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The San Pedro Sun

Johnny Quest captures 2nd place in Mahahual Wahoo fishing tournament
A Belizean fishing team from Ambergris Caye captured second place at the annual “Wahoo de Plata” fishing tournament hosted in Mahahual, Mexico. The Johnny Quest team comprised of six local fishermen, represented Belize well on Saturday November 30th and December 1st. Hosted by Tequila Beach Resort, the fishing tournament attracted over 150 fishing enthusiasts including Belizean Anglers, onboard 49 different vessels.

Three schools in Belize Rural South receive new bathrooms courtesy of UNICEF
Three schools in the Belize Rural School now boast newly renovated bathroom facilities. San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC), New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) and Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School were handed over the keys of their newly renovated bathrooms courtesy of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The renovation of the bathrooms was a project under the Quality Child Friendly School initiative currently being implemented in the primary education system in Belize. On Wednesday November 27th and Thursday November 28th, officials from UNICEF and the Ministry of Education toured the schools where they held small inauguration ceremonies for the three different new facilities. Speaking at the opening of the bathroom at SPRCS on Thursday, Ian Yerovi, UNICEF Representative in Belize stressed on the importance of having proper, clean bathrooms. He said that idea of the bathroom came last year when UNICEF launched a global campaign in primary schools promoting the washing of hands. Yerovi also spoke of the importance of the Quality Child Friendly School program explaining that UNICEF would like to see all schools be a Quality Child Friendly School where all the necessary facilities are in place for creating a healthy learning environment.

Misc Belizean Sources

A program of performances, including steel band music, was held tonight in Belmopan for the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Despite a few showers, the program went off smoothly. The Belmopan Christmas Tree is located at the Sir George Brown Field at the corner of Libertad Avenue and South Ring Road in the nation's capital.

The Health Center in Georgeville village, Cayo district is abuzz with daily activities during the week as resident of the community and surrounding villages come to the facility to receive quality health care. Nurse Felicita Flores-Valentine and her assistant Diana Joseph-Yalley welcome visitors to the Health Center with a warm smile and a caring heart. The Georgeville Health Center offers various services including Pap Smear, Pre-natal and post-natal child health care, diabetic hypertensive clinic, outpatient clinic and doctor visit in cases of emergencies. At the Health Center, there is also information available on baby health care, pregnancy, family planning, dengue and malaria and healthy food/diet. The Georgeville Health Center is connected to the Belize Health Information System, so patients’ records can be easily accessed from anywhere in the country of Belize.

Old Master Promo at CWC
The Cayo Welcome Center will be the location for Old Master's rum promotion today. They'll have drink specials all day, and in the evening they'll have a karaoke contest. "It's another Cayo Welcome Center Event!!!! Saturday 7th December- Come showcase your talent and win Best male/female vocalist for the evening! Sponsors: Old Masters Fine Rums makers of Belize Old Fashion Lemonade and the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena!"

Video: Snorkeling Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergris Caye provides a view healthy coral reefs that provide habitat to a variety of marine life. While snorkeling Hol Chan, you may encounter sea turtles, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks and small reef fish. This video of Hol Chan snorkeling was shot with the Nikon AW100

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Doubull Chocolate Warnit Cookies
Do y'all feel like me?? Countin down t'days until Christmus, a'hopin thar is enough time ta git everthang done un at still- ta-do lis? Whut bett'r way ta ‘sloe down’ an' enjoy t'seesen thun wit a cup o'coffee an' a chocolate cookie, er three er fer … no one is countin! We did a Cookie class thishere week at Lepp’s Farm Market an' fer at class I developet a chocolate cookie at I am rilly happy wit ! Glute a'loose cookies tend ta be crispy but thishere cookie is wonderfullee ‘chewy’ wit un excellent flavour! It is a cookie at is quik, easy an' a one pot cleen-up!

“Breaking Barriers, open doors for an inclusive society for all”
Was this year's theme as Disability week comes to an end. Parents, teachers pre-school and primary school students of Corozal Town gathered at the Central Park to observe Disability Week by parading through the principal streets of town. Many placards resonated the words like "We are friends" and "I am special". Through the efforts of the Ministry of Education, the week's event showed respect and solidarity in bringing awareness of the different challenges families face, with loved ones who have special needs.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture extends its sincere gratitude
to all its line agencies for their participation in the Heads of Departments End of Year Meeting. They had a successful year, and may the new year be even more successful to continue serving our country. United as One, Empowered to Serve!

