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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

Wolfe’s Woofer: New Baby
“Where are you going?” Melody asked. “I’m going across the river,” I told her. “I have to take an amplifier to the repairman. Why are you asking?” “My friend has a new baby and I promised to go see it. My golf cart is broken down as usual, so Davin and I need a ride.” […]

Doctor Love: childhood sweethearts
Readers, please send your letters. They can be e-mails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I dated one girl for eight years. We started out as childhood sweethearts when I was fifteen and she was fourteen. We remained committed […]

Letter to the Editor: Sueño del Mar
We, the members of Sueño del Mar, have not gone away. It’s been three years now since nearly 200 of us filed suit against British Caribbean Bank over the timeshare act of Belize, which law was supposed to protect our rights at Sueno del Mar from seizure by the Bank. Over three years ago, British Caribbean Bank seized the resort when the developer defaulted on a loan, and refused to honor the ownership rights of the members. British Caribbean Bank is the offshore arm of Belize Bank, and was not supposed to be making loans in Belize. But, it seems that this Bank doesn’t really care much about Belizean law. We have recently amended our claims against the Bank as it has become clear that the “loan” was illegal under Belizean law. During the last three years, the Bank-appointed receiver has operated the Sueño Del Mar resort as a Hotel, apparently at a loss as the operation was shut down earlier in 2013. The members’ personal property apparently has been removed as well.

Misc Belizean Sources

Impasse prevents start of 2013-14 sugar cane season
An impasse over a share of the profits from the sale of bagasse is preventing the start of the 2013-14 sugar cane season in Belize. The Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) are at odds over the profit sharing scheme with the farmers demanding a greater say on how the profits should be shared. Vice-Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega said the farmers have already made a plea to the government urging that it intervene in the matter. Ortega said the farmers want the BSI to come “to the table” to discuss the matter. “We remain on our fight that we would go to the table to negotiate once it is for the bagasse and the new agreement,” he added. Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega said that the cane farmers have been consistent in their positions and that “they will not start a crop unless they finalise some agreement regarding the bagasse.

What does the term 'the minister' mean when it comes to immigration?
Years ago, in 1976, when I was a police corporal in Orange Walk Town and responsible for criminal investigations, I went on a drug operation in Indian Church Village. We apprehended about 12 illegal Guatemalan aliens who were cultivating marijuana in the village. During the operation we seized several bags of marijuana and took the prisoners to Orange Walk Town for further processing. I then started to frame charges for "illegal entry" into our country and possession of "cannabis sativa L" the legal classification for marijuana. When I told one of the Guatemalans that he has no legal documents to be in Belize, he replied saying to me that his entry stamp to Belize was given to him by a "minister of government" that he works for. At that time the PUP was the government of Belize and he called the minister’s name to me, whom I knew. I was shocked, outraged and disgusted with this information. Why? Because Indian Church Village is far from Orange Walk Town and we had to leave early that morning to go on that raid. I then stopped all the processing and, when I looked in these 12 Guatemalan nationals’ passports, there was indeed a stamp by "the minister" in all their passports. This minister was not responsible for Immigration at the time because the minister who was responsible for the police force was C.L.B. Rogers and, as such, immigration fell under his portfolio.

Reparations II
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez UB president resigning Is somewhat disturbing Especially since the Facebook posting Of him giving it in writing Including a tongue lashing I think it’s downright embarrassing But then it revealing Why as a country we are not progressing Mr Luna asked three questions in Amandala last evening Reparation should be championed in tertiary learning Status quo challenging Like in the University of the West Indies When Walter Rodney was teaching Critical political thinking If Belize was granted reparation Who would receive the payment? PUDP corrupt governments The elitist two percent Would it disappear like the Venezuelan millions? Or end up in the hands of a few extraordinary Belizeans?

16 Days Launch at Cayo Welcome Center
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence start tomorrow, and there will be a launch at the Cayo Welcome Center starting at 5:00pm. The campaign goes through December 10th, and there will be many events around Cayo. You can find out more at their page: . and the Rutgers site.

