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The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Bad Customer Service?
A frequent customer at a local establishment gets burned the moment a few tourists show up. Is that bad customer service or just business as usual?

Saga says Thanks You for successful November Rice Cook-Off
The SAGA Humane Society would like to give a big thanks to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar and their great staff for hosting our Rice Cook-Off Thursday November 21st. The night turned out to be a lucky and dry day for the Saga HS and our supporters. There was a great turnout of visitors and locals who enjoyed all the fine rice dishes presented. The event raised needed funds to cover the expenses to SNIP over 20 low income island pets. After the votes were tallied, Melt Café took first place with Easter Wrap. Second place went to Laura Sutton with Stuffed Rice Balls and third place was won by Cindy Firth with her Shrimp Risotto. The other fine rice dishes were: Shrimp in Rice – Letty Hernandez, Turkish Rice – Carolina Zapata, Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce – Runway Bar, Spicy Jamaica Rice- Carolina Zapata, Mushroom Carrot Rice topped with Caribbean Chicken – Runway Bar. We are grateful to all the cooks for their entries and for their support.

Belize Coast Guard inaugurates new facility and graduates 30
The Belize Coast Guard held a very special ceremony on Friday November 29th to mark their 8th anniversary. The event, which was threefold, was held one and a half miles southwest of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye at the newly inaugurated facility. It entailed the Belize Coast Guard’s 8th anniversary celebration, the graduation of the 4th intake and inauguration of the Belize Coast Guard northern Forward Operational Base (FOB) on the leeward side of the island. According to Chief Executive Officer in Belize’s Ministry of National Security Lieutenant Cornel (Retired) George Lovell, since its establishment on November 28, 2005 said that the Belize Coast Guard has accomplished yet another milestone as it moves its mid-term goals. Lovell explained that having over 14,000 square miles of waters to patrol, the Belize Coast Guard can boast that they have Belize’s water under control. “The Coast service is an essential element of our national security. The protection of Belize’s maritime spaces and commerce from threats, both foreign and domestic, through the provision of maritime security, safety and protection of our people, industries and natural resources has been, and continues to be, the Belize Coast Guard’s main goals.”

Wolfe’s Woofers: Good Reason
Husband catches wife in bed with another man. There's a good reason - at least, the mother-in-law believes so.

Misc Belizean Sources

Orquidea Negra at Dance X
Orquidea Negra represented Cayo at the 5th annual Dance X at the Bliss this weekend. "Orquidea Negra Dance Company has amazed the national audience at the 5th Annual Dance X 2013. We salute you and are extremely proud of you all for the grand success..." In related news, Ashanti Airbender has a video from her performance.

SHC Wins at Regionals
Sacred Heart College scored some victories at the Regional basketball tournament, which was held at UB's jaguar auditorium. The boys came in first, and the girls came in 2nd. The Nationals will be in 2 weeks at SHC's auditorium. "Girls - 2nd Place Boys - 1st Place Nationals is December 13 & 14 at SHC. See you there!!"


Pre-School to Hold Reggeaton To Construct New Building
Education at a very early stage is extremely important since a child’s brain absorbs information quicker at that age. In the entire Corozal District there are approximately 36 pre-schools that cater for toddlers between the ages of 3 to 4. Among those 36 pre-schools is Santa Clara/San Roman RC Pre- School, currently housed at the Santa Clara Community Center. But that is about to change thanks to the pre-school’s Parent Teacher Association who have organized a radio-thon in order to raise funds to construct a building for the pre-school. Gregoria Canul- Principal Santa Clara/San Roman RC Pre- School “The building is sometimes used for meetings, for their fairs, for their own activities right, so when we come here or when there is a need to use the place we have to move all of our things on one side and then on Monday we have to put it back again and so we don’t have that problem or inconvenience so see the need of our own pre-school.”