Help Age Corozal Fund raiser Art Auction Dec. 13th
Support a more than worthy cause Friday December 13th. Our seniors at Help Age Corozal, whom have given a lifetime of service to our community.

The Belize Times

Barrow Threatens Cañeros – No Crop, No Sugar Roads, says PM
The master of double standards Prime Minister Dean Barrow has spit in the faces of cane farmers with his threat that the UDP Government will not budge to repair any sugar road in the Orange Walk or Corozal Districts unless the cane farmers give in to the demands of the foreign owners of Belize Sugar Industries. Before media cameras, Barrow claims to support the cane farmers, but behind closed doors his Government is wrapped up in sugarcoated bed sheets with American Sugar Refining Inc., BSI’s owners. The PM’s position that no sugar road will be fixed unless cane farmers start delivering cane is a callous tactic designed in concert with the Yankee Company. Barrow’s ultimatum is not in the best interest of cane farmers. The sugar roads have been neglected for many months and the heavy rains have made a really bad situation much worse. The fact is that the roads are in dire need of attention, and it is the Government’s responsibility to carry out repairs as a matter of priority.

Barrow gives Penner $90,000 as Christmas Cheer – $350,000 for illegal “caretakers”
The UDP’s most disgraced politician, Elvin Penner, will be getting $90,000 through a special Christmas Cheer programme set up by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Penner, who has been become a public pariah, and a supposed outcast of his own political party, continues as a UDP elected area representative in Cayo North East. The Prime Minister plans to divert $1.53 million in public funds to give $90,000 to each of his UDP area representatives so they can give out political sweets this Christmas. Penner is one of the 17 UDP Representatives who will be receiving this money, but there is no guarantee that he will distribute it to the people of the area. The UDP Cayo North East committee has ostracized Penner and has said they support the PM’s decision to no longer consider Penner a UDP. Yet, he is still part of Barrow’s Christmas Cheer.

The Political Police
The UDP has done their best to infiltrate and corrupt our Police Department. This is why Belizeans cannot get justice at the hands of our men and women in uniform who should be serving and protecting the people’s interest. Instead they serve and protect the interests of the UDP, like Elvin Penner who is yet to be properly investigated or arrested for his criminal wrongdoing. We have already exposed former Commissioner of Police Crispin Jeffries doing the bidding of the UDP. The BELIZE TIMES understands that Jeffries, who is an elected UDP Councillor in Hattieville, considered putting his name as a UDP candidate in Belize Rural Central. We have also seen another ex-Commissioner David Henderson campaigning for the UDP in Cayo, dressed in red and rubbing shoulders with the UDP hierarchy. Last week, the word went out that another Police Officer serving in a high position announced his affiliation and loyalty to the UDP. Deputy Commissioner of Police “El Odio” Aragon Jr. wants to run for the UDP in Orange Walk East.

Think About It
The amazing Arthur Saldivar has won his convention in Belize Rural North to be the PUP candidate in the next general elections. Arthur Saldivar is an amazing man. Boundless energies and a bundle of ideas. He manages to juggle a full time busy career as an attorney while campaigning in a division with some 26 villages dispersed over the Belize District. He is a devoted family man and his main hobby, other than politics, is reading. He is a fullbright Scholar with a university degree in economics and he holds a second University degree in law plus the additional two years of training at the prestigious Norman Manley Law School. This man is highly educated. Now it’s the University of Belize that is regularly in the news. And it is all negative and depressing. What is happening to our country? For over a year there have been an ongoing and never-ending series of scandals, bad-news and negativity – all caused by government incompetence and corruption. Ask any child and the list rolls out easily – Noh Mul, Rosewood, 13 babies, Mark King meltdown; Finnegan disrespect in the National Assembly, Prime Minister cursing up a judge, gender issue, Penner, Castro, Visas, Hezbollah, police brutality and shootings, cañeros and bagasse, the worst streets and roads in history – and the list goes on.

