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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

Wolfe’s Woofers: At The Clinic
“A visit to the clinic yields a little bit more information than expected.

Mesoamerican Health Project Donates Medical Equipment
Mesoamerican Health 2015 Belize Project handed over medical equipment – valued at approximately BZ $311,000 – to the Northern and Western Health Regions yesterday during a ceremony held at the grounds of Western Health Regional in Belmopan. The short ceremony included welcome remarks from Mrs. Martha Woodye, Quality Improvement Project Manager for the Mesoamerican Health 2015 Belize Project. She spoke of the purpose of the donation which is to primarily improve the neonatal care capacity and expand coverage of reproductive health services in health care centers of both regions.

Doctor Love: Opening a bottle of champagne
That pesky cork popping..bubbles fizzing out half of the goods - 1 reader wants to know, how can we pop champagne bottles without losing the precious goods?!

Misc Belizean Sources

New Study Abroad Facility in Belize
La Primavera Wildlife Observation Station is 15 min. From San Ignacio, Belize. We offer bunk room lodging and camping to student groups and backpackers. We can also arrange programs, transportation, and meals. Check us out at La Primavera Wildlife Observation Station on Facebook.

Belmopan Temperature and Rainfall Records
I am copying out my Temperature and Rainfall Records for Belmopan here, because we have now completed another full year. The early Temperature records are not daily, so not so accurate, but by 2008, they are daily Maximum and Minimum temperatures, show by the thin Red line and thin Blue line.. . . . .It is hard to properly see the general temperatures, so the heavy Brown and dark Blue show the 31 day running Averages. . .. .. . The heavy Green is simply a smoothed Median between the max and min. . . .It can't be an Average, because the max could have been only for a few hours during the day and the min could have been for many hours at night. . ..So it is only a Guide, being a Median. What is very clear is that each year has been very different. There really were some very high maximum temperatures in 2003 and 2005 ( not shown here at 106°F ) not seen in recent years. There have been some long periods of Cold in earlier years, but you can't go by the graph for 2003 - 2008 to see how long any period might have been, only showing the extremes.

Steven Reichert, a Canadian national and Belize Permanent Resident investor of Benque Viejo Del Carmen and his two year old Belize born daughter were viciously attacked by a man armed with a machete and axe in the Chapel Hill area of Benque Viejo Del Carmen. This brutal attack, amounting to attempted murder, occurred on Friday, January 31 at about 11:30 AM while Mr. Reichert and his daughter were walking on the street returning home after working on some property in the area. This attack occurred with no provocation and it appears by his actions that the attacker intended to kill both Mr. Reichert and his infant daughter in a most brutal fashion. Mr. Reichert is a happily married upstanding member of the community who has promoted Benque as a place to invest. Mr. Reichert has never been in trouble with the police and is a Lieutenant in the Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch. The motive for this attack has yet to be determined.

Armed robbery reported in Belize City
There are reports of a brazen, broad daylight armed hold up at a gas station in Belize City on Sunday afternoon. Reports are that the incident happened just before 2 o’clock this afternoon at a gas station on Freetown Road. Information received say that three men, described as being well-dressed accosted two pump attendants and demanded money. The pump attendants, fearing for their lives, reportedly handed over an undisclosed amount of money after which the gunmen walked away from the scene. A part of the police investigation should include a review of the gas station’s closed circuit video surveillance recordings.


A Life Is Lost In A Boat Collision At Crooked Tree Village
The residents of Crooked Tree Village are still reeling in from the tragic boat collision that occurred early this morning that resulted in the death of one young man and several others injured. The accident being referred to by many as a freak incident is under a full investigation by police, National Coast Guard Service and the Belize Port Authority. Whether the collision was the result of human error or mechanical failure is yet to be known. In the meantime an entire community is outraged as they believe it could have been prevented. Reporter Dalila Ical and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar filed the following report. Dalila Ical – Reporting At least three ambulances responded to the boat collision along the Crooked Tree causeway. The accident occurred about midway along a two mile water route that the Belize Coast Guard boats access to ferry residents to and from Crooked Tree Village. Chiarman Darrel Tillett was among the first responders. Darrell Tillett – Chairman “We saw people help people stretching on the side of the cross way and a lot of people crying for him and for their family.”

