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The San Pedro Sun

Saga hosts October snip-a-thon
Helping Paws Across Borders (HPAB) embarked on their four day campaign to spay and neuter island pets and strays. This is part of the San Pedro Saga Humane Society’s October Snip-a-thon that aims to spay and neuter over 300 dogs on the island. The group of 15 veterinarians, vet techs and dog trainers along with Saga Humane Society employees are hard at work rounding up dogs to be spayed and neutered. On Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th the group is stationed at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso’s property in the DFC area, using Saga’s Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital (MASH). Free medical treatment and vaccinations are also being offered.

Ambergris Caye welcomes The San Pedro Mad Skills Dancers
The San Pedro Mad Skills Dancers (SPMSD) group was formed on September 30, 2011 by Cesar Cerpa to provide youth with a medium to express themselves through the art of dance. Since then the group has been formalized and made their debut performance on Saturday, September 3rd during the Costa Maya Festival 2013. Cesar Cerpa is a self-taught DJ whose motto is to “uplift youth for a better tomorrow” and founded SPMSD to help troubled youth to change their lives through dance. “We want to help the youth better themselves. This dance company is free of charge for any person willing to learn how to dance,” said Cerpa.

Belize Lions collect over $7K for Mexico’s flood victims and celebrate World Service Day
The Belize Lion Clubs in Zone 59 conducted countrywide fund raising activities on Friday October 4th to raise monies for the flood victims in the southern and central states of Mexico. The organization is reporting that the events were successful and that the funds collected will be passed on to the Lions Club International Fund (LCIF). According to Melanie Paz, Chairperson of the Lions Zone 59, the San Pedro Lions Club raised a total of $5,000 from a radio-thon, dollar drive, bingo and barbeque. The Belize City Lions Club was able to raise $2,000 and the San Estevan Lions Club is yet to indicate how much monies were raised. Paz said in total the Lions of Belize will be donating over $7,000 dollars and will be handing over the monies to LCIF who will be conducting humanitarian efforts in the affected areas.

Celebrating Dia de la Raza in Central Park, San Pedro Town
Photo...

Misc Belizean Sources

Prime Minister, Dean Barrow in Esperanza lastnight! (4 photos)

HARVEST FOR CHILDREN (17 photos)
The annual Harvest for Children event organized by Belize Camping Experience was held today near Banana Bank, Cayo District. The idea of the program is to teach inner-city children about how the food they eat, in this case corn, goes from the field to their dinner table. It also teaches the children what goes into agricultural production in the hopes of drawing them to being farmers and agriculture production technicians. Here are snapshots of today's event.

Belize is represented at Maya ceremony in Guatemala
Belize has representation at a Great Sacred Maya Ceremony being held today Poptun, Peten, Guatemala. The annual event, which is held on October 12, is taking place in front of the sacred Maya Temple at Tikal. According to correspondent Aurelio Sho, the ceremony starts with “a night vigil to spark sacred energies of our ancestors” and ends with the ceremony at Tikal. According to Sho, thousands of Maya people from Guatemala along with a delegation from Jalacte village and other communities in southern Belize are taking part in today’s festivities. Included in the Belize delegation are representatives of the Tumul K’in Center of Learning and Ak’Kutan Radio.

Death Threats Made To Min Of Health CEO For Investigation Into Missing Money
Ministry of Health is putting the brakes on an investigation into financial irregularities at the Southern Regional Hospital. That’s after the CEO in the ministry of health Peter Allen received a death threat at his office today! Allen told us that he got a call this morning from someone identifying himself as “Mike Moss”. He told Allen that he should call a press conference tomorrow to say that all the accounts at Southern Regional have been investigated and are in perfect order. Allen said he couldn’t do that – and the caller told him that he must not want to live and that if he didn’t he would be dead by the end of the week – and that there was a hit out on him. Allen received the call on his cell phone, and the number calling him matched the number of a call made to one of his ministry’s financial officers the week before. In that case, the officer was called by a Mike Williams, who said he was from SIF and wanted to come to her home to do a survey. Another senior finance officer also got a call at the ministry last week.

Belikin Calendar Video
Belikin has their Belikin Calendar video out. Can you find Cayo, and a Cayo calendar girl? They released the behind the scenes a few weeks ago, but this is shorter and one of the final cuts. "Belikin Beer presents to you the promo video for the 2014 Belikin Calendar. The launch for the highly anticipated calendar will be on Friday, October 25th 2013 at the Princes Poolside, Belize City."

