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The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Mothers and Moving In
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, My mother is a woman who must be in charge of her family. She usually does this by phone but she will come […]

Students in Cayo receive certificates from GREAT Program
Some 64 students from the Saint Vincent Palloti Roman Catholic Primary School in Unitedville Village in Cayo received certificates this evening, marking the completion of instructions under the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT). Instructions under GREAT began at the Unitedville School in September of last year and ended in March of this year. Instructor Ciriaco Medina, who is Police Constable 1121 and member of the Community Policing Unit at the San Ignacio Police Formation, gave out the certificates this evening, telling students, “I expect good things from you guys, don’t let me down.”

No passenger manifest …are we missing the boat?
Editorial-LogoWith the apparent influx of mainland gangsters who travel to the island via water taxi to conduct their questionable business; many concerned citizens are calling for a mandatory boat manifest to monitor who these passengers are. Although some argue the process is subject to unfair ‘profiling’and constitutes an invasion of privacy for those who use the service, the safety point of having a passenger manifest is being completely lost in the debate. Hundreds of people are shuttled between Belize City, Caye Caulker and San Pedro via water taxi on a daily bases. What would happen, (God forbid) one of these over-loaded vessels was to sink? How would we know who is on the boat? How would loved ones go about verifying that their significant person had gone down with the ship, when the water taxi business doesn’t have a clue who they were transporting? Surely there must be regulations with the Belize Port Authority that mandate this safety measure, and if not…shame on them. I have always said Belize has GOOD laws, they just lack enforcement. It is more than likely that there is a marine manifest policy that is either on the books or has stalled as a drafted piece of legislature for years. Unfortunately the day something disastrous DOES happen everyone will be up in arms. Why do we have to wait for a crisis to happen BEFORE we do something about it?

Wolfe’s Woofer: Psychiatrist Help
“So overall it has been a really good year for us,” Bruce said. “I’m glad to hear it,” I told him. “I was kind of worried about you when you were here last year.” Bruce and Becky always come down from Texas and spend the month of June here in San Pedro. “What do you […]

Award Winning Chef Victor Nal Returns to San Pedro!
When I heard that Chef Victor Nal was back on the island cooking at El Zafiro Restaurant my taste buds did a wild happy dance!!! Some years ago, 2009 to be exact, Chef Vic was awarded the Belize Tourism Board Chef of the Year at their annual Taste of Belize competition. At that time Chef Vic was the man behind the amazing food at Sunset Grill, which was located on the lagoon side of San Pedro Town. Back then it was one of our favorite places to dine, and the meals were consistently delicious and Chef-Vicsatisfying. I’m not sure exactly when Chef Vic left the island to continue his work at high-end resorts on the mainland, but after his departure the restaurant slowly lost its popularity and closed about a year ago. Luckily for us, Sapphire Beach General Manager Luis Velasquez persuaded Chef Vic to return to La Isla Bonita and head up the kitchen at their El Zafiro Restaurant. Chef Vic, along with Sous Chef Danny Tzib have teamed up with Velasquez (who happens to be a renowned mixologist) to create a unique menu that specializes in Belizean, Mexican and European fusion. With an impressive wine list and exotic cocktails utilizing all fresh ingredients and the locally produced Picasso Spirits liqueur, your meal is more than complete.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Sign of the times.
Pay two dollars an hour to park at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in ‪Belize‬ City.

Marines, airmen build schools, hospitals and good will in Belize
Marine combat engineers are teaming with airmen and members of the Belize Defence Force to build schoolhouses and hospital buildings during Exercise New Horizons. Members of Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, a Massachusetts-based reserve unit, completed construction of a two-room schoolhouse addition here, one of Central America’s largest cities. Now they’re working on another addition at a nearby five-room schoolhouse, including a kitchen and bathroom. Brig. Gen. David Jones, commander of the Belize Defence Force, said his engineers learn a lot from working with American combat engineers. His soldiers, however, may be called on not only to build new infrastructure, but also to destroy infrastructure that’s being used illegally. That can include busting up a runway that traffickers are using to move illicit drugs by air, he said. In turn, the Marines are learning new techniques from the Belizeans, said Staff Sgt. Matthew Houle, the New Horizons site foreman. For example, they taught the Marines a new way to finish interior and exterior walls called parging.

Bullet Tree Falls Animal Health Clinic
Feelgood news of the day. The Institute for Sustainable International Studies vet students held a spay and neuter clinic in Bullet Tree. They have a video from the clinic. The next clinic will be in San Antonio on Saturday, June 21, starting at 9:00am, at the community center. Thanks, ISIS!


