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#469039 - 07/26/13 12:11 PM Today's Belize News: July 26, 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

Proposed Ambergris Caye Wetlands project to include dredging areas
In 2011 an environmental advocacy group was formed called the Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee (ACWC). ACWS was composed of members of the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) Executive Committee, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association, San Pedro Business Association and Green Reef. The group developed a proposal for three areas in north Ambergris Caye to become protected areas: Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve, Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve and Cayo Frances/ Mata Frances Lagoons. The proposal is part of the Ambergris Caye Conservation Initiative of 2011. The proposal outlines the use for all three areas. Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve would be used exclusively as a recreational area that will include a “NO Take Zone” and a “General Use Zone”. The Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve would be designed as a marine reserve with a zone for catch and release sport fishing. The Bajos area includes nine small islands and five shoals which are vital habitats for the island’s fisheries for schooling tarpon, permit and bonefish. Finally the Cayo Frances/Mata Frances Lagoon was proposed to be a National Park which will include catch and release sport fishing. The proposal would have been managed as a National Park and would be established under the National Park System Act of the laws of Belize. This would mean that nothing would be allowed to be extracted from the area.

Noche de las Estrellas bring laughter and excitement to San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Aids Commission brought a large crowd out on Saturday July 20th for their annual “Noche de Las Estrellas” show featuring Mexican imitators and comedians. The event took place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium and had the participation of local band Rompe Raja and DJ Habo. It is the largest of three fundraisers held annually by the commission, and this year saw the most successful turnout since its inception. Felix Ayuso, President of the San Pedro Aids Commission on Ambergris Caye commented that the event was a great success. “We personally feel that it was a good show because the presentation was spectacular and was well attended. It is the best and biggest show we have had so far. Even though we are yet to make a final tally, we feel that it was a successful fundraiser,” explained Ayuso.

Under the Sun: Congratulations international graduates!
The San Pedro Sun joins the San Pedro community in congratulating Ambar Ayala and Emily Verde who both graduated this season from universities in Monaco (Ambar Ayala) and Los Angeles, CA USA (Emily Verde). Emily graduated with ‘Distinction’ (High Honors) from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. The graduation ceremony took place on June 28, 2013 at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her MBA concentrating in International Business and Human Resources. Emily is a graduate of San Pedro High School, St. John’s College Jr. College and the University of Belize (where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management).

U.S. Religious-Right Groups Working to Keep Criminal Statutes Barring LGBT Sex in Belize and Other Caribbean Countries
As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people continue making strides toward equality in the United States, hard-line U.S. religious-right groups that have spent decades demonizing LGBT people are focusing their attention – and propaganda – on a legal battle over the criminalization of LGBT sex in Belize, the outcome of which could affect criminal statutes in as many as a dozen other Caribbean countries, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report released today. Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize examines how these groups are working in countries where anti-gay attitudes are strong and violence against the LGBT community is common. Several prominent groups have descended on the tiny Central American country of Belize to prevent Section 53, a statute criminalizing gay sex, from being struck down in court. Their efforts already have intensified anti-LGBT attitudes in the country, where the plaintiff in the case has been threatened and physically assaulted.

Flipkey recognizes Belize among Top 10 Best Eco-Vacation Spots in the World
Belize was named as one of the “Best Eco-Vacation Spots” in the world by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company. The list, developed based on both traveler feedback and industry research, commends Belize for its countless opportunities to experience incredible natural beauty and unique biodiversity. With 36 percent of Belize’s landmass and 13 percent of its waters enjoying protected status, the country has long been a leader in this category. From the majestic Blue Hole to the recently established Turneffe Marine Reserve, Belize delivers an authentic, unspoiled experience for both locals and travelers to enjoy.

Photos: Reina de La Costa Maya Contestants Arrive
The delegates for the Reina de la Costa Maya pageant arrive on Thursday, July 25th. Who is your pick for the win this year?

Ambergris Today

Turtle Nests Saved from High Surf in Ambergris Caye
The turtle nesting season is well into its third month here on Ambergris Caye, Belize, running from May to November. One conservation group that has been arduously working in monitoring the nesting and protecting the turtle population in the area is the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Project. At the start of the nesting season, three nests were found at the Robles and Rocky Point nesting Beaches. This week a few nests had to be relocated to higher grounds due to the high surf; in normal situations these nests would have a lesser rate of survival. Weekly field monitoring by the Turtle Program helps to ensure a higher rate of survival of the fragile hatchlings.

Lifeline Foundation receives $2Million Donation
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is pleased to announce that the Oak Foundation has committed to donating 2 million dollars toward the construction of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This donation is the result of over a year of discussions and due diligence between the Oak Foundation and the Lifeline Foundation, which was also founded by Mrs. Barrow. One million dollars have been earmarked for construction while the other million will go towards the purchase of equipment. The donation will allow for the works, which recently commenced on the new wing of the KHMH to move forward at a quicker pace while efforts continue to raise the remaining funds that are needed.

Emily Verde Graduates with Honors from Management of DeVry University
Emily Verde graduated with ‘Distinction’ (High Honors) from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. The graduation ceremony took place on Friday, June 28, 2013 at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her MBA concentrating in International Business and Human Resources. Emily is the daughter of Pinita and Ricardo Verde and is a proud graduate of San Pedro High School, St. John’s College Jr. College and the University of Belize, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management.

Why Poor People in Belize can’t get ahead!

Misc Belizean Sources

ReefCI catch the largest Lionfish in Belize!!!
Wow!!! How exciting!! ReefCI are delighted to report that Polly Alford, ReefCI Founder, speared the BIGGEST Lionfish EVER recorded in Belize! This photo shows the beast being measured!! It was a whopping 44cm long and weighed 2.75lbs!!!!! “I looked down the wall and saw a huge Lionfish staring at me at around 100 feet! I thought to myself, I have to spear that giant! I speared it just behind its head and it shrugged itself off the spear!!! I speared it again and this time held it down so it couldn’t jump off! When I tried to put it into the bag, it wouldn’t fit!!! It was so big, the only way to get it in the bag, was to put the bag next to its head on the seafloor and maneuver it in.

10 interesting and quirky facts about Belize
Here are a few things you may not know about Belize: 1. Belize has around 900 Mayan sites. 2. The islands in Belize are called Cayes (pronounced “keys”) and total around 450 including those on the outer atolls. 3. Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world, otherwise known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary. 4. Many Belizeans avoid swimming in the ocean or rivers on Good Friday; it is viewed as bad luck. Local Mothers can often be heard telling their kids they “will turn fish!” if they swim on this day!

Looking for nesting turtles!
Awesome photos....

Through Caity's Eyes'
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to present 'Through Caity's Eyes' - sketches and drawings by Caitlyn Tillett. This twelve year old Corozal artist has been keenly developing her style in anime, and caricature from a very young age. We encourage all to embrace her talent and initiative. Kindly join us for the opening Friday August 2, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Corozal House of Culture.

Acupressure Workshop
There will be a Acupressure Workshop given by a Chinese MD, Shandong Chinese traditional Medicine University (ABD) It will be at: The Mirador Beach Finca Solana on the Bay Friday, 26th of July 1:00 - 5:00 PM Saturday, 27th July 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

New Coastal Xpress website
Coastal Xpress has a new website up, so if you need information on ferry / water taxi services, their website is http://CoastalXpress.com

Commentary: Belizeans in the US form new group to address dual citizenship rights
By Wellington C. Ramos When Belize became independent on September 21, 1981, Belizeans who were born in Belize and became citizens of the United States and other countries automatically lost their Belizean citizenship. While people who were not born in Belize that obtained Belizean citizenship through descent, marriage to a Belizean citizen naturalization, etc. retained the citizenship of their natural born country and Belizean citizenship with all the rights, privileges and to run for office, including becoming the prime minister of Belize. In 1984 when the United Democratic Party became the government of Belize for the first time, they introduced a Bill to give back Belizeans who were born in Belize their citizenship and also recognize the citizenship they possess from their second country. However, despite the passing of this Bill, which became law, there were contradictions with the constitution, newly passed legislation, the election and boundaries laws and the People’s Representation Ordinance with qualifications to run for office.

