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The San Pedro Sun
Caye Notes: Football Marathon and Family Church Day
San Pedro Sports Committee to host Football Marathon: Mundialito Football Soccer Tournament-1On Sunday, April 26th, the San Pedro Sports Committee will be hosting an all-day Football Marathon at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena. The marathon will be divided into two categories: Under 10 and Under 14. Games are scheduled to start at 11AM. Trophies and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category, as well as individual awards. There will be music and lots of food and drinks on sale. All families are invited to come out and support the young footballers of San Pedro.
Teams are to register before 10:30AM on Sunday. For more information on registration details contact Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla at 623-0772.
Family Church Day: The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is inviting the general public for a family Sunday on the 26th April 2015. The day will start with a 10AM Mass, followed by free food for families, games for kids and live music until 5PM. Let’s all come together as brothers and sisters and making our island SAFE!
Walk for a Green Belize 2015
Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds!
As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm.
Another VIP Environmental Success Story
Press Release – VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE – April 20, 2015 - As part of the VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recycle Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro. The US Embassy accepted the invitation and asked us to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program.
Hurricanes defeat the Tiger Sharks
With four weeks remaining in the regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), lower ranking teams are pulling off surprises. One of the big surprises was the match between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. The Tiger Sharks were narrowly defeated on Friday April 17th in Belize City, when the Hurricanes made good on their promise of turning The Tiger Sharks into “panades”.
When the game kicked off inside the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium on Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks boasted six wins and two losses, while The Hurricanes had two wins and six losses. But the Hurricanes were in to clamp down the jaws of the mighty Tiger Sharks – they came ready to fish!
When the game got started, both teams tested the waters on the court, and when the first quarter culminated, San Pedro Tiger Sharks had a small lead of three points. But that was the only lead the Sharks would hold on to, because the Hurricanes turned up the pressure on them. At halftime, they were both 41 points apiece. The Hurricanes were not done with the Tiger Sharks just yet, and they decided to blow harder. Into the third quarter, the Hurricanes took control of the ball and began dominating the unfocused Tiger Sharks. The Hurricanes blew into the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, which they were able to protect throughout the last part of the match. When the time on the clock began to close, the Tiger Sharks tried every possible move, but none worked in their favor. The Hurricanes managed to end the game with 83 to 81 points, picking up the big W and setting off a major upset for the defending champs.
VIP Party Pushes Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in Ambergris Caye
As part of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro.
The US Embassy accepted the invitation and tasked the VIP to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program. The VIP Team relayed this to the US Embassy personnel and is now pleased to announce that thanks to its leadership idea the program was launched today, April 22, 2015, to coincide with Earth Day 2015, by the Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Misc Belizean Sources
WALK FOR A GREEN BELIZE 2015
In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care.
The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to remind motorists, passengers and the general public travelling along Belize’s roadways that littering is a violation of our laws for which a
ticket can be issued and carry a fine of $100.00 for a person. Littering creates a huge environmental challenge in terms of land and water contamination and impacts to wildlife and landscape
Through this medium, the DOE is inviting all interested persons to join us in this important effort, as well as invite the media houses to cover this important event.
Sam Hamilton One Night Only!
COME EARLY -- LIMITED
IF YOU MISSED THE INTERNATIONAL RED CARPET AFFAIR
HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE ONE AND ONLY LEGENDARY MR. SAM HAMILTON UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
THIS FRIDAY @ 8PM./BOMBAY LOUNGE @ LITTLE BELIZE
September Celebrations Theme Competition
Do you have a good idea for the theme of this year's September Celebrations? You could win $1000 if it's the winner. It must be 10 words or less, and the deadline for submission is May 29th. Good luck!
BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of April 12th – April 18th, 2015
Record permit catches, good solid tarpon fishing.... life is good! Despite some windy days the anglers that persevered were rewarded. Tom was able to land his first tarpon of his fishing career during his short trip here to Ambergris Caye (Grand Slam capitol of the world). Ted's heart was broken when he lost the tarpon of his dreams, but he will be back for more to even the score. Norm managed to get a tarpon to cooperate on his last day. Steve added another tarpon to his trip, Rhonda got a 50-pound beauty to her hand, but Leah one upped her with a 60 pound tarpon that refused to give up.