The Belize Times

Crop Season Delayed – GOB Neglects Sugar Roads!
The standoff between the Belize Sugar Industries and the 6,000 cane farmers represented by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) over a shared revenue agreement for the use of bagasse continues with no solution in sight. But it is not the serious impasse that has placed the start of the sugar crop in danger. It is the UDP Government’s total neglect of the sugar roads throughout the northern district that has placed the critical November 25th opening date at risk. With all the heavy rain, the roads have deteriorated and have become impassable. Government officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, which falls under the responsibility of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, whose constituency is in northern Belize, have stood aside with their arms folded as the conditions of the infrastructure worsens.

“I can’t afford $5 per day” – Mother of 4 says they have no food to eat, sleeping on cold floor
33 year old Juanita Paulino and her four children are among the 15% of the population who are considered “indigent”, meaning they can’t afford $5.50 a day. There were over 50,000 Belizeans who fell in the indigent poverty levels back in 2010, according to a population census. “My house is on sale, I have no electricity, I have no water and my kids are sleeping on the cold floor,” she explained to the BELIZE TIMES. Paulino, a single mother, has been enduring wretched days for several years, but it’s getting worse and worse. “I have had to sell everything at home so my kids could eat. All I have left at home are clothes and a few picture frames,” she said. But soon even the frames may have to come down. Paulino, who received a loan through Development Finance Corporation to build her home, never benefitted from the Barrow Administration’s write off program even though she was servicing her loan for six years. She says she was excluded despite explaining her difficult situation. Her property is now on sale by one of the local banks. She said she prays every night for a miracle to occur.

PUP leaders meet with cane farmers PUP leaders meet with cane farmers
Today, November 20, 2013 the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Francis Fonseca accompanied by Hon. John Briceño, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez and Hon. Ramiro Ramirez met with leaders of the Cane Farmers Association in Orange Walk Town. The Cane Farmers requested the meeting with the Opposition to explain the current stale mate in the negotiation for revenue sharing for bagasse with BSI/BELCOGEN. The meeting lasted for two and a half hours.

UDP’s John Salidvar bashes cane farmers – Says they will “kill” the industry over “garbage”
Like a paid spokesperson for the U.S. company, American Sugar Refining Inc., the UDP’s John Saldivar, who at times acts like he’s the prime minister, bashed the cane farmers for lobbying to get financial benefits from the valuable sugar cane waste material known as bagasse, on Thursday. Saldivar, who seemed to be full of steam during the UDP’s “Wus Ting Da Mawning” show, blew his lid off by trivializing the issue and claiming that cane farmers want to “kill the industry over the garbage of the industry”. Saldivar said that he believes the cane farmers’ agenda is “unreal” and outrageous. He chose to defend ASR over the cane farmers. “You need to be fair to the investors,” he said, “mek di man mek back ih $150m then you could get to it”. According to Saldivar, the economic plight of cane farmers is not sufficient enough to sympathize with them.

Think About It
AMERICA IS LISTENING The brave lady who came forward with shocking allegations of misconduct and hustling in the ongoing immigration and visa scandal, revealed another shocking information. She said at the Belmopan Embassy of the United States two agents grilled and interrogated her for three hours. The agents wanted to know the names of everyone she dealt with, when, where, what exactly was being said and done. The lady had tried to dodge some questions until the agents clicked on a computer and confronted her with her own voice. The agents played what was a recording of her and Minister Castro carrying on a telephone conversation about visas. Gotcha! The agents showed the lady books and books of photographs of person they claimed got visas and passed through Belize. They wanted to know if she has seen any of them or had handled any passports for them. It should be clear that for the Americans, the Ministerial hustling on visas and passports have grave security concerns. Terrorists can find their way into the U.S.A. via the dirty doings through Belize Immigration Department. http://www.belizetimes.bz/2013/11/24/deliverance/

