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#470737 - 08/22/13 06:45 AM Today's Belize News: August 22, 2013
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

New gazebos at Boca del Rio Park
The Boca del Rio Park is one of the top spots where families enjoy the best San Pedro has to offer; sand, sea and beach. However, due to weather conditions, age and the constant use of its facilities, the park has deteriorated and was in need of a face lift. Picnic tables will also be constructed under the gazebo. This is being done to create a safe and comfortable recreational facility where families can enjoy the beach. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, this is only the first phase of the Boca del Rio Park rehabilitation project. “We are trying to give the people a better place to enjoy spending time with their family. My greatest concerns are education and recreation. Growing up we were very fortunate that as kids we had beautiful sandy beaches, the kids today do not have that. This will be a great place for families to spend their day,” said Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

The Republic of China, Taiwan Continuous Support to Belize
A 7-member medical delegation from the Republic of China, Taiwan visited Belize as part of a Health Project Identification Mission for nine (9) days from August 10 to 19th. The delegation was headed by President Chu Shuhsun from the Humanitarian Assistance Department of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). The primary purpose of the mission was to get a better understanding of Belize’s public health system and programs and to identify areas in which specialists could help to enhance the health care services in Belize. During their visit, the delegates held discussions with officials from the Ministry of Health and visited hospitals and clinics around the country. They were especially impressed by the mother and baby- friendly breast feeding initiatives of the Ministry of Health and by the Belize Health Information System.

Belize Delegation Participates at Caribbean Festival of Arts
Belize is currently being represented at an international event known as Carifesta in Suriname. The Caribbean Festival of Arts, commonly known as CARIFESTA, is an international multicultural event organized on a periodic basis by the countries of the Caribbean. The main purpose is to gather artists, musicians, authors, and to exhibit the folkloric and artistic manifestations of the Caribbean and Latin American region. A delegation of 35 Belizean artists of different genres is currently participating in the 11th Carifesta in Paramaribo, Suriname. It’s a large contingency consisting of dancers, craft makers, fashion designers, literary artists, visual artists and a film maker.

Letters To The Editor: Should We drill for Oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park?
Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my story titled “Should we drill for Oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park?” Belizeans have heard about many of the pros and cons of drilling for oil. Firstly, we know that Oil is “Money”. Secondly, given the dire economic stance of our country, most if not all “eyes” are on how we can make money to keep the economy properly revolving and of course, to sustain the burdensome debts accumulated over the years. Given the recent reports I have went through, oil is in “expected” commercial quantity in the Sarastoon Temash National Park. So the question is: Should we Drill? SATIIM, the organization responsible for co-managing the Sarastoon Temash National Park is ensuring that and I quote from the official website: “to safeguard the ecological integrity of the Sarstoon-Temash region and employ its resources in an environmentally sound manner for the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being of its indigenous people”. Greg Choc, who is the Founding Executive Director, has a point here. These are lands of the indigenous people: the Maya & Garifuna. SATIIM is helping to safe guard what their ancestors have relatively left for them. This park is rich with resources, which the Maya and Garifuna people “traditionally” rely on to make a living.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal residents vs. the Streets
Residents of Corozal complain on the deplorable conditions of the municipal streets and roads. If you are tired of driving and riding on these streets…So are We. Most of the schools in Corozal open the first week of September. After receiving many complaints on the conditions of the streets in our municipality, the Corozal Daily took a tour this morning of Sand Andres Road, (Mary Hill area), College Road, 6th Avenue, 2nd Street North, Altamira, Venezuela Layout, Dominguez Layout, and most of the other streets that fall under the jurisdiction of the Corozal Town Council. These are streets that fall within the town limits and upkeep is the responsibility of the Town Council. Although we saw some feeder roads being opened in the Finca Solana area, most of streets that we drove on are in a deplorable state.

Belize’s Global Cooperation Safeguards Big Cat Survival
The Belize’s jaguar sanctuary’s recent attention in international media is an important reminder to Belizeans and nature lovers everywhere of the need for international cooperation in protecting the world’s shrinking population of big cats, according to naturalist guides at Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre. Brion Young, whose work keeps him near Belize’s jaguars’ natural habitats, said he was heartened to see a feature on Belize’s jaguar protection initiatives in an August 19 2013 article in the online edition of Global Post titled, "Cockscomb Basin: Where the big cats are." "The title immediate caught my eye because the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is very special to those of us connected with the Belize Natural History Centre, not only as another adventure option we offer to Chaa Creek’s guests, but because it’s an integral part of a biological corridor that’s becoming essential to the survival of these beautiful animals, and we’re proud that Belize plays such a major role in it," Mr Young said. The Global Post feature, with the tagline, "Jaguars roam Belize’s tropical Cockscomb forest, the heart of a pioneering plan to carve a green corridor linking the big cat species across the region" describes an ambitious project to create a biological corridor across several nations, from Mexico down to Argentina, to protect the jaguars’ natural range.

The return of justice to the people of Dangriga Town and the south
On Thursday August 15, 2013, the Belize government Cabinet authorized Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero to sign an order to revoke the lease that was granted to Luke Espat’s company Port of Belize Limited in 2002. This order gives the government of Belize the full power to take over immediate control of Commerce Bight “Jettie Pier”. Since this port was handed over to this company for nothing, the people of Dangriga were deprived of the privilege to go fishing there and seek employment to load and unload cargo vessels. The people of Dangriga Town, Stann Creek District, the entire southern region, the citrus, banana and oil industries should all applaud this bold move taken by the UDP Barrow administration because it is in their best interest. A section of Coconut Drive in front of the TMM office and Ramon's Village Resort is currently being repaired due to the deteriorating cobble stones. It is advised to use the detour road which is through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar leading to the road to the Dr. Otto Polyclinic. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your cooperation.