Mango Cobbler
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced 2 tablespoons lime juice 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons butter, cold 1/2 cup milk -Preheat oven to 375ºF. -Combine mangoes, lime juice, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Stir until mango is coated with lime and nutmeg. Spoon fruit into a greased 8 inch square pan. -In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Mix well.

BNDC 10th Anniversary Closing Celebration
Musical interlude. The Belize National Dance Company uploaded some video from their 10th anniversary tour in Cayo, which was held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. "BNDC closes its 10th Anniversary Tour in San Ignacio with a boisterous celebration!"

Destinee Arnold at Costa Maya
Cayo's Destinee Arnold is representing Belize at this year's Costa Maya. Looks like Belize will win this year. Best of luck, Destinee! "The International Costa Maya Festival is pleased to announce this year’s Belizean representative vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya. Meet Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize 2012, Destinee Dominique Arnold, the 20 year old Belizean beauty who is no stranger to pageantry as she is also Miss Ethnic World 2013." In related news, Miss World Belize is coming up, and they are looking for contestants between the ages of 17-24 years old. Submit applications online at http://missworldbelize.com by August 1st.

Galen Eagles in Mexico
The Galen Eagles are in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, representing Belize in a basketball tournament. Best of luck! "Galen Eagles Basketball Team has been selected to represent Belize in a Basketball tournament in Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico. The tournament starts on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 and ends on Sunday July 27th, 2013. The team will be playing against 4 professional teams that have been selected to be a part of the tournament as well. Let's support the Galen Eagles Basketball Team as they go out and represent out Country. GOOOOOO EAGLES!!!"

Traveller's Visits Cayo for 60th Anniversary
Traveller's Luquors had their number 1 marketing team in Cayo yesterday. You probably saw Jason or Roxana at one of the 8 markets where they set up for free tastings. They have a new Craboo Cream Liquer that they were hyping up. Thanks, and happy 60th! "Jason and Roxana are the best salespersons in Belize, and they were in Cayo today to promote Travellers Liquors for their 60th anniversary, and to show off their Craboo Cream liquer."

Rebecca Stirm Model Casting Call
Rebecca Stirm is having a Model Casting Call. If you are interested, you can contact her at rebeccastirm@gmail.com. http://rebeccastirmclothing.com/ "Well ladies, its that time of year again! On August 10 - come over to our model casting and show us that YOU have what it takes to be one of the 15 models that will step foot on our runway this season! Mark it on your calendar!"

Cirque du Soleil Screening in Benque

Channel 7

Government Gluttons Fresh-Pond Feeding Frenzy Causes Inter-Ministerial Friction
Tonight, there is serious friction between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Housing after the Housing CEO Lawrence Sylvestre had to be removed from the Natural Resources Ministry by armed guards yesterday. It’s a dispute that all stems from over 50 abandoned, half finished homes at the Fresh Pond Housing Community. The houses were built during the PUP era but were never completed – and have been sitting there abandoned for years. But, they haven’t gone un-noticed because the property in the Burrell Boom area has value. So, with the write off of tens of millions of dollars in housing department mortgages, the properties came up for re-issue. According to our information, the idea was to sell the property at a social rate, between 800 and 1,500 dollars to qualifying, low-income party supporters. But this week, things took a turn when it came to the attention of a few interested observers that the houses – 10 of them at least – were being divvied up among party supporters including friends and family of Government CEO’s and the brother of Gaspar Vega’s Driver, Marlon Miranda.

Long-Pending, Major Maya Judgment Handed Down
For the past two days we’ve been telling you about the lawsuit that SATIIM has taken out against US Capital Energy and the Government of Belize. To a large extent, it is based on the judgments coming out of the Supreme Court in 2007 and 2010, when Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh found that the Mayans in 33 villages of Southern Belize have customary land rights over their ancestral lands. That judgment was vigorously appealed by the Barrow Administration in 2011 at the court of appeal. Two years have passed and no judgment was handed down. But yesterday, quite unexpectedly, just as new matters were about to overtake it, the Court of Appeal announced that it was ready with its judgment. Clocking in at 198 pages, it’s one of the longest we’ve ever come across, and, who wins, who loses? Well, the experts say it’s what might be called “cocks” – in a game of “jacks,” there’s no clear winner and no clear loser. So, the members of the Mayan community who came to court today listened intently after the session to a quick interpretation by their legal team. Afterwards, they exited the court, and we asked their lead attorney to give a brief explanation of decision, accepting the limitation that they couldn’t possibly had digested 198 pages, and 66 thousand words in only a few minutes. Here’s how attorney Antoinette Moore explained it:

Practical Significance Of Judgment?
So, that’s the situation; the Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the rights of the Indigenous Maya communities of the south. But, it has reversed the orders by Former CJ Conteh, effectively removing the obligations of the Government to protect those rights. And interestingly enough, the Court agreed with GOB’s arguments that in line with the Petroleum Act, the Mines and Minerals Act, and the Forest Act, the Government retains ownership and control of any lands where natural resources and minerals are found after exploration has been done. Their grievance was that Former CJ Conteh failed to take proper judicial notice of these laws and their implications. That is significant because US Capital Energy wants to conduct oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park, and SATIIM is trying to block them with an injunction, which is yet to be scheduled for hearing. In that context, the media asked attorney Antoinette Moore about the implications of the judgment on this and other matters which surround the lands which the Maya Communities are claiming. Here’s how that conversation went: Antoinette Moore - Attorney for the Maya Leaders Alliance "At the time I don't think I can say very much in terms of that. The court of appeal meets every March, June and October - those are the sessions, however they can meet out of session for any reason to deliver a judgment that perhaps wasn't ready in June - they can meet at any time. Obviously there are some interesting issues around the timing because I have filed an application for contempt which is to be heard on Monday with respect to this very judgment, with contempt with the government not obeying the court order. So we shall see what will happen on Monday and I can see why you asked that question, I don't think I have a good answer for you thought."

Hon. Alamilla Vs. Apamo
On Tuesday, the SATIIM flew the media to Punta Gorda where it announced that the Forestry Department had terminated its co-management agreement of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. And then the Chairman of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations claimed that in fact the Forestry Department was basically trying to push a new co-management agreement down the throats of all the NGO’s that co-manage national parks. Well, today the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla held a press conference to give her side of the story – first on the SATIIM issue – saying they made a commitment and didn’t stick to it. Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry and Fisheries "I sent a letter to SATIM on June 5th - again highlighting that we need to standardize this, he responded on June 9th and stated on his letter 'SATIM would be committed to signing the co-management agreement on June 28th, 2013' - it says 'SATIM requests your consideration to the date stated above to sign the co-management agreement as it would be impossible to sign before the 28th of June because of the ongoing organizational reform which included re-organizing programmes and strengthening internal financial controls and procedures. We are certain that we will conclude this important exercise on June 26th.' - this is what SATIM wrote to us."