House Break In, Tres Cocos: "Apparently I surprised them, they dropped one thing on the way out. Home made ladder was hidden in the bushes, they watched til I walked the dog. Beware 2nd and 3rd flr dwellers." A comment by another said a Tres Cocos business also had a robbery attempt. Heads up, neighbors.
Latest scam, San Pedro: Two women are going around town asking for donations to fix their house in Dangriga. They saw me at Celi's on the golf cart with our logo and then later came to the office saying that the boss told them to come for a donation. There is no Town Council stamp on their letter.
BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, April 22, 2015: 50
Protein Pancakes/Paleo or Wheat Belly
Jada shows us how to make protein pancakes using only 3 ingredients. This dish is satisfying and is great for keeping your energy levels up.
Western Ballaz Host Warriors
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Dangriga Warriors this Friday. The Ballaz have the best record in the league. The after party will be at Thirsty Thursday.
"Play off time is around the corner and we need every win to secure home court advantage. Let's come out and cheer on our Western Ballaz. See you Friday, April 24th at 9pm."
Top 15 Reasons to Visit the “NEW” Running W Steakhouse
Agreed! The newly refurbished Running W Steakhouse in the SIRH is awesome. They've listed the top 15 reasons to check it out, saving us from doing anything but going and enjoying it all. They are in the top 10, number 7 right now, on Trip Advisor. Keep up the great...food!
"Looking for familiarity but something completely NEW? Then stop by our Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant located in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Recent renovations have transformed this restaurant into a welcoming space with upscale ambiance and casual elegance. The upgrades also introduced the modern Baroque-themed Lobby Bar featuring signature cocktails and unique appetizers."
Cristo Rey Mural Project
The Cristo Rey primary school has a new mural. It was done with the help of many of the visiting Ontario College of Art and Design students, and the Winsom Foundation. Thanks, OCAD!
"Ever tried doing a mural with thirty-five little eight and nine year old. Each having their own creative Wisdom ....I watched two masters handle it very well Quentin Babatundé VerCetty and Sam Gottlieb you are true artist and excellent teachers .... More mural pictures ..Thank you Cristo Rey RC school for being such great host to the OCAD University students and the Winsom Foundation."
Benque Viejo Female Basketball Promo
They have a cool promo for the BVFB. This Saturday, the Crusaders and the Interstellars play first, and then the Queen B's play Mopan Tech.
"Follow us at www.facebook.com/benquefemalebasketball All games are played at Deacon's Court on Saturday's every fortnight as of 7 PM."
History tour at the BTL Park in Belize City
Today the Belize City Council in collaboration with NICH launched its history tour at the BTL Park in Belize City...The purpose of the information stops is so that vistors can read and learn about the rich history of the space formerly known as Linbergh's Landing or the Barracks...now BTL Park!
Las Cuevas Research Station
Three years ago FCD took over management and administration of the Las Cuevas Research Station located in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest. The station is upgraded and ready for this season of University visits. We welcome the groups for the 2015 season. To learn more about the station visit us at www.lascuevas.org or write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alleged GOB Funds Fraudster Nasley Somerville Dismissed; GOB No Closer to Recovering 367k
Nasley Somerville – her name first came to national attention in October of 2013, when we reported that 189 cheques which totaling $367,000 were fraudulently drawn from the account over three years.
As Administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, the Auditor General found that Somerville was responsible. She was suspended on half pay and the report was handed over to police. Tonight the news is that she has been dismissed by the Public Service Commission. She will no longer receive the half pay she was getting while on suspension.
This was confirmed in a letter sent to her on Monday from the commission. This is after she appeared before them twice this year. She denied signing the almost 200 cheques, and said the signature was not hers. Somerville can still appeal to the Belize Advisory Council – but at this point she stands dismissed from the public service.
CCJ Settles Communal Land Rights Case; Crowds Inside and Outside Court
The courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was filled to capacity this morning for a session of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Observers, both from the general public and the legal community, crowded in to hear arguments made in the Maya Customary Lands Rights case, which was argued before the Caribbean Court of Justice.
But, before that case could begin, the Court delivered the consent order which was entered into by the Mayan claimants and the Government of Belize. The court formally declared that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed meaning that Maya Customary Land Rights exist. The court also formally accepted Government's undertaking to develop - in consultation with the Mayans - the necessary administrative and legal steps to protect those land rights. That will include land ownership rights at the Lands Department, and any other agreed upon terms between the Mayan communities and the Government.