STREET REPAIRS: Section of Coconut Drive (TMM & Ramon's)
A section of Coconut Drive in front of the TMM office and Ramon's Village Resort is currently being repaired due to the deteriorating cobble stones. It is advised to use the detour road which is through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar leading to the road to the Dr. Otto Polyclinic. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your cooperation.

Inspiring Belize's future environmental stewards
Help us to inspire the next generation to protect the incredible diversity of life found in our small corner of Central America

Maya Mountains From Above
The Maya Mountain range is huge, encompassing most of central Belize. Astrum Helicopters has a great video out showing some of it, and the rivers that flow through it. They are planning 5 day Kayak adventures along with Mountain Equestrian Trails. "This video is about Aerials of the Maya Mountains River Expedition. A new Adventure available from Astrum Helicopters & Mountain Equestrian Trails. The video is mostly of the recognizance flight of the river after we dropped off the expedition group. This Adventure will be a 5 day Kayak trip on a remote river, the views speak for themselves. This is a once in a lifetime trip."

King of the Hills Race Video
The Weekend Warriors part of the King of the Hills bicycle race was videoed with a GoPro. They shortened it to just a few minutes, and it came out great. Definitely worth a watch, if nothing more than the view of the streets of downtown Cayo from the middle of the street as bikers move all around. "We got a couple GoPro's hooked up on the bikes to get some footage of the Weekend Warriors Race. Here is some of it. We didn't get the entire race because of some hardware issues."

CBET Seminar at UB Central Farm
The University of Belize Central Farm facilitated a workshop on Competency Based Education Training. Belizean and Canadian teachers worked together to learn methods to increase the quality of teaching. A follow up course will be held in December. "CBET is a method of education and training used in professional environments and academic institutions as an alternative to traditional classroom and course based curriculum. It focuses on defined competencies which are used as milestones or benchmarks to assess the progress of students. Competencies are a set of skills, knowledge and behaviors someone needs to have achieved in order to perform tasks, jobs or activities in the world of work."

Belize at Female Junior CA Championship
The Belize Female Junior volleyball team is doing superbly in Honduras at the Female U20 Central American Championship. They are 2 and 0, having beaten Honduras and El Salvador. They play Nicaragua this evening, then get a rest day, and play the other 3 C.A. teams this week. Keep on going strong! "The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team wins again. They are now 2 and 0 in the tournament. The beat El Salvador 3 sets to 1, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23. Top scorer was again Sherika Burton with 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks). Jahshema Saunders had 13 points (12 kills, 1 ace), Maurissa Williams also contributed with 11 points (6 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace), Leandra Betson had 6 points (4 kills, 1 block, 1 ace)."

Cahal Pech Archaeological Excavation
Cahal Pech is in the middle of having more excavations done, and they are chronicled on archaeological.org. They have some great information about the site there, along with some historical information, including the fact that excavations started in the 1950's, and that it might be one of the earliest settlements in Belize. There are also videos, pictures, and journals from the digs. "Cahal Pech covers approximately 10 square miles and includes 34 large buildings, the largest of which is around 24 meters tall, and a possible sweathouse. The site was founded in the Early Middle Preclassic period and continued to thrive as a Maya city until at least the end of the Classic period, though there is ceramic evidence of a longer occupation. Recent excavations have suggested that Cahal Pech, which was most likely settled by Maya from Guatemala, is one of the earliest Maya settlements in Belize."

Expression of Interest – Participation in Dominicana Moda 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) will be collaborating in the organization of Dominicana Moda 2013 (DM2013) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Caribbean Export is highly committed to the development of the Fashion sector in the Region and seeks to enable opportunities such as these to engage relevant stakeholders and foster sector-wide integration. This collaborative effort will provide a great opportunity for emerging and established fashion designers in the Caribbean to expose their vision at a regional and international stage, thus positioning the Caribbean as an international go-to location for Fashion design and ingenuity. Read the rest of this entry »

Channel 7

FECTAB Lets It Fly At Norwegian
Last week we had extended coverage of Norwegian Cruise Line’s proposed cruise destination on Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. Well, the fellows from FECTAB were watching closely. And by fellows, we mean Tom Greenwood, Yohnny Rosado and David Almendarez. You’ve seen them many times on this newscast raging against the Jamaican owned Chukka Tours. Well now, they’re going after Norwegian Cruise Line because they say the Southern Port will take jobs from Belize City. As you might imagine, they had some choice words for the Government officials who hammered out the Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian. Here’s what they said:… Tom Greenwood - President , FECTAB "This MOU is a litany of 'I nuh know weh I di do' - Godwin Hulse, what happened to you my brother? My God you started up as an icon for us and I respect you for that because you have a big mouth like me and you're ready to talk and all of that - Godwin you're a part of this? Michael Singh - I only have one word for you and I can't use it on television - suffice to say that you Michael Singh sitting at the head of this are going to cause damage, you're causing damage to a whole lot of people. FECTAB takes this position - this entire MOU is not right, it's wrong in many places - it has made mistakes. Those mistakes could easily have been corrected by proper consultation - an open thing, and it is just a litany of mistakes being made. The mistakes will cost a lot of us our investments and will cost a lot of us our jobs."

Cabinet Rejects Hon. Espat’s Proposal, Proposes Way Forward
And where Greenwood was blazing up Chukka, today the Prime Minister took on PUP Cayo South Representative and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Julius Espat. As we’ve reported, Espat wants to reform the non performing Committee by adding civil society membership. Well, two weeks ago, in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister rubbished Espat’s motion – saying it would up-end the letter and spirit of the standing orders. But Espat’s proposal has gotten key support from the Chamber of Commerce and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize – and so, his cause has gotten traction – the kind that the Prime Minister cannot easily ignore. That’s why today, the Office of The Prime Minister issued an unusual statement going over Cabinet’s position on the reform proposal. It says that Cabinet has quote, “carefully noted the positions taken by the …Chamber of Commerce and the NTUCB.” It continues, quote, “Cabinet remains convinced, however, that such a proposal is fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House.”