Three Men charged For Illegal Logging
By now, we are all aware of the illegal rosewood harvesting occurring rampantly in the South and while this precious timber is sought after for its value, a small scale but significant amount of illegal logwood cutting is invading the northern region of the country. This morning, a joint operation with the Forest Department and the orange walk police landed several persons in custody pending charges for illegal logwood cutting and hunting. Our newsteam was privy to tag along with the officials to the site and filed the following report. Dalila Ical – Reporting At its most basic, illegal logging occurs when trees are cut, transported, brought or sold in violation of national laws. And these 32 freshly cut pine logs is testament that illegal logging is not only a battle in the south. This morning, forest department officials and members of the police department travelled to the New River Pine Ridge area, some six miles deep inside the Crooked Tree Village where the illegal harvesting was halted. The cutters had already set camp and were deep in illegal activity.

Negotiations Between BSI/ASR And BSCFA On Hold Again
Turning to the Sugar industry….representatives of the Belize Sugar Industries/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, met once more at the negotiating table for the quantum payment for bagasse. As we have been reporting, BSI/ASR were adamant to give farmers payment for bagasse but the negotiations yielded famers a quantum of 51 cents, but the farmers claim they deserve more for the cane by-product. We can tell you that the discussions remain at a stalemate since BSI is sticking to its guns. Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, says they will need to consult with the Associations membership to chart a way forward and that it is looking grim when it comes to finalizing negotiations by crops end. FRED ORTEGA “Entramos con BSI otra vez para la negociación del bagazo, realmente hicimos presentación de los dos lados y siempre seguimos quedando en lo mismo, BSI insiste con su cincuenta y un centavo que presento la vez pasada y nosotros les estábamos mostrando un poco de diferencia sin embargo no pudimos lograr de que haiga un incremento de ese cincuenta y un centavo entonces ahora no vamos a ir a una junta general con los caneros para que allí se tome una decisión de que si aceptamos o que será el camino que vamos a seguir para adelante.”

Elroy Bastarachea Remanded To Kolbe Correctional Facility
Tonight Elroy Bastarachea, a resident of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District, accused of 13 charges of obtaining property by deception, is spending his first night at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after he was unable to meet bail of $10,000.00 plus a surety of the same amount. As mentioned last night, Bastarachea is being accused of swindling BZ$23,875.00 from 31 year old Grisel Botes, a Cosmetologist of Libertad Village Corozal District. Botes alleges that she gave Bastarachea the money to purchase several parcels of land. But when she saw that he kept coming backing for more cash and with no land title, she became suspicious and reported the matter to police. Botes has a recording where Bastarachea is heard claiming that he is related to Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos. Vallejos refuted that statement last night in an interview we had with him. He further stated that the public has been warned about Bastarachea’s rip-off habits.

Department Of Archaeology Holds Workshop For First Hand Officers
The Country of Belize is known for its heritage and numerous cultures and especially for the history left behind by the Maya’s with their unexplainable art. Without a doubt it is everybody’s business to protect our countries heritage. But sometimes there are those who rather rob history blind. Despite that there are no major reports on the illegal possession of artifacts here in the north; the Department of Archaeology is opting to keeping it that way by bringing awareness to the public through workshops. Dr. Allan Moore – Archaeological Dept. “What we are trying to do is to extend our horizon, our tentacles on this anti-luting campaign to sensitize people on our heritage to protect it and more so to interact with stakeholders which is the police, we just had a mini workshop with the police to sensitize them on the legislation surrounding the protection of archeological resources and heritage antiquities and to have them have a firsthand feel on the artifact and try to give them names as to which one is real and to make them interact ,more with the pieces so they can tell which is fake or which is real so it was a good day for the police officers and they enjoyed it and hopefully we will be taking this to other districts.”

Police Department Empowers Citizens On Patrol
An initiative by the Belize Police Department of including members from the community to assist in keeping Belize at a minimal crime rate has spread like wild fired across the country. C.O.P’s, or Citizens on Patrol, is a Community Policing program sponsored by the Belize Police Department. The purpose of the program is to enlist private citizens to volunteer time to actively patrol their community, to listen, watch and report criminal behavior to the police. Citizens on Patrol provide greater observation of neighborhoods, both residential and business which increases police presence in the community and reduces crime. Today Rudolph Orillo National Coordinator for COPS told us more on the amendments done to the program. Rudolph Orillo – COPS “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. All Willey, has empowered the citizens to come on board along with the police to fight the crime that is affecting this nation and other matters of quality of life that are affecting our community.”

