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#469892 - 08/09/13 07:05 AM Today's Belize News: August 9, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

Persons traveling to Chetumal by boat question $25US fee
Belize and Mexico has for so long maintained an exceptional relationship whereby Belizeans and Mexicans can easily travel from one country to the other for business, shopping, medical or recreational purposes. Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico is the closest city to Belize and has long been a preferred destination for Belizeans. To facilitate that connection between Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker and Chetumal City, two water taxis provide daily runs to Chetumal via boat. The service allows for easier access to Chetumal,eliminating the usual longer route. However, of recent residents of Ambergris Caye as well as visitors are claiming that a US$25 fee is being charged upon disembarkation at the Martine port of entry in Chetumal City. They also claim that a US$5 fee is being charged per bag upon exiting Chetumal.

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Industry Association Stands Firmly Against Major Cruise Port In Southern Belize
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) remains firmly against establishing a major cruise port in southern Belize and the proposed memorandum of understanding between NCL and the Government of Belize. The BTIA had previously made a public statement in relation to this development at Crawl Caye and over the past couple weeks, has taken note of another option for development at Harvest Caye. The BTIA opposes this proposed development in the south of Belize for the following reasons: BTIA has publicly supported the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan and continues to do so as it defines the long-term plan for sustainable tourism in Belize. This plan was recently supported by government and clearly states that "pocket cruise tourism is the only acceptable form of cruise tourism on the south eastern coast of Belize." The study was emphatic that southern Belize should remain an eco-friendly low impact destination. The BTIA supports this plan and the continued growth of the overnight tourism in this area.

Oceana sponsors Goff’s Caye Trip to City Campers
“This is the best day ever!” “I don’t want to leave!” These are some of the exclamations from participants in last Friday excursion to Goff’s Caye provided by Oceana in Belize. This latest caye trip under Oceana’s I Love My Reef Campaign happened on the last day of the Belize City Council’s 2013 Summer Camp. The 78 young City residents, the vast majority of whom have never visited any caye or been on a boat before, were joined by 8 chaperones, 3 Licensed Tour Guides, a Ranger from the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) and the Captain & Crew of the Splash Wave Tour vessel chartered for the day outing.

Misc Belizean Sources

A section of Coconut Drive (in front of the TMM office and the parking lot of Ramon's Village Resort) was recently assessed by the Mayor, Councilors and an Engineer of Medina's Construction. Repairs of this section will begin as early as next week resulting in the street to be temporarily closed during construction; however, vehicles will be allowed to pass through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar is located. We appreciate your cooperation and apologize for any inconveniences caused.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
The Institute for Social & Cultural Research has started their Intangible Cultural Heritage workshops around Belize. They'll be in Cayo, at CET, on the 15th and 16th of August. They are free, and there are still spaces available. Email Phylicia Pelayo at phylicia@nichbelize.org for more informaion. They've uploaded some pictures from the workshops they've already had. "Please see the information below for dates and venues for the Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) that will be offered at all the districts. The workshop is open to those who work in the area of culture, educators, students etc."

BAS Free Fridays
The Belize Audubon Society is having their Free Fridays for the month of August for most of their managed protected areas. Three are in Cayo: Guanacaste National Park, St. Herman's Cave, and the Blue Hole. Have fun! "Hi FB Fans!!! Summer 2013 is soon gone; but hold on, in order to give you a tiny boost to visit protected areas in Belize, All Fridays in the month of August is FREE Entrance FEES for ALL BELIZEANS. Explore! Enjoy! Conserve! Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Guanacaste National Park, St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, and Blue Hole Natural Monument. Share...Like....Comment!"

Maya Flats Airstrip Paving
The Maya Flats airstrip is up and running again. Here are some pictures from the paving. Tropic Air will start having 6 inbound and 6 outbound flights a day starting on November 15th.

Channel 7

Accident Caves Branch
Tonight, a Park Ranger from the Nohoch Che'en National Park, better known as Caves Branch Outpost, is at the Belmopan Hospital recovering from injuries he received this morning when a tour bus ran over him at the park's entrance. Police have not released the official details, but 7News has been informed that at around 9:30 this morning the ranger went to manage the entrance of the park, which had a checkpoint for all vehicles to stop. The ranger was caught off-guard when the bus didn't stop, hit him, and then dragged him a few yards under the bus. One of the eyewitnesses was Lincoln Gordon, who is owner of Caves Branch River Restaurant and Bar, located inside the national park. He told us how the entire situation unfolded, and how he rushed into to help the injured ranger: Lincoln Gordon - Eyewitness "We saw the bus coming down but when the busses come down they normally stop over there because the ranger has to go on the bus to check how many people are on the bus so they can mark it down. I notice that as the bus was coming down, the ranger was passing in front of the bus - I probably thought that he thought that the bus would have stopped but the bus just ran right through, it hit him, hit the barrier and then the bus dragged him for five yards under the bus. When we saw it we ran over here and the bus came to a complete stop and we had to drag the guy from under the bus.

Baker Complains
Yesterday at the House of Representatives, there were 13 bills tabled – and none of them made the news. That's because the majority were legislative housekeeping matters, and one of them looked like a non-descript revenue measure, but one baker says, it could force up the price of your pack bread! It's called the Customs and Excise Duties Amendment Bill – and it imposes a hundred percent duty tariff on imported flour – up from 25%. The background to the bill is that in February all restrictions on imported flour were lifted – and merchants started bringing in flour from Mexico. So bakers started buying that flour at 69 dollars a sack, twelve dollars cheaper per sack than it is sold locally. That was good for them, but it drove down ADM's sales, and so yesterday, the House Passed a revenue measure to impose a heavy tariff on imported flour – which will make it much more expensive than the locally produced flour. As the Prime Minister explained when he tabled it for a second reading, the bill is to protect ADM Belize Mills, which produces Belize's Flour: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We've taken imported flour off the restricted list and so there's no longer a need for permit to import for but we are taking up the duty, in order to protect the local flour industry. Now, there are some who might say - perhaps the local flour industry ought not to be protected any longer, then we're looking at the questions of jobs, investment- vis-à-vis the fact that if you do decide you're not going to worry about the local flour manufacturing you can then bring in the imported flour more cheaper. There's always a question of the consumer versus the employment and the company, as of this juncture we feel that it is better to preserve the local flour manufacturing - so this is by way of giving them the sort of protection that would mean that the imported flour would not drive them out of business."

On Monday we told you about a customs officer Rondale Bailey, who'd been caught in a van with two other men and a major stash of contraband vodka. Well, unofficial reports to 7news this evening say that the liquor he was found with was part of the same amount that was confiscated from Vin Hong store in April of this year. Reports to our newsroom say that someone apparently broke into the storage room at the customs department and stole an as yet undetermined quantity of the liquor. Details are hard to come by, but we know that as many as 800 cases of imported liquor were confiscated from Vin Hong. The liquor was confiscated from Vin Hong because they were believed to have contraband "Belize Market" stickers. On Saturday, Police caught 25 year-old Rondale Bailey – who is actually a customs security guard – along with two other men in a van with 15 cases of Absolut Vodka, and 1 case of Grey Goose Vodka, valued at $15,862. Information says he had been trying to sell the liquor on the local market.

