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The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Technology
“Now that is a sneaky looking man,” I told Charlie. “He looks around and looks over his shoulder like he’s running from the law. In the twenty-six years we’ve been living here, how many bail jumpers and fugitives have we seen taken out of here in handcuffs?” “Plenty. I guarantee he’s one of them.” When […]

Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Sailing Club
Contrary to an assertion in a letter to The Editor in last week’s The San Pedro Sun, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) is definitely a different organization from the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC.) The SPSC was founded by Andrew Milner over three years ago and is still headed by him as the Commodore, and the SPJSC was organized and registered by Tammy Peterson and Alan Usher, an original founder and former secretary of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA). The San Pedro Sailing Club operates from Caribbean Villas Hotel and continues to fulfill its mission of offering sailing lessons free of charge to island children (and adults) from all walks of life under the direction of commodore Andy Milner, an experienced sailor and BzSA certified sailing instructor. The original 7 boats purchased by a group of sponsors for the use of SPSC under Andy Milner have been in the possession of the SPJSC. Since the SPJSC has now received its shipment of 12 new boats, the sponsors of the original 7 boats have requested that these boats be returned to the SPSC.

In memory of our friend John Collin Clark III
Collin’s love for sailing started at the young age of 8 when his Dad bought a 12′ Styrofoam sailboat for him and his siblings to sail on Bayou St. John. That love of the wind and water continued with youth sailing lessons, the family sailboat, Sirius followed by five decades of competitive and leisure sailing from the Chesapeake Bay Stiletto Nationals, the historical Gulfport to Pensacola race, and many more regattas to his leisure trips including one from Pascagoula to Belize. Collin’s entrepreneurial spirit began with selling corn and monkey grass to Bancroft Drive neighbors followed by Clarks Catamarans, the first New Orleans Hobie Cat dealer and the only one in Louisiana. His sailing business expanded to Sailboats South, a sailing business including monohulls, windsurfers, boat rentals, sailing lessons, and much more. His boat businesses transformed into international and domestic residential developments from Ponchatoula to San Pedro, Belize Central America.

Doctor Love: Jealousy and Felling Blue
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I grew up in a house where my mom was very jealous of my father. If she heard a rumor about him she […]

Frederick Cassian Waight “Captain Freddy”
Captain Freddy is predeceased by his parents, Anselm Waight Sr. and Luz Cambranes Waight; and sister, Rita Shirley. He is survived by his wife, Marsha Waight; daughter, Karen Waight Canul; step-son, Lalo Tolosa, Lawrence Gongaware, step-daughter Vicki Vanscoy, son-in-law Roberto Canul and grandchildren, Axel and Catherine Canul. He is also survived by his brothers, Anthony, Anselm, and Eric Waight; sisters, Rosalee, Sylvia, and Abigail Waight, Nena Sherma, Dorothy Waight Peyreftte, Alba Luz Nichols, and Aura Woods. Other survivors include many relatives and friends, including the TMM Yacht Charters family.

Misc Belizean Sources

I sat on my veranda today (am still recovering from an ailment) directly opposite the magnificent St. John's Cathedral, south side Belize City and saw the huge gathering attending the double funeral of my dear friend Attorney Lionel Welch and his beloved mother, both of whom passed away recently, days from each other, casting a pall of sadness over the lives and hearts of many many Belizeans from all walks of life. Two beautiful, two wonderful, two such magnificent Belizeans now belong to the ages. RIP, to two great people. Lord, unto Thy hands we commend the souls of our sister and our brother, for whom we know You have set aside places in the great beyond. As the bells of St. John's tolled, they spoke of anguish but also of glory. Belize has lost two great ones, but has gained two more places in the heavens. GOD IS GREAT. BLESSED BE HIS NAME.

Note to all drivers: ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING on Barrier Reef Drive and Pescador Drive. There are many vehicles on both streets. For today, Sunday, they shall be excused, but tomorrow and Tuesday any vehicles on Barrier Reef Drive and Pescador Drive will be issued a ticket. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

SPHS successfully defends its Northern Regional title
Four peat complete!!!! SPHS successfully defends its Northern Regional title and will now seek to defend it's back to back National Championship on March 14 &15. Congratulations guys from Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council.

What are the possible outcomes of taking the Belize police commissioner to court?
By Wellington C. Ramos What are the possible outcomes for the PUP taking the police commissioner to court and what do they really want to accomplish? The judge can only make one of two rulings, which are: 1. For the commissioner of police to investigate Elvin Penner; or 2. That if the commissioner of police believes that there is no merit for him to investigate Elvin Penner, then he can exercise his discretion and not investigate Elvin Penner. Reaction: If the commissioner of police does not feel that Elvin Penner should be investigated because it will be a complete waste of his time, then he will not make all the efforts to find the evidence to bring charges against him. However, if it is the opposite then he will aggressively use all his efforts to investigate and send the file to the director of public prosecutions for review and court hearings. Based on my experience, the crimes that Elvin Penner is alleged to have committed are felonies that will be tried in the Belize Supreme Court and could end up in the, Caribbean Court of Justice for appeal and final resolution.

