This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next couple days due to time constraints.
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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
Increase Commerce in Belize through the Grid Earth Project Distribution of Safe Solar Lamps to Those Without Access to Electricity
Eliminating the cost of kerosene or candles for light creates instant savings for rural families –
money that is invested in the Belizean economy. It is our goal to eliminate dangerous fuels in every home in Belize this year. Much work has been done, but there is much left to do. Please visit our website to read about some of our projects in Belize.opportunity through the free distribution of solar lights in the villages of Belize that currently have no access to electricity. This eliminates their need for costly kerosene or candles. The result is instant savings and more disposable income for every family we reach; money that is spent in Belize for other goods and services.
We ask you to consider supporting this effort by donating to the Grid Earth Project. Although donations in any amount are greatly appreciated, Corporate Sponsorships exceeding $500 BZ receive their logo displayed on our sponsor page, which links back to your website. Sponsors exceeding $2000 BZ donation receive most prominent logos. All sponsors are represented on the rotating sponsorship banner located on every Grid Earth webpage. Sponsor logos also appear on all Grid Earth Project newsletters and other published materials.
Team Island Boys win Northern Volleyball Tournament
The San Pedro Volleyball team, Island Boys, have been travelling every two weeks since the month of March to compete in the Hugo Patt Northern Volleyball Tournament held at the Corozal Civic Center. The team, composed of Armando Escalon, Jian Arcurio, Guillermo Rivero, Enrique Marin, Gaby Nuñez, Gustavo Morataya, Jody Leslie, Ricky Luna, Baydr Sajia, Rogi Chi, Jason Cabral and Team Captain Josean Kay, won the championship match on Saturday, July 6th against Team San Narciso. The championship match was a challenge for the Island Boys indeed. It was a best out of five games and Island Boys were quickly losing hope when the first two sets ended in defeat. The grueling match continues, and the Island Boys rallied, winning the final three sets of the match. It was a hard earned victory for the Island, champions of the Hugo Patt Northern Volleyball Tournament.
SP Clinic opens new daily X-ray lab
For several months, the members of Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Ambergris Caye chapter have been raising funds to finance the construction of an x-ray room. The room was necessary for the installation of the x-ray machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II. After the Ministry of Health indicated that they were unable to undertake such an initiative, the BTIA local chapter decided to step in and assist. The BTIA action propelled the Ministry of Health to improve the level of health care being provided by the clinic over a 12-month period. After several meetings, the Ministry of Health agreed to provide the x-ray machine, if the BTIA could foot the bill of the construction of the room. On Monday July8th, the x-ray machine was officially installed and is ready to be used. Chairman of the Ambergris Caye BTIA Chapter Mukul Kanabar of The Phoenix Resort, together with other board members managed to fundraise about $27,000 BZ that was used to complete the project.
Saga HS is offering 75 FREE spay/neuter through Operation SNIP
Saga Humane Society aims to help reduce the problems associated with community and street animals on Ambergris Caye by introducing a pet population management program, Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Project). To reduce the breeding populations and reduce the number of street animals, 75-90% of all dogs and cats on the island will need to be sterilized in a 3-5 year time frame to be effective.
Saga HS has pledged to raise money or bring visiting Veterinary teams to offer low cost or free spay/neuter, with a goal of 1,000 animals per year during this project. The primary objective of comprehensive animal management program should be to keep the population of dogs and cats on Ambergris Caye down to a level where there is no need to destroy healthy and friendly animals, but without accumulating them in the Saga HS shelter.
The Grid Earth Project Increasing Commerce in Belize through Solar Light
The Grid Earth Project, is dedicated to economic growth and opportunity through the free distribution of solar lights in the villages of Belize that currently have no access to electricity. This eliminates their need for costly kerosene or candles. The result is instant savings and more disposable income for every family we reach; money that is spent in Belize for other goods and services.
Eliminating dangerous lighting sources saves lives by decreasing fire related deaths and prevents thousands of injuries and illnesses. This leap forward to safe renewable solar light also promotes education. Lamps from the Grid Earth Project provide hours of bright, safe, non-toxic light. Students are studying easier and longer. The result will be a more skilled and educated work force for Belize.
It is our goal to eliminate dangerous fuels in every home in Belize this year. Much work has been done, but there is much left to do. Please visit our website to read about some of our projects in Belize.
25 Years Ago:
A Visit from your Beloved Deceased
To keep the children out of the bush our parents warned us of the invasion of the Tata Balan. To keep the men at home after they were out drinking they were all cautioned of the possibility of a confrontation with the Xtabai. Now to keep the children from killing small birds, our parents also had a fine story to tell us about that.
“Whenever you see a small yellow bird enter your house, do not kill it,” father would say. “It is actually the soul of some beloved family member who had died that is visiting you.” Therefore whenever a little bird accidentally entered our house, we would never attacked the little creature. In fact we closed the windows and doors to allow the visiting spirit to remain as long as possible. It was an honor to welcome the spirit of granny, grandpa, or some beloved aunt or uncle who had passed away and was visiting. We did not want any harm to come their way. And not only that, but whenever we saw these little yellow birds in the wild, we also respected them.
