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#465859 - 06/04/13 11:58 AM Today's Belize News: June 4, 2013
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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 San Pedro Sun

Placencia fishermen diversifying from fishing to seaweed farming
Placencia village is known as a tourism destination but back in the 50’s and up to the early 90’s, it was known as a thriving fishing community. In fact, fishing became the main revenue for the area so much so that in 1962 fishermen from the area formed the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited (PPCSL). In the mid 80’s the PPCSL grew to over 100 members. Also growing at the time was the local and international demand for fishery products and by the mid 80’s fishing yielded 50,000 pounds of whole fish, 75,000 pounds of conch and 40,000 pounds of lobster tail per year. With unregulated extraction of fishery products, along with the demands of a growing tourism community, production began to decline. In an effort to diversify, in 2005 the community fishermen began exploring the possibility of seaweed (Euchuma isoforme and Gracelaria spp) production. But how exactly does the seaweed farming operate? According to PPCSL Chairman Sydney Lopez Jr., the seaweed farming project is a module adopted from another Caribbean country that is doing a similar project with seaweed taken from the wild in Belize. “Some people from Saint Lucia came to Belize in the mid-2000’s and took live seaweed from Belize to work on a pilot project and now they have a market and industry from it. They came back to Belize in 2005 and showed us how they were doing it and we thought it would be a good idea to diversify. We saw a constant decline in the [supply of] traditional marine products [despite an increased demand] and so we saw the seaweed project as an opportunity to diversify.” After submitting a proposal in 2010 to the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT), the PPCSL was awarded an 18 month grant in the amount of $90,000 to start off the project.

The Island Academy graduates 5
Five young girls walked the aisle on Friday, May 31st to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance at The Island Academy school grounds. They have completed their primary school education, and look forward to their new experience in high school. Ilynn Camal, Danni Hannah, Stephanie Keating, Kaylee Kumul and Leeanne Vega were the honorees at the 2013 graduation ceremonies. As per usual, precluding the graduation speeches was an awards ceremony for all the students from beginners to standard five.Each teacher awarded their top students in the various categories, including academics and citizenship and most improved. Proud parents looked on as their children were awarded certificates and encouraged to keep up the good work.

Ambergris Today

Chelsea Muñoz is New Miss San Pedro High School
Eight lovely and intelligent contestants, a jam packed auditorium, an ecstatic cheering audience, and a lively spirit of friendly pageantry completion, San Pedro High put on its greatest spectacle ever on Saturday, June 1, 2013. Ambergris Today was invited to be there and brings to you the highlights of the spectacular event. An impressive opening dance by the eight lovely contestants set the mood for a grand show as all eight very fluent contestant introduced themselves. Competing for the title of Miss San Pedro High were Veronica Choc, Miriam Palacio, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran and Chelsea Muñoz.

Belize’s Great Blue Hole Nominated for "8th Wonder of the World" Vote Now
The Belize Tourism Board is elated to announce the submission of Belize's Great Blue Hole, as the "8th Wonder of the World", a title which can only be achieved with your help! Visible from outer space and more than 1,000ft in diameter & 412ft deep, the Great Blue Hole is a breathtakingly grandiose sinkhole located 43 miles off the coast of Belize, known as a diver's mecca. Belize has long been an escape for the free-spirited traveler seeking phenomenal wonders in an alluring and authentic setting. Through Trip Advisor's partner site, "Virtual Tourist", and in collaboration with the esteemed American Television Show "EXTRA", Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers; a win that gives us major publicity for our beautiful country.

Pic of the Week: Frigate Bird Feeding at The Office Bar & Grill
It does not take place every day, but on your lucky day you can get to see this spectacular feeding of the Frigate Birds at The Office Bar and Grill. When Maribel Avilez, cook at The Office, has saved up enough chicken skin and scraps, she heads to the end of the dock and calls the Frigate birds. They come out of nowhere; there is not even one bird in sight, but they manage to smell the food and spot Maribel throwing it into the surrounding sea. What happens next is pretty amazing. Maribel is flocked by hundreds of birds that swoop down to feed, almost eating out of her hand. You can watch from afar, because some bird droppings can surprise you as you watch the spectacle.

Misc Belizean Sources

Natural tourism in one of Belize's poorest villages Arenal
Well, first of all we’re citizens of the village of Arenal in Belize, Central America. Arenal is one of the poorest villages in the country and it has a special appearance within this area: We’re on the Guatemalan border – half of the village is Belizean and the other half is Guatemalan. The football court in the middle is the border – there is no immigration, no border facility, just a hanging bridge across the river (already on the Guatemalan side) and it’s one of 2 connections to civilization. Due to this special status it always seems a little bit as if both governments have forgotten us a long time ago. Politicians then are interested in us some days before elections and get very busy to make us believe they would now start to do something but the day after elections they all disappear and promises are gone. The good news of our special location is that we’re very natural, original, basic but not primitive, very traditional and we’re bi-lingual.

The Mayan Mound Maulers
by Mr. Compton Fairweather. The archaeological history of Belize over the last 200 years illustrates that “Mayan mound maulers” – a phrase coined by Dr. Norman Hammond of Boston University who worked in the ruins of Noh Mul and Santa Rita in the mid 1970’s – were in this country along with those who raped and pillaged our forest of its natural resources even before slavery was introduced to our shores. The most notorious of those who destroyed Mayan mounds was Dr. Thomas Gaan (1867-1938), an Irish medical doctor in Belize whose hobby was archaeology. His method was to use dynamite to open up mounds (he opened about 60 of them) in search of artifacts. He was not interested in documenting the history of the civilization that occupied them. Dr. Gaan loved to sketch the artifacts he found posing with some of them for photographs, many of these artifacts are at the Museum of Mankind at Burlington Gardens in London. He did extensive work at Santa Rita in the Corozal District, the ancient Mayan capital of which is now Quitana Roo during the classic period.

