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#500898 - 02/10/15 11:14 AM Today's Belize News: February 10, 2015
Marty Offline


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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

Shots heard
At approximately 8pm tonight (Feb 9th) shots were heard in the San Pedrito Area. Police have confirmed that one person was injured and treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Details pending.

European rocket wreckage found in the waters near Ambergris Caye.
Belize National Coast Guard and the Belize Civil Aviation Authority are confirming that two parts of wreckage found floating off Ambergris Caye appear to be that of a European rocket. The parts were discovered near the reef, less than a mile away from San Pedro Town late on the evening of Saturday February 7th. The Belize Coast Guard confirmed that a team of divers were taken to the area to see if additional information could be recovered. However, late on Monday February 9th they confirmed that it is highly possible that the remnants are part of a rocket that was launched sometime in 2014. According to a Coast Guard official, they were notified by San Pedro Police about the floating debris, which police initially believed to be from an aircraft. A Coast Guard patrol visited the location near the Tres Cocos Area where they recovered two pieces of metal consistent with a rocket. The wreckage was then taken to the Forward Operation Base on Ambergris Caye where authorities conducted their investigation.

YJ Deli allowed to squat on public land for years
For almost three years, YJ Deli which is located at the corner of Black Coral and Angel Coral Street has been allowed to operate on prime public land for free. Despite knowledge of the public’s concern, the local municipality has turned a blind eye, allowing the owners to operate their for-profit business without paying rent. The matter has become a political issue because the owner of the establishment is Joel Chi, the personal driver of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. The deli was first allowed to operate with the purpose of providing food for the workers executing the construction of the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal. That was a construction under the Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STP) executed under the Ministry of Tourism. But once the project was over, the deli should have been removed from the public property. That never happened, and one year after the project was completed, YJ Deli is still fully functional despite concerns raised to the San Pedro Town Council.

Nomination Day is set for February 11th
By law, each candidate seeking office must be nominated by two registered voters within the municipality. Their nomination application must be accompanied by $25.00. It is up until Nomination Day that a person officially becomes a candidate for the upcoming election. Both the PUP and the UDP has announced their full slate. The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) is yet to announce their slate even though they have indicated that they intend to put up a full slate in the elections in San Pedro Town.

Changing faces, improving smiles at the Smile Dental Clinic
Jamal Kean Quiroz and Gabriel Melendez are two students attending the Holy Cross Anglican School on Ambergris Caye. Despite being from different backgrounds, they both face a common problem at school and in their communities – discrimination. The young boys suffer from two different dental related problems. They are hopeful that volunteer dentists at the Smile Dental Clinic would be able to make the physical changes to their teeth, eventually transforming their smiles into bright and beautiful ones.

Ambergris Today

Second Annual Mrs. Carnaval Pageant Kicks off Celebrations in San Pedro
Each contestant graced the stage during four segments of the pageant which included an intro dance, cultural costume dance, talent and evening gown segments. Apart from being humorous during their talent presentations, the ladies presented themselves with grace and elegance during the introduction dance in which they were joined by outgoing Reina del Carnaval Mrs. Leonor Rosado and evening gown competition of the event. During their cultural presentation, each contestant performed a comparsa-style (street dancing) dance depicting the traditional Carnaval dances of the town. After all the fun segments and performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, the San Pedro Jabawakis and serenade by don Oscar Aquilar, it was announced that Sinia Cruz was selected as First Runner up and Silvia Patricia Lopez as the new Mrs. Reina del Carnaval.

Wreckage Part of Possible US Military Aircraft Found in San Pedro, Belize
UPDATE: After many emails and calls to our office and taking a closer look at images of the wreckage found over the weekend, we can safely confirm that the piece of wreckage is not that of a US military plane but remnamts of a space rocket. In August 2014, two satellites were launched on the European Ariane Galileo ESA rocket and the piece discovered by the reef off Ambergris Caye is just part of the rocket that falls back to earth during its launch into space. Below are images of the rocket compared to the piece of wreckage found over the weekend.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Reef Week calendar
The Reef Week calendar is here! Save the dates March 9th- March 15th. Go Belize! This year's theme is : Celebrate our heritage - Protect our future - BELIEF IN THE REEF

Nomination Day: Corozal
Nomination Day is set for Wednesday, February 11th With municipal elections just over two weeks away, political parties across the country have their full metal jackets off and prepare for the first big step before the electorates go to the polls. The first big show of strength will take place on Nomination Day, which has been set by the Governor General of Belize for Wednesday February 11th. The Elections and Boundaries Department, the legal body that will take charge of the nomination and election process, have been meeting with the political parties to educate them about the process.

Belize Outsourcing Sector Snapshot – 2014
20 Active business process outsourcing (BPO) Companies in Belize. 9 New BPO’s open in 2014 in various geographic locations in Belize Locations include: 11 in Belize City, 4 in Ladyville, 2 in Belmopan, 4 in San Ignacio, 1 in Independence and 1 in Dangriga 2,178 currently employed by the industry as of 2014 Projections for 2015 estimate at 3,280 in the short term Projections for 2017 estimate at 6,513 in the medium term 1 Outbound Investment Promotion Show attended with eight (8) participating BPO operators from Belize: Outsource2LAC Guatemala 2014 50 queries interested in the outsourcing industry interacted in 2014 by BelizeINVEST Total committed investment within the sector peaked at 13 million BZD encompassing re-investment and new investments both foreign and local 65% of providers hold an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status

Belmopan and Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC)
On January 19th 2015 the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) embarked on its three week Job Readiness program in Belmopan. A total of 65 interested participants took the pre-assessments in English and Computer of which 35 qualified to start the training program. The soft skills portion of the training took place at the NEMO training room and the technical training took part at CITO’s training room. The Belmopan participants were truly a vibrant, outspoken and dedicated group. At the end of the intense three week program, the 35 participants sat in front of a panel of different call center managers to both test their knowledge learnt as well as to market themselves in hopes of acquiring a job. A competition of sorts occurred since managers saw talent in individuals and quickly marketed themselves as the better employers. After the interview, the graduation took place at the George Price Center.

Make Waves Monday!
The Ministry of Energy wants Belizeans to believe that a direct benefit of offshore oil are the "artificial" reefs which could form on the drill rigs. So, forget the fact that we have the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere; forget that tens of thousands of Belizeans make their living by guiding visitors from all over the world through our amazing marine resources; forget that thousands of breadwinners make an honest living from fishing. They also want you to believe that offshore oil will mean less oil pollution. Try figuring out that one. That's what they want. We want you to share how you feel about offshore oil in Belize. As a Belizean, if you feel insulted by this "benefit", join the movement to say "No!" to offshore oil in Belize. ‪#‎besensational‬ ‪#‎saynotooffshoreoil‬ The attached is a jpeg image of the PowerPoint presentation prepared by an independent consultant and one of the source documents of the Ministry of Energy's draft oil exploration guidelines.

Juvenile fish catch
Surveys by Oceana Belize reveal as much as 80% of fish being sold in Belize are juveniles. Experience in other countries highlight how bad things can get without sustainable management of our fish stocks. Efforts are underway to implement managed access fishing; catch shares; and catch size limits. Oceana is also working to remove destructive gear such as gillnets from the equation.

Cell phone photos from the Maya Wedding Re-enactment 5 February 2015.
On 5 February 2015, NICH, BTIA, the Corozal Town Council, CJC, and other volunteers presented a re-enactment of the wedding of Zazil Há and Gonzalo Guerrero, the first European/Native American couple on the mainland of the Americas, which took place here, probably at the Chactemal/Santa Rita site, over 500 years ago. Here are some of the highlights from that celebration. Pardon the quality of the photos. We were only allowed to take existing-light cell phone photos, but we were grateful for that. It does give you an idea of the wonderful choreography, lighting effects. What you don't get includes the excellent music and Maya chants that added to the spiritual effect.