Major Crime Down, Murder and Robbery See Sharpest Decline
If you watch the evening news or read the papers regularly, you’ll know that major crime is down. So far this year we’ve reported on fewer murders and the numbers reflect that as well. The latest crime statistics were released today – and they show that up to the end of July 2013, major crimes are down by 12.7% compared to the same period last year. Most important than that is that so far for 2013, murder is down by 23.8% - compared to the same period in 2012. At the National Security Minister’s monthly meeting with zone and branch commanders today, Police Commissioner Allen Whylie attributed the success to the hard-work of the police officers. Here’s his address to his colleagues: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "I would like to put on record, the Minister and myself for the hard work the members of the Belize Department have been doing country wide and I want to again reassure the public that we continue to re-strategize what we are doing and we continue to evolve in our crime fighting efforts. This is testimony to the commitments and the hard work of all members of the Belize Police Department as well as the direction the regional commanders have been playing in terms of steering their regions in our crime fighting efforts. We've noted decreases once again in the Western Region compared to the same period last year, July 2013 we've had 42 cases reported from the Western Region which comprises San Ignacio, Belmopan and Benque Viejo compared to 56 cases in July 2012.

Hon. Julius Says Amin “Can’t” Run
Last night on this newscast you saw former PUP Belmopan Candidate Amin Hegar explaining why he got back into the race for a new PUP Standard Bearer in Belmopan. That’s after he had endorsed newcomer Jason Patrick Andrews. Cagey veteran that he is Hegar said that his committee wouldn’t support Andrews and they called him to come back. Well, Julius Espat, who is the PUP Deputy Leader for the West is calling for Hegar to stand down. Espat today told us quite bluntly that Hegar can’t come back:.. Jules Vasquez "How do you view Mr. Hegar's return?" Julius Espat - Deputy Leader, PUP "There's no return, when you make a statement to your party leader that you tell your party leader and your deputy party leader that 'I will endorse Jules Vasquez for this' and that is a commitment you make to us then you cannot change your mind again because then you're being dishonest with the leader of the party and you're being dishonest with yourself and dishonest to the people that you are saying you want to represent. There's no coming back when it comes to that Jules. It's not that he spoke to me and the party leader alone you know, he spoke to Mr. Pat Andrews, he called a meeting of his executive and told them that he wanted to endorse Mr. Andrews, he went to that meeting with his people and Patrick's people and publicly made that statement; he made calls to his supporters to support Patrick. So, I don't understand where this is coming from."

Hon. Julius Says Cordel Needs to Show Unquestioned Loyalty To Hon. Fonseca
We also asked Deputy Leader Espat about Cordel Hyde – whose return in the Lake Independence division has been long rumoured. Reports say it would have been made more or less official at a meeting this afternoon at PUP Headquarters where Hyde would have met with senior members of the party to discuss the way forward. The meeting never happened because past leader John Briceno and Deputy Florencio Marin Juniour were at a funeral in Corozal, but it will happen soon. Espat told us that the way ahead is about confidence building:… Julius Espat -Deputy Leader, PUP "If there is any way of us sitting down and having a discussion - we have to have a certain level of trust and I think that that has been lacking in the PUP for some time now and I think we need to establish trust within ourselves. I presonally am open to sit with any persons especially Cordel Hyde because I know he has a certain level of popularity in his division and you cannot take that away from him and we need to have an open discussion. What are you offering to the party? Are you a part of this reform and change that this leader has put in place for us to do? And how can you be a part of it and help the People's United Party form government."

SATIIM Gets Supreme Court Hearing Against US Capital
3 weeks ago, 7 News told you about the urgency which the organization, SATIIM, was pressing for the an urgent hearing of an injunction application to stop US Capitol Energy from drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. According to SATIIM's Executive Director, US Capital had increased its activities in preparation for this drilling, and so the Supreme Court scheduled the hearing for today, one month earlier than intended. Villagers from Mayan Communities in the South were bussed into the city and filled the courtroom of Justice Rita Olivette this morning. But, in the end, this urgent hearing didn't take place because both sides agreed that in good faith US Capitol would delay its oil explorations for at least a couple of months. Is that a binding promise? Well, it depends on which side you asked, and that's what we tried to do today when the attorneys left the courtroom. Here's what they told us: Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney for US Capital Energy "When we got here this morning, the attorney for SATIM informed us that they would be withdrawing from the application for the interim injunction that was brought from the 19th of September. He approached us with the opportunity for us to withdraw the application. I don't want to comment too much about it but you would have to ask them as to why they did that. We were under the impression that what US Capital was doing was causing such irreparable harm that we had to have a hearing now but it worked out for us. US Capital continues its work as it is authorized to do by the government of Belize and that's their choice. You would have to ask Mr. Courtenay why they withdrew their application. From what we gleam from it, its an application to stop US Capital from drilling and exploring for oil because supposedly the government did not have the legal authority to grant permission to US Capital, we naturally disagree with that."

Choq Says Norwegian Needs To Consult Mayas On Culture
On Monday, we told you how the National Garifuna Council scolded Norwegian Cruise Line for speaking loosely about the sacred Dugu Ceremony as one of the attractions at Harvest Caye. Indeed, Norwegian wants to base their development on Harvest Caye on the Garifuna and Mayan Cultures. Today, we asked Greg Ch'oc, one of the leaders of the Mayan Communities, how he feels about it. He told us that GOB cannot highlight the Mayan Culture on one hand, and on the other, try to resist their efforts to preserve it. Here's how he explained it: Gregorio Choq - Executive Director, SATIM "There has been discussion both between Garifuna and Maya organizations on the implication of the Norwegian Cruise Line using the Garifuna and the Maya cultural attributes as the theme for their tourism investment. I think what I have understood the conversation to be, there are parties within the Garifuna and the Maya are concerned that we'll bring this to their attention of the NCL and try to move a way forward. I think there is potential opportunities but there is also the potential of the exploitation of the culture of both people and I think that that has to be discussed in some way or the other. Whether it is with government or with the NCL."

