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The San Pedro Sun

Water Main Breaks on Coconut Drive
This morning, Saturday May 4th at approximately 9AM a water main on Coconut Drive ruptured, not only flooding the road but causing it to collapse. Authorities were quick on the scene and repairs are underway. This also explains why the residents in the area are currently without water, as the source needed to be turned off in order to make repairs. It is uncertain how long the area will be without water but The San Pedro Sun will continue the updates as they become available.

Little Iguana Caye project halted
Department of the Environment (DOE), while on inspection at a dredging site near San Pedro Town, were informed of a project on Little Iguana Caye. The tiny, mangrove-covered islet is located ten miles northwest of Ambergris Caye and is one of several small islets that form a string of islands that have been designated as habitat for various species of birds. However, it appears development was in full gear and by all accounts from the various government ministries, it was an unsanctioned development and as such a stop order was issued. The verbal stop order was given on Thursday April 25th. Little-Iguana-CayeWhile Little Iguana Caye is home to hundreds of red ibises that nest atop the dense vegetation, it is privately owned. But that does not exempt the property owners from going through the proper channels to develop the property – and that was what DOE has maintained. Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer at the DOE says that the different government agencies were unaware of the development. “In the case of Little Iguana Caye there is no file. There is no application; there is nothing in our office regarding that undertaking. However, during the site visit again conducted, we realized that construction has started; I understand, it is a two-story, over-the-water structure which is even more of an issue in terms of development, you know. We issued a stop order, a verbal [order] right away because we don’t know anything about it. I don’t know if other agencies know about it.”

Juvenile Hawksbill Turtle undergoes flipper amputation
Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) staff has been caring for sick, weak and injured turtles under the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program. It is estimated that only one in one hundred hatchlings will survive to sexual maturity. On this note it is of upmost importance not only to protect but to conserve these precious species. Last year, HCMR took into their care, a juvenile Hawksbill Turtle that was found near Ambergris Caye’s beach. It was quickly noticed that the turtle was suffering problems with its left front flipper, but it was unknown whether the flipper had been broken or if it was a birth defect. According to Miguel Alamilla, Marine Biologist and Manager of HCMR, the turtle was taken into captivity and placed under observation, and as it grew, the flipper seemed to create a problem for the turtle’s mobility. “It has been in our care for over a year. Over time we noticed it wasn’t healing and we eventually decided to amputate the flipper since it was getting bigger but it couldn’t dive. We had a visiting vet who recommended the amputation,” stated Alamilla. The vet that recommended the amputation is Dr. Paul Calle. Dr. Calle is the Director of Zoological Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s main office in the Bronx, New York, USA.

National News: GOB lifts block on VOIP
As of May 1st, the years of blockage on Voice Over Internet Protocol service, commonly referred to as VOIP, will finally end. It was a campaign promise by the Barrow Administration in 2012 and now the state run telephone company, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has lifted the restriction on the service. The announcement was made by the Prime Minster of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow during his first quarterly meeting for 2013 which took place on Monday April 29th. With the lifting of the blockage on VOIP service internet users will be able to use Skype, Net2phone and Vonage to make their long distance calls for free. According to PM Barrow allowing VOIP will put an end to a long debate from different sectors and will give over 200,000 internet users subscribed to BTL internet a free service “At the end of this month (April 30th), BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. This will mean that the use of high speed internet services including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet – that there won’t be any restrictions whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. This of course will affect BTL’s revenues from it’s voice traffic tremendously… But the government needed to keep its commitment. Technology is moving so quickly that we would have been playing a losing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP,” said PM Barrow.

Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014
Congratulations Zillah Flota, Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014!

Misc Belizean Sources

Water Main Breaks on Coconut Drive
The main water pipe on Coconut Drive broke and the water pressure cause the street to burst open. Medina's Construction has been contacted and will start repairs immediately after Belize Water Services (BWS) works on the repairs and installation of the maine pipe. The affected area will be replaced with Cement Slabs rather than the cobble stones as it previously had.

The Belize Times

UDP IN-FIGHTING – Santi to Darrel: Bring it on!
There is another battle brewing in the UDP, remnants of the bad blood between Vega and Faber. Since the devastating loss, former chairman, Patrick Faber, is bruised and battered and seeking blood. All sorts of intra-party attacks have been launched against UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega and anyone in his camp. Back in March, the secretary general and staff at UDP headquarters threatened to resign. And now, a Faber sympathizer, Darrel Bradley has indicated interest in dethroning Vega-ally, Santino Castillo, in Caribbean Shores. Sounds like one big soap, doesn’t it. Bradley was the first to pull at Santi’s hair, when he issued a City Council stop order that brought a drainage project conducted by Central Government in Caribbean Shores to a halt. Bradley wasn’t invited to the opening of the project held by Santi, and he was mighty upset, we are told. While Santi was away on business, Bradley pulled what seems to be a cheap shot.