3rd Annual 2013 Corkers Golf World Cup
The 2013 Corkers World Cup Golf Tournament took place on June 1st at a re-hydrated Roaring River Golf Course, with the fairways and putting surfaces glowing a succulent shade of green after the recent rains. All bodes well for the RF&G Belize Amateur Open on June 22nd/23rd. Don't forget to sign up before the tournament. We will not be accepting entries on the day of the competition. Deadline to sign up Thursday 20th June. See flyer below. Back to the Corkers World Cup. Thks to all the sponsors, especially Geoff and Sam from Corkers Restaurant and Bar. Thks to all the other sponsors who made this event possible. Quality Poultry, Tropigas, Premium Wines and Spirits and Hot Mamas.

BCVI at the Agricultural Show
Every year, in April or May, Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture holds the National Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital Belmopan. What started out decades ago as a small, simple show about farm...

Discovering Young Leaders Programme
If you are between the years of 15 and 25, you can apply for the Discovering Young Leaders Programme from the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Program. The DYLP starts on the 5th of August, and goes for 7 weeks. The application deadline is the 30th of June. The Commonwealth Youth Programme is celebrating 40 years of youth development this year. Email dylp@cyponline.org for more information, or go to the following link:

St. Michael's Gets New Building
Feelgood news of the day. St. Michael's Primary School got a new standard 6 building. Thanks, BIWG, and all the other volunteers! "This is a beautiful story that shows what we can do when we work together! The need for a new classroom brought together the women of the BIWG, Enrique (Kiko) Escalante of Vision Builders, Joe Mena of Wood Stop, the teachers and the parents of the Standard Six students of St. Michael's Primary School in Las Flores, Belmopan. Cash donations to purchase the lumber, free labour to construct the classroom that has a beautiful finish, parents, students and teachers working together on the weekends and mothers who prepared food for the working crew - a great formula for success! And so today, BIWG formally handed over this new classroom to the boys and girls of Std. VI and to Principal Mrs. Sanchez and Teacher Carl Cardinez. These students were very happy to be out of cramped quarters and especially happy that they were the first class to occupy this room!"

Observation Tower at Maya First
They have an observation tower at the Maya First Organization on the road to San Antonio. They just released a panoramic video from the top, which is 100 feet up. Awesome views! "WHO WANTS TO GO UP TO 100 FT. I'm willing are you?"

St. Ignatius Night Class Graduation
St. Ignatius had a graduation this weekend too. Their night class had their graduation ceremony at the Octavia Waight Centre. Congratulations, graduates! "Exclusive Sound Ent. provided the PA system for this remarkable event! Go Light Your World . . . hots off to these grads!"

Channel 7

Police: Serial Robbers Escalated To Murder
Belmopan police continue to detain 3 men, one of whom is only 15 years-old, for a robbery which led to the death of a Salvadoran man residing on the outskirts of the capital city. The deceased and his boss tried to rescue the owner of the bar they were socializing at. Daniel Ortiz tried to find out what caused the men to want to come to the aid of the owner, which is just a stone’s throw away from their workplace. Here’s that story. Daniel Ortiz reporting La Choza Bar looked deserted today when we visited the scene where the Salvadorans, 43 year-old Isabel Antonio Ballona and 55 year-old Manuel Aquino, were shot by robbers who executed a coordinated attack against the bar owner. Early Sunday morning, both men were at the establishment enjoying their time together as employer and employee who were off the clock when 4 armed men attacked the business place. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "Police responded to a call at around 12:10am Sunday. They visited a business establish on west side Belmopan where they found two male hispanic persons on the ground who were then taken to the Western Regional Hospital. Initial investigation reveal that the manager of the business establishment reported to the police that while he was there along with his waitresses and customers they were acosted by four male persons who ordered the manager of the establishment to go on the ground and proceeded to rob him and his business establishment. While the robbery was taking place - the now deceased and the other victim who are a patron of the establishment went to aid the manager when the robbers fired a couple shots and caught both of them.

2 Of The Baptist Men Critically Shot; Cling To Life
Tonight, 44 year-old Melvin Baptist, and his nephew, 24 year-old Arthur Baptist continue to receive treatment at the KHMH after they were shot on Saturday night just before 7:30. The family has declined an interview, but they told us that both men were inside Melvin Baptist’s barber shop on Neal’s Pen Road along with 2 women and another relative. They were all watching the Miami Heat’s basketball game when 2 men on bicycles rode up, fired indiscriminately at everyone, and fled. Both Baptist men were struck in the head, and the family rushed them to the KHMH. According to the family, Arthur Baptist's injury was the more serious. The bullet struck him in the left side of the head, and it splintered inside his brain. According to them, the latest report from the doctor is that the brain is swelling, and he is being given medication to try to reverse this. Arthur Baptist's chances of survival improved from 10 to 50% over the weekend, but he remains in critical condition along with his uncle who is suffering from an entry and exit wound. Police say that they are seeking 2 men for this shooting.

