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#470331 - 08/16/13 07:25 AM Today's Belize News: August 16, 2013
Marty Offline


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Unknown vessel causes significant damage to the reef at Shark Ray Alley
Hol Chan Marine Reserve is asking the public’s assistance in investigating an incident that has left a significant strand of Acopora palmate (Elkhorn Coral) of the main reef damaged. It is believed that sometime on Sunday night, a boat ran aground the reef at Shark Ray Alley, located within the marine reserve. The vessel was pulled out unnoticed, but the impact is significant. On Monday August 5th, Hol Chan Marine Reserve office was informed of the incident after damages left behind by the vessel were clearly observed. “A vessel did run aground the reef and we highly suspect it occurred some part of Sunday (August 4th) night because when we visited the site on Monday, the damages were fresh. The damage done to the reef is significant. A lot of the corals were overturned and the Elkhorn Coral were broken into a lot of little pieces. It was just a lot of damage,” Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The damage to the reef was done in two areas, but the largest impacted area measures 85 feet by 42 feet. “Because of the size of the area that was damaged, we believe it was a large vessel. It must have been something larger than the tour boats,” added Forman.

Ambergris Today

Belize at Miss World and Miss America Latina Pageants
Lovely Destinee Arnold just recently won the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2013-2014 and is off to represent Belize at the Miss United Continent Pageant in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but there are two more Belizean beauties who will be proudly representing Belize in two international pageants. Idolly Saldivar, Miss World Belize 2013-2014, will have the task of representing Belize at this year’s Miss World Pageant in Jakarta, Indonesia while Karen Middleton, Miss America Latina Del Mundo Belize 2013-2014, will participate in the Miss America Latina Del Mundo Pageant in Cancun, Mexico. Miss World Belize 2013-2014 will be represented by Miss Idolly Louise Saldivar of Belize City at the 63rd Miss World Final Contest to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Miss Salidvar is a beautiful model with black hair, dark brown eyes, 5ft 5in tall and is a graduate from Palloti High School in Academic Science. She also earned an Associate Degree in General Studies from St. John’s College, School of Liberal Arts. Her future ambition is to become a dentist.

Professional Triathlete Casey Bateman Hosts Summer Swim Splash in Belize
The Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry and Casey Bateman US National Team Triathlete hosted a Summer Swim Splash Camp in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week. The three-day event took place from Monday, August 12, to Wednesday, August 14, 2013 in front of the Holiday Hotel and hosted 32 students. “It was a really nice experience; these children are amazing,” commented Casey Bateman to Ambergris Today. “The small children were taught basic skills on how to float and swim safety while the more advanced children were taught stroke refinement and triathlon work outs.” The event was a total success and Bateman hopes to make it an annual event and hopefully have the cooperation of the business community for the benefit of the children of San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Sports Commentary: Reaction to 'Was Queens Park Rangers the Greatest?'
By Wellington C. Ramos Former All Orange Walk Player I want to clarify some issues related to the article “Was Queens Park Rangers The Greatest?” that was published in the Amandala sport section August 9, 2013, by my friend Michael Finnegan. Before the team was taken over by Mr Frank Sharp, the name of the team was “Rovers”, which was founded, coached and trained by Dundee Lino D-Line because he was disliked after Queens Park Rangers lost the Inter-district Competition to Orange Walk Selection in the late 1960s. He was accused of selling out the game with the goalkeeper Ramball Rodriguez. All Belize won the Inter-district Competition for some years until 1975 when I started playing for All Orange Walk, with Enrique Carballo, Gregzie Jones, Nolie Leiva, Cheesie Flowers, Studd Hendricks, Mark Anthony Chavarria, Matthew Williams, Romaldo Lambey, Matutue, Daniel Cacho, Renan Briceno, Bunz Bennett, Harrier Laing. We were the first team to defeat All Belize convincingly at MCC grounds. After the game we had to get a police escort out of the park inside our bus. The Belize City people were stoning the bus with bottles and cursing us out because they were angry that they lost. Delhart Courtney was the referee for that game. Dean Lindo took our team to Picwick Club beside MCC Grounds for a treat that evening.

Waste disposal on North Ambergris Caye
Residents and Businesses on North Ambergris Caye, please contact the Town Foreman, Mr. Samuel Gonzalez to establish a drop off station for the disposal of your waste. You may contact him on his mobile number: 661-2275 or 627-9412

Galen Eagles Band Reaches Carifesta
The Galen Eagles Band, along with the Belize National Dance Company, and Joris Hendrik, have arrived in Suriname to represent Belize at Carifesta IX. In related news, the Galen Eagles Band has submitted a video to the Belize Celebrations video competition on fb, entitled Proud of My Belize, which was written by Shannelly Sutherland, and it will be performed at Carifesta.

Rotaract Cristo Rey Book Project
Feelgood news of the day. The Rotaract club had their Cristo Rey Book project recently. Thanks, Rotaract! In related news, they are starting up their Sunday Bingo again, starting this Sunday at Hode's. All proceeds go to their noble causes of helping out the community. "Thanks to everyone who showed up to help with our ongoing book project. We have some exciting longterm plans to help out high school kids! Stay tuned!!"

SFDC Deccenial Anniversary Preparations
The Succutz Festival Drum Corps is getting ready for their Deccenial anniversary this Saturday. It'll be an all day event, starting early Saturday morning. "The band is now in its Decennial Anniversary. We take this time to do the necessary preparations to celebrate 10 years of existence and bringing out the very best of our Belizean youths. It is not every day that we conclude that what was aspired emerged into one of the highlight of our village and also our country, and for that, we plan to celebrate it immensely!"

Channel 7

Stevedores Trying To Push Out “Pancho”
Right now at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Center in Belize City, the Waterfront Workers are meeting with other members of the Christian Workers Union, trying to get their support to rally against union president Antonio Gonzalez. As we've reported, the waterfront workers want him to resign immediately. Gonzalez has agreed to step down after an Annual General Meeting on March 14th, 2014. Today, the leaders of the waterfront workers told us why they are calling on their fellow CWU members from other organization to push out Pancho: Raymond Rivers - Waterfront Workers Representative "This meeting this evening is for us to bring awareness to Central Bank, Social Security, DFC, Banana Growing, Stevedore and all the other organizations that are registered under Christian Workers Union because Mr. Gonzalez has failed to give us a financial report, failed to have election, failed everything but live good from our money. We are sure that he receives approximately $200,000 a year from all the entities and that is what concerns me most of all."

Land Grab Against Gaynair?
Ian Gaynair is the star member of the Belize's National Team, Jaguars, who scored Belize's only goal in the Gold Cup. He is also 1 of 2 members who has been honored locally and internationally for turning down money from a match fixer. Tonight, however, he's back in the news because a parcel of land which he has claims to was taken away from him. Gaynair was granted lease approval for lot number 9236 on Holy Emmanuel Street near the Gungulung Area of Lake Independence. He's invested to develop the piece of land, and June of this year, he discovered that he no longer has any claims to it. That's because it was given to another someone else, who now has title to this piece of land. Gaynair went to renew his driver's license in June, which he couldn't do because he had outstanding property taxes. So, when he attempted to pay for the taxes in relation to this piece of land, he was informed that it no longer belongs to him. 7News understands that he hasn't paid property taxes for the land. We contacted him for comment, which he declined. Gaynair works for the Vital Statistics Unit, a Government department.

Seawell Before The Supreme Court
Last week, 7News told you about the much-delayed Habeas Corpus Hearing for Mark Seawell. He's wanted by the United States for narcotics trafficking, and he's been on remand for over 7 years. And since 2011, he's been trying to get this hearing in the Supreme Court. Well, today, finally, his attorney, Arthur Saldivar was able to begin presenting his case to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Saldivar addressed CJ Benjamin for a little over 3 hours this afternoon, and after the case was adjourned, 7News spoke to him about his impression of how the arguments were being received. Here's how he explained it: Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Mark Seawell "The hearing has started on the habeas corpus application and these things are limited in relation to what we can argue on. It has to come on the abuse of process principle and it has to basically be kept within the confines of what is allowed in these particular instances. Certainly what we have put forward thus far relates to what we consider to be important in terms of the likelihood of a fair trial or the fact that one may be impossible should Mr. Seawell be extradited. But at the end of the day, I believe that for the most part the submission has carried through what we would want to be presented and we look forward to tomorrow to continue in concluding."