Red Eye Boy Gets Paid!
The BELIZE TIMES is reliably informed that on April 25th, 2013 an OFFICIAL WIRE TRANSFER OF BZ$1.6M WAS SENT TO A BANK ACCOUNT belonging to a company under the control of Ambassador Mark Espat, more well known to Belizeans as the RED EYE BOY!!

Barrow endorses sale of illegal Rosewood
The Barrow Administration has done a grave injustice to environmental efforts to protect the endangered Rosewood specie. Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted that there is a “political price to pay” but had ...

THINK ABOUT IT
It is a tragedy unlike any other of its kind. A young mother, age 22, kills three of her young children, ages 4, 3 and 1 year. Quite correctly it has sent shockwaves through the Belizean society. With all that we have been subjected to these past years-drastic increases in robberies, rapes, ...

Chalk and Cheese!
By G. Michael Reid Belizeans had an excellent opportunity this past Monday to compare differences between the leaders of our nation’s two major political parties. On Monday morning, Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca appeared as guest on Plus TV’s popular morning talk show “Rise and Shine”. Almost immediately following, ...

Editorial: Waiting To Exhale
At 8:30am on Saturday, April 27, the soul of all Belizeans became a little darker, sadder and culpable. The shock was one thing but the chilling reality that this incident happened in sweet, innocent, beautiful Belize is still sharply shameful despite the torrential news of daily sensational murders. The news flooded ...

Fabio Carballo wins U-18 table tennis championship
SJC’s Fabio Carballo won the 1st annual Don Omario Cup when by the Belize Table Tennis Association held its under-18 national table tennis tournament at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday April 27. Some 32 players ...

Belize Bank Blazers in women’s softball marathon
The Belize Bank Blazer won the all-day marathon which kicked off the 2013 Belize City women’s softball competition on Sunday, April 28. The Blazers stopped the Rebels 13-4. Kiri Lizama, Marsha Wills, Jolene Davis and Fiona Rivero ...

Belizeans dominate Cycling in Cozumel
Belizeans who participated in the annual Cedral Cycling Classic in Cozumel, Mexico over the weekend left a lasting impression on neighboring athletes. Kaya Cattouse won as female champion overall, while Team Santinos’ Jim Scott ...

Fantasia Espejo
There’s an old adage in politics that no publicity is bad publicity. However, it appears that there is one exception to that rule, as one city councilor has sunken to an all-time low in his zeal to seek attention. Readers may recall that a few weeks ...

KHMH denies “overtime payments” to former employees
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital administration, which was found guilty of misspending thousands of dollars by an oversight committee, is denying thousands of dollars in overtime payments to its former security guard employees. The hospital administration fired their on-staff security guards in January to privatize the security ...

AMAZING GRACE – Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do bad things happen to good people? It is a question most human beings have asked. It has no pat answers and cannot be solved with comfy, neat platitudes. Some people, in their pursuit of the solution to this question, have fallen into bitterness, anger, and even depression. Some ...

UB Faculty & Staff Association Sets the Record Straight
The University of Belize, Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA) would like to set the record straight on the issue of the CSB Payroll Audit and the call for an Independent Commission by the Prime Minister of Belize. Firstly, it is important to note that the UB audit is not ...

Why My Mother or Father Sold Me for a Dollar? ARREST THEM!
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph In my view, nothing is more vicious and outrageous than the abuse, exploitation, and harm of the most vulnerable members of our society, and I firmly believe that our nation’s laws and resources need to reflect the seriousness of these terrible crimes. –Bob Ney The sexual exploitation ...

National Bank of Belize Ltd – falling short?
The call for national banking is not new....in fact, it is decades old....and various angles of approach have been suggested....varying according to differing objectives. The PM must be congratulated that he has listened to this call...perhaps reinforced via negotiations with the unions....and is taking action. Still...we should collectively seek ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – The Toycie Syndrome!
In her well-known novel, Beka Lamb, pre-eminent Belizean novelists, Zee Edgell has as one of her characters, the teenage female Toycie Qualo, who suffers great disappointment in her final year of high school. This disappointment later drives Toycie mad and to her grave. As is well known, Toycie grew ...

Women who lead: lessons from the forgotten district
Machakila is a beautiful village in southern district of Toledo. Belizeans consider Toledo to be one of the most pristine parts of Belize. It is not listed in the most technologically advanced nor infrastructural ...

Why the Caye Chapel Deal went sour
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was careful not to shove his foot in his mouth when he discussed the Caye Chapel deal that sunk to the bottom of the sea. Barrow refused to say exactly why a million dollar investment plan went belly-up, and only said that the ...

Of this and that…
The Holy Reedemer Credit Union is an institution. When you say Credit Union, people think HRCU. Even though there are others. There is St. Francis Xavier Credit Union. St John’s Credit Union. There is Mount Carmel Credit Union. When you say HRCU we think Miss Jane. She is ...