Former NBA Star, Derek Anderson, is one of 13 players who've won an NBA Championship - he did that in 2006 with the Miami Heat, and an NCAA Championship – he did that in 1996 with the Kentucky Wildcats – and along the line, he also won a high school championship And he's in Belize tonight – not to talk basketball – but to inspire. You see, Anderson's story is familiar: he grew up poor, with parents who left him to the streets, and he had to create all the opportunities he received by showing that he is a capable, hard worker. He's written a book about his story, called "Stamina", and it is the focus of his motivational speaking career. At the invitation of the US Embassy, he's in Belize to speak to the public about how to emulate his success, despite life's challenges. He was at the University of Belize today, where he gave the students he gave a 2 and a half hour talk, and afterwards, he gave us an interview on his policy of personal accountability: Derek Anderson - Motivational Speaker "It stems from surviving through anything, I've come from homelessness to not having parents in my life for 30 years and I still wound up being a millionaire and having good jobs and giving back to people. It's all about your character and your attitude, so it's basically about surviving anything and to be better."

Barrow New Chetumal
Earlier we told you about a controversial bill passed by the house yesterday – controversial because it seeks to protect the flour mill, and one baker says government is doing so at the cost of your pack bread. But one piece of legislation that caused no controversy is the motion for the youth and community transformation project 0 which is a 5.2 million dollar loan from the CDB to build a youth facility on Chetumal Street- south. PM Barrow said it will include a long-promised basketball facility: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This is in fact the Chetumal Street project - remember we had done so well in basketball in Cancun - I had promised them on the steps of the Civic Center that there would be a new basketball facility that the government would construct. I went to CDB and had an agreement with the then president, Compton Bourne, to finance the facility. After he left there was some difficulties with the new administration and ultimately we had subdue the basketball facility within the terms of this larger project - the Chetumal Street project - but while this w'll see a dropping center, in fact on the grounds of the facility, there will be a basketball stadium constructed. Government's counterparts obligation will include, of course, bringing the road from the George Price highway straight through to where the facility is to be constructed up to all other standards. Government will also construct a bridge to connect the Lake Independence side of the river with the Freetown side of the river where the current Chetumal Boulevard has just been so wonderfully done by the Mayor."

Last night we told you about the health survey in what are known as Micronutrients Biomarkers – those include Vitamin A, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake. Well, the expert form the CDC spoke about the regional context of the findings, but the local significance is troubling. The results show that nutrient programmes and interventions for females of reproductive age 15-49 years old have not been working as expected. Nutritionist Robyn Daly said why the survey results were a surprise: Robyn Daly - Nutritionist, Ministry of Health "The results of the survey was quite surprising, it's almost like a wake up call for us to really start to taylor and fine tune what we've been doing in terms of Nutrition Intervention. We have always had vitamins and supplements available but now looking at the results we are seeing that it's not enough so we will keep the supplements, we will still keep reaching our population of our children in schools and our pregnant women when they come to clinics and our children at risk. But now we have to look at on how can we get our nation healthy - what can we do as a nation - looking at all groups."

Convicted of Burglary
53 year-old Stephen Slusher stole a tank of gas, and now he will spend 5 years in prison for it. That's after he pleaded guilty in the courtroom of Magistrate Clive Lino today. The complainant, Maria Manzanero, told police sometime between Tuesdayand yesterday, someone broke into her house on Central American Boulevard and stole her 25 pound gas tank, valued at $115.00. Police detained Slusher, and they recovered the gas tank which was positively identified by Manzanero. As a result, he was arrested and charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Lino, where he pleaded guilty the burglary charge. The handling charge was withdrawn, but Magistrate Lino was not lenient with him. Slusher told the court that he didn't break in; the door was open, and he just decided to go in. Magistrate Lino commented on Slusher's lack of appreciation for people's property through hard work, and he sentenced Slusher to spend 5 years in prison.

Song Competition
The September Celebrations schedule has been all but finalized – except for that major scheduling conflict we told you about on September 14th – when the Chamber Expo and the Carnival Road March are competing events. But, before we get all the way there, the celebration season starts out on Saturday night with the national song competition. That's become known as a hype event, with high production values, and Monica Bodden found out what's planned for this year: Monica Bodden reporting September Celebrations are right around the corner and what better way to kick off the festivities than with the annual National Song Competition. Joseph Stamp Romero - Creative Arts Development Officer, ICA "We are about two days from one of the biggest events, part of our Celebrations Calendar - the National Song Competition - that takes place on August 10th at the memorial park. You will see 18 contestants really throw it down, Belizean style, and they will walk away with titles. One in junior category for Belize song, one senior category for Belize song, the other one will be the Carnival song which of course will be one of those songs you hear playing a lot through the carnival road march and probably on that."

Tonight's profile is about Raymond Flowers – he's an accounts clerk at CBC Cable, but his story isn't about who owes for cable, not at all. Flowers is crippled, but not disabled. He got through high school, and is now living independently – despite his impairment. Here's his story:

Ivan Duran on Tour
The Garifuna Collective's 25 city North American Tour – which started in June is winding down with a run through the West Coast of the United States. The Collective played a free concert in Los Angeles' McArthrur Park this afternoon – where, surely, a large contingent of Belizeans came out. Tour organizer Ivan Duran told us how much it means to see that flag in the audience: Ivan Duran - Producer, "AYO", Garifuna Collective "A lot of Belizeans went to the show last night in San Francisco - the place was almost packed and also today in LA we're expecting a huge crowd, it's a free concert at the Mcarter Park, we're expecting a lot of Belizeans coming to the show. The special performances and the tour have a special effect on the musicians on stage. Every time there's a Belizean on stage, the crowd and the Belizean flag - it just, something happens to the musicians on stage that makes it a much more special evening. The people that have seen the band have been discovering this new sound that the band is bringing and it's a new departure for Belizean music and Garifuna music. This is what Andy left; the band is carrying the torch and taking Belizean music to a whole new level. It's definitely the most ambitious tour ever and I think the band is holding up really well, they understand the challenges and they understand that it's more than just a band - it's representing a whole country."

And to prepare for that album launch next week, tonight we have the local premier of the second video from the Ayo album. It's called Ubou, and we leave you with that… Thanks for joining us with your news I am Indira Craig. Join Peta Gaye Levy here tomorrow night...

Channel 5

Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate Free Zone business affiliated with drugs
Samer Akil Rada, the Venezuelan-Lebanese businessman whose name is associated with the seizure of eight hundred and eighty pounds of cocaine destined for the Corozal Free Zone, is back in [...]

Finnegan gets nasty with Dolores in the House
There were thirteen motions raised in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, two of any significance. One was passed, and the other fell on the floor. But those procedural House [...]

MOU not binding, but tour guides want a piece of NCL pie
The Sitting was mostly a stone-throwing exercise, but amidst the taunts, heckling and jeering there was a brief moment of agreement between members on different sides of the House. It [...]