GOB Continue Talks On NCL Proposal
Last week, 7News showed you the position from Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Cabinet Committee Chair Minister Godwin Hulse on the continued discussion to possibly develop cruise tourism in Southern Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line has tabled a proposal before Government in which they want to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye to access Placencia. As has widely been reported, local private cruise interests, the BTIA, and organizations within the environmental community in Belize are staunchly against it, and they’ve gone as far as to condemn it. GOB says that given that this investment could be no less than 100 million dollars, they have an obligation at least discuss this with NCL. Today, the Cabinet Committee tasked to hear the proposal met at the BTB office in Belize to discuss its environmental aspects. 7News waited outside the office to speak with them, and when they came out, they chose not to disclose much until the Cabinet is aware of their findings. Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News "We've been hearing that Crawl Caye is a bust. What's the story Norwegian Cruise after this meeting today?"

OAS Member States Assemble In Guatemala
The Organization of American States, the OAS, is having it’s 43rd General Assembly in Antigua. The meeting starts tomorrow with more than 1,000 officials from 36 international delegations and 28 Foreign Ministers. It’s a major regional meeting and topping the agenda is the debate on drug policy. That discussion was blown open at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia last year, and that’s what the Secretary General of the OAS was tasked to produce a report to propose alternative strategies to combat drug trafficking. He has tabled that 35 page report for the meeting, and he discussed it at a press conference this afternoon in Antigua. Miguel Insulza - OAS Secretary (Translated into Enlgish) "They asked me first of all to provide an objective report on the situation on the issue of drugs in the Americas. Secondly they asked me to do a research of the possible scenarios that could happen if certain decisions were taken and what would happen. What they asked me not to do was to suggest a policy because they were going to decide that because that starts now. What we expect to get from here? We expect to obtain - as they said we can continue to dialogue as long as that is a framework to search for ideas for we should re-orient the drug policy but above a framework for dialogue. A dialogue that will win the frame work of the Interamerican system to rethink the drug strategy in our continent."

Mayor Bradley Signs Sister City Agreement With Merida
And while a Belize Delegation left for Antigua Guatemala today, between Last week Wednesday and Friday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was in Merida Yucatan, Mexico. The Belize Honorary Consul in Chetumal, Mayor Bradley, and a delegation from the Belize City Council, met with their counterparts in Merida. They finally formalized a strategic partnership between the two municipalities. Speaking in the forum, Mayor Bradley reminded that Belize and Merida share a long relationship in regards to trade and medical tourism. Mayor Bradley along with the Mayor of Merida, Renan Barrera Concha, signed a letter of intent to establish a Sister City Relationship in the near future. Bradley also met with the Secretary of State of Economic Development, David Alpizar Carrillo, and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss different types of products they would like to export to Belize.

Salvadoran Killed In A Hit And Run
At the top of Newscast, 7News told you about the Robbery turned murder in Belmopan. Well, around the same time, officers from Belmopan also had to respond to a fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of 32 year old Saldvadoran Mario Ortega Dominguez. The Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez told the media all the information that police had about this hit and run. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "We had a fatal hit and run, traffic accident basically around the same time the incident happened at the establishment. The person has been identified as Mario Ortega, he's a Salvadoranian and lives in Young Bank in the Camalote Village. Earlier he was with his family and friends at an establishment where they were playing some football and he was on his way to Belmopan City when unfortunately he was hit by a vehicle heading towards Belmopan and he died on the spot. I am just asking the public for information pertaining to the accident to kindly assist us." Reporter "No leads so far?" ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "No leads at the present moment but I have my officers, likewise, hunting the vehicle." Anyone with information is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Festival Of Arts, Back Again
Once again, it's time for the National Festival of Arts- a fun way to encourage creativity and incorporate the arts into the school curriculum. This year's opening ceremony was held at the Bliss Center for the performing arts and it was followed by a big art jamboree. 7news was there to capture the moment. Kim Vasquez - Porgram Officer "We have participation of six booths and groups, including some schools from across the country. For example we have a school from Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk here visiting with us, we also have Gulisi Primary School from Dangriga and we The Center of Learning from Punta Gorda and they are joined by the Creole Council, Garfiuna Council. As well some other groups that will be doing some demonstrations and some fun activities within the expressive arts. It's open and free to all students, children and they are welcome to stop by anytime today we are here until 3pm. Also to support the entire calendar of events that we have in the National Festival of Arts. Our showcase for Primary school begins this Wednesday and throughout Friday at 10am everyday at the Bliss, those are the Primary Schools and on Thursday we have the Youth and Amateur showcase at 6pm and on Friday we have a concert called Chords and Voices and you can get your tickets here at the Bliss."

Second Inspiration Telethon Meets Quota
The Special Envoy for Women and Children once again teamed up with Care Belize On Saturday to host the second nationwide telethon to raise funds to complete and equip the Inspiration Center. Telephone lines were buzzing off the hooks all day long as Belizeans made pledges to support the initiative. Also donation booths were place in strategic locations countrywide in hopes of reaching their main goal which was five hundred thousand dollars. By six o’clock on Saturday evening when the phone lines were coming to a close they were still about 90 thousand dollars short of reaching the 500 thousand dollar goal. But one lucky millionaire came out to the event with his checkbook in hand and generously wrote a cheque for ninety two thousand dollars. Here’s how that last minute contribution went. Kim Simplis Barrow - Special Envoy for Women/Children "It started out a little slow and so by midday we had raised like a $100,000 but throughout the afternoon it started picking up more and more and of course the excitement came all the way to the end when we were down about a $100,000 when Mr. Jack Charles came and made that surprise donation so that really helped us to reach the goal of the $500,000. Those moments are always moments that touch you the most because those are children that are doing things for other children who can do absolutely nothing for them. Those are the moments when we really get emotional because they come and bags with one cents and five cents that they've been saving.