Visa Hustle Scandal Widens
By G. Michael Reid “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. If you hang out with Ali Baba you must be one of the 40 thieves.” ~ ~ PM Barrow at a press conference on October 10th, 2013 “Man if he signed 200 visa recommendations, if he signed 1,000, I can do nothing. I can say to him bwoy, I have my own view and you must realize that out there people won’t think that you’re signing 100 visas or 75 visa applications just like that.” – PM Barrow at a press conference November 26th, 2013 It took the Prime Minister just a little over a month to go from “For GOD’s sake, stop it” before you bring down the government, to, carry on with your hustle “bwoy” because I am hamstrung. The obvious reason that the Prime Minister’s hands are tied is that his majority is slim and having already lost one member of his team, he simply cannot afford to lose another. Despite overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, the best that Mr. Barrow can do is to defend his band and try to ward off the media. Channel Five has been bringing pressure to bear and reporter Mike Rudon has been doing some excellent investigative reporting. Irrefutable evidence has been provided to the nation and to the Prime Minister proving that the hustle at the Immigration Department is widespread and of Olympic-size proportion. In his press conference in October, the Prime Minister opined that, “if there is one thing that can and would bring down this government it is hustling in Immigration. I have heard that ministers are procuring visas for people. I’ve said pretty much in every second Cabinet if you are doing so (I have no proof) for God sakes stop it! Stop it! That is what would cause the government to fall.” Okay, the pudding has been eaten and the taste has given proof. The summer was delightful but the fall is at hand.

Game Over
It is now clear to all that Dean Barrow is heartless, cold, chancey and power-hungry Prime Minister. The PUP has been preaching the danger that is Barrow since 2007, but many perceived our warnings as mere political propaganda. Fast-forward now to present day Belize and well, let’s just say that Barrow’s wicked ways have even surpassed the PUP’s expectations. Like a typical dictator, Barrow employs ruthless strategies to achieve his end game: holding onto power, whatever the cost. From the moment he opens his eyes each morning, Dean Barrow is scheming. He has no time to govern, no time to stimulate the economy, no time to care about creating jobs for our people when the collapse of his government is staring him in the face all day long. Dean Barrow was the first to tell us that there was a major visa hustle in the Ministry of Immigration. But now that the proverbial doo-doo has hit the fan, Dean is the chief defender of these very same visa hustlers.

Paradise Freedom Fighters still leads Belikin Cup
All games of Week 5 of the Belikin Cup football tournament ended in 1-1 draws, so all teams maintained their ranking in the Premier League of Belize. On Sunday, December 1, Devauhgn “Beckham” Zuniga equalized for the FC Belize in the 15th minute after Norman “Bat” Pipersburgh had scored first for Verdes in the 8th minute. FC Belize needed the win, but try as they might, they just could not get that 2nd goal. At the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda, the defending champs, Police United were still looking for their first win, but the No. 1 team Paradise Freedom Fighters shut them down until the 85th minute when Alex Peters scored for his home squad. Luckily for the Police, Bernard Linarez equalized in the 86th minute and so the game ended.

SMART Mundialito enters playoffs – Bombers, City Boys, Hattieville & Rising Stars are in
Hattieville United, City Boys Jrs., the undefeated Brown Bombers and the Ladyville Rising Stars have all won through to the 2013 SMART Mundialito football playoffs, as all teams won in Week 9 of the competition at the MCC garden last Saturday. Third World picked up their 4th win by default when the Belize Elementary girls and boys were a no show for their game. Undefeated City Boys picked up their 6th win: 1-0 when Kenny Linarez scored the winning goal in the 2nd half. The Rising Stars won 2-0 over the Survivors; with Andres Velasquez scoring both goals, one in each half.

BES girls & Ebenezer boys advance to football nationals
The defending national champs, the Belize Elementary School girls, repeat as the Belize City primary schools football champs, while the Ebenezer School boys won the male championship at the M.C.C. Garden last Friday. The BES girls out-gunned the Holy Redeemer girls 3-1 in a penalty shootout after regular time and overtime ended in nil-zip draw. BES’ goalie Keila Oyuela stopped 3 shots on goal as the Holy Redeemer girls tried to convert. Keila, Kristin Musa and Julianna Ramos converted for BES while only Kelsie Moss converted. Both teams go on to the district finals to challenge the San Pedro girls and the Pancotto Nazarene girls from Sand Hill.