World Wildlife Day today
The Belize Forest Department under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is preparing to celebrate the first ever World Wildlife Day which will be held on March 3rd, 2014. The day is being set aside to celebrate and to raise awareness on the importance of the world’s wild flora and fauna. On this day, efforts to show appreciation for and highlight the importance of our flora and fauna are encouraged. Therefore, the Forest Department is inviting the general public to come join us here at the Forest Department Compound on Monday March 3rd 2014, to celebrate World Wildlife Day by witnessing a ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding signing at 11:00 am. Each rehabilitation partner will be showing casing their work and the Forest Department sees this as a practical way of engaging young Belizeans in being good stewards of the environment through active involvement in conservation activities. (2 photos)

Belize Rural Central Standard Bearer Convention Results
Beverly Castillo - 961 Michael Hutchinson - 502 Dean Samuels - 353 Emroy Castillo - 152 John Lizama - 19 2

Happy Birthday to Prime Minister Dean Barrow! (yesterday)
Feliz Cumpleaños Sr Primer Ministro, Dios le siga bendiciendo

Special Envoy for Women and Children and Woman of the Year 2013!

Building Bridges in Belize
Partnerships are invaluable to development. In fact, in Belize they are at the center of a new initiative that will help at-risk youth from marginal areas have a chance to learn new job skills and train to become small business entrepreneurs. A few days ago, we launched the Youth Engagement Services (YES!) program, a brand new project that will give 53 local youths, ages 18-24, the essential technical training and business advice they will need to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive local labor market. To do this, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is bringing together key local partners—the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) under RESTORE Belize, Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, and the Women’s Issues Network (WIN) Belize—to ensure that we provide these young people the best possible environment to succeed.

Un-Belize-able Dolphins!
Our first day of diving with Aqua Scuba in Belize - tons of nurse sharks, a few green morays, three turtles, and two eagle rays. Then to top off our last dive, a pod of 5 dolphins decided to join us. They got so close, we could have touched them - and they kept coming back. My dad, Michael Ring, got this video of them playing with a turtle! Wow - great first day!

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize 3-2-14
Swim through in base of coral reef.

Belize Trip
I was there to do still shots of the plantation, so didn't get as much video as I could have or should have, and what I did get kinda sucks (no tripod). I needa get one of them little bean bag camera rests.

Belize Zoo celebrates Young Jaguar's Birthday


36 Year Old Knocked Down On The Philip Goldson Highway
An Orange Walk resident sustained injuries after he was clipped off his bicycle whilst riding along on the Philip Goldson highway in the vicinity of Carmelita Village. According to police, around 9:50am, Samuel Mendoza, driver of an international 16 wheeler truck bearing plate number CY 83630 was travelling from the direction of Belize City towards Orange Walk Town. Mendoza says while he was approaching mile marker 48 and 49, the right front side of a wooden house he was transporting on a truck knocked 36 year old, Anthony Bartley, a resident of San Narciso Street from behind as he was travelling on the right side of the road towards OW Town. Authorities say Bartley was flung off his bike and sustained a large cut wound behind his head and scrape to the back.

Deon Maccaulay Did Not Follow FFB Rules,Says Manager Of Belmopan Bandits
On Wednesday we told you about Belizean star player Deon Maccaulay who was drafted by the Atlanta Silverbacks to play international football for the US club. As we reported Deon departed Belize on Friday February 21st where he met with his new ball club in Atlanta. Well tonight, social media was again buzzing with a rather controversial issue about his departure. As we understand it, Maccaulay’s contract with the Belmopan Bandits was still in effect, and was to be until May so his independent move to sign with an international club is being deemed as a breach of contract. For a greater understanding of the Deon’s situation here in Belize, we contacted Belmopan Bandits Manager, Kenneth Budna who told us that Deon did not follow proper protocol as he willfully bypassed the FFB rules. Kenneth Budna- Manager Belmopan Bandits That is one of the things that we actually appreciate from Deon because I as the manager spoke to Deon at an outreach while before the training at our championship game and I spoke to Deon and told him that the owner spoke to me about the situation that you are and to go to another club and I asked him if he could give me the details of that and his responds to me was that I don’t need to know that because he don’t want the media to be all in his business and I say fine if I cannot get any information from you then I cannot transmit any information as to where we are going but he should have contacted the management of the Belmopan Bandits in regard to Deon at the first stage and said that to the big problem that we have because it is going to build up back, finally find a contract and he find a contract here in Belize.”

Seventh Day Adventist College Hosts Annual Health Fair
Keeping a healthy life style is important and today Seventh Day Adventist Junior College hosted a Health fair at the Central Park in Corozal Town. Lecturer Carlos Magaña tells us more on the objective of this event which marks there third year. Victor Castillo Reports. Victor Castillo – Reporting From body massages to hypertension tests, the public was in for a morning session filled of knowledge as to keep a healthy life style. Today professors, students and members of the Health system took time off their busy schedule to educate the public on several health issues. Carlos Magaña spoke on the objective of this year’s event. Carlos Magaña – Lecturer “One of the objectives of the institution, Belize Adventist Junior College, is to give back to the community in some of its programs; the health fair is an annual health fair that we hold I which we try to bring in certain topics, this year the topic has to do specifically with how the body needs to be treated. If we look around there is a section where we do massages and what benefit that has in the upholding of the physical aspect of the body and I another section we have a section where they selling food without nay meat and why because that is one of the principles that we believe and it is important for us to be able to eat healthy food which doesn’t contain any source of meat; pure cereals and grains and that is one of the things that we believe and we try to give back to the community in this section.”