GOB Agrees To Hold Off On Demand For Tax Arrears From Ashcroft Allied Company
It been almost 2 and a half months since the Government of Belize took over the IBC and IMMARBE registries – taking possession from the Ashcroft-allied Belize International Services Limited. This week the first legal challenge from BISL went to the Supreme Court. It took the form of an injunction to stop the Government of Belize from collecting 30 million dollars in back taxes which Government claims were not paid by BISL. BISL's position is that they want to challenge Government on these taxes, but the company doesn't have 30 million dollars to just pay upfront before they can do that. Eamon Courtenay, who represents BISL told us how Monday's hearing played out in an undertaking instead of an injunction, which still serves his client's intended outcome: Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for BISL "That has to do with a tax case; the government has assessed Belize International Services Limited to thirty million dollars in tax, and it is clearly an unlawful and arbitrary assessment and we have challenged it.

Audrey, What’s Next?
Audrey Matura is leaving OCEANA tomorrow – but yesterday she got one last hit of publicity when Oceana launched a new website that is designed to serve as a teaching aid. It came out of the fact that OCEANA receives many invitations to make school presentations and sometimes just can’t accommodate everyone – so the website will fill in the blanks: Monica Bodden "What type of information can the public get from off this website?" Audrey Matura-Shepherd, VP, Oceana Belize "They can get from issues of mangrove, climate change, energy and just bio diversity of the Belizean environment on a whole, so basically, every marine aspect of the environment, they can find on the website. They can get basic information for a primary school student to as high level for a university graduate, so it spans a spectrum, and it's very relevant and pertinent to Belize. Many times when you do research you find mangrove but not specific to Belize where she curtailed it specific for Belize. As a matter of fact, she actually went to the Ministry of Education website to see what is the curriculum requirement in the school, so that she knows what are some of the information she has to do and put it together, so that is what she did."

Corozalito Village is in the Cayo District and today it got a new water system. There are only 200 residents but the water system cost $212,000 dollars. Mike Zetina of SIF explained:… Mike Zetina - SIF Representative "Corozalito Village Water system which is financed by the government of Belize under SIF at a cost of $212,000. The project consists of the supply of a production well, construction of a tank base with security fence, supply of two two-thousand five hundred gallons of water reservoir at the highest level of the community, construction of a new pump house and fence. The supply of an installation of a 15 horsepower submersible pump, chlorinator and installation of 10,600ft of distribution and transmission pipes and installation of water meters throughout the village. The system will supply and all year round potable water for some 200 residence of Corzalito Village. We congratulate the residence and community of Corozalito village in the completion of this endeavor, a lot of work has been done by the community in getting to this point, apart from the many meetings to work out the details of the project and coordinate its execution."

Channel 5

SATIIM withdraws injunction against Government of Belize
The expedited hearing of an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy was scheduled for this morning. SATIIM and leaders of Mayan communities bordering the Sarstoon Temash National Park [...]

SATIIM requests expedition of substantive matter in its case against U.S. Capital
Attorney for SATIIM Eamon Courtenay is basing his argument on straightforward grounds. But, government attorney Denys Barrow says it won’t be all that straightforward, and he sees the claims in [...]

FECTAB joins B.T.I.A. in criticizing recent MOU for Harvest Caye mega tourism project
Since proposing the introduction of cruise tourism through public consultation back in October 2010, residents of Placencia have strongly opposed the expansion of the sector into southern Belize.  Despite an [...]

FECTAB says only selected few will benefit from NCL project
According to David Almendarez, despite strong objection from all corners of the tourism industry and from conservationists alike, the government intends to proceed with the proposal to develop Harvest Caye.  [...]

SATIIM’s Greg Cho’c also against NCL project
In addition to the Garifuna culture which will be highlighted in the new cruise tourism package, NCL is looking at the Mayan culture as a selling point. SATIIM’s Greg Ch’oc [...]

Eamon Courtney explains lawsuit against Belize International Services Limited
In June, the Government of Belize appropriated the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, I.B.C. and IMMARBE, respectively, both operating under Belize International Services [...]

Office of the Prime Minister takes position on restructuring of the PAC
Both the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Chamber of Commerce have recently expressed support for a motion to restructure the Public Accounts Committee of the House of [...]

2 charged for robbery and aggravated assault of Senor Waco
On Sunday, seventy-four year old Onofre Sabido, better known as “El Primer Tacero or Senor Waco”, was brutally attacked inside his home in San Jose Palmar in the outskirts of [...]

Pelican Street resident charged with Drug Trafficking
Fifty-one year old Brenda Mejia, a school warden of Belize City, has been charged with drug trafficking after being busted at her home on Pelican Street Extension.  On Tuesday evening, [...]

Rapist charged with wounding
Thirty-six year old Shirley Lambey-Arnold, the wife of Michael ‘Crazy’ Arnold, who is currently serving time for rape, has been charged with wounding.  The arraignment follows an incident during which [...]

Julius Espat sings welcome to the party to Cordel…
There was a meeting scheduled for this afternoon between P.U.P. prodigal son Cordel Hyde and the leadership of the party. Both Hyde and those leaders have made no secret of [...]

…but hit the road jack to Amin Hegar
But while Cordel Hyde is tentatively on the way in, the door has been slammed shut in the face of Belmopan P.U.P. political figure Amin Hegar. Hegar narrowly lost to [...]

U-15 Footballers win game against Grenada
The national under-fifteen football team has made Belize proud with their performance at the 2013 CONCACAF U-fifteen Championship being held in the Grand Cayman Islands. Last Friday, the team had [...]

Belize Female National Volleyball Team stirring up storm in Honduras
The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team is stirring up a storm in Honduras, where it is representing Belize in the U-18 Central American Championship. Held in San Rosa de [...]