Reckless driver!!! – Press Office boss slams GOB vehicle into barricade
Director of the UDP Government’s Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, failed to report a serious accident he was involved in on Sunday night which nearly took the life of an innocent city resident and which seriously damaged Government property. On Sunday night Pakeman, who is considered a crony of the not-normal Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, was driving a vehicle assigned specifically for official business of the Government Press Office, when he sped down Princess Margaret Drive and smashed into a tree as he tried to avoid a metal barricade. Princess Margaret Drive from the corner with St. Joseph Street towards the Phillip Goldson Highway was closed to traffic because of the construction taking place around the Flag Monument throughout the weekend. Metal Barricades were placed to stop traffic and a watchman was keeping guard. But none of that stopped the reckless Press Office Director who seemed to be shooting a stunt scene for Fast and Furious.

More UDP Ministers named in Visa Scandal – Hundreds of Visa “Recommendations” for Chinese nationals exposed; Barrow says “No smoking gun”
New evidence involving the biggest scandal to hit the UDP Administration has been exposed by Channel 5’s reporter Mike Rudon as the full magnitude of the corrupt visa hustle comes to light. A string of documents made public shows that “special” visas for Chinese Nationals were not only facilitated by Elvin Penner and Edmund Castro, but a much wider notorious band of UDP Ministers, illegal “caretakers” and even well-placed CEOs. The names shown on the documents revealed so far include Edmund Castro, Elvin Penner, Rene Montero, Erwin Contreras, Pablo Marin, Charles Gibson and John Saldivar who are all UDP Ministers. Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia, Frank ‘Pawpa’ Mena are UDP caretakers who are also involved, while Candelaria Saldivar is the sister of Minister John Saldivar, and she is also named as one of the persons who recommended visas for Chinese officials. Her case is very interesting, since she is the CEO in the Ministry of Immigration.

Mayor squeezes vendors
The Mayor of Belmopan, in a desperate attempt to make up for City Council’s deficit budget, is attempting to squeeze market vendors by imposing more taxes on them when they re-locate to the new Belmopan open market early next year. These mostly fruit and vegetable vendors who eke out a living in deplorable conditions where they were relocated six months and where they will remain until early next year, have been told by the Mayor that they will have to pay three months’ rent in advance when they return to the renovated market. An herbalist and plants vendor reacted to the proposal saying, “This man is trying to take away ten pounds of my flesh.” The vendors have formally protested to the City Council about its demands for stall rentals at an increased fee to be paid on a quarterly or yearly basis. They have also complained of “unsatisfactory sanitation” and of other poor conditions at the temporary market with inadequate restrooms, a “lack of sanitary procedures” and about the Council’s failure to provide an environment to meet the minimum health standards which by law is its responsibility.

Counterfeit and Substandard Medicines, a Healthcare Crisis
Belize’s healthcare industry faces a global challenge to control spiraling healthcare costs. It has to ensure the appropriate use of scarce resources, while, at the same time, guaranteeing quality outcomes. A response to this challenge is the concept of pharmaceutical care. Pharmaceutical care is described as the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving define te outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life. Counterfeit and substandard medicines undermine pharmaceutical care. Counterfeit drugs pose a serious threat to quality assurance and can lead to severe health outcomes for patients including prolonged disease and death. Controlling the cost of medicines is not simply a matter of medicine acquisition costs. An available effective hospital formulary has to be under constant revision to ensure successful patient care outcome, bearing in mind, that the impact of ineffective or inefficient drug use will have consequences beyond the acquisition cost of the pharmaceutical product. The presence of substandard and counterfeit medicines in developing countries which lack efficient drug regulatory mechanisms and drug test laboratories makes pharmaceutical care a challenging, difficult endeavor. In Belize, we are faced with an increasing number of counterfeit and substandard, generic and brand named medicines imported from countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Central and South American countries.

The Guadalupe Street Improvement Project
By Richard Harrison The Guadalupe Street Improvement Project, in Orange Walk….is a very noble citizen-driven project, aimed at improving the conditions of one particular street…perhaps as a frustrated response to very poor maintenance of streets in Orange Walk, and Belice in general. My only criticism comes from comparison with school feeding programs. Many kids who go hungry to school have parents who abuse alcohol, cigarettes, boledo and make other poor choices in sourcing and allocating their scarce resources…so society sets up feeding programs in schools…free bus transport…then school bags…then school books and supplies….next will be shoes and uniforms… and maybe even a cash stipend. Those parents have more to spend on alcohol, cigarettes, boledo and other poor choices. The parents who make sacrifice and good choices in allocating resources for their children’s education do not gain from these charities….in fact, they lose more…because they are the ones who ultimately pay for them. So there is reward for delinquency and poor choices…and punishment for sacrifice and good choices. A system of reward and punishment that pushes society towards more delinquency and poor choices….