Misc Belizean Sources
BELIZE GAY HATE EMERGES IN THE FORM OF HANGING EFFIGY
LGBT rights issues have been boiling over for a while in Belize. Caleb Orozco of the The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) pursued a constitutional challenge of the country’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law, which we covered here on OBLOGDEE in May (see links below). Shortly after that court case, the National Women’s Commission released their revised Gender Policy that had been approved by the country’s cabinet in March. Anti-gay fundamentalist Christian forces, rebelling against both, have now whipped their followers into such a frenzy that they are hanging cardboard cutouts of UNIBAM in effigy and proudly posting the calls to lynching online.
The revised gender policy covers equality with men and progress in the areas of health, education, income and wealth generation, violence-prevention controls and political development for women. But because a section called ‘Respect for Diversity’ makes reference to respect for sexual orientation the churches are claiming it promotes homosexuality and advocating for repeal.
Pro-constitution rallies and anti-gender policy protests called by evangelical associations and other affiliated organizations are being held across the country. Belize Action, made up of the Council of Churches and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches, is once again leading the charge.
SHJC Hosts Free Software Summit
Sacred Heart Junior College is hosting the ECSL 2013 Free Software Summit. It goes from Friday, July 12th, through Sunday July 14th.
"The Central American Free Software Summit (ECSL) is a three-day activity that takes place annually in any country in the region that has been chosen by the Central American Free Software Community (SLCA). It is a space of articulation, coordination and exchange of ideas between Free Open source Software (FLOSS) communities that make up the SLCA agreements and strengthening ways of working together to facilitate and promote the use of Free Software development in the region. This year, the fifth version of the ECSL will be held in the Sacred Heart Junior College San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize 12 to 14 July 2013"
Chiquibul Symposium 2013
The Chiquibul Symposium is on Friday the 19th. For some odd reason, it's in Belize City instead of Cayo, but at least it's in the Caracol room at the Radison. There are some great shots from Southern Cayo in the video. It sounds like they'll be doing some great brainstorming on how to preserve it.
"Join us at the first national symposium on the amazing but threatened Chiquibul Forest where Valerie Woods will gather some of the brightest minds from conservation, business, government and national security agencies to share critical information about this biodiversity hotspot and discuss strategies to reduce threats to it."
Jungle Moguls Teaser
Could Cayo be getting a reality TV show? Jungle Moguls might get picked up. Make-Belize Films, which did Kurse a di Xtabai, has a teaser trailer out for the show. It worth watching for the laughs.
"Huge news today: our Cayo-based reality series 'Jungle Moguls' is one of 25 semi-finalists (from more than 500 concepts) for a new show on a MAJOR USA Network!! At least one will get a production deal. Finalists and winner(s) will be announced by the network in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed!"
Danny Jimenez Must Return Home From Gold Cup
Last night, we had a very in depth look at game where Belize’s Jaguars played against the USA. That was a very tough debut for the team where Belize lost with a score of 6 goals to 1.
The team is in Utah tonight trying to prepare for the next match in the first round, and amidst the distractions, and that confidence shaking loss against the football titan, they must deal with another.
National Team member, Danny Jimenez is returning home to Belize before the first round of the Gold Cup is finished.
For a team which has worked so hard to keep it together, Danny leaving will be tough, but it is because his mother, Theresita Jimenez, is ill, and her health has taken a turn for the worse. As a result, he will return home tomorrow, and this evening, FFB Executive Member Marlon Kuylen described how the decision came about.
Marlon Kuylen - FFB Executive Member
"We seemed to be plagued everyday by something negative. Yes, Danny did not want to make this trip but his mom told him that he must leave and that is why he came. We got the bad news today that she turned for the worst and she is now on life support so unfortunately Danny has to leave the team."
Danny: My Mom Gave Her Blessing
So, that’s the situation. It’s a very sad outcome, for Jimenez and his family, and for the nation of Belize because he has been one of the players who is able to help on the Jaguars’ offense to assist Deon McCauley and Harrison “Cafu” Roaches to move the ball up the field.
But while his mother’s health has become a major factor in his ability to continue to participate in the Gold Cup, he made indications in Belize on the day of his departure to Portland last week Friday.
He told the media that his mother had an episode the final night that he was in Belmopan, and he had to leave on emergency to see how she was doing.
According to him, she gave him the blessing to go, and that was additional motivation for him:
Danny Jimenez - Member, Belize National Team
"It's hard you know but like she said she was going to be happy if she knew I was out there, so I am doing it for her. First, I was going to go there and give my all but now I'm going there to give everything I have - even I have to put my last energy on that field then I will bring everything and I hope the players too. Before we leave I will talk to them and tell them what my mom told me and that was basically her last words before she fell asleep just now before I left the hospital. She told me to tell the team that she prayed before everything and she dreamed that we will do good."
FFB: We Can’t Replace Jimenez Easily
This unfortunate incident has caused the team to be short a player once again, and today we asked the President of the Football Federation of Belize how they will fix the problem.
He told us today that it is not as simple as sending another member as was the case with Elroy Kuylen, who was replaced by Christobal Gilharry.
Ruperto Vicente said that the team must qualify to the next round before they can add another member to the delegation.