Rotaract See Clean See Green Art Competition
Rotaract announced the winners of their See Clean See Green art competition last night at the Cayo Welcome Center. They also had a bake sale fundraiser. This morning, they did their Clean Up Campaign along the Macal river. "The Rotaract Club San Ignacio had their See Green See Clean art contest winners announced at the Cayo Welcome Center last night. They also had a bake sale, and the pastries were delicious. D Catch was happening, as always, and their combo ceviche, with octopus, shrimp, and conch, can't be beat."

SHJC's School Leadership Program
Sacred Heart Junior College is offering a certificate in School Leadership. Registration is next week. Contact them for more information. "The Certificate in School Leadership Program prepares educators to lead and manage the Quality Child Friendly Schools of 21st century Belize. Principals and other prospective educational leaders are supported in understanding and applying theoretical concepts, developing school leadership skills and dispositions in order to transform their schools into Quality Child-Friendly Schools." The program sequence.

ISIS Belize Study Abroad Summer 2013
Feelgood news of the day. The Institute for Sustainable International Studies just released a video chronicling their Study Abroad Summer 2013 students. They got to learn and have fun at the same time. From trips around Cayo to help with livestock, to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, to Xunantunich, to the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, and out to the cayes, it's in their video. "Want an awesome study abroad experience in Belize, an English speaking country. Contact us at www.isisbelize.com for an experience to make your facebook friends jealous. We specialize in Animal Science, Traditional Knowledge, Marine Science and Tropical Ecology."

Issues on Copyright and Related Rights
The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO), in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is hosting a two-day workshop on "Issues on Copyright and Related Rights". The workshop is open to all persons who fall under the Copyright Act of Belize, including but not limited to: artists, photographers, architects, computer programmers, musicians, performers, graphic designers, writers, publishers, students, filmmakers, producers, directors, actors, and librarians.

CTV3

BSCFA Meets With Government Officials To Discuss Issue Of Bagasse
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association will be receiving technical assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture if the need for it arises in charting a way forward in the negotiations for the New Commercial Agreement. Early in the month of October, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received confirmation through a letter that the Belize Sugar Industries Limited will not be compensating cane farmers for the sale of the by-product of sugar cane; Bagasse which is used by Belcogen to generate energy which is then sold to BEL. However, the BSCFA is not willing to go down that easy and requested an emergency meeting with government officials, one of them being Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Gasper Vega. In the meeting, which took place yesterday, the DPM committed to act as intermediary in order for a mutual beneficial agreement to be reached by both parties. Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management “Esta junta se llevó a la raíz de la negociación con BSI, como se fue en un pare la negociación entonces escribimos al vice-primer ministro siendo el ministro de agricultura que queremos tener una junta también y ayer llevamos a cabo esa junta adonde le informamos a el de parte de la asociación más a donde hemos llegado con la negociación, como estamos hasta en estos momentos...

Muffles High School Holds Cultural Day
Students of Muffles High School were out of class today but that doesn’t mean they were not learning. Today the high school celebrated their annual Cultural Day at the Crystal Palace Auditorium where the various ethic groups living in Belize were featured. Dressed in the different cultural wears, students of the different form levels entertained the audience with their presentations. Anerita Cajun- Head of Dept. Social Studies “Today we did something different from what we have asked, what we did today is just dramatization depicting Spanish novels, Los Finados by David Ruiz, and this year we decided that we are going into dramatize it, making it look real and it will be something very good since the “Los Finados” is getting closer as well so we are just trying to combine cultural day and Los Finados together and this year we decided to do something different like do it in Spanish instead of doing it in English every year. So as well what happened is that Muffles College has sixty years of existence as well and sometimes we need to make a change on what we do.”

Investigation On Missing Files Carried Out
The focus of yesterday’s press conference held by the appointed Minister in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality pin-pointed basically what would be the fate of Elvin Penner. But one point that caught members of the head table off guard was that of Attorney Arthur Saldivar and the nationality applications, with a number of inconsistencies, he claims to have in his possession. It has been confirmed that there is no warrant issued for Saldivar’s arrest or to search his home as was rumored. That is a sticky situation which presently has the Immigration and Nationality Department in Belmopan under lock down. In the case of the fraudulent passport which was issued to South Korean National Kim Wong Hong while he was in detention in Taiwan, three officers were suspended. These same three officers are being blamed for the destruction of files missing from Immigration and Nationality Department these include the files for Kim Wong Hong and those that are being presented by Saldivar to the media.