No Clues In Death Of New Zealander
Who killed elderly Crooked Tree Resident, 76 year old Barry Blayney – who is originally from New Zealand. A number of persons have been taken in for questioning, but Belize District Rural Police still have no major leads. His body was discovered yesterday afternoon in his house with his hands and feet bound, with a piece of cloth over his head, and his mouth taped up. There were no signs of physical violence on his body, and one theory is that he may have been tied up by robbers, and because he has breathing problems, the tape on his mouth could have caused his death. But that's just a theory investigators have – and it's far from conclusive. According to the residents, Blayney moved to Crooked Tree almost 10 years ago. Police have not been able to contact his family because there is no New Zealand Consular Representative in Belize.

The Details Of the MOU
Last night, we gave you a snapshot of the plans for the Norwegian Cruise Destination at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. They're promising investment of 50 million US dollars in a destination that will be opened up in two years, and which will create directly and indirectly over a thousand jobs. But it's not completely a done deal – right now its just a memorandum of understanding, which we'll look more closely at in tonight's story: Jules Vasquez reporting The eight page, 23 point Memorandum of Understanding, dated July 31st, 2013, is the product of long negotiation according to Minister Godwin Hulse: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Chair, Cabinet Investment Committee "There have been many presentations of MOU's and the final one that will be presented today will clear up a bit of confusion because there's been - I think it started with about draft 6, we're at draft 10 but they caught up on us on draft 6 and moved steadily through the various progressions." The final signing was done on July 31st by trade minister Erwin Contreras who attended yesterday’s event, but as is his style, did not speak or take the head table. His CEO Mike Singh outlined one of the controversial points of the MOU – the head tax arrangement:

BTIA Stays Bex, Says It’s Crackhead Economics, On Steroids!
And while it's a big pitch being made, the president of the Placencia Chapter of the BTIA Stewart Krohn is not convinced Krohn and overnight tourism interests in Placencia have been opposing the plan from the very start – and today he told us, he still believes it can be vigorously and effectively opposed – especially the head tax: Stewart Khron - BTIA, President, Placencia "All I can say is that I hate to bring back this crackhead analogy - but I know crackheads on the street who are better negotiators than the people who negotiated this agreement. To say that you are now limiting yourself, you will review the head tax once every five years? Do you think the Income Tax or the GST department can make a commitment to review the GST only once every five years? This is insanity and then after five years and they somehow summon the courage to raise it by $1.00, which is the limit to which they will raise it, out of the $1.00 then $0.50 is going to go to NCL? This is the ultimate crackhead MOU." Jules Vasquez "It will happen - like it or not." Stewart Khron "Who says it will happen, like it or not? It not over until it's over Jules. You of all people know that in Belizean politics, strange events can intervene. Next week you might see an NCL ship crash on the Belize reef - with that be a game changer? Yes it would. Whenever someone tells you that it's a done deal - what they're really telling you is that might not be a done deal but they would love for it to be a done deal. I would like to tell people out there - particularly people outside of the South who might be sitting on the sidelines and saying 'well yeah I kind of sympathize with the people down there, but it's a done deal so I'll just shut up'. It's not a done deal and we've seen before in Belizean history, if the people raise their voices loudly enough then even done deals can be undone."

American From San Pedro Committed Suicide In City
Tonight, the body of 43 year-old American Belizean Timothy James Callanan, a resident of San Pedro Town, is at the KHMH awaiting a post-mortem, after it was discovered at around 5 yesterday evening at the Golden Tree Hotel. At this point, police believe that he killed himself. Callanan arrived at the hotel at around midday on Tuesday, and he was supposed to have only spent the overnight. So, when the receptionist noticed that he hadn't left up to four pm the following day, she decided to check up on him, and that's when she discovered his body. She contacted the police, who responded and retrieved the body. They found various suicide notes. He was last seen leaving Dean Lindo's law firm on Church Street at 11 am on Tuesday. Lindo reports that he was on his way to Burt Bradley but never made it there or to any of his appointments.

Bumper To Bumper Fender Bender
The northern highway is always bumper to bumper in the morning rush hour, and today that caused a four vehicle pile-up. It happened in front of Benny's Warehouse at around 8:00 when one of the drivers didn't see the vehicle in front of him come to a stop. That led a driver to rear end him, and then another, and then another in a chain reaction. When it was all over, a Dodge Neon had suffered the most serious damaged with its transmission wrecked. It's not big news, but we are highlighting a recurrent problem in that area where traffic slows and drivers tend to skylark.

Budna Gets Over Some Legal Hurdles
Joseph Budna has gotten some of his legal worries out of the way. As we told you, last year in Guatemala he was charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals. According the Guatemalan press, Budna was the leader of a ring of criminals specializing in international kidnappings in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Well he contacted us from Guatemala where he told us that 6 days ago – he had a breakthrough in the Peten Supreme Court – when he proved that the policeman who shot him during his September 2012 arrest had something personal against him: Voice of: Joseph Budna - From Peten, Guatemala "As you know I was charged for attempted murder and as well for an unlicensed firearm - that was a .40 firearm which police claimed at the time of my arrest that I fired shots after them. Now, I could tell you that that was false and at the Supreme Court in Peten that was proven to be false and that was the reason why the Supreme Court of that jurisdiction had set me free of attempted murder and an unlicensed firearm charges. This was one of the previous cases in Peten that I opened gun shot against them and kidnapped police in Peten, after they tried to apprehend me. None of the police weapon, none of the police bullets that they fired at me was taken before the court - I told the judge that it is without any doubt that the firearm was what they called 'quemal' and what is called on the street - means a firearm was used that was not registered and it was illegal. So I have the judge believe that these police officer - rather than arrested me, they reached to eliminate me for special interest."

NTUCB Supports Public Finance Reform
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize supports the proposed re-structuring of the public accounts committee. As we showed you on Friday, the motion was presented to the house by PUP Representative Julius Espat but soundly rejected by the House Speaker. But the NTUCB says it represents a unique opportunity to enhance participatory democracy and signal to the people that there is political will to reform isntituions. In the statement, the NTUCB lament s that, quote, "the government came into office on a platform of reform but sadly they have not done enough." They are asking the government to take ownership of the motion and ensure restructuring of the Accounts Committee. The Prime Minister has said that the restructuring as proposed by Espat would up-end the house standing orders and goes against the very basis of the parliamentary system.

Belize U-15 Footballers Await Jamaica
Tonight, the Belize U-15 National Football Team is in the Cayman Islands, and they are awaiting their second match. As we reported, the team defeated Saint Lucia with a score of 1-0 on Wednesday. The goal came from Alvin Siftones, who scored in the twenty-first minute of the second half. According the Football Federation of Belize, there were Belizean fans who were present in the stadium, and they gave tremendous support. The team is resting up for their next game against Jamaica, which they will play at around 6 tomorrow evening.

Garifuna Collective Launches “Ayo” In Belize
The Garifuna Collective has toured North America in support of their new album "Ayo" and now they've come back to Belize to launch the album locally. The album has been praised by music reviewers worldwide for creating a magical album filled with songs of "heartbreak, hope and joy." Indeed, the album produced and recorded at Stonetree records in Benque Viejo is a major cultural product– and today some of the band members told us why you should get it: Al Ovando - Bassist, Ga rifuna Collective "This is the officially day of release for the album 'Ayo' - it's a tribute to Andy Palacio - it's the second album of the Garifuna Collective band itself and it's just a continuation of what Andy started and we are just officially launching it today and letting the public know that it is now available in the stores. We'd like everyone to support and make sure everyone gets a copy." Desiree Diego - Vocalist, Garifuna Collective "It means a whole lot to us, to add to what Al said - it's a tribute to Andy, bidding him farewell and also working on new songs. I must say that I want everybody to get a copy of this CD, who could purchase it and listen to it; vibes up with the CD and us working along with the public."