A very important portion of the consent order is that the Government has to consult with the Mayan people about how outside persons or entities will get permission to exploit resources inside Maya Customary Lands. The Government cannot grant concessions, permits, for resource exploitation - such as logging permits and oil exploration concessions, and land titles - without first consulting with the Villages which own that land. Notably, the court also declared that it retrains the jurisdiction to supervise that the Government commitments are carried out. It has set April 30, 2016 as day when the litigants will report back to the court as to progress of the implementation of Customary Land Rights System.
Press Conference To Reflect On Gains
After the case, the Maya Leaders in support of the decision held an impromptu press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel.
We attended, and here's what they had to say a few hours ago:
Alfonso Cal - President, TAA
"I'm glad, you know why? Because the majority is with me. The majority is with us. The community is seeing now what we are achieving. We have come so far but they're yet to go. But we pray god - that god will help us because we are people not fighting with gun or machete but with justice. Our rights, we have our mouth, we need to speak. That's why I'm not ashamed today, for 3 decades; I start when I was young and up to this date, I'm really happy to see my people, that they were with us together."
Martin Chen - Chairman, MLA
"Today, the world knows what we are doing here in the country of Belize. It's not only Belize, the world knows why we are here today. So, I must thank you all for coming. I know some of us wake up. I was taking my bathe in the river, 1 o'clock this morning. I got on the road side 3 o'clock in the morning. Maybe some of us get tired and depressed - but we need to be here today. So, I must thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, who are here today with us. Like Mr. Cal said yes, we have some little group on the side that don't like us. They do not understand what we are struggling for. But like Mr. Cal said, we are fighting the cause them and also - not only for us here, for every Maya."
Belize Bank Loses Correspondent Bank Relationship With Bank of America
The Belize Bank is Belize’s largest bank – controlling about half of the banking sector, and it’s Belize’s largest domestic lender – but tonight the bank is preparing for a significant change in operations. That’s because as of April 30th., it will lose its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America. This means that the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the US. Importantly, it will still be able to do credit card business as usual.
We spoke with Lyndon Guiseppi, the CEO for BCB Holdings and he told us that the vast majority of the Bank’s clients - more than 90% - will not be affected by this. He called it “a manageable phenomenon” and says that the bank is “transitioning smoothly” by reaching out to all its clients who use these services to give them a list of alternatives. He said those customers who need to send a wire can do it through the Central Bank or other commercial banks. Guiseppi said the bank does not anticipate “a major fallout or major impact on day to day operations” and typical clients who go to the bank to deposit, withdraw, borrow or pay on credit cards will experience nothing different. He stressed that it is not a liquidity problem but a regulatory issue coming form the United States. When we asked if the bank will shrink as a consequence of this, Guiseppi said his bank is “still able to do the largest loans in Belize and can still generate foreign exchange through its credit card business.”
Matura Shepherd Responds To Dylan Reneau
On Monday’s newscast we told you all about former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau’s letter to Audrey Matura Shepherd, urging her to simmer down in her criticism of labour Senator Ray Davis and, furthermore, to apologize to Davis. Well today the media caught up with Matura-Shepherd at a press conference held by the VIP party – which she advises. She said she will not get into a back and forth:…
Audrey Matura-Shepherd - CWU President
"You, it's a pity that we'd reach this point where it's gotten personal. Yes Mr. Dylan Reneau sent and e-mail and I think that e-mail was strategically sent just when the meeting was starting with the GC of the NTUCB. It was sent, I did not read it before the meeting, but it was read the meeting. It was addressed to me, clearly it was addressed so it could be leaked to the media, so that the distraction about what the petrocaribe bill is about can continue. Clearly they want to circle the wagon around me but they picked the wrong person because they have skeletons in the closet, I don't have any.
Effect of Mayan Communal Land Rights Ruling For US Capital Energy?
At the top of the news, we gave a blow by blow of today’s huge appeal case, which was heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice in Belize today. So, what effect does this consent order have on the case brought by the Mayans against the Government of Belize because it granted an oil exploration permit to US Capital Energy?