A Park Ranger is crushed on the George Price Highway
A Chukka Tours bus ran over a Park Ranger this morning at the Nohoch Che’en National Park, located at the Caves Branch Outpost off the George Price Highway. Eyewitnesses told [...]

Free to import flour, but duty gone way up
There were over a dozen bills passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. You wouldn’t realize that since most of the day was spent discussing a Caribbean Court of [...]

Business Expo and Carnival on the same day?
As it stands tonight, both the popular Expo Belize Marketplace and the Carnival Road March have been scheduled for the fourteenth of September. Now both events attract huge crowds and [...]

Who is responsible for mess at old San Ignacio Hospital?
Western Regional Health Manager Pearl Ellis has assured News Five that the situation at the old site of the San Ignacio Hospital has been cleared up. The shocking images of [...]

Drill Baby Drill! Former Politician supports oil in the south
Former politician, Alejandro Vernon, in his capacity as chairman of the Toledo Alliance for Progress, has come out as a proponent for oil exploration in the south.  TAP, as it [...]

US Capital Energy says it’s obeying regulations and laws
U.S. Capital Energy has been awarded a contract to explore for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. For several years, the co-manager of the park, The Sarstoon Temash Institute [...]

Reef Survey shows good news for Belize
The Catlin Seaview Survey is organized by the University of Queensland and promoted by the Catlin Insurance Company. It is a global campaign and a race against time to study [...]

He’s not a burglar because the door was wide open!
Fifty-three year old Stephen Slusher is tonight serving his first night of a five-year jail term after pleading guilty to burglary.  The resident of Jane Usher Boulevard was accused of [...]

Government borrowing over ten million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank
The members of the House did manage to get some of work at Wednesday’s House meeting.  The government is borrowing over ten million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). [...]

Call me Daddy. Prime Minister makes a son of Said Musa
In a last snippet of Wednesday’s House meeting, the remarks by minister Finnegan against Dolores Balderamos Garcia was not the only startling occurrence in the House. During his attack on [...]

CIBC First Caribbean Bank wants you to Adopt-a-Cause
You probably already know of the annual Unsung Heroes Program which recognizes persons who selflessly serve their communities. That is a well known community programs initiated by CIBC First Caribbean [...]

Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, What do you know about micronutrients?
The results of a recent survey of close to two thousand women and children show that women of reproductive age are deficient in Folic Acid and there is a low [...]


Cruise Tourism in Southern Belize Discussed in House of Representatives
During Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives Area Representative for Toledo East Mike Espat raised the concerns of villagers as it relates to proposed cruise tourism in the south. HON. MIKE ESPAT “There are over a hundred and ninety tour guides, there are about n...

Former NBA Player Delivers Motivational Speech in Belize
The Cayo and Belize Districts are ready to be moved by a motivational speaker. He’s none other than former NBA player Derek Anderson. Anderson is the author of “Stamina”, he’s also an entrepreneur, producer, philanthropist and inventor. He’s visiting the ...

Teenager Hides Drugs In Mouth From Police
A 19 year old man who tried to hide two point six grams of cannabis from the police by putting it in his mouth, was not successful. He is Jason Young, a laborer of Hunter’s Lane. Around 12:15 p.m. yesterday, Young was on Castle Street when a police mobile patrol saw him acting suspiciously....

5-Year Sentence for Stealing Butane Gas Tank
Fifty-three year old Stephen Slusher, a construction worker of Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to five years today by Magistrate Clive Lino when he pled guilty to burglary. Slusher was also charged with handling stolen goods but that charge was withdrawn after his guilty plea was accept...


Youths Learn To Build A Better Belize
Set on an alpine terrain and nestled between the balsam Mountain Range and the El Boquerón Volcano, the City of San Salvador welcomed some 650 youths ages 15 to 30, from Belize, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua over the past weekend. The youths took part in one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. Twenty six Belizean youths, including six from the District of Corozal, attended the conference with the aim of empowering their skills so as to create a better society. Today we caught up with Sky Sawers one of the youths who attended the conference. He told us what the experience was like.

Teachers Receive Training To Become better Educators
Teachers are receiving much needed assistance in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Assessment strategies to aid them in imparting knowledge to their students through creative strategies. The program, known as the Continuous Professional Development “C. P. D” takes place annually in order for teachers to receive credits. However, this year the approach differed since teachers were given the opportunity to table the areas they would like to receive assistance in. Over one hundred and fifty teachers sat in the classrooms of San Francisco Roman Catholic School to learn new ways in which they can assist their students to excel academically. Zoila Sutherland, Facilitator, Assessment for Learning “It has been great very fruitful the teachers have been exposed to more strategies on how to access student learning in all the areas of teaching. They have been learning how to use what they already know and to implement new strategies for assessment. In our section because it is assessment for learning many of us have been used to the traditional form of assessment where we do test quizzes you know just typical BJAT, PSE style multiple choice questions and in this particular session we are learning about other strategies on how to help students especially the ones who have a little problem in getting along you know these good grades that all students want to have.

Working, While Learning Civic Pride
One hundred students will be receiving much needed financial assistance here in Orange Walk Town. After a successful Fiestarama 2013, ten thousand dollars from the proceeds of the event was set aside by the Orange Walk Town Council for a student summer work program. While the amount may not be a lot, it will definitely come a long way. Students are being paid $100.00 for one week of work, but for the council, it’s not about the money, it’s about teaching students civic pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Yes some of the proceeds of Fiesta Rama we normally budget about ten thousand dollars for us to be able to assist one hundred students on a two week of program and how we do is that we have fifty students coming in the first week and then another fifty students coming in the second week. All of this is just to simply to assist the young people to have a small stipend to help them to cover some of their school expense, sometimes they may need a few school books and you know so this helps alleviate some of the cost the parents have to be finding to spend for this school expenses. You will see if you look around town right now because the students are all in different areas working in San Lorenzo Housing site, were putting up street signs, we have some that are working at the Union Town Park, some working at the Sandy Field Park, some working at the Nature Park as well we try to involve the issue if civic pride so that they too become and take ownership of their town, when we get young people involved into these types of activities it gives them a sense of ownership and so that is the reason why we said that immediately after the Fiesta Rama we are going to assist these students and give them that opportunity.”

