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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Full Basket Belize begins annual scholarship search
Full Basket Belize has begun its annual process of looking for deserving secondary students to receive scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. Each scholarship is worth up to $1,000 BZ and covers tuition, books, fees, and uniforms. The first step in this process is for interested Belizean secondary schools to apply to be “participating schools.” This involves a school representative completing a short online Participating Schools Form found at www.fullbasketbelize.org and agreeing to abide by the conditions required by Full Basket Belize in processing its scholarships. Once a school has completed and submitted the Participating Schools Form, Full Basket Belize will send the school a scholarship application to photocopy and hand out to students who they feel are in great need of a scholarship. The organization is looking for outstanding students who demonstrate financial need, represent their schools positively, do well academically, and participate actively in their communities.

The San Pedro Sun Announces Annual Valentine Poetry Contest
With February right around the corner it’s time to start thinking about that oh so sweet and romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day! With visions of cupid dancing in your head (and heart) why not put those thoughts of love and inspiration to pen and paper…declaring your passion in the form of a poem! The San Pedro Sun is proud to again sponsor our annual Valentine Poetry Contest, with fabulous prizes for poems of different categories, such as most romantic, funniest, Spanish and of course, the ode to the beloved lobster, whose season closes on February 15th when the tasty crustaceans take a well-deserved honeymoon until mid-June. Poetry prizes range from one night stays at exotic resorts, dinners, golf cart rentals, gift certificates and much more!

Largest number of turtle nests recorded on Ambergris Caye in 2013
Hol Chan Marine Reserve has released the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program survey report on sea turtles for the year 2013.The report indicates that while last year saw the largest number of nests recorded on the northern portion of the island, hatching success went down by over 11% in comparison to the previous years. Weather is believed to have been one of the major contributing factors as sea surge from storms during the hurricane season damaged nests along the beach. The Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program observed turtle nesting from mid-May to late November on northern Ambergris Caye. Efforts were concentrated on Robles and Rocky Point beaches – areas that have seen the most activity throughout the years. Generally, three native turtle species’ nests were studied; the Loggerhead turtle (ChleoniaCaretta), the Green turtle (ChleoniaMydas) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate).

Misc Belizean Sources

Guatemalans Stealing Gold from Chiquibul
The gold panning activities cause severe alteration to the small streams in the area. It seems that sections of the streams are zoned off in large blocks representing different groups/factions of gold panners. The expedition surveyed an area of non-stop panning 'blocks' for almost 2hours. Entire streams are dammed off, river banks are deforested and large areas are excavated. — at Ceibo Chico, Chiquibul National Park

Beginning Meditation Workshop
There will be a free beginners meditation class today from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at the Soul Project. A real Buddhist monk will be leading the class. Call 668-1498 for more information.

CACHE Has New Executive Team
CACHE has a new executive team, and Elvis Avila is the new president. Looks like it'll be a great year for art and culture for CACHE.

Santa Elena Football Stadium Upgrade
The Santa Elena football stadium started the first phase of getting its upgrade last week. Belize Infrastructure Limited signed contracts to do feasibility and environmental studies, and come up with some design plans for the project.

Job Listing, Station Manager, Tobacco Caye Marine Station, Belize
Tobacco Caye Marine Station (TCMS) is an education and research facility on the island of Tobacco Caye within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. The station manager is responsible for all aspects of the continuing operations of TCMS from scheduling and leading international and domestic students groups in the classroom and in the field to assisting visiting researchers collect data on the health of the Belize Barrier Reef System (BBRS) World Heritage Site (WHS). Role Responsibilities Hosting and guiding domestic and international student groups participating in field study programs. Providing education on the tropical marine environments of Belize through a mixture of classroom based learning and snorkel excursions to the reef, mangrove and seagrass habitats of the SWCMR and beyond. Coordinating study group programming with supplier in Belize and abroad. Securing continuing business for TCMS's education programs through designing and marketing marine ecology field courses for new and existing clients. Recruitmentment and management of volunteers and interns and providing sufficient opportunities for professional and personal development during their placements. Development and implementation of funding proposals for new research projects and grants for further development of the Station. Liaising with governmental, national and international departments and organisations. Managing the station - administration, finances and budgets, general maintenance including the building and grounds, solar power supply, lab equipment and snorkelling gear. Managing website, social media, email and developing promotional materials.

