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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Rod of Correction forms to add pressure on the current administration
The unions, activists and other social partners that have been agitating and championing Belize’s social issues have formed an alliance called the Rod of Correction (ROC). The coming together of the various organizations and agitators of social issues under one umbrella is meant to add pressure on the Dean Barrow administration in light of many burning issues affecting the country. The merger took place on June 5th at a meeting that lasted almost three hours and was hosted at the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) headquarters in Belize City. resent at the historic gathering were representatives and leaders from civil and church organizations. They included Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the Belize Pharmacists Association, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize Energy Workers Union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), BNTU, The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), the Nurses Association, members of the Belize Council of Churches, the Belize Evangelical Association and radio personality Mose Hyde and DJ Keegan Lord.

Israeli Ambassador visits AC during end-of-duty tour to Belize
The Ambassador of the State of Israel to Belize, His Excellency Shmulik Arie Bass and his wife Mrs. Meirav Peleg-Bass made an official courtesy call to the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez. Bass’ visit to Ambergris Caye was part of his end-of-duty tour to Belize as the Ambassador of Israel to El Salvador and Belize. When speaking with The San Pedro Sun, Israeli Ambassador Bass said that Israel and Belize have enjoyed and cultivated a fruitful relationship which he hopes can be further strengthened in the future. “This is my second time to Ambergris Caye, and unfortunately, this visit concludes my role as Ambassador of Israel to Belize. I conclude my duty in August and since the Mayor of San Pedro has been friendly since my first visit, it was fitting to end my duty tour to Belize at this municipality,” said Ambassador Bass, a career diplomat. He added that “Many Israeli visit Belize, especially San Pedro. The island is famous, even amongst our young population. They would come through Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala and the interest is growing both with investors and tourists.”

Three San Pedranos to represent Belize at the Caribbean and Americas Cup Dart Tournament
Belize is sending a delegation of 15 dart players to the 20th Caribbean Cup and 7th Americas Cup Dart Tournament. The tournament is being held at Mainsail Hotel in Tampa, Florida, USA from July 12th to 20th. The goal of the tournament is to promote the sport of professional darts, create a memorable experience for the participants and attendees, engage in the culture of the host country, and support local charities. The tournament sees participation of several countries from the Caribbean, North America and South America including the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands and the United States of America. Belize has been taking part in the biennial tournament since 1981, even hosting the tournament at the Biltmore Plaza Belize City in 2012. “Participating in this tournament is very important for Belize. It exposes our players to the international standards of darts. It also helps to expose Belize among our neighboring countries,” said Belize Darts Federation President Jose Mora.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belizean Potato Salad
Here's written direction, from my notes as i made it. Pardon the exacting measurements, but thats how i work! Feel free to round off! Take 2 pounds 13 ounces potatoes. not the monster big ones. I used russets. boil whole in a pot, until you can push a large fork of skewer into them easily but the potato doesn't crumble. If its crumbly, thats too done. Mine took 20 minutes. Chill fast. Drop into large bowl or bucket of cold water. keep the water cold (run fresh cold water through them now and then, or change the water in the bucket to fresh cold... They chill in 20 minutes or so... hard boil 6 eggs and chill the same way. Mix in bowl the items below:

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital
Yesterday morning the U.S. Embassy's Charge attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize. The new building was built by the U.S. New Horizons Military Team who have working VERY hard conducting humanitrian outreach across the country. The new hospital wing will provide space for much needed mental health services in Belize. Photo: This morning the U.S. Embassy's Charge attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize. The new building was built by the U.S. New Horizons Military Team who have working VERY hard conducting humanitrian outreach across the country. The new hospital wing will provide space for much needed mental health services in Belize.

University of Belize Nineteenth Commencement Exercises
The University of Belize will honour 449 Graduands during this Nineteenth Commencement Exercises. For this June Commencement Season, 408 students will be graduating in Belmopan on Saturday, 14 June, 10 a.m., while 41 students will be graduating in Punta Gorda on Sunday, 22, June at 2 p.m. Special features for the June Commencement Season include the introduction of the new President, Mr. Alan Slusher, by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, and the delivery of the keynote address by the Mayor of Belize City, Attorney Darrel Bradley. Since UB’s inception in 2000, this is the first graduating class with Master students from the University of Belize Graduate School (UBGS); 2 students will be awarded MSc. Degrees in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean.