Jaguar Temple's Anniversary and Valentine's Weekend
Thursday (Live Duet Karaoke Competition), Friday (Ladies Night), and Saturday (Rock N Rave 2.0) nights, February 12, 13, 14. Ascenthium Band and DJ DZL

The San Pedro Belize Red Cross Host successful First Aid/CPR Training and Blood Drive
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) recently appointed Sue Barkhouse and Joann Reilly as co-leaders of the Health Committee. Sue is in charge of quarterly blood drives and Joann will be handling the First Aid/CPR training program and monthly courses. Both Ladies had the opportunity to jump right into their new positions as the San Pedro Red Cross hosted the first events of 2015 in both areas. Sue and Joann did a wonderful job from start to finish and the SPBRC is pleases to have them volunteering in lead positions within the organization.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, February 9, 2015: 30

Street Art Festival 2015
Artists Booths, Live Art, Kids Zone, Food Court, Youth Stage, Sidewalk Chalk Competition, Entertainment! Saturday Feb. 28th, 2-10pm Albert Street

Film Festival Call for Entries
Send in your film today!!

2015 BAAS Annual Meeting
June 30-July 3 2015, Cayo

AN EPIC: BLACK PANTHERS, VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION!
The film Black Panthers, Vanguard of The Revolution that was an awesome and historical film that made its debut on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Pan African Film Festival is one of the best films on the black nationalist movement in the United States. It reflects the United Black Association of Belize (UBAD) and its leader Evan X Hyde in many ways, and can be said that UBAD got many of its revolutionary ideas and characteristics from the Panthers.

CONNECTING THE DOTS: A BELIZEAN LEGENDS EXPOSE!
Belizean Legends as a Belizean documentary series medium previewed some of the best films presented so far at the 25th. Annual Pan African Film Festival this year, picked the films Triangle: Going To America, on black immigration in the United States, Forward Ever, on the assasination of Caribbean political icon and the late Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, the Black Panthers, Vanguards of A Revolution, and Yureimei: Garifuna Homeland, as some of the best themes so far that finds a connection to the Belizean experience at home and abroad. The showings for Yureimei (Garifuna Homeland) at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Rave Baldwin Hills Theaters.

Future studies of the karst features in the Chiquibul Forest
Nohoch Ch’en Expedition leaders briefing and devising next steps for future studies of the karst features in the Chiquibul Forest. Exciting and important discoveries were made in Nohoch Ch’en. Full report yet being developed. FCD thanks all expedition members especially Jim Bevis and family for making the complex coordination possible.

Riverside cleanup campaign in Succotz Village
Today's riverside cleanup campaign in Succotz Village by the FCD Environmental Youth Group. Youths are the future of Belize! Thank you guys for always being environmental stewards! Today's riverside cleanup was a success! Looking forward to a productive year; protecting our environment and most importantly keeping our rivers clean!

Channel 7

Two Lives Lost In Traffic Fatality
A man and a teenaged boy were killed in a traffic accident in Belmopan on Saturday. At about 1:50 on Saturday morning, 24 year old Daniel Cunil was driving along the Hummingbird highway when he hit a motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction - killing the driver and his passenger on the spot. Police say, alcohol may have been a factor. Our news team was in Belmopan this morning to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne reports. Courtney Weatherburne "These are the remains of Saturday morning road traffic accident. What you see scattered on the roadside are motorcycle scraps, but while these shards of fiberglass and plastic can be removed or replaced, a lost love one can't be." Courtney Weatherburne reporting This black bow that hangs above the doorway announces the death of their loved one,

PUP Leader Says It's Wait and See With Hon. Marco Tulio
Last week, the biggest news story was the 6 criminal charges brought against Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez. He's accused of child molestation, and though he has declared to his party that he will defend his name and reputation very vigorously, he has yet to make any serious public statement to the press. On Saturday, we caught up with Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca at the manifesto launch for the PUP City Council slate, and we asked him where the PUP stands with the elected representative who the party has suspended. He told us that while the party is very aware of the serious nature of what Tulio Mendez is accused of, they can do no more at this time until Mendez has his day in court to defend himself against the charges:

Special Envoy Says Remember the Children In Tulio Mendez Case
The Special Envoy for Women And Children Kim Barrow has also made a statement on Tulio Mendez. He statement, quote, "urges all…involved to ensure that this highly sensitive issue is handled with the best interests of the affected children as the priority." The statement adds, "This is an opportunity to rise above political lines and raise awareness on a serious issue…" It closes by saying that, quote, "it so important that when these violations of children's rights are reported, they are not taken lightly and every effort is made to ensure that truth and justice prevail."

Fonseca Stands By Briceno
And as we showed you, one day after Marco Tulio was arraigned, former PUP Leader John Briceno was also criminally charged with traffic offences for running over the foot of the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He now stands charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident, and harm. The incident allegedly happened on January 22 just outside the compound of the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. All the local politicos were there to observe the inauguration ceremony for the works which will be done on the San Lazaro/August Pine Ridge Road. Hendricks arrived there first, and according to his police report, he was standing at the entrance of the compound when Briceno arrived in his Toyota Prado. He claims that Briceno drove over his foot while driving in.

Free Champagne!
It made big news when the transgendered individual, Vanessa Champagne Paris, was accused of threatening Caleb Orozco's sister with a knife. Well, tonight, Paris, who is known legally as Perfilio Rodriguez is now freed of that charge after today's hearing at the Magistrate's Court. The case was called up for trial today by Magistrate Herbert Panton, and the complaint, Golda Orosco, Caleb's sister, was a no show. Her testimony was the main evidence against Paris because she was his accuser. She had also not reported for court at the last adjournment and Magistrate Panton already ruled that if she didn't show up today, he would strike it out.

PUP Launch Manifesto At Sports Day
Wednesday February 11th is nomination day for the City Council elections, and 3 weeks' after that, voters will go to the polls in nine towns and cities to choose their municipal leaders for the next 3 years. Campaign efforts are stepping up and in Belize City, and the PUP 11 did something different on Saturday: they held a sports day at the ITVET compound to launch their manifesto. As a popular event, we can't say that it succeeded: only a few hundred persons came out, but all the media was there to hear what the PUP has planned for the City. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca and Mayoral Candidate, Yolanda Schakron told the media they've been on the ground, and the people have been explaining to them what is wrong with the city, and how to improve it: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader - PUP "We are in the final stretch, the last 21 days or so before the election. So, yes, we are stepping up. The team has been working very hard over the last few weeks and the whole objective is to finish strong. There is a sense of momentum and I think the team is being well received. Obviously, what happens over the next three weeks is critically important and what happens on election day, in terms of the machinery, is going to be critically important as well."

Bradley Breaks Down Audit
Today, we asked Mayor Bradley to answer that question. He told us that the of that 1.3 million dollars annotated in the audit, 1.2 million went to the settlement with Belize Waste Control that City Hall owed the sanitation company for over 10 years. He added that there were several other expenditures to consultants to the city, but no money went to any lawyer for the City Council, and for an avoidance of doubt, none of the council's finances was spent on his law firm. Here's how he explained it: Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "That was the judgment is 1.2 million dollars that we paid Waste Control. Actually the breakdown that I gave you showed that that was paid over the last year in 3 installments and we also had to pay $50,000 to their attorney because of course this is matter which they have won and to the victor goes their cost, so we were liable to their cost when we had to agree on a settlement. Remember, they had written off one million dollars because the judgment was 2.2 million.