UDP skeletons in the closet
By G. Michael Reid It is shameful and very disrespectful that Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner could do what he did and still continue to collect over a hundred thousand dollars of the people’s money every year. In any other country, he would have had to resign, be put in jail or worse. In Belize, we continue to call him “honorable”. I am pretty sure there are some who have already grown tired and weary of hearing about Penner but we cannot allow this to just go quietly into the night. I am sorry, but if this is the last column left doing it, I will continue to speak on this and hope that at some point, something will be done. Despite the best of efforts though, Pennergate seems slowly fading off the radar. Castrogate however, is starting to bleep louder. In an interview on the Dickie Bradley show last week, Belize’s most famous whistle-blower Alverine Burgess put her face to the name and went on record to insist that she gave Edmund Castro thousands of dollars to secure visas for Chinese nationals. The Prime Minister himself admitted that he had been made aware of the hustling in a press conference where he uttered his now famous, “for GOD’s sake stop it” remark. With this new evidence, it will be interesting to see what the Prime Minister does.

Deliverance
For many Belizeans, March 2012 was the date set for our deliverance: a sort of parole date, where our prison sentence had been miraculously reduced from five years to four. After four painstaking years of captivity and oppression, of our rights being trampled on, of a visionless dictatorship that should have never been, we were thankful that Dean had called an early election. What we could not foresee however, was the outright manipulation of our democratic process by Elvin Penner giving away our nationality in return for votes, the Corozal Bay electoral office opened nights to facilitate the registration of new voters for Pablo Marin, the blatant vote buying and piñata politics using taxpayer dollars to give out hams, turkeys and liquor to bribe voters into another five year prison sentence. Barrow’s 2008 plan was simple: take over the utility companies and use the money to benefit his cronies and win/steal more elections. In 2011, Dean Barrow knew that he was running out of time. He was well aware that he did not and could not deliver on a single one of his manifesto promises. He was on the brink of being exposed as a fraud, a leader who never intended to solve our nation’s problems.

Wesley girls defeat SCA in basketball game
The Wesley College girls posted their 2nd win against the SCA in the high school basketball competition on Tuesday, November 12. Breanne Meighan led Welsey with 9 points, Shanice Humes added 7 points, Danika Sanchez added 1 ...

FC Belize bombs Belmopan Bandits 3-2
FC Belize bombed the Belmopan Bandits 3-2 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The Bandits gave up an auto-goal when Floyd Jones tried to head the ball to his goalie Woodrow West, but instead ...

Baby Jaguars falls to Guatemala 3-2
The Belize U-16 national team played a spirited game against Guatemala’s national team but couldn’t score enough goals for the win in the UNCAF under-16 football tournament hosted by the Football Federation of Belize at the FFB ...

AMAZING GRACE – Should We Confess to a Father?
A couple thousand years ago just a short while after the earth was created, an altercation occurred between two brothers. They were both offering sacrifices up to God and it happened that one of the brothers, whose sacrifice was not accepted, became jealous and angry at the other. To my ...

How to reverse Belize’s growing trade deficit with Mexico
By Richard Harrison In 2004, after in-depth research and analysis, I wrote a paper suggesting that Belize could reverse its fortunes vis-à-vis Mexico, and the growing trade deficit… in a significant way… if it focused on developing four categories of existing products for the Mexican market. These are sugar, rum, shrimps and exotic wooden furniture/utensils. I was asked at the time, “what are you smoking Mr. Harrison?” The skeptics commented that Mexico is one of the largest exporters of sugar and shrimps… so why would they want to import such from Belize? Belize still does not understand the nature of world trade. One of the US major exports to Europe and Japan is automobiles… and what do you think is included in the major exports of Europe and Japan to the US? You guessed it right… automobiles. They have found ways to differentiate their products…..so that they export autos with different brand images, features and benefits to each other.