OW Town Council & Private Sector join hands
A few residents and businesspersons from Guadalupe Street, Orange Walk Town, held a meeting with Mayor Kevin Bernard to discuss plans for a Guadalupe Street Improvement Project. The Mayor has pledged his full support. A key meeting will be held next Thursday November 28 with all residents of Guadalupe Street to finalize plans and to move the project forward. Guadalupe Street will set the stage for the rest of the town, and the country.

Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia concerned about Police shootings
As Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, which includes the sprawling Suburban/Rural community of Ladyville, I register my extreme concern about the recent Police shooting which resulted in the death of Travis McKay. This is the second shooting this year that has ended in the death of a young Ladyville resident at the hands of the Police. I cannot, in my capacity of representing the Ladyville Community, stand by and say nothing. In both instances there are many questions regarding the shootings, and while I cannot make definitive pronouncements about the exact facts of the cases, I feel compelled to add my voice to the cries of concern from Ladyville residents about the actions of the Police. Cynthia Lozano, the mother of Ryan Lozano, who was killed in April this year, and Stephanie Usher, the mother of recently deceased Travis McKay, are Ladyville residents and stalwart members of the community. I express my deep condolences to them and their entire families at the loss of their sons.

Belize dragged down murky world of scandal and corruption – The Economist Magazine highlights Belize visa scandal
The Barrow Administration has succeeded in dragging down Belize’s reputation as a once safe and law abiding haven to one where scandal and corruption is the norm. The immigration scandal in which UDP politicians Elvin Penner and Edmund Castro have been implicated, has caught the attention of several international organisations and watchdog groups. One such organization is the widely-read and highly-esteemed The Economist Magazine which featured Belize’s visa scandal in an article published in its November 23rd 2013 issue. The article entitled “Passports to ignominy: The murky world of the Bouterses” focused on Dino Bouterse, the son of Suriname’s president, who faces trial for passport fraud and aiding terrorists, but segues into Belize’s current scandal involving former UDP Minister Penner and present Minister Castro. “Belize has buzzed with reports of passport and visa fraud”, noted the article. It then reported on Penner’s direct involvement in the issuance of a fraudulent passport to South Korean fugitive, Kim Won-Hong, who at the time of obtaining the Belize nationality certificate and passport was sitting in a jail cell in Taiwan, and the heap of allegations of visa fraud against Castro.

UDP dodges global transparency watchdog
For the 5th year in a row, the Barrow Administration has snubbed the global transparency watchdog, Transparency International (TI), in their request for information about the UDP Government’s governance practices. On an annual basis TI conducts a corruption assessment of all countries around the globe. Since 2008, when the UDP took office Transparency International has not included Belize on the list of countries placed under scrutiny. TI explains that they are unable to access the appropriate information about the Government of Belize. Well, with the daily, mounting evidence of hustling and stealing by UDP Ministers, it is no surprise that the Barrow Administration has chosen to dodge the watchdog group once more. The UDP, which came into office under the promise of transparency, accountability and good governance, are terribly afraid of scrutiny by the international community, afraid that their total falsehood will be exposed for all to see. What is the UDP hiding? Imagine if Transparency International would get their hands on the evidence that Elvin Penner helped to provide Belizean nationality and a passport to an international fugitive who was in a prison across the world. Imagine if they learnt of the allegations of visa hustling against not one or two, but seven UDP Ministers. Imagine they learnt of the Rosewood hustling, where the illegal exporter was sold the prized lumber at less than its market value. Imagine they learnt of the hustling with pharmaceuticals at the Ministry of Health.

The Rt. Hon. Said Musa-A Bridge to the New Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader Change is constant. If we are to survive as a party, a people and a nation, we must embrace change, we must adapt to change. This was perhaps the message that resonates with me from my conversation with the Rt. Hon. Said Musa. We discussed the many challenges confronting Belize and the People’s United Party today, including but not limited to party unity, purpose and regeneration, the importance of loyalty, of staying true to our cause, and of restoring the confidence and trust of the Belizean people in us, all of which intertwines. Discussions also revolved around the unprecedented poverty and deepening inequalities that characterize Belize today, the acute unemployment among our young people and women, the institutionalized corruption and mismanagement of public resources, our failing education and health system, and the erosion of our fundamental Belizean and cultural rights and our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Of course, the great achievements and successes of the Said Musa led government of 1998-2008 was also on the table, as well as the lessons learned, and what is relevant to travel with us on the journey of calibrating the points and milestones of the New Revolution.