BTIA Says GOB Playing “Crackhead Economics” With Norwegian Port
The resource rich and largely unspoiled southern Belize is also the scene for another battleground – that’s the latest one over whether there will be a cruise terminal close to Placencia AT HARVEST CAYE. We’ve been reporting on the terms outlined in a draft memorandum of understanding – which show the usual menu of concessions, tax breaks and a 7 US Dollar head tax that gives 60% back to the Norwegian Cruise Line so that they can recover their investment as quickly as possible. It’s caused some consternation amongst the overnight tourism interests in the south and today the Belize Tourism Industry Association held a meeting to consolidate their position. They say there’s been zero consultation on a project that – if approved – could have far reaching impacts on their overnight tourism product. Herbert Haylock - President, BTIA "Development in the South needs to be focused as it relates to cruise again in the realm of the master plan, specifically in the area of pocket tourism and not the mega developments that are being proposed at this time." Stewart Krohn - Chairman, Placencia Chapter "What introducing mass tourism to the south does is that it fundamentally changes the entire character of the tourism product. Belize invented eco-tourism - that word didn't exist until Belize brought it to the floor and held the first international eco-conference ever. Now what we're doing with mass tourism is really telling the world is that we're not really an eco destination - we are now a mass destination. You can't be both - you can't be all things to all people."

Southern Poverty Law Center Takes On Stirm
For the past few months, Christian homophobes who have been at the forefront the campaign against what they call the LGBT agenda have been saying that UNIBAM’s constitutional challenge is really a foreign agenda being forced on the Belizean Society. They say that Gay Rights Activist Caleb Orozco is being funded, controlled and or directed by international interests who are simply trying to topple Belize’s sodomy laws as part of a worldwide campaign to mainstream gay lifestyles. Well, today, UNIBAM and one of its supporting agencies fired back when the US NGO known as the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report called “DANGEROUS LIAISONS: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize”. In this report, the SPLC is claiming that the local religious groups like Belize Action who’ve taken the forefront are being funded and directed by US religious conservative groups with millions of dollars for an annual budget. Via a telephone a press conference today, the director of SPLC announced to international media about the significance of the report. 7News listened in, and we have an excerpt of that launching. Here’s how that presentation went:

Making Defensive Driving Work For Government
We’ve told you about the launching of the Belize Road Safety Project. It is a CDB funded initiative, which seeks to decrease Belize’s abnormally high traffic fatality rate. The project seeks to improve sections of the Western Highway between Belize City and Belmopan, and to increase enforcement on this part of the road. But, in order to be effective at enforcement, the facilitators of the project believe that the authorities must practice what they preach. To that end, they’ve started a workshop called Defensive Driving, to teach them how to become better drivers, and how to become motorists that the public will respect. 7News stopped in today, and we spoke to the Trainer, who says that defensive driving is really just the exercise of common sense – which we all know is not too common: Dennis Molina - Trainer, Defensive Driving "We don't change attitudes - we cannot change that, you need a psychologist. We are trying to make people be self-disciplined and not be an aggressive driver - be defensive because it's a benefit for all road users. There's nothing much to it, you just have to be disciplined in all you doing - for instance you know that answering a cell phone while you're driving causes destruction. While you're looking and not looking ahead to what is going on is also a distraction and by the time you look round in a split second. Secondly, driving is a full time job - once you are driving a vehicle - you are continuously under full manners. There are a lot of things that you have to watch, like the atmosphere, you have to watch smog, smoke, road condition - when to ease up the speed and you have to know what to do, several little things just use your common sense."

Chiquibul, the Adventure Is Just Getting There
It’s not quite like climbing Victoria Peak, but when you go into the Chiquibul, all the way to the Western Border, half the story is just getting there! Tonight Daniel Ortiz dedicates a whole story to that. As we showed you last night, he and camera-man Codie Norales went there, and it’s important to note because it sort of explains why the place is so abstract, because it’s so darn far! Here’s his story- Daniel Ortiz reporting The environment inside the Chiquibul knows no sense of urgency, it is lost in time, immune to everyday exigencies; in fact, time is just a means of measurement which the guides use to estimate how far they’ve travelled, and how much further they have to go. For us in the media, time is always of the essence, and being sucked into the tangle of green on a deadline day, was, at first disorienting. But, in place of time’s dictates, we had another kind of pressure: an early morning ride through the Chiquibul on this John Deer tractor – or jumping viper – which the FCD rangers use as the main means of transportation. And on every move they make in the forest, they are joined by BDF Soldiers and police officers. Being so close to so many firearms, trigger fingers at the ready in case of any armed threat, is enough to unsettle anyone, but this has become the reality of the men who work inside the national park.

Profile Is About Reconciliation
It happens all the time, too often really, but how do good friends become sworn enemies? Lot’s of times it’s because of what might be called “seh, seh, seh” – people saying this one said this, and that one said that. That’s kind of what happened with Tyeisca Adolphus and Dawn Parchue. They were best of friends until the talking started – and on Christmas eve that exploded into a brawl – thatw as captured onc ell phone camera, and went viral on facebook and youtube…it even made the news. But from that ugly episode…to tonight where these one time friends have reconciled and are appearing together on the I Am Belize profile – hoping their truce can serve as an example for others. Here’s their very incredible story:…

Rowan Is Ready…To Dive!
He’s climbed Victoria Peak and walked from the western border to the city, and for the past 2 months, 14 year old adventurer Rowan Garel has been preparing for his new adventure: diving the Blue Hole. The courageous blind teenager will be the first blind Belizean to dive the blue hole and, of course, he’s doing it for Charity. Rowan is raising awareness and funds for the BCVI summer camp which caters for visually impaired children from all over the country. Today we caught up with Rowan to see how excited he is as his big day draws nearer.

Snakes In An Office?
We’ve heard of “Snakes on a Plane, but, Snakes In An Office? C’mon! We wouldn’t have believed it if we hadn’t seen it for ourselves – or experienced it for ourselves actually, because we found a nest of snakes led by a very protective momma snake right in our Channel 7 office. It started unfolding yesterday evening when one of the office staff went looking for a mop in a storage area. When she came out, she swore she had seen a snake. We called our neighbor and local snake catcher who came through in a jiffy. He found a very aggressive six foot Boa - Snake Catching Neighbor "Well, I took out the box and everything and then it was in a box and I held the neck because it was mad and it can bite and you can never know because it could be a dog bite because the older snakes are not poisonous." Monica Bodden "You told us that it was a female" Snake Catching Neighbor "You can know it by the tail and the colors. The males are darker."

Channel 5

Maya Leaders win Land Rights Case
Maya Leaders from the south travelled by bus to Belize City for a ruling on government’s appeal in respect of a historic Supreme Court decision that goes back to 2010. [...]

Minister discusses Co-management agreement for National Parks
The Court of Appeal this afternoon reaffirmed rights to communal lands by Maya Communities. But this morning, Minister Lisel Alamilla had a press conference to talk about co-management agreement with [...]

Several N.G.O.’s file co-management agreements.
But for SATIIM and APAMO, this is very serious business. They feel that government is trying to bully N.G.O.s into signing co-management agreements by using the carrot and the stick [...]

SATIIM responds to Forestry Minister on co-management
Today Minister Lisel Alamilla also aimed some very pointed comments at SATIIM for its refusal to sign on to the co-management agreement handed down by government. While SATIIM has stated [...]

B.T.I.A. tells G.O.B. no one in their right mind would sign Norwegian’s M.O.U.
Government has given its green light to a massive cruise tourism port project at Harvest Caye and is about to sign a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The [...]

Pocket Tourism only acceptable choice for cruise ship industry
The membership of the Belize Tourism Industry Association is one of the strongest in the country. But despite the strong opposition from the B.T.I.A. and from environmental groups to the [...]

Fishermen busted with catch in conservation zone
Two fishermen from Sarteneja found quick judgment at the hands of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton today, though the first time offender got off easier than the repeat lawbreaker. Twenty-eight year old [...]