The Reporter

2014 Grill Masters showdown held
The third annual Grill Masters Challenge was held on Saturday by Benny’s and the grand prize winner walked away with a chest freezer fully stocked with prime cut meats from Running W as well as gift baskets from Grace and Bowen & Bowen. Calbert Santiago, a chef at the Jaguar Paw outpost restaurant, edged out two former champions in the competition to claim the title of Grand Grill Master 2014. Second place went to John “Trey” Roberson, the competition’s first ever winner and third place to last year’s winner Ernest Bradley. The “grill-off” featured six participants, some of whom have made careers out of cooking and others who cook only occasionally. The grillers were given select cuts of meat to prepare, including lamb ribs, pork chops and beef picanha. Contestants infused a range of ingredients, including a barbeque sauce made with mango and a beef prepared in chocolate stout.

Minister Heredia says environment comes first
Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, has said that he would oppose any project which would be harmful to Belize’s reef including Puerto Azul if the project proves to be non-feasible. The tourism minister told reporters following Friday’s House Sitting that “When it comes we will look at the evidence, if I see that it something that will be harmful what is my job? To make sure that if it will harm I will oppose it.” Heredia added that he would support the project if it is in the best interest of the country. “I love the environment, I believe in conservation and I believe in sustainable development,” Heredia said. The parliamentarian also explained that he was invited to Cannes France by the developers to view a model concept but it doesn’t mean that his support has been bought. He added that the government has a responsibility to entertain any potential investor.

Opposition Leader and PM argue AG Immigration report
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca and Prime Minister Dean Barrow traded jabs at Friday’s House Sitting over the Auditor General report, which COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action exposed this week. The document reveals gross abuse of power in government. “The obstruction and cover-up by the state has become just as bad as what many view as the original crime,” Fonseca criticized, citing portions of the preliminary report. “Every step of the way this Prime Minister and this government has done everything possible to protect members of their party to cover up the mass corruption that this passport and visa hustle truly is,” Fonseca condemned. Fonseca said that COLA’s presentation made it very clear that the report declared obstruction as “the order of the day” as the AG’s office tried to access files for their investigation. Fonseca also said that they were made aware that certain files were hidden from the audit team and that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse was in possession of some of those files.

Brazilian president debunks crude chants during World Cup
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said that she will not allow “verbal aggression” to intimidate the flow of the World Cup. On Thursday she was the target of crude chants from part of the crowd who attended the opening game between Brazil and Croatia. Rousseff, who is seeking re-election in October, said that the chants were nothing compared to what she had to endure in jail during military rule. Hundreds of thousands of people have protested across the country to protest against perceived overspending and corruption in preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics, scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Faber calls out teachers for PSE results
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber has blamed inadequate teachers for disappointing Primary School Examination (PSE) results which were released on Thursday. “If you look at the entire situation, we need to be equipping our children with the best teachers, and those teachers need to get aboard in terms of the training, so yes a good deal of the blame at the end of the day has to be placed on the shoulders of teachers,” Faber said. Faber said that we would not see results in the classroom as long as there are teachers who are not passionate about teaching and don’t possess all the proper qualifications. “The children don’t know how to do math because the teachers don’t know how to do math,” Faber criticized, citing consistently poor PSE math scores. Faber also called out teachers who have refused to do additional training to improve in their profession because the government has provided them with the opportunity, he said. He added that many teachers end up qualified for pensions without ever having been properly trained.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man gunned down in Belize City; police look for shooter
On Friday morning around 10:30 a.m., gunshots rang out not far from the downtown area on North Front Street, near its intersection with Pinks Alley. When all had settled, one man lay dead at the North Front Street and Pinks Alley junction. All around him lay expended shells, as many as eight. From the police has been able to put together, 30 year old Tulio Caceres, also known as “Pinelo,” and a resident of West Street in Belize City, had been socializing in a park at the corner of North Front Street and Pinks Alley, when a single armed man on bicycle rode up to him and opened fire. Even for a neighborhood inured to violence, residents who stood around the police barricade appeared dazed by the audacity and ruthless efficiency of the killing. The shooting happened a half a block east of the Queen Street Police Station, and police responded almost immediately, but Caceres had already died on the spot.