Ras Dara invites you to annual tribute event this weekend
A tribute to late reggae legend Lucky Dube by philanthropist Dara Robinson, as part of an annual fundraising effort to collect funds and canned goods for his feeding program, was [...]

Who will be the next superstar?
Be the Next Superstar… the finals for season two of the hottest entertainment show was staged at the Bliss on Tuesday night. Four performers pulled out the best pieces to [...]

#470738 - 08/22/13 06:46 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 22, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here


Attack on Homeless Man Reported in Northern Belize
It is not certain who or why someone attacked a well-known homeless person from Orange Walk Town. He is known as Delmo Bardalez and most of the times is seen around the center of town begging or offering to quickly dust off your vehicle but yesterday a little after four he was seen on Main Street bleeding profusely from his lower right back. A quick chat he had with one of our reporters indicated the wound was inflicted with a machete when he was around the Piemonte Cemetery in Orange Walk Town. He did not specify why the person or persons did it or who inflicted the wound. From our observations it seemed to be a big cut as the back of his shirt and pants were soaked with blood. Police was called and Delmo was taken to the NRH for medical attention. Our checks this morning proved futile as we were told there were no records of the incident in the police dairy. We were unable to find Delmo to check on his health.

SATIIM Requests Adjournment of Injunction
Last week we told you about the press release that SATIIM and the communities of the Sarstoon Temash Region issued out expressing their condemnation of US Capital Energy’s decision to reject their request for the company to suspend its activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park until the hearing of the application for an injunction which was schedule for September 19th of this year. SATIIM along with the leaders of the communities of the Sarstoon Temash Region were in court this morning. According to the Executive Director for SATIIM, Greg Choc, SATIIM instructed its legal counsel to adjourn their injunction. Choc explained why. GREG CHOC “We found out that US Capital would not drill before November. We felt that we needed to ensure that we got an earlier date for the more substantive case and that is what we did today. We adjourned the injunction without prejudice to our right to come back to court should US Capital proceed with drilling inside the park.”

Prosecution Failed to Present Case File in Court; Electrician Walks on Drug Charge
A charge of drug trafficking against 39 year old Curtis Yorke, an electrician of a Flamboyant Street address, was struck out today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for want of prosecution. The case was set for trial today but the prosecution was unable to proceed because there was no case file available. As a result, Magistrate Stuart stuck it out and told Yorke that he was free to go. Yorke was not represented by any attorney. The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on December 26, 2012. The police were conducting house to house searches in St. Martin De Porres area and Yorke’s house was on the list. When they searched Yorke’s house they did not find anything incriminating. But when they searched the bushes of a yard next to Yorke’s house they found a black plastic bag containing 117 grams of cannabis.

Drugs Found in Home of School Warden
Fifty-one year old school warden Brenda Mejia, a resident of Pelican Street Extension, was charged with drug trafficking when she appeared in Court today. Mejia pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton offered her a bail of two thousand dollars and adjourned her case until October 15. The incident occurred around 3:40 p.m. yesterday. The police reported that they went to Mejia’s house and when they searched it they found a black plastic bag containing one hundred thirteen point four grams of cannabis on the sill of the flooring under the bathroom. As a result, Mejia was taken into custody and charged. The cannabis was labeled as exhibit.

Potable Water for Village in Western Belize
Corozalito Village in the Cayo District is now benefitting from a new potable water system which was inaugurated this morning. Corozalito is an extension of San Jose Succotz Village, established in 1982, and has not had potable water supply since then. Over two hundred residents will benefit from the project implemented by the Social Investment fund Two, with funding from the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, at a cost of two hundred and twelve thousand dollars. Corozalito depends on subsistence farming with the cultivation of coco yam, plantains, tomatoes, several fruits and rearing of pigs. The Keynote Speaker for the inauguration was Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection and Area Representative for Cayo West, Erwin Contreras. Addresses were also delivered by representatives of SIF, the Ministry of Rural Development, the San Jose Village Council and the Corozalito Water Board.

Harvest Caye Development Meets More Opposition
Another group has come public to make expressly clear, its objection to the Government’s agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line for the Harvest Caye development project. The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), led by its President, Tom Greenwood, and members, Yohnny Rosado and David Almendarez, vociferously criticized the project at a press conference this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Greenwood called the project a mistake. TOM GREENWOOD “We only pray and hope that the Government of Belize recognizes the mistakes being made here; the mistake of that entire project; the mistake of the way the MOU is put together; the enclosure that this is going to create in the south, the dredging, the disregard for the overnight industry, the mouthing about reducing unemployment from 14 – 7 percent. We put an X on a piece of paper so you can go up there and take care of us while we are taking care of our children not so you can enjoy yourself so we can’t feed our children which is what is happening and we need to correct that. We see conflagrations in other parts of the world; humanity is beginning to get fed up with nonsensical things and unnecessary things. This is nonsensical and unnecessary; it needs to be corrected; it needs to be stopped in its tracks. Call in the people who are concerned; call in the overnight industry first of all; call in everyone and say, ‘there is too much flack for this, let us try to correct this’; that is why you are a minister of government and that is why you are there.”

Police News
Yesterday afternoon, police conducted a search for illegal firearm and ammunition at the home of Brenda Maheia on Pelican Street Extension in Belize City. According to police the search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 113.4 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result, police arrested and charged 51 year old Brenda Therese Maheia for drug trafficking. Last night police conducted a search in the Iguana Street area near the basketball which led to the discovery of a chrome point 38 Smith and Wesson brand Revolver without serial number which also contain five live point 38 Aguila brand ammunition. No one was in the immediate area at the time and the firearm and ammunition was labeled and deposited as found property. Yesterday morning, a twenty two year old laborer visited the Faber’s Road precinct and reported that on Monday, August 19th at about 8:30pm, he arrived home and parked his Green Lifan Motorcycle under the stairs located in front of the apartment building. When he woke up the following morning at about 8:00am he noticed that his cycle, valued at two thousand five hundred Belize dollars, was missing. Police are investigating.