REFLECTIONS IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE – UDP Political Officers/Caretakers
The National Assembly is made up of 31 Area Representatives each elected by voters in their respective constituencies. In the 2012 General elections voters elected 17 UDP Area Representatives and 14 PUP Area Representatives. In the areas that were not won by their Party both political parties have political officers or “caretakers” as the UDP calls them, who have responsibility for leading the efforts of the Party in that particular area. It is expected that the UDP caretakers will have a direct line of communication to the Prime Minister and his Ministers and will therefore be in a position to assist residents of their area. That is politics in Belize and we can’t and won’t complain about that. What we can and will complain very loudly about is the consistent practice by this UDP Prime Minister and his Ministers to completely ignore the duly elected PUP Representatives and the people they represent. Virtually every Government decision taken in any of the 14 areas represented by the PUP and in the three municipalities (Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, Dangriga) governed by the PUP is done, not in consultation with the duly elected PUP representative, but with a UDP caretaker. Further to this, PM Dean Barrow, as Minister of Finance, insists on advancing Government Funds to these UDP caretakers-officers of his political party.

Stake Bank awaits final approval
Dear Editor, On Wednesday November 27th, three cruise ships entered our waters outside of Belize City. On a regular scheduled visit these ships normally anchor about 3.5 nautical miles from Belize and tender boats transport the waiting visitors to the Fort Point Tourist Village where service providers in the industry await to provide anything from hair braiding, arts and crafts, local food dishes and of course, tours around the city and sometimes as far as Altun Ha or Lamanai. On Wednesday this did not happen as scheduled; heavy winds and waves caused two of the ships to turn around and leave the shores of Belize cutting short the long awaited visit to Belize for those waiting passengers on those ships. This was an estimated loss of $600,000 (BD) to Belize as per industry experts’ calculations. It is known in the industry that cruise ship owners have been saying for some time that they will stop coming to Belize if their passengers have to disembark from those huge ships to small waiting tender boats. As large as these hundred passenger tender boats may be, when viewed from these large ships (some as large as several football fields) they appear to unsuspecting passengers as small unstable carriers, and for this reason many passengers are reluctant to leave the ships. Cruise ships have given Belize up to 2015 to correct this situation or they will discontinue Belize as a destination. The proposed Stake Bank Project facility will be the solution to this problem since the berth at Stake Bank will be capable of servicing Voyagers, the size of ships currently coming to Belize. However the Project still appears stalled and waiting final approval by Cabinet to become operational. The project which is over seven years old was originally approved in 2007, as per reliable sources, has been tediously going through the process of re-gaining approval once again to become operational. All indications are that approval is forthcoming; however, the drawn out process has been taxing to the developer, Michael Feinstein, and his management team which has complied with all request and only awaiting final approval to commence with the project. One can only imagine Mr. Feinstein’s frustrations after the substantive investments in time, effort and finances.

More arguments for Ladyville/Lord’s Bank Town
Dear Editor, Further to my first letter regarding Ladyville/Lords Bank becoming a town, with your kind permission, I wish to discuss the issue of revenues. Conceptually, the revenue streams for the town of Ladyville/Lords Bank would be as listed in the table below. The revenues raised by the Town would be used to meet recurrent expenditures such as salaries, utilities, street cleaning, garbage collection and traffic management. Notably those businesses whose employee base is made up of seventy percent (70%) or more of Ladyville/Lords Bank residents would be exempt from paying trade licenses. The benefits of encouraging businesses to come to Ladyville/Lords Bank would therefore be job creation and domestic spending. A very important feature of the revenue structure of the new town would be its property tax regime which would have two distinct components: a base rate and an infrastructure rate. The base rate would be payable on a square yard basis at the rate of $0.50 per square yard no matter where the land is located or what it is used for. It is my view that the current system of charging according to the “market value” of property is arbitrary and such practice effectively punishes residents for investing in the upliftment of their community.