Building Of Fence Causes Uproar In O/W East
A fence built in the middle of what was thought to be a street has prompted angry confrontations, calls to the Lands and Survey Department, the Orange Walk Town Council, and a stop order. Many believe that the area you are currently viewing on your television screen is a street, but truly its not, it’s a ten foot alley joining Ciricote and May Flower Street. A barbed wire fence now demarcates the alley from a piece of land belonging to Miguel Gongora. The same land that was once thought formed part of the alley giving access to vehicles passing through the area. With the building of the fence there is limited space for vehicles to travel through the area, at least when it comes to ten wheeler trucks. This is apparently causing trouble in the neighborhood, so much so that even the Orange Walk Town Council has had to intervene. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “We have this gentle man who approached the council, one Mr. Gongora who had a request for us to look at his scenario or his case where his property lies, what we would call a street right now, people would assume that he is wanting to build in the middle of the street, however, he had conducted his own personal survey and he had also requested that a survey be done. We have done our research in Belmopan and we have gotten the maps and we have actually saw and it is evidence that this gentleman property the street was somehow placed in the middle of this man property or part of his property, what we are doing right now is that we have gathered all the evidence and I want to say yes it is the man’s property but I have instructed the council through our valuation department to put a hold on the construction that is taking place while the gentleman has all the right to build in his property we believe because of the fact that it was a road that was there and initially it should have been a ten feet alley way, I understand from many years ago this issue had come up, I was going back to some people that worked at the council and so they were providing me with some of the information on that matter. I understand that one of the residents did gave I think five feet of his property to the council to use as the or for part of the road but that was for his convenience as well because of some big trucks travels through the area now this other individual Mr. Gongora has said that he wants to build and he wants to use his property and he has paid for his property, his title.”

Divers Search For Body Of Missing Orange Walkeno In The New River
The news that a body was in the New River near the San Estevan Bridge here in Orange Walk, spread like wild fire yesterday. When we visited the scene no one was in area. However, this morning our news room received a call informing us that the family of 32 year old Elias Ku was combing the river in search of his body. Ku left home on the 3rd of August wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes. It was not unusual for him to stay away from home for days. But yesterday, Ku’s family became worried when they were informed that his black and red shirt and red tennis shoes was found around the riverside by Independence Park. It is believed that Ku was drinking in the area on Tuesday morning along with some friends when he fell into the river. His family was not informed about his disappearance until Tuesday night when a search for his body was immediately launched but to no avail. And the same can be said for yesterday and today.


13 Bills introduced in the House of Representatives, PAC Special Motion Rejected
After five months of no meetings, the House of Representatives met in the Capital City at the National Assembly building today. Thirteen bills were introduced. Among those was the Customs and Excise duties amendment bill. That bill addressed the increase in import duties for flour since there are now...

PM shares his sentiments on the CCJ ruling
The recent ruling handed down by the CCJ on a settlement deed made back in March of 2005, resolved ongoing litigation on the settlement deed drafted by the former PUP administration with BCB Holdings and Belize Bank Limited. As a part of the agreement, the Aschroft group would withdraw...

Results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released
The results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released. The major findings indicate that Belize has a very low prevalence of the lack of Vitamin A intake, while the recommended level of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake is not satisfactory. The survey conducted during...

Medical records and hospital biohazards discovered abandoned hospital
On Tuesday, a story broke about personal medical records and hospital biohazards which were discovered in an old abandoned hospital in San Ignacio According to Nancy Marin, upon scouting for tentative ghost locations for video shooting in San Ignacio, she came upon an old abandoned building in the centre...

Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan Motion introduced in the House
The Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan Motion was also introduced at Wednesday’s sitting of the House. This is a 5 million 200 thousand dollar loan which is to be used in the fight to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang especially...

Labour Commissioner’s report on firings at the Kolbe Foundation to be presented to PM
Tonight, we take a close look at the Labour Commissioner’s report on recent firings at the Kolbe Foundation. Between December 30, 2012 and June 19, 2013… six months… a total of thirty Three employees were no longer employed with Kolbe Foundation at the Belize Central Prison. That high turnover...

PUP presents candidates for next election
The next election of any kind is more than a year away. But in Belize, electioneering never truly takes a break. Having come close in last year’s general election, the People’s United Party (PUP) has been heavily...

US Missionaries plan to return despite injuries after attempted robbery
“We’re going back to Belize. There’s no doubt in my mind about that,” – these are the words of the US missionary who he and his wife narrowly escaped death a couple weeks ago. What was supposed to be an ordinary trip to their home in Valley of Peace...

Taiwan donates to National Celebrations Commission
It may not seem like it, but the September Celebrations are literally weeks away. Belizeans will soon fill the parks and line the streets to mark the 32nd anniversary of national independence and the 215th anniversary of the event that occasioned the birth of the nation, the Battle of...

Children learn about water conservation
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Belize Environmental Law and Policy Office (BELPO) are teaming up for community education on natural resources. Following on from visits to schools during the school year, the organizations today began a three-day summer camp in Belize City to teach the...

#469893 - 08/09/13 07:05 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 9, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The Guardian

$20 Million for National Bank
On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved an injection of $20 million into the state owned National Bank of Belize Limited. The Government of Belize established the National Bank in April of this year. It will operate under the motto “Of the People for the People” and will provide loans at concessionary rates to public officers and low income Belizean families. According to Prime Minister Barrow, “The mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower and middle income Belizeans and in particular public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market.” The bank is estimated to start lending at an average of 6.5% on the reducing balance of loans. The $20 million approved by the House is only startup capital as the authorized share capital of the institution is $100 million. The Bank will eventually be divided into 1 million shares at $100 per share. The immediate goal of the institution is to expand the home-owning community by focusing primarily on mortgage loans. The Bank will also accept deposits and eventually expand its loan portfolio to finance small businesses and other developmental causes. Government’s $20 million is a subscription to 200,000 shares in the company.

Land for Lake I
Over one hundred residents of the Lake Independence constituency anxiously waited at the constituency office for Area Representative, Hon. Mark King, at the corner of Periwinkle and Mahogany Streets. They sat and patiently awaited the arrival of Hon. King and despite it being a more than usual waiting period, it was all worthwhile. Immediately on his arrival, the reason for the patients was made clear. Hon. King arrived in the company of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gapar Vega. The two ministers then made it to the head of the gathering and after a few greetings it was on to the business of the day. One hundred and sixteen brown manila envelopes waited on the table and after speeches by Hon. Mark King and Hon. Gaspar Vega 116 names were called. People in the division were either getting their land titles or purchase price for their piece of land.

Nobody wants Luke
He has surfaced as perhaps the biggest and most monumental failure as a businessman in the country and now Luke Espat is seeking to be a full time politician. It is a wonder why it is that this man having failure after failure under his belt now wants to run for electoral politics. When the announcement was made last week it seemed almost like a joke, but now he is pressing forward and is going on the media circuit to officially make the announcement and to show his face to all and sundry. What Luke fails to realize is that his arrogant ways and his ‘steppish’ behavior is frowned upon not only by those who look on, but by those who know him very well. People like his party leader, Francis Fonseca, treat him like a leper. There is great reason for this attitude to be taken against Espat. Just about every single venture that he has been involved with has been an utter failure. His failures began as far back as the early ‘90’s when he was involved in the construction of houses near mile 4 on the George Price Highway. But no sooner had those buildings being erected than they began to sink, yes, slowly and surely the building are making their way into the ground. Leaning houses are all that remain of that development, so much so that people refer to that area as ‘Leanaville’. Still there are persons who paid for those houses and had to abandon them shortly after taking up residence, being left with nothing but a bill.