American Religious Right & Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize
A report called “Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize” was released today via teleconference to the local media. According to the report, “religious-right [...]

Group that tracks anti-gay groups, fears for activities in Belize
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a civil rights organization. Founded in 1971, is dedicated to fighting hate groups and extremism and teaching tolerance and trying to identify and track [...]

BAHA reports suspected cases of rabies in cow
A suspected case of bovine rabies, commonly known as rabies in cow, has been reported by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority in the New Road Area of Toledo District.  The [...]

Media tours Belize with the B.T.B.
The Belize Tourism Board treated the media to a familiarization tour of various tourist destinations in the jewel over the weekend. The four-day tour started in Orange Walk with a [...]

A SMART Summer Camp with kids attending Lionel Messi Football Camp
Summer camps and with different themes are taking place all over the country. This afternoon, we caught up with a sports camp that is ongoing at the ITVET Compound. Having [...]

Cure yourself with a dose of Healthy Living
Since the breast is best campaign in the nineties, there has been a gradual shift to exclusive breastfeeding. It led to the certification of the first public hospital as “baby [...]

LOVE FM

Road Safety Training Underway in Belize City
At the end of June the Ministry of Works and Transport, Enforcement Team received two new high way patrol vehicles from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development’s Road Safety Project. The government of Belize has received a fourteen million dollar loan financing from the Caribbean D...

Former Assistant Coach for Belize National Team Says He Cannot Be Suspended from FFB
Charlie Slusher; he was the assistant head coach for the Belize National Team who was prevented from joining the Belize Jaguars in their CONCACAF experience. As the assistant head coach, Slusher was quote in quote, “suspended” from his post at the Football Federation of Belize. Slushe...

Court Upholds Two of Five Rulings Handed Down By Former CJ in Maya People vs GOB
In 2010 former Chief Justice of Belize, Sir Abdulai Conteh reaffirmed that the Maya people of Toledo have rights to the land that they occupy and do farming. The Government appealed the decision and today the Court of Appeal, headed by Justice Manuel Sosa, delivered its ruling. The 19...

Minister of Forestry Holds Meeting With Media to Discuss Protected Areas and Co-Management
Two days ago, Greg Cho’c, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, supported by the Chairman of the Association of Protected Areas Management, Edilberto Romero, complained to reporters of certain aspects of a new proposal by the Government for the co-management of protec...

Aquaponics...Does It Have A Future in Belize?
There is a new industry slowly emerging here in Belize. It’s called aquaponics; a method of farming that uses the excrements of fish. There was a short seminar at the Radisson Hotel whereby aquaponics expert, John Pade and Rebecca Nelson of Nelson and Pade Incorporated advised interested Be...

Home Invasions Reported in Northern Belize
Three men have been charged after allegedly invading two homes on the night of Sunday July 21st. according to reports, the first invasion took place between nine and ten in the night at the home of Juan Carlos Novelo located at the Corner of Riverside Street and Lamanai Alley. Reports indicate th...

CTV3

Looking For Candidates For Miss World Belize
The Miss World 2013 International Pageant is scheduled to take place on the 28th of September 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event will be televised live in more than 150...

COLCHA Promotes Culture In Corozal
Human Creativity is defined as a Creative industry that generates economic activity through skills and talents that encompasses a broad range of intellectual outputs, including: music, fashion, crafts, designs, artwork,...

Youths Take Part In Leaders Camp
Over 150 youths representing Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Bahamas, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are presently in the Stann Creek District taking part in...

Rotary Club Of Orange Walk Names New President
On August 28th 1971, northenos saw the birth of the Rotary Club of Orange Walk. With over 40 years of existence, the Rotary Club has provided countless service to the...

Minister Alamilla Says SATIIM Is Playing Games
On Monday the Sarstoon Temash National Park, SATIIM, with support of APAMO filed a motion in the Supreme Court of Belize in disagreement with certain aspects of the new proposal...

BAHA Investigates Possible Case Of Bovine Rabies
The Ministry of Health is presently investigating a suspected case of bovine rabies better known as rabies in cow that was reported on the 24th of July 2013 by Belize...

Trio Charged For Double Home Invasion
Yesterday we reported on the two separate home invasions that took place in Orange Walk on Sunday night. Tonight, the good news is that the three men believed to be...

Another Landmark Win For Maya Leaders Alliance
Back in June of 2010 the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association won a landmark legal victory in the Supreme Court when Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, before...


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#469040 - 07/26/13 12:11 PM Re: Today's Belize News: July 26, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The Guardian

Oak Foundation Commits $2 Million for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
On Wednesday, July 23rd, Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, announced that the Oak Foundation has committed two million dollars towards the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project. Barrow says that the donation is a result of over a year of discussion and due diligence. One million dollars will go directly to construction of the structure, while one million dollars is earmarked for the purchase of equipment. Mrs. Barrow and partners broke ground on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on June 13th, 2011 and construction began in June of this year. The Pediatric ICU will cost over six million dollars. Construction commenced with funds that was raised by the Lifeline Foundation and $500,000 that was provided by the Government of Belize. The donation by Oak Foundation will allow for an increase in activity at the construction site. It is estimated that the project will take 18 months to complete but that timeline is only possible if pledged funds continue to materialize. Alan Gobie of the Gobie Foundation pledged a donation of $1 million, Douglas Jackson of Project C.U.R.E. pledged another million dollars in medical supplies and equipment and other organizations made pledges as well. Mrs. Barrow hopes that the Oak Foundation’s generous donation will urge others to make good on their pledges. The Pediatric ICU will improve the quality of services currently offered to ill children at the KHMH but most importantly, it will also provide services that are not available in the country.

Oceana funneled Money to UNIBAM
After a few minutes of reading what appeared to be a tiresome contribution by Audrey Matura-Shepherd in the Sunday, July 21 edition of the Amandala newspaper, entitled 'The Pen is Mightier than the Sword', there, in the final two paragraphs of the essay was an admission of things going wrong at Oceana, under her watch. The article states the following: "I end this issue on money to remind all LGBT, as can be verified by their leader, Caleb, that the monetary donation UNIBAM received from a certain foundation came through the Oceana account and was written on an Oceana cheque. So the very Oceana they seek to tell the LGBT not to support, was the means via which the said foundation siphoned their money to them. How ironic, that after such favor was done via Oceana, they should still seek to write some of the most vile things on Oceana's Facebook page. Maybe I should publish a copy of the cheque to prove further truth to the matter. Now they should go make queries to determine why their foundation-approved money had to be channeled through another recipient of a grant. Although I now depart, I cannot see Oceana again allowing itself to be used to facilitate such a process again, since the beneficiary of their kindness clearly is not deserving of Oceana's risk to facilitate money for a mission not legally sanctioned under Oceana's statutory and legal mandate... but God does not like ugly! ... "

No Drilling in Sarstoon Temash says SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) filed for an injunction against the Government of Belize to not allow U.S. Capital Energy from doing any work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park on Monday, July 22nd. The injunction comes on the heels of SATIIM having received a letter in which their co-management agreement was cancelled. The letter, dated July 17th, informed the NGO that the agreement was formally being terminated and that it was no longer authorized to enter the national park. It further advises SATIIM to refrain from conducting negotiations or business associated with the park. On Tuesday, the NGO chartered a plane and flew 10 members of the Belize City-based media to Punta Gorda where it held a press conference to give an update of the situation. During the press conference, SATIIM’s executive director, Greg Choc expressed his concern over the cancellation of the co-management agreement. He then went on to line up speakers to request that they be given greater benefits from the oil explorations that are scheduled. Speaking with Niall Gillett, public relations officer for U.S. Capital Energy, he explained that the injunction is not specific to his company; it also includes a number of Government departments including the Ministry of Forestry, Petroleum and Energy and the Attorney General’s Ministry. It is noteworthy that SATIIM is not proposing to drill in any Maya village and that it has consent from the Government of Belize to explore for oil in the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. He stated that the company is currently well poised to begin explorations but weather conditions are not permitting it to do so. Gillett stated, however, that as soon as it improves the work drilling work will commence.