Students Of St. Peters School Rap To The End Of Stewardship Month
What better way to bring the school week to a close than with some music or even better yet with music by your very own classmates. This is exactly what the students at Saint Peter’s Anglican Primary School did this morning to reel in the weekend and to close off their celebrations of stewardship month. Our news team was there and documented the event. Here’s a look at their performances. Dalila Ical – Reporting Just as the sun peeked from behind some clouds, a handful of students from Saint Peter’s Primary School did their share to warm up the morning by doing something not very common in schools...they rapped. This was their way of closing Stewardship Month observed by all Anglican Schools in Belize. Special Ed Teacher Dianeli Medina told us more about their initiative.

MHS Champion's Week End with A visit From Woodrow West
Sports day is a common event held in primary, secondary and even tertiary schools but for a few sports lovers today at Muffles High School the event was a little more than ordinary as they were visited by two of Belize’s prominent athletes. It was a morning of picture taking and autograph signing at high school and here is why. Dalila Ical – Reporting By the time the sun warmed up a rather cool morning, the boys and girls at Muffles High School were well into their matches as they played against each other in various sports. The cool wind was definitely no discomfort for these athletic teens. But the morning event was all the more interesting for a few of them who took a place in this line awaiting their turn to meet and get their T’s signed by one of Belize’s premier football players, Woodrow West. Odalys Escobar and Elsner Mendez were among the crowd who seemed to get an additional adrenaline boost for their games with the football player’s visit.

13th Senator Rejected By The UDP, Supported By The PUP
In the United Democratic Party’s 2008 Campaign manifesto, an idea of a 13th Senator was introduced and promised as a measure of serious governance reform by the party. That additional Senator would come from the NGO community, and would have shifted the balance of power away from government. But in 2010, PM Dean Barrow retracted that ideal citing that the practice in all actuality would make no sense. The PM reiterated the government’s position on that issue on Wednesday’s conference. “It is a wonderful idea but in practice it will make no sense. The Opposition is there to oppose the so called social partners sectors are not there to be friends of the government and if you gave control of that chamber to that combination I am telling you there will be paralysis. Now other people might have a different point of view and I respect that but as far as I am concerned the role of the Senate is to be a watchdog, is to shine the light on what is happening it is like the Public Accounts Committee. It is not to substitute the Government, it is not to frustrate the Government, and it is not to stop the Government. So I am telling you I cannot at this point support the notion for the 13th Senate.”

Residence Propose To Adopt Gualdalupe Street
Residents and businesses on Guadalupe Street are in the process of adopting that principal street and take it upon themselves to invest to improve the street conditions. This is a collaborative effort with the Orange Walk Town Council. We spoke to Osmany Salas, resident and business person of Guadalupe Street who told us more on the pilot project. OSMANY SALAS “I would say that we are in the process of adopting, about two weeks ago maybe a little more a few business persons from Guadalupe Street, myself, Mr. Abram Rempel from RB’s, Mr. Hugo Mendoza from CGI to an extent Mr. Dardo Gonzales from Dardo’s Construction because we spoke to him as well just at about the same time said we need to something about our street I think like everybody else we are tired and fed up about the horrible conditions of our streets and knowing that it might take a while to wait for others to do it for us, we decided to meet with the Mayor and just present to him a concept to see how he would respond to it whereby the residence of the street would organize and maybe see how they could help so we reached out to Belize Cane farmers Association as well and we met with the Mayor about two weeks ago so BSFCA Reps. Were at the meeting as well, and the Mayor was very supportive at the beginning, the concept being that if we could direct our taxes that we pay all the residence of this street; property tax, trade license, liquor license into a, we have to pay that anyway but if we could direct it to a special account for the street and see how as residence and businesses we could find way how we could contribute additionally to it for that to go directly to street improvement and the Mayor agreed but he said he would have to carry it to the full council but he gave us his commitment that we would support it.”