You are not Excused!
Listening to the House Meeting on Wednesday and Said Musa’s reaction to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with him saying “I accept full responsibility,” simply won’t cut it. But then again, this is Said Musa, and not very much could have been expected of him. For him to simply say that it was his fault and then to try to justify that he had broken the law is simply inexcusable. Most would have expected him to say, “I resign, because I did the country wrong.” Instead he went into a drawn out explanation as to why he put the country in the predicament where it almost cost tax payers 88 million dollars.

Julius needs to attend Parliamentary School
It has been 17 months since the last general elections; shortly after the elections Julius Espat was appointed as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Since that time there has been absolutely nothing that has been accomplished by the committee because Julius Espat has been acting like a spoilt brat from the beginning of his tenure. He first unilaterally decided that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should hold public hearings which he simply did not have the authority to do. After a back and forth with the other members, it was agreed that the public could be invited to listen to the hearings. After that wrench was removed Espat, again, unilaterally came up with an agenda for the committee when it is not his role to do so. Again that caused concern within the committee since it is the committee as a group that is responsible for coming up with the agenda. With that the work of the committee was put on hold. Then when it got off again, Julius again tried to limit the scope of work that the committee should do and again the members objected, asking that the work should be thorough and all encompassing to include the 10 years that the PUP was in office. We are sure that Espat is shirking away from that because his name is sure to come up if ever the committee is to begin the work.

New Basketball Arena for Belize
Funds have finally been approved for the construction of a new national basketball facility for Belize. The House of Representatives granted Government permission to enter into a loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank for US$5.2 million. Prime Minister Barrow said, “the purpose of the loan is to improve citizen and community security in Belize City,” and the objective of the project is to “reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake I, Pickstock and Port Loyola Divisions of Belize City”.

Corozal DAVCO elected
Also holding DAVCO elections on Sunday August 4th, were the newly elected Village Councils of the Corozal District. They held their Annual General Meeting, at the Libertad Community Center where elections were held for the new board of the Corozal branch of DAVCO.

Orange Walk DAVCO elected
On Saturday, August 3rd, the newly elected Village Councils of the Orange Walk District held their annual general meeting, at the Banquitas House of Culture. The highlight of the AGM was the election of the new board of the District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO), Orange Walk Branch. The Board consists of 12 members.

Rolling out M.O.R.E from Pilot School
A two day workshop under the Belize Teacher Leadership Project BTLP ended on Tuesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The workshop was facilitated by curriculum designer Doctor Jennifer Morrrow. In attendance for both Monday and Tuesday were Principals of Schools and other leaders from the Educational Sector.

Sneak a Peek Dolores
Does Dolores Balderamos Garcia go about her day looking to see people as they are urinating? It certainly does appear that way as she described having seen the Mace Bearer for the National Assembly whom she says she saw urinating on the street. And as she went about being petty and small minded about the episode there was quick interjection by members of government who pointed out to her that matters that she should have been addressing ought to have been of national importance. If she believed that what the Mace Bearer did was inappropriate, she should have brought it to the attention of the Speaker of the House who would have handled it as a staff matter.

Belize Police Officers Meet in El Salvador
Three high ranking members of the Belize Police Department have just returned to the Country after a week of training in El Salvador. Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio Police Formation Reymundo Reyes, Christopher Noble, Officer in Charge of Ladyville and Corporal W Mclaughlin from the Corozal Police Formation, were out of the country for almost two weeks learning how to improve in-Country Community Policing oriented programs. The three police officers left the country on July 15th and returned on July 28th 2013.

Block Party in Belmopan
It is not election season, but that does not mean that Hon. John Saldivar is not active in his constituency. Over the past few weeks he’s been holding community meetings in various areas throughout his constituency. He says that the goal is to have interaction with his people in order to get a feel for and to help them in whichever way it is possible. At this point in time, as he goes around, he says that the major concern is parents preparing for their children to go back to school. He added that as much as possible he tries to help as many of his constituents as he possibly can.

Belmopan Area Representative Donates $3,000 for Computers to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School
Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the school.

Touring Our Belize Pt. 3
Last week I wrote about a few of the marvelous attractions that make Placencia Belize’s Destination of the Year. This week you will read of a destination that is even more relaxing but just as beautiful and fun, Hopkins Village. Most of the members of the press team had never been to the cultural haven and based on their reviews most will make a return trip very soon.

Darrington Williams Jr. Meets Ex with New Man and Loses His Cool
47-year-old Darrington Williams Jr. pleaded guilty to harm for beating up his ex-common-law-wife on Saturday, August 3rd. According to Shawna Armstrong, Williams arrived at her home on Consuelo Street and an argument started between them. She said Williams grabbed her by the hair and hit her all over the body. She said her face was swollen after the incident and her lip was burst. She visited the hospital and a doctor classified her injuries as harm. In court Williams admitted that he harmed Armstrong. He said that he was upset because he met her with another man and that provoked his actions. He pleaded guilty to the charge of harm and begged Magistrate Dale Cayetano for leniency. Cayetano imposed a non-custodial sentence since it was Williams’ first offense. He was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court which he must pay by November 30th of this year or serve one year in prison.

Sandhill Woman Assaulted after Hitching Ride with Stranger
A 31-year-old woman from Sandhill Village became victim of a sexual attack when she hitched a ride with a stranger sometime after 3:30 a.m. Friday, August 2nd. The woman alleges that she was waiting near the Pallotti bus stop for a friend who was to pick her up but decided to take a ride from a man who was driving what she believed to be a church van. According to the woman, she got in and a few minutes later the driver asked if she had any problem with him stopping in Belama to drop off money for a cousin. She said, “No Problem.” The driver then turned into Thomas Vincent Ramos Street into Albert Hoy Street, stopped at George Arthurs Street and drove into an open lot. He then exited the vehicle, walked over to the passenger’s side where the woman was sitting and opened her door. He then attempted to touch her breast but the woman refused and a struggle ensued. She started to shout out for help and someone in the area heard and called the police. The man got into the van and drove off but not before taking away her cellular phone and gold chain. The police arrived at the area soon after the incident and the woman was escorted to the Belama Police Station where she made a report. The driver of the van was identified as 26-year-old computer technician. He was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of theft. In the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, August 6th, Eusey appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was granted in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount but he was first ordered to pay an outstanding fine before the court for traffic offenses and drug possession. Eusey is due to appear back in court on September 6th.

Shawn Locke Gets 18 Years for Manslaughter
On Thursday, August 1st, 20-year-old Shawn Locke pleaded guilty to killing Edgar Monteagudo in April of 2010. According to reports, on April 17, 2010, Locke was approached by the Monteagudo and his nephew. The two men started an argument with Locke and a fight broke out. The men were beating up Locke and that was when he pulled out a knife and stabbed Monteagudo and his cousin. Monteagudo was stabbed several times and later succumbed to his injuries. Locke was originally charged with murder but after being on remand for more than three years he decided to accept guilt for a lesser charge of manslaughter. Justice Herbert Lord listened to mitigation plea on Locke’s behalf on Friday, August 2nd. Locke seemed very remorseful about his action during mitigation plea. He said, “If the situation was to repeat itself, I would act differently. Back then, I acted rashly, impulsively without giving it a thought.” He further told the judge that after three years on remand he has had time to think. He also stated that he has been heavily involved in programs behind the prison. Judge Lord took all those factors into consideration before handing down his sentence. A man convicted of manslaughter can be sentenced to a maximum of life and a minimum of 18 years. Justice Lord sentenced Locke to the minimum sentence of 18 years in prison and granted remission for the three years already spent on remand. With good behavior, Locke could possibly be released after serving half of the remaining 15 years of his sentence.