The Show Must Go On!
Delivery of sugar cane in Corozal started early this morning (Jan. 24th). The Corozal Daily caught up with a few loaded cane trucks and cane farmers early this morning. It is a bitter sweet moment as cane farmers have already irrecoverably lot over 10,000 tonnes of sugar cane equivalent to over ten million Belize dollars as a result of the undue delays. The 2014 sugar cane harvest was due to begin November of last year but due to a stalemate in the negotiations of “bagasse” payment, between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Famers Association, the harvest had been delayed. To make matters worse the inclement weather and incessant rains deteriorated most cane roads and inundated cane fields. Many farmers this morning were calling the media to complain that their particular roads have not been repaired and they cannot access their cane fields to harvest them.

CTV3

O/W Town Council Will Fight For Guadalupe Park
The circumstances surrounding the controversy on the parcel of land known as the Guadalupe Park in Orange Walk East continue to intensify. There is no shadow of a doubt that the parcel 2215 has been privatized and already the family of the donors of that parcel of land have shared their dissatisfaction at the situation. The members of the family stated that they are willing to fight the case and reclaim the land but invited the Orange Walk Town Council to take the lead and reclaim the parcel for the people. Today, Mayor Kevin Bernard stated that they will be doing just that. Kevin Bernard– Mayor of Orange Walk Town “As a Council definitely tonight I have drafted a resolution on that matter which I will be tabling tonight at the Council in order for us to one, ensure that that property is return to the hands of the people of Orange Walk, it has to be because at the end of the day it was given for that purpose for the people of Orange Walk to be able to use as a facility, as a park so that they can have their children and great grandchildren come out there and have some form of activity, I know as well that the area is lacking development but at the end of the day it needs to be develop, it needs to be there, the people gave us that property to the previous council and I as the Mayor and this council is going to fight for the use of it along with those who support us at the same time am supporting the family relative who has come forward who has come to speak about this issue.”

Another Disturbing Report Of Carnal Knowledge Surfaces
There is another disturbing report of unlawful carnal knowledge to report tonight. Police report that on December 17th, 2013, a 16 year old student of Orange Walk Town visited the San Ignacio Police Station accompanied by her mother and reported that on the June 14th 2012 at about 10:00pm, while in San Pedro Town she visited the home of a 16 year old male in the San Pedrito Area where they had sexual intercourse. On a second occasion, on December 15th 2012, the minor went back to San Pedro Town where she also had sex with the young man. The minor further stated that on the January 3rd 2014, she once again visited the home of the 16 year old and while there his older brother identified as Rolando Espat, went inside the same bedroom and forced himself upon her without her consent. On January 7th, a medical examination was conducted on the child in the presence of her mother where the doctor confirmed that she was carnally known and certified her injuries as Grievous Harm.

Faber Say's BNTU Rallies Are Uncalled For, Musa Thinks Otherwise
On January 10th the Belize National Teachers Union launched a series of nationwide rallies here in Orange Walk and Corozal. Chief among the teachers’ demands is the case for a minimum five-percent pay increase by July. Teachers’ are also calling for an end to corruption in public office. Today the protest took place in San Ignacio and while a large number so teachers joined in the cause, one person that is not in agreement with the rallies being carried out is the Minister of Education Patrick Faber. And he made that known loud and clear during Wednesday’s House Sitting. Faber lashed out at the teachers and even said that they are simply wasting time and that the rallies are uncalled for. Patrick Faber- Minister of Education “Let me just make the example Mr. Speaker, in Orange Walk the rallies got started at around nine with the parade and so on and by midday everything was lock down and teachers were all over doing business and so the entire afternoon was wasted Mr. Speaker. In Corozal the rallies were held in the afternoon and so the entire morning was wasted and if anybody doubts that look at what happened in Belize City where ther rallies got finished by twelve o’clock and the entire afternoon was lost, what prevents them Mr. Speaker, for having these rallies, there is one schedule for this Friday I am told in Cayo, what prevent them from starting these rallies at two o’clock an dismissing school at one o’clock , if we are really concerned about the students Mr. Speaker, and about the quality of education in this country. If it is Mr. speaker that these rallies that are distracting the progress of our children in education are being held because they are not getting a raise then that is bogus because we know that the raise is coming, if it is that they are invoking industrial action Mr. speaker because the negotiation have broken down then that is a lie because I will tell that there is no breakdown in communication between the union and this government at any level so waht are they rallying for.”