Touring Our Belize
Belize is now a well-known destination in the international tourism market, so much so that the Belize Tourism Board had to abandon its logo, “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret”, in January of this year. Belize is not a secret anymore, at least not to foreigners, because we had well over a million tourists visiting Belize last year alone. However, for those of us who were born and raised here, there is much to be discovered, explored and enjoyed. The Belize Tourism Board is starting a new campaign to encourage domestic tourism in Belize. When the BTB wants to promote Belize as a tourism destination to new markets, it takes a press team from that area on a familiarization trip to tourist destinations across the country. Since the BTB is trying to promote domestic tourism, agents of the local press were taken on a familiarization trip from Thursday, July 18th, to Sunday, July 21st.

Closing Ceremony for Annhual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013
Closing Ceremonies were held Monday, July 22 for the Annual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013.

Government to renovate Central Medical Laboratory
On May 30th, 2006 a small explosion ignited a blaze at the Central Medical Laboratory building in Belize City. Fire fighters responded quickly and managed to save the building but it was severely damaged both by fire and water. The Government of Belize allocated funds to repair the building but it was known that eventually a complete renovation would be necessary. It has been more than seven years since the fire and that is the reason why those who work at the laboratory were ecstatic to learn on Friday, July 19th, that the Ministry of Health had contracted Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the middle floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, signed the contract with Javier Gutierrez, Managing Director of Gutierrez & Associates Architects.

City and Town Councils improve Revenue Collection and Expenditure
The final report on the Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP) for all city and town councils in Belize was presented this morning at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan.

Climate Change affecting Belize
Belize is getting an assistance of seven and a half million Belize Dollars from the European Union (E.U). This was revealed last week Thursday by Cosimo Lamberti Fossati, who comes from the Technical Support Office, European Union (E.U.) Delegation to Belize.

Taiwanese Youth Ambassadors host Summer Camp
Belize has a large Taiwanese population but the majority of Belizeans are unfamiliar with their rich culture. Most of what we think we know about the Taiwanese culture is what we have surmised from observing the actions of our neighbourhood Chinese grocer. Since 2010, the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan has hosted a summer camp in Belize City for youths ages thirteen to seventeen in an effort to share Taiwanese culture with young Belizeans. These camps are facilitated by university students from Taiwan. On Monday, July 22nd, a group of six “International Youth Ambassadors” from Taiwan opened a two week summer camp at the ITVET Conference Room in Belize City.

P. C. Lazaro Catch not guilty of Murder
On Monday, July 22, police officer, Lazaro Catch was acquitted in the Supreme Court. He had been charged in connection with the shooting death of Jamaican national, O’Neil Anthony Jones, who at the time was living in Lord’s Bank. Jones was allegedly shot by a police officer on February 13, 2010. Catch was one of two officers who had been accused of being involved in the shooting death. In court on Monday, he was acquitted in the Belize City Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. During the trial, attorney, Darrell Bradley was successful in getting the 30-year-old police officer off the charge of abetment to manslaughter in Jones’s shooting death.

Charles Bucknor accused of performing Oral Sex on 12-year-old Girl
On Thursday, July 18th, Charles Bucknor, a Belize City carpenter, was denied bail for committing an aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 12-year-old girl. Allegations are that Tuesday, July 16th, he allegedly performed oral sex on a 12-year-old girl who recently graduated from a North Side Primary School. Bucknor, who was unrepresented, appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor. He pleaded not guilty but the court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that there is a possibility that Bucknor could be additionally charged with other offenses in connection with the same incident. On his behalf, Bucknor told the court that he is a father and that this is the first such allegation being made against and he thinks he deserves to get bail in the matter.

Felicia Chen still not fit for Prison
On Monday, July 22nd, Felicia Chen, the young mother who police claim is responsible for the murder of 3 of her young children, reappeared in Magistrate’s Court. While in court, she only got an adjournment and was ordered more time in a psychiatric facility. In court, the mother who is still represented by attorney, Antoinette Moore, was given a next adjournment date for September 3rd and Chen was further remanded to the same facility where she has been held since her arrest. She appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton in Court #3 where all media persons was asked to leave and the matter was held “in camera.” We understand that inside the courtroom, Magistrate Hamilton heard from her Psychiatric Nurse and a Social Worker. Information revealed to the court was not made public due to the sensitive nature of the triple homicide case.

Five Years for Stealing
On Tuesday, July 23rd, 34-year-old Belize City resident Denfield Lemott was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment when he appeared before Magistrate, Dale Cayetano on a charge of theft. Lemott was charged with stealing a purse belonging to Laverne Staine which contained $1,350 in Belize Currency, US $40, and 350 pesos. Staine told police that on Friday, July 20th, at about 6:40 p.m., Lemott visited her office at the Supreme Court building and removed her purse. He was caught shortly thereafter as he was seen leaving the building by a court security guard. Police caught up with him shortly thereafter. According to police, Lemott told them, “I think ah wah ker yuh weh I throw the purse.” He then took them to Holy Redeemer School where he stuck his hand into a PVC pipe and retrieved $350.00 in pesos. In court, Lemott said he put the pesos in that area after it was given to him by an unknown person. He was not in agreement with the police's version that it was he who took them to recover the purse. He further alleged police brutality. He told Magistrate Dale Cayetano that the police took him on a joy ride and alluded to the magistrate that his injured hand was as a result of that. The magistrate did not buy his stories and found him guilty and imposed a 5-year jail term.

Missing
Two children have been reports missing in the village of Cowpen and police believe the grandfather to have abducted them. The children, 8-year-old Jairo and 9-year-old Fanny Romero went missing on Wednesday of last week and police believe that the children were taken by a woman, who is yet to be identified. According to his father Felix Romero, the children were on their way home from a neighbor’s house in Cowpen when the woman took them. The children were reportedly taken to Silk Grass village to their grandfather, Juan Jovel who, on Thursday morning, took Fanny to the Dangriga hospital for medical attention as she was complaining from an ear infection. Thereafter, there is no trace of neither the children nor their grandfather. On Monday, Romero, made an emotional plea on Channel 5 News for the children to return home. Anyone with information on the children’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest police station.

Party Crashers charged with wounding
On Tuesday, July 23rd four females believed to be party crashers were before the court to answer to criminal charges. The first to be arraigned was Saysha Moody, 18, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of common assault and wounding upon Kendra Smith. She pleaded not guilty to both charges and was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the amount, which she met.

7 Years for Francis Ramos
On Monday, July 22nd, deportee, Francis Ramos, 39, began to serve 7 years in prison after he was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice, Troadio Gonzalez. On Thursday, July 3rd, Ramos had appeared before the Supreme Court and had changed his not guilty plea to guilty for the May 14th, 2011, attempted murder of his aunt’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Michael Young. Young, a Belize City Council employee, was attacked and stabbed multiples inside his Banak Street home. In mitigation on Monday, there was little Justice Troadio Gonzalez had to consider since he had called no character witnesses, even after he was given an additional four days to get them. With that, Justice Gonzalez imposed a 7-year sentence on Ramos. In making his decision the Judge considered that Ramos had saved the court time by pleading guilty, he also has no previous convictions for crimes of a similar nature in Belize, and he had asked for leniency since it was his first conviction. On May 14, 2011, 33-year-old Michael Young was inside his Banak Street home in Belize City with Ramos, when Ramos went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Ramos then stabbed Young three times: once to the inner left arm, the left forearm and the chest area.