No Jail Time For Gino Pech But Fined For Firearm Conviction
With the full-fledged support from family, friends and activists, tonight Corporal 259 Gino Peck has been spared a prison sentence. That is the verdict handed down by chief Magistrate Anne-Marie Smith at the Magistrates Court today. As we’ve reported, charges were brought by one of the Police Departments’ elite units, the controversial GSU - which led the search on Peck's home. During the search, Peck was found in possession of keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and keeping prohibited ammunition. And while the strict gun laws would require automatic prison time, Peck was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years for some of the ammunition and 5 years for the others - with the sentences to run concurrently. Today after the verdict was passed down; Peck and his wife were bombarded by the media to get their response on the outcome. Corporal Gino Peck: “I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart, including my department, my family and my friends. When you do honorable things on earth, it will always pay at the end." Reporter: “How is everything with you and your family? Do you plan to continue as a police officer given the fact?”

Short Delay At Sugar Factory
Early this morning, the Belize sugar factory suffered a small hiccup that caused a delay in the delivery of cane to the mill. Factory manager, John Gillete told us over the phone that they have been working out the kinks on a new piece of equipment that was commissioned. John Gillette - Factory Manager “We are almost over that problem right now, and that is what I was working all morning.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Ok so we soon shall see the normal flow of deliveries coming in again?” John Gillette - Factory Manager “But we are getting normal flow, what is holding up the delivery is that we far too many truck with straps, those trucks that come with straps we have to use the dumping table and the dumping table can only fill the mill directly, so if the trucks would bring chain and this we will say it again the truck that bring chain we could offload the cane and they get it in pier but it is 7400 tons, the reason why we overlap a little bit is because they have too many straps and not many chains which they could pack in the yard.”

Land Department Rejected Application For Parcel 2215 From OWTC
The Orange Walk Town Council has proceeded with its application to the Lands Department for the parcel 2215 known as the Guadalupe Park. Today, representatives of the council attempted to enter that application at the department here in Orange Walk but according to Mayor Kevin Bernard, they were rejected. Kevind Bernad – Mayor of Orange Walk Town “What happen is that it was submitted today but apparently some Mr. Espejo told them that they cannot accept the application and that it has to be submitted personally to the lands commissioner and such they did not accept our application here in Orange Walk Town.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Is that standard procedure, were you informed, did you ask, how does that work?” Kevind Bernad – Mayor of Orange Walk Town “That is never standard procedures, because as far as I am concern any land application once it is for the Orange Walk jurisdiction goes to the lands department here and they must receive it and then forward it to the ministry in Belmopan and from there they proceed.”

Residence Blame Area Representative And Government For Crooked Tree Accident
But the early morning tragedy has also raised the ire of many Crooked Tree residents. This stems from the conditions of the causeway and the conditions in which villagers have had to commute to and from the village for over three months. Among those who responded to the accident were the politicians and Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmund Castro was among that part of the crowd. The blame for this morning’s tragedy was placed squarely on Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmund Castro and the government by villagers. The causeway has been in need of repair for several years. The water still sits on a section of the causeway. The deepest point is presently seventeen inches and from the villagers’ calculations, this is receding about one inch per day. However, villagers clamour that they have repeatedly asked for the repairs to be done.It seems now that following this morning’s incident those works will now be forthcoming at a faster pace. Edmund Castro – Area Representative "Ministry of Works’ engineers will come out here and do the assessment to make sure that we don't have any gap in the approach for the bridge; the two bridges on the cause-way and then see how soon we could get commuting of the bigger busses to go back and forth and move people. However we still have approximately some 15-17 inches on water on the cross-way so it is almost impossible for us and it wouldn’t be wise for us to try to dump material on the cross way at this time in water."

The Belize Times

UDP hangs on by a thread!! – Power Hungry Barrow fires BAA Board but not Castro
Prime Minister Dean Barrow finds himself in a very peculiar position politically. With only a razor thin majority in the House of Representatives, with the UDP holding 17 seats and the PUP holding 14, Barrow has had to constantly defend and embrace political vultures, Elvin Penner and Edmund Castro, who are lingering like a rotten carcass in the UDP Government. Barrow’s thirst and addiction to power will not allow him to disavow any of the two UDP politicians, no matter how wrong, distasteful, illegal, corrupt or anti-Belizean their actions are. This is the reason why “Passport” Penner is still a UDP area representative collecting a hefty salary and is still driving around a Government-assigned vehicle. This is also why “Clear the Cheques” Castro is also still a Minister of State in Barrow’s Cabinet, even know the Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca exposed the corrupt abuse of funds at the Belize Airport Authority.

No Love for Barrow & Faber – “…Grow Up! Patrick”… “You da lee bwoy”, says George Frazer
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow’s belated removal of some well-paid flunkeys at the Belize Airports Authority was his only recourse after almost all 720 members of the Belize National Teachers ...