Corozal Officers Line Up For Inspection
Over forty police officers from the Corozal Police Department were lined up as they prepared for an inspection by the Regional Commander Joseph Myvett, Officer in Command Andrew Ramirez and Deputy Commanding officer Daniel Arzu. Regional Commander Myvett told us more on the purpose of the inspection today. Joseph Myvett - Regional Commander “We want to maintain certain standard and we are starting this month we are going to have monthly inspection to ensure that our officers are up to standard in their appearance as well as; we have started a physical fitness program in order to keep our officers physically fit as well.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “During the inspections what are some of the things that probably you could pin point that probably an officer can step up in order to maintain that standard that the department is looking for?”

Belize Police Department Receives Trail Bikes, Helmets and Two Pick-up Trucks
The police department received much needed mobile units for its officers on Wednesday of this week. Minister of National Security John Saldivar handed over 46 Trail bikes, helmets and Two Nissan Navarro pickup Trucks valued at over a quarter million dollars to the Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie. While it is still uncertain what departments these bikes will be deployed, the donation is geared at enhancing the operational capabilities of the Police Department.

Teachers To Receive 5% Salary Raise
The teacher’s rallies across Belize have resulted in positive results. The PM announced yesterday that teachers and public servants will be getting not a 4% percent increase but 5% raise. Next week, the PM announced that the government will be presenting its national budget and this will be the focal point of their discussions. Our colleagues at 7News provided us with this clip of the Prime Ministers interview, here is that excerpt. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We've just gone over the numbers this afternoon and I can tell you that it is clear that the teachers will get 5%; teachers and public officers. We keep saying teachers because they made the most noise - this is teachers and public officers will get by our reckoning 5%, in addition to the 2.5% annual increment. We are looking at 22 million dollars more in salaries to public officers and teachers and by our calculations that represents not less than a 5% salary increase." The allocation of this additional revenue is earnings from IMMARBE and BTL which both revealed great profits for 2013. But will this profit carry on to other years, the PM assured the media and larger part of Belize that GOB will be locked in to maintaining the salary increase.

Two Arrested for Brazen, Daylight Robbery at Free Zone
Tonight, Corozal Police have made an arrest in connection to the brazen, daylight, armed robbery of a Mexican businessman inside the Corozal Free Zone. Authorities in that municipality say that they arrested and charged a resident of San Andres Village. Officer commanding Corozal Police is Superintendent Andrew Ramirez who told us more. Andrew Rarmirez – OIC Corozal Branch “We have made arrest in relation to the robberies however no properties have been recovered; we have arrested one Benigno Loria and an Israel Rancharan for conspiracy to commit the crime of robbery. We are still seeking the two main persons who executed the crime itself; remember conspiracy is just basically two or more persons agreeing to commit crime acting together for the common purpose and in this case it would be robbery.”

Former UDP Town Councillor Charged For Drug Trafficking
As we reported yesterday, police in Corozal town made a significant cannabis bust when they nabbed incoming Belizean resident at the Northern Border around 1:45am on Wednesday. Officer commanding the Corozal formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez gave us an official report on the incident. Andrew Rarmirez – OIC Corozal Branch “Based on the information that we have received from the customs officers at the northern border here in Santa Elena, Corozl District, the Corozal police has visited that said location where a female by the name of Yvonne Esquivel was handed over to them along with two laptop packages containing suspected cannabis and the drugs was weight and the total as you rightly mention 1169 grams and she has been charge for the offence of drug trafficking and she appeared before the court where bail was offered in the sum of $,000.00 and the case has been adjourned as well in the month of May.”

Former Employees Of Golden Princess Receive Salaries
After anxiously awaiting a reply from the managers at the Golden Princess Casino, tonight, reports coming to our news room are that former workers from the Golden Princess Casino have received their salaries; the transactions were made this morning. As we have been reporting the Casino closed it operation in Belize due to insufficient funds to sustain the business. No word yet from the Manager who have taken their business to Chetumal City.

The Belize Times

Penner must face justice!
This morning Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Leader of the People’s United Party, will be representing the people of Belize as he fights for justice against the Barrow Administration and corrupt UDP Area Representative Elvin Penner. The PUP will present compelling evidence in an effort to convince Supreme Court Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to order a criminal investigation into Penner’s involvement in last year’s immigration scandal. On Wednesday February 26th, CJ Benjamin granted permission to the Opposition Leader’s request for judicial review against the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie who has refused to investigate Penner. Standing before the Chief Justice today in an ex-parte hearing, attorneys for the Hon. Fonseca, former Solicitor General Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers, Legal advisor Anthony Sylvestre Jr. and Kareem Musa presented reasons why the Court should consider their request for a Writ of Mandamus on the ComPol. After hearing 20 minutes of argument by Senior Counsel Flowers, the Chief Justice saw convincing merit and quickly granted permission for the application. Senior Counsel Flowers had a second request; urging the Chief Justice to set an early date for the hearing.