Preparing Beach for Turtle Nesting
This past weekend, a joint enterprise between the Mary Mount College of Maryland; ITVET Tour-guide Course, headed by Luz Hunter, The Gales Point Youth Group, headed by Kevin Andrewin, and other volunteers and concerned Belizean citizens travelled to Gales Point Manatee to make preparations for the upcoming turtle nesting season. Gales Point, a small village is very significant to turtle nesting. The beach of the peninsula is a breathing ground for thousands of little crawlers 7 months of the year. The group embarked on a two-day turtle nesting clean-up campaign where as many as 50 individuals participated in the effort to clean up the beach area. Spearheaded by Luz Hunter, the day began at 7:00 a.m., and by 2:00 p.m., on Sunday, a very important task had been accomplished. 25% of the debris on the beach peninsula had been removed and bagged. Because of the sheer amount of garbage on the beach, only that could have been collected. The participants were motivated by the love they have for turtles and ensuring that their habitat is a safe and friendly one.

Human Rights Commission of Belize holds Annual General Meeting
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace & Development in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to inform HRCB members on the most recent developments, achievements and plans for the future. Present at this special AGM meeting was one of the founding members of the HRCB movement in Belize, William Heusner. HRCB was founded on December 1987 in response to labor issues that had arisen in the Southern part of Belize. Today, the HRCB deals with a multi- dimension of issues such as being the vanguard of the rights of migrants in the Bella Vista Area and lobbying for human rights to be integrated in the curriculum at tertiary level institutions. But some 26 years later, labor issues continue to be a concern of the HRCB. “During the course of the year [sic] was in Bella Vista, we went to Bella Vista and we saw the maltreatment of workers, who both in their labor environment as well as their communities where they live, there are for example persons who are unable to send their children to school because they don’t have sufficient money, they are not paid sufficiently…there are also concerns with regard to health,” says Leo Bradley Jr., President of HRCB.

Laura Mae Young - August 3, 1948 - July 6, 2013
Laura Mae Young was born on August 3, 1948 in Belize City, Belize, to Walter and Idolly Young. She attended Wesley College and Belize Technical College in Belize City. She graduated from Belize Technical College and after graduation, worked at the insurance company of G. A. Roe & Sons. Laura migrated to the United States in the 1970s, and resided in Chicago, Pittsburgh and eventually Brooklyn, New York where she lived until her passing. She worked at American Home, and later as a civilian with the New York City Force Department. Laura later attended Brooklyn College and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She retired from the Police Department in February 2013. Laura loved to travel and was able to visit a number of countries over the years. One of her favorite trips was to Brazil, raving about the natives and their love of partying and good food. She looked forward to and always enjoyed her trips back to Belize.

Lloyd Godfrey Alexander Young - September 20th 1930- July 8th 2013
Welcome Home, Brother Lloyd, Welcome Home. Today is a hard and sad day for all of us; we have lost a very special person in our lives. For Alice... a loyal, devoted husband and BEST friend. For Marc and Andrea... a loving and encouraging father. For Lloyd’s family… a kind and genuine brother and uncle. For other family members and Friends...a friend you could count on. Lloyd does not need me to build him up. All of us who knew would agree that he was a good and decent man. A man of lofty principles, a man of character, a faithful man; honest, full of love for his family, for his country and for his fellow man. A bond of friendship formed in our younger years here in Belize and strengthened through the years. As bachelors, we shared an apartment in Chicago. We oftentimes ate at Smitty’s Restaurant in our neighborhood; Smitty would always refer to us as Brother Lloyd and Brother Cliff and as time passed, the term became more meaningful. Let me share a short story with you. Because we were seen together so often, a friend of Lloyd’s (at a party) asked me, “Where is your brother?” I told him that Lloyd was not actually my brother. He wanted to see my license to prove it! I so I did just that.

Football Family mourns the Death of Luis Mendez
Just one week after the Belize National Football Team returned home from the biggest tournament they have ever played, the team and rest of the football family of Belize is now in a state of mourning. 20-year-old Luis Mendez died after a bus he was traveling in flipped over while heading from Guatemala City to his hometown of Benque Viejo del Carmen. Details are still sketchy as to what caused the accident but Mendez was its only fatality. Mendez was a player on the team that participated in the Central American Championships in Costa Rica from which Belize qualified to the Gold Cup Tournament. His death has hit members of the National Football Team hard since the players developed strong bonds in training camp. On his Facebook page, Striker Deon McCaulay said, “REST IN PEACE MY TEAMMATE AND FRIEND LUIS MENDEZ REALLY SAD MOMENT IN TIME CONDOLENCES!!” Others have expressed similar words of condolence to the family. Arrangements are being made to transport Mendez’s body to Belize for his funeral.

Male Softball Competition returns to the Cayo District
The 2013 Cayo Male Softball regular competition commenced on Saturday, July 20, out at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belmopan Bombers defeated Team Warriors by the score of 26-18. The winning pitcher was Dion Guzman and the losing pitcher was Tyler Pollard. In the second game, it was the host team Camalote Rising Stars winning over Las Flores by the score of 12-5. The winning pitcher was the veteran, Herman Burke while the losing pitcher was Thomas Serrut. The competition will continue this coming Saturday.

Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continues
The 2013 Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continued over the weekend at venues across the country. At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Sugar City Girls edged Gentle Touch by the score of 4-3. The goals for Sugar City Girls were scored by Karen Garcia in the 10th and 65th minutes of play, Karen Acosta in the 44th minute of play and Gisel Baeza in the 46th minute of play. Meanwhile, Kimberly Perez scored all three goals for Gentle Touch in the 25th, 31st and 41st minutes of play. At the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, Triple B blanked Dangriga Pumas by the score of 4-0. The goals for Triple B were scored by Iris Centeno in the 14th and 43rd minutes of play, and Kaya Cattouse in the 31st and 73rd minutes of play. The competition will continue on Sunday, July 28 at the Ladyville Football Field at 3:00 pm between Ladyville Jaguars and Sugar City Girls.

Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy wins in Miley Garcia competition
The Cayo Softball Association Miley Garcia Female Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at the softball diamond in Ontario Village with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds, behind the pitching of Dana Mae King, defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 20-9. The losing pitcher was the Las Flores Shooting Stars was Guadalupe Chicas. In the second game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy in search of another playoffs defeated the host team Ontario Rebels by the score of 15-4. The winning pitcher was Lesandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Indira Ireland. The champion and sub-champion of the Cayo Softball Association will represent the association at the 23rd National Women’s Softball Championship scheduled for August 29-September 1, 2013, at Rogers Stadium.

Easy Does It wins again in Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Softball Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, out in Lord’s Bank village. In the first game played, the home team, Lord’s Bank Sunrise won over Arrows Reloaded by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Stacey Smith and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett. In game two, the current leaders in the competition Flowers Bank’s Easy Does It won via the default route over Ladyville Rising Stars. In game three, Village Gyal also won via the default route over St. Paul’s Bank. And in the final game of the day, UB Jaguars defeated Buttercup by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Herlette Clarke and the losing pitcher was Tricia Flores.