Profile Of a Stroke Of Luck, And Hard Work
Tonight's profile is about Doctor Priscilla Brown Lopez – who was born in Lucky Strike Village in difficult circumstances. Tonight she tells the profile how a stroke of luck landed this lucky strike girl in the teaching profession:

PG Youth Volunteers Walk The Line
This summer, we've told you about all kinds of camps, but in the great outdoors of PG, they do things a little differently. Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers took this group of kids to the border – at the banks of the Upper Temash. It was a full day of activity, as they made the trek to the border, complete with lessons in map reading, and flag waving.

A Concert For Carnival Cash
On Saturday night, six carnival senior bands will be competing against each other at the 4th annual Soca Madness Competition. It's an event organized each year by Flavaz Entertainment – mainly to give a helping hand with some financial support to the winning bands. We all know carnival is fun but is also costly – and so this Saturday, these senior bands will be putting on a show in front of an audience – in hopes of winning hundreds of dollars. The organizer told us more: Andazi - Organizer, Flavaz Entertainment "Today, August 17th at the MCC Tennis Court - it's just going to be a big party. Basically it's a dance competition between 6 of the senior bands in this year's carnival road march and we're going to be giving away prizes to the different carnival bands and this is all in aid of helping them prepare for the road march. Basically we have three rounds for the competition - we will have a freestyle round where we will just throw music out at them and then they will do their thing on stage. Then they'll have an audience response round where they really have to work for the attention of the crowd. Finally, we have a little carnival costume competition.

Channel 5

N.T.U.C.B. supports restructuring Public Accounts Committee
There have been a great deal of verbal fireworks on both sides of the floor in the House of Representatives recently, including blistering remarks by chairman Julius Espat, regarding the [...]

The Norwegian men explain why the Harvest Caye Port is needed
The ink on the Memorandum of Understanding between Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Government of Belize has been dry from July thirty first. Minister Godwin Hulse said that it [...]

B.T.I.A. Placencia Chairman maintains NCL is a bad deal for Belize
You’ve heard about the minimum of twenty-five percent of the passengers guaranteed to go on tours….that numerical amount continued to resound in the MOU as the government agreed to a [...]

Missing San Pedro businessman found dead in Belize City Hotel
Earlier this week, a missing person’s bulletin was in circulation within the media concerning the whereabouts of forty-three year old Timothy James Callanan, a naturalized Belizean businessman of San Pedro [...]

Lease land taken away from celebrated Jaguar, Ian Gaynair
He scored the only goal for Team Belize in the Gold Cup in July. He received international acclaim and recognition from CONCACAF and FIFA for turning down a bribe to [...]

Mark King wants a ‘reversible’ apology?
Self-proclaimed Minister of Gangs Mark King will be taking KREM News to court, or at least he claims he will if they do not issue a public apology to him. [...]

The long winding and bumpy road to Sarteneja
On Wednesday’s newscast we showed you one of the biggest problems affecting the thirty-five residents of the seaside community of Sarteneja. The water system is broken, and there has been [...]

Ferry in Corozal closes and villagers suffer miles of consequences
The Ministry of Works is currently rehabilitating the Copper Bank/Chunox Ferry in the Corozal district. Normally that would be good news, but residents of the communities of Sarteneja, Progresso, Chunox [...]

It started with a stolen cow, but ended with pointed gun
Thirty-one year old Jerome Crawford, of Hattieville, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison, following an incident in the village on Wednesday during which he allegedly pulled a [...]

High school student busted on burglary charges
A nineteen year old student of Maud Williams High School is on pretrial detention at the Belize Central Prison after being charged with burglary and handling stolen goods.  Salvadoran national [...]

Will Mark Seawell be extradited to the U.S.A.?
The protracted case of Mark Seawell, wanted by U.S. authorities on a slew of drug-related offenses, resumed today in the Supreme Court chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  Seawell, who [...]

Mayor and delegation back from developing sister city relations
While Seawell fights extradition to the US, a local contingent of Belizeans recently returned from a tour of parts of America.  Forming and sustaining sister city relationships is one way [...]

Some real old time fire hearth cooking in Willows Bank
This Saturday, Willows Bank will come alive once again for its third annual Fire-Hearth Festival. And the name speaks for itself…the celebration features a fire hearth cook-off where a representative [...]

Garifuna Collective release Ayo, a tribute to Andy Palacio
They are back in the Jewel….the Garifuna Collective is back from a tour in North America where they were featured in thirty-eight festivals and made appearances in twenty-five cities. The [...]

Healthy Living gets its cholesterol checked
Most people find out they have high cholesterol while conducting routine screening tests.  Even so, high cholesterol is diagnosed in Belize on a daily basis. It is a worrisome situation [...]

#470332 - 08/16/13 07:26 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 16, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Southern Cruise Port Will Not Take Away From Belize City Port, Says Tourism Authorities
The Memorandum of Understanding for the Harvest Caye Project in southern Belize has been signed, as we reported on Wednesday, and its Master plan underwent a few changes along the way. But Leader of Government Business, Senator Hulse assured that Norwegian Cruise Line will be required to meet a list of prerequisites and that the Belize City port will not be affected by the expansion of cruise tourism now in southern Belize. Senator Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business “Any scheduled visits in the north at the existing thing, those shall not be diverted; so, whatever is scheduled there, we will maintain and then you go to the south; we will not transfer them; so, all this fear that was happening in Belize City will stop – that’s not true. This supports the national tourism master plan in reaching its objectives of 1.5 million cruise passengers by 2030 and communities and businesses to benefit and be impacted. So, the technical team worked around that; the Cabinet was satisfied, it’s socially acceptable; of course, you can’t please everybody, so am not here to say that everybody is going to say hoorah but there are a lot of people who will. Economically acceptable, the analysis showed that it would bring revenue to government and foreign exchange and economic benefits to Belize. Legally doable? Absolutely; the concession does not infringe on – concessions in Belize city they company will abide by all necessary environmental compliance rules the company will abide by the labor laws of Belize the company will abide under respective license granted by the port of authority company will apply for incentive under the physical incentive act the company will abide by all necessary statutory boarding — immigration and vessel requirements as stipulated by the port authority company will be license under the hotel and tourist accommodating act and the company will undergo US dollar exchange under the exchange control act so it’s legal do-able no secrets here nothing to hide.”

Garifuna Collective Promotes Album In Memory of Andy Palacio
The Garifuna Collective has recently returned from touring the United States and Canada. But the ever hard-working group hasn’t taken the time to stop and rest just yet. They are already promoting their new album “AYO” an album dedicated to Andy Palacio and others in the group that have moved on from this world. Today Love News spoke with Tour Manager, Al Obando and Lead Vocalist and Maracas player, Desiree Diego about the new album. AL OBANDO, Tour Manager, The Garifuna Collective “The album was designed from the Garifuna Collective members themselves; the whole philosophy of the album is that it sounds like a traditional group of people singing all the songs, there is no one main singer; the group is paying tribute to Andy so, all the songs is designed and arranged that way with multiple vocals in each song.” DESIREE DIEGO, Lead Vocal/Maracas, the Garifuna Collective “Ayo means goodbye in English and since it is a tribute to Andy bidding him farewell, it all works off the CD with Ayo. The song is saying that Belize has wept during the death of Andy, his parents are grieving, his children and actually behind it it’s seeing the pain when they went to the funeral for Andy Palacio in 2008; so, that’s what Ayo is basically saying and it is written in Garifuna and in English.”