Belize Female U-17 Team Trampled By Guatemala
On Sunday, the National Female U-17 Selection played their return match of the World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala. Well, the girls played bravely against the technically superior team, but in the end they lost with a final score of 7 to nil. The fans looked on in disappointment, as one by one the Guatemala loaded the goals up on Belize, ending it 1 goal less than the game in Guatemala. We spoke to the National Team coach about what caused such a performance: Mr. Kent Gabourel - Head Coach "Well our weakness, watching both games - we only had 15 days to train together as a team so there was a lot of weakness, conditions and techniques, the field - especially when it comes to the goalkeepers we invited the players to come for the tryout, nobody came out as goalkeeper so we tried to work with what we had. I should say that I am satisfied with what they have done because I know that we could have done better but if we had the amount of time. We made a lot of attack where we could have scored three or four goals. We had clear opportunity but I would say experience wise caught them up and they started to get tired. After they got tired they started to loose their position and the girls from Guatemala had more conditions, more ball work, techniques and passing and we have to be chasing and they got over us with that. The tournament was too short and the Federation decided to sign up but I think we should be preparing longer and have playing practice matches. We didn't have any opportunity to play any practice match and that really took a lot from us and I think we should have more practice match internationally, right over to Chetumal to get the girls them used to it."

Can Belizean Boxers Measure Up Internationally?
And while the disappointing outcome in that game was – to some extent – expected, Belize can redeem its national pride on Friday. That’s when a contingent of Guatemalan Boxers will be visiting to take on the best Boxers Belize has to offer. We went to Leopold Smart Gym yesterday to find out more. Leopold Smart, Trainer, Leopold Smart Boxing Gym "But I know the level that he set up, any amateur you can bring for Smart Gym" Reporter "They know that four Central American champions are coming" Leopold Smart " Yes but we aren't afraid want to be the Champion and because we need to get better we don't need to only go to Chetumal. We want good fighters." Reporter "There are four Central American champions coming and obviously you will have to face them, are you ready for this level?"

Channel 5

No Crawl Caye for Norwegian Cruise Line
A Cabinet subcommittee met today at the Belize Tourism Board to discuss the Norwegian Cruise Line’s tourism project for Crawl Caye which is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The [...]

Robbery and murder in Las Flores, Belmopan
A robbery at a bar in Las Flores, Belmopan turned deadly for one of two patrons. The incident happened just past midnight on Saturday. There were at least four persons [...]

Uncle and nephew shot in barbershop
Two relatives were shot over the weekend and one of them is clinging to life and the other is in critical condition. On Saturday night at around seven-twenty p.m., twenty-four [...]

Salvadoran national knocked down and killed in Belmopan
Just minutes after forty-three year old Isabel Antonio Ballona was being killed by armed robbers at the La Choza del Cabrito Bar, another Salvadoran national also lost his life when [...]

The 43rd Annual Assembly of the O.A.S. to be held in Antigua, Guatemala
The Organization of American States will be meeting in Antigua, Guatemala beginning this Tuesday. Among the twenty-eight of thirty-four foreign ministers who will be in Antigua is Belize’s Foreign Minister, [...]

Gapi and Imer Hernandez long and winding road to San Antonio
Imer Hernandez – he’s the man at the center of the San Antonio Road controversy in Orange Walk Town. The nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Hernandez drew media [...]

Gapi’s Imer Hernandez gets contract for Belmopan Market
While that’s very likely the last we’ll hear about the San Antonio Road, it’s certainly not the last we’ll hear of the elusive Imer Hernandez. In fact, his name came [...]

Old man and the illegal sea lobster
An elderly fisherman of Southside Belize City who Fisheries Authorities claim was found in possession of over two thousand pounds of lobster tails was arraigned in court this morning.  Seventy-eight [...]

High school student says he was beaten by the cops
The family of seventeen-year-old Brian Lopez Jr., a student of Ladyville Technical High School, is livid, following claims of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of a Ladyville police [...]

Homeowner cuffs burglar over the head
A burglary gone wrong has left one man with a headache and time behind bars at the Belize Central Prison.  Convicted burglar Nelson David White appeared in the court of [...]

Daughter forgets details of incest in court
A forty-year old man from the Punta Gorda area was freed of a charge of carnal knowledge after his daughter, now fourteen years old, took the stand but failed to [...]

Leader of Opposition supports Audrey Matura-Shepherd
The resignation of OCEANA Belize Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd is still very much big news, especially after a press conference in which Matura-Shepherd claims that resignation was precipitated by attacks [...]

Inspiration telethon rakes in half a million dollars for needed center
Construction of the Inspiration Center, a facility that is being built to assist children with disabilities, is quickly becoming a reality.  Last Tuesday, members of the media and donors to [...]

Belize City and Merida Sister Cities
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Mayor Renan Barrera Cocha of Merida, Yucatan have signed a letter of intent to establish a sister city relationship in the near future. That [...]

Football, volleyball, table tennis and cycling in weekend sports
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is sports. Since it’s mandated that Belize must present a U-17 football team in UNCAF’s 2013 female competition, Belize has been paired with [...]

LOVE FM

Village Council Elections Continue In Northern Belize
Village council elections continued yesterday. Reporter Dalila Ical looks at results in the northern districts. DALILA ICAL “The village council elections continued on Sunday, June 2 in the north; six new councils were elected in the Corozal District and four in the...

Cayo Police Investigate Armed Robbery
Police are investigating an armed robbery at a pharmacy in the Cayo District. Correspondent Elaine Berry tells us more. ELAINE BERRY “A robbery took place on Friday, May 31 at Codd’s Pharmacy situated on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena. Accordin...