Viewers may remember that US Capital has a permit to explore for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, which the Mayans say that the Government granted to them without consultation within the Mayan communities. They asserted that this was especially important because if, by some misfortune, the Temash Drill site were somehow to get out of control and there is a spill or some sort of environmental hazard emerged, they would be the ones directly impacted by a decision they had no say in. It also sparked great controversy when the claimants harshly criticized the government for its decision to extend that permit by waiving the expiration date last year after the case ended up before the Supreme Court.
The last we heard of that case was that it was to have been taken through the process of court ordered mediation. We asked SATIIM's Executive Director for an update, as well as her opinion of how this victory before the CCJ could possibly affect that case. The main issue in that case, is whether or not the Government was correct to grant that permit without consultation with the Mayans. This new consent order delivered today says that the Government cannot make any sort of decisions, such as this permit, without involving the Mayans in that decision. Froyla Tzalam told us this afternoon that SATIIM will look at the judgment in the context of that permit to US Capital that they are challenging:
BTL Park, Not Only Recreation But History
The BTL Park: it has become a popular recreational spot for city residents but from now on, it will be known for more than that. This morning the Belize City Council launched a public exhibit at the BTL Park. The exhibit features the historical narrative and significance of the area – incorporating the landing of Charles Lindbergh on “The Spirit of St. Louis” in the 1927. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley told us about the vision he has for this space.
Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City
"One of the things, I was very pleased with the exhibit that's being launched this morning is that, this space mad many purposes for the city. One of the reasons why Charles Lindbergh landed here is because it was used as an airstrip. That's one the reasons why the municipal airstrip is close by because it was one long area. This is something that I myself have barely know, so there is things we can learn even if you look at the 14 panels, which trace the usage of the park from the 1800s to today's date. These are things which many Belizeans may not know about and I think it tells a story of the place, how it has been in the past and how it's growing and evolving for the benefit of our community.
CCJ Upholds Minister of Education's 2008 Suspension
In 2008, it made major news when the Ministry of Education suspended the Principal and Vice Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in the Corozal district. Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo sued the Ministry saying the suspensions were illegal. The suspensions were set aside by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which found that the ministry did not have that power. But Carillo and Lucas went to the CCJ, alleging that the way the investigation was conducted and the way they were suspended violated their fundamental rights such as the right to work, the protection of the law and the right to equal protection. They asked the court to award them damages for these breaches. Today the CCJ dismissed the appeal, when it found that the suspensions were not to punish the Lucas and Carillo, but to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school. The court found that no disciplinary action had been taken against them to trigger the protection of the Constitution. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the Appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. And because they could not prove that any constitutional rights were breached, no award of damages was be made and the alleged hurt feelings and embarrassment suffered by the Appellants could be addressed in the laws relating to defamation, malicious falsehood and judicial review.
Cordel Has Title, King Backs Down
Two days ago we told you about the land dispute in Lake Independence between Cordel Hyde’s PUP Committee and Mark King;s UDP Committee. The dispute centres over a parcel of land behind the CB Hyde Complex building. When Hyde was in office – his Lake I Action Committee erected a concrete structure on the property. It burnt down before the 2008 election, and in October of 2014, King’s GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee got a title for the land. Only problem is, Hyde said he already had a title going back to 2007 – except he couldn’t find it, while King had his handy. Well, Hyde today got a copy of the title and showed it to us. Indeed, it goes back to 2007 and seems to defeat King’s one from 7 years later. Now, how two titles appeared for one piece of land is a question that stumps us – and the answer is probably buried deep in the bowels of the Department of Lands. Today, King publicly yielded to the 2007 title, saying in a release, quote,
Observing Earth Day By Planting Trees
On Monday we told you about how the Audubon Society was giving away free Mahogany trees. Well it was all in an effort to commemorate Earth Day which is celebrated today. The planting of trees continued as 15 more were planted at the Guanacaste Park in Belmopan. While we know the cultural and environmental significance of planting these trees, the coordinators of today’s event introduced another angle which surround the topic of road safety.
A total of 25 trees were planted – 15 were planted at the Guanacaste Park and 10 will be planted at the Rio Bravo Conservation Management area.
Making Mediation Work
Restore Belize wants to show you how to solve conflicts. Today Restore Belize held its 3rd conflict mediation forum at the ITVET. School counsellors, principals as well as students delivered feedback on the progress of their conflict mediation efforts to see how the program can move forward and extend into the wider community. We spoke with two of the peer helpers and they told us that this program has had an impact on their classmates.