Maintenance Works on Ferries in Northern Belize Underway
The Ministry of Works has started work on two ferries that connect Corozal Town to the communities of Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso, Little Belize, and Sarteneja. There are allegations that no official notice was given to the public and that the Ministry has not put in place measures of how to keep the flow of traffic in the area. Love News spoke with works CEO Errol Gentle about the situation. ERROL GENTLE “I am not certain if that was done without any announcement to the public because usually a month before we do any work it is announced; so, if there was no announcement, I would have to talk to my Officer in Charge in Corozal but you could imagine having a ferry in the river for quite some while and no maintenance is done; there’s corrosion in some places, there might be some holes in the ferry; so, for the safety of the vehicles and the safety for people, we have to ensure that we save lives; from time to time we have to do maintenance on the ferry. We have been doing some surface maintenance but it’s time that we actually take the ferries out of the water and address whatever problems that exist under the surface of the ferry. On the surface, you’ll see some of the running boards have been replaced; the approaches to both of the ferries will be fixed; the cable that holds the ferry together will be replaced and the actual flotation part of the ferry, the metal part that do have some holes in some areas, in order for us to repair them that has be taken out; we’ll have to cut out the rotten part and put in welding in new sheeting unto the ferry. The first one took a little bit longer than we thought; we’re expecting like one month or a month and a half and the second ferry that we’ll be working on is the bigger ferry; so, certainly it will take much longer. The concern of the villagers is that the ferry will be taken out and there will be no consideration for movement of passengers and the movement of vehicles but we will be looking into that and will be doing whatever is possible to ensure that they’ll be free flow of traffic.”.

Elderly Man Found Dead Identified As A New Zealand National
Last night we told you about a murder that had occurred in Crooked Tree Village. The victim, identified at seventy six year old New Zealand national, Barry Blainey, was found at around midday yesterday by a resident of the Village, Fiona Buylding. Buylding told Love News that after noticing that Blainey had skipped his daily routines, she went to check up on him at his house. There she observed that Blainey was motionless, lying face down with his hands and feet bound and his head covered with a sheet. Immediately, Buylding says, that she alerted a close friend and neighbor to Blainey, Rudolf Crawford who then called the authorities. Residents of the Village believe that Blainey was killed sometime Tuesday night when the rain poured down. Police have yet to release any details of this latest homicide but villagers believe that Blainey was robbed before he was killed. Blainey had moved into the village some ten years ago and lived mostly by himself after the death of his wife. Villagers are still baffled as to why anyone would want to harm Blainey, especially since he is described as a humble individual who kept to himself. Love News understands that several persons have been detained for questioning.

Belize To Be Represented in Two Upcoming International Pageants
Two Belizean beauties are headed out of the country to represent Belize in two pageants scheduled for August and September. The two young women are Karen Jasmine Middleton, who will make representation at the Miss Latin America of the World to be held at the Barcelo’ Maya Beach Resort in Rivera Maya Cancun, Mexico and Idolly Saldivar who will be traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia to represent Belize at the 63rd annual Miss World. The pageant activities in Mexico will commence on Sunday August 18 and runs until August 31 at 9:00 p.m. Middleton is twenty years old and hails from Corozal Town. She has participated in various pageants since the age of sixteen. She captured the title of Miss Independence Corozal in 2008; placed second runner up in the Miss World Belize pageant 2009 and earned the title of the Miss Amity award. She has won the Reina Del Tropico Internacional 2012 in Honduras for which she also received the Miss Friendship Award. The Miss Latin America of the World pageant will be held on August 31 at the Teatro Monte Alban inside the Barcelo Maya Palace Hotel in Cancun. Meanwhile, Saldivar, the titleholder for Miss Earth Belize 2012-2013, Miss Costa Maya international 2011 and Miss Piel Dorada 2011 will be competing for the title of Miss World against approximately 130 other coutnries. She arrives in the City of Bali on September 3 and returns home by September 30. The event will be televised on the E! Channel on September 28, 2013.

Magistrate Revokes Gun License for Security Guard
Forty-five year old Kim Taylor, A security guard who resides on Partridge street, was charged with altering a firearm when he appeared today before Magistrate Clive Lino. Taylor pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Lino explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence falls under the Firearm Act. Taylor was remanded into custody until October 1. The alleged offence occurred on March 8. According to the allegation, Taylor, the holder of a gun license for a Glock nine millimetre pistol, altered the firearm by removing the barrel and replacing it with another Glock nine millimetre barrel. Taylor’s gun license was revoked. Taylor was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.


San Joaquin Prepares To Celebrate Its 47th Fiesta
The center stage for the 47th annual San Joaquin Fiesta is set for this weekend in the village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District. The entrance of the torch from Bacalar was brought in on the 8th of August which marked the initial commencement of the festival. The site is already being prepared for this year’s event which promises to be bigger and better. Yarely Pol – Committee member “Tomorrow being the 16th, the Feast day we have the last novena at five, then at six we have the mass and then the inauguration of the fair at the park grounds at seven thirty more or less, then after that we have the dance with Youth Connection from Orange Walk plus the games and food, that’s for tomorrow Friday.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “So what is expected from the public whenever they arrive at San Joaquin?” Yarely Pol – Committee member “We are expecting them to feel at home, welcomed to come and enjoy with their families, it is a family fair, new games, new attractions and for the couples who to enjoy themselves well the dance.”

Teachers Trained To Be Counsellors
Primary School teachers are not the only ones receiving assistance for effective delivery of the two most important subject areas, Problem Solving and Language Arts. High School teachers are currently taking part in a workshop that is teaching them how to indentify if a child is going through issues that may impede his/her learning. Counseling is an important area especially at the high school level; however, due to lack of resources, a teacher’s terms of reference must be modified to include also being a councilor. In order for teachers to carry out the job well, they received the necessary training. Licia Castillo, School Councillor, OWTHS “This workshop was to equip teachers with basic counseling skills in the classroom.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Ok, then me why do you believe it is important to equip teachers with this information, to make my question clear, I mean one week of these techniques, do you believe it will assist teachers to actually play that role in their school?"

Teachers Attack The Challenges Of The Profession
Teachers in the Orange Walk District are currently partaking in a number of workshops with the aim of improving their teaching skills. In the Orange Walk District, teachers are out in full force acquiring the necessary tools that will aid them in tackling two of the biggest challenges in the teaching profession; reading and problem solving. Noel Lopez, Teacher “It has exposed us to a whole lot of strategies that need to be used in language arts and mathematics.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What are some of those strategies?” Noel Lopez, Teacher “For example we were just now being exposed to using pictures, how you can rearrange pictures in different orders and you can be telling different stories from the same set of pictures. In Language Arts first of all we know that children well English not their first language so now with material that they can relate to children will feel more comfortable for example looking at a picture they will able to make up stories just by looking at it.”

PM Says No To Restructuring Of PAC, NTUCB Says Yes
At the House of Representatives last week the Chairman of the Public Account Committee Julius Espat presented a motion to change the formation of the committee in charge of scrutinizing the spending of the government. While for taxpayers, the configuration of the committee might have sounded like a good idea, the motion was highly criticized and rejected by the Barrow Administration. Here are the Prime Ministers critiques about the motion. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Mr. Speaker I am very sorry, this motion is entirely and wholly misconceive, shot through with procedural and substantive errors from beginning to end and I after I finish speaking ask you for a ruling Mr Speaker because it is my submission that is it out of order and has to fall without merits of the motion being debated. First of all, we are told that it is a motion under 25 of the Standing Orders, even that is wrong, when you look at the substance of what the member has set forward it is really a motion that oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 of the standing orders. Section 25 talks about how you move motions and amendments procedurally, tell you in 26 the period of notice which I see Mr Speaker in the case of a private member, but 89 is what talks particularly about a motion to amend the standing orders and that is what the member is proposing, a motion to amend the standing orders, so it oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 and such a motion requires as I see it here in 89 (1) Mr Speaker, not less than eight clear days’ notice. I see that the speaker is at liberty to contract the noticed period so I imagine that it was put in the order papers in consequence of the Speaker having exercised that jurisdiction but even if we get by that particular procedural difficulty there is another procedural difficulty that it strikes me even you Mr Speaker do not have the authority to waive. Let me read 89 (1) Mr Speaker, unless the Speaker shall otherwise direct not less than eight days’ notice of a motion to amend the standing orders shall be given, presumably you directed and so it is less than eight days and the second part, and the notice shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendment, where is the member draft of the proposed amendment.”