SIB confirms Haad Times – GDP growth “worse off than last year”
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that things have gotten rougher and tougher in Belize, economically speaking. But this week, the science practiced by the Statistical Institute of Belize confirmed the news for even the most doubtful cynics. According to the SIB’s most recent data which analyzed Belize’s economy over the four financial quarters, the overall economic performance was much worse than last year’s. “Putting all 4 quarters together, we get a growth rate of 0.7% for the entire year. We are a little worse off than we were last year,” said Glen Avilez, SIB Director. Furthermore the data shows that 2014 was actually worse than the past five years. At the start of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow boasted that there would be tremendous GDP growth. He projected between 2.5% and 3%, but continued to practice the type of economic policies that kept the economic on a downward slope.

Barrow Offers Teachers a Pittance!!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has offered teachers and public officers a woeful salary increase of 1.6% per year over the next three years. This is a far, far cry from the 30% salary adjustment, for which teachers and public officers staged a massive demonstration last year followed by protests this year. Teachers and public officers had initially demanded a 10% adjustment over the next three years, to match the negative effects which the skyrocketing increase in the cost of living over the same period has had on Belizeans’ purchasing power. Teachers and public officers have not received a salary increase since 2005, which was during a PUP Government. Prime Minister Barrow has blamed the inability to meet the salary demands to the weak economic performance of his Government, but has refused to admit that it is his inability to spur an economic boom which is the root of the problem.

Hundreds Jobless in Corozal – Casino & Papaya Companies fire workers!!
A storm much more devastating than Hurricane Dean has struck the Corozal District. Within days apart, hundreds became jobless after the Golden Princess Casino located near the Santa Elena Border and the Fruta Bomba Papaya Company located just outside San Joaquin village laid off hundreds of workers. The Golden Princess Casino issued a sudden memo to its staff on Friday, February 21st, informing them that the Casino would closing down and layoffs would commence immediately. Over 60 workers were then informed that they were being terminated. The remaining 140 employees were warned that as the company winds out, they would also lose their jobs. Reports as to why the Casino is closing are rampant. However, reliable sources say that the Casino has experienced diminishing business for some time now. The economy in the north has become very depressed. Additional reports are that various casino operations which have opened up in neighboring Mexico have also impacted the local business.

PCSD is a not-for-profit corporation, run by a group of volunteers, who seek to protect and respect the natural environment along the entire length of the Placencia Peninsula. Established in 2006, PCSD now has a strong following of active members from all three villages of the Peninsula (Placencia, Seine Bight and Maya Beach) alongside an avid group of interested people who follow the organisation’s invaluable work from further afield. A grass-roots environmental group of this nature is a critical force in the sustainable and appropriate development of any tourist area in Belize, and as such it is guaranteeing the livelihoods of future generations of the Peninsula. This week’s Nation Builder is therefore the PCSD as an organisation, and its Board of Directors in particular. PCSD has multiple objectives, all of which it actively ensures it fulfils. The organisation circulates information to local residents (and other interested parties) about environmental and developmental issues of contemporary importance on the Peninsula, ensuring that dubious developmental plans cannot be ‘slipped’ through the approval process without the majority of residents being made aware of the implications. Numerous such occasions could have caused mass-destruction of the native habitats without the prompt and proactive involvement of PCSD. Controversial issues, such as Placencia North International Airport, the Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course and Placencia Marine have been vociferously contested, a campaign which has been continuously led by PCSD.

Think About It
In any proper democracy Elvin Penner would have done the right thing and resigned. No Minister and elected member of the House of Representatives can do what Penner did and still hang around in the National Assembly. Penner signed official documents which contained fraudulent information in order to give the citizenship of our country to a foreigner who at the time was in a foreign jail. Penner misled, deceived and lied to public officials in the Immigration Department where he went and publicly pretended he was with Won Hong Kim and signed every paper he could to give away or sell our Belizean citizenship. Penner signed the Belizean citizenship certificate granting citizenship to Kim and giving Kim a Belizean passport, which would have prevented Kim from being handed over from a Taiwan jail to a Korean jail to face criminal charges. Belizeans aren’t fools. Big money passed.

Dollar Politics
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6:10 A recent political convention in Cayo South has shown exactly what politics in Belize is all about. A couple of months ago, a relatively unknown Taiwanese businessman began spreading money around the thirteen villages that comprise Cayo South. Few people took notice and no one would have thought, that given the extreme bad taste that the still ebullient immigration scandal left in the mouths of Belizeans, that this just-come economic citizen would have even half of a chance. Who would have thought that any political party would have even dared to present another extraneous contender for standard bearer and possible parliamentarian? Boy did we ever misjudge the audacity of this crowd! Belizeans are still grappling with the fact that the first Mennonite and the first Asian born persons elected to our government took extreme liberties with our hospitality and trust.

