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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

Sotheby’s International Realty brand launches newly redesigned website
Belize Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm based in Ambergris Caye & Placencia, Belize, today announced the launch of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand’s newly redesigned website, sir.com, which was built to showcase the network’s listings in an immersive and visual way that is unique to the industry. “The new sir.com was created to tell the story of a home in a more editorial way, not the commoditized approach that can often be found in our industry,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We believe the art of marketing a home is based on showcasing its soul, so every aspect of the new site works toward this goal.”

Letter to the Editor: Suzy Strutner
My name is Suzy Strutner. I am a travel writer, author and editor for the Lifestyle & Travel Sections @ HuffingtonPost. It is of my foremost importance to keep my readership up-to-date on my travel experiences, travel news and changes in various travel destinations. Last week, my travel allowed me to have another 2-days stop on Ambergris Caye. Again, I wanted to have a short and private vacation stay with business observations mixed in. I had a pleasurable time! I was urged to also inform the community about my newest impressions; and possibly beforehand. Tourism has increased quite impressively on the island, my congratulations. Becoming famous unfortunately, has also lead to some structural and organizational problems, which have now become quite apparent. All these are impacting tourism pleasure one way or the other: * The island still has all the potential to develop into a real treasure destination designed for high-end travel clientele without dependence on the much tougher mass and package travel market. — A Positive

Inspiring and Leading: Natalie Arceo
Awesomeness personified, Natalie is a Sales Manager for Smart Belize, and on the side, as everyone knows, she is the island songstress. Her melodious voice has been heard throughout the country, and she has not held back from sharing her talent with others. She currently leads the San Pedro Town Church Choir, aptly named “Heaven’s Voice”. We talked to Natalie, and found out a little bit more about how she’s become such an inspirational leader. How did this choir leadership come about, and what keeps you going? In 2011, I was out for lunch and two missionaries stopped me in the middle of the street and asked me “Do you want to lead the Catholic choir?” I was flattered that they would ask and so I accepted. Knowing that the choir kids will not be at home glued to a device or experimenting with drugs/sex but instead come to sing it out with me and be involved in something positive, keeps me going!

Stray San Pedro Dog Finds New Home in New York City
As Ambergris Caye continues to top the lists of the World’s Best Destinations, tourists flood our shores in search of sunshine, good food and great people. What they often find is much more than that. As they stroll our streets and peek in and out of our shops, they also encounter our stray dog population. Often these visiting sun seekers stumble upon Saga Humane Society and the inevitable happens. It starts with a casual walk on the beach, a quick visit to the shelter, a day spent at Fort Dog, or in one case, a dreadful day at the beach that ultimately leads to Pedro the Great White of NYC. While vacationing in San Pedro in February 2011, Alex and Dave Brooten who live in New York City, New York USA on the Upper East Side noticed a few local children carrying a tiny puppy around a resort area. The two came to learn that the little pup was born just a few weeks prior, to a stray dog living in the children’s yard. It was clear that this 5-pound pup was pretty sick and in need of some care, so they rushed to Saga Humane Society. “At this point we had completely fallen in love with the puppy “Pedro”, named after his hometown of San Pedro, and decided that we were going to do whatever we could to help him and, we hoped, take him home to the US”, recalls Alex.

Ambergris Today

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Launches Newly Designed Website
Consumers still can search for a home based on lifestyle and amenity but now have the ability to sort their results by various home features including pools, kitchens and views, and compare visual images of that feature among their search results. “At the foundation of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is our focus on lifestyle,” said John Passerini, Vice President of Interactive Marketing for the brand. “Our lifestyle search is more visual, and our focus on video and photography allows our affiliates to showcase the various lifestyles a home offers that cannot be properly articulated in words only. Our full responsive site works on any mobile device and allows our network members to do what we believe they do best: uniquely showcase extraordinary homes around the world anytime, anywhere and in any language.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

When is the start of the rainy season?
Your 21st May could well be the average, but it is a very variable start. . . One year, I got it right to the day, 28th May. . . . Last year it started early, actually the 1st May, with 43mm ( 1 3/4" ) by the 4th May, after an April with absolutely no rain at all. I have an expression " April Showers, May it Pours" . . . . What I mean is that usually, we can expect the odd shower in April, not usually heavy rain. . . . But we occasionally can get the odd heavy rain in May, before the Wet season starts, usually around the last week in May. But some years we have not had a proper dry season, some years we have not had a proper wet season. . . . Our weather is not sharply defined like in some countries.

A Painted Conversation
A mural is coming to the wall on Burns avenue. They have some grand designs, and have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the much needed funds. Check out their idea at the kickstarter page. If it's half as nice as they plan, it'll be beautiful. "From conception to execution, publicity to painting- students, teachers, artists and community participants from the San Ignacio area will be involved in the development and artistic implementation of the project. The communities feedback will be integrated into the final design of the mural, giving voice to the participants. A Painted Conversation multi-media collaborative mural will express a positive and uplifting message. Our hope is to create a collective vision through an investigation into the assets of the community. The mural will integrate mosaic, painting and possible 3D elements in a final artwork that will integrate the community’s ideas to beautify and bring meaning to San Ignacio for many decades to come."