Finally San Estevan/Progresso Road To Be Paved
Works for the upgrading of the San Estevan/Progresso Road was set to commence on the 21st of November 2011 and completed by May 21st 2013, but so far the rehabilitation of the 16 miles stretch of road is nowhere in site. As mentioned last night, the deplorable conditions of the road have been affecting thousands of residents who live in Corozal Southeast and find the need to commute to Orange Walk daily. With their livelihoods affected, residents decided to take a stand and demanded answers from Government. Particularly, they wanted to know why the road had not been fixed; after all, the contract was signed close to two years ago. In order to get the attention of GOB, residents threatened to block the road and even the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry. If it was just a bluff, we will never know, what we do know though is that it surely caught Governments attention and tonight residents of Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso and other surrounding villages, have received a commitment from the Ministry of Works that work on the road will commence in ten working days. This was reveled during a very heated meeting held between residents and representatives of the Ministry of Works yesterday in the Village of Progresso.


GOB & Norwegian Cruise Line push Harvest Caye project
The Memorandum of Understanding between Norwegian Cruise Line and the Government of Belize was signed a few days ago, but the hard work that both sides hope will lead to a prosperous cruise port facility at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District has only just begun. Today a...

Gilroy Usher out on bail after pleading not guilty to harm
Gilroy Usher, is out on bail after he pleaded not guilty to harm. The 56 year old businessman, who was PUP Standard Bearer for Port Loyola in the previous General Elections, was arrested following an alleged domestic dispute on Monday. It is alleged he beat his wife and she...

Jason Anderson found guilty of drug possession
On Wednesday, 23 year old Jason Anderson, who is on remand for murder, was found guilty of drug possession. Anderson plead guilty today after he was caught with one gram of cannabis. He was busted with the weed on February 5 2013, upon returning from the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court....

Contractor tries to recover money spent on renovation and expansion of Dangriga Market
The Belize Municipal Development Project is a 30 million dollar venture financed by the World Bank, aimed at providing infrastructure development to seven municipalities in Belize. The first phase of the project, which is being spearheaded by the Social Investment Fund, is near completion, as works in six of...

Gilberto Augustus Welcome acquitted of serious firearm related offense
In late July 2011, a Belize City man was allegedly busted with 2 live rounds of 9 mm ammunitions inside his bedroom. He was charged with kept ammunition without gun license and remanded to the Belize Central Prison for 90 days. But tonight, 22-year-old Gilberto Augustus Welcome is a...

Student remanded for two criminal offences
A teenager who is a second form student is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused and charged with two criminal offenses; burglary and handling stolen goods. He is 19-year-old Salvadoran national, Carlos David Beltran. Beltran appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton Wednesday evening . Allegations...

Timothy Callanan missing since Tuesday
The family of Belize City resident Timothy Callanan is asking for help in locating their loved one. Callanan was last seen Tuesday morning, sometime around 11am, leaving the law firm on Church Street in Belize city. He had a number of appointments that day and never made it to...

Shower activity moves over Yucatan and Belize
According to the National Hurricane Centre there is a 60% chance that a tropical wave forecast to hit landfall in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula in the next couple of days, could develop into a tropical depression. We talked to the Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez who gave us...

Two ferries closed for repair
The Corozal/Progresso and the Copper Bank/Chunox ferry are both under repair. There have been numerous complaints about the ferries being unsafe for both vehicles and humans. The damaged decks of these ferries are especially dangerous at night. On Tuesday, August 13th, the ferries were...

Belize National Football Team gives back to the community
The Belize National Football Team is giving back to the community. While the team was in the USA, they were challenged to bring back a small gift for a needy child in Belize. Each player donated US$20.00 to purchase a school bag to bring back home for the kids....

Belizean artists perform at California’s “Reggae on the River”
“Reggae on the River” is an annual Reggae fest held in Humbuldt County, California on the first week of August. The Festival was born in 1983 and has since gotten very popular, reeling in thousands of reggae fans from across the border. In this year’s festival, Belize had the...

One hundred and six Belizeans certified CERT members
On Saturday, August 10th One hundred and six Belizeans were certified as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. A ceremony was held in Burrel Boom which acknowledged the participants for completing their two year training program. The training project was funded by USAID and...

The Guardian

Vision for Lake Independence
Hon. Mark King, Area Representative for Lake Independence, has proposed to the Belize City Council as a part of his master plan to re-design and transform the entire Mahogany street area into a modernized part of the city. The plan will entail massive work which will completely transform the surroundings and environment of the existing area. The project has been approved by Hon. Mark King, His Worship Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council, the BWS Chairman, Alberto August and it is now going through a consultation process with other stakeholders. The Mahogany Street beautification project will include changes to be made to the sidewalks, bus stops, taxi stands, the cementing of the entire length of Mahogany Street as well as the greening of the road sides, the construction of bicycle paths, the painting of the area, installation of new shops and park light posts and much more.

Woman Beater
The People’s United Party’s United Women’s Group was nowhere to be found when PUP Standard Bearer in Port Loyola was escorted to the Magistrate’s Court to be charged after he allegedly beat his wife. It would seem that this is an issue that they ought to be condemning considering the hullabaloo that they made when they claimed to be coming out in defense of Dolores Balderamos Garcia after they claim she was being mistreated. Despite their not being present, Gilroy Usher Sr., who represented the PUP in the last General Election in the Port Loyola division and who failed miserably, was paraded to Magistrate’s Court where he was formally charged with causing harm to his wife, 51-year-old Magdalena Usher. The wife reported to police that on Monday August 12th, Gilroy Usher Sr. beat her. She stated that sometime before 9 on that morning she was hit in the face multiple times by Gilroy Usher Sr. Information reaching the Guardian suggests that Usher used a pint bottle to hit his wife in the face.

NCL is coming - Jobs Now and Plenty More Later
Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) proposal to invest no less than US$50 million on the Harvest Caye project has satisfied the Government’s criteria for foreign investment in Belize and the Cabinet Sub-Committee with responsibility for foreign investments publicly gave its nod of approval on Wednesday, August 14th, in Belize City. Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse, Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, says it is a relief to be finally able to put all rumours about the Memorandum of Understanding to bed. He says there is an obvious reason the details of the agreement was not discussed in public earlier: “There is no secret behind this thing. It is called negotiation.” He says this is the first Government to establish a committee that will oversee all foreign investment in the country and in order for NCL’s or any other project to be approved they must satisfy five criteria.

UB awards scholarships to 83 students
The students were awarded the scholarships at the University of Belize Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan on August 9.

Owen Baptist Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking
On Wednesday, August 7th, 42-year-old Owen Baptist was busted with over five pounds of weed at his home and 37 cannabis plants on his farm in Isabella Bank in the Belize River Valley. The drugs were found during a search operation by police at about 4:15 p.m. on August 7th. Baptist was the only person present at the house during the time of the search. Police searched under his wooden structure and found the weed scattered on the ground. They then went over to his farm and found 37 cannabis plants. Baptist was arrested and charged with drug trafficking and cultivation of a controlled drug. Baptist had no legal representative when he appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton on Friday, August 9th. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to both offenses. Baptists told Magistrate Hamilton that he considers his farm to be a psychiatric clinic because he cares for mentally ill patients there. He had nothing to say during mitigation plea. Magistrate Hamilton explained that he could refrain from imposing custodial sentence but Baptist has not given any reason why he should not be sent to prison. Hamilton then sentenced him to two three-year jail terms and a fine of $10,000 on each count. The prison sentences are to run concurrently; therefore, he will serve only three years in prison.