Here’s how he explained it:
Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB
"It's sad, we are saddened by it as well. You know that before Danny left Belize, he was taken to the hospital to speak with his Mother and his Mother asked him to proceed on the trip and because she will be much happier if he goes on the trip. It's an opportunity for him and his Mother spoke to him kindly and that's the reason Danny went on the trip. But his Mothers' condition has gotten worst and so he is required to come back, to see what's going to happen with his Mother. Replacing Danny at this time is going to be difficult. The tournament has started, had he stayed, then we would have been able to replace him - the same way we replaced Kuylen. But at this point since the tournament has started it's going to be difficult, unless we qualify to the second round of the competition then he can be replaced or we send him back to join the team if he so chooses to."
Captain Eiley Still Not At 100%
And while the national football selection has to deal with Danny Jimenez's departure, the man he started on place of in the US game is sitll not 100%. Dalton Eiley is listed as day to day as medical tests are ongoing to determine what's wrong. Today, at the team workout in Salt Lake City, the team doctor put him through some special drills to try and isolate the problem. 7news was on the pitch and Jules Vasquez spoke to both Eiley and the doctor.
Dalton Eiley - Team Captain
"Right now I am feeling normal, I am breathing normal. The pain isn't there, but when I did the test, I could feel that when I was running much faster and my breathing got quicker - I could feel a slight pain the chest but when I calmed my breathing down - it just went away. I'm going to take a test and going to the hospital and take an X-ray and see if there is anything major wrong with me. It's not my heart, so don't get it wrong, it's not my heart; it's just a pain, I'm not sure where it came from. I had some gas in the last workout session before the US match, and it could be from that, but he's not really sure as yet."
Jaguars Acclimatizes In Utah
And all those issues, the Eiley injury, Jimenez's departure are all just more distractions for a team that has been plagued by a long list of them.
This evening in Salt Lake City, they are trying to put that behind them as they are having their second practice session for the day. The first was held this morning and 7news was there where we found a team trying to adapt to the altitude and the dry weather. Jules Vasquez reports.
Jules Vasquez reporting from Salt Lake City, Utah
The National team got its first chance to see Utah in the daytime when they got on the bus today to go to a team practice. On the horizon, the towering Wasatch mountain range which encircles Salt Lake City is a good indicator of the elevation they will have to play at. Utah is over four thousand feet above sea level, making the air crisp and dry.
Their workout facility on this day was Highland, a high school on the suburban outskirts of Salta Lake City - natural grass to match the Rio Tinto stadium 15 miles south in Sandy Utah, where they will face Costa Rica on Saturday.
FFB: Coaching Changes Were Expected
So while the team readies itself to play against Costa Rica in a game scheduled for Saturday, they also have to plan how they will approach the game. But one of the main criticisms coming from the fans of national team is that their defensive formation was changed.
Under the former Coach, Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, the team position themselves in the 3 5 2 formation, which saw quite a bit of success. International coaches praised Belize’s grasp of this setup which earned them the respect of the international community as a defensive heavyweight.
Now, under Coach Ian Mork, the team arranges itself using the 4 4 2 formation, and football experts have said that they did not grasp it well enough to perform at their peak in the US game.
Today, we asked FFB President Ruperto Vicente about that criticism, and he said that this change, while significant, could not be avoided since each coach has their own tactics.
Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB
"This is the risk we run when we change coaches and that's the reason I had chosen to continue with Coach Lewis when we returned from Costa Rica but he decided not to stay and had we stayed with that coach it would have been a lot better for us at this time. Getting a new coach, I understand they will not all have the same strategy and this is the risk you run when you change coaches. Any coach we would have gotten would have changed the formation of the team and that is what happened here. Obviously our players may not have adapted but that's where we're at and there's nothing we can do about that now but moving forward we will be working closer with our National Team players and making sure that we maintain that coach for a long period of time."
2 Tuesday Shootings; Police Make Arrest For 1
With all the football madness, it was bypassed, but on Tuesday before news time, 18 year-old Barry Johnson was shot to the left knee in a deadly attack.
According to police, at about 5:10 Johnson was on the Port Loyola basketball court at the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard. He was with other friends when a man ambushed the crowd and fired several shots at the group, causing the injury to Johnson. He was rushed to the KHMH where he was treated for his injury.
Police have since detained 1 man, and they are seeking another for this incident.
And about 3 and a half hours later, 18 year-old Everal Cardinez was riding his bicycle beside a companion when 3 men ambushed him. One of the men pulled a firearm and fired several shots at them. Cardinez suffered injuries to the left arm, and the left side of his body, and he was rushed to the KHMH where he received treatment.
Police detained 5 men, and yesterday, they charged 21 year-old Deondre McKoy with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm in relation to the attack on Cardinez and his companion.
Nicholi Rhys; Back Before The Courts
And another man who went to court today, and is making the news is 22 year-old Nicholi Rhys. If the name or the face seems familiar, it should. That’s because in February of this year, he was acquitted before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in a trial without jury of the most brazen execution of a reputed gang leader – we’re talking about the slaying of Andre Trapp, which occurred in June of 2010.
He’s been out since then, and after several months now, he’s back before the courts.
According to police, Shantel Waight reported to police that while she was on George Street yesterday when Rhys allegedly hit her. She requested court action against him, and as a result, he was charged with harm.
He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Smith, who granted him bail of $500. He must return to court on August 15.
Nat’l Team Chairman At FDC Houston
And another man who continues to make the news for being caught up with US authorities is Rawell Pelayo.
As we told you, he’s being held at detention center, and this has been the case since he arrived in the US.