The beginning of the end for the UDP?
By the time this newspaper hits the streets, the fate of Elvin Penner will be known. Will the court decide to lift the shield that Barrow has mounted to protect his criminal colleague? History will no doubt record that Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s fingerprints were everywhere in relation to the Penner saga. For Barrow, it all started from the day he made the ill-advised decision to bestow Penner with the authority to sign nationality certificates and passports. He did so despite knowing that Penner was fully responsible for irregularly issuing hundreds of passports in order to secure a victory in his Cayo Northeast constituency in the 2012 general elections. Since then, like a wounded boxer cringed on the ropes, Barrow has tried to bob and weave his way out, but instead has been taking a packing at the hands of the media and public opinion. His cover up of the Penner debacle is now seen for what it is: a bare naked attempt at holding onto power. If Penner goes to jail, he will certainly not go down alone. And from all accounts, the list of the Ministers involved in the immigration scandal(s) is shocking.

UB girls win ATLIB national basketball champs
The University of Belize girls upset the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College girls 24-21 when the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) national basketball tournament was held at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio on Friday. The champs won a team trophy and individual trophies while 2nd and 3rd place winners took home team trophies and individual medals. 3rd place went to Belize Adventist Junior College who defeated Corozal Junior College.

Joel & Shalini win Cayo Hills race
Team Telemedia’s Joel Borland won the Cayo Hills 70-mile circuit race on the Hummingbird Highway on Sunday, afternoon, while Team Sagitun’s Shalini Zabaneh won the 45-mile female race. Delon Gentle won the Junior race a 45 mile, 2-lap course. 2nd place in the Female category was Alicia Thompson of Team Belize Bank Swoosh. The Belize Cycling Federation organized the race to select the riders who will form a national team to represent Belize at 3 international events coming up later this year: the Pan American championships in Mexico, the Youth Olympics and the Central American and Caribbean championships. The Federation will hold a time trial at 6:30 AM Saturday on the Burrell Boom bypass road and the next hills event is set for Sunday in Spanish Lookout.

Rigo & Cricel compete in 2014 Arnold Classic
For the very first time two of Belize’s bodybuilding and fitness champions will participate in the prestigious Arnold Classsic, to be held in Columbus, Ohio, from February 27th to March 1st 2014. Belize will be represented on the stage of this world-class event by Ms. Belize-Fitness Cricel Castillo and Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos. Cricel will compete in the Women’s Figure B Class among 40 competitors while Rigo will compete in the Light Heavyweight Men’s Bodybuilding Category among 22 competitors from all over the world. Both athletes must compete in a preliminary stage in order to advance to the finals which will be held on Saturday, March 1st.

Taxi Operators at War in Corozal Town
Dear Editor, Please allow us space in your newspaper to share with the general public a grave injustice and disrespect being done to us, the Corozal United Taxi Operators, here in Corozal Town. Two years ago, the C.U.T.O. was registered with a membership of 21 taxi operators and 7 other operators on the Executive Committee. A constitution was drafted for the C.U.T.O. with twenty eight rules and regulations for its member operators. After enduring harsh competition for passengers by operators of Gilharry and other taxi drivers who were not formally registered, mainly to the Free Zone, the Corozal Town Council decided to bring these operators to form the C.U.T.O. This decision was also made to avoid racing for passengers on the streets in town, thereby easing the flow of traffic to and from the Free Zone and not putting the lives of commuters at risk. The Mayor of Corozal Town subsequently designated the site next to the Bus Terminal as our temporary parking station, at no cost, until a new terminal project is completed anytime in the near future.

COLA Di Come Fi Penner Too!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow may find himself hoisted with his own petard as the Citizens Organized for Liberty and Action (COLA) have taken him up on his suggestion to seek a private prosecution of errant Cayo area representative Elvin Penner for his role in the Citizen Kim Wong Hong passport scandal. Time is short for them to lodge their suit in the Belmopan magistrate’s court, as the statute of limitations expires next Monday, March 3, but COLA’s out-spoken president, Giovanni Brackett, says they and the Belizean people cannot let Penner’s transgressions go unpunished, even if the Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister are satisfied with only giving him a slap on the wrist. Brackett likened the UDP’s ostracizing Penner to a corner of the back Bench in the House, to putting a rude child to sit in the corner facing the wall.

By Francis W. Fonseca The PUP is the Party of True Social Justice. As our great Leader George Price said many years ago, Social Justice beats in our heart and flows in our blood! Some have charged the PUP Administration of 1998-2008 with abandoning social justice but such a claim is not evidence based. Indeed, PM Said Musa recognized that if his Government was to have any success in meaningfully uplifting the lives of the Belizean people, it would have to create jobs, attract investment, seek out new economic opportunities, and ultimately grow the economy. So, one can responsibly argue that the Musa administration viewed economic growth as a priority and a pre-requisite for Social Justice. At the same time we are reminded that it is that very same Musa administration which gave us :

Michael Hutchinson’s son accused of sexual assault
Andre Hutchinson, 27, the son of former UDP Minister of State and current UDP Belize Rural Central hopeful, Michael Hutchinson, was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Hutchinson pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith remanded him into custody until March 24 for psychiatric evaluation. The alleged incident occurred around 8:30 am on Tuesday, February 25. The complainant, a 35 year old woman, reported to the Police that she was walking on Scissorstail Street in Ladyville, when Hutchinson rode up to her on a bicycle and slapped her on the right side of her buttocks with his right hand.

