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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

39th Annual Garifuna Convention
The Garifuna Collective on stage tonight in honor of the 39th Annual Garifuna Convention being hosted in San Pedro Town. What a treat to enjoy these musicians live!!!

The Phoenix Resort spearheads cleanup campaign
Garbage is a major issue, one that is unpleasant and unsightly, yet easily solvable. Ambergris Caye’s residents and visitors alike have complained about the trash that seems to crop up everywhere, to the point that it has affected our tourism product. But complaining about the issue is one thing; another is actually doing something about it. The Phoenix Resort recently started a clean-up initiative to help combat the problem. The first cleanup took place on Saturday, May 9th, and saw the participation of six people. By the time the second clean-up rolled around on May 16th, participation had really amped up, with nearly 40 people joining in. “Trash is…something very preventable, and if not prevented, also something very treatable,” said Mark Maggiotto, General Manager of The Phoenix. Beach Cleanup The Phoenix-4“Like most things, it needs resources and attention to solve, and hopefully with all of us helping, we can make a meaningful difference…” The Phoenix will keep up the campaign, and invites all those interested in tackling the trash to join them on Saturdays from 8AM starting at the resort beachside. Organizers would like to thank the staff of The Phoenix, Blue Water Grill, Sol Spa and the volunteers from Victoria House, as well as the schoolchildren who volunteered as part of their school’s community service duties.

Letter to the Editor: Corry McDermott on islands Medical Facilities
About 12 years ago I got International Actors Guild of New York to send down to Belize the first X-Ray Machine freely being the only one of a modern nature in Belize. Now I had an X-Ray machine that Mayo Clinic was to send down but instead they revitalized it and sent it to their new clinic in India. The Belizean government has given many of our tax dollars to build some of the best staffed hospitals around this country but so far didn’t help us finish the polyclinic that Ramon Nunez and I got $1,000,000 in contributions to build the first floor and when asked to complete the second floor they only built part of it for a dental office. People of San Pedro and our good friends from abroad I ask you to look in your hearts and then in your pocketbooks to help Dr. Danny finish his clinic that will benefit all of us. We need to send emails to our government officials such as Manuel Heredia to get government to give back part of the millions they receive in taxes from us to help us create better medical facilities and more physicians. Belize has just created the Belize Tourist Medical Association so let’s push for medical facilities and doctors and nurses that the rest of Belize has better than us.

San Mateo fire may have been arson
On Saturday, May 16th at around 1:30pm, the San Pedro Fire department (SPFD) was alerted to a fire underway in San Mateo. Firefighters visited the residence of 48 year old Daisy Cacho and quickly had the fire under control. Cacho claims that her common law partner, Linsford Polonio, had purposely burned all her clothes and other belongings. However, according to the firefighters, the fire was later disregarded as arson since it happened outside of the house and it was observed as a normal fire instead. According to the SPFD, in order to be considered arson, the fire needs to happen in an area where it does not belong, for example inside the house where it can cause damage. San Mateo Fire-2The San Pedro Police have arrested and charged Polonio with arson and common assault. Polonio will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison in the coming days.

Reef Week 2015 closes off with a challenging Triathlon
Activities for the 10th Annual Reef Week culminated on Sunday, May 17th with the annual Reef Triathlon. Island athletes of all ages converged at the Boca Del Rio Park for an intense morning of swimming, cycling and running. Organized by Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the triathlon was divided into three categories: juveniles, juniors and seniors. At the end of the competition, three champions rose, and they were Michael Cobo, Dixon Paguada and Kent Gabourel. In the juvenile category, 12 boys under the age of 12 tested themselves in the arduous race. The young athletes had to swim about 20 yards in the Boca Del Rio channel, then race to their bicycles at the entrance of the park. The boys then cycled one mile up the Northern Ambergris Caye Road and back. This was followed by a run to Ocean Tide Beach Hotel and back to the Boca Del Rio Park. Taking first place with a time of 12 minutes and 15 seconds was Michael Cobo. In a close second was Michael’s brother, Adrian Cobo. Josue Valle finished off in third, with Leroy Arzu taking fourth, while Cameron Zetina rounded up the top five.

SICA Women’s Seminar Aims to Empower Victims of Abuse
The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), which is a new unit of The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), is hosting a training seminar for women on Ambergris Caye. The seminar is being held in collaboration with the Women’s Department of Belize and the Central American Integration System (SICA) and kicked off on Monday, May 18th. Held at the San Pedro Town Council conference room, the seminar is being coordinated by Jorge Aldana, SICA Coordinator for San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Titled Project B.A.1, the training seminar targets victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, in an effort to assist them in personal development. Project B.A.1 consists of four phases. Currently 45 women are enrolled in the first phase which is expected to last three weeks. In the first phase, particulars will learn necessary skills in life planning and personal development. “B.A.1 is being implemented in all coastal areas of Belize. It was launched two years ago when SICA member states signed a convention on prevention of violence against women. The project seeks to contribute to the reduction of violence against women, trafficking in women and femicide (crime involving the violent and deliberate killing of a woman), but through interventions to address the factors that lead to it,” said Aldana.