Northern Belize Prepared For Hurricane Season
The National Emergency Management Organization has been working on hurricane preparedness plans and there is no exception for the North of the Country. We join Correspondent Arturo Cantun to hear more about what NEMO is doing in Orange Walk and Corozal. ARTURO CANTUN &ldq...

Belize's Blue Hole Nominated To Be A Wonder of The World
The Great Blue Hole is one of the most attractive natural sites in Belize and news today is that it has been nominated to be the 8th Wonder of the World. The Belize Tourism Board announced that the Great Blue Hole was entered into VirtualTourist.com’s quest to crown the ‘8t...

Ruling Political Party Dominates Village Council Elections In Southern Belize
We now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a look at the Village Council Election results in the South. HARRY ARZU “Village council elections were held in Sarawee village as well as in Hope Creek village on Sunday June 2. After the voting and counting were all over, r...

Teenage Girl Reported Missing In Benque Viejo del Carmen
A young girl has been reported missing in the Cayo District. Thirty five year old Carlos Sanchez of St. Joseph Street in Benque Viejo Town, reported to police that around 6:00pm on Saturday, he sent his thirteen year old daughter, Quianna Guzman to collect some money from a perso...

Weekend Shooting Leaves Two Critical
Two men are in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they were both shot to the head on Saturday night. The incident occurred around 7:20 on Saturday night. Forty four year old Melvin Baptist and twenty four year old Arthur Baptist were at Melvin&...

Charged With Handling Stolen Goods After Being Caught With Policeman's Bike
Twenty-three year old Malcolm Wagner, of Flamboyant Street, was charged with handling stolen goods for a bicycle that was stolen from a police constable when he appeared in court today. Wagner pled not guilty to the charge. He said that he borrowed the bicycle from a friend and while h...

Thousand Dollar Bail For Shoplifting Coffee
Fifty-nine year old David Rodriguez, a plumber of Vernon Street, who allegedly shop-lifted a bottle of Nescafe coffee from Save-U Supermarket, was charged with theft when he appeared in court today. Rodriguez pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of one thousand dollars ...

Magistrate Grants Bail To Burglar Following Guilty Plea
Fifty-four year old Nelson White, who allegedly burglarized the home of Stanley Lizama, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. White pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of four thousand dollars and adjourned his case unt...

National Gender Policy Receives More Criticisms
The revised national gender policy has come under criticism from a number of quarters. Today the Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers Union met to hear a presentation with reference to the implications of the policy. BNTU says it views with grave concerns t...

One Year Old Alert System For Missing Children Needs Funding and Support
A new alert system to help with location of missing children, the Jasmine Alert was created last year after a tragedy that garnered concerns from the entire Nation. After one year of the initiative, Correspondent Arturo Cantun met with one of the founders to find out where the program now l...

Inspiration Telethon Meets 500K Target
KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “You set targets and you want to reach those targets because you know what the need is presently, for the centre to be completed.” The target was set at half a million dollars which needed to be raised in ten hours. The 2013 Inspiration Telethon was...


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#465860 - 06/04/13 11:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 4, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE TV

Burglar Granted Bail After Pleading Guilty
Fifty-four year old Nelson White, who allegedly burglarized the home of Stanley Lizama, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. White pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of four thousand dollars and adjourned his case until July 24. The incident occurred on May 31. Lizama reported to the police that his house was burglarized and a number of items were stolen. The items included one metal rake, one metal shovel, one black tool kit with assorted tools, one electric Skil Saw and one China tea set. The items amounted to five hundred and eighty dollars in value. White said he was chased by seven persons and he was beaten with a machete and his ribs are broken.

More Concerns Surface on National Gender Policy
The revised national gender policy has come under criticism from a number of quarters. Today the Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers Union met to hear a presentation with reference to the implications of the policy. BNTU says it views with grave concerns the implication. It says it intends to undertake a thorough review of the document with a view towards determining the impact the gender policy will have on all. The BNTU says it will be sensitizing its general membership on the implications of the policy and to ensure that the general citizenry suffers no constitutional infringement as a consequence of having the policy enforced. It calls on Government to put an immediate halt to any further action on the policy. The BNTU ends its release by stating that they have placed the national gender policy under the microscope and stand ready to act as their review unravels the real truth.

Jasmine Alert – One Year Later…..
A new alert system to help with location of missing children, the Jasmine Alert was created last year after a tragedy that garnered concerns from the entire Nation. After one year of the initiative, Correspondent Arturo Cantun met with one of the founders to find out where the program now lies. ARTURO CANTUN “On June 4, 2012, 13-year-old, Jasmine Lowe of San Ignacio went missing. Her father, Christopher Lowe reported she went missing after she left his house and was heading to her mother’s place also in San Ignacio. Two days later the decomposing body of Jasmine was found in some bushes on Cristo Rey Road; the news sent shock waves across the country. Following this horrible incident, community activist, Patrick Menzies introduced the Jasmine Alert Program, the first of its kind in Belize. Menzies says that one year later the program has proved to be successful.” PATRICK MENZES

Half Million Dollar Target Met For Inspiration Centre
“You set targets and you want to reach those targets because you know what the need is presently, for the centre to be completed.” The target was set at half a million dollars which needed to be raised in ten hours. The 2013 Inspiration Telethon was broadcast on all major television and radio stations across Belize. It started at 8 o’clock in the morning and by 6 o’clock in the evening the target was not only met but was surpassed. The event was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and saw the participation of a slew of local television personalities and artists. Donations and pledges were made by phone or handed over personally to the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow. In addition, over fourteen booths were set up across the country because every cent counts.