BGYEA injunction lifted by court
After arguments in chambers, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel on Friday afternoon removed the injunction placed on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), ruling that the Government had not complied with the related terms of the injunction. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd represented BGYEA and its president, Nigel Petillo. She says that Government’s representative Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke applied to have the injunction extended but failed to serve her client with the requisite papers for the hearing, nor did they file their claim on the time specified. BGYEA is not incorporated so Petillo could not be sued on their behalf, and in any event they were not doing anything illegal to begin with. And Matura-Shepherd says the Government is practicing discrimination against her clients by arbitrarily extending the length of the road reserve in the area – from the usual 20 feet to as much as 174 feet away from the edge of the road – which she says is much greater than any other village on the George Price Highway.

Belizeans represent the nation abroad in fashion and dance
This week four Belizeans are leaving the Jewel for the United States and Kingston, Jamaica to participate in various training activities in the arts. Fashion designer Joris Hendrik left on Tuesday to participate in the annual Caribbean Fashion Week which is ongoing. He will be exhibiting in the weekend Fashion Showcase on June 14 and 15. Hendrik’s designs are a mix of high fashion and casual, but is more famous for the couture designs worn by the likes of Special Envoy Kim Simplis Barrow. He was accompanied by NICH President Diane Haylock and one of its creative development officers as a sign of their support for all artists. Meanwhile, today, a trio of dancers from Corozal and Belize are leaving for a summer intensive workshop sponsored by the PGK Dance Project in San Diego, California. Shadi Gillett and Victor Cassanova of Latino Dance Mix and Sheldon Bodden of New Generation Dance Group of Belize City will be learning ballet and contemporary dance techniques. They were specially selected by the project’s director who visited during last year’s Dance X event.

Blogs

Full moon beach party
One of the fringe benefits of about living on an island is getting invited to a private full moon beach party and it only takes you 10 minutes to get there from home :) The party started around dusk and everyone rolled in fairly quickly, not wanting to miss possibility of seeing the big round moon make its out of the Caribbean sea and over the white sand beach. Unfortunately due to cloud cover we did not catch the moon till it was well up in the sky. Soon as it came in sight, we all headed out to the dock to enjoy the view. Then it was back to the lovely beach front condo to enjoy food, music and laid-back conversation.

The World’s Largest Commercial Butterfly Farm: Just Another Reason Love Hickatee Cottages & Southern Belize
So that’s Wednesday night. But then, if you are at HIckatee on Friday afternoon, you have the chance to visit the largest commercial butterfly farm in the world! Ian, the owner of Hickatee with his wife Kate, also happens to manage a butterfly farm, the employees about 20 full time workers who tend to all aspects of butterfly farming (I’ll get to some of that in the post) and ships out about 5000 butterflies a week. Were you recently in a natural history museum in Moscow where you saw a live butterfly display? You probably saw some these very butterflies. Friday, late morning, I headed out to the farm. It’s not open to the public and Friday’s are the day that the shipment is made. We went to pick up THE BOX. Thousands of green chrysalis so carefully packed. Tropic Air whisks then to Cancun and then they are off to the UK. The farm is on the grounds of what used to be a lodge in Colombia village (home of Lubaantun & the very cool Belize EarthShip home). It’s on a beautiful hilltop surrounded by fruit trees and flowers and lush greenery – much that is grown to feed the butterflies.

International Sourcesizz

Have You Hugged a Concrete Pillar Today?
by Bill Gates. China used more cement in the last three years than the USA did the entire 20th century. He argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down. Concrete is the foundation (literally) for the massive expansion of urban areas of the past several decades, which has been a big factor in cutting the rate of extreme poverty in half since 1990. In 1950, the world made roughly as much steel as cement (a key ingredient in concrete); by 2010, steel production had grown by a factor of 8, but cement had gone up by a factor of 25. This animated GIF shows the dramatic transformation of Shanghai since 1987. Most of what you’re seeing in that picture is concrete, steel, and glass.