VIP Makes Demands, Threatens To Hold Demonstration If Those Are Not Met
While much was said during yesterday’s press conference there are those who believe that nothing was accomplished, for the use of better words. The Vision Inspired by the People shares that same sentiment and today, in a press release, they documented their discontent and disappointed in the way Government is presently handling the passport and nationality scandal. The VIP believes that yesterday’s press conference failed to address the salient demands of the unions, other Social partners and the VIP on the matter. Instead of addressing the issues affecting the nation Government chose to use the opportunity to further salt the wounds of Belizeans by implementing knee jerk proposals designed solely to placate the growing indignation of Belizeans against the system of corrupt governance, according to the VIP.

13 Year Old Abused By Stepfather He Faces Prison Time
Yesterday a man from the Corozal District was arrested and charged with five counts of incest for having sexual intercourse with his 13 year old daughter since the age of six. Tonight there is another disturbing case of sexual abuse against a female minor to report. This time it involves a 13 year old and her stepfather. Reports are that yesterday, the child, along with her mother, visited the police station accompanied by a Child Protect Officer and reported to authorities that on the 22nd of September, at around 1:30pm, while at home in the Village of Guinea Grass, her stepfather had sexual intercourse with her. But that was not the only time the child was abused by her stepfather. It happened again on the 3rd of October. The child was taken to a doctor who certified that she was carnally known. Police have detained the 36 year old man who is of Guatemalan Nationality pending charges.

What? Minister Selling Visas
The rumor mill continues to churn and does so strongly with allegations that Ministers of this UDP Government were involved in a lucrative business; the sale of Visas. The Prime Minister admitted yesterday that such incidences, if uncovered by the media, could lead to the fall of his government. These allegations of ministers selling visas are rampant with the latest passport scandal. While the Prime Minister admitted to have heard of such allusions and although he has absolutely no proof, he sent out a very strong message to ministers in his government. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Minister Hulse will be here to attest to what I am saying. I have heard such reports and Minister Hulse and Minister Boots and all of the ministers would tell you that I have repeatedly said in cabinet, ladies and gentleman I think we are doing a fine job. We may have our problems; there are the second term blues. A friend of mine has suggested that second term should be referred to as quick sand terms. But I believe we can come through in the end and come through well. But if there is one thing that can and will bring down this government it is hustling in immigration. I have heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God sake stop it, stop it!

P.M Says Penner Embarrassed The Party
Was former Minister of State Elvin Penner legitimately authorized to sign nationality and passport documents? Tonight, that is the question that still looms in one of the biggest scandals ever to hit our country regarding the illegal sale of the Belizean Passport. Although many details are still not clear, what was confirmed yesterday during a lengthy press conference held by the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality is that Penner began signing nationality and passport documents in May of this year. So who gave him the authority? Well, it came from no other than the leader of the nation, the Prime Minister of Belize. What the P.M did not reveal yesterday is why he had doubts of putting Penner in the Ministry in the first place. Dean Barrow, PM of Belize “Before I sit down I want also to say again how extremely sorry I am that what has now happened, happened under the watch of the United Democratic Party, how absolutely ashamed I am that one of my ministers was central to what in fact occurred. When I placed Minister Hulse in charge of that ministry it was because I knew that there was a problem in the ministry. A problem developed because at that time Penner had not been given the authority as I recollect signing nationality certificates. Penner complained to me over and over again that he felt as though he were a fifth wheel to a wagon. That he was Minister of State but that he had absolutely no authority. And he asked that he be brought more into the picture.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy Student’s earns scholarship
Congratulations to Ocean Academy graduate 2013, Shania Sanchez, for earning a two-year scholarship from the Belize Tourism Board to study Tourism at the University of Belize. We are very proud of you and wish you every success!

Blogs

How I fared on my Guinness for gas cap exchange
When Mary and I stopped to gas up, the station attendant pointed out that the gas cap was missing. I knew we could easily go get one at Captain Sharks but I decided to pass by the Tropic Air Hanger first to see if Dick could help me find a spare one. As we pulled up to the window, he happened to be standing right there with a few of the mechanics. While I was asking him about a getting a cap from Glen, Lindsberg overheard our conversation and offered that he had a spare cap and he would bring it the next day. Sure enough not long after Dick got to work, I got a text that said: Cap here, some Guinness for Lindsbrg would be nice. I was glad he gave me drink preference as I was just going to do regular Belikin or Rum. I picked up 6 beers in Boca Del Rio, headed to the hanger to trade them for the gas cap. After that I delivered it to Felipe at Pedro’s Hotel so it could get on the cart that needed it. How will did I far in my gas cap barter? 6 Beers cost me $24 BZD and a new gas cap at Captain Sharks would have cost $32 BZD. Hearing how happy Lindsberg was with his Guinness beers priceless. He took them home on his break to make them nice and cold for a Friday night treat after work.