Pillaged In Playa
A Mexican newspaper reports that a Belizean was assaulted and robbed in Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo yesterday. Accoridng to the Diario Res-Puesta, 25 year old Abner Torrez along with a friend were on the beach behind Blue Parrot Club at around 2:30 Saturday morning. The newspaper says 3 assailants approached him and knocked him to ground with a blow to his left cheek. They then stole an IPHONE and 700 pesos -which is about $94 Belize dollars from him. Officers tried to locate the assailants but couldn't find them. Torrez was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Retired Cabbie From Camalote Missing
73 year old retired taxi driver Cayetano Nah has been missing for 8 days and tonight, concerns are mounting for his family. A family member went to take him breakfast on Monday February 2nd and he was not there. Inspector Stephanie Grinage told us today that all efforts are being made to locate him. Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander, Belmopan "Mr. Nah family came in and reported that he has been missing since the 2nd of February, 2015 and his whereabouts at this time is unknown. He was last seen wearing a black pants and a brown shirt. This is not usual with Mr. Nah, as he usually comes home by night. So the family is very concerned about his whereabouts and they have organized searches for Mr. Nah and so far has come up with nothing at this time."

Rocket, Man!
Fragments of a space rocket were found in the waters off San Pedro over the weekend. The story and pictures comes from Ambergris Today which show a scrap of wreckage bearing the letters "A-R-I-A" and the crest of the European Union. At first no one knew where it came from, but after a time on the Ambergris Today website - many emails and called narrowed it down to this: the wreckage is from the European Ariane Galileo, a rocket that launched satellites into orbit. This one was launched in August 2014 from French Guiana on the north Coast of South America. The parts found near the Belize Barrier reef are believed to be the steel casings that enclose the rocket boosters. These boosters fall back to earth after the rocket is launched into the atmosphere. According to information on the internet, the boosters sink to the bottom of the ocean 450 kilometers from the launch site. So, we're assuming that while the rocket boosters sank, these metal casings somehow didn't and drifted over to Belize.

Late Evening Murder In Roaring Creek
There was a murder in Roaring Creek village about an hour ago. It happened at about at 6:50 in an area known as "zinc Fence" near to Garbutt's gas station. That's when John Alexander Smith reportedly went to buy bitters and someone shot him for no known reason. Police are processing the scene right now and have no suspects at this time. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Another Year For Shaquan
22 year-old Shaquan Almendarez, who is already serving 3 years in jail for drug trafficking, received the bad news that another year in jail has been added to his prison term. Almendarez was busted with 154 grams - or about 5.4 ounces of weed in December 2012 on Electric Avenue in Belize City. Almendarez was charged with drug trafficking. When he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he pleaded guilty explaining that he did not intend to sell the weed. He said that it was only for his personal usage.

What Did Audrey And Ashcroft Discuss Over Breakfast?
It became a social media sensation when a picture surfaced on Friday showing Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Michael Ashcroft having breakfast at the Radisson. Matura Shepherd appeared on the KREM Sunday Review with Ya-Ya Marin yesterday to outline the meeting. She said they discussed the BTL litigation and his campaign financing of both the PUP and UDP. But, the Ashcroft Alliance is also the owner of the Port of Belize - which is in collective bargaining negotiations with Matura's Christian Workers Union. And, it seems there has been some interest as to whether the Port and its stevedores were also discussed across the ccozy corner table. So, two hours ago, the Christian workers union released a statement saying that quote, "her meeting had absolutely nothing to do with Port of Belize Limited or CWU members who work for Port of Belize. The statement says Matura-Shepherd will provide more details of the meeting later this week.

Will 3rd Time Be A Charm?: Senator Anthony Sylvester To Take On PM
For third time, PUP Senator Anthony Sylvestre, is going up against Prime Minister Dean Barrow to try to unseat him as area representative of the Queen Square Constituency. Now, as viewers may know, that's considered one of the safest seats in the country: the Prime Minister has been the area rep for Queen Square since 1984 - and in 31 years, he's undefeated. And in the last election he won by more than 1,500 votes, gaining 80% of the vote. But, even though the Prime Minister has defeated him twice before, at the next general elections, Sylvestre believes he can convince Queen Square to vote him into office. He was officially sworn in as the standard bearer for that constituency at the PUP's Belize City manifesto launch at the ITVET Compound on Saturday. That's quote a distance from Queen Square, but here's how he explained his chances of winning:

Richard Smith, Not Winning, But Still In The Running
One more politician who wants to be elected to office is Richard Smith. He ran as an independent candidate in the last general elections against PUP's Dr. Amin Hegar and UDP's Incumbent John Saldivar and lost. At that election he only got 230 votes, 4.1% of the population in Belmopan, but now he wants the job of Mayor Simeon Lopez. This evening, he told us what his plan for the capital city is if the residents give him the chance: Smith is known as a pastor and owner of the My Refuge Christian radio station in Belmopan.

The BTEC Solution
The Belize Training and Employment Center in Belmopan just finished a three week job readiness programme in Belmopan. 35 persons looking for work at call centers enrolled and learned how to handle themselves on the job, and in job interviews. Today they celebrated what they learned: This training took place at the NEMO office in Belmopan, but BTEC's office is located at the ITVET compound in Belize City.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Fatal Shooting in Roaring Creek
There is breaking news: a few minutes ago, a Roaring Creek resident was murdered in the Hattieville area of the village. At this time, we cannot reveal the name because [...]

2 Die in Head on Collision
A father of two and a teenage friend from the Belmopan area lost their lives instantly in a terrible traffic accident. Both Leonardo Ramos and Rigoberto Cabrera Junior were riding [...]

Family Loses Home to Fire
A fire quickly spread through the house of the Ford family on Allenby Street in Belize City last Friday night. Tanya Ford, a single mother, was at work when she [...]

CitCo Spends $1.3Million on Legal Fees
The People’s United Party launched its manifesto over the weekend…we’ll have that story coming up. But at the event, we caught up with successful businesswoman and aspiring Mayor Yolanda Schakron. [...]

P.U.P. CitCo Team Launches Manifesto
On Saturday, the P.U.P. Belize City municipal team officially launched its manifesto, as it prepares to contest elections less than a month away. The launch was done at the ITVET [...]

P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate Will Work for Free
On the podium, successful businesswoman and aspiring Mayor Yolanda Schakron also made a commitment that if she is elected, she would work for free. In the past we’ve heard aspiring [...]

Beware Counterfeit Bills
Business owners and vendors are being asked to exercise vigilance for counterfeit currency. According to the Belize City police, around eleven o’clock on Friday morning, they visited the Michael Finnegan [...]

Belizeans Robbed in Playa Del Carmen
Two Belizeans were attacked by three unidentified persons in Playa del Carmen over the weekend. According to Police reports from that area, authorities were called to downtown Playa del Carmen [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Briceño Case Frivolous and Political
While the P.U.P. focused, at least this past week, on the city’s manifesto launch, last week the party took two successive political hits, both in the north. Two area representatives [...]

…Speaks on Arraignment of Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
This issue of P.U.P. Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez isn’t dismissed quite so easily. Mendez has been charged with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent [...]

NEBL Season II Underway
Season Two of the National Elite Basketball League kicked off in San Ignacio on Friday night with Cayo Western Ballaz taking on the Belize Hurricanes on their home court.  While [...]

Petrocaribe Case in the Supreme Court
Up until a few weeks ago, the seemingly infinite public purse that is the Petrocaribe funds had been used to finance infrastructure projects across the country.  Major road works and [...]

Perfilio Rodriguez Freed on Assault Charge
Perfilio Rodriguez better known as Vanessa Paris Champagne was freed of an aggravated assault charge against President of UNIBAM Caleb Orozco’s sister when he appeared in court today. The nineteen [...]

Inmate Gets Another Conviction for Drugs
A prisoner, who is serving a three year sentence, picked up another conviction for a drug related offense. Shaquan Almendarez, who has already served two years for drug trafficking, was [...]

No Arrests In Emerson Daly Murder
Will there be any justice for the families of twenty-four year old Emerson Daly or sixty-year old Feliciano Richard Noralez? Daly was initially reported missing and his body found two [...]

Season 2 of the NEBL with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The national anthem rendered by the Moreno Sisters – Solie and Julie – heralded the arrival of the 2nd [...]