Well, today an anonymous source provided the media with actual confirmation of where he’s being held. That confirmation came to the Belizean press by way of a webpage link to the USA’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Database.
A search of the inmate database reveals that he is listed as being housed at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Houston, Texas. Quoting directly from the FBOP’s website, it says, “The Federal Detention Center (FDC)… is an administrative facility housing male and female pretrial and holdover inmates.” End Quote.
This development has come as a shock to many in the football community who know Pelayo very well as the avid football fan, and the owner of the formerly active football club, Juventus. He has been a major influence on football in the north, and when the Bertie Chimilio administration was finally toppled from office within the Football Federation of Belize, he was elected as Vice President, the third most senior in of the executive, outranked only by Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc, and President Ruperto Vicente.
FFB: US Authorities Aren’t Saying Much
So, today, while we had the opportunity, we asked FFB President Vicente to share with the nation what information he and his executive had on what caused Pelayo’s detention.
He told us that the US authorities have indicated that they cannot share that information with them at this time.
Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB
"We're not privy to information from the US authorities, they explained that to us when Mr. Pelayo was held that they cannot share any information with us but the third hand information that I have received is that Mr. Pelayo may be sent back to Belize and we're praying that he's sent back."
"Sir, how long has he been detained? I understand that when he was processed after passing through immigration and nationality in the US."
"Yes, he was right behind me so after I was processed then he was held. I'm very saddened by that situation. It's a situation like watching someone being taken by an alligator and there's nothing you can do about it - I was helpless and that's what saddens me."
"We also understand that Mr. Pelayo understood that this situation could have happened but he felt that it is required that his presence be with the team."
PUP Condemns Finance Instrument Amendment
Tonight, the People United Party announces that they seek an explanation for amendment to finance instrument.
PUP Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, Julius Espat, and his colleague Rodwell Ferguson have issued a public condemnation of the an amendment, known as S.I. 63 of 2013.
This change was made about three weeks ago to the Exchange Control Regulations by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also Minister of Finance.
The amendment, according the interpretation of the PUP, removes from Central Bank oversight in relation to any and all bank accounts controlled by the Government of Belize.
This, according to them, allows any Ministry or Department to open such an account for Government-related business without the authority of the Central Bank of Belize.
Today, the PAC Chairman spoke to our colleagues from Plus TV, where he explained the issue that they have.
Hon. Julius Espat - PUP, Public Accounts Committee Chairman
"[The Statutory Instrument #63 of 2013 - regulations made by the Minister responsible for Exchange Control in exercise of the power of control appointed by section 3 of the Exchange Control Regulations Act Chapter 53] is a document that is four pages long but it deals with the regulations of how you deal with money and the transactions of money and in this specific case the Government had signed an SI where we are taking out the supervisory and administrative role of the Central Bank as it pertains to foreign currency accounts used by government. That is where we have a concern, it is taking away oversight - the same thing that the public committee has is the same thing that's happening here.
BHC Pat Ashworth Leaving Office
Yesterday, 7News showed you the handing over of those 17 vehicles by the British Forces to the BDF.
Well, one thing we didn’t get a chance to air was the fact that British High Commissioner, His Excellency Pat Ashworth’s announcement that he will no longer hold the post.
He addressed the gathering on the hand over, while lightly announcing to the nation what will take place in a few months.
H.E. Pat Ashworth - British High Commissioner
"First of all, I want to thank you very much for arranging this impressive display of English weather for me. I'll be leaving Belize, unfortunately, at the beginning of August and I'll be having quite a lot more of this only a temperature of about twenty degrees Celsius less, then this is good training for me anyway. Often you start these talks with, 'It gives me great pleasure too'; well actually, today, it does give me great pleasure."
BATSUB: To Be Continued
And in that same breath, BHC Ashworth confirmed the British Forces’ intent to resume their operations at the level they used to before they downsized.
Here’s how he described the timeline.
H.E. Pat Ashworth, British High Commissioner
"I had the great pleasure of accompanying the Prime Minister back in the UK about two weeks ago now, and one of the calls he made was on the Minister of the arm forces in UK. It was very positive about the future of BATSUB and how we hope to build it up again in about eighteen months time when we draw down our forces from Afghanistan. So, it's very probable that we may ask to borrow some of your sometime in the future general but I anticipate that BATSUB in eighteen months to two years will be flying once more again or perhaps I shouldn't say flying, because maybe it makes people think about twenty five flight in the helicopters. So, I really am pleased to do this; we've had an excellent relationship with the BDF, we've done a lot of training; I know that the BATSUB being here in numbers. We have something to look forward to in the future but right here now it really just gives us great pleasure to do this, demonstrating once again, that BATSUB, the British government, the British High Commission does indeed stand shoulder to shoulder with the BDF."
Ghost Town Men Detained By GSU; They Claim Harassment
21 year old Jamal Neal was murdered on Banak Street late Monday evening by two men on motorcycles. Since then the neighbourhood is under heavy police surveillance. That is because police strongly believe Neal’s murder was gang related and may cause retaliation. But today residents of the Ghost Town area told us that no one wants to retaliate but still they are constantly being harassed by police during their time of mourning. Eight Ghost Town affiliates– who are all listed on Jamal Neal’s funeral program as pallbearers were detained by the GSU this morning. The funeral is set for tomorrow and residents and family members are worried that the men will not be released from police custody to take part in the funeral.