Corozaleno charged For Controlled Drug
Two men from the Corozal District have been charged by police for possession of controlled drugs. They are 19 year old Moises Puck, Belizean sales clerk of Paraiso Village and Roque Ricardo Santana 35 year old Belizean maintenance worker also of Paraiso Village. Their arrest stems as a result of a search police conducted at a residence located in the village around 9:00 last night. Police say when they arrived close to the Pimento house the strong aroma of cannabis caught their attention. As they got closer to the residence a group of young men ran out of the yard. But Santana and Puck remained behind and police searched the residence for drugs and firearms. While nothing incriminating was found inside the house, police did find a transparent plastic bag containing suspected cannabis, inside the outdoor bathroom in an old toilet seat.

The Reporter

Colombian government and rebel group set up truth commission
After five decades of killings of thousands of people the Colombian government and the Farc rebel group have agreed to formullate a truth commission to investigate the deaths. The two sides ae prepared to hear victims state their demands in Cuba, where the peace talks are being held. Estimates put the deaths at over 200,000 persons, many of whom were civilians. A statement released in Cuba on the way forward lays out 10 points that will be the basis for discussions focusing on the victims of the conflict. The left-wing rebels and the government have so far denied allegations of human rights abuses and blamed each other for the deaths.

GOB says DAVCO supports oil exploration in southern Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met on Friday with the executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south. The government’s press office issued a press release which stated that the association has put full support behind the endeavor “citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the Toledo District.” But according to the government the association agreed to go further than that and to engage their communities in a series of consultations to gain support for the initiative. The release names Ministers of Forestry and Technology, Lisel Alamilla and Joy Grant, as well as Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Technology, Dr. Colin Young as government representatives at the meeting.

Patrick JonesPJ

New standard bearer for the UDP in Cayo Northeast
San Ignacio/Santa Elena town Mayor John August bested a field of three today to become the new United Democratic Party (UDP) standard bearer for the Cayo Northeast division. A constituency convention was held at the Sacred Heart College gymnasium and saw the participation of August, Eduardo Juan and Anthony McNab. The results show that August obtained 975 votes, nearly triple what his nearest competitor got. Eduardo Juan obtained 398 votes, while Anthony McNab received 72 votes. A total of 1,454 ballots were cast in Sunday’s UDP convention in Cayo Northeast. 9 of the ballots were rejected. John August will now go head to head with the People’s United Party’s Orlando Habet in the next general elections constitutionally due in 2017.

National Festival of Arts comes alive at the Bliss
Bliss Center for the Performing Arts was ablaze with talents from all over the country during the national Festival of Arts Golden Performances Showcase. Opening Ceremonies were held at the Bird’s Isle on June 3rd, which made way for the Primary School Students who received golden certificates at their district level to present their talents from June 4th to the 6th. Belmopan Area students showcased their performances on June 5th along with students from the Orange Walk and Belize District. What a delight it was to see the students filled with anticipation, anxiety, and pride as they transformed themselves on the stage with their dancing, singing, rapping, poetry, drama, and musical instruments. Thursday, June 5th was also busy with the 2nd Annual Secondary School Competition.

Belmopan Comprehensive School Graduates 173
The school with the highest number of graduates thus far in the Belmopan Area said thank you and goodbye to 173 graduates during its 41st Graduation Exercise. Belmopan comprehensive School held its commencement exercises with the theme “Education unlocks the world, our passport to freedom”. Proud parents, teachers and supporters gathered at the University of Belize Gym on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 to witness the culmination of 4 or 5 years of dedication and perseverance made by the graduates. The Valedictorian, Susana Petkau, reflected on her years at her great school and encouraged her peers to aim high and focus on their life’s goal. She also received one of the distinguished graduate awards along with Elsbeth Guerra, the salutatorian, and Zaida Osorio, the student who read the vote of thanks.

National Speller chosen at Spanish Lookout
Twelve district finalists convened at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout Friday, 06 June, 2014, to compete for the “speller of the year title”. It was a tightly contested position because all the representatives remained intact for rounds one and two with full points. The challenge started in the reserve round because new words are introduced to test the students’ spelling skills. At the end of round three 10 year old Std. IV student Shanalee Gayap from Solid Rock Academy spelt her two words correctly and captured 1st place, giving Stann Creek District a back to back victory as the last year’s champion also hailed from Stann Creek District. At the end of the excitement Isabelle Swasey from Louisiana Government School (Orange Walk District) received second place and Geon Codd from St. Andrew’s Anglican School (Cayo District) captured the third position.