Khalid El Turk Free to Go
Khalid El Turk appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for his extradition hearing on Monday, August 5th, and was relieved when Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that “the United States and [Government of Belize] have not made out a prima facie case for the extradition of EL Turk to the United States of America and he must therefore be discharged and is free to go”. El Turk is accused by the United States of being “part of a group that illegally shipped pseudoephedrine from Bangladesh to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico for use in the manufacture of Methamphetamine.” He is wanted in the U.S. for charges of conspiracy in the importation of pseudoephedrine and importation of pseudoephedrine. El Turk was detained on October 18, 2012 on the strength of a provisional warrant and an extradition request was presented to the Belize Embassy in Washington D.C. on November 30, 2012. In court El Turk’s attorneys, Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester, challenged the extradition based on the requirement that the offence being committed must be against the laws of both countries. Flowers submitted that the two offences El Turk is charged with do not exist in the Laws of Belize. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the defense and ruled that “the offences do not amount to extraditable offences in Belize”. She also pointed out that the bundle of documents presented by United States was not signed and certified by Belize’s principal diplomatic officer residing in that country which is required by the extradition treaty. Smith said, “I would advise The United States to comply with the strict requirements of Article 7 of the Extradition Treaty.”

Stephanie Vargas Claims Self Defense for Stabbing Man with Scissors
36-year-old Stephanie Vargas was granted bail after she appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for aggravated assault and wounding upon Dixon Gamboa. Vargas, a cook residing at the corner of Victoria Street and New Road, is being accused of stabbing Gamboa with a scissors on Saturday, August 3rd. She appeared without legal representation in front of Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Tuesday, August 6th, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Noel Muschamp, did not object to bail of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Vargas is to return to court on September 25th of this year. She claims that Gamboa and another man were inside her house and their advances forced her to defend herself. Magistrate Cayetano told her to save the explanation for when the matter goes to trial.

Taxi Driver dies in traffic accident in Cayo
Forty eight year old Belizean taxi driver Adolfo Ventura from the Cayo District has died as a result of a traffic accident he was involved in on July 31, 2013. Ventura was driving alone in his taxi from Bullet Tree Falls to San Ignacio when his taxi overturned near a metal bridge in the periphery of Bullet Tree Falls. Villager Jorje Landero reported that he had heard a loud noise coming from the metal bridge. Landero went to the area and observed an overturned blue in color Toyota Corolla in a ditch on the left hand side of the metal bridge. Several persons came to render assistance to Adolfo Ventura as he was temporarily trapped behind the steering wheel of an extensively damaged vehicle. Villagers eventually managed to take Ventura out of the vehicle, and he was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem examination conducted by Doctor Mario Estradabran last Thursday has since revealed that the cause of death was due to head injuries sustained as a result of the road traffic accident.

Jorge Vidal Acquitted of 2005 Murder
Contreras was killed on Benque Centro America Street on December 23rd, 2005. Reports are that the deceased left a party at Erwin Contreras’s home at around 2:00 a.m. Witnesses’ statements revealed that prior to the murder an argument was heard between Vidal and the deceased outside the house. Contreras was beaten to death and Vidal was arrested and charged for his murder. Vidal was acquitted based on a technicality. Justice Hanomansingh ruled that the committal for Vidal to stand trial in the Supreme Court was improper in law because it was not signed by Magistrate Richard Swift. The evidence shows that Magistrate Swift, who is deceased, signed the recognizance of all the witnesses but the certificate of committal to trial was signed by Magistrate Earl Jones for Richard Swift. Note that Jones took over the case in 2008. Hanomansingh ruled that one cannot sign for a dead man; therefore, the committal was unlawful and Vidal is acquitted of the charge. The prosecutor in this case was Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez. Ramirez had 11 witnesses to be called in the case including Minister Erwin Contreras, cousin of the deceased, who identified the body of his relative and provided a statement to police. Vidal was represented by Michael Peyreffitte.

Belize to VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will participate in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship scheduled for Guaynabo, Puerto Rico from August 9-19, 2013. The VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship will serve as the qualifying tournament for the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for November 2014 in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and the XVII Pan American Games scheduled for Toronto, Canada in 2015. The following countries Argentina, Aruba, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Island, United States of America and Venezuela will compete in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship. The Pan American Championship will qualify five countries excluding the host country Mexico to the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games and five countries excluding the host country Canada to the XVII Pan American Games. Belize will be represented at the games by Francine Hoare, Lanisha Jones, Kenreen Gillett, Patricia Spain, Patricia Thimbrel, Molly Coye, Greta Davis, Elaine Humes, Shadalee Ho, Sharette Vernon, Naricia Frazer, Lisa Jones, Lydia Cacho, Barbara Cadle, Marsha Will, Joline Davis and Chanica Anderson. The coaches are Gregory Moguel, Nelberth Flowers and Keith Madrill. Mr. Jude Lizama the 1st Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation is the leader of the delegation to the games.

Atlantic Bank and Belize Bank lead in Firms Basketball competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition for 2013 continued on Saturday August 3, at the Bird’s Isle here in Belize City. In the first game played, Customs edged BTL by the score of 74-72 in double overtime. The top scorers for Customs were Winston Pratt with 29 points, 12 rebounds and a steal, Kevin Lorenzo with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals, and Oliver Solis with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. For BTL, their top scorers were Devon Lozano with 23 points, 2 rebounds and a steal, Jordan Santos with 13 points, and Edward Thompson also with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. In the second game played, Central Health won handily over Sprite by the score of 63-46. The top scorers for Central Health were Steven Wade with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 steals, Neil Nicholson with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 6 steals, and Lonnie Trapp with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Sprite were Darren Neal with 16 points, and 9 rebounds, and Troy Williams with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. And in the final game of the day, Ready Call defeated PUC by the score of 52-41. The top scorers for Ready Call were Aaron Baptist with 10 points, and 3 rebounds, and Ensworth Ztul with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. For PUC, the top scorers were Andrew Robateau with 13 points, 7 rebounds and a steal, and Ian Haylock Jr. with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Belize Cycling Association National Elections set
The Interim Committee of the Belize Cycling Association is pleased to inform the general populace that the Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association has confirmed that the elections for the Belize Cycling Association’s National Executive has been scheduled for Saturday August 31, 2013 at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive commencing at 2:00 pm. The Interim Committee takes this opportunity to remind those zones that have not yet submitted their list of delegates to do some no later than

PE workshop under way for primary school teachers
The National Sports Council in partnership with the Teacher Education Development Services TEDS) of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and in collaboration with Caribbean Sport and Development Agency is currently conducting a Physical Education workshop entitled “ Effective planning and teaching of Physical Education at the primary school level” for teachers in the Belize District. The Physical Education workshop is being conducted by Kavelle Deonanan, Marlon Ali and Andre Collins of the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency based in Trinidad & Tobago. The Physical Education workshop commenced on Monday August 5, and will conclude on Friday August 9, 2013. The morning sessions at held at the Maud Williams High School and the afternoon sessions are conducted at the Rogers Stadium. The workshop includes both theory and practical sessions. The teachers are being exposed to current best practices in Physical Education and also to the CARICOM Standards as mandated by that regional organisation.