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#500899 - 02/10/15 11:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 10, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

Counterfeit Currency Surface In The City
A new set of counterfeit currency have surfaced and business owners and vendors are advised to be on the lookout for the fake currency. The monies popped up in Belize City, on the 6th of February at about 11:00a.m., police visited the Michael Finnegan Market located at the Corner of Cemetery Road and West Collet Canal in Belize City and spoke to several fruit vendors who handed over seven $20.00 with six notes having the same serial number: DL287655 and one with serial number DL183156. Also on the 9th of February at about 1:00 p.m. police visited the Belize Bank located on Albert Street, Belize, where the teller handed over a $50.00 bill with serial number DJ792434. All notes have been confirmed to be counterfeit. Again business owners and vendors are advised to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency and to notify the police immediately when this occurs.

Is The BSCFA Still An Association?
There are some new developments in the sugar industry as reports have it that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is to be registered as a company and no longer an association. At least that is what some media houses have been reporting but from what CTV-3 News understands, that is not the case. We have tried speaking with Chair of the Committee of Management Ezekiel Cansino but have been unsuccessful. We have been reliably informed however that the BSCFA is still an Association. What officials at the association are trying to do is to register the group under the Cooperative and Companies Act. The purpose, we understand, is to have the association under a legal frame to protect the association. According to reports we received, the association was no longer legally protected under the Sugar Act after that act was amended by government. While the association was registered under the Sugar Industry Control Board as an Association, the group no longer had any form of legal protection under this process. We understand that the Association will be holding a meeting to clarify the confusion tomorrow. We will be bringing more on this matter as more information becomes available.

Police Recover Ammunition In San Pedro
Last week San Pedro Police discovered a large number of firearm cartridges in an empty lot in Boca del Rio Area on the Island. Authorities confiscated 148 cartridges that have been labeled as found property. The police acted on an anonymous call. The cartridges found, police say, are used commonly for rifles and shotguns. A detailed description of the find include 59 live Remington .243 centrefire cartridges, nine live 12 gauge Winchester cartridges, 11 live 12 gauge Remington Peters cartridges, 23 live 12 gauge Western SuperX cartridges, four live 12 gauge Eiley Grand Prix cartridges and 28 live 12 gauge Winchester Super speed cartridges. Also found were 14 expended Remington .243 centrefire shells, believed to have been used during a target test.

Special Envoy Calls For Sensitivity When It Comes To Cases Involving Children
Tomorrow will make exactly one week that Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez was charged with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon two minors. The Orange Walk East Area Representative is scheduled to reappear in court on April 13th. So far it is not yet known if Mendez will step down as Area Representative of the East automatically triggering a bi-election. What we do know though is that following Mendez’s indictment the P.U.P removed him as the chairman of the P.U.P Northern Caucus and suspended him indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. Both Mendez and his estranged wife Doctor Leslie Mendez have asked for empathy and for the case to be kept out the political lines as they deal with the situation. And today, in the wake of Mendez charges, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, urged all persons involved to ensure that this highly sensitive issue is handled with the best interests of the affected children as the priority.

Belizean Attacked In Playa
Over the weekend a Belizean tourist was victim to delinquents while in Playa Del Carmen. According to an article published yesterday on the Mexican Newspaper El Diario Respuesta around 2:30 Sunday morning, 25 year old Abner Torrez, a Belizean tourist, reported to officials that were on patrol that while he was standing near the beach side, behind a night club in the company of a female friend, three male persons approached him and for no reason began hitting hit him on the face causing him to fall to the ground. The three assailants then proceeded to rob Torrez of his iPhone and 700 pesos after which they made good there escape.

LOVE FM

PUP Endorse New Standard Bearer
During the PUP’s event on Saturday, Anthony Sylvester Junior was endorsed as the Party’s standard bearer for the Queen Square division. For the past two general elections, Sylvester ran against Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the division and lost. Sylvester explained why he is contesting once again even though the Prime Minister has held the seat for 21 years, since it became a division. “One of the certain points in terms of representation of the people is that every single person counts and so that the situation in Queen Square has evolved over the years where it is quite clear particularly those who physically live in the division that the current area representative clearly has no regard for them and is not properly representing them so that for me the starting pace obviously has to be those who have been neglected, those whose interest have been cast aside in the 30 years in which the current representative has been there. Whilst he has over this period of time opportunities and doors have opened up for him and in that period of time he has indeed become a very successful and wealthy individual...

PAC Trial Date Set To Settle Matters
Last year member of the House of Representatives for Cayo South Julius Espat sued Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his capacity as Minister of Finance and Economic Development for deciding to delay a bill authorizing the spending of funds, including monies gained through the Petro-Caribe program. Espat, who also chairs the House’s Public Accounts Committee, says that the agreement entered into by Government in 2012 with ALBA Petro-Caribe Belize Energy Limited is not enforceable as approval was not sought from the National Assembly, and without such approval any loans gained cannot be paid from the public purse. Shortly after the suit was made the Government passed a motion in a meeting of the House and subsequently the Senate authorizing such loans. Today the lawsuit was back before Justice Courtney Abel and a trial date of June 2 and 3 has been agreed, with a final meeting in April to settle matters of submissions and other issues. Attorney representing the Government Senior Counsel Denys Barrow gave the press an update after the in-chamber session this morning at the Supreme Court.

Special Envoy Release Pleas to The Media And Public
The criminal charges recently brought against the Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez surrounding allegations of inappropriate behavior towards two minors have spun heads, spurred further speculations and talks as well as highlighted the identities of the two minors despite the fact that their names were not mentioned on the local media. In light of this major lapse in sensitivity, the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children issued a release today urging the media houses and the public in general to rise above the political lines when it comes to the affected children.

Municipal 2015-2018; PUP Says They Are Ready!
This weekend, the People’s United Party launched their manifesto to introduce to the citizens of Belize the PUP team that will be running for the term 2015-2018 are the new City Council if elected. Yolanda Schakron, Mayoral Candidate for the PUP, spoke to the media about her team’s preparation process and what the public can expect from the team. “We have been going in all the areas; we have been in every division in the city. We have been going house to house that is very important. We have been consulting with the residents to see what the problems they are facing is that is how we did our manifest, by consultation with the people on the ground. This week we decided that each person on the team would go into their area that they are assigned and then I would be rotating with them every day I will go into a different area so we started that because we have a lot of ground to cover and we don’t have much time so we have started that strategy.

House Fire Could Have Been Prevented?
A Friday night fire in Belize City has left a family of four suffering major losses as their two storey home, made of both wood and concrete received severe fire and water damages on Allenby Street just before seven o’clock. Love News responded to the scene shortly after seven and spoke with a neighbor Duane Smith. While Smith was unable to assist in saving his neighbor’s household items, he did save the dogs that were tied up in the yard. “I was in my bathroom and I smelt the fire and I asked my girlfriend if she smelt something burning but she didn’t react to it right away. By the time we decided to open the back door we saw the whole blaze but I know that my neighbor usually has their dog tied in the back so my response this, the house can burn down and you could always rebuild that but when I went downstairs I decided to lose the dog I climbed over the front fence and that is how I made sure to ask my girlfriend to call the ambulance. People always talk badly about the fire service but they did a great job. I have to give them respect because people always talk about them not doing a great job. I would have felt bad if the dog had died with the house so I went over there and I got burnt on my leg which to me is nothing. I did something that I feel good about, they are my neighbors and the lady is always home. Nothing was on so I figured more or less that nothing was on.”

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House burns due to unattended candle
A family of four has lost their home after a house fire on Friday night in Belize City. On February 9 at about 7:00 p.m., the house at #3 Allenby Street, a wooden and concrete two storey house, was engulfed with flames after a lit candle was left in the bathroom of the house. According to police reports, a 13-year-old was home alone, but later left to purchase some items leaving the candle unattended. The home did not have electricity and when the child returned from the store, she saw the house on fire. Her mother was at work at the time.