Retired American Falls From Ladder and Dies
A Belize City resident passed away after falling from a ladder. Police say on Monday they visited the KHMH morgue where they saw the body of seventy five year old Charles Emmel, a retired American of Joy Avenue. According to reports, Emmel’s wife told police earlier on the same date, she got a call informing her that her husband was rushed to the KHMH after falling off a ladder. Upon arriving at the KHMH, she was informed that her husband sustained five broken ribs which apparently punctured his right lung and as result, Charles Emmel succumbed to his injuries. A post mortem examination was conducted on the body, where at the conclusion of the examination, the doctor certified the cause of death as Multifocal and ventricular bilateral hemorrhage due to the fall.

Cabinet Disagrees with Proposed Changes in the Public Accounts Committee
The Office of the Prime Minister announced that Cabinet cannot agree with proposals by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize seeking to reform the Public Accounts Committee. A release issued by the Prime Minister’s office explains that Cabinet remains convinced that such a proposal is fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House. It says the amendments of the Standing Orders that would be required for the transformation of the current PAC would render the proceedings of the new Committee both expensive and impractical. It goes on to say that for all three social partners, the opposition and the Government to be on the proposed new body and for the fundamental Standing Orders principle of Democracy which requires the Government to be the majority on all Standing Committees, to be maintained, would result in an quote “unwieldy and top heavy Committee and greatly ratchet up the costs associated with Committee hearings” end quote. The release also states that Cabinet considers the PAC provides perfectly workable and efficient formula for conducting the business assigned to the Committee and that it is only the quote, “game playing and grandstanding of Julius Espat as Chairman, which has frustrated the Committee and prevented it from functioning.

Reduction of Major Crimes for July Earns Award for Police Zones
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar today presented a cheque of one thousand dollars to the Eastern Zone and Coastal Sub-Formation for the greatest reduction in Major Crimes in July 2013. To receive the Cheque for the Eastern Division was Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who heads the Eastern Division. The Minister will also be presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Superintendent Luis Castellanos who heads the Coastal Sub formation. Statistics for the Eastern Division show a total of one hundred and eleven major crimes for the month of July with a noticeable reduction in the Coastal area. Only two murders have been reported for the month of July in the Eastern Division, one in the Rural Division and one in Precinct one. The other major crime is that of burglary which decreased significantly in the month of July with twenty five cases reported for the month in comparison to thirty three in May and thirty six in June, robbery and theft however had a significant increase. Over all there’s been quite a decrease in murders as compared to last year for the period January to July. The Belize District shows the highest rate but decreased from fifty one to forty eight.


Cordel Hyde's Return To The PUP Still Undecided
Will Cordel Hyde return to the PUP? That question was to be answered today when members of the PUP Executive were expected to meet at the party’s headquarters in Belize City. The meeting however, was postponed to a later date since most members of the executive, majority from the north, were unable to attend. There has been no definite date set for the meeting. However, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat did tell the media yesterday he has no problem in sitting down with Hyde to discuss his return. In his interview Espat also metioned that if the former Lake I Area Representatvie wants to run in the PUP ticket he must quote "Believe in Francis Fonseca and the People's United Party, if not then you can't run for the PUP." unqoute.

Pastor Accused Of Accosting The Women Of His Congregation
On Monday we told you about the pastor from the Assemblies of God Church located on Aurora Street, Orange Walk, who is being accused by his congregation of committing some serious crimes. One: It is alleged that Pastor Rafael Perez sold most of the church’s assets including musical instruments. Two: Perez reportedly wiped out the bank account of the District Association of Pastors for the Assemblies of God Ministry here in Orange Walk for which he held the post of treasurer. And three, now this is the worst accusation of all, he is said to have offered a number of people from the congregation, mostly females, to take them to the United States in exchange for money and sex. This is definitely a serious accusation especially when a pastor is being accused of committing the act. So, we went looking for answers and today we managed to speak to two of the females who Perez reportedly accosted. In order to protect the women we will conceal their identity. Lady One- Allegedly Accosted by Pastor “El me empezó a insinuar eso cuando yo a él yo le dije que no quiero estar solo por cinco meses y medio allí porque si voy hacer un viaje así me resultaría más quedarme por lo menos un año y entonces fue cuando el me empezó a decir esas palabras y todo, pero yo quería que el llegara al punto de decirme la palabra exacta poro no el usaba sus ideas también y solo las insinuaciones entonces yo un día para ver si realmente era dinero o algo parte que el quería y yo le pregunte a él que si es dinero lo que quiere que me esta insinuando cosas así y que yo voy a ver cómo conseguir el dinero y dárselo y luego el me digo no que el dinero para él no es ningún problema diciéndome que realmente es lo que él quiere, él no me dijo exactamente quiero tener relaciones pero esa muchacha que está aquí si se lo dijo directamente.”

Sabido's Attacker Slapped With A Third Charge, Magistrate Says No Bail
Yesterday 27 year old Najirie Quiroja, better known as (white puss), and 18 year Edwin Cruz, both from San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk, were offered bail of $3,000 each plus a surety of the same amount which they met after they were charged for aggravated assault and robbery. Quiroja and Cruz are accused of brutally attacking and robbing 78 year old Onofre Sabido on Sunday evening while he was resting inside his home located in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As mentioned last night, Sabido’s family was dissatisfied that both men were offered bail. Now, that’s where we left you last night. Today however, we were informed that early this morning Quiroja and Cruz were once again escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where they were additionally charged for deadly means of harm. This time the magistrate was not so lenient and the prosecutions objection to bail was upheld.