Ministry Of Education Will Crank Down On Half Days Teachers Take To Collect Salary
The ongoing rallies are not the only thing the Minister of Education is not in agreement of. He also has a problem with the fact that some teachers are not adhering to the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education. One such point of contention is the half day teachers take to collect their salaries every last Friday of the month. Faber says, while this is a no, no some teachers, under the advice of the union, still take the half day to collect their pay. But if you are one of those teachers then you better watch out because, according to Faber, well, its best you hear it from him. Patrick Faber- Minister of Education “Next week Friday is payday and the teachers in the Stann Creek District are famous for breaching the policy and many of them, breaching the policy of the ministry when they should know they should not be taking that time off so payday Friday for them is already holiday, even though ministry says it shouldn’t happen, and we will be cracking down on that, but so normally because they done get that day off, yes because it is wrong the children deserve the best, the children deserve maximum hours in the classroom especially in the light of the fact that we are not doing well in these examinations, Mr. speaker they decided they will not have the rallies of Friday because that they would have rather already gotten that off, and of course that will create an inconvenience to them because it is payday so they will do the rallies in Thursday.”

Contractor Receives Financing To Commence Work On The San Estevan/Progresso Road
The incessant rains over the last months have not only caused damage to the sugar roads. Mother Nature has also caused extreme damage to the road network countrywide. An initial assessment conducted by the Ministry of Works sets the cost of damages on roads at $18.4 million. According to Minister of Work Rene Montero, his Ministry is currently carrying out works damaged areas including Orange Walk and Corozal. Rene Montero- Minister of Works “In Corozal a total of $423,500.00 has been spent in this district which includes grading and small patching in Buena Vista and Caledonia, rehabilitation of Tony New River Road, Laguna Seca Road amongst other, works were also going includes grading, spot patching along the Santa Cruz, Caledonia road, narrow sugar road, Corozal, Patchakan Road, and the rehabilitation of all sugar roads in the district at an estimated cost of 1.6 million dollars. It is estimated Mr. Speaker, that we will require an additional 1.6 million dollars in order to address the Pueblo Nuevo roadway, Sarteneja and Chunox and the constructions of sections of the Phillip Goldson highway which passes through Corozal Town. Mr. speaker, in Orange Walk a total of $237,150.00 has been spent carrying out emergency works as follows; grading and spot patching in the Yo Creek/san Antonio Road, San Luis Village Road and the pot hole and pre-mix patching of the section of the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 52 and 58 with an estimated cost of 2 million dollars for the ongoing works which includes grading and spot patching on the Santa Martha Road, san Felipe, Blue Creek Road, also drainage in the Trial Farm Area and all sugar roads in the district, additionally Mr. speaker we will require an additional 3 million dollars in order to reconstruct the section of the Phillip Goldson highway which passes through Orange Walk, conduct grading and spot patching in other areas affected like in Guinea Grass, Indian Church, Santa Cruz and San Carlos amongst others.”

2013/2014 Crop Season Finally Gets Under-way
The 2013/2014 Sugar Crop Season went into full effect today as the harvest and delivery season officially kicked off after a 60 days delay. It was a much anticipated day for all stakeholders in the Sugar Industry who patiently waited for the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association to iron out their problems when it came to the negotiations for payment of bagasse. With that issue now forming a part of the past, at least for now, the crop is now being mobilized full speed ahead. Our news team was on hand this morning for the opening of the delivery gates. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting After close to two months of delay, at 10:00 this morning, the delivery gates to the sugar factory was opened which signaled the official start of the 2014 Sugar Crop Season. As early as 6:00am, cane farmers, with their harvest in tow, lined the factory road corridor to delivery their cane. Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, says the San Narciso branch in the Corozal division was first to deliver at the first hour.

The Belize Times

9 LIVES?? – Castro Hustles, Barrow Forgives Again
Over $42,000 siphoned from the account of the Belize Airport Authority, a Government-run Department, was wrongfully and possibly criminally dished out to UDP Minister Edmund Castro, members of his family or to the embattled UDP area representative for supposed political purposes. To everyone’s shock, Prime Minister Dean Barrow defended Castro’s latest scandal with all his might and with a twisted tongue, after the Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca lashed out at the level of corruption that exists under his administration. According to Barrow, “it is distasteful and wrong…but it’s NOT corruption” and so no offense was committed, in his almighty opinion.