Voice of resident of Ghost Town
"Every minute the GSU came and harassed the young men and they are they were the same people that they had as pall bearers. When they came I said I was going to ask them for us to have a peaceful funeral but none of them came so I didn't have to mention it but then they just came and took the boys and roughed them up and put their hands over their head. Come on man, we need peace - I don’t' see them doing this to anyone else. They came and rubbed down the young men and they had them standing outside about half hour and they took them. We just want to have peace and as the young men as the pall bearers - we just want them to release the guys for them to pay their respect -that's all we want. We want to respect the GSU but they have to come and respect us the same way. If they the create the monsters on the streets, how can they expect that they will stop retaliation? This has nothing to do with retaliation because right now the guys are calm and cool. They are just focusing on the funeral."
FFB: We’re Taking Notes
If there is one great lesson that Belize learned from the Gold Cup match against the US, Hail Mary performances against Football Giants may not be what the future of football should be about.
And it seems that FFB President, Ruperto Vicente is taking that lesson very well, because after observing the team, he intends to adopt their style of preparation.
He explained it in detail to us today.
Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB
"If you were to watch the United States team that we played against, that's a team that has been together for the past 6 years - so they are not together just now; we had just put together a National Team which we did about 8 months ago. So moving forward from here, this new federation intends to keep a standing National Team - we are not going to dismantle our National Team but moving forward we're going to maintain a U-20 National Team and put among those U-20 players - some of the National Team players that we have now. This is so as to bring in a new set of players but who are going to be together for a long period of time. So we sustain that team, maintain the team and then have them play together longer than this team has been playing together. That is important because the FFB - it's mandate is to train new players and we're starting with grassroots players - those are young people from the ages of 6 through 12; we are going to be investing in those type of players. What the FFB has done is that we have taken all it's resources that was meant for grassroots players and U-15 players and we have put that money towards the National Team. So right now all our programs are parked and we are not running any programs because all our resources we have used for the National Team. But moving forward now we are going to invest in younger players and we're going to invest in a younger National Team so that's where we're going and that's what we intend to do."
Nat’l Team Embraced By Diaspora
And, One of the most interesting things about the national football team's journey to the Gold Cup is the joy and devotion it has inspired in Belize's living abroad. Their numbers are few, but of all the nations in the world cup, they are always the most colorful and wildly costumed with heir Belizean flags. We've been particularly impressed by Belizeans living in Portland and Salt Lake City Utah. Those are far removed form the popular migration centers of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but there are Belizeans there. One man we spoke to after Tuesday night's defeat in Portland says he longs to be home.
Rigo Gonzalez - Portland resident (16 years) from Yo Creek
"I don't consider it a loss, I met all my fellow Belizeans. I met some friends that I haven't seen from 20 years so the loss wasn't a loss - we have heart. Belizeans have heart, we had a sign there - 'win or loose we still love Belize'. I don't think any Belizean calls this a loss."
"Why do you like it here?"
"Well I came here for 6 months on a Visa and somehow I got a very good job and a good opportunity and I took advantage of it and 16 years later I'm here. I miss my country, I love it here because of the opportunities and if I had the same opportunity in my country I would be there."
Restore Belize’s Reading Program
For the past few months, 7News features the profile series where Restore Belize provides an interesting look into the lives of ordinary Belizeans as they tell us about their struggles to do the right thing.
Well, for the past few weeks it’s been missing, and today, Restore Belize explained that its because they’ve been work on another outreach program which has been shelved for months.
Today, the Public Outreach Officer told us about how the finally launched something they’ve been delaying since the inception of the organization called Restore Belize:
Marie Munoz – Public Outreach Officer, Restore Belize
"One of the first meetings we had was with the Primary School principals and they expressed to us that they had a serious concern on the reading standards of children moving through the Primary School system. So one of the first points that we ended up putting in our strategic plan was the intention to try to locate a literacy software that will be able to assist students in learning to read. We found a state of the art facility - it's a computer assisted solution and very expensive, a little bit pricey and we partnered with implementing agencies in the community - people who are already on the ground in different communities working who were teaching children to read. Maybe they hired teachers and we said we can assist to kind of insolate the school system because we know that teachers are already have burdened - so we wanted to do something to assist that process and the end goal is to keep children in school. The campaign is called 'Time to Read' and it means two things, investing the time to learn to read, you're guaranteed with the software that if you spend 40 hours that you will be able to move up a grade level and so if that investment is made then you will be able to learn to read. It doesn't matter if you're an adult, child, in school, out of school - now is the chance and it is all over the city so that you can find a location near you. All we ask that the people who participate in this program - to get the maximum benefit you have to come at least four times a week."
Constitutional March Going To “Griga”
If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you will probably know that members of the church have been organizing marches around the country to raise awareness about the Gender Policy.
They’ve gone to several corners of the country, and this weekend they will move to Dangriga.
Today, the organizer of the Dangriga Chapter of the march stopped by 7News to tell us why residents surrounding the culture capital should participate.
Dozie “Chicky” Ifeanyichineke – Organizer
"I am here this morning to inform that this Saturday coming, on July 13th, 2103 - there'll be the constitutional rally but long before this came up, I was already on the idea of and I was going around informing, doing educational forms and I was thinking about a rally that I had dubbed, 'Awareness Rally' and I just happened to hear about what was going on and so, same term but the idea is still the same. It's about educating people so I am here just to inform the residence of Dangriga and surrounding villages from the Valley right down to Independence coming up this weekend to inform you about the rally and we will start tentatively from 3:30 and the Drums of Our Fathers Monument.