Cop busted with Weed in Cayo
Good intelligence and quick police work led to the interception of a high profile duo in Santa Elena Town, Cayo on August 9, 2013. The two men, Police Officer Darel Gilbert Swazo, 29 years old, attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office and Herby Edison Morera 30 years old and attached to the customer service section at the Belize Telemedia Limited were asked to exit their vehicle near Alwin’s Superstore on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town on that date. Found inside a double black plastic bag, inside the white two door vehicle (with license plate C35533), were four and a half pounds of a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Further checks in the vehicle did not find any other incriminating evidence. Both men, Darel Giblert Swazo and Herby Edison Morera were thereon arrested and jointly charged for drug trafficking. They were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Monday of this week after which they were granted and met bail. Both their cases have been adjourned to November 7, 2013.

Police Constable Succumbs to Injuries from Brawl
The family of 26-year-old Police Constable Roy Robert Fernandez is demanding justice after their loved one died from injuries sustained during an attack in his home village, Georgetown in the Stann Creek District. According to reports, Fernandez was socializing with a woman and her sister at their mother’s house on Saturday, August 3rd, when the woman’s ex-common-law-husband’s brother passed by and saw them. Knowing that her ex was a jealous man, the woman told Fernandez not to walk home alone. Therefore, he left for home in the company of the two women. According to police report, while walking home they met up with the woman’s ex and his brother. The brother began to curse Fernandez and followed him. They eventually attacked and brutally beat Fernandez. He suffered from a swollen face, burst bottom lip and complained of pain to his upper body. Fernandez did not report the incident and refused medical attention. It was not until sometime around 5 a.m. on Saturday, August 10th, that Fernandez started complaining that he was in unbearable pain and unable to urinate. He was immediately taken to the clinic but it was too late. He passed away at 5:40 p.m. that same day. Police have detained the brothers as part of their investigation into Fernandez’s death. He was on a month vacation from duty at Precinct 1 in Belize City.

Busted with Weed
On Tuesday, August 13th, 27-year-old Jermaine Alex Grant, a construction worker, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. He appeared before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge. On Monday, August 12th, he was found in possession of 15.6 grams of cannabis which according to PC #662, Mark Martinez was found in the crutch area of his boxer shorts. After pleading guilty, Grant asked the court for leniency and Magistrate Stewart imposed a non-custodial sentence where she fined him $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he was ordered to pay $200 forthwith and the balance by October 15, 2013 in default 6 months imprisonment.

Shaquille Neal Charged for Stabbing Uncle
21-year-old Shaquille Neal appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 9th, to answer to a charge of grievous harm upon his uncle, Phillip Neal. According to Police report, on July 14th, Shaquille and Phillip Neal got into an argument at their Periwinkle street home which ended with Shaquille stabbing his uncle twice, once to the chest and once to the left arm. He was treated by a doctor who classified his injuries as grievous harm. In court, Shaquille Neal was without legal representation when he appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was offered in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is to appear back in court on September 30th.

#470333 - 08/16/13 07:27 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 16, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

BDF Soldier Threatens Wife with Machete
A Belize City woman is having second thoughts about marrying her common-law-husband after he pulled a machete and threatened to kill her and her family. Her common-law-husband is 28-year-old Belize Defense Force soldier Michael Zuniga. The woman reported to police that she and Zuniga were at her mother’s home for a family function on Saturday, August 10th. She said Zuniga got drunk and the two began to quarrel. She chose to leave her mother’s house and head to her home in the Rio Bravo Crescent area near Faber’s Road. Zuniga followed her home and at about 10 p.m. their argument escalated to the point that he pulled a machete, threatened and punched her. She went to the hospital where a doctor classified her injury as harm. Zuniga was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of using threatening words and one count of harm upon his common-law-wife. In court on Monday, August 12th, Zuniga pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Clive Lino. He was granted bail at $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount but court record showed that he owes the court $800 for a previous conviction of drug possession. He could not meet bail and spent the night in prison before he was able to pay his fine on Tuesday.

Junior footballers participating in CONCACAF championship
The Football Federation of Belize National U-15 male team is currently in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands where it will participate in the CONCACAF U-15 championship. The team left the country on Monday August 12 for the tournament. The team consist of the following players: Elton Gordon, Jamir Alpuche, Karl Haylock, Dale Pelayo, Rogi Solorzano, Kowat Nicholas, Marlon Garcia, Randy Augustine, Trey Harris, Mark Samuels, Dylan Rhys, Brandon Cante, Wayne Cadle, Sammy Sosa, Charles James, Alvin Sifontes, Shevon Butenschoen and Rene Leslie. The technical staff consist of Head Coach, Renan Escobedo, Assistant Coach, Alex Noralez, Physical Trainer, Dennis Serano and Equipment Manager, Herbert Trapp.

Atlantic Bank and Belize Bank lead in Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association 2013 Firms Competition continued on Saturday, August 11th, at Bird’s Isle with three more games on the schedule. In the first game played, Customs/Ministry of Education defeated the Belize City Council/Post Office by the score of 67-61. The top scorers for Customs/Ministry of Education were Kevin Lorenzo with 29 points, Winston Pratt with 22 points and Ephrain Philips with 10 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize City Council/Post Office squad were Kenroy Usher with 14 points, Densford Bevans with 10 points and Cordel Gonzalez Jr. with 9 points. In game two, it was the Belize Bank/Broadway Trust that continued on its winning path when it doubled up on PUC/CBA/Fisheries by the score of 85-41. The top scorers for the Belize Bank/Broadway Trust were Marcel Orozco with 23 points, Troy Gabb with 20 points, and Terrique Gabb with 18 points. For PUC/CBA/Fisheries the top scorers were Andrew Robateau with 12 points, Claudio Leal with 8 points and Raymond Charley with 7 points.

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 31st, 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 one week before the scheduled elections.

King of the Hills comes up this Sunday
The Western Region Cycling Association is hosting the “Belikin Western Spirit – King of the Hills” Cycling Race on Sunday, August 18th, 2013 starting at 8:00 a.m. in San Ignacio Town. The event will include Elite, Masters, Juniors, Women and Weekend Warriors riders. The race will commence from the San Ignacio Welcome Centre and the registration fee is $20.00 per rider. In the open category, 1st – 10th place will receive prizes starting at $700.00 and trophy. In this category, riders will have to complete 15 laps. In the Junior category, 1st -10th place will receive starting at $300.00 and trophy and in the masters category, 1st-10th place will receive starting at $500.00 and trophy.

Belize not doing well in Pan American Women’s Championship
The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize is currently participating in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship that is being played in Guayanbo, Puerto Rico. The team has played four games so far and have lost all four games played. On Monday, August 12th, in the game played against the Dominican Republic, Team Belize fell by the score of 13-0 in six innings. The combined pitching of Belize’s starter and loser Francine Hoare and Lisa Jones gave up a total of 13 runs on 13 hits. Jones who relieved Hoare in the top of the 6th inning gave up 5 runs on 3 hits, including a three run home run to third baseman Eduarda Rocha and a two run home run to relief pitcher Geovanny Nuoe. Meanwhile, Team Belize collected only two hits. The two singles belonged to Designated Player Naricia Frazer and left field Joline Davis.

HURTED Dolores Simply Blowing Smoke
Does anyone believe that the power hungry representative from Belize Rural Central was so “hurted” that she did not want to return to the House? Please! Being in the House of Representatives is her only reason for being in politics. Her reason is certainly not to help the people because her record shows that for five years as Representative for Port Loyola she was Missing In Action and now in Belize Rural Central she is as infamous as Tata Duende, starring many unpleasant tales but has never been seen in real life. The People’s United Party knows fully well that the longer the public is talking about Dolores’s feelings the longer the focus is off the fact that the past and present leader of their party was chastised by the Caribbean Court of Justice and internationally exposed as corrupt men, and in the case of Fonseca a dangerous candidate for Prime Minister.

BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp Concludes
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp for 2013 concluded over the past weekend in Toledo. This year’s camp was held at the Julian Cho Technical High School located in the village of Big Falls, close to 300 cadets from around the country had attended.

Belmopan City Administrator calls on Belmopan Residents to be patient
Belmopan City Administrator, Angela Wade, has called on Belmopan residents to be patient as improvements to the City’s market are now ongoing. This comes as cooks from restaurants in Belmopan have been complaining that their only means of re-stocking on vegetables and other produce is by travelling several miles away to the National Agriculture and Show Grounds site.