New BAA Chairman named, fired GM shifted to Ministry of Education
It was the scandal in the Belize Airport Authority (BAA), exposed by the BELIZE TIMES, that brought to light the reprehensible abuse of public funds by Minister of State Edmond Castro in concert with the General Manager Kenworth (less) Tillett and members of the BAA Board. Facing further shame and disgrace as a result of the exposure, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was forced to fire the entire Board members which was rift with UDP cronies including chairperson Barbara Miller, Armead Gabourel and Lindsay Garbutt. The BELIZE TIMES has received reliable information that the new Chair of the Board is John Waight, a Belizean who recently returned from the United States. Waight, we understand, was formerly employed at the Belize Bank before leaving for the U.S. for some years.

Another fatal victim of gang violence – Gunman opens fire on residents in broad daylight
There is serious tension on the streets of Belize City as the rivalry between two well known “gangs” has claimed yet another life. 25 year old Ryan Arnold died thirteen hours after he was rushed to the hospital for gunshot injuries to his back and hand. Arnold was with six other male persons on Armadillo Street, when an unidentified gunman rode up to them on a bicycle and opened fire. This occurred in broad daylight around 5:30 in the evening when residents, including children, were socializing in the area. Arnold was shot multiple times while a 15 year old was shot on his leg. According to the minor the gunman had his face covered so they could not identify him, but he was heard saying that he would return “once we noh dead”. The minor said the gunman also identified himself as being “from Supal”, in this case, meaning from the Supal Street turf which is engaged in a street war with the George Street group.

Dalina Reyes Wins Miss Diosa Maya International
Orange Walk’s Dalina Reyes, who represented Belize in the 2014 Miss Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant held in Uman, Yucatan, Mexico, kept the crown home for a second consecutive year when she was announced the winner of the prestigious title. Dalina competed against three other beauty queens representing El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. The pageant consists of a dance presentation and a costume display. Dalina’s costume featured a virgin who was offered for sacrifice to save her culture

Little Siarsha needs your help!
A Belize City family is pleading to the Belizean public for financial support to be able to afford medical treatment for their 3 year old daughter Siarsha Amri Alvarez. Siarsha was diagnosed with a rare skin disease known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. This condition causes painful rashes that spreads and blisters on the skin, eventually causing the top layer of the skin to shed. The condition causes severe pain and Siarsha has been rushed to Merida for treatment at a private hospital.

Senior Citizens Deserve Compassion, GOB!
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. Heart of steel, unconscionable, and ungrateful sums up the total neglect of senior citizens by the government. When she had health and strength like thousands of other Belizeans, Miss Lillian “Sutherland” Lord, of a Pen Road address in Belize City, labored day after day to help build the Belize we all enjoy today. Now in her golden years, at 80, with no income to care for herself, and literally no one at her side, the nation has turned its back on Miss Lillian. That’s just as it has done to hundreds of other senior citizens, who are experiencing the same fate. Today Miss Lillian is in need of proper clothing, nutrition, medication, and somewhere suitable to rest her body especially at night. The majority of the ruling politicians and their cronies are busy filling their pockets with government funds and resources in endless major corruption scandals. Such persons have no time to worry about the terrible plight of senior citizens like Lillian Lord. Only God saves Miss Lillian from being knocked down fatally by fast moving vehicles as she limps in the lane of traffic for almost two miles daily to get a little food from a caring citizen.

Fuel Costs, Competitiveness & Productivity
By Richard Harrison Fuel, like water, is one of the principal “drivers” of cost in an economy. Pretty much every production chain starts with fuel as its source of energy, without which nothing moves…and movement is what causes transformation, adding value along a product-market chain. A product-market chain is only sustainably viable when all the segments along the production chain are providing a positive return-on-investment for the participants…unless, of course, if participants in a segment do what it does because it makes them feel good, for some charity purpose or for some other non-profit motive. Consider the production chain for tomato ketchup. The land must first be cleared, prepared and planted….bulldozers, tractors, power saws, movement of workers to and from the job site, soil tillers, planters, irrigation pumps…then the tomato must be processed….transporting tomato to the processing site, movement of workers to and from the processing site, driving around to get foreign exchange and other permits, do banking transactions, payment of utilities and other services, sourcing and transporting the other ingredients from where they are available to the process site, preparing the tomato for processing, cooking the sauce, packaging the sauce, then the final product must be marketed, sold and distributed. Sourcing and implementing advertising and promotion products and services, salesmen traveling to pick up orders, transporting the final product to wholesalers, then to retailers, then to final users. All of these activities utilize energy, usually dependent on fuel.