We will go through Havanah Street, St. Vincent Street, Commerce Street, Court House Road into BTL Princess Royal Park where we will arrive, where the official ceremonies for the event will start. The guest speaker is, no other than, Attorney and Community Activist, Ms. Audrey Matura Shepherd. The unique thing about this rally folks, is that, it is two things; informative and educational, so what Ms. Audrey will do is that she will look at the legal and the constitutional aspect of the Gender Policy 2013 - so she will explain all that to us - then she will take the 2002 Agenda Policy and the 2013, the current one and compare the two.
Second Jaguar to return home as mother is dying
Two more members of the delegation that went with the national football selection may be coming home sooner than expected. As the Belize Jaguars prepare for their second match in [...]
F.F.B. Executive, Rawell Pelayo detained by D.E.A.
As we mentioned earlier, two more members of the delegation may be coming home. The Football Federation of Belize had suffered a slight embarrassment when one of its players, Elroy [...]
Jaguars touchdown in Sand City, Salt Lake, Utah
The Jaguars continue to press forward despite the setbacks. The team is in Sandy City, Salt Lake County, Utah preparing for Saturday’s game against Costa Rica. Our team is with [...]
F.F.B. President says Jaguars are ready
There are many external issues that could affect the confidence of the team. Once inside the soccer pitch, the Jaguars will have to leave all those issues behind. The F.F.B. [...]
Former Jaguars Coach Sherrier gives the lowdown
But a former Jaguars Head Coach disagrees with the president’s beliefs about future performance. Leroy Sherrier Lewis was responsible for taking the Jaguars through the Copa Centro Americana games in [...]
Will statutory instrument allow ministries to bypass Central Bank?
The Prime Minister signed a Statutory Instrument (S.I.) on June twentieth that has caused some backlash from the Opposition. A section of regulations thirty three in the Exchange Control (Amendment) [...]
Minister Alamilla appalled by hanging of UNIBAM effigy in P.G.
The lynching of an effigy depicting one or, symbolically, all members of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), during a pro-constitution march held in Toledo last Friday, has raised grave [...]
Renewable energy symposium in Corozal
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities hosted a renewable energy symposium in Corozal this morning. The purpose of the session, which included participation from the public [...]
The Maranco oil show, a no show?
Soccer is not the only topic in tonight’s news, but there is another national issue that has held the collective breaths of a great portion of our working population, the [...]
Will Belize ever have internet rates as low as the region?
The search for oil depends on modern technology, and that includes software, equipment, and in some cases, dependence upon the internet. A 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers carried [...]
Family believes the police want to extradite to US without a hearing
Twenty-eight year old Deon Bruce remains tonight in police custody, after being detained this afternoon by personnel from the Gang Suppression Unit. According to Bruce’s family, they were unofficially informed [...]
McKoy detained for ride-by attempted murder
On Tuesday night, eighteen-year-old Everal Cardinez was shot while riding a bicycle along Jones Street. The Hattieville resident was in the company of a friend when they were accosted by [...]
Businessman busted with out-of-season conch
The Belize Fisheries Department was on routine checks at restaurants in the Ladyville area when they busted a restaurant owner in possession of conch. Shubin Yu, the owner of Benny’s [...]
B.D.F. Summer Camp has numerous programs for kids
One of the most anticipated summer programs is organized by the Belize Defense Force. Children from all over the country between ages ten to sixteen converge at Price Barracks for [...]
Galen University Basketball fundraiser for FFB and Jaguars
This Friday, Galen University is staging a basketball game at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. The event is to raise funds to further assist the Belize Jaguars and by [...]
Superstar’s knockout round, a hit
Be the Next Superstar is Channel Five’s groundbreaking entertainment and talent show. The family event brings out droves of people to cheer and meet locals as they take the stage [...]
Healthy Living instructs you to control your body
It is never too late to start an exercise routine. But before you do, the best approach is to do some research and start gradually. There are also changes to [...]
Police Arrests Belizean for Extradition; Detained without Right to Food, Visitors or Attorney
Tonight a man is in police custody at the Queen Street Police Station, but the reason for his detention is not believed to be a matter for the local courts. The family of Dion Bruce claims that he is the subject of a special operation by the Gang Suppression Unit, and that they strongly bel...
Minister and other NGO's Condemn Placard Displayed During Recent March
Three organizations that have joined efforts to stage protests in various parts of the country have distanced themselves from images that were posted by Minister of Forestry and Fisheries, Lisel Alamilla, on her Facebook page. BelizeCan, Belize Action, and Rise and Shine Belize issued a pre...
Guatemalan National: Arrested in Belize for Drugs; Investigated for Carnal Knowledge
A Guatemalan National is on remand after police discovered over nine hundred grams of marijuana in his back yard in the Toledo District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “An antidrug operation conducted by Independence police on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 resulted in ...
Chinese Man Caught With Illegal Conch Ready to Serve in Restaurant
Thirty-one year old Chinese businessman Shubin Yu, the owner of Benny Restaurant in Ladyville who had 30 pieces of conch in his restaurant ready to serve, was fined one thousand one hundred dollars today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to possession of conch during closed seaso...