Belize Bird Rescue Newsletter
Belize Bird Rescue has released their first 2015 newsletter. Read all about the wonderful work they've been involved in, as well as the new Parrot Registration Programme. Thanks, BBR, for all you've been doing! "2014 saw a record number of intakes at BBR with 236 birds coming through our doors. Because of our work with the Captive Wildlife Programme, many of those intakes were parrots (106), but as the only avian rescue and rehabilitation centre in Belize, we help whatever species comes our way. 2014 brought us 53 raptors, 21 waterbirds and 56 songbirds. It was also record-breaking year for barn owls: 24 of these much-maligned rat-eaters visited BBR, with all but 3 them being successfully released back into the wild."

The Reporter

Belize celebrates World Health Day
Belize is celebrating the 65th observance of World Health Day, through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with a week of activities. On Tuesday representatives from the Ministry of Health will make appearances on several morning shows to raise awareness for the significance of the observance as well giving tips on how to maintain healthy practices in accordance with this year’s theme, “From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe.” On Wednesday an open day will be held at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan to highlight the work of various stakeholders as they demonstrate effective food safety measures used in food production. The Ministry will also make trips to several farms to ensure proper food production standards. According to the Ministry, this year’s theme allows them to focus on food safety and nutrition here at home. Food safety is a shared responsibility and it is important along the entire food production chain, from farmers to manufacturers to vendors to the consumers, the Ministry said.

Coast guard serviceman shot to the face
A senior member of the Belize Coast Guard was shot in the face today at around 11:00am as a team returned from operarions. He was shot by another member of the team. He is being treated for the injury while the Police have detained the shooter.

Patrick JonesPJ

Coast Guard Officer Shot in Belize City
Belize Media Group has received information about a shooting at the Coast Guard Base in Belize City. Confirmed reports are emerging indicating that a coast guard officer has been shot. The coast guard officer has been taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for injuries. It is being reported that the officer was shot by one of his colleagues.

Build Back Our Democracy With Local Autonomy
By Charles Leslie Jr. Cronyism is the dapperly dressed brother of corruption. He is a sneaky fellow, for often times it is hard to identify his actions as cronyism. It has been well established that the Government of the day help those they consider supporters and sponsors of the party, in an animal-farm hierarchy system. However cronyism immediately poses a problem to democracy: it encourages those in charge of the rules of that system to change those rules when it does not work for them, which ultimately erodes transparency and accountability, and increases cronyism. An almost perfect example of this fact, is what have become common place and pretty much institutionalized in Belize, and that is Caretakers, or as I call them – appointed Area Representatives. When these people are appointed by the Government, the democratic process and the democratic and constitutional rights of Belizeans are directly circumvented.

Blogs

Dreams do come true 5 super cheap flights to Belize
I thought it was a perfect time to finish this cheap flights to Belize post, with it being Easter (busiest weekend of the year) and sounds like zillions of planes flying overhead as people continue to arrive and celebrate Easter in San Pedro. It is a great pleasure that comes from getting a good travel deal much like scoring a really good parking spot only way better. For many, flight deals are far off dreams and fictitious myth, today I will show you proof they are a reality. This post highlights 5 different peoples killer deals on flights to Belize from February 18th 2015 till April 4th 2015 . Let the real life stories of their prize winning 2015 flight discounts fill you with hope for finding a fabulous flight deal of your own.

Mom Makes Potato Pound With Me
Mom shows us first hand how to make her 2nd version of Potato Pound. This version is a little bit different than her 1st version already available here. We don't cook the pudding on the stove top, it is done totally in the oven, which make it much easier to make.

The man who brought Scuba Diving to Belize
The story is about the man who brought scuba diving to Belize. It reminds me of how grateful I am that foreigners were able to invest in Belize and how amazing it has been to see the development that tourism has brought, albeit it has not always been positive, if it was left solely to the failed economic policies and corruption of the Belizean government, the country would be far worst off. [Ends rant] Jerry McDermott can rightfully be credited as the man who brought scuba diving to Belize. His journey to the lovely island of Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize, began an ocean away when he was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 13, 1927. His father was the first in his family to move to the United States and a year later Jerry and his mother arrived at Ellis Island and then followed his father to Boston. Soon after the move Jerry’s sister, Pat, and his brother Corry were born. Jerry attended Yale and graduated the year before Former President George Bush. Upon graduation, Jerry and his buddy, Hank Hamlin, went to Oklahoma to get in the oil business. That enterprise didn’t pan out so Jerry moved to Houston, Texas to become an oil scout, joined by his brother Corry. He found himself in the company of notables such as baseball players Dizzy Dean and Ted Williams. Due to some poor investments and a divorce, Jerry soon found himself in financial straits.