Faber lambastes teachers
Like pouring gasoline on a wildfire, the words blared at Wednesday’s House Meeting by Minister of Education Patrick Faber in his attack on teachers who are protesting the UDP Government’s refusal to give a salary increase, ...

Think About It
CHAMBER SUPPORTS TEACHERS For ten years the teachers of Belize have received not a single salary increase. For ten years they have been patient. Their patience has been wearing thin. For ten years the cost of living has been galloping out of reach. Basic food items, medicine, rent, mortgage, electricity, water, ...

Error of Impunity
By G. Michael Reid If the Prime Minister and Elvin Penner are indeed waiting for this matter to “blow over”, they are in for a very long wait. Channel Five on Monday released even more information on Pennergate and the cry for justice is getting louder. The consensus is that Elvin ...

Editorial: What Needs to Change
In presenting the New Social Justice Agenda at Independence Hall on Wednesday morning PUP Leader Francis Fonseca said: “It is fair to say that at times, we have walked away from the straight path that we have been on, and today, we’re saying that we recognize that. We accept that, and we are absolutely committed to making sure that we are walking on the path of social justice.” Poverty is on the rise in Belize today. Almost half of the population is living in poverty. Thousands of Belizeans are living in abject misery, no job, no income, wretched housing conditions, dependent, unskilled, hopeless and penniless. What is equally disturbing, hundreds of families who once were part of a growing middle class of Belizeans are now falling into the poverty trap, a vicious cycle that finds many high school and Sixth Form graduates at the street corners of our cities and towns struggling, begging, caught up in the sub-culture of gangs, crime and violence. We see so many mothers desperately trying to find food for their children. So many cannot pay their grocery bill, the light bill, the gas bill, the water bill, the school fees. The high cost of living and the high cost of dying (with the ever escalating funeral expenses) are a heavy burden for the many struggling jobless families. One way out of this vicious cycle is through an effective education system. ...

Gwen Liz & SCA trail undefeated Wesley College girls
The Wesley College girls are undefeated as they lead the female high school football competition in the Belize District, posting a 3-1 win over the St. Catherine’s Academy girls at the M.C.C. Garden last Saturday afternoon. Elisha ...

SJC leads high school football SJC leads high school football
St. John’s College is undefeated with a 4-0 record in the high school football competition, posting their 4th victory in a 5-1 win over Wesley College at the M.C.C. Garden last Saturday afternoon. SJC’s Sydney “Bucket” Bradley ...

Belmopan Bandits assault BDF 3-0 Belmopan Bandits assault BDF 3-0
The Belmopan Bandits are almost into the Belikin Cup football finals, after they blasted the Belize Defense Force 3-0 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The BDF ...

UDP bullies Union Leaders – NTUCB banned from National Assembly
Under directives of the UDP-appointed House Speaker, uniformed Police Officers blocked Union leaders from entering the National Assembly building prior to the start of the House of Representatives meeting on Wednesday. Union leaders belonging to the ...

Belize Airport Authority must undergo an audit!!!
With the mounting evidence of corruption at the Belize Airport Authority, one wonders why the Prime Minister has not ordered the immediate removal of the members of Belize Airport Authority Board, headed by UDP cronies Chairlady Barbara Miller and General Manager Kenworth(less) Tillett. Miller and Tillett’s signatures ...

AMAZING GRACE – Chasing Tails
Human beings have a tendency of chasing things. Like a dog chasing its tail, we run after that elusive happiness that always seems to be right there, just out of our reach, but still so far away. Some ‘tails’ that we run around and around in circles to capture are: ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Huge potential in Clay Bricks Industry
By Richard Harrison Over the weekend, I stopped in at mile 32 George Price Highway to see the progress being made at a small business that manufactures kiln-fired clay bricks. I have had a long-term interest in this industry and was very happy to see this development by a roots investor. This ...

AIDS: Deadly but Preventable!
By Angela Banner-Joseph This is the story of Matthew, a law student who gave me a brief synopsis of how he believed he contracted the HIV virus that progressed to AIDS. It was after my first encounter with him that I spoke with the Dean of the law school where I ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – “He thinks we are fools!”
By Anthony Sylvestre I am now convinced that Dean Barrow believes that he is lord and master of us all, and as such, that what he says does not have to make sense: it is what it is because, well, just because he says so and because we are fools. For ...