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Bogus!
By Anthony Sylvestre Senator Lisa Shoman is right! The President of the Senate had no right fi do weh ih do last Wednesday inna the Senate. He was plainly wrong, outta order and bogus. Just like Godwin Hulse (sorry! since he is a stickler for titles, I should say Dr., the Honourable ...

A Candyman Government – Barrow’s misguided politics trumps development
By Norris Hall BELIZE’s development is stagnating because the short term political considerations of the Barrow Administration trumps any meaningful long term planning for advancement and economic growth. While it is the role of the Ministry of Economic development to guide this agenda, it has failed because this government does not have ...

A New Revolution… Fulfilling the Promise of the Peaceful Constructive Belizean Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader A promissory note is a legal instrument in which one party promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to another party, either at a fixed or determinable future time or on demand of the other party. A promissory note between the people of Belize, ...

REFLECTIONS OF THE PUBLIC SQUARE – PUP Leader’s address at 36th Garifuna Settlement Day ceremony
Good morning Dangriga! It is a great pleasure and honor for me to once again be here with you as we celebrate the 36th Garifuna Settlement Day. I am proud, on behalf of the People’s United Party, to join with our Dangriga representatives, Hon. Ivan Ramos and Dangriga ...

US official confirms investigation into visa scandal
A United States Embassy official has confirmed that they are conducting their own special investigation into the very serious allegations of visa and passport corruption involving UDP Ministers. In answering questions about the US’s interests into the UDP’s visa and passport scandals, Margaret Hawthorne, the United States ...

Northern public transportation needs fixing!
Dear Editor, I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring attention to a serious issue regarding the public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can ...

Ladyville/Lord’s Bank should be declared a Town
Dear Editor, The residents of Ladyville/Lord's Bank should seriously consider becoming Belize's next town! According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (2010 census), Ladyville has 5,458 residents whilst Lord's Bank has 3,140. Combined, the greater Ladyville area has a population of 8,598. Should the residents decide to become a town it would ...

BWS: A promise un-kept is bad business!
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.” - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Monday, November 18th, 2013 Dear Editor: I write as a concerned resident of Chan Pine Ridge Village in Orange Walk District to register my concern regarding the several impassable streets that are currently creating very unnecessary burdens to the villagers particularly children who attend school from Monday to Friday and hence have to meticulously decipher (more than they do in their Math lessons) which pothole is less deep whenever heading to their classes. The deplorable condition of these streets in my village comes about not only as a consequence of the recent torrential rains that flooded most of the villages up North, but also as a result of perhaps the deliberate ill-supervision of BWS, whose project of water expansion at my village completed three months ago but they failed subsequently to honour their word and promise to scrape and fill the streets back to the excellent condition that it initially was before they started their massive excavation all over the village for the underground laying of pipes and other material.

Where is the Equal Employment Opportunity?
Dear Editor, Currently, I am a part time student at the University of Belize pursuing my degree on Business Administration. As I embark on my last semester I feel very excited about graduating and having more time to spend with my family and at work. Today, I write to bring across strongly ...

Blogs

Top 25 Things to Do in Belize
Will you soon be traveling to Belize? There are many wonderful things you can see and do when you get there, and 25 of them are listed below. 1. Maya City of Caracol The largest site in Belize at over 30 square miles is still growing due to new discoveries. 2. Tikal Even though Tikal is in Guatemala, it is easy accessible from Belize. It is a location where you can tour ancient pyramids and marvel at the architecture. 3. Belize Zoo The Belize Zoo can be a treat for all ages.

