in midtown San Pedro was confronted by a lone individual and shot. The victim fled to the Barrier Reef Drive area where he collapsed. He was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where transportation to Belize City has been arranged. The San Pedro Sun will post updates as they develop. The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that the shooting victim is Allen Martinez of Jungle Street in Belize City. Martinez is in serious condition and in the progress of being transported to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City.

The process of dying
It is considered taboo to talk about death and dying, but after watching my father slowly pass away, I wish I had had more information about what to expect. So I will share my experience here. It is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced, as I have never before in living memory watched a person die. Some of it was shocking, some of it was unexpected, some of it I wished I had known about before so I could have done some things differently, not the least of which was making sure my father was as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. When I indicated to my father that I was on the way to Miami from Malta and would be relieving Silvia as his carerer, he responded with an email saying "change of deathbed chaperone". He already knew death was imminent. It is US that didn't know. One week or so before his death, my father was admitted to the University of Miami Hospital. This was not his of his doing, he did this to appease US, his family members who were begging him to try something ... anything... to rid himself of the disease. By this time, I am sure he was already prepared for and expecting death. But, he agreed to it still because he loved us and saw that WE were suffering.

Sawdust Art Project Pictures
The Sawdust Art Project that they had in Benque for Good Friday was fun for all. Check out some of the sawdust murals they came up with. "On Good Friday, many families and friends in Benque Viejo Town work on these colorful saw dust tapestries during the course of the day. In the Evening there is a large solemn procession called the "Santo Entierro" where 3 adorned floats make their way through the saw dust designed streets."

Belize Wins Mr. & Ms. Pacifico and Caribe
Congratulations to Jhoshi Valencia, who won while representing Belize at the Mr. and Ms. Pacifico and Caribe pageant yesterday. "Jhoshi Alexander Valencia represented Belize at the Mister & Miss Pacifico & Caribe Pageants in Peten, Guatemala on March 30, 2013 and came away with the crown - Belize's first in an international male pageant."

'School in a Box' in Calla Creek
Feelgood news of the day. 4 the World sent a student group down to Cayo for their 'School in a Box' program, where they hand out school supplies, and engage the students in art and learning activities. Thanks, 4 the World! "4 The World volunteers delivering school supplies, books and computers to schools in Belize."

Stations of the Cross in Cayo
San Ignacio also had a Stations of the Cross procession for Good Friday at Sacred Heart Church. Patrick Jones was there to cover the event. "The Sacred Heart Parish in San Ignacio town presented a most dramatic display of the Stations of the Cross. The role of Christ Jesus was played by parish priest Reverend Lorenzo Exheveria. By all accounts, it was a spectacular presentation."


Easter Weekend 2013: Ambergris Caye, Belize Likes to Party
As someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, Easter Eve is as big as New Year’s Eve here in San Pedro. After the Good Friday alcohol ban expires at 12:15am Saturday morning, the drinking and binge partying begin. Water taxis on double duty and planes packed with revelers arrive full on Thursday and Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday are non-stop beach parties, dance contests, live music and DJs, beer promotions and all sorts of late night events. I can’t…just can’t do the Saturday night parties until 5am (my stilettos, alas, are at the cobbler’s), so I thought I’d stroll into town to check out the day time bash. Yesterday was a gorgeous day and there were plenty of people on the beaches on the way into town. Banyan Bay had some speakers and an outside bar. People hanging out on the dock at Ramon’s Village. Some visitors have asked me if it is “too crowded” at this time of year. These pictures are as crowded as it gets. The only real crowds are in the very town center… The Holiday Hotel was setting up outside stages and tents and closing in their outside deck for the night time party.

Belize is the World’s Best Diving and Snorkeling Spot
Tiny Belize’s mainland beckons with lush jungle canopy, palm-tangled Mayan ruins, and diverse wildlife. Still, this Central American jewel is best known for its snorkeling and diving sites along hundreds of cayes, atolls and a 185-mile barrier reef – second in size only to Australia’s. Abundant sea life and colorful corals fill the turquoise waters, are easily accessible and welcome divers and snorkelers of all experience levels. Dive tours generally last 2 hours or less, other tour options include live-aboard dive boats, which offer week-long trips featuring 2 to 3 daily dives. From the busy north of Belize to the sleepy south, here are our choices for the best marine meanderings.

International Sources

Jungle luxe: a recipe for agritourism done right
“Strip! Strip,” my guide encourages me. “Faster! Slower!” It sounds like pole-dancing camp, but I’m actually learning how to fly-fish. We’re standing knee-deep in azure water about nine metres off Nicolas Caye, a private island on the southern tip of Belize’s barrier reef. I’m rapidly “stripping” the line to lure the bonefish I can see in the distance. What’s most surprising is that I’m catching them. Nicolas Caye, part of the Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve, is owned by Belcampo, the luxurious jungle resort where I’m staying. Belcampo’s general manager is Mara Jernigan, a Canadian who previously operated Fairburn Farm, the renowned culinary retreat/working water buffalo dairy farm on Vancouver Island. She has helped transform this former fishing lodge, with its 12 cottages scattered across the peak of a tall, jungle-clad hill beside the Rio Grande, into a massive eco-retreat encompassing a 1,200-hectare farm within a 4,800-hectare rain-forest preserve.

Graveyard Of Cool: Cell Phones Throughout The Years:
So, you think that iPhone in your hand is pretty cool, huh? Well, it is, but don't fool yourself, guy. One day in the not too distant future it'll look as silly as this library of once cutting edge mobile tech. So, enjoy -- for now. All captions are from the original photos, and are mostly unaltered.

Seeds of suicide
Monsanto’s talk of ‘technology’ tries to hide its real objectives of control over seed where genetic engineering is a means to control seed. “Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more.” “Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.” These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply — 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto. Control over seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers.

Service and sustainability on the syllabus for spring break
Imagine a class that required attendance every day of spring break—only instead of sitting at a desk studying, students are spending 10 days in Belize learning sustainability at a global level. CMGT 497 Social Responsibility in Construction Management involves not only class time and homework, but also a week-long trip to northern Belize for a cross-departmental collaborative development project. The trip this year was themed “healthy lifestyles,” a topic that isn’t widely discussed in a community that suffers from inadequate nutrition and water quality issues. The program is called a Peace Village, where multiple departments from universities go into communities and create long-term relationships. This is Boise State’s first collaborative effort in this direction. The colleges of Health Science, Engineering, Education and Honors have faculty leading this course, and the 22 students who attended the service trip represent a variety of disciplines. “It’s amazing when you have an engineering student working on developing a garden plan with a health sciences student, sitting next to an environmental sciences student. It really engages the power of the students. It’s way cool,” said Tony Songer, professor and chair in the Department of Construction Management.