UDP infighting in Dangriga gets nasty! UDP infighting in Dangriga gets nasty!
The UDP in Dangriga are in a bitter war amongst themselves as they prepare to select a losing candidate this Sunday. Just how bad it is? Very bad! So bad that someone woke up to the ...

Fail to the Chief! – Dean’s dull machete for corruption
“…I tell you…any UDP Government that I lead will never be engaged in corruption. As soon as it rears its ugly head, I personally will cut it off. And I will tell you I will sharpen a special machete with blades on two sides ...

Shame on the UDP for Sabotaging Recall
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. It is shameful what the UDP government has done to stop all efforts to trigger a recall of former UDP Minister of State Elvin Penner for his handwork in the provision of a Belizean passport to a criminal, who was in Taiwan and has never visited Belize. In ...

Another president walks the political highwire at UB
By Norris Hall. The University of Belize continues to be on life support as the Ministry of Education and a politically-appointed Board of Trustees lock horns with yet another President of this faltering Institution. Given the present uneasy state of affairs and the repetition of conflicts between the Ministry ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Women Rising
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia There was an event last week which in my view should not have been the footnote that it was. It ought to have been headlines. I am talking about the “elevation” to Senior Counsel of three women attorneys-at-law, which was announced by the Chief Justice at the ...

Chamber responds to Faber’s insults & threats
The Belize Chamber of Commerce has warned that Minister Patrick Faber’s insults and threats launched at them at Wednesday’s House Meeting is not being taken lightly by their organization and is not considered “the wisest course of action”. Faber attacked the Chamber of Commerce for supporting the ...

Shameless! – Corrupt UDP Elvin Penner surfaces, stinks up National Assembly
The audacity and sheer shamelessness of disgraced Cayo representative seems to know no bounds; but even he reached a new low when he dared to show his face in the National Assembly for Wednesday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives. Penner sat alone in a corner on the back bench of the ruling United Democratic Party side of the House. His UDP colleagues seemed to be in no discomfort at the sight or proximity of this political pariah. Why Penner even bothered to attend remains a mystery, as he uttered not a peep in the entire session. Which is just as well, as he as lost all credibility. The cold hard fact that citizen Kim Won Hong was in a Taiwanese jail at the time his Belizean passport was issued has totally exposed the untruth of Penner’s claims that he personally escorted “Kim Wong Hong” to the Immigration Department to ensure that he got his passport as fast as possible.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – STOP DEFENDING CORRUPTION
By Francis W. Fonseca It appears that every time a new corruption scandal, and they seem to be coming monthly, rocks this UDP administration, Prime Minister Barrow reverts to LAWYER MODE, becoming the chief explainer and defender of those Ministers whose actions and conduct are under public scrutiny. One could fairly argue ...

Tarpon Caye Belize calls on Government to Map Belize’s Barrier Reef
Dear Editor, On January 14, 2014 it was reported on amerisurv.com's website that the Mexican National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) have commissioned EOMAP, a value added service provider of satellite data, to take the very first high resolution sea-floor and bathymetry survey of the Mexican Riviera Maya. The ...

Shame on the PM!
Dear Editor, When Dean Oliver Barrow got into power in 2008 I was so happy that finally we will have a Prime Minister that would bring accountability and transparency in government, but after his first term and into his second term I must say that I am so disappointed in him. Look at all ...

Blogs

Unplug from social media
I’ve been away for a while. Away from Toronto, away from blogging, away from social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, heck I work in it, but it can consume your life and that’s when it gets bad. You sometimes get so caught up in sharing every aspect of your life that you forget to actually enjoy it. My recent travels reminded me of how nice it is to unplug. On the first day of 2014 I sat on the roof of my apartment in Havana reflecting on how much more nourishing and relaxing life is without the pressures of social media. I had been there for a week and I didn’t have any internet access… eek. The first couple of days were hard since I couldn’t do anything with my smartphone and that made me anxious. Then one day during dinner, as I exchanged stories with friends I noticed my phone was on the table. A little embarrassed, I slowly reached for it and put it away.