Two dead after traffic accident in Belmopan
Two persons died in a traffic accident in Belmopan, and a 24 year old man has been charged with manslaughter by negligence and driving with alcohol level above the prescribed limit. The accident happened on Saturday February 7 at about 2:00a.m., on the Hummingbird Highway between Mile 54 and 55 . 24-year-old Daniel Cunil of Belmopan City, was driving a Mitsubishi Galant Car from the direction of Belmopan, when it collided with a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction. Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Station, told us what police have gathered so far.

Mek Mi Rich and BTL in court over game concept
On Monday afternoon a case management conference was heard between Curtis Dale Swasey and Belize Telemedia Limited and MMR Belize Limited, producers of the television game show “Mek Mi Rich.” Curtis Swasey says that he pioneered and developed the concept of lottery texting, in which a fee is paid to buy numbers and a draw is conducted that offers prizes, not unlike a regular lotto gaming system, except that it is completely electronic and does not use machines. BTL and MMR are accused of taking the concept as their own to create “Mek Mi Rich.”

Shooting in Belize City
There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Friday night, but no one was injured. On February 7, just before 8 o’clock that evening, 35-year-old Calbert Alexander Budd Jr., was socializing in front of his yard on Antelope Street, along with his brother. That is when he saw a man of dark complexion, approximately 100 feet from where he and his brother were standing, who started to fire several gunshots towards their direction. They both managed to take shelter behind the zinc fence of their yard to avoid getting shot.

Patrick JonesPJ

Porfilio Rodriguez beats assault charges
Well known transgender Belizean Porfilio Rodriguez, aka “Champagne Paris”, who was charged with aggravated assault with a knife, was freed of the charge when it was dismissed today by Magistrate Herbert Panton. The case was set for trial today and when the complainant, Golda Orosco, sister of Caleb […]

Convicted drug trafficker spared extra jail time
Twenty-two year old Shaquan Almendarez, who is serving a sentence of 3 years for drug trafficking, was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. This is after he pled guilty to the lesser charge of possession for another case of drug trafficking. Almendarez said […]

Teenager charged with burglary
Nineteen year old Gregory shepherd, an auto mechanic of 8322 Roches Street, who allegedly entered as a trespasser the dwelling house of his aunt and stole several household items, was charged with burglary when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Shepherd pled not guilty to the […]

Police recover two sets of ammunition
Police recovered two sets of ammunition the last couple of days in Belize City. On Sunday evening, authorities found a plastic bag behind the Lodge building at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Streets. Inside the bag, police say they found 12 live rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition. And […]

Police issue advisory on counterfeit currency
The Belize Police Department today issued an advisory calling on business owners and vendors to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency. This follows the discovery of fake twenty and fifty dollar notes. Police say that on Friday morning they collected a total of seven counterfeit $20 notes […]

Police recover ammunition in Belize City
Police recovered two sets of ammunition the last couple of days in Belize City. On Sunday evening, authorities found a plastic bag behind the Lodge building at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Streets. Inside the bag, police say they found 12 live rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition. And […]

Mexico appoints new ambassador to Belize
The government of Mexico has appointed a new ambassador to Belize. Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez presented his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan on Thursday of last week. A release from the Government Press Office says that Ambassador Melendez expressed commitment to working with Belizean authorities “to achieve the goals of the bilateral agenda, which exists between the two nations.”

Special Envoy says fear and shame cause child sex abuse to go unreported
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow called on parents and guardians to put the well-being, safety and protection of their children ahead of everything else. A statement from the Special’s Envoy’s office comes in the wake of charges being brought against the area representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez last week. Dr. Mendez was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and common assault, based upon reports from two minors.

Belmopan chapter of BTIA established
The Belize Tourism Industry Association has welcomed a new branch to its fold, bringing the number of chapters to ten. The Belmopan Chapter of BTIA was officially acknowledged during a meeting at the end of January in the nation’s capital. President of BTIA Osmany Salas has welcomed the new Belmopan chapter noting that it was one of the targets listed in the Annual General Meeting last December.

Blogs

A guide to planning the BEST vacation ever, in Placencia, Belize!
It is so overwhelming to not only decide where to go for your next vacation, but then how to pick where to stay? What to pack? What to do??? If you are even THINKING about Belize for your vacation....READ THIS!! You will know you made the right choice :) For those sharp travelers who already chose Placencia, Belize, here are some valuable tips and information to help you plan for a perfect vacation!!

Argentina’s President Fends Off Challenges from the Intelligence Service
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced Jan. 26 that she would reform her country’s civilian intelligence organization, the Intelligence Secretariat (SI). Soon after, the office of the president said it would submit a draft law to reform the SI to the Senate on Feb. 3. In addition to changing the organization’s name to the Federal Intelligence Agency, the reform is expected to significantly weaken the SI by limiting its ability to gather signals intelligence, revealing a wider political dispute. Fernandez’s motivations for reforming the SI are not completely clear, but concerns that criminal charges could be brought against her and other members of the government once they leave office might have been a factor. Moreover, though the reform appears to be immediately motivated by concerns over the SI’s loyalty to Fernandez, it may significantly affect how the Argentine security apparatus functions long after her term in office ends.

PORTOFINO BEACH RESORT ADDS NEW BOAT TO ITS FLEET
Portofino Beach Resort & Restaurant, an award winning beach destination in Ambergris Caye Belize has added a new covered boat to its fleet of shuttle transportation services. According to owner, Sandra van Noord, the new boat was a long overdue accomplishment since the resort opened in 2001. “Since our inception, we have always been seeking ways on how to improve the Portofino product and this covered craft was something that was always requested by our guests, pasts and present “, says van Noord who recommends the resort for romance, relaxation, and adventure. The covered boat has been named Chameleon and was bought from George Parham, a long time friend of Managing Director Jan van Noord who used the boat for outside reef fishing.

5 BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS FOR FAMILIES IN BELIZE
Belize isn’t just for couples, there is plenty to see and do together as a family. Whether your kids are just toddlers or teenagers, Belize has all-inclusive resorts for everyone and there are plenty of activities if you enjoy water sports, diving, rain forests, beaches, or Maya ruins. Here are 5 family friendly resorts in Belize: CHABIL MAR, CAHAL PECH VILLAGE RESORT, LARU BEYA, ALMOND BEACH RESORT, VICTORIA HOUSE.


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#500900 - 02/10/15 11:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 10, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The February 2015 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
Click HERE to download the PDF

This Issue's Stories:

  • Spices: By Dr. Thomas Mathew of the Belize Spice Farm. Spices are plant products used to flavor or preserve food. Some spices are also used in medicines, perfumes and cosmetics. The spice trade began thousands of years ago by Arab merchants who controlled it. Later, Europeans dominated the trade, taking advantage of the monsoon wind (wind patterns between continents due to seasonal temperature differences). In 1499, the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama landed on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India (where the author was born and raised), in search of spices. At about the same time, Columbus, while trying to find a western route to reach India (also searching for spices), found the “New World”. The spice trade strongly influenced world history. Colonial powers controlled many spice growing regions of the world and competed to gain and retain the control. Spices were the most precious commodity in the world at one time. India and Indonesia were the sources for black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric. Allspice, bell and chili pepper, vanilla and chocolate were the New World’s contributions to the spice family. Botanically, spices are variously classified as: dried fruits or seeds, such as black pepper; arils, such as mace or nutmeg; barks, such as cinnamon and cassia; dried flower buds, such as cloves; stigma, such as saffron; roots or rhizomes, such as turmeric and ginger; or resins, such as asafetida. The flavors of spice come from their volatile oils, which are oxidized on exposure to air and accelerated after powdering.
  • The Chiquibul Forest Reserve - Ours to Keep - FROM MY PERCH columnist, Marguerite Fly Bevis: In the last column, warnings were issued to all Belizeans about the dire situation in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, the incursion and theft of natural resources and the woeful lack of personnel and equipment to deal with the problem. In September 2014, a tourism policeman was murdered at Caracol in the middle of the day, witnessed by horrified tourists, tour guides, and a fellow officer. The police had confiscated horses the previous day from illegal loggers who returned to issue their revenge on the unsuspecting young Danny Conorquie, who gave his life in the battle for sovereignty of this great nation, Belize. The resulting outcry was immediate and agonizing. Finally, Belizeans woke up to the unpleasant fact that Belize has been invaded and, indeed, is at war for its very sovereignty. Because of a continued lack of security efforts along the border by the Government of Belize for many years, the Guatemalans were emboldened to cross into Belize. It was just a matter of time before they would retaliate for Belizean authorities doing their job and disrupting their illegal activities.
  • Pound Solids System of Payment for Citrus: Redistributing the Benefits: The pound system payment for citrus has been implemented for oranges since 2003 and for grapefruit since 2005. It has played a crucial role of rewarding payments for quality. Those growers who deliver quality fruit receive more monies than growers who deliver less quality fruits, i.e. fewer pounds per box of fruit delivered. Pound solids is the quantity of solids in a 90 pound box of orange or 80 pounds box of grapefruit. The solids are basically the sugar in the juice but can include other solid materials in juice. To obtain good pound solids, the right practices begin at the orchard level: taking good care of the citrus trees and the soil, which includes maintaining a good pH close to 6.0 and providing adequate fertilization. When fruits begin to mature, a sample is taken to the factory for analysis of quality. The timing of harvesting oranges and grapefruit at optimum maturity rewards the owner good payments for the pound solids in juice. As soon as the fruits are harvested they must be delivered in less than 24 hours. Once a fruit is harvested the decaying process begins immediately.
  • Taiwan Experience On Huanglongbing (HLB) Management: Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening devastated the citrus production in Taiwan in 1951. HLB disease caused great economic loss to the citrus industry by shortening tree lifespan and lowering fruit quality. In order to formulate adequate control measures of HLB, etiological and epidemiological studies and detection techniques on HLB were conducted in Taiwan. Now this systemic disease is generally controlled by integrated measures such as cultivating pathogen-free (PF) seedlings, eliminating inoculum sources and integrated pest management (IPM) - all this for reducing the secondary spread by the insect vector. Healthy Citrus Nursery Production in Taiwan In 1973, Taiwan began to produce PF healthy citrus trees with the use of mother trees from Ponkan and Tankan cultivars. These were selected and then pathogens were eliminated by heat therapy. In 1981, the government launched the Developmental and Assistance Program for the citrus industry in Taiwan; it was a three-level system (Foundation Tree, Scion Tree and Healthy Nursery Plant).
  • Energetic Agriculture Mineral Requirements: To be productive soil must contain minerals such as boron, calcium, sulfur, carbon, silicon, manganese, magnesium, iron, nitrogen as nitrates & ammonia, potassium, phosphorous, cobalt, iodine, etc. in the right proportion. Neal Kinsey’s book Hands-on Agronomy states “Good soil structure which as 25% air, 25% water and 50% minerals and humus in essence is based on mineral building blocks.” In some parts of Belize the soil lacks phosphorous in adequate amounts for plant growth; the sandy soils of the “pineridge” generally lack calcium. The first task of the farmer is to have a soil test done, then add the minerals missing in the soil. Minerals can be supplied by compost or commercial fertilizer or a combination of both. However, some forms of commercial fertilizers such as muriate of potash (potassium chloride) used in moderate to high rates on soybeans can kill the germinating seed. Some chemicals, such as glyphosate, used to “protect crops” can destroy soil.
  • Nontoxic Produce a Reality for Belize Growers Band Together to Meet High Demand for Organic Produce: Consumers worldwide have become increasingly alarmed at the incidence of agrochemical poisons in their food because indications are that it is the cause of increases in cancer and other serious diseases. There are many people who simply don’t want produce that has been exposed to agrochemicals or other environmental toxins and GMOs. Some people are turning to organically produced vegetables in Belize because they know that agrochemicals are often not safely used. Washing cannot make vegetables safe because some of the chemicals are inside the produce. Belize, unfortunately, is not yet sufficiently monitoring the safety of the vegetables in the markets. There is no mechanism to guarantee that the farmer harvests and sells according to safe guidelines. How are consumers to find a nontoxic solution? One of the best ways to assure that food is grown safely and organically is to grow your own.
  • Ginger Up Your Flower Beds: The garden of my childhood hosted a multitude of colourful plants: roses, cornflowers, geraniums, gladiolus, sweet williams, lavendar, pansies, violets, phlox et al and my favourites were the sweet smelling ones that had nectar which could be sucked and petals that could be eaten. Today I choose to plant only edibles and steer clear of anything allergenic or potentially poisonous. I was therefore very pleased to find that most gingers fall into this realm. Turmeric, galangal, cardamom - all have beautiful flowers and foliage and have valued culinary uses. When I first encountered Zingibar Zerumbet I was awe-struck and simply had to have some. It was introduced to me as shampoo ginger. The act of squeezing the bulbous head and receiving a generous stream of exotically scented smooth liquid in the palm of my hand had me sold. I imagine this is how Paul Mitchell felt discovering the awapuhi in Hawaii, which led him to create his famous line of hair products. It is mostly grown as a prized ornamental but what a pleasant surprise to find how versatile it is: not only nourishing the hair and body but having nutritional value and medicinal properties.
  • The Soils of Belize by District/Region:
  • Growing Nutritious Foods: If you have seen The Other Side of the Fence, originally made as a short educational movie presented by Dr. William Albrecht many years ago at the University of Missouri, I think you will agree that Dr. Albercht’s words of wisdom on food nutrient values hold true today. Most of the authorities of the time would not accept the idea that just because the crops being grown “looked good,” it did not mean farmers and gardeners were growing nutritious food and feed. I have grown an organic garden in the same place since 1978 using no commercial pesticides and try to work from a safe, natural approach. If that means controlling weeds and grass with a hoe, to me that is better than trying to kill everything else along with the unwanted plants. I do not use commercial N-P-K products because there is no need to do so in order to maintain the levels of each nutrient needed in our garden.
  • Getting to Know Humus: The term humus is not used on most soil audits, but there is the designation, organic matter percent. Humus and organic matter are often used interchangeably. Humus is made up of decomposed residues which have been completely broken down in the soil by microorganisms. The organic matter or humus terms notwithstanding, when talking about a longterm reservoir for nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, boron and zinc, I am not talking about undecomposed residues. This is referring to the humus (that is, completely decomposed organic residues) — without it, the reservoir function wouldn’t happen. Why does humus hold nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and boron while clay does not? Because humus is “stronger” than clay. If you could take a handful of clay in one hand and a handful of humus in the other hand, and measure the nutrients, humus has three times the nutrient-holding ability of the clay.
  • Drought Relief for Corn and Forages – Is Zinc the Answer?: Corn growers are aware perhaps more than most crop farmers about the value of supplying adequate zinc for the crop. Among other uses, zinc is known to be needed for moisture absorption in growing plants. That is, when you don’t have enough zinc, it requires more water to grow the same amount of yield because water is lost due to the inability of the plants to take it up in time. One of the farmers attending our introductory workshop on soil fertility admitted he never had much faith in soil testing to help determine his fertilizer program. But he and all his neighbors had a persistent problem. They all had cows, and every summer during July and August the grass would quit growing and die back due to too little rainfall. When this happened, both he and the neighbors had to feed hay to the cows, and it would happen every summer without fail.