PlusTV

SEXUAL ORIENTATION trumping RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: A worldwide Chronicle
EUROPEAN UNION *Europe’s top human rights court ruled that equality laws and safety concerns trumped religious freedom in three cases where British Christians were sacked or sanctioned for expressing their beliefs at work. (January 2013). *European Parliament published the brochure, which recommended not to use the words ‘Missus’ and...

Murder in the capital city
An armed robbery turned fatal for two customers who were socializing at La Choza Del Cabrito Bar over the weekend. Shortly after 12am on Sunday morning, Belmopan Police visited La Choza Bar in West Belmopan where they observed two male persons suffering from gunshot wounds. 43yr old ISABEL ANTONIO...

PM meets with Church leaders after complaints of no consultation on Gender Policy
The 2013 Revised National Gender Policy has been met with much opposition from church leaders and vocal members of the Christian community. Many Christian leaders are asking which church representatives were consulted on the gender policy by the women’s commission. That gender policy speaks to a “ new world...

Abundant Life Assembly of God Church disappointed with Gender Policy process
In a press release issued from the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church. It says, we the Church “…..categorically state our disappointment in the manner and process in which the Revised Gender Policy 2013 was developed, approved and presented.” It also says, “….Some of the content goes against the...

BNTU raises concerns about Gender Policy
While the churches have been most vocal about their concerns about the gender policy, late this evening, the Belize National Teacher’s Union added its voice to raise concerns of its own. The release says “The Council of Management of the BNTU has met and had the opportunity to have ...

Hit and run incident leaves one man dead
There was an apparent hit and run over the weekend in the nation’s capital. A little after noon yesterday, the body of 32 year old Mario Ortega was found lying on the road, in front of the Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, his mountain bike some 75feet away with...

Uncle and nephew critical following Saturday shooting
Police say they seek two suspects in relation to a Saturday night shooting in Belize City. Around 7:20 p.m. Saturday 44 year old Melvin Baptist and his nephew 24 year old Arthur Baptist were watching an NBA playoff basketball game inside the older man’s barbershop on Neal’s Pen Road....

Many vehicles damaged in Benque Viejo Del Carmen
Residents of Benque Viejo were awoken by the blast of glass breaking and shattering to the ground, as a group of women drove around the Church Street area, vandalizing whatever vehicle was in sight. Now this is one of those you had to be there to believe kind of...

Former KHMH CEO unsatisfied with results of investigation and press conference
On Friday PLUS News spoke for the first time since the discovery of the deaths of thirteen babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to its former CEO, Dr. Alvaro Rosado. Dr. Rosado served for almost eight years, from November 2000 to March of 2008 before being succeeded by...

Former KHMH CEO comments on Incinerator and X-Ray Machine
We asked former CEO of KHMH, Dr. Alavro Rosado, about the hospital incinerator which had been shutdown in his tenure but since re-opened and which area residents complain has been causing air pollution. He told us that while he has no idea why the hospital recommenced using the incinerator,...

This year’s Inspiration Telethon hits half a million mark
Last year, in ten hours, Belizeans raised $1,093,368.66 for the construction of a special center for children and youth currently under construction at Mile 1 1/2 George Price Highway. A quarter million of that was a donation from Minister of Human Development Anthony “Boots” Martinez taken from the OPEC...

Flowers Bank honors heroes with community park
This weekend PLUS News was on hand in the tiny village of Flowers Bank in the Belize District on an important day in the annals of Belizean history. 216 years ago Saturday, June 1, 1797, 14 men from the area went to what was then Belize Town and cast...

Gas prices increase
Prices for regular and premium gasoline increased as of last night. PLUS News has confirmed that premium gasoline is now $12.34, up 22 cents from $12.12, while regular gasoline increased to $11.82 from 11.71, an increase of eleven cents. However, customers using diesel saw a short fall in prices...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker film accepted in the 2013 Belize Film Festival
A Caye Caulker film is an official selection in the Belize International Film Festival. I will keep you informed on the details when I get them! Congratulations to everyone who has helped in this production. We urge all Hicaquenos to attend the screening at the Princess Cinema on the evening of the showing if they can.

Ocean Academy Fly Fishing Class
Belizean high school students are learning the art of fly fishing and guiding in their P.E. elective at Ocean Academy Non-Profit High School on the island of Caye Caulker. Going beyond paper and pencil to fly rod and line, I share my passion with students who had never touched a fly rod before. Like us on Facebook and watch the evolution. We are always in need of equipment and scholarships.

Slates & Independents in upcoming Village Council elections..
On June 16, 2013, Caye Caulker will elect a new Village Council. There are two slates and several independent candidates running for office. We would like to thank Raul Young, councillor aspirant, for letting us use this graphic. Vote wisely on June 16th, folks!

2 Caye Caulker Girls in Belize’s National U17 Foot
Two members of the Island Stars Female football team, Sophia Diego and Jacqueline Riveroll, are on the Belize National U17 Football team. They are headed to Guatemala City today for a game on Sunday. The team is leaving by bus today and will be staying in Guatemala City for two days to acclimatize due to the change in elevation. Their game is on Sunday. On June 2 there will be another game against Guatemala in Belmopan. It is a first for any young Caye Caulker youth to be in such a selection. Congrats to both girls. You make Caye Caulker proud!