HGTV's Beachfront Bargain Hunt Filming in Placencia, Belize!
What an experience!!!! Last week, the HGTV Beachfront Bargain Hunt crew was in Placencia, Belize to film Season 10, Episode 2. Dave and I have known about the show for a couple months now, and I know we both had a building amount of anxiety :). Apparently each show gets about 1.5 million views, so nothing like knowing that, to make you REALLY aware of looking rigid/self conscious/hyper aware of every move! The crew was SO AWESOME to work with...we were comfortable from minute one. It felt like being at your own party for 4 straight days and we were depressed when it was over :) The crew hard at work at Caribbean Beach Cabanas (called Caribbean Cabanas on the show): We have been asked how did we get on the show?? About 6 months ago HGTV casting directors called REMAX in Placencia because they wanted to feature Placencia on this show. Dave and Chris from REMAX were kind enough to think of Dave and I, as we had recently purchased a property on the beach that fit the parameters they were looking for. We did a half hour Skype interview months ago, and then found out within the last 2 months that we were picked! We were thrilled and ecstatic, of course, until it hit me that I would actually be on TV and I have NO experience with being on camera :)

International Sourcesizz

Sandy’s Garden ... The Black Orchid of Belize
Let’s look at the national flower of Belize, Prosthechea cochleata, one of the members of a very large family of plants, the orchids. The very size of the orchid family leads to regular revisions of the sub-divisions into which it is separated by botanists, and the plant presently called Prosthechea cochleata has been named Encyclia cochleata, Anacheilium cochleatum and Epidendrum cochleatum in times gone by. The latter part of all its names … cochleatum or cochleata … which means ‘cockleshell’ reveals why it is commonly called the cockleshell orchid, particularly in Florida. And the reason for the choice of cochleatum or cochleata is because … and, gentle reader, I suspect that you are ahead of me … the flowers resemble cockleshells. Like most, if not all, orchids, the flowers are the particular attraction of this plant. And they really are quite remarkable, for Prosthechea cochleata flowers pretty much the whole year round. These irregularly-shaped flowers have long, narrow and twisted lower petals and a prominent cap which is dark brown or deep purple with dark lines radiating from a light green … sometimes yellow … centre. It is this very dark colouration which accounts for the plant’s common name in Belize, where it is called the black orchid. The plant is native to Belize and its neighbours, is found growing wild only in swamps and is an epiphyte … ‘a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant (such as a tree), and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it instead of the structure it is fastened’ to quote Wikipedia.

Lionfish Jewelry: A Market Solution to an Invasive Species
The overwhelming lionfish population in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean has become a top-tier threat to the environment, economy and sustainability efforts in countries like Belize. Native to the Indian and Pacific Ocean, lionfish were established as an invasion species in the Pacific and Caribbean Ocean in 1980, and have since become one of the greatest threats to sustainability of the coral reef and fisheries throughout the Caribbean. With no known predators, lionfish populations are exploding, due to the species’ ability to quickly reproduce and eat with abandon. They eat a wide variety of other ocean creatures that inhabit the Mesoamerican Coral Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world. Biodiversity in the ocean is quickly declining, and it is partly due to the lionfish. Several NGOs and nonprofits, such as Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, are now taking a market-based approach to battle the poverty in Belize, and also help with the coral reef conservation efforts. In addition to encouraging people to target the lionfish for food, a new social movement is teaching women how to use the tails of the lionfish to create jewelry. The tail of the lionfish is considered waste among fishermen, as it is not edible. By using the tails of the lionfish for jewelry, each lionfish caught then gains 40 percent more monetary value. The upfront investment to produce jewelry requires a small amount of varnish to treat the lionfish tail and supplies for making the jewelry which gives the women a huge profit margin on each piece sold. Considering the marine life attracts so many tourists that visit Belize, the lionfish jewelry has a large market made up of people willing to pay a premium price.

Videos

  • Hol Chan & Shark Alley, Belize, 3min. Des mini-requins, des tortues, des raies, des Suédoises en bikini (pour monsieur) et des Béliziens en maillot de bain (pour madame)

  • Belize 2015, 4min. Mccutcheon High School, EF Tours.

  • Expatriation Made Easy: An Interview with Macarena Rose, 16min. ZenExpat, a firm specialized in global mobility, helps you succeed in your expatriation project without stress.

  • Hasta Alaska - Belize Tropical Adventure, 16min. Belize was relatively expensive for us to travel so we decided to cut down on time and ramp up on energy. This episode may have only taken a couple of weeks to record but 2 weeks in Belize is 2 weeks packed with adventure!

  • Scuba diving the Blue Hole, 4min.