  • BEL-CAR Makes Belize’s 1st Bulk Corn Export: Belize’s first bulk export of corn was made late in October of 2014, after Bel-Car signed a contract with a Trinidadian company for 2,800 Metric tons of corn. The cost of producing corn in Belize exceeds the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) prices. However, the Trinidadian buyer who purchased this corn paid more than the CBOT price as they realize that Belize’s corn is of higher quality, which will more than compensate for the higher cost. The 2800 M T (equivalent to 124 of 50,000 lb container loads) shipped from the port of Big Creek in Southern Belize. Bel-Car brought their own portable augers for loading, and had 30 Spanish Lookout trucks delivering the corn from Spanish Lookout to the port on a 24 hour basis until the job was completed. Bel-Car’s Paul Penner acknowledged, “loading a bulk vessel without the right equipment is a challenge. We managed to load it at that time. But in the future a better conveying system will need to put in place.”
  • Rice Production in Spanish Lookout: Spanish Lookout rice producers report that there is more than ample rice supplies for the coming year. Although it was a dry year for them, yields were considered average and similar to last year’s. There was somewhat of an issue with the Spinki mite, because of the drought. The harvest of 190,000 bags of paddy rice produced roughly 139,785 milled bags (60%). Average yield was 2681 lbs/acre (milled). The rice acreage remains stable, and slowly farmers are converting to flooded or irrigated fields.
  • Rabies – A Serious Consideration: On 28th September every year, the world unites in the fight against rabies by celebrating World Rabies Day, a day of activism and awareness. It is the global movement to put an end to the suffering caused by rabies. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) states, “Rabies kill around 70,000 people a year and more than 95 % of human cases are caused by bites from infected dogs.” The last human case in Belize was in 1989 when two children died after playing with a dog and her puppies. Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms in humans is usually one to three months; however, it can vary from less than one week to more than a year.
  • BLPA UPDATE By Alistair Macpherson, CEO of the Belize Livestock Producers Association: Over the last couple of months there has been much going on within the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) and our industry, and for once all seems to be good news. The BLPA has embarked on producing a 10 year plan, a long term strategy with defined goals for ensuring the sustainability, growth and improvement of our industry at all l e v e l s . It is necessary to have this type of strategy in place when we talk to potential partner organisations who will provide technical and financial support for projects we may want to run in the future. Basically these donor organisations want to make sure that they are dealing with an organisation that “has a plan” and has certain administrative, financial and planning systems in place and has the capacity to run these projects whether it is a small artificial insemination (AI) project for farmer groups or running the Belize livestock registry (BLR).
  • The Importance of Biological Nitrogen Fixation: Nitrogen uptake or assimilation is essential to the survival, growth and reproduction of all plant species. In general, plant nitrogen requirements are met by root uptake and in some cases leaf and stem absorption of ammonia (NH3) and/or nitrate (NO3) forms of nitrogen. However, plants don’t always get these forms of nitrogen they need directly due to the competition for ammonia and nitrate uptake with soil microorganisms, volatilization into the atmosphere and soil leaching. Conversely, soil ammonia levels are replenished via the process of ammonification or the breakdown/decomposition of nitrogen-containing plant and animal tissues. However, over the course of geologic time, nitrogen losses due to the combination of nitrification/denitrification by microorganisms have been significantly greater than nitrogen inputs due to ammonification, resulting in approximately 80 percent of the atmosphere consisting of dinitrogen (N2). Consequently, in the rooting zone of many soil-plant systems across the globe, nitrogen availability is often the most limiting factor in terms of overall plant growth and seed production.
  • Growing Carob in Belize: Carob is actually a shrub, but usually considered to be a tree because it can grow to be fifty feet with a broad spreading canopy of dark green, glossy, leathery leaves. Although not well known in Belize, cultivation of carob has potential to be successfully grown here. The prevailing advice is: “anywhere citrus is grown, carob may be grown”. Carob (Ceratunia siliqua), is a leguminous evergreen shrub/tree which is a member of the Fabaceae (pea or legume) family. The versatile trees are grown for their pods, seeds and wood, enjoyed as a showy ornamental shade trees, or pruned to form a dense screening hedge. Wood of the tree is hard and close-grained. It is prized for turnery (objects made on a lathe), furniture and cabinet wood. As a fuel it burns slowly and creates an excellent charcoal. Carob trees are fireresistant and are sometimes planted around homes in areas where there is a high risk for fires to help protect homes and property.
  • Management System for Sugar Industry – A Giant Step Forward: Since its activation in 2009, the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) has made great strides in assisting the cane sugar farmers to improve the quality and quantity of sugar cane. But with over 5000 farmers, hundreds of thousands of acreage in two districts (Orange Walk and Corozal), 8 varieties of cane in commercial production, and only 4 technical field extension officers an obvious requirement was a management system. That need is being met with Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS) under the leadership of Gregorio Canto. When operational, the system will be a comprehensive data base of sugar cane fields, indexed in detail by geographic location. The system will allow farmers and field extension officers to (1) monitor soil fertility, plant growth, pests, weeds and disease control, and water quality and drainage, (2) coordinate schedules for planting and harvesting, (3) assist farmers with record keeping, (4) identify common problems to be addressed, and (5) assess unique problems.
  • Belize River Valley Ltd. (formerly Tennessee Farms) Hosts Discussion on Sustainable Farming Center for Belize in Burrell Boom: Belize River Valley, Ltd. (BRV) of Burrell Boom, Belize organized a meeting on January 9, 2015 to discuss various agro-ecological principles that could be applied in Belize.Over forty people from thirty different groups attended the meeting this morning. The featured speaker at the workshop was Dr. Miguel Altieri of the University of California Berkeley’s agro-ecology program. Dr. Altieri provided an overview of the principles underlying agro-ecological development and presented numerous examples of sustainable farming practices that have endured since the dawn of agriculture. His worldwide involvement in assisting farmers allows him to share successes across many cultures. He showed amazing “before” and “after” pictures of projects in Peru, China, Cuba and Mexico with a special emphasis on ‘chinamapas’ used by Mayan cultures.
  • School Gardens Ministry of Education (MOE) leads way to bring school gardens to Belize and Stann Creek Districts: Workshops were held for over 20 teachers in Belize City on 11 & 12 August, and similar workshops were held for over 20 teachers in Dangriga on 13 & 14 August to help them bring back garden-based learning to our Belizean classrooms. Approximately one half day was spent on each of 4 general subject areas: Administering a School Garden Program, Agricultural Practices, Hands-on Agriculture, and Integrating Garden-Based Learning into the curriculum. Yvonne Codd, Health and Nutrition Officer for MOE organized the workshops, and explained the history of school gardens in Belize, and some of the many benefits of gardenbased learning: improved nutrition, a teaching tool that can be used to improve the learning of science and other academic subjects, vocational education, life skills, and more.
  • Dairy Products at Home, Making Cottage Cheese: This is the first in a series aimed at instructing readers in the simplest ways of processing dairy foods at home. Whether you are interested in keeping your own milking cow, or are able to procure fresh milk from a neighbor, you may be surprised how easy it is to produce your own yoghurt or cheeses. A theme of this series will be how to do these things in tropical weather without refrigeration, as many Belizeans do still live without electricity. Others living a more modern lifestyle may be glad to learn that it is possible to live without refrigeration even when using milk, the most perishable of foods. Thankfully, God designed cows to be milked every 12 hours. 12 hours is enough time for most of the cream to rise to the top of the milk container and in almost any weather the milk is still sweet after that long. Therefore, in general, you can have sweet milk to drink always on hand, if you milk your own cow. What about the milk that becomes sour?
  • Turmeric – A Tasty, Beautiful Plant with a Powerhouse of Healing Properties: Turmeric is the root spice which is a main ingredient in curry and mustard. The plant is also a stunning, flowering, tropical delight in the garden. Turmeric has recently been ‘rediscovered’ as a plant with rhizomes with many healing properties. It is easy to grow, especially in the tropics. The entire plant is edible, from the leaves, which are used as a wrap for grains and vegetables, to the exotic, decorative white flowers and especially the yellow-orange rhizomes, which are enjoyed world-wide in South Asian and Indian cuisine. Turmeric rhizomes may be grated or chopped raw in salads, rice dishes or in curries and coconut sauces, or may be used in ground powdered form after being boiled, dried and ground. The taste is described as a subtly pungent, peppery, zesty flavour with warm, slightly bitter undertones and a mild pleasant fragrance. In addition to its culinary, medicinal and landscape attraction, turmeric is used as an ingredient in perfume and as a yarn and clothing dye.
  • Raising Chickens - Naturally at New Life Farm: A colorful array of chickens roaming around a 15 acre field greeted us at New Life Farm when we visited there to see their portable chicken coops. We happened to arrive during the hour in the morning that the chickens are let out of their coops to supplement the grass available to them as the floor of their coops. They are also let out for an hour in late afternoon. When it’s time to go back into their coops, Abel Garcia, who manages the operation, says he heads for a coop and all the chickens that belong in that coop run after him. Their in-coop organic diet, consisting of rain water and ground white corn, local grasses, various beans, rice, amaranth, and milo grown on the farm, mineral supplements, and weeds pulled from their gardens, was developed by Dr. Keller and his workers, Abel and Antonio Orsini.
  • Belmopan 2014 Rain:
  • : Local and Regional Fuel Prices
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