Pablo Marin abuses authority!! – Police ordered to detain Corozal man for showing middle finger to UDP Minister
Pablo Marin must be turning into the next tin-pot dictator. Over the weekend, the UDP Corozal Bay area representative ordered Corozal Police Officers to detain a man for allegedly showed him the middle ...

Think About It
In January 2012 the G.S.U. raided the home of Police Corporal Gino Peck. They found a firearm and several different rounds of ammunition. They arrested the Corporal and his wife. The matter made news so reports leaked out that the Police Commissioner saw no need to bring criminal charges ...

The Injustice Continues!
By G. Michael Reid Given the innumerable reports of corrupt practices, in particular from elected officials and public officers, we need to ensure that those who betray the public trust are brought to justice. If we do not demand it now, then what we will get from every future government is ...

Some refer to him as Mugabe, the baldhead man, 666, pain and sorrow Barrow, Ali Baba; even his close friends and allies behind the zinc took a slight jab at him last week when they referred to him as the naked emperor. What a ghastly sight that must be. It ...

Belikin Cup football finals – FC Belize vs. Bandits!!!
FC Belize will challenge the defending champs, the Belmopan Bandits in the Belikin Cup football championship finals which start at the MCC Grounds in Belize City on Sunday. FC ...

Wesley girls remains unbeaten in football playoff
The Wesley College girls are leading the high school football playoffs without having lost a single match. The Wesley girls struggled to an uneasy 0-0 draw with the ...

Belize Bank Bulldogs win canoe race
The Belize Bank Bulldogs paddled by Armin Lopez, brothers Amado and Daniel Cruz won the RF&G Insurance Ltd. Haulover Bridge to Burrell Boom canoe race in a time of 2 hours, ...

Airport Authority Board Members Gone Rogue
The credibility of Prime Minister Dean Barrow is at an all-time low. His very late decision to require the members of the Belize Airport Authority board of directors to resign cannot disguise his ill-advised lawyer-style defense of the very same Board members at last week’s House ...

AMAZING GRACE – The Mutations of Lies and Swine Flu
A recent health scare has skyrocketed national health awareness in Belize. This awareness, I’m certain, is spanning the globe. At the root of the fear and extensive cautionary warnings and efforts is the new strain of the influenza virus. Scientists have dubbed the strain: “Novel Influenza A (H1N1)”, but it is ...

The Deficit, Competitiveness & Productivity
By Richard Harrison Belize's deficit continue to grow each year. In the year 2000, Belize’s visible imports were $1.048B (Billion) and exports were $0.42B. In 2005, imports were $1.185B and exports $0.425B (this was before petroleum was found). By 2011, imports were $1.662B and exports were $0.682B (including $0.29B in petroleum. ...

Valuing Friendships
By Dr. Angela Banner-Joseph “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ― Aristotle A few days ago, I was asked this question "What is a friend?" I reflected on the question, and this is what I believe a friend is. I will share a few thoughts about my ...

Hon. Jose Mai awards 8-a-Side Football Winners Hon. Jose Mai awards 8-a-Side Football Winners
On Sunday January 26th, the Hon Jose Mai Orange Walk South Female Eight-a-Side Tournament came to a thunderous finale! Hundreds of football fans convened in San Lazaro Village to witness the two exciting games between Carmelita ...

The Imperial Prime Minister’s credibility gap widens
“The Financial Secretary suffered a mild case of amnesia.” FINANCIAL SECRETARY: “The Prime Minister made a slip of the tongue.” THERE is an infinite distance between the Prime Minister’s self-delusion and reality. That gap continues to widen ad infinitum. He can no longer seduce the National Teachers ...

Dara raises funds for feeding program with Bob Marley concerts
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley, It is through the teachings ...

Full Basket Belize offers high school scholarships
The non-profit organization 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 ...

Mayor fires 36 workers – CitCo privatizes security department
36 workers employed under the Belize City Council’s Security Department will be terminated on Friday January 31st. The workers received letters on Wednesday, January 22nd, dated January 16th, informing them that the Council has made their positions ...

By Francis W. Fonseca Patrick Faber’s emotional and irrational attacks on our nation’s teachers must stop. Indeed, as Minister of Education, Faber has a duty and obligation to speak out on issues affecting our Education system, and to defend and protect the interests of all stakeholders in that system:- students, management, parents, ...

The curious cases of Gino Peck and Reynaldo Verde
Before grabbing the public spotlight, Gino Peck, a police officer, and Reynaldo Verde, a GST officer, were for all intents and purposes “normal” Belizeans. That is until they came before the courts on gun charges, which these ...

Not happy with CitCo Parks
Dear Editor: I am very disappointed in the outcome of BTL, Memorial Park and Central Park, the way how they have it redesigned. First of all, I don't see much shade for seating area. Only a few benches are scattered about. What the place seems like is more a market hustle ...