26 Years of Growth: Shanghai Then and Now
Reuters photographer Carlos Barria recently spent time in Shanghai, China, the fastest-growing city in the world. A week ago, he took this amazing shot, recreating the same framing and perspective as a photograph taken in 1987, showing what a difference 26 years can make. The setting is Shanghai's financial district of Pudong, dominated by the Oriental Pearl Tower at left, and the new 125-story Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building and the world's second tallest skyscraper, at 632 meters (2,073 ft) high, scheduled to finish by the end of 2014. Shanghai, the largest city by population in the world, has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year the past 20 years, and now is home to 23.5 million people -- nearly double what it was back in 1987. This entry is focused on this single photo pairing, with several ways to compare the two. [3 photo pairs]

Sweating it out in a Mayan Temazcal steam bath
Aarti Aziz and her husband Moosa are locked inside a pitch-black concrete dugout in Mexico, sweating in unbearable heat. With them is a shaman who has been chanting ceaselessly for the past two hours as strange vapors swirl around them. It may sound like a harrowing ordeal, but it's one the couple volunteered for. This is the world of Temazcal, a practice dating back centuries to when Mexico's Mayan Riviera was wilderness and the Mayan civilization was at the height of its power. Temazcal entails entering a stone igloo with little or no clothing on and sweating it out to the sound of chanting and the fragrance of herbs. Typically carried out for small groups by a shaman who's usually a member of one of the Mayan communities in the surrounding area, the process lasts two hours. It can be a tough experience.

Belize to improve education with $10 million loan from IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $10 million loan designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers. The program will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management, which will benefit all of the country's primary and secondary schools. In recent years the IDB has increasingly supported efforts to improve education and quality of teaching in Belize, and education is one of four priority areas in the Bank's current country strategy with Belize.

Remains of the kingdom in Belize
It’s not as famous as Mexico’s Chichen Itza. It’s not as tall as Guatemala’s Tikal. But here in western Belize, the Xunantunich Mayan ruins will make your jaw drop. And maybe your palms sweat. Pronounced shoe-NAN-to-nitch (or as some tourists mangle it, Tuna Sandwich) its name means “stone maiden.” The dominant structure, El Castillo, is notable not only for its elegant friezes of hieroglyphs depicting rulers and gods, but for the fact that visitors can still climb to the top of the 130-foot temple, if they dare. Unlike at Mexico’s Chichen Itza, which was closed to climbers in 2006 after a woman fell to her death, Xunantunich’s climb is done in bits and pieces, with plenty of flat places to stop — and even a handrail staircase for the final descent. Still, it’s not for everyone.

Stop cursing Caricom as darkness; it is a light not yet fully turned on
Dr Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to Jamaica's minister of education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (Caricom) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of "Anglophone black people" and not in the interest of Jamaica. Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a "clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants". He sets up both Caricom and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that "CSME zealots" all come to live in Jamaica; "we (Jamaica) are the big name brand"; "CSME disrespects us" (Jamaicans); and "we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; "the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work"; and "Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone -- finance, market, innovation, brand value -- yet we are the poorest member".

Videos

Video: Belizean Coast to Guatemalan Lakes, 5min.
A fraction of my experience traveling a month in Belize and Guatemala. My first atempt at videography, shot with a GoPro HERO2 and edited in GoPro Studio. Song is One Nice Thing Once a Day by UltraCat.

Video: The Phoenix Resort in Belize - Summer 2014, 2min.
A terrific video put together by recent guest 15 year old Christian Daehler of The Phoenix Resort in Belize showing their fishing, snorkeling, private beach bbq, and mainland adventures during their summer 2014 stay.

Video: Small Boy Sailing in the Caribbean | Belize Family Living, 4min.
Join the boy while sailing an International 420 planing dinghy in the Caribbean. Belize is in the Caribbean even though part of Central America. A rarity!

Video: Belize Trip 2014 Part 2, Kyle Liaw, 9min.

Video: Belize by Mike Carroll, 9min.

Video: 1962 After Hurricane Hattie Belize, 2min.

Video: Blue Hole reserve, Belize, 3min.
Blue Hole reserve, Belize is awesome. The water colour is amazing and so many birds around.

Video: Huge barracuda off the coast of Belize, 1min.
May 22, 2014. Off the coast of Belize doing some fishing on a Raggamuffin catamaran tour. Caught this huge barracuda! What an awesome experience.