Fonseca Finds PM Response On Visa Scandal Disgraceful
The Leader of the Opposition also spoke on the latest revelation related to the visa scandal involving Edmund Castro, representative for Belize Rural North. News is that Castro recommended not one, nor two, nor three, nor five even but in fact 30 visas for Chinese Nationals. To make matters worse, so far no update has been provided by the Government on the Elvin Penner investigation in relation to fraudulent passports. When it comes to the Edumund Castro Fiasco the Prime Minister has stated that it does not matter if Castro signed 200 recommendations there is no prove that the visas were released. A few weeks ago though, the Prime Minister was singing a different tune as he categorically stated that and we quote “If I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times – what I am to think? Except that you’re involved in a hustle.” With that the PUP coined the PM’s latest response to the Castro saga as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘Disgraceful’. At the same time the party demanded that the public’s inquiries be answered.

PUP Takes Side Of Caneros On Bagasse Issue
In yesterday’s press conference held by Leader of the opposition, Honorable Francis Fonseca, he spoke on many issues of national importance. Chief among them was the impasse between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR on the pending finalizations of payment for bagasse, if any. Fonseca says that while they stand firmly alongside the farmers, they are demanding from the Government to intervene to have the matter resolved as the uncertainty is not good for Belize. “This is a very, very serious matter, it is not a political matter, it is a national issue, which requires leadership and it requires immediate intervention, we cannot allow one single more day to pass without solving this issue. It is going to affect the entire country of Belize; it is going to affect the entire economy of this country so we can’t allow it to fester any longer. The uncertainty certainly is not good for Belize. A meeting should have taken place already, we should have already have had a meeting in the Prime Minister’s office in Belmopan, bringing these parties to the table. So that we could move ahead with opening of the sugar cane the grinding season. And we certainly, I want to make it very clear, I want to place on the record very strongly that we reject in the strongest possible terms, the arrogance of the Prime Minster and then to so veil treat that he made to the cane farmers of this country.


My flight from Mexico to Belize and what I did before it
I am glad my Tropic flight from Mexico to Belize was not till 2:00pm, it gave me the morning to do a bit more last minute shopping in Playa while the Kumar’s were at their Yoga class. Of course I had to do a last pass by Mega and Walmart I wanted to pick up a few presents for Paul. I got back to the hotel just in time to pack up before Carolyn and Surendra came to get me. We were running a bit behind schedule and all agreed to go with plan b and head straight for the airport instead of our plan a taking the long way there :) When we arrived, they came to check in with me and we went into a small Tropic Air room with a counter and a couple of chairs. There I paid $58 usd departure tax and the agent gave me the customs forms I needed to fill out at both airports. He handed me the papers, explained them and laughed when I told him I wish I was declaring over 10,000 :) When we were done he said I could go sit in the waiting area and gave me a time they would be collecting my Mexico customs forms.

A Morning Walk In Bullet Tree Falls and San Ignacio, Belize
After sleeping for about 11 hours on the world’s most comfortable mattress… and then eating a seriously hearty breakfast at my hotel, Mahongany Hall in Bullet Tree Fall, I set out for Saturday market day in San Ignacio. For those of you new to Belize, San Ignacio is the biggest town in the Cayo District…the largest and after the beaches, the most visited. It is the gateway to Guatemala and the beautiful ruins at Tikal but you are crazy if you skip over Cayo…CRAZY. Jungles, caves (the ATM CAVE!), gorgeous rivers, birds, animals, impressive Mayan ruins… Here’s a map. The ride from Bullet Tree to San Ignacio is only about 3 miles. And if you look for the Bullet Tree Taxi Association (in town, they are right next to Belize Bank), the ride is CHEAP! They do it bus style and your fare is only $2-$4bzd. I walked for a little bit to wait for my bus. Leaving Mahogany Hall…