Games at DPP’s Office
The BELIZE TIMES has received more troubling news out of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Information coming in to us is that in a recent case where a poor elderly man, Jose Anilla, from Valley of Peace was charged with having 12 bullets ...

PUP leader says discretion laws must go
While appearing on the PLUS TV’s Rise and Shine morning show, PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca signalled that as part of a robust reform agenda, the next PUP Government will do away with the sections of ...

Victimized workers sue BWS on eve of Labour Day
On the eve of Labour Day, five former Belize Water Services (BWS) employees sued the company in the Supreme Court of Belize alleging they were unlawfully terminated. The claim seeks loss salary and benefits. The workers also asked the Court for compensation for BWS’s breach of ...

PUP calls on “attitude of urgency” to address family issues
The People’s United Party expresses its shock and deep concern at the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded last weekend in which a mother took the lives of three of her four children and attempted to take her own. The Party believes that this unprecedented incident brings into sharp focus ...

GOB’s Carrot on a stick for Placencia residents
Dear Editor, This is a letter to the people of the Placencia Peninsula. On Saturday 27th April, the Ministry of Local Government, and high ranking officials from the Ministry of Finance and BWSL descended in mass to the Placencia Basketball Court. The entourage easily numbered (including Security) 25-40 persons. The “reason” behind ...

Blogs

A funny story about shopping in Belize by Tacoboy
Last night the Midtown Violets [Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas] were continuing their Spring in the South Tour and played at Pedro’s Hotel. Tacoboy was helping them get ready for the show that morning and they said the one thing they needed was microphone stands, so he set out to make that happen. It is not uncommon for people here to shop by phone, send the money to Belize City or put it in the businesses bank account and have what ever they just bought flown over on Tropic Air Cargo. Usually this works quite well but the following story is a funny account of what happened to tacoboy when he was shopping from one of the regular Belize City stores that Pedro’s Hotel buys things from. So we need 2 microphone stands for the girls playing on Friday night, and 2 new microphone cables also. I call the store in Belize City to find out how much for those items so we can write a cheque and send it by Airplane. I get that all done and sent over, and call them to make sure they got the cheque and to see what time we would receive the stands. They tell me the 11:30 flight over. Just after noon I call Tropic Cargo, nothing had arrived, so I check back with the store.

Empanadas en Español
Happy Cinco de Mayo. This video is dedicated to all my viewers who have been asking for me to make a video in Spanish. I don't think I'm really fluent in Spanish as I only know what I learned in First Form or 9th grade in Belize. I had fun doing this video though and hope you guys enjoy it.

“Keeps Gettin’ Better” in Ambergris Caye
Spent yesterday morning taking care of paying bills and helping Rose to finish off the spreadsheets detailing the wood colours we want and the tiles that we have chosen for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize that now need to be ordered from The Tile & Stone Center in Belize City. We hadn’t been finished too long when Daniel Camal, our building contractor, contacted us to let us know that they had made a door to the design we had asked for and it was ready to look at. So, we left the condo, got in the golf cart and went to Daniel’s workshop to find that the door exactly replicated what we want. Obviously in a ‘virgin’ state, it, along with the others that will now be made, will be stained to our chosen colour. After ‘signing off’ the door Rose and I headed straight to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 2.30 pm to be greeted by Porfelio sifting sand at the entrance to our lot.

International Sources

U.S. And Canadian Military Medical Personnel Work Together In Belize
U.S. and Canadian military medical personnel partnered to provide comprehensive dental services at the Punta Gorda Hospital annex here during a dental readiness training exercise scheduled from April 22 through May 2. The 11-day medical mission, part of an ongoing exercise called New Horizons, provides dental services consisting of oral hygiene education, teeth cleanings, fillings, root canals and extractions. The team also has the capability to provide partial dentures, known as teeth restorations. Senior Airman William Cochran, dental laboratory technician from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., found job satisfaction during his first deployment despite the increased responsibilities. ”Even though the workload is crazy fast and working at two and a half times what I would be working at back home, I am loving it,” said Cochran. “People come to the clinic with no teeth and I am able to give them their life back essentially. I help give them a brand new smile.” The dental team, made up of 34 U.S. Air Force personnel from Offutt and Keesler Air Force Bases and two Canadian Army Forces personnel from Canadian Forces Bases Shilo in Manitoba and Petawawa in Ontario, worked together to provide patient care. Canadian Army Sgt. Line Plante, dental technician from Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba, felt she was able to contribute to the mission in an area she was most familiar. ”When we first got here, it was a little unclear what our role in the mission was,” Plante said. “I am most comfortable in the dental surgery area, so I was able to jump right in and assist the resident doctors with the tools they need to accomplish their job.” One of the main challenges the team overcame was an insufficient power supply for their dental equipment.