KHMH: Where are your priorities?
Dear Editor I write to express my dismay and disgust with the lack of priorities in improving patient care at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. In December of 2013, the hospital took out a loan from a commercial bank, the Belize Bank, for over $250,000 to repair and convert the parking ...


A GORGEOUS Day to Stop by The Split in Caye Caulker, Belize & A Bit More
Yesterday, some friends and I went over to Caye Caulker for just a few hours. It’s something you MUST do if you are visiting Ambergris Caye. I still think the best way to do it is a catamaran sail all-day trip (Seaduced does some amazing ones – take a look at the posts below) but, like I did, you can just take the water taxi over for a few hours. Do it. Here’s a different view – flying over the island. It’s the best way to see “The Split” in the island. The story of the split is that the great (great as in large not very good) Hurricane Hattie cut the island in two in 1961. She hit close to Belize City with sustained winds of about 140mph. 307 people were killed in Belize. Hattie also damaged up to 70% of the buildings in Belize City and left 10,000 people homeless. The damage was so severe that the capital city was relocated inland from Belize City to Belmopan.

International Sources

Deficiencies In Belize And Guyana AML Compliance Highlighted
Deficiencies in anti-money laundering compliance in Belize and Guyana have been highlighted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) regulator. CFATF, the regional supervisor for anti-money laundering compliance, on 20 November 2013 issued a public statement identifying countries in the Caribbean Region that were deficient in their anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regimes (AML / CFT). Belize and Guyana were named in the Statement. Dominica, having been previously identified as deficient, was the only country identified as having made significant improvement. The BVI regulator, the Financial Services Commission, further highlighted the CFATF's announcement in a public statement issued on 14 January 2014. Jurisdictions not mentioned in this note remain unaffected. Following minimal progress from an initial round of supervision in November 2011, the CFATF in May 2013 established action plans with deadlines designed to strengthen the AML / CFT regimes in both Belize and Guyana. In summary, the Belize plan required the country to: (1) address deficiencies with the obligations on conducting customer due diligence, (2) fully implement the CFT framework, (3) extend the AML / CFT framework to designated non-financial businesses and professions, (4) address deficiencies with the operational independence of the Financial Intelligence Unit and (5) prohibit dealings with shell banks.

Clean Energy Policy
In 2012, another Caribbean country, Belize, which currently generates 63 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, announced plans for a National Energy Policy and a Sustainable Energy Strategy. “We have ambitious targets. We have set ourselves to change from fossil fuel to renewable energy and at the same time decrease our energy intensity,” Energy Minister Joy Grant told IPS. “We are pursuing all types of renewable energy – hydro, bio energy, solar, ocean, thermal and wind and waste-to-energy,” Grant added. But like all other small developing countries, Grant said Belize’s efforts in renewable energy were constrained by the high cost of renewable technologies; the lack of domestic capacity; inappropriate frameworks to incentivise the private sector to invest in renewable energy; and small population size.

Mexican 'Miracle Man of the Pacific Ocean' gives his first account of how he survived 13 months adrift before washing up 8,000 miles away
Across a crackling radio transmission, the 'Miracle Man of the Pacific Ocean' told for the first time today how his incredible 16 months adrift in a small boat had left him 'desperate and exhausted.' Speaking briefly to MailOnline through an interpreter as he was carried by boat from a tiny atoll to the main port in the isolated Marshall Islands, Jose Ivan told of his anxiety to be reunited with his family. 'I just want to get back home to Mexico, but I don't even know where I am,' he said, his voice filled with emotion. During what he said was more than a year drifting helplessly through the treacherous waters of the Pacific after his small boat broke down when he and a fisherman colleague had set out from the Mexican coast, Jose said he was 'tired and sad.' Ivan's companion had died at sea several months ago, he added. Despite earlier reports that he had left his port in September 2012 to sail to El Salvador, he said over the crackly radio transmission from ship-to-ship today that he had in fact set out to sea December 25 of that year, more than 13 months ago. 'We set off to go shark fishing,' he told a Mexican interpreter on a yacht moored in Majuro, capital of the Marshall Island.

VIDEO: Scuba Diving & Snorkeling in Belize
Belize is considered to be some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, so I was really excited to get to spend some time in the Caribbean there this past January. I brought along my GoPro and got some footage from the Great Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, and Aquarium dive sites as well as Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley and a few other random reefs while snorkeling.

VIDEO: Lionfish spearing in Southern Belize
Removing the invasive Lionfish, very sustainable and delicious to eat!!!