Lady Jaguars lead in Volleyball Championship
The 2013 Belize District Senior Female Volleyball Championship commenced on Saturday, July 20, at the Belize Elementary School auditorium. In the first game of the series, Lady Jaguars defeated the previously undefeated Moen Stars by the score of 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-8. In the continuation of the firms’ competition, Scotia Bank defeated Police in three sets by the score of 25-22, 17-25 and 16-14. In the male competition, Jaguars defeated Scorpions in five sets by the score of 17-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-12. On Thursday, July 18, in the second and final game of the female semi-final round, Lady Jaguars eliminated Lady Warriors in three sets to advance to the championship series by the score of 26-24, 25-12 and 25-19.

Cattle Movement Control
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Belize Livestock Producers Association has implemented cattle movement control check points at strategic points in Blue Creek and Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. This is in an effort to keep the Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo Districts free of bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis, and additionally maintain a cattle traceability system. Other movement control check points will be established in the other parts of the country once the health status of the herds has been determined through testing.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker At The Crossroads
TO PRIME MINISTER MR.DEAN BARROW . CAYE CAULKER AT THE CROSSROADS A year or so ago in a discussion on Front street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intentions to run for office saying : “Like I see it guys, we are standing at the crossroads for Caye Caulker. If you and me do not take charge of this failing political situation, we can’t complain afterwards and say how mucked up the situation on the island has become. And it will go on continue this way with this political infighting and nothing important gets done. It’s up to us. IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME!” At that time, it gave me a lot to think about, because after 25 years on the island I had decided to move off the island to the mainland into the rainforest to get some more space around me, since my privacy on the island had become very restricted. When I first lived on the island people did not understand why I moved from Front Street to ‘back a bush’ but it was good living quietly in the quite bush in what the island people called ‘the pretty little house in the back’.

Blogs

CrossFit in Belize? Yes. It’s One of the Fastest Growing Affiliates In The World!
Starting a business can be tough in San Pedro. Beyond tough. There is no buying a beach bar, lounging in the sun and counting your profits. Or easily starting a restaurant or a real estate company or well…anything. A business here, like everywhere else, requires passion, LONG, long hours, expertise and something new and exciting. Now add to that – You need to please locals, expats and tourists (all with potentially different wants and needs) and there is a distinct “slow season” where it can be well REALLY slow. I mean “can’t pay your utilities bills” slow. Drew and his wife Maggie moved to Ambergris Caye from California and opened DJ’s Seaside Restaurant & Bar earlier in the year. They offer the best hamburger in San Pedro. About 3 months ago, in the same building, they also opened the CrossFit gym, their true passion, and in those few months, they have over 100 members. Drew taught classes in Los Angeles (he’s wearing a t-shirt from his previous gym in this pic) and loves this sport and loves getting you to love these workouts too. Walk in almost any time in the morning or late afternoon/evening and you will see this. Crossfit gyms in general do not do air conditioning or fancy machines…they keep it low tech, old fashioned, almost militant.

Eco Kids Learn About Land Conservation
Campers this morning were awoken to a loud *BONK* on the roof of their cabin as a volleyball rolled off. With the morning sun peeking through the trees, everyone was already up and excited for the day’s activities, which would include swimming, and a trip to the nearby Maya Organic Farm to check out some of the delicious organic fruits and vegetables grown there. While preparations for the hike were underway, the campers sat down at the arts and crafts tables to make their very own wallets. Tastes in wallet decoration varied widely, with some campers using stickers, some drawing, some using leaves and sticks, and several using magazine cutouts. One of the best ones included both Wolverine from the X-Men and Micheal Jackson competing for cover space. Campers also got the chance to have their beanbags mended by some of the counselors who were more adept at sewing. Once those wallets were all put away, campers headed up the trail and piled into the back of a truck for the short trip down to the Maya Organic Farm. Once there, they were met by the guides, who proceeded to show them many of the things that kept the farm going. One of the favorites was definitely the compost making, and expressions ranged from “EWWWWW’ to “Oooooh, can I touch it” when naturalist guide David showed off the large worms they used to speed up compost making.

Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley
Located within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, just four to five miles south from the shores of Ambergris Caye, Shark Ray Alley is one of the most popular and recognized snorkeling and dive spots in the Caribbean, and it’s also one of the most unique snorkeling experiences you’ll have in Belize. It’s almost always included in a snorkel tour to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, out of either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. For years, fishermen cleaned their catch in what is now Zone D of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, attracting hundreds nurse sharks, some up to four feet long, as well as stingrays with wingspans of two to four feet. Not much has changed over the years, except that this area is now a popular dive and snorkeling site and part of a protected reserve. As soon as the boat appears, you´ll see these creatures flocking towards the boat. Your guide might feed them while you take a deep breath and decide whether you can brave jumping in waters with sharks and stingrays surrounding you. But there’s nothing to fear, they are completely harmless. Just do not touch or try to pick them up and keep a normal distance, even if you see your tour guide attempting to hold a stingray (tell him not to!).

Explore the mysteries of the underground.
Caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya and today are great for everyone from the first-time caver to the experienced spelunker. We have thousands of caves in Belize. They range from easy walks to challenging hikes that can often turn into squeezes, crawls, climbs, rappels and swims. Choose your cave accordingly. In most caves, you’ll find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations and pottery shards, others have ancient intact pottery (Che Chem Ha) and human remains (sometimes intact skeletons, like in Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave) and other natural formation such as underground waterfalls (Blue Creek, Caves Branch). Just about the only thing you won’t find in our caves is boredom.

Belize Through Colors
Rated as one of the most charming & colorful places to visit in Central America & the Caribbean, Belize offers a very distinctive travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Lush Maya Mountains, Pristine Rain-Forests, Diverse Cultures, White Sandy Beaches and Caribbean Blues all mix together to give you an exceptional color wheel. In this blog post we highlight the picturesque colors that will captivate you the minute you step on Belizean grounds:

Belizean Spotlight: National Hero of Belize
Born of humble parentage on July 25, 1923, in Belize City, Belize, Philip Goldson started life as a person of modest means and was able within his 78 years to soar above the various diverse circumstances that would govern his illustrious life. His early education was at St. Mary’s Primary School in Belize City, and he went on to study at night to successfully obtain the Cambridge University Overseas Junior Certificate in 1939, and the Senior School Certificate in 1941. Political career: After working briefly as a civil servant for six years, Goldson became enticed by the beginnings of the Nationalist Movement in Belize of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The route into politics at that time was by way of the labor movement, and in 1949 he became the National Organizer of the General Workers Union, and later General Secretary. Together with early activists like John Smith and George Price, he founded the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950 and served as Assistant Secretary. Convicted of seditious intention in 1951, Goldson was sentenced to one year in prison.

CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA
CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA July 19, 2013 – CENPROMYPE Area: Economic On July 18, CENPROMYPE conducted the regional workshop “Exploring and Strengthening Competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA” with the aim of developing a dialogue about the prospects of MSMEs as an engine of economic development social and Central America and Dominican Republic. Also posed reflection on the lessons learned from the first eleven years CENPROMYPE management and its role in promoting the competitiveness of MSMEs in the region, with a long term vision to provide input for the definition of your Plan 2014-2018 Strategic.

Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador
Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador July 22, 2013 – CENPROMYPE Area: Economic San Salvador, July 24, 2013 As part of the El Salvador intraregional cooperation with other member countries of SICA region, the Deputy Ministers and Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs that make up the Board of CENPROMYPE, visited on 19 July, the CDMYPE of Dr. José Matías Delgado University, with the aim to know the functioning of the Centre and the services offered.

Surveying the Queen Conch!
These photos are courtesy of lovely ReefCI guest Danila Mansfield and document a recent Conch survey!