Denny Goes Back To Court, Noh Mul Case Adjourned
It went under the radar, but those following the case of the destruction of Noh Mul closely, might have realized that the matter was scheduled to have been heard at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court yesterday. Tonight we can tell you that the case was adjourned to a date in the month of October. We understand that Denny Grijlava, his wife Emelda and Emir Cruz, who are facing charges of removing earth from an ancient monument without a permit from the Director of Archaeology and causing willful damage of an ancient monument, and Javier Nunez who was charged for causing the removal of earth from an ancient monument and willfully damaging an ancient monument, were in court yesterday. The charges were levied against the individuals back in the month of June after the destruction of Noh Mul, one of the North’s largest Maya Mound’s, attracted both local and international attention.


Teenager dies as a result of hit and run injuries
A teenager has died as a result of injuries he sustained in a hit and run incident. The incident happened almost a month ago on July 27nd in the Valley of Peace Village in the Cayo District. 17 year old Jorge Orellano had been suffering from head injuries and...

Matthew Ifield hospitalized after fleeing from assailant
32 year old Matthew Ifield has been hospitalized after narrowly escaping death. Reports have it that Monday night at around 8:30 p.m. on the George Price Highway, in the Red Creek Area of Santa Elena Town, Mr Ifield left a restaurant and was heading home on his bicycle. That...

Man sentenced to prison for running through police checkpoint
An Orange Walk father and businessman of Northern Belize is serving a one year sentence imposed upon him Tuesday evening, after he pleaded guilty to running into a police officer at a checkpoint in Hattieville. He is 50 year old David Carrillo of Orange Walk District. Tuesday evening, Mr...

Progress but concerns at Battlefield Park
The Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City has been given a significant renovation by the Belize City Council. We discussed it with City Councilor responsible for Parks, Kevin Singh. Kevin Singh – Councilor: The Park is supposed to be given to us, the City Council, ...

Medical Tourism Council to be formed.
Belize’s Trade and Investment Service, BELTRAIDE, has been aggressively promoting medical tourism and business process outsourcing (BPO) as the sectors where new jobs will be created. The latter, mostly manifested in the form of call centers that hire hundreds of workers to perform tasks that cost too much in...

Taiwan donates for Tilapia Hatchery Center
On Tuesday the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated $651,725 USD to the Ministry of Agriculture for the GOB-ROC (Taiwan) Aquaculture Project. The cheque was presented by Taiwanese Ambassador His Excellency David Wu to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega. This was the...

Belize’s Female U-20 National Selection departs for Comayagua
Tuesday afternoon Belize’s Female U-20 National Selection departed for Comayagua, Honduras to represent the Jewel at the UNCAF U-20 Women’s Central American Qualifier which will be held in Honduras from August 21-25, 2013. The Lady Jaguars are seeking qualification to the CONCACAF tournament to be held next January in the...

CWU plans Convention for October
On Monday we told you that Antonio Gonzalez is standing down as president of the Christian Worker’s Union with effect from October 26, when his successor will be chosen at an extraordinary congress of the Union. After a meeting with representatives of the stevedores working at the Port of...

Belize Can demonstrates against GOB and UB for their promotion of the Gender Policy
There was a demonstration Tuesday in the Capital City. The demonstration was organized by Belize Can against the Government of Belize and the University of Belize for their stand and promotion of Gender related issues. Shadel Young reports. Shadel Young: The weather...

Two-day workshop held on REDD+ program
The Forest Department wants to impress on the nation of Belize to partake in a massive global movement that is known as REDD +, which stands for Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation Forest Degradation- a big name, with a big cause. Belize, a developing country,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

End of Summer Bash at 88 West
Saturday August 24th

Sophia Diego represents Belize in Honduras!
Local football star, Sophia Diego, made Caye Caulker proud when she qualified for U20 Women’s National Football Team. Her proud mom, Ellen Armstrong of Cayeboard Connection, says it took a lot of hard work and dedication over the summer for her to succeed. According to mom, Sofia sometimes practised in 92 degree super humid heat. The team is now in Comayagua, Honduras to play in a Concacaf tournament there. If they qualify they will proceed to the next level in the Concacaf competition in Grand Cayman. Thanks for lifting the spirits of your home island, Sophia. We are proud of you and the entire female national football team. Sophia is the smiling face under the letter W in this pic.


A day in Corozal Town part 2
For those of you who might not know much about Corozal, aside from being a well traveled gateway to Mexico, it is the northernmost town in Belize and a popular expat destination. Corozal town is located about 84 miles north of Belize City, and approximately 9 miles from the border of Mexico. It is a scenic and peaceful town on Corozal Bay, see My Day Trip to Corozal part 1 post for where to get a delicious $8 BZD breakfast, tour of town and shopping pictures. As much as I enjoyed poking around all the stores with Cathie and Holly, my favorite part of the day was when we hit Jam rock for lunch. It was darts tournament day and before long the open air restaurant was filled with people. Everyone was super friendly and I even met a few blog readers and someone I had connected with on the Belize Forum before. As usual my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ordered a burger with fries and a side of onion rings for lunch – yum. After lunch we walked over to the Corozal House of Culture and saw a really cool art exhibit - ‘Through Caity’s Eyes, by super talented twelve year old Caitlyn Tillet. She is one amazing artist for such a young age. I loved the architecture of the building in particular a very cool silver metal a spiral staircase. It was also interesting to see a model of Fort Barlee, as Cathie had pointed out some of the original wall structure that is still standing when we walked through town.

“Living in the Past” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With clarification/confirmation of the monetary cost of stuff that we can import for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize under the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program) I spent what seemed like hours (it was hours which is why it seemed like it) reviewing the list that we had drawn up of the things we need (OK, for ‘need’ you could say we just ‘want’) and then searching the Internet to make price comparisons. Our target is to have the list complete, orders placed and delivered to the shipping agent in Miami to connect with a service heading to Belize departing on either 27 August or 3 September. We are then hopeful that within ten days of departure the stuff would be with us. The earlier sailing would be better but … I started the task at around 05.00 hours (after I had read The Times on-line) out on the veranda where there was a nice breeze but I sensed always the threat of rain (its that time of year!). The rain held off but the sky did show threats of it.