Stephen Buckley Receives First $50,000
On Friday, August 9th, 40-year-old Stephen Emmanuel Buckley picked up two cheques from the Central Bank of Belize; one for $35,000 and the other for $15,000. Buckley’s attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, is negotiating a settlement with the Government of Belize and the $50,000 is an initial payment to help him cover immediate expenses.

Belize District Village Council Association elected
On Saturday August 10th, the Belize District Association of Village Councils held an annual general meeting during which a new DAVCO executive was elected.

Dolores is missing in Rural Central
From the day of elections in March of 2012, Dolores has not been seen or heard from in her constituency. She only resurfaced during the last village council elections, but when she did invariably she met up with a formidable challenge in all the villages. The challenge was so great that she lost virtually all the villages in her constituency. To a great degree, Brian ‘Yellowman’ Audinet was present in just about every one of those elections, and Dolores resented that and keeps on resenting it. So great was that resentment that she could not wait for an opportunity to try to get back at him and malign him in a national forum.

More Medfly Support from USDA
On Monday, August 12th, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, and Under Secretary of the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programmes, Edward Avalos, signed a Cooperative Agreement to formalize assistance and interchange of technology between Belize and the U.S. The Agreement will see the Ministry of Agriculture, specifically the Medfly program receive technical assistance as well as trapping material and specialized spraying equipment for the control of the Medfly.

NCL Disappointed with BTIA
Representatives of the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line responded to the Belize Tourism Industry Association at a press conference on Wednesday, August 14th. Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vice President of Destination Development, says he is extremely disappointed to see that an “organization established to promote tourism would reject our proposal before they even knew what the project entails.” He says he cannot understand how the hoteliers believe that cruise tourism would negatively impact overnight tourism when “everywhere we have conducted business proved otherwise”. Hugh Darley, Harvest Caye Project Coordinator, says the hoteliers must understand that “cruise tourism is like the appetizer before dinner”. He went on to say that Cruise tourism is like familiarization trips that are free of cost to Belize. When cruise tourists are impressed during the six hours they experience off the ship they return to stay overnight.

When will the Progresso Road be done?
Personnel from the Ministry of Works including the Chief Executive Officer, Erroll Gentle; Chief Engineer, Lennox Bradley; Project Execution Officer, Deon Pascacio; European Union liaison, Catherine Mendez; and Project Engineer Robert Allen braved a gathering of villagers in Progresso Village on Wednesday, August 14th. They had been invited to give the residents an update on the construction of the highway between Progresso and Orange Walk.

Mayor Bradley Building Relations to Uplift Belize City
Mayor Darrell Bradley recently travelled with a delegation from the Belize City Council to the United States from July 31st to August 8th in order to strengthen old Sister City Relationships and build new ones. The delegation included Councilor responsible for Sister City Relations, Dion Leslie, Councilor responsible for Parks and Playgrounds, Kevin Singh, Public Relations Officer, Michelle Smith, and Director of Administration, Sharlene Rudon.

Press Release – Special Envoy for Women & Children
As Special Envoy for Women and Children, I regret the incident that occurred in the House of Representatives last week; however I welcome the words of apology offered by Hon. Michael Finnegan this morning.

Crossing the Tourism Rubicon
Why do we keep dividing ourselves? We seem to be masters of controversy, and, when you stop to think about it interpretation may have a great deal to do with it. The manner we perceive others who are not much dissimilar from us impairs our ability to communicate, build relationships and ultimately disenfranchises our ability to 'nation-build'.

Youth Talks - Pikni d mine Pikni…..
Seeing a young woman with a big belly waiting at the clinic has become a scene of no real alarm to our Belizean public. In Belize, statistics show that girls as early as ten years are getting pregnant and about twenty five percent of live births are by young girls under the age of twenty.Indeed some girls live in such circumstances that sex is a money making venue dedicated to making money to maintain themselves and their families. Other girls have life pretty sweet, mommy and daddy pays everything and swells them with material wants. In other words regardless of the circumstances of our young girls, more young women are having sex at very early ages in there adolescence. So early that they do not understand the responsibility that comes with it. Many youths are not taking precautionary methods, to not only rid themselves of diseases, but also of creating defenseless babies that they cannot maintain. This teenage pregnancy topic is discussed all the time. Every school in Belize I believe has a week or an activity conducted to explain to students the safety methods they can use when having sex. Parents speak about it and even the youths can see the outcomes of wrong sexual practices. So why is it that we have such a high number of teenage pregnancies? Why is it that even though parents, local officers and teachers repeat to the youths that they should wait or use a condom or other safe methods do they still go against advice and end up in some insane situation?

Family Issue - Gender and Development
Despite the great achievements made in Human and Women’s rights work over the decades, it still remains that globally there are vast economic and social differences between them. More importantly, whether intended or unintended, these differences vary across gender lines and continuously impede the individual and collective ability of women and men to reach their full potential. These types of considerations about gender should influence legal reform and the development of public policies if countries are to witness a change in these gender imbalances. Public policies can either perpetuate or eliminate discrimination and gender inequality; therefore policy-makers must take firm action to maintain a perspective that focuses on gender equity. Gender equity is achieved by systematically identifying and removing discrimination in order to give women and men equal opportunities in all facets of life. Gender Mainstreaming involves incorporating gender considerations into all policies programmes and practises so that analysis of the effects of programs and interventions for women and men influence decisions to create gender equity. Achieving gender equity is integral to National Development so that the country optimises the human capital of women and men in development. The Revised National gender Policy 2013 does exactly this. Any notions of gender equity are inextricably linked to the principle that women and men may need to be treated differently to achieve equal opportunities to equity in the quality of their lives. This principle purports that men and women may need to be treated differently to achieve sameness in results in the quality of their lives. The equity principle focuses on reducing disparity by targeting those disadvantaged groups with evidence-based programmes and interventions that help to reduce power imbalances and broaden access to services and resources to the most marginalized. These considerations have an impact on the wide range of interventions that must be implemented by the State and its partners.

Charlie Slusher completes International Coaching training
Charlie Slusher will be returning to Belize on August 16th after completing a two week Union of European Football Associations in Europe (UEFA) coaching course in the Netherlands. The course was hosted by the Royal Netherlands Football Association with facilitators being from the UEFA (A) and (B) levels. The course accepted 25 coach applicants from across the world including Brazil, Japan, China, Scotland, Australia, South Africa and Belize. Only coaches who met the course's requirements were accepted to participate. Charlie Slusher's completion of the courses makes him the only one in the country to have participated in the coaching program which had instruction from members of the Royal Netherlands Football Association Coaching Department and Academy. He told the Guardian that he is exceptionally pleased at his accomplishment and intends to return to Belize to give back to the sport which he loves and has been involved with all his life.

New Board for Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio
A new Board of Directors has been elected for the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio. The new board was voted unanimously on August 10, 2013 at the Octavia Waight Center. Overseeing the voting process was Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre and Mrs. Marla Vasquez , both who are members of the Board at Helpage Belize. The New Octavia Waight Center Board is composed of Claudette Hulse as Chairperson, Mirna Martinez as Vice Chairperson, Clemente Cruz as Secretary and Bernadette Fernandez as Treasurer. Other Board members at the Octavia Waight Center are Glory Burns, Carmita Lennan and Josephine Chulin. The Octavia Waight Center currently provides residential care for 27 senior citizens. These citizens are given shelter, food, medical attention, physical therapy, companionship and other individual needs. The therapy center at the home is also open to accident and stroke victims from the community; to conduct physical therapy sessions. Senior residents at the Octavia Waight Center are regularly taken out to breathe some fresh air at the Succotz River, the Bank of the Macal River, the Spanish Lookout Residential Home for the elderly and to Old Belize.