Flying from Belize to Cancun Mexico
Flying from Belize to Cancun Mexico was super easy and very fast compared to going by land or boat. We left Belize at 11:30 am and landed in Cancun at 1:15 pm. As we are leaving Philip Goldson International Airport, it was very overcast and gray, earlier San Pedro looked like it was beautiful cloud formations and we experienced very little turbulence. Arriving at at Cancun Airport was great, even though I had been there many times from Canada this time around was a new experience arriving on a smaller sized plane. We saw lots of airport action and all sizes of cool looking planes as we walked through the parking area to customs. Getting checked into Cancun was fast and easy. It took about 10 – 15 min for the seven of us to hand in our customs forms and send our bags through the x-ray machine. This was the first time in a long while I did not have to take my laptop and tablet out before putting it on the conveyer belt. With the recent time change we are the same time as Mexico now so that made it easy for making arrangements. Surendra and Carolyn offered to pick me up at the airport and drop me at hotel Sahara. As soon as I cleared customs and got to the door, I saw Surendra walking towards me. It was great seeing them again and to celebrate Surendra stopped at a Starbucks drive through on our way to Playa.

Pirate’s Treasure on Ambergris Caye: Ridding the Reef of Lion Fish One Bowl of Ceviche at a Time
The dreaded lion fish are known to have reached Belize in 2008. They are beautiful to look at but bad bad news for the reef since they eat indiscriminately and almost constantly. Originally from the Pacific, it is thought that they were introduced to the Caribbean when someone dumped an aquarium. And now the population is exploding almost everywhere and these buggers are out competing native fish and wreaking reef havoc around the world. The have no natural predators but here is the cool thing. They are delicious! With firm white flesh that almost have the texture of lobster, they are difficult to clean…look at those long poisonous spines!…and don’t get particularly large but worth it. A very cute shirt at the Lionfish catching and cooking competition at Wahoo’s Lounge in Dec 2011.

Hiking in Belize is Fun!
Hiking our national parks is a great way to see many kinds of birdlife, plants and animals. As intimidating as some of our trails may look on a map, don’t worry. Most are designed in loops so you easily return to your starting point. Some trails are self-guided, some require the expertise of a licensed tour guide who can point out birds, wildlife and local plants. Whatever level of hiker you consider yourself, we have the trail to match what you’re looking for. Take a day tour or spend several days camping—either one provides you with the chance to encounter exotic tropical plants and birds, or to see wildlife, including howler monkeys, crocodile, or the tracks of the elusive jaguar and tapir (just hope they’re only the tracks).

International Sources

Why An Increasing Number Of Expats Are Discovering Belize
Expats have settled all over Belize, but one spot is starting to earn lots of attention lately... Corozal, the northernmost of Belize's six districts. It has the second-largest population of the districts with about 35,000 people and shares the border with Mexico. Once considered the undiscovered gem of Belize, this district and its tidy little capital of Corozal Town are quickly rising on the radar of foreign retirees and other expats, and there are lots of reasons why. One big reason is that it's generally less expensive to live here than are other areas of Belize. In large part this is because of that border we mentioned with Mexico... the city of Chetumal, Mexico, is just on the other side. Since Belize has little domestic manufacturing and relatively high duties on imported goods, shopping trips to Chetumal -- to Sam's Club and other big-box stores and supermarkets -- help Corozal residents beat the higher prices on imported goods paid by folks elsewhere in Belize.

Warming seas and super-storms raze the cradle of aquatic life
… and harm the livelihoods of coastal dwellers. Stripped of its color and smashed into pieces, the dead coral all but carpets the seafloor. Here, just off Caye Caulker, a tiny, bucolic Caribbean isle that is a magnet for snorkelers and scuba divers, the ravages of climate change are clear to see. Hurricanes have long been normal in this part of the world, and the spectacular reefs have adapted naturally to withstand the battering of storm waves. But not like this. Warming seas in recent decades have fuelled more frequent, stronger cyclones devastating the corals on an unprecedented scale and giving them less time to recover between tempests. None have been stronger than Mitch, the 1998 mega-storm that killed thousands across Central America and, less obviously, also caused the submarine massacre which I am witnessing. “The reef is going to be destroyed and it is not going to be very long now, maybe 20 years, if this keeps up,” says local diving guide Amado Watson, as we clamber back on his boat