Teaching Children to Become Lifetime Readers
By Angela Banner-Joseph As the school year continues, it is important for parents to encourage their children to read. Introducing children to the love of reading is essential to school success as well as to reading for fun later in life. Studies have shown that early reading is a major factor in academic success. The percentage of students who read for fun today is very low. Many children have said they do not read because the material is blah, the words are hard, they do not have time, or they are too busy. So, it is important that children learn great reading habits. Each student has a different level of reading achievement. They must learn early the various skills required to develop and maintain the appropriate grade reading level and above. Parents must work with their child’s teacher to choose the best-suited books so the child can advance independently. Every teacher is aware that many students are reading at or below the required grade level. Work with your child’s teacher. If your child is not reading at the appropriate grade level or is not reading well, then both parent and child must work to make the necessary improvements. If the child is already a good reader, both parent and teacher must encourage the child to choose books above his or her achievement level.

Ralph Huang’s “Bag Man”
The BELIZE TIMES couldn’t help but take note of the special bag man for Taiwanese national Ralph Huang in the UDP Cayo South convention. In suspicious fashion, Mike Juan was seen carting convention voters off to a private area on the rear side of the school building that used as the polling station. The UDP Unitedville chairman carried a special pink pre-school bag in his hands which we must presume contained “goodies” for voters who claimed they support Huang. Maybe the bag contained late Christmas gifts, or maybe food pantry, or maybe some of the “goodies” Huang has been giving out ahead of his convention. Even with bags of “goodies” and a ruffian like Mike Juan as his “bag man”, the likes of fishy politicians like Ralph Huang will never get a chance to represent the good and honest people of Cayo South.

Conduct Unbecoming of a Pope
Before he was sworn in for the first time as Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, in one of his multi-personality episodes, when he imagined that he was the Pope, wrote a very powerful “encyclical”. It was intended to woo the less astute among the “masses” and to convert them on their way to the ballot box. This very powerful document was later to become the hallmark of Mr. Barrow’s policies of deception, manipulation and duplicity, in his self-serving agenda to attain power and to entrench himself by any means necessary, including force and violence and manipulative control of law enforcement. This political document, that is now the Prime Minister’s private joke reads as follows: THE ENCYCLICAL “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, so that every time it springs up ‘right so’, I will chop it off. And if it means the government has to fall, then so be it. Let the consequences be damned, the people of this country deserves better and I am determined to give them better.”


Caye Caulker is THE SPOT on Friday Afternoons: Your Afternoon Guide
If you are going to pop over to Caye Caulker for just an afternoon…for a change of pace… for a bit of a different scene… or just for some good eats. Like a bag of warm sugary donuts from Ice N Beans… and you only have one afternoon, I think Friday is the day to do it. In just a few hours, you can fit in lots of fun stuff that Caye Caulker has to offer. So, let me give you my 4 hour Friday afternoon San Pedro to Caye Caulker Afternoon Trip Itinerary. I’m going to need to find some way to shorten that tour title…and don’t worry. I will get you back safely. You can either hop on the 1130am or 1pm San Pedro Belize Express Water taxi boat from San Pedro to Caye Caulker. The ride is about 20 minutes. Sit on top if you can…and if you don’t mind a swift very salty hair-do destroying breeze.

Dreaded By Some, Loved By Many, Unique to San Pedro, Belize – Carnaval 2014
I spent about an hour hanging out on the beach with friends before heading into town… for the…dreaded by some, loved by many…CARNAVAL! Three days of being painted and painted by others. There is a schedule… there are rules… But today, the kids were out with squeeze bottles of paint and more than a few eggs and…let’s say that you had to be careful. But it’s all so super fun…here are my pictures. The front street was strangely quiet except for the kids.

Cave Tubing and Monkeys Oh My! Belize Family Vacation Travel Series 3
Next on our Belize adventure schedule? River cave tubing! Our adventure base for the day? Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge, located in the heart of the Belize jungle about an hour from our home away from home, Jaguar Reef. Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company offers expeditions sure to please the most ardent adventurers and the family adventurers too. Caves Branch welcomes kids and families with plenty of kid-friendly activities and adventures, and that’s why we picked them for our family’s cave tubing expedition. Floating through underground caves on tubes sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it. So what’s to see along the way? Massive stalagmites and stalactites, and perhaps a few bats who call the caves home. Oh, and Mayan ruins too! Yep, the river we were about to embark on meanders past not just bats and cool cave formations, but also a Mayan spiritual center. Keep a keen eye open for Mayan artifacts, dating as far back as 400 A.D.