Miss Chiquitita 2013 is Miss Kirsten Badillo
At the end of the Miss Chiquitita 2013 pageant held on Friday, May 30th, it was Kirsten Badillo who emerged victorious. The little beauty, Kirsten Badillo, is pictured here with per proud mother, Ms. Gina Badillo. Congrats to the Badillo family on Kirsten’s win. Six contestants vyed for the title. They are Miss Rihanna Badillo, Miss Gennesis Tzul, Miss Klerysa Heredia, Miss Arissa Rosado, Miss Kirsten Badillo, and Miss Acuzely Castaneda. Here at the Caye Caulker Chronicles, we are happy not to have had to judge this contest, as all the contestants are all so adorable. Would have been a tough one having to choose. Congratulations to all the contestants, you are all beautiful and well deserving of our community pride.

Blogs

Early morning quiet time and the latest bridge pictures
The bridge is going to be finished any day now, and what an improvement. On the weekend, I asked Sue Blair owner of Coco Loco’s Beach Bar if she would not mind snapping a few pictures in case I did not make it back before they got finished. Since tacoboy was letting us timeshare the cart from Pedro’s Hotel and we a couple of hours, I convinced Dick to go for an early morning ride. We hit the crock pond by Consolidated Water to enjoy the stillness and reflections, then we went to the bridge to check out the progress. Afterwards we did pit stops at Harmouche Hardware, Lino’s meats, got the cart gassed up and back 1/2h early. Here is a link to the progress picture posted from last Friday on ambergriscaye.com message board with some funny comments and a link to a past bridge thread from 8 years back. Hope you enjoy our Monday morning drive as much as we did.

It’s Official – Belize is Happy!
The Travel Channel has just officially acknowledged something that we’ve always known – Belize is one of the Top Ten Happiest countries in the world. A new Travel Channel article,” World’s Top 10 Happiest Countries”, uses the 2013 global Happy Planet Index to compile this year’s list of the top cheerful destinations, and we’re not surprised that Belize made the grade. With the world’s second largest barrier reef (some say the world’s longest living barrier reef), huge tracts of unspoiled rainforests surrounding ancient Maya cities and temples, pristine rivers, waterfalls, hundreds of lovely little islands and a stunning Caribbean coast, what’s not to be happy about? Oh yes, then there’s the people. Nowhere on the planet will you find a more multicultural mix of happy souls who have long ago worked out how to live in harmony. Just about everyone who comes to Belize remarks on the natural, easy going friendliness and warmth of Belizeans. And it’s infectious – after a few days even the most harried travellers notice a spring in the step and a propensity towards smiling. It just grows on you…

PhotoS of the month – May
Once again we re-fresh our Facebook profiles with a photo from one of our customers – this month we have been sent a collection of photos from the amazing Rene Schoneberg from Germany. All of his album has been so good (not to mention a truly fantastic video that he created) that it has been difficult to select just two of the many that he took on our fabulous overnight adventure. The above photos are the ones selected, and these has been selected for its suitability for the small profile icon but there are a number that are worthy of a larger stage and here are just a few for you!!

THE LAUNCH OF MICRO-ENTERPRISE UTILITY START-UP PACKAGE
A partnership between the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service and the various public utilities, to provide direct support to small business owners and new startups, has resulted in the launch of what is being called a Micro-Enterprise Utility Start-up Package.

“Little by Little” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda with my mug of coffee and iPad by 4.15 am yesterday morning. There was a very light rain shower so it was nice and cool. First job was to organise an online payment to Daniel Camal, our building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize, via FC Exchange (the company in the UK that I have been using to convert sterling to USD). With that done I trawled the Internet, looking at nothing in particular, and read The Times on-line before I headed off to Estel’s for breakfast and then went to pay the cable, Internet and water bills. Whilst in town I also popped in to the Post Office to enquire about a P.O. Box (something that we will need for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) and was pleasantly surprised that they still have some available. For BZ$ 65 we can have the small box for the first year and thereafter it drops to BZ$ 40 (the first year fee includes the cost of BZ$ 25 for two keys). A lot cheaper than I had expected. Once back at the condo we are renting I set about contacting Customs Brokers to establish what their fees would be for ‘managing’ entry in to Belize for the two shipments we have (one from the UK and one from Miami).

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pina Colada Muffins
I bake a slew uf muffins and thishere one is a keepr. A purrfeck muffin t'add t'yer brunch menu er t'enjoy inny time! Mah sistr served these deliciyus muffins at a Bibull study n' hern trayler minny a yeers ago and shared t'recipe with me.

Something to think about as a community
In all reality guys, we as a people need to do our part in spite of whichever govt is in power. If we learn to live within our means, become self-sufficient, stop wanting everything we see on tv so we can have something better than the other person, start eating locally produced products rather than demanding imported stuff. I remember back in the day when Food of the gods was manufacturing chocolate bars in Belmopan, their product was far superior and more natural than the imported stuff; but because the people had to have the imported stuff because we think that if it’s not Snickers or Hershey that it’s not good enough and the Govt at the time did not allow for them to grow into a fully functioning and profitable company that could have been providing quality jobs, they sadly had to close down. We have local meat markets that produce sausages, hams and other meat products that are way superior and contain less chemicals that the imported stuff, we need to start supporting our local producers people. When we do that, our money stays in Belize and feeds the economy. When you buy imported stuff you feed the economy of another country and deplete ours.