Ambergris Today

Day 1 of Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
11 photos

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Celebrating the Maya Culture
During the opening of the Maya House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum there were various cultural presenttions.

Saga Humane Society is NOT For Sale
Saga Humane Society gets the kick-start they needed to make the next generation of quality and affordable animal care and well being a reality for Ambergris Caye As the for sale sign was posted at Saga Humane Society on Sea Star Street early Saturday morning, the rumor mill in San Pedro dubbed the “coconut telegraph” was so hot it nearly caught flames. Speculation that Saga Humane Society was for sale circulated, as did its’ potential closing for most of the day until Saga issued a Facebook post and a release to the media that all is well for Saga Humane Society and that expansion is on the horizon, not closure. Saga Humane Society Board Member Kevin Smith commented, “No Saga is not for sale, and No Saga is not closing its doors. We were notified by the landlord that she and her partner have made the decision to sell the property for personal reasons. We have good open communication with the landlord and the real estate company and will have plenty of time to make arrangements for all of the animals that we will continue to care for”.

National Manatee Working Group
Wildtracks Update: Never a dull day....and yesterday was no exception. A morning in Belize City as part of the National Manatee Working Group was interrupted by a howler monkey call-out at Lamanai. By pure chance, two Wildtracks volunteers were visiting Lamanai on their day off, and came across a sub-adult howler monkey injured on the ground - suspected spinal injuries from a fall. They called the report in and we diverted from Orange Walk to Lamanai to pick they and the monkey up. Many thanks to all those at Lamanai and IoA that helped with the rescue, and Joel Verde, from SACD for the driving! From its reaction to humans, it's possible that someone had this monkey as a pet, then released it...if you want to release a monkey, do it properly. Send it to Wildtracks! Without building its climbing and feeding skills before release, IT WILL NOT SURVIVE IN THE WILD. Don't condemn it to a slow death...we're here to help make sure these monkeys can return to the wild successfully.

La Isla Cariñosa Academy
La Isla Carinosa Academy would like you to pay for their new school building. The line that says "There are no other schools on the island" on the GoFundMe page is misleading. I don't know if that was an advertent or inadvertent error.

The 11th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-challenge Kayak Race got underway early this morning in San Pedro
May 23 - May 23 - The 11th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-challenge Kayak Race got underway early this morning in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Taking part in the two day grueling race are local and professional international kayakers from all over the world. Organizers have been hard at work for the past months, preparing all details for the iconic kayak race that takes participants through San Pedro’s lagoons and sea in a test of endurance and strength. Of course, teams also look forward to the amazing prizes, including a grand cash prize for the first place winners. The mission for the kayak race is to challenge the body and expand the mind by taking all participants on a challenging adventure race throughout the inner lagoons, creeks, wetlands and mudlands around the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. The adventure then leads the race along the largest reef in the northern hemisphere with breathtaking views of the island and Caribbean Sea. The goal of the race is to bring awareness to our fragile system so that in turn we can preserve it and protect it for future generations!!

Public Service Information Day at the Corozal Central Park
Yesterday was observed as Public Service Information Day at the Corozal Central Park. Many students and youth participated in yesterday's event. The Corozal community extends its gratitude to all our Public officers who participated and willingly shared information for each Public Service Booth to the general public.

International Museum Day at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture celebrated International Museum Day right, by inviting everyone out to learn about sustainability. "International Museum Day was celebrated at the Benque House of Culture under the theme 'Museums for a sustainable society' this year as an annual awareness and education experience it was very well attended and it full filled its mission to educate and empower our society with all supporting partners. Images thanks to FCD,Belize Training & Development Institute & Belize Audubon Society"

The Reporter

Agricultural sector getting upgrades
The Government of Belize this week announced that it is making strides to improve the country’s agricultural sector, through international cooperations. The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), called out to agricultural sector representatives this week to attend its upcoming “National Dialogue on the importance of Quality Infrastructure (QI-Standards, Metrology, Testing, Certification and Accreditation) to the Agriculture sector in Belize.” The event is to be held on June 16 in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) with support from the German Metrology Institute, Physikalisch-Techische Bundesanstalt (PTB). According to Rudolfo Gutierrez, consumer protection liaison officer with the BBS, participants will be able to share with the Bureau what are some of the much needed areas of importance and support that they will require from the Bureau as the body responsible for the provision of QI services.

Caribbean youths need jobs – females hit the hardest
Youths in the Caribbean, particularly females, have among the highest rate of unemployment in the world, according to a new study released by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). In their report, “Youth are our Future: The Imperative of Youth Employment for Sustainable Development”, presented at the final day of the 45th Annual General Meeting of the CDB’s Board of Governors, the bank showed that nearly 25 percent of youth, for the countries which were surveyed, were unemployed. Females were found to be more affected than their male counterparts having unemployment rates of 30 percent, 10 percent above males. Belize was one of the eight countries surveyed, and one of three cited to have experienced a spike in youth unemployment since 2007: the others being Barbados and the Bahamas. Trinidad and Tobago was the only country surveyed which showed any reduction of youth unemployment, which was seen between 2006–2010.