Sandra Cadle - Coordinator
"The schools are not solely responsible to keep students in school, we need to look at what are some support system the school have to ensure that - that happens. We also looking at the roles of social institutions in ensuring that students remain in school because we're all charged with that responsibility to do so."
"Generally the main focus always is youth, making sure they're in school and that they can handle conflict or issues in their lives - personal and academic."
"A part from in school youths, we're also looking at out of school youths as well. As you know we have serious issue in the streets and so we need to look at positive ways to respond to conflict situation. It's not only school based approach, we're also looking at unattached youths. On a whole how to bring young people together and to help them to resolve conflict in a positive manner."
Mayans Win Landmark Land Rights Case
The Caribbean Court of Justice, the final appellate jurisdiction for Belize, has affirmed Maya customary land rights in a milestone judgment handed down earlier today in Belize City. In delivering [...]
Decision to Take Effect By March 2016
In addressing a gathering during a press conference at the Biltmore immediately following the decision, MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc reiterated that a debt of gratitude is owed to the leadership [...]
G.O.B.’s Attorney Discusses Damages Sought
Government’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, prior to making his submission before the Caribbean Court of Justice earlier today, raised a preliminary objection, stating that there had never been a [...]
Barrow Says Mayans Are Not Entitled to Moral Damages
According to Barrow, the fact that the Maya were deprived of their rights during colonialism, doesn’t make them any better than other ethnicities, including Mestizos and Garinagu, as it pertains [...]
Some Mayans Protest Communal Land
This morning, dozens of men, women and children from thirty-eight indigenous communities in the south gathered at the Battlefield Park in anticipation of the CCJ’s ruling on the issue of [...]
Cristina Coc Says Mayans Free to Choose
Cristina Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, told News Five this afternoon that the objections raised by the gathering are merely statements of preference, since they are free to [...]
P.U.P. Congratulates Mayans on Victory
The People’s United Party has issued a release congratulating the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association on the historic achievement of winning recognition from the Government of Belize [...]
Matura-Shepherd Lashes Out at N.T.U.C.B. Past President
The Petrocaribe Bill 2015, and peripheral issues arising from its implementation, continues to feature prominently in the news. Just about everybody is speaking up on the controversial bill passed just [...]
Is Political Office in Matura-Shepherd’s Future?
Matura-Shepherd sat at the head-table at a conference today hosted by the Vision Inspired by the People. And since it’s becoming apparent that the attorney, activist and thorn in the [...]
PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, Not Impressed with Petrocaribe
Debate over the controversial continues to heat up, with the unions, churches and business sector all coming out squarely against it. The P.U.P. has as well, and later you’ll see [...]
Espat Says G.O.B.’s PR Push is Political Spin
Espat told News Five that the original rationale behind the Petrocaribe program, conceptualized and implemented by the late President Hugo Chavez, has been bastardized to further the political ambitions of [...]
Changes in P.U.P. Imminent
And from Petrocaribe to P.U.P. politics… Reports have circulated of high-level changes in the party following the devastating loss in municipal elections. Espat wouldn’t offer details, since he says those [...]
V.I.P. Gets Set to Hit the Streets
This morning, the V.I.P. jumped on board with the church, unions, business sector and P.U.P. – at least when it comes to roundly criticizing the Petrocaribe Bill. At a press [...]
…Renews Call for Transparency
And although Petrocaribe dominated the conference which lasted almost two hours, there were other issues. V.I.P. front man Bobby Lopez reiterated the Party’s position on declaration of assets under the [...]
V.I.P. Demands a Re-registration Exercise
And finally, the V.I.P. called for a re-registration exercise to clean up voters’ lists which are widely believed to be anything but accurate. It’s an exercise which is a long [...]
CitCo Launches New Initiatives at B.T.L. Park
The Belize City Council today launched several new initiatives at the newly refurbished B.T.L. Park on Princess Margaret Drive. Among the many features added to the infrastructure were fourteen display [...]
BAS Celebrates Earth Day at Guanacaste Park
The world is celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a special day to honor and appreciate nature. For Belize, N.G.O.s use the day to raise awareness of environmental [...]
UB Students Raise Earth Day Awareness
And from Guanacaste Park to the University of Belize- the Earth Day celebration continues. We stopped in at UB to check out the festivities, where visiting students were able to [...]