A Day At The Belize Zoo – A Belize Family Vacation Travel Series 2
One of our family’s most memorable vacations was the week we spent in beautiful Belize. And what better way to learn more about this gem of a country than to take a walk on the wilder side, right? The wilder size of the Belize Zoo, that is! It’s where you can experience the country’s diverse animal population. Be amazed by birds of magnificent beauty and birds of prey. Walk alongside reptiles, and marvel at arachnids behind glass. The Belize Zoo is home to a wide selection of animals, birds, reptiles and arachnids, all native to Belize. Including this little guy, a Baird’s Tapir. He’s also known locally as the mountain cow. Which of course, resulted in peels of laughter from my kids! They thought it looked more like an overgrown pig than a cow. Howler monkeys, coatis, kinkajus, they’re here too. So are the ocelots. You’ll need a keen eye to spot an ocelot, though. Look low along the ground and in the bushes, as these guys prefer the ground over the trees. And they blend right in, as this guy does. Ocelots are nocturnal, and are often found snoozing the day away.

A Week to 10 days in Belize – What to Do?
I put this together for a friend escaping the brutal winter weather and thought it might be useful to others: A Crash Course to Belize! Belize is a perfect destination for North American travelers during the winter months for a ton of reasons: Its warm for starters, just off shore lies the 2nd largest reef system in the world along with a bunch of beautiful islands, on the other side of the country is full of rain forest, and they even speak English! This small country, nestled under Mexico’s famous Yucatan, packs a lot of punch for its size. There is something for everyone beaches, jungle, relaxation, and plenty of adventure. It many only be a few hours away on a plane, but once you are there you will feel worlds away. My first trip to Belize basically changed my life. It was here that Hannah and I came up with the idea to leave our normal lives and travel.

International Sources

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit
During harvest last year, banana farmers in Jordan and Mozambique made a chilling discovery. Their plants were no longer bearing the soft, creamy fruits they’d been growing for decades. When they cut open the roots of their banana plants, they saw something that looked like this: Scientists first discovered the fungus that is turning banana plants into this rotting, fibrous mass in Southeast Asia in the 1990s. Since then the pathogen, known as the Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama disease, has slowly but steadily ravaged export crops throughout Asia. The fact that this vicious soil-borne fungus has now made the leap to Mozambique and Jordan is frightening. One reason is that it’s getting closer to Latin America, where at least 70% of the world’s $8.9-billion-a-year worth of exported bananas is grown. Randy Ploetz, professor of plant pathology at University of Florida who discovered Tropical Race 4, says it may already be in Latin America. “The story on the Mozambique situation was that workers brought over to establish the plantations—some of them were from Latin America,” he says. “And this is an insidious disease in that it can move… by soil-contaminated machinery, tools—that kind of thing.” Chiquita, the $548-million fruit giant with the world’s largest banana market share, is downplaying the risk. ”It’s certainly not an immediate threat to banana production in Latin America [where Chiquita's crops are],” Ed Lloyd, spokesman for Chiquita, told the Charlotte Business Journal in late December, explaining that the company is using a “risk-mitigation program” to approach the potential spread.

Genesis Fuentes, 3, undergoes life-saving heart surgery at Children's Hospital at Montefiore
A child from Belize has undergone a life-saving surgery at Montefiore Medical Center. With the help of one Connecticut family, Genesis Fuentes is having one of her last checkups at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore. The 3-year-old went through a five-hour operation to close a hole in her heart on Jan. 30, an intricate procedure very difficult to come by in her home country. The surgery brought a new kind of family together, as Genesis was matched with Michael and Monica Toll to act as host family. They were by her side throughout the surgery, along with Genesis' cousin, Melanie. Genesis' journey was facilitated by the Gift of Life organization, which sets up surgeries for children who lack complex medical care in their home countries. The Tolls say that since the surgery, Genesis has been able to enjoy many things a healthy child normally would, such as playing in the snow. Genesis will soon return to Belize with her cousin.

Immigration lessons from the first world war
What to do with these foreign troublemakers? Rid them from our small island, came the still popular reply, especially those with the gumption to organise others. And so a repatriation scheme was established by the Home Office. Some left with a £5 bounty. Some were promised compensation but got nothing, not even adequate food on the voyage. And this seemed a good outcome; irritants removed, the populist rage rewarded. But what goes around comes around. In a memorandum, Lord Milner, the colonial secretary, warned that many under attack had served in the war, done their bit and "bitterly resented the ingratitude". He "feared the effect their return to the colonies would have on attitudes to white minorities there", says Fryer. "His fears were soon justified." Before long, the brightest and best of those repatriated were leading anti-colonial agitation in Trinidad, Jamaica, Belize and St Kitts, and the British government was warning the US of "Unrest among the negroes". Those campaigns would, in time, end Britain's colonial hegemony. Then as now; sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

OAS, SICA Secretaries General Hold Talks
Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza met Friday with his counterpart from the Central American Integration System (SICA), Hugo Martinez, in Washington, DC. The two sides discussed “options for cooperation between the institutions,” particularly in the areas of security and human resources, according to a statement from the OAS. The meeting, which was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, also focused on the ongoing debate on “how best to define” the priorities of the OAS, along with the regional body’s “strategic vision,” according to the OAS. SICA, which launched in 1991, has been growing in influence in recent years within the region, especially following the accession of its first Caribbean Member State, the Dominican Republic, last year. (Belize, which is geographically in Central America but a member of the CARICOM bloc, joined in 2000).

Why everyone should have a dog
The dog video is hillarious