Early Christmas joyfulness for Christo Rey RC School in Belize
Christmas is near and the cheer was shared very early this year with the students of Christo Rey RC primary school! The Herron family from Florida, USA presented a sizeable donation to the staff and students of Christo Rey RC primary school through Chaa Creek’s Pack-a-Pound initiative. Linda Herron, mother of Alexa, age 12 and Lucas age 6 said, “this year Alexa and Lucas decided that they don’t want any Christmas gifts for themselves.” She went on to say “they wanted to do some charity work for a school and that’s when our travel agent referred us to Chaa Creek’s Pack-a-Pound initiative.” Linda, her husband Scott and her 2 children Alexa and Lucas booked a flight to Belize in spirits of sharing the Christmas joyfulness with the future of Belize – young students. The following day after their arrival Linda and Alexa were joined by Chaa Creek guides Ricky and David, and also Roberto from the marketing team and set off to a short and bumpy ride. The students and staff of Christo Rey RC primary school received Linda and Alexa with bright smiles and shy faces, including colorful balloons with a “welcome” message written on them! The sparkle in their eyes and jovial spirit was also blessed with a light shower and cool weather.

10 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate in Belize
Belize Real Estate Prices : Belize offers some of the most affordable real estate in the Caribbean region making it a low-cost retirement destination. Stable exchange rate : Local currency is the Belize Dollar or BZD. 1 USD = 2 BZD Belize's Superior Location : Belize's proximity to North America bodes well for investors. 50% of Americans who live abroad live in the Americas as they prefer to be close to home. For example, Belize is only 2 hours from Miami by air. Direct flights are also available from Los Angeles; Houston; Newark, New Jersey; Dallas/Fort Worth; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; New York and Washington, D.C; and from Toronto, Canada for a few months of the year. Also, there will be direct flights to Belize from the U.K./Europe in 2008. The purchasing power of the Brits is remarkable – they have changed the face of real estate throughout Europe. Tuscany is now referred to as Chianti-shire. Belikin-shire anyone? (For the uninitiated, Belikin is Belize's famous beer touted as “the Only Beer worth drinking”). New flight routes typically spawn an increase in real estate investments.

International Sources

Why US baby boomers are retiring in Latin America (+video)
After 20 years in the US military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy's request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently. "After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by everything I saw," says the ex-marine, who has lived in 35 countries. He spent the next four months selling two homes, three vehicles, two motorcycles, and one airplane. He put the money aside and decided to retire early. Now he lives in a posh section of the mountain city of 3.8 million, surrounded by lush vistas. He married a Colombian woman, started a coffee export business, and seems to get goose bumps every time he thinks about his new life. "I tell you honestly I have had more fun here in the past four years than in the previous 50," he says. Mr. Cummiskey’s story is being repeated thousands of times – minus perhaps the sale of a personal plane – as more and more Americans retire to countries all over Latin America. Lured by sun-dappled landscapes and cheap living costs, they are settling in culturally vibrant towns in central Mexico, beach communities in Costa Rica, high-rise enclaves in Panama, and mountain retreats in Nicaragua.

Running for charity at this festive time of the year will be running partner James Kelly of the Bahrain Road Runners, and myself. The venue will be Ipswich Park, Suffolk, UK and the distance will be a gruelling five kilometres over mud, rain and slippery surfaces, maybe a small chance of snow. The charity run is in aid of the children of Belize Orphanage (the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Home) and funds raised will help to give these children joy during this festive season.

Bluefin and bigeye tuna populations on brink of collapse
There's a call for the suspension of bluefin tuna fishing in the Pacific, if this week's meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission fails to implement what environmentalists say are urgently needed management measures. Without action, researchers with the global non-government organisation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, say the populations of bluefin and bigeye tuna could collapse beyond recovery. NICKSON: In the situation of Pacific Bluefin, I mean they're really in trouble at this stage. The population is at just 3.6 per cent of unfished levels and thus far, there has failed to be any agreement for the Western and Central Pacific region that would decrease the catch from current levels. A single Pacific Bluefin sold for more than 1.7 million last January and that was just days before scientists released the latest stock assessment indicating the population really had been decimated. So it's very clear that action is needed now and our view is without that clear and strong management action, the fisheries should be suspended until such time a strong science-based rebuilding plan is adopted.