Common Misconceptions of Education
By Gustavo A. Ramirez. Previously, we discussed the issue of parents and guardians who seem neglectful and show very little, if any, interest in their children’s day-to-day work, or lack of work, at school. However, I made it clear that there’s nothing to be gained when educators or PTA parents point fingers at students’ parents who do not regularly participate in school activities, or communicate regularly with teachers, or attend school and PTA meetings. We do not help students to learn by judging their parents or by comparing one parent to another. How, then, do we constructively help parents and guardians to replace any misconceptions they may have of the schools where they send their sons or daughters everyday, i.e. viewing schools as daytime babysitters? How do we motivate parents to become involved and be a part of their children’s day-to-day education, and not feel like “outsiders” in the Education process? How do we help parents to see and feel that they are an integral part of how their children learn everyday as they grow in body, mind and soul?

International Sources

Golf Courses Damage Coral Reefs, According to Before-and-After Bahamas Study
Acclaimed coral scientist Tom Goreau spoke about coral reef decline at Baker's Bay Club as a result of excessive fertilizer run-off. The speech, presented at the Bahamas National Natural History Conference in Nassau, was well received by the audience and is the first public presentation of data from the Baker's Bay coral reef controversy. The speech, billed as "Golf Course Fertilizer Runoff Causes Nutrient Enrichment Leading to Harmful Algae Blooms on a Bahamian Coral Reef", was co-written by Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, James Cervino of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Troy Albury, President of Save Guana Cay Reef. Goreau presented data, photographs and maps on changes in coastal algae, algae nutrient contents, and health of adjacent coral reefs, before and after construction of Bakers Bay Golf Course on Guana Cay, Abaco. After construction, new algae blooms appeared along shores nearest to golf course greens, smothering corals in adjacent reefs, along with sharply increased coral diseases. Bakers Bay claimed there was no link between algae blooms and fertilizer use, that blooms were natural, caused by hurricanes, or due to septic tank leakage from remote areas.

Mexican Trade Mission will visit Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMéxico) in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico is organizing a trade mission to Belize on June 5th and 6th. A delegation of Mexican business persons will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential buyers and suppliers of various products and services. Companies include: Servidora Química PG del Sureste; NGN Telecom Holding; Toldesa; Comercializadora Mayorista del Golfo, Fábrica de Postes Yucatán; Botanas y Frituras del Sureste La Lupita; Alfonso Arcila y Compañía; Lonas Tendal; Herramientas Servicios y Consumibles, Grupo Tecnovidrio; Comercializadora Naremo; Red Interamericana de Comercio and Alcica Construcciones. Products include agave distilled spirits, snacks, canned products (veggies and fruits, beans and pepper sauce), wheat flour for the baking industry, chemicals for food conservation, agricultural products and cleaning products, tents, screens, geomembranes, plastic covers, upholstery, ecofriendly portable bathrooms, glass architectural designed products (windows) and reinforced concrete poles.

A city cannot be hid... but can be lost
RECENTLY an entire Mayan Pyramid was bulldozed in Belize to make way for a road. I was horrified to hear this. Like the authorities in Belize, I wondered if the developer was unaware of the fact that this structure was centuries old, and of great historic value. Then I thought of historic Spanish Town, with its decaying, collapsing, centuries-old structures. Spanish Town as a centre of the Jamaican civilisation predates the Spanish establishment of Villa De La Vega (Town on the Plain) in 1534, as the Taino inhabited the area on the west bank of the Rio Cobre long before the European arrivals. The oldest iron bridge in the Western World, the oldest train station outside of the UK and USA, the oldest site of both Spanish and British (Anglican) cathedrals, oldest Georgian square outside of Britain, are just a few of the list of dizzying historical notes to be found on a survey of the town's heritage.

Belize to Host Internet Exchange Point Forum
Internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region, according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, Trinidad-born Internet strategist Bevil Wooding says Belize's Internet users should not rely on costly international data transit for online communications within the country. Instead, to facilitate growth of the local telecommunications sector, they should establish their own facility for local Internet traffic exchange. “The absence of a local IXP compromises a country’s ability to truly harness the potential of the Internet as an engine for economic growth, job creation and social empowerment,” said Wooding, an international Internet expert and, Internet strategist with the US-based research firm Packet Clearing House (PCH).

Bond restructurings fail to ignite Caribbean growth - Moody's
A major international credit rating agency says three bond restructurings in the Caribbean this year, totaling about US$9.7 billion, have still failed to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults. Moody’s Investors Service said the bond swaps this year did not go far enough to fixing the Caribbean’s “unsustainable” mix of debt and deficits. It said, among Caribbean island economies, only The Bahamas is expected to grow more than 1.5 per cent this year, compared with four per cent for Latin America. The Wall Street-based rating agency said the average debt for a Caribbean nation compared with the size of its economy stands at 70 per cent, with Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada above the 93 per cent ratio that forced Cyprus to seek a European Union-brokered March bailout.

Mexican trade mission to visit Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMéxico) in collaboration with the embassy of Mexico is organizing a trade mission to Belize on June 5 and 6. A delegation of Mexican business persons will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential...

If This GIF of 10,000 Years of Sea Level Rise Doesn't Freak You Out, Nothing Will
Fossilized sediment from New Jersey's salt marshes contains evidence of a migrating coast line. For some 2,000 years, up until the dawn of our modern warming era around 1900, the sea level off of what's now New Jersey was rising by about one to two millimeters a year, with the coast itself imperceptibly creeping inland. Today, the sea level is rising by three to five millimeters a year. Perhaps that still doesn't sound like much. But this is the point of taking a very long view of history. "The last time we saw rates as fast as this was 6,000 years ago," says Benjamin Horton, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania. And what was happening 6,000 years ago? Temperatures were rising then, too, although they weren't as warm as they are today. "Because we came out of a glacial period, oceans were warming, and ice sheets were melting," Horton says. "They're exactly the same processes that we’re seeing today."


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