Unemployed Resident Remanded for Allegedly Killing Teenager
Twenty-one year old Deondray Mckoy, an unemployed of Set Site who allegedly shot 18 year old Everal Cardinez, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Mckoy was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the of...
Honduran National Charged With Murder
Forty five year old Fidio Mendez Martinez, a Honduran Laborer of Silk Grass, was arrested and charged for murder in connection with an incident that occurred last weekend. The victim was thirty nine year old Blas Alvarado, also a Honduran laborer of Silk Grass. When police visited the...
Ministry of Science Looks at Renewable Energy
With the world’s oil resources depleting day by day, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities is preparing for the future and the way forwards is renewable energy. Today the Ministry held a final of three forums that were held across the county. The forums involve th...
Phase Two of Municipal Development Project Gets Underway
There is much development happening in several areas of the country and many of them are thanks to the Belize Municipal Development Project. Correspondent Arturo Cantun found out more about developments under the project. ARTURO CANTUN “In 2010 the Government of Belize signed ...
Development Continues Countrywide Under Municipal Project Funded by World Bank
There is much development happening in several areas of the country and many of them are thanks to the Belize Municipal Development Project. Correspondent Arturo Cantun found out more about developments under the project. ARTURO CANTUN “In 2010 the Government of Belize signed ...
Opposition Party Says Signed SI Allows Government to Have Bank Accounts Abroad Without Central Bank Approval
The People’s United Party and their representatives of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives have issued a statement calling out on the Prime Minister of Belize to explain to the public the signing into law of the Statutory Instrument number fifty six of twenty thirt...
Dance Group From Southern Belize Performs in USA
A dance group from Dangriga has travelled to the United States to showcase the Garifuna culture. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “A cultural Belizean group form Dangriga traveled to Brooklyn, USA yesterday where they will be participating in a cultural exchange pr...
Members of Fishing Community Hosted at Workshop
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association (BFCA) has received a grant of fifty thousand dollars from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. With the money, BFCA will now be able to carry out their project entitled “Improvement of Marine Biodiversity through Empowerment of Fishers&...
BTL Park Upgrades continue
On Monday, July 8th, the Belize City Council along with Belize Telemedia Limited and the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED) broke ground at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks to usher in Phases 2 and 3 of the park renovation project.
Mayor Darrell Bradley stated that the project is entering into the next two phases after the completion of the first one which saw the reclamation of the park and the construction of a sea wall expanding the park by 40 percent. That portion of the project was carried out by RJB construction at a cost of almost $800,000. The second and third phase will be for some $1.2 million and will be implemented by International Environments (I.E). Those two projects will include the construction of business kiosks, the construction of basic infrastructure in the park by raising it by six inches, and constructing walking spaces in and around the park. Additionally, there will be a fountain for use by children as well as the construction of a multipurpose amphitheater and two beach volleyball courts complete with beach sand. There will also be the construction of a 100-foot pier that will extend into the sea.
Disrespecting the Flag
On Tuesday, July 9th church organizations once again gathered to protest the Gender Policy but it seems that the great disrespect, which was done to the nation must have slipped observers as they must have been more preoccupied with who was participating in the so-called “Constitutional March.” Participant after participant lined up and were issued with the Belizean flag. Then, they must have been instructed to turn the Belize flag upside down. Imagine, a national symbol being taken and disrespected in this manner.
The question must be, this: to what end is this being done and who was it that hatched up this affront to our national pride? It must be understood that the flag is a country's standard and must at all times be respected.
Making matters worse is that children are being used as instruments to carry this most defiling of tasks. Instead of children being taught to respect the flag as one of our national symbols, they are being taught that it is all right, to in a public manner, disrespect it. And then they say they are marching for the Constitution.
The Meaning of Gender
There seems to be some confusion in the public mind about the meaning of gender, much of it caused by misinformation disseminated by those with their own agenda. For clarity, let us examine from a gender perspective the lives of two twins, Jane and John Doe. Notations that shed light on the role of gender will be posted throughout the narrative to be examined once their stories are told.
Jane is female by sex and John is male. Jane does exceptionally well in school even though she often misses classes because she has to stay home to look after her younger siblings. Sometimes she has to pretend not to know the answers because her mother has warned her that it is unfeminine to be too clever and that no man will want to marry her if he thinks she is smarter than him. Still, she dreams of being a teacher herself but when she finishes Standard Six, her father tells her that it would be a waste to send her to High School because she will get married and have children and her husband will look after her. He thinks it would be better to let John further his education since he will need to be the breadwinner in his family. John, although bright, had begun to lose interest in school as he neared his teenage years. He found that being the class clown allowed him to show off in front of the boys and impress the girls and his grades began to decline.
Supreme Court seeks Mediators to decongest Judicial System
The Supreme Court of Belize is opening the door for a new profession in Belize: dispute mediators. In his address at the 2012 Opening of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin spoke about the overwhelming volume of cases that reach before the Court on an annual basis and said that a mediation system may need to be introduced in order to address the problem. There has since been consultations with representatives from various institutions, including the Belize Police Department, Council of Churches, Bar Association, Supreme Court Bench, University of the West Indies and the Belize Family Court in order to establish rules on mediation procedures. Justice Courtney Abel of the Belize Supreme Court says that the Chief Justice is now looking for qualified mediators to conduct Court ordered sessions at $100 an hour.