International Sources

DANGEROUS LIAISONS: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize
A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center Montgomery, Alabama

Underwater Secrets of the Maya
“I saw it, I saw it! Yes, it’s true!” the archaeologist shouts: divine light at the bottom of a natural well. Several wonderful photos as a diver explores a cenote near the Maya ruins of Tulum.

Report criticizes U.S. religious groups’ support of Belize sodomy law
A report the Southern Poverty Law Center released on Thursday criticizes U.S. religious groups for supporting the campaign to defend Belize’s anti-sodomy law. The organization specifically singles out the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, which has offices in D.C. and New York, for sending lawyers to the Central American country to advice Belize Action, a group opposed to a lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize that seeks to overturn the statute under which those found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual acts face 10 years in prison. The Southern Poverty Law Center report also notes that Extreme Prophetic Ministries, a Phoenix-based group, has also publicly backed Belize Action. The The report further documents that Scott Strim, who heads Belize Action, was born in Texas. The report further alleges that the aforementioned groups’ support of Belize’s anti-sodomy law has only inflamed existing homophobic attitudes in the country. Caleb Orozco, co-founder of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM,) the HIV/AIDS group that challenged the statute in the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize in 2010, told reporters on Thursday that two masked men broke into his yard and vandalized his car around the same time the justices heard the case in May. He said he has also received hate mail and saw a YouTube clip with a caption that encouraged someone to shoot him in the head.

Retiring Way, Way South of the Border
Americans are starting to head into Central America for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased residency requirements. Americans are starting to break from the expat packs in Mexico and Costa Rica for countries such as Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for retirement, lured not by cheap living but by luxury real estate. When Steven and Robin Fine started searching for a place in Latin America to spend their early retirement, they looked at spots in Mexico and Costa Rica, both popular destinations for American retirees. On a trip two years ago, they decided to stop by Panama, too. “We thought we would like Panama the least,” Mr. Fine, 51 years old, a former communications executive said, “but we liked it the best.”

Cat bites boy – thanks a lot ocelot!
There was no 911 to call during a recent vacation when Holly Alteneder's 10 1/2-year-old son, Ronald, was bitten by a big cat – an ocelot, to be exact – at a small zoo in Belize. The quickest option for medical attention was a 40-minute ride to the nearest hospital in the zookeeper's car. After initial treatment, Holly says she and her four sons cut short their plans for a six-week vacation to the Central American countries of Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to fly home to Southern California, where Ronald was admitted to Children's Hospital of Orange County. He was still there three days later, when he and Holly were interviewed by KTLA News. At the time of the interview, Ronald was playing ping pong and wearing pajamas provided by the hospital – ironically covered in cats. Cats are Ronald's obsession, Holly says. With such an obsession, it's easy to see why the family was enjoying an unusual feature at the Belize Zoo and Education Center – the opportunity for the family to be inside a cage within the jaguar habitat. They had just been enjoying the antics of a jaguar around and on top of their cage when she heard her oldest son crying, "Mommy, Mommy, help me." She looked and saw that an ocelot (similar in appearance to a jaguar) had pulled Ronald's arm through the wire fence and wasn't letting go, no matter how much she pounded on the fencing. Another tourist joined the fray, as did the zookeeper.

State budget loses out to secrecy laws in Belize
Seven Ukrainian companies are listed on the airport departure sign that are partially or wholly owned by Belizean companies, based on official data and media reports. A long-standing tourist hotspot, sunny Belize in Central America started to position itself as one of the most attractive tax havens in the world in 1990, when it expanded and amended a series of offshore financial services laws designed to exempt international businesses from paying taxes and filing company reports while offering virtual secrecy to their owners.

Shady Crimean company is lead exporter to Belize
Trade with Belize first took off in October 2012, when Ukraine exported nearly $60 million worth of gasoline to the tiny Caribbean nation. In total, gasoline exports for the last quarter of 2012 reached $209 million, or nearly 93 percent of Ukraine’s exports to Belize for the year, according to the State Statistics Service.

American Groups Encourage Anti-Gay Violence In Belize: Southern Poverty Law Center Report
American anti-gay groups have turned their attention away from politics at home and are now focused on restricting the rights of the LGBT community in smaller countries like Belize, a new report finds. A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based anti-gay religious group, has spent three years advocating to keep a section of the Central American nation's criminal code that "can lead to imprisonment for private sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex." Section 53, the statute in the criminal code, recommends a sentence of 10 years for Belizians who engage in private homosexual acts. The country also bans lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants -- along with immigrants with physical or mental disabilities -- and is a cultural nightmare for openly gay people, the report says. The ADF, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, has joined a handful of other far-right groups to maintain those restrictions. Both the SPLC, and Caleb Orozco, an LGBT activist in Belize whose life has been threatened because of his advocacy, say an American-born pastor named Scott Stirm is the impetus of anti-gay sentiment in the country.

Belize - Sugar production reaches 118,339 t in 2012/13
Belize's 2012/13 sugarcane crush came to an end on May 25 after 180 days of operation, and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) factory manager John Gillett termed the campaign "a very successful one." The 2012/13 crop was the first under American Sugar Refining (ASR) and BSI is reporting significant strides in production and development, he said.

VIDEO: Snorkeling Caye Caulker Belize
It was the manatee dive but there were no manatees to be seen.

Exploring Belize’s Underworld Actun Tunichil Muknal
Trekking through Actun Tunichil Muknal (“ATM”), also known as Xibalba and the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, is one of the more memorable experiences we have had while traveling. Belize has a wealth of ancient Mayan sites as well as adventure activities. Belize’s ATM cave tour is a combination of both! The caves can only be visited with specially licensed tour companies. We chose Mayawalk Tours, the first company ever to lead tours through the ATM caves. Tour groups are small, consisting of six to eight people. We were picked up at our hotel in San Ignacio in the morning and driven to the Tapir Mountain Reserve. The drive included some off-roading in the small school bus. The adventure started with a long hike through the jungle which included fording the river four times. We then arrived at the cave entrance. There is a deep pool of water at the entrance which we had to swim across to enter the cave.

“Top of the World” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda yesterday morning around 05.15 hours. And the Internet was fine so I got my daily dose of The Times on-line. No purchases by Arsenal though but we have got rid of Andre “Who ate all the pies” Santos but to do so we had to let him go on a free transfer. Not a bad bit of business – we only paid £6.8m for him two years ago ((sarcasm intended). Oh and it looks like we are about to off-load Gervinho too. At least the wage bill will go down. Sated with my ‘feed’ of news I grabbed the bucket, brush, cloths and chamois and went and spent a fairly energetic hour washing the golf cart. Try as I may though I haven’t found any effective way yet of how to get the seats really clean. Knew we shouldn’t have gone for white! So if any of you out there in the blogosphere have any ideas please let me have them. Normally willing to try (most) things at least once. With the ‘cart in a gleaming condition (aside from the seats that is) I showered, shaved, dressed and had breakfast and then went to the Belize Brewing Company Limited depot to get a five gallon bottle of water. On the way there I passed the new church being built at the corner of Blake Street and Seagrape Drive.

HELP SEND 50 KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL IN BELIZE!
School Starts in September in Belize, and the Back to School Sales are happening NOW in United States. Many stores now have school supplies at rock bottom prices. Many parents in Belize cannot afford the basic school supplies for their children and many children are disadvantaged when they do not have the required materials needed to learn. Education is the most valuable tool we can give our children. I am reaching out to all my readers to help Twocanview and the Belizean Association of Central Florida send 50 needy Belizeans kids back to school with school supplies. Each donated backpack with supplies will bear the donor’s name.

How To Create A Name As a Photographer
We all want to be someone someday. In fact, we have all been asked that question quite often when we were young. Image Credit: spesiellise However, becoming a Photographer back then was not at all ...


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