Greedy UDP lawyer!
I write to warn residents of Caribbean Shores about a UDP crony and attorney known to many as the “Pigtail Boy” who is pretending to have the community’s best interest at heart by encouraging efforts to extend a small park on Seashore Drive into a piece of crown land on the sea front all because someone couldn’t get the land for his private use. This UDP lawyer had recently purchased another property near the once mangrove piece of crown land and may have wanted to secure the crown land in order to allow him to expand plans for a multimillion dollar mansion he allegedly planned to build for his wife. I have been made to understand that when he learned that a resident of Caribbean shores, a first time land owner who is not rich, had already applied to lease the same parcel of crown land, he became upset and went complaining to Belmopan but was rejected out of hand. The Pigtail Boy allegedly began, in what could only be described as rank hypocrisy, to lobby to make the land a part of the park that is beside it. He prepared a caution that was filed on the same parcel of land, in an attempt to block the other person from acquiring the land. These UDPs are a dishonest and greedy bunch. Someone cleared down the mangroves that were on the property without a permit and threw a load of sand that made the land into what could only described as muck in an attempt to make it a part of the park. Well things came to a head last week when the original resident of Caribbean shores who had applied for the land applied to remove the caution that had been placed on it. The UDP attorney is the same little fellow who the UDP has placed on several boards so he could collect perks, typical of a UDP crony. He is the son of the pigtail man and brother to the same one who was part of that KHMH stink, remember? Beware of this man.


Can Ramon’s Village on Ambergris Caye Open in 14 Days & Will There Be A Bar?
On the evening of August 27th, 2013, there was a major fire at Ramon’s Village on Ambergris Caye (see the post below for pictures). One of the island originals…27 years…an iconic hotel, dive shop and beach in San Pedro. Most of the island saw the terrible fire whether they ran to the scene to watch helplessly or the smoke billowing miles away. About 50% of the resort was burned to the ground. The very VERY best news: Everyone made it safely out of the blaze. And other good news followed during the rebuilding process that began almost immediately. Ramon’s and their construction managers (San Pedranos all – Coco Gonzalez, Wayne Alfaro and Armando Graniel) have been employing hundreds and hundreds of skilled and unskilled workers during the “low season” in Belize. Every Friday, the huge crew eats together and last week they served 242. Over 200 people getting paid to work from 6am to sometimes 10pm in October, November and December is a minor miracle in itself. As much as possible, they are using Belizean products. And the result (though currently covered with a bit of saw dust) is gorgeous. There is no question that Ramon’s Village is a resort in San Pedro. There is no faux-Venetian grandeur or Disneyworld McResort same-old sameness, the beautiful palapa, the carvings, the mahogany furniture, the lush gardens all say Belize.

International Sources

Best Caribbean Places To Elope
If your Caribbean wedding fantasy involves extreme seclusion and servants, Cayo Espanto may be your place. It's expensive — nearly US$2,000 a night — but you'd be hard pressed to argue against the value. There are exactly seven private villas ringing the four-acre islet. The villas have mahogany-panelled interiors, luxurious island-style furnishings and your own designated butler. One of the villas, Casa Ventana, is built out over the translucent pale-blue water at the end of a 150-foot dock. The hotel staff will help make arrangements for you to be married on the island, or, if you prefer, make a quick trip to a Maya site on the mainland and get married in the shadow of a 1,000-year-old pyramid. Belize does require an approved licence application (US$100) and you must be in the country for three days before being married. You can apply in advance and get a fax of the approved application before travelling. If you want to get married in an archaeological site, apply to the Commissioner of Archaeology in Belize City by fax at least a week before your planned ceremony.

Review: Time Travel Takes A Siesta At 11:00 AM
Setting aside the barnstorming success of Bong Joon-ho's new feature Snowpiercer, an anomaly if ever there was one, Korean cinema's relationship to the science fiction genre has been a difficult one over the years. A crack team of researchers work in a secret underwater laboratory that appears to be located around the Great Blue Hole, a huge sinkhole off the coast of Belize. A large Russian corporation is backing the scientists, who are on the cusp of developing a time machine. In order to secure more funds, head researcher Woo-seok (Jung Jae-young) goes on a test run with Young-eun (Kim Ok-vin). They succeed in transporting themselves to 11 AM the next day, but what they find is a laboratory in flames and littered with the corpses of their co-workers. Woo-seok goes back to the present and thus begins a race against the clock to prevent what may or may not be their inevitable future.