Diving in Belize with Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are intelligent, gentle giants that migrate into the Caribbean waters of Belize from April to June. Snappers (dog snapper, mutton snapper, cubera snapper, etc) spawn in great numbers off Belize during these months, usually during the full moon periods, attracting the hungry whale sharks that feed at night. It is often a hit-and-miss when guessing their arrival. Even the experienced dive instructors cannot predict which moon and which location the whale sharks will be from year to year. Whale sharks are filter feeders, feeding on the snapper's suspended fish spawn. They migrate from great distances to mate. Amazingly, it is safe for scuba divers and snorkelers to swim and play around with these huge and curious creatures. When you spot them in the water, they are huge and intimidating but surprisingly graceful and non-threatening. Some catch a ride on the larger whale sharks and reportedly, some of the younger whale sharks are so curious that they will actively engage with human swimmers. It is a real privilege to be able to swim with the largest fish in the world.

Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations between Belize and Guatemala
Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala agree on “Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations” between Belize and Guatemala at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC. The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, His Excellency Fernando Carrera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala and His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, today signed a document entitled Roadmap for Strengthening Bilateral Relations in 2014 at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The signing of this important undertaking took place before Ambassadors and representatives of OAS member states. The Roadmap identifies specific aspects of the Framework Agreement for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures between ‪Belize‬ and‪ Guatemala‬ and other measures that the parties will focus on for implementation in 2014 with a view to promoting peace, security and cooperation and an environment conducive to the holding of the agreed simultaneous referenda that was postponed in October 2013. The Roadmap should also contribute to the management of bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala until such time as Guatemala’s claim to Belize is finally and definitively resolved.

International Sources

New Initiative To Deal With Border Dispute
Belize and Guatemala have signed an agreement aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between each other as they seek to end a border dispute going back several decades. Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and his Guatemalan counterpart Fernando Carrera met on Friday in the presence of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza. At the end of the meeting, the two ministers signed the Roadmap for Strengthening Bilateral Relations in 2014 between Belize and Guatemala. The accord identifies specific aspects of the Framework Agreement for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures between the parties to promote peace, security and cooperation. The agreement paves the way for revisiting the simultaneous referenda that was scheduled for October 6, 2013.

Broadcasting Giant Russ Withers Dies
The founder and owner of Withers Broadcasting Companies which owns six television stations and 30 radio stations died Friday night at his home in Mount Vernon, Ill. W. Russell “Russ” Withers, Jr. was 76. Withers began his career in broadcasting as an announcer/salesman for KGMO in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He joined LIN Broadcasting Corp. in Nashville, Tenn. in 1961 as a disc jockey, transitioned to sales and became vice president in 1963. During his tenure with LIN, Withers founded their cable TV division, building 50 systems throughout the Midwest and West. He also served as president of Schertle Galleries, Inc., another LIN subsidiary, franchising 100 art galleries. In addition to broadcasting ventures, Withers served as chairman and CEO of Withers Beverage Corp. of Mobile, Ala., vice president and board member of Turneffe Island Lodge Ltd., a fishing lodge in Belize and chairman and CEO of Productos de Atlanticos, S.A., Costa Rica, a lobster processing company. He was also a regent of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Caye Caulker: Paradise And Horny Germans
As mentioned in a previous post, I made a break to Belize after a depressing week or so in the Yucaton hoping to break away from my mopy attitude and stress late July. I was determined to meet some other travelers and finally have some fun. I caught a four hour bus from Playa del Carmen, Mexico down to the border town Chetumal where I hopped in a taxi to the water border to board my boat to the beautiful Caye Caulker – it cost about 30 – 50 pesos for the taxi although it may be cheaper if you don’t go straight up to the docks. I had heard so much about the cayes and I had high hopes for my border run. I was a little nervous about crossing borders by myself (which is why I choose the pricier $80 ocean-border route rather than going through Belize city) but met a fourty-something american man on the bus and with the help of his superior spanish skills we made it to the port quite easily. The Chetumal ocean border was not at all how I imagined – we were well and truly on our way to the carribean with reggae music blearing, laidback staff wandering around and one of the freindlier immigration officials I’ve dealt with. I was able to get currency out at a nearby bank to the righthand side of the ticket office (approx 5 mins walk) and change the money outside the ticket office into Belizean dollars. The only unchilled part of the experience was having our bags lined up and being lightly inspected by the border guards – nothing too much, just a bit intimidating as this was one of the first times I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of young men with guns (something I still haven’t gotten used to seeing).