The Supreme Court will only recognize mediators that have been trained by the University of the West Indies. Jane Bennett, Head of UWI Belize Open Campus, says that the university will be conducting the Court based mediation training from August 5th to 9th of this year. It is a 40-hour course and will be held at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. To qualify for the program, an applicant must have a high school diploma and be at least 21 years old. They must have a clean criminal record and have previous mediation training. Julianne Ellis-Bradley will be the facilitator of the course. She says that if someone is interested but do not have previous mediation training, they can sign up for the Intro to Mediation sessions which will be held during the week of July 29th. The cost of the Intro to Mediation sessions is $375 and the cost of the Court-based class is $1,000.
The Veil is lifted, Preacher-man to politician!
From the manner in which Patrick Andrews has been attacking the Government of Belize when he appears on Plus TV’s “Rise and Shine”, it was only a matter of time before he would openly declare that he is a PUP with aspirations of political office. That declaration came on Wednesday, July 10th when he openly declared that he was a PUP and that he would be seeking political office in the Belmopan constituency.
The Gender Policy is NOT UNIBAM
It would appear that some church organizations have been successfully able to merge the UNIBAM issue with Government's Gender Policy document. This has been so because from time immemorial, people have believed that those who lead congregations do no wrong and tell no lies. Cursory looks at the placards that demonstrators have been carrying would suggest that church pastors, who lead these demonstrators, are telling their congregations that the Gender Policy and UNIBAM are synonymous with one another. The truth is that the two are completely different.
The UNIBAM issue is one where Caleb Orozco who represents the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), took the Government of Belize to court over the constitutionality of Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code. Since the start of the matter, UNIBAM was struck off by the court as an interested party, leaving Orozco alone to make the challenge. In the case, Orozco is specifically challenging the portion of the law where it states that "every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years." He says that the law violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man.
What’s Hot, What’s Not - You “nuh watch no face”? neither does Cervical Cancer
You hear the survival stories. You watch the news. You even quickly skip the channel after you hear the word, thinking it’s just well, CANCER. Almost as if though it is something that can never happen to you. Boy oh boy! It’s time for you to get up and smell the coffee; it is closer to home than you think. Cervical Cancer like any other disease “nuh watch no face”. It does not discriminate, have favoritism or take into consideration how young you are, how much you are loved, much less how much you have accomplished. It simply creeps up on you like a wild cat in want of its long awaited prey.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER?
I AM A MAN...
WARNING TO ALL WOMEN!
Yes, my warning goes out to all women, but for you men that feel that since you don’t have a cervix you can wipe this disease clean from your forehead, REWIND! This is also as important to you as it is to the lady.
What are Millennium Development Goals?
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of quantifiable, time-bound goals that aim to achieve the social, economic and environmental advances that are required for sustainable gains in human development. The Millennium Development Goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of State and Government, in September 2000. Belize is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals.
The MDGs are designed to act positively on the living conditions of human beings across the globe, and to improve their standard of living. The statistics below highlight the gravity of the serious problems facing some of the world's population in the 21st century.
• About 900 million people were estimated to live in slum-like conditions
• Nearly one billion people still did not have access to safe drinking water
• By the end of 2001, an estimated 13 million children under 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean
• Eleven million children below age five still died every year from preventable causes – about 30,000 a day (UNDP, 2011)
BATSUB donates to BDF
The British High Commisioner to Belize, H. E. Pat Ashworth, handed over 17 4-ton vehicles to the Belize Defence Force on Wednesday, July 10th. The donation came after Brigadier General David Jones made the request from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) in March of this year. H.E. Ashworth explained that it was a great pleasure for him to hand over the vehicles to assist in the mobility of the BDF. He added that was despite the fact that the original plan was for the vehicles to be sold to purchase 6-ton vehicles. And while they have been handed over to the BDF, he stated that it is likely that BATSUB will call for their use in the near future when that training unit’s numbers are increased within 18 months to two years as British Forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan.
Not For Sale!!! National Team Players refuse Bribe
Ian Gaynair of the Belize National Football Team has made Belize proud. Gaynair smoked a headshot past the goalkeeper of the United States to give Belize its first goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament but it was his actions before the game that makes us here in the jewel most proud. Gaynair and teammate Woodrow West say they were offered a substantial amount of money by a foreigner to intentionally throw the game against the United States. To that offer, Gaynair said, “I put my country before all of that. All the struggle me goh through, all them years di play football, I can’t just take wah lee bit of money and just throw my country behind my back.”
Citco Assembles Emergency Management Stakeholders
Belize City is as prepared to respond to a natural disaster as it has ever been after a two day symposium on disaster management on Thursday and Friday, July 4th and 5th. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, invited all the major players in disaster management to the Biltmore Plaza for a symposium themed “Comprehensive Disaster Management for Municipalities”.
Training for Local Town and City Councils’ PR Personnel
The first in a series of training workshops on communications aimed at improving the skills of public relations personnel in all nine City and Town Councils across Belize began on Monday, July 8th at the House of Culture in Belize City.
March held in San Ignacio Town
A demonstration was held on Tuesday of this week through the main streets of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. About two thousand participants, coming from such places as Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belmopan and Corozal congregated at the Ma