International Sourcesizz

Celebrate Carnaval in San Pedro Belize
If you happen to be in Belize on the days leading up to Lent, you'll want to make arrangements to be on the island of Ambergris Caye. Three days prior to Ash Wednesday, the entire island comes alive as they celebrate Carnaval. Carnaval in San Pedro is a bit of a departure from the traditional carnival celebrations you are likely familiar with in other parts of the world. This celebration includes some messy fun, so pack a set of old clothes you don't mind throwing away at the end of your vacation. "Painting" at Carnaval One of the main events of Carnaval in Belize is three days of "painting." Venture over to San Pedros Central Park and other designated areas to see kids and adults covering each other in water-based paint. By the end of the night, it's not uncommon to see kids covered in paint from head to toe.

Where to Eat in Belize
Beautiful Belize is a small, but culturally interesting country on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Nestled beside Mexico and Guatemala it has a diverse geography from the second largest barrier reef to a tropical jungle that is home to hundreds of different species. Not to mention many ancient Maya Ruins. When it comes to dining you will find a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, and Mayan culinary influences. North American style foods like burgers, pizzas and chicken dishes are readily available. Rice and beans, popular in Caribbean and Central American countries, is a common staple and often served as an accompaniment to main meals. Along the coast and island destinations, seafood is big on the menu with fresh fish, lobster, shrimp and conch dishes readily available. Restaurant: Chef Rob’s Gourmet Café Owners: Rob & Corrie Pronk, Sittee River Road Hopkins Village Stann Creek District, Belize Phone: 501-663-1529. Open for Dinner. Restaurant: Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro Owners: John & Ellen Lee, Maya Beach, Placencia Belize, Phone: 1-501-533-8040. Open for Lunch and Dinner. Restaurant: Victoria House Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize Phone: 501-226-2067. Open for Lunch and Dinner.

UTSA archaeologists are collecting clickers for Belizean schools
Archaeologists in the UTSA Department of Anthropology are collecting clickers to support schoolchildren in Belize, where they are participating in ongoing fieldwork. The service project aims to bring technology into an elementary school classroom in Belize, where clickers are currently unavailable. The goal of UTSA’s archaeologists is to donate a classroom set. Donated clickers and base stations will be delivered in person to Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize. The archaeologists will also help the classes learn to use the clickers properly. Clicker technology is currently unavailable in Belize, however teachers at Mount Carmel are eager to integrate technology into their students’ education. Access to and experience with different technologies provides all students with opportunities to develop important technological skills and pursue careers in technology fields.

Man-made air pollution reduces Central America rainfall: study
Air pollution tied to industrialization in the northern hemisphere almost certainly reduced rainfall over Central America in new evidence that human activity can disrupt the climate, a study suggested on Monday. "We identify an unprecedented drying trend since 1850," the scientists wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience after studying the rate of growth since 1550 of a stalagmite found in a cave in the tiny nation of Belize. Stalagmites are pointed rocks formed by mineral-rich water dripping from the cavern roof. The experts, from Britain, the United States, Switzerland and Germany, said the drying in Belize "coincides with increasing aerosol emissions in the northern hemisphere" as the Industrial Revolution pushed up fossil fuel use.

Reduced rainfall in the northern tropics linked to industrial emissions, research suggests
Scientists have produced a rainfall record strongly suggesting that man-made industrial emissions have contributed to less rainfall in the northern tropics. The research team, led by experts at Durham University, UK, reconstructed rainfall patterns stretching back more than 450 years by analysing the chemical composition of a stalagmite recovered from a cave in Belize, Central America. They identified a substantial drying trend from 1850 onwards, coinciding with a steady rise in sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels to drive the industrial boom in Europe and North America. Importantly they also identified nine short-lived drier spells in the northern tropics since 1550 following very large volcanic eruptions in the Northern Hemisphere that produced similar emissions as those produced by burning fossil fuels.

Lord Ashcroft's polls are not what they seem
The Tory peer and Belize-domiciled party donor is attempting to reinvent himself as a politically neutral master of polls. But what does he really want? What does Lord Ashcroft want? Not a quiet life, certainly. Last week saw him again setting the political agenda, with a raft of constituency polling in Scotland showing Labour heading for electoral annihilation and the SNP poised to emerge as kingmakers after the poll. Then, over the weekend, he set a new cat amongst the pigeons - or more specifically, set a cat on Nick Clegg - revealing the Lib Dem leader is set to lose is Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour. If you asked Lord Ashcroft himself what he wants, he would respond by telling you he wants to bring the facts of political life to the people. He would tell you his polling is designed to stimulate informed debate, and allow those of us interested in the political process to make evidence based judgments on how we view that process. And he would emphasize that he draws a clear distinction between collating and analyzing that evidence, and using it to generate or advocate specific political outcomes.

Videos

  • Mrs Carnaval Pageant San Pedro Belize 2015, 4min. Silvia Patricia Lopez was selected as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye's Reina del Carnaval (Mrs. Carnaval) 2015 in the island's second annual pageant that kicked off the Carnaval Celebrations. The pageant, dedicated to the traditional slapstick-style celebrations of Carnaval on the island, was contested by women 40 years and older. Needless to say, it was a very entertaining pageant with plenty of song, dance and most importantly, humor.
  • David Attenborough's Paradise Birds - Season 1 Episode 1 Full Episode [FullHD], 56min. David Attenborough's Paradise Birds Season 1 Episode 1 : Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough's lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them all over the jungles of New Guinea. In this very personal film, he uncovers the remarkable story of how these 'birds from paradise' have captivated explorers, naturalists, artists, film-makers and even royalty. He explores the myths surrounding their discovery 500 years ago, the latest extraordinary behaviour captured on camera and reveals the scientific truth behind their beauty: the evolution of their spectacular appearance has in fact been driven by sex.
  • Belize Octopus 2014, 1.5min. A playful octopus on a night dive in Belize aboard the Sun Dancer !! in October 2014.
  • Belize and Guatemala, 5min.
  • Riding through the streets of Belize City, Bellize, 3min. Bike rally in Belize City sponsored by Harley Davidson in Belize and attended by motorcyclist from USA, Canada, Mexico, other Central American countries, and me. SHOW MORE
  • Isla Marizol Belize Vacation, 10min.
  • Half Moon Caye Belize, 2min.
  • Belize January 2015a, 2.5min. Scuba diving
  • OYE TOPIC: 2ND ANNUAL BELIZE BIKE RALLY, 16min.
  • Belize 2014, 11min. November 2014 trip to Caye Caulker Belize with Scuba Certification and diving the Great Blue Hole.
  • Ronald McDonald LOVES BELIZE FLAG @ MLK2015 Los Angeles, 1min. When seeing the Belizean flag Ronald Mc Donald had to take a shot with his tiny little camera OF our Little Belize Community Los Angeles presence in the city.
  • January with Frontier Belize, 3min. Starting the year with Frontier Belize.. We've started a whole new Beach Conservation Project which includes Seagrass surveys, Mangrove surveys and Beach clean surveys as well as keeping up our popular Marine Conservation and Diving Project! Plus we've started teaching the local high school a Marine Biology and Snorkelling class. A great start to 2015!

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