The Cost of Water and Competitiveness in Belize
“The Belize Water Services Limited should live for the people, not the people for BWSL” ~ R Sydney H Belize is blessed with an abundance of ground and surface water….and over six months of rainy season. Our environment is still clean, so that our rain water is very close to pure. Water, like fuel, is a basic starting resource that drives costs all the way through a production chain. Unlike fuel, which we import 100% of…..we have and control an abundance of water resources….ground water, surface water and rain water. This should be used as part of our design of competitive advantage for living and doing business in Belize….once we protect our water resources, no one can take this source of competitive advantage away from us. The Belize Water Services (BWS) Is Belize’s MONOPOLY water and sewage utility that serves approximately 49,000 customers with a total average water demand of roughly 150 million US gallons per month.


Finding Paradise on Caye Caulker
As the taxi boat approached the island my sight was filled with palm trees, pastel-coloured houses and locals with dreadlocks; we had unmistakably arrived in the Caribbean. Instant happiness flooded my heart when I stepped ashore – this was what paradise must look like. A white sandy road lead from the pier towards the settlement. I started walking in my normal upbeat pace. “Where are you going with that speed”, a man yelled at me from the shore. Surprised by the sudden yelling I slow down my pace. Again the man shouts to me, but this time in a much more friendlier tone, “Welcome to Caye Caulker”. I was traveling south from Yucatan, Mexico and decided to make a short stop in Belize and explore the small island Caye Caulker. It lies less that an hour’s boat ride away from the more populated and hectic capital Belize city. The island consists of three main streets: the front, middle and back street. Leading away from the pier is Front Street, seamed with small shops and restaurants. Here is where the crowd initially gathers. It is the place for the best lobster on the island, colourful wooden houses and girls in bikinis and street vendors sell homemade souvenirs and sunscreen in their stacked shops. But as soon I leave this road I can only hear silence – and the waves crashing on the beach.

International Sourcesizz

A Boy And His Jaguar Speak To Children Who Feel Misunderstood
Alan Rabinowitz is famous for studying jaguars. The renowned zoologist and conservationist is responsible for the world’s first jaguar sanctuary, the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve in the mountains of Belize. His books about working with big cats have sold millions of copies. His latest book is different — it’s not about conservation policy or animal behavior. It’s a picture book about his own childhood. Rabinowitz grew up with a severe stutter, something he had to overcome before he could pursue the career that has made him a voice for endangered animals. Rabinowitz spoke with NPR’s Arun Rath about the book, A Boy and a Jaguar, and why he still finds it painful to read his own story. Interview Highlights On his first encounter with a big cat The first time I saw a big cat was when my father took me to the Bronx Zoo, when I was about 4 years old I believe, and I went into … the Big Cat house, which they had back then — cage after cage of big cats, of lions and tigers and jaguar. And it was after that first instant, even at that young age, I knew that this was to be my home away from home.


Video: Mangoes, 3min.
Variety of succulent mangoes available in the Village of Burrell Boom, Belize.

Video: Setting Up Pressure -- Navy Divers Set Up a Transportable Recompression Chamber, 2min.
Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit TWO (MDSU 2) set up a recompression chamber on a coast guard base in Belize. I'm on four-month deployment through Central America with the MDSU divers as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014. We haven't started actually diving yet, and I was itching to shoot something, so I tried to see if I could edit something on the less-glamorous side of diving. I hope you enjoy. -bc This video was shot on government time with government equipment, so feel free to use it.

Video: Diving Belize - A week at Turneffe Atoll. Blackbird Caye Resort, 9min.
One week of diving Turneffe Atoll in under ten minutes. Dive Sites include: Coliseum, Oasis, Blackbird Cut, Crab Walk The Great Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Aquarium, Stingray Motel, The Elbow, Grand Bogue. Dive Masters: Cardinal, Kenly Williams

Video: Belize - BV Expedition 2-14 (PART 10), 7min.

Video: University of Arkansas Belize Health Team 2014, 3min.
Dangriga, Belize

Video: A Manatee spotted in Belize, 1/2min.
Watch this Manatee walk along the ocean floor, so cool!

Video: Playful Spider Monkeys at Chan Chich Belize - NATHAB ULTIMATE BELIZE SAFARI 2014, 3min.
Spider Monkeys in Rainforest

Video: reef shark belize, 2min.

Video: Belize - Part 1, 3min.
A portion of our spring vacation to Belize. Beach, Boat, Bush package put together by Renee and Kevin at The Farm Inn just outside of Punta Gorda. Filmed spring 2014.

Video: Caye Caulker, Belize (Shark & Stingray Alley), 5min.
Snorkeling on Caye Caulker with Tsunami Adventures

Video: Suya Tours Snorkeling | Ambergris Caye, Belize, min.
norkeling off Ambergris Caye, Belize, with Suya Tours offers a chance to encounter diverse marine life at the offshore barrier reef. This POV video of Suya Tours snorkeling was produced by SNORKELINGDIVES.COM in May 2014.