Mangy Dog? or Dead Dog? That is the Question
The most loyal, the most loving pets in the world, dogs are also now one of the biggest pests of our country. There is no denying that as puppies they are the most adorable animals alive. But as they begin to lose their soft fur, their baby fat and start getting big, most Belizeans tend to lose interest and as the interest is lost, so is the dog. No one worries if the pet lives, dies or if it eats or not. The dog then roams the city, bursting people’s garbage bags to get food or walk around town looking all stink, dirty and thin. Everywhere you turn in the city it seems that you see homeless dogs. You may be asking why this topic was chosen for discussion today but unlike people, animals cannot defend themselves. Their natural behavior is to procreate. They on their own cannot reason and decide to have fewer children. I thus believe that we should encourage the eradication of stray dogs and neuter or spay the ones that belong to the civilians in order to control the suffering dog population. It has been theorized that the dog population in a country is a sign of its economic wealth. The more control of the animal strays the wealthier a nation is. It has even been concluded that tourists prefer visiting nations were there are little to no strays. Hence the reason why nations that conduct the Olympic Games usually eradicate dogs and cats weeks before the games are hosted. Belize, in general, needs to adopt this method of control. The fewer dogs we have the more we are able to take care of them and appreciate them.

Loco Motion
As usual I enjoyed the meeting of the House of Representatives held on Wednesday 7 August, which was spirited, informative and exciting. And again, as usual, the Espat from Cayo was brassy and boisterous with his trademark habit of grandstanding in an attempt to score political points, not by dazzling us with his brilliance, but by confusing us with his clatter. I was also pleased to hear the Speaker getting engaged in the debate regarding the Espat motion to change the Public Accounts Committee composition; I think he was reasoned in his clarification of the Standing Orders regarding the motion, and even managed to convince Mr. Musa to agree with him that Espat was out of order. That was indeed interesting to me, especially when Espat was asked whom he thought he was, to always declare that he spoke on behalf of the people of Belize! In that last regard, I say this loud and clear to the man who got the government property on Regent Street for a pittance from the PUP Government and then promptly resold it for millions---you, sir, do not speak for me and will never do so once you represent a political Party that is rotted to the core.

Rotaract Club of San Ignacio Plans for Community Projects
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio met at Meluchi’s Pub and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town on August 2nd to plan for several community development projects in the Cayo Area; this comes just one week after a successful dance ‘Rave at the Grave’ also held at Meluchi’s. A main goal of the dance was to raise funds to finance a community project in rural Cayo. A primary focus at this time for the Rotaract Club is to carry out, during the last weekend of this month, a project to send ‘an entire village to school’. The Village of choice for this project is Yalbac; for the great educational needs now existing in that village. The idea to support the children in Yalbac Village first came from Secretary of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, Susie Patrick; after which it was widely accepted by the Rotaract members. The Rotaract Club in San Ignacio is also considering to assist other communities in the Cayo area. In Cristo Rey Village, the Rotaract Club has an ongoing program to lend books to High School students after which the books are returned and re-lent to other High School Students. The Rotaract Club also plans to join forces with the Cornerstone Foundation in San Ignacio to paint benches and tables at the Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Also, the Rotaract Club intends to have a clean-up campaign to beautify the Macal River Bank by the Wooden Bridge in San Ignacio.

Eulogy - Dorla Eugenia Stuart - September 22nd 1941 - July 26th, 2013
Dorla Stuart Our mother, Dorla Eugenia was born on September 22,1941, the fourth child of her mother, lva Quallo and her father Paul Reneau. Her elder siblings were Avis, Marion and Dalton. Marion died at a relatively early age, and then her father when she was nine years of age. She shared that after that occurrence, my grandmother married the kitchen, made every conceivable food from flour to provoide for her, my uncle and herself. Her sister Avis, the eldest, was working at the Printing Press, which was then located at Church Street and Duck Lane, currently the site of BTL Offices. On com-pletion of her primary education at Wesley School at the age of fourteen, she became a pupil teacher. Teaching was her vocation that continued for forty-two years until her retirement in 1996. Many of her pupils, teaching colleagues, relatives, friends and neighbours continued to address or inquire of her as Teacher Dorla.

The Reporter

A true Democracy needed
This week the PM took the bold step of pretty much red lighting the Norwegian Cruise Project. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will open the gates for the initiation of this project at a time when the country is facing massive unemployment and an economy that is in [...]

Foreign mediation fails to resolve Egypt’s crisis
International efforts to resolve the political crisis which followed the ousting of Mohammed Morsi have failed, Egypt’s interim presidency says.

Obama cancels talks with Putin ahead of G-20 summit
President Barack Obama formally canceled a much-discussed visit to Moscow next month for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a lack of progress in bilateral relations since Putin regained the presidency a year ago.

Does cracking knuckles cause arthritis?
Cracking of joints, also referred to as “popping”, is a form of joint manipulation that produces a popping or cracking sound, as may occur during knuckle-cracking, a deliberate action.

Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank & Central Health win in Firms basketball
The Belize Bank Bulldogs, Atlantic Bank, Belize City Council, Customs Department Central Health Region and Ready Call all enjoyed victories when the Belize District firms’ basketball competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Friday and Saturday nights, August 2-3.

Jose Choto & Giovanni Lovell win Belmopan Criterium
Jose Choto of the Belikin Western Spirits team won the elite category while Giovanni Lovell of the Telemedia team won the junior category of the Belmopan Cycling Criterium organized by the Belmopan City Council as part of Belmopan Day activities on Saturday, August 3.


Stormy Skies, Belizean Chocolate and Our New Ghetto Air Conditioner
The weather all week has been incredibly warm and humid. It’s surprising the difference a few degrees makes. For the past few days, we have been flirting with the 90 degree mark and even the locals are complaining about the heat. This morning the first rain clouds have rolled over the island. Relief! The rain hit on my way home from CrossFit which made it necessary to duck into the Belize Chocolate Factory for a while. I’m pretty sure that Drew, my CrossFit coach, said something about eating chocolate after a work out… I can’t remember the exact words he used. Was it these? I have gone on and on about how I love Kakaw Chocolate and this shop. But my friend Jamie loves it that much more. She wants to go every day. The chocolate smell…the air conditioner…the new chocolate tea we just discovered that tastes like hot cocoa with a bit of milk and sugar…the delicious buttery buttery chocolate chip cookies..the cutest souvenirs…”the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had”, we can spend some serious time at the chocolate factory. Here are some pictures…

Old School Belizean Fresco
Fresco is the same thing as snow cones. In Belize we top it off with sweetened condensed milk. These four flavored syrups are homemade.