Bacon Boy’s misdirected concern
It seems that the Bacon Boy, Mark Lizarraga, really has his concerns misdirected. He rose to speak in the Senate on Monday, August 14th only to show that he really does not belong in the Senate representing the business community. The biggest concern he had was wanting to know how much money was being paid by government in legal fees in the most recent CCJ judgment which saved Belizean taxpayers 88 Million dollars. If it were 10 million dollars (and we are not saying that is the figure) that were paid in legal fees it would have been justified considering the outcome of the judgment. After the CCJ ruling, Belize was absolved from paying the 88 million dollar arbitration award along with the interest which it was bearing.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Notice To Property/Land Owners
The CCVC is trying to update all its files and data. We are urging the public to assist us by providing a copy of their land title, or proof of ownership plus the last receipt for payment of property tax. This is essential to keep all books updated and correct. Thanks You, CCVC


Invest 92L Sits Off Ambergris Caye But Not Doing Much Else…
The first real tropical anything (system, wave, hiccup…whatever we want to call it) is currently doing its thing off the coast of Belize. Wind gusts up to 30mph, moving WNW at 12mph (all on the pic from wunderground.com that I copied just a few minutes ago) but for us in San Pedro? We are thankfully not seeing very much.

VIDEO: Kids in Action, Scuba Certification, Fun Dive Preview
San Pedro Youth complete PADI Scuba Certification

Invest in your Marketing Skills
Many small businesses follow the philosophy of “it’s too expensive to do marketing”, choosing instead to put marketing on the backburner until that elusive day arrives when they may actually have some spare time to think about it. Unfortunately for most small business operators, that day rarely comes. In cases where budgets are low, sales are stagnant or where you have too many ideas that you don’t know where to begin, then the marketing planning process helps you to focus your time and resources on where it will count.

The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business
The heart of your business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of your business depend on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is a process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close.

“Life thru a Lens” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday was the second day running when I got up late. Didn’t ‘hit’ the veranda with the coffee until 05.10 hours. What’s happening? After ‘knocking out’ the previous edition I got ready and headed down to Estel’s for my usual choice of breakfast (eggs sunny-side up, bacon, potatoes and a flour tortilla. Oh, and black coffee of course). With breakfast taken care of (or was it me that the breakfast took care of?) I walked to the Atlantic International Bank Limited branch in Pescador Drive to make a withdrawal (oh for the day when I visit to make a deposit!) for some bills that we have to pay. Then it was straight home to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to collect Rose and then pick up Edmund and George (two guys that have been recommended to us to build the fence we want) and take them to our lot.

I Can't Belize It! Part 2
Needless to say Tommy and I were pretty excited once our plane touched down on the tarmac at the Belize City airport. We were ready to start our vacation together! We got through customs and picking up our checked baggage fairly quickly. We crossed the street once we exited the airport doors to retrieve our rental car. And then we were on our way to Placencia! Googlemaps estimated that it was about a 3.5 hour drive from Belize City to Placencia, a town on the coast. The drive was pretty uneventful. We saw a lot of the small country that is Belize. It was so lush and for the most part very underdeveloped which was a change from what we had seen for a few years. There would be stretches of rain forest and trees and not much else and then out of nowhere huts (aka villages) would appear and disappear. One thing we noticed is that Belizeans aren’t fans of road signs. There were hardly any signs to guide us on our 3.5 hour drive, which made things interesting at times. We definitely had to turn around once and we were constantly guessing ourselves and our map, which led us to rely on several (luckily) friendly and dependable locals pointing us in the direction of certain highways and roads. We were getting pretty antsy once we drove into Placencia. It was around 5:30pm and we hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink since we got off our plane almost four hours earlier. But soon I spotted the sign for our resort, Singing Sands Inn!

God Uses His People to Save Lives – A Belize Story
There are so many stories I want to share about our Belize mission trip but I think I’ll begin with this one because it had such an impact on me in terms of how God uses us when we yield to his will. This is actually mostly my wife’s story but since she doesn’t have a blog… So toward the end of our week in Belize, we (the group from our church) hosted a block party at the local church where we had been based throughout our tour, where we served about 600 hot dogs, had music blaring, played games, and just generally had a good time hanging out with the locals. After my wife Sonya had finished serving hot dogs, she noticed a young lady standing by herself nearby. Sonya isn’t generally prone to just go up to strangers and initiate conversations but something compelled her to do so in this case. She went over and introduced herself. As the two ladies talked, it came up in the conversation that some people from our church had visited this lady’s home earlier in the week and brought food supplies. As Sonya listened, she began to realize that it was the group I was with that had visited (each visitation team had about 3 or 4 women and a guy). She shared this with the young lady, at which point, she began to really open up to my wife. We are not certain why. It may have been because she thought Sonya was the “pastor’s wife.” You see, I had delivered the sermon the previous Sunday and she had attended church that day so she remembered me when my group visited. She had remarked to Sonya “Oh, you are Pastor Travis’ wife.” In any case, the conversation started turning much more personal at this point and she suddenly seemed to feel more at ease sharing some very painful stories with Sonya.

International Sources

Norwegian Cruise Line signs on to develop Belize cruise destination
Norwegian Cruise Line has purchased around 75 acres in southern Belize for a planned cruise port destination, the company announced yesterday. The land, which is called Harvest Caye, is comprised of a pair of islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts in Belize. Norwegian said it planned to invest $50 million in the project, Caribbean Journal reported. The two islands had previously been approved for a resort project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries, and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL President and CEO in a statement. Sheehan said the company planned to develop the destination using a “sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.” Orlando, Florida-based IDEA Inc will be designing the destination, having previously worked with developers to create branded destinations in St Lucia, the Bahamas, Jamaica and elsewhere. The master plan is still under development, the company said, although the tentative vision is to create a cruise destination of two locations: an island destination with docking facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours. The project is slated to include a floating pier, and island village, a lagoon and a beach area.

Norwegian Cruise Line invests $50m in Belize project
Norwegian Cruise Line has bought a 75-acre plot in southern Belize on which it plans to develop an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Cave, is made up of two islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo areas. The area had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian said the $50 million investment would allow them to bring four times as many guests to Belize. Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive, said: "As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today. "In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise." Norwegian has tasked IDEA, designers of branded ports of call and destinations for the hospitality, entertainment and tourism industries, with bringing the project to fruition.

My favorite part of our trip to Belize was "Little friends from Ambergris Caye"!
Belize is very beautiful and we had a wonderful trip, but the best part was spending everyday with these special kids.

The Rules Apply to All of Us
If you are a technical diver — a cave diver, a trimix diver, a rebreather diver, something of that sort – you have read someplace that complacency kills experienced divers. Fact is, you may have read it several times and heard it said repeatedly because that phrase is contained in most if not all technical diving textbooks. It is so commonly bandied about that for some of us, it may have become a little trite… a cliché… something to become complacent about. Time to smarten up. Recently, there was yet another senseless death, which might serve to illustrate the point. This one happened at Ginnie Springs in north Florida. A young guy named Carlos Fonseca had an oxygen toxicity episode a couple of hundred metres inside the cave and died. He was breathing from a stage bottle clearly marked oxygen and later analysed to be just about pure O2. According to statements from the folks diving with him, Carlos thought he was breathing air. Before the dive started, he was questioned about the bottle, challenged about analysing it, but insisted that he had filled it with air, even though it was labeled for dedicated oxygen service. Now he is dead. This incident is sad and terribly tragic… a family without a dad/husband/son/brother et al… But unfortunately it is not surprising that a certified cave and trimix diver died doing a simple, run of the mill dive that was WELL within the scope of his training and experience. As slight as his experience may have been, and as rapidly as he had progressed from open-water diver to cave diver, the dive was a simple one for which he had adequate training. Diving is an activity that requires some restraint because it is so easy to push beyond one’s capabilities… as Steve Berman once said — and I paraphrase — any twerp can get to the back of a cave. But not everyone can manage the journey back out. I did not know Carlos… never even met him… but I do know the fella who taught him to cave dive and a couple of buddies had dived with him during the past couple of years. He had progressed from open-water punter to trimix and cave in a couple of years. He had the money, time and desire to do so.

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World
Awesome maps. If you're a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this c...


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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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