International Sources

Cuckoo for coconuts
The tropical fruit comes in many forms and seems to be everywhere. Forget the apricots, peaches and blueberries beckoning you at the market and consider, for a moment, the coconut. While this sweet, nutty fruit has been around for centuries, it has been quietly invading our cupboards and fridges the past few years. Take a spin around any grocery store. The produce section has fresh coconuts that look like mini, hairy, brown bowling balls, perched among other tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas and pineapples. In the beverage cooler sits a cardboard carton of coconut water, a natural alternative to those neon-hued sports drinks. The bulk aisle has bins overflowing with shredded coconut and coconut flour; there’s coconut milk next to the soy sauce. Lest you forget, lurking among the olive and sunflower oil offerings are the jars and bottles of coconut oil and butter, right next to the fermented coconut vinegar.

Murder suspect turns to the ECHR in Strasbourg
Karol Mello charged in Slovakia for multiple offences and now at large in Belize, has turned to the European Court for Human Rights to stop his prosecution in cases other than the double murder charge, allegedly involving a woman and child, from 2004. His attorney Peter Schmidl told the Plus jeden deň daily that prosecution in several different cases have not been halted even after six months since a court in Krakow (where Mello was apprehended) issued a ruling according to which Mello cannot be prosecuted on other cases than the 2004 double murder. Schmidl says his client would like to return to Slovakia and defend himself in the double murder case, but is discouraged from doing so by Slovak courts not respecting the Krakow ruling.

Trip teaches value of education
As Americans, we take public education—kindergarten through twelfth grade—for granted, but in Belize what we take for granted is considered a luxury. Five VSU students traveled to northeastern Central America for a summer study abroad program in Belize. Dr. Matthew Richard, an anthropology professor, and Tom Besom, an archaeologist, led the trip. “I chose to go because I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone,” Ashley Dailey, senior English major, said. “I’ve traveled abroad before, but always to tourist destinations that I was really comfortable with. Belize was a completely different experience.” While in Belize, the group discovered that even high school education costs money; many villagers, particularly women, cannot afford the schooling. As such, the villagers take up crafts and skills to make an income. The students met three women living in Santa Elena, Belize: Miriam, Christina and Dyna Choc. Their ages ranged from 25 to 36, and their source of income is basket and bracelet weaving. Miriam and Christina Choc are sisters whose father died when they were young. Neither of the women had the chance to attend high school due to a lack of stable income in the household. “I met (the women) during my time in the village performing everyday tasks like washing clothes or going to church,” Dailey said. “My first meal in the village was with Christina’s family, and I ate with Dyna’s family quite a bit.”

Discovery still represents most-northerly known breeding pair in the Americas. Scientists and local community members recently discovered two new Harpy Eagle nests in the Maya Mountains of southern Belize. The new nests in Belize are approximately 15km from one another; the first, located in Columbia River Forest Reserve, was discovered by a resident of a nearby village in July 2012. A female Harpy Eagle was observed interacting with the nest by the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) Avian Technicians over the following weeks; however, no juvenile was sighted. The second nest was discovered in January 2013 by BFREE Avian Technicians; William Garcia, Liberato Pop, and Marlyn Cruz, during bird monitoring surveys in the Bladen Nature Reserve. This nest and its residents – both adult parents and their juvenile - were monitored on a monthly basis, and in May 2013, the healthy juvenile fledged.

Students present findings of Belize research at national forum
Two University of North Georgia education students who visited Belize to document differences between U.S. teachers still in school and Belizean teachers in the field presented their research in July at the Emerging Scholarly Research Forum at Nova Southeastern University and also shared how visiting a third-world school can impact the futures of American teachers. Students Joyce Kinsey and Erica Word recently visited Belize and gathered a wide range of data on the Belizean teachers, including their years of experience, age, educational background, time spent planning, government influence, job satisfaction, availability of resources, and pay. Based on these and other variables, the students compared teacher efficacy between American and Belizean teachers. "By comparing the Belizean teachers to ourselves as undergrad 'student' teachers, we noticed they do not focus as much on procedures and classroom management as we do in the United States. We also compared the ages, experience and education of the Belizean teachers to one another and discovered there is a wide range in ages and experience," Word said.

VIDEO: Cenote Angelita: "Underwater River"
near Quintana Roo, Mexico

Student volunteers at health clinic in Belize
McKenzie Carda, 21, grew up in Sidney and is currently a junior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This past summer, she took a nine-day trip to Patchakan, Belize where she volunteered at a rural, non-profit health clinic. Carda describes the experience as hands on, rewarding and “eye opening.” On her first day volunteering at the clinic, there were not enough chairs and tables set up yet, so the clinic was running an hour and a half behind schedule. Expecting patients to get upset and leave, Carda was pleasantly surprised. A family with two boys came in and she played ball with them as they waited, which was an activity where the language barrier did not matter. “The family as a whole ended up having something pretty serious with them, but they were so cute and they were so understanding. Everyone down there was pretty relaxed and understanding,” she said. A cultural difference Carda observed was how laid back everyone was compared to Americans. “Our team leader, who had been up to the United States, would talk about how it’s so different with people being in a rush and you gotta do things now,” she said. “In Belize, they just take their time.”

How it feels to have parents, summed up in 20 seconds on the monkey bars

The Exposure Triangle and How it Affects Your Photos
Getting a new DSLR can be quite an overwhelming experience for a new photographer. All the knobs and buttons seem to do a thousand different things (and they do), but the dirty secret of photography is that at its core, knowledge of the exposure triangle is what will make your new DSLR really sing. If you know how the exposure triangle works, then you essentially know the basics of how your photographs will turn out and you can build your skills with the manual functions of your camera from that solid basis.


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