“Higher and Higher” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With an appointment at The Dental Center yesterday at 10.00 hours I took an executive decision (sounds grand and terribly important doesn’t it) not to publish an edition. I was up before 05.00 hours and didn’t have to leave home until around 07.45 hours so I had time to produce an edition but I just wanted to chill out. So I did. When it was time to go Rose took me to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal and I caught the 08.00 service and arrived in Belize City shortly after 09.30 hours and, given that I had a little time to spare, I made the short walk to Brodies in Albert Street to pick up a couple of grocery items and then took a taxi to Mercy Lane for my dental appointment. First off Doctor Pedro Habet removed the seven stitches that had been inserted last Friday when the bone for the remaining implant had been grafted. With this completed he then did three fillings and then finished off the session by giving my teeth a thorough clean and polish. That’s it now until next April/May when I will return to have the implant fitted.

International Sources

Ambassador to Belize: Who Is Carlos Moreno?
The next ambassador to the Central American nation of Belize—the only country in the region where English is the official language—will be a retired jurist from California. Nominated July 8, Carlos R. Moreno, who served ten years on the California Supreme Court, would succeed Vinai K. Thummalapally, whose service started in August 2009. Born November 4, 1948, in Los Angeles, Moreno grew up in a Spanish-speaking home in the small community of Solano Canyon in Elysian Park, not far from Dodger Stadium. Although his Mexican immigrant mother arrived in the U.S. with few skills and no resources after his father’s death, Moreno graduated public high school, earned a B.A. in Political Science at Yale University in 1970 and a J.D. at Stanford Law School in 1975.

Manatees frequenting more northern waters, including Lowcountry
Manatees move north from Florida and summer in Lowcountry waters, where there are 50 or more sightings each year. One of the puppy-faced mammals poked its nose from Charleston Harbor for a breath of air last week, wowing staffers at the South Carolina Aquarium. They don’t go back en masse until water temperatures drop to below 70 degrees. With temperatures still largely in the 70s, the animals don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave their summer digs. Manatees are bulbous, seal-like creatures whose lolling, seemingly serene behavior has delighted onlookers for generations. They are said to have inspired the myth of mermaids. The animals tend to turn up near docks, particularly where a freshwater spigot runs. But they also roam estuaries and tidal rivers as dolphins do, hunting food. Biologists are now learning something pretty surprising. “As long as the temperatures are warm enough they’ll stay,” Powell said, “and they’ll stay as long as they can.” There’s even some suspicion that manatees might be gradually relocating. They have been spotted as far north as Massachusetts and now are seen more commonly up and down the East Coast, Powell said

IICA, EU embark on million $ programme to improve agriculture health, safety
The Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement supporting development and modernisation of sanitary and phytosanitary measures applied in the Caribbean, with a view to improving access to the European markets for agricultural products from this region. The agreement was signed in Georgetown, by the director-general of IICA, Víctor M Villalobos, and the ambassador and head of delegation of the European Union, Robert Kopecky, within the framework of the XII Caribbean Week of Agriculture. Based on this agreement, a programme of sanitary and phytosanitary measures that will have a life span of 42 months and a budget of US$5.8 million will be implemented. The beneficiary countries are the members of Cariforum—Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The view from Europe
In recent months, the voice of Caribbean civil society has been coming to the fore in ways that challenge or bypass politicians, the political class and traditional politics. Whether in relation to the environment, the abuse of human rights, freedom of speech or on gender issues, well founded if sometimes small national groups have been raising difficult issues in ways that are beginning to bring about change. In some cases they are doing so in collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from outside the region, or are being spurred into action by reports produced by international agencies or foreign governments. The effect is to remind those in the region who feel that the old ways and a lack of accountability are best, that if the Caribbean wishes to prosper in an increasingly transparent global society, local voices need to be taken greater notice of; and that what once were solely domestic issues are now likely to come to the attention of investors, governments and activists in other parts of the world.

Belize Developer Moving Ahead With Island Project
A Belize developer has revived plans to build a $100 million tourism and cruise ship facility on islands southeast of Belize City. In a public conference last week, Michael Feinstein, president of the Feinstein Group of Companies, detailed plans to build a deep water port on Stake Bank Caye for a cruise ship dock, as well as a retail, marina and residential development on nearby North Drowned Caye. A concrete causeway would connect the islands to the mainland. The project has been discussed for a decade but the development was delayed by "government interference," Mr. Feinstein told the conference. The current plan still does not have government approvals, but Mr. Feinstein said the proposal is back on the agenda. Cruise lines have been actively looking for an alternative to the current Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, which was also developed by Mr. Feinstein's company. The Stake Bank project should be supported as part of evolution of the cruise industry in Belize, Tom Greenwood, president of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, said at the meeting.