“Have You Forgotten” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday started as most days do for me (do not interpret this as a complaint – just saying). Up early and on the veranda with my mug of coffee and the iPad. A quick read of The Times and then I turned my attention to ‘knocking out’ the edition of the blog. After showering, shaving and getting dressed (decisions, decisions what shorts do I wear) I decided to treat myself with a breakfast at Estel’s so I got in to our relatively clean golf cart and drove to Estel’s only to find that they had the temerity to shut for the day. But this was Wednesday and Estel’s only closes on a Tuesday. Was the world ending ( OK, so I sound a bit like a drama queen but … I was really looking forward to my breakfast). Disappointed I returned home (well to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) and made breakfast which I ate on the veranda. Not Estel’s but it could have been a lot worse! I then caught up on emails and was pleased to find that Atlantic International Bank had accepted the documentation I had provided to prove the ‘source of funds’ and the money I had transferred from the UK had been credited to my account. Hooray. We now have money to spend!

International Sources

Cassidy and Spencer work to build school library in Belize
Returning from their trip to Belize, Spencer Fauver and Cassidy Labrum have much to report. Last February, some may remember that they were raising money to help build a school in the small community of Corozal, Belize. The experience of helping the people there was a life-changing one. Although the weather was hot usually around 100 degrees with 95 percent humidity, and the work was challenging, they dug footers, poured cement foundation and built cinderblock walls for the Calcutta Government School to add a small library and computer lab. They had many exciting experiences where they participated in jungle zip-lining, cave tubing, and visiting ancient Mayan ruins. The most rewarding experience for both Spencer and Cassidy was when the school children held an assembly to thank all the volunteers by presenting each of them with a coffee mug stamped with Belize.

Collective carries the beat of Belize
Although the pioneer of the soulful Garifuna musical genre has passed on, his collaborators will evoke his legacy in performance at MacArthur Park. In his native Belize, Andy Palacio is frequently compared to another lion of Afro-Caribbean music, Bob Marley. Like Marley, Palacio was an artistic pioneer and prophet of a musical genre shaped by the cross-currents of colonialism and slavery, yet characterized by the music's spirit of alternately joyous and plaintive resiliency. And, like Marley, Palacio was cut down in his prime, at 47, in 2008, after suffering a series of small strokes. His passing was a harsh blow for Garifuna music, a soulful blend of African percussion and elegant guitar-driven melodies. Built around frank but poetic ruminations about daily life's challenges, the music expresses the endangered cultural traditions of the Garifuna, or Garinagu, people, descendants of shipwrecked African slaves and Carib Indians who began migrating to Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize and the American South in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Single Gals Guide to Belizean Bliss
No matter how many years it has been since your passport saw a new stamp, this is the time of year when people dream of shaking off the spring break hangover and crave getting out of dodge; preferably somewhere with palm trees, warm sun and warm water. There's nothing more soothing than a daydream set on an exotic island, but taking a real vacation solo can sometimes feel overwhelming and scary. I set out to prove the myths wrong. As a single girl, desperate to escape the city, I planned my own Eat. Pray. Love adventure - my destination? Belize! Belize is an adventure lover’s paradise and a romantic couple rendezvous hot spot, but this single gal set out to peel back the layers of this tropical wonderland. Can I, a single girl make it in this rugged, raw, romantic country? After a 2.5-hour flight directly from Houston I touch down in Belize City. I step off of the plane and the warm sticky air clings to my skin. Although it is hot, it feels like a warm hug from grandma, welcoming and safe. I leave Belize City and head southwest, deep into the country. Bite-sized villages are sprinkled along the roadside. The country is lush and green, with palm groves, bananas and citrus trees. We pass avid cyclist, children playing in the fields, and fruit stands overflowing with mangoes.

Impoverished Village Rich in Authentic Community
I met a lot of friendly people in the little village of Gales Point in Belize, not the least of whom was Jay. Each morning we would cross Southern Lagoon in a boat and disembark in Jay's back yard, and he would usually be there to greet us with a big smile. He would pose for pictures with his two pet coatimundi (a relative of the raccoon), answer questions and talk to us for as long as we wanted, which unfortunately wasn't very long as we had to move on to our work site. I wish I had had more time to learn his story, and in subsequent trips I will make sure to do so, but what I know has caused me to do a lot of thinking – and re-thinking. Jay is an American, and, as far as I could see, the only Caucasian in the entire village. He met his wife, Myrtle, who is a native of Gales Point, in the U.S., and they married in the late '90s and have a young son.

Manatee tracking monitor for Belize
Keeping track of rehabilitated and released manatees in Belize

Breaking the Waves: Catlin Seaview Survey Digitizes the Endangered Oceans
Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the planet—and for most of us, that’s where the story ends. Our knowledge goes only as deep as the shimmering surface, even though the oceans in their full volume provide 90% of the habitable space on the planet. More than 95% of the underwater world remains unseen by human beings. It’s as if you tried to explore the entire land mass of Earth and only made it as far as Australia. It’s a great continent, but there’s a whole lot more out there. Still, there’s a reason why we know more about our local solar system than we do about the waters beneath us. Underwater ocean exploration is expensive, difficult and sometimes dangerous. The glimpses scientists do get of the undersea world are all too brief ones, just slices of time and space that offer only a glimpse of an ocean system that has enormous impact on the planet in everything from the food we eat to the way the climate is changing. Last year the director James Cameron made news by becoming the first person in decades to dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest spot on the planet, in a sub of his own design. Our understanding and management of the oceans is “very data poor,” as David Kline of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography puts it.

While on honeymoon in Belize woman discovers recipe for making chicken and now has won for Portland's Top 10 new food carts for 2013
If there's a new challenger as queen of Portland chicken carts, it's Tiffany Love, the enthusiastic owner (and cover girl) at Love Belizean. Love takes bone-in chicken, braises it in a mix of spices including garlic and achiote, then roasts the meat until its skin develops a sticky savoriness. Each piece comes in a box with dirty rice, an onion-rich Caribbean salsa, arugula salad, fresh lime and your pick from the rainbow of Marie Sharp's Belizean hot sauces. Love, who developed a passion for this dish while on her honeymoon in Belize, doesn't get too specific about how you garnish your chicken. I prefer to use the citrusy hot sauce as a dressing for the salad and rice, then use the salsa for the chicken, but you can mix and match however you like. And if you arrive in time, there's often tri tip with roasted red pepper -- it's often sold out by midday -- and you can finish off your meal with a rich pineapple upside-down cake.

Sanjay Gupta Makes Dramatic Apology About Weed
CNN's chief medical expert Sanjay Gupta announced Wednesday night that he has reversed his blanket opposition to marijuana use.

7 Useful Post Ideas for Your Own Photography Blog
Once most photographers become serious about their craft — whether they are amateur, professional, or something in between — they usually start thinking about starting a blog.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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