The Belize Times

Wicked, Wicked Castro!! – UDP Representative Deep in Scandals
Major scandals have emerged involving Edmond Castro, the United Democratic Party’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and area representative for Belize Rural North (BRN). The most recent of Castro’s long list of dilemmas is that he is accused of illegally occupying land in Santa Martha Village, which is situated in the Orange Walk East constituency, bordering Belize Rural North. The accuser is realtor Emerson Burke who says that Castro’s involvement in the unlawful use of the land has caused major losses for his clients. Castro does not deny that he is involved in the use of the land. He told the news media on Wednesday that he “cultivates” cane on the land. He might not be aware but cultivate means plant and grow. Castro also admitted that he is well aware that the land is not his and that it is privately-owned. Yet, he said he still encouraged farmers to use the land and grow vegetables and fruits on it. Stubborn and confused are the best ways to describe Castro. Facey and pathetic would fit as well. He refused to accept that he was doing anything wrong.

Barrow NOT committed to moratorium on offshore oil drilling – PM will lift embargo “if conditions are right”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow continues diametrically opposed to marine conservationists and environmentalists with his pro-offshore oil drilling stance. In his last media interview, on Friday May 15th, 2015 Barrow reiterated that the moratorium placed on offshore oil drilling is only temporary and will be lifted by him “if conditions are right”. The problem with this statement is that, firstly, it is Barrow who said it. The Prime Minister has demonstrated to be deceitful with his promises, vowing to do one thing, but changing positions and ignoring his pledges. Take for example his 2008 election promise that he will appoint a 13th Senator if he had won the elections. He has been Prime Minister for seven years (two terms), and he is relentlessly blocking the call for a 13th Senator. Another example is the Government’s so-called moratorium on the sale of Rosewood a few years ago. Days after issuing the notice, we learnt that the moratorium was lifted secretly to allow the Deputy Prime Minister’s family an exclusive right to export the prized wood. Is this the kind of “right conditions” which the PM refers to?

Petrocaribe Act Amendments are “Cosmetic”, says Mose Hyde
KREM Wake Up Belize morning show host Mose Hyde was livid on Tuesday morning as he discussed the proposed changes to the Petrocaribe Act by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Hyde said the amendments are “cosmetic” and not adequate considering the dangerous aspects of the law. “The changes are cosmetic. The changes do not alter the spirit of the law. My position is not an anti-UDP position, it is not an anti-Barrow position, it is anti ripping down of the very democratic ideals of this country. You cannot just write a law to cover behaviour from another law,” commented Hyde on the radio show on Tuesday morning. PM Barrow told the media last week that he was making changes to the Petrocaribe Act in an attempt to ease the tremendous pressure coming from groups who oppose the legislation. These include the Opposition People’s United Party, the National Trade Union Congress, the Belize National Teachers Union, the Christian Workers Union, the Chamber of Commerce and the Council of Churches.

PUP No Deh with Sedi
The Leader of the Opposition the Honourable Francis Fonseca after consultations has decided that the People’s United Party will not participate nor be a party to any amendment of the Special Agreement made between Belize and Guatemala. While the PUP has always been an active participant in all discussions, negotiations and meetings as part of a national bi-partisan approach to the Belize-Guatemala differendum, the Party has always done so on the condition that Belizeans must at all times be kept fully informed and consulted on all critical matters. Last month Prime Minister Barrow advised the Honourable Francis Fonseca that the Government was considering a request by Guatemala for amendment of the Special Agreement in order to allow for Referenda to be held in Guatemala in November of this year during their second round of elections. Accordingly the Special Agreement would need to be amended to allow for Referenda to be held separately instead of simultaneously.

Think About It
Only last week the Minister of Police was scolding the media for coverage of the crime conditions. He even highlighted that there was a decrease in certain crimes. Tell that to the families of four more persons murdered over the weekend. And the scores of families and friends of those who have met their untimely deaths by the cold hearted killers who are taking lives each week. The score card for the Minister and his government has to reflect a big failure when it comes to sheer inability to solve the problem of violent crimes and the root causes of murders.
Eamon Courtenay’s appearance on Dickie Bradley’s Monday night show on Channel 5 was an eye opener in relation to the Belize/Guatemala issue. His comments made the government look shallow and without any strategy. Guatemala’s foreign Minister arrived in Belize on Saturday, 16 May 2015. He came and went and Belizeans are none the wiser. We are told he came to inform our Foreign Minister on what will happen next week when Mr. Elrington goes to Guatemala. Minister Elrington is to sign a change in the Special Agreement to allow Guatemala to hold a separate referendum on whether or not to go to the I.C.J.
The Prime Minister, who shocked the nation with his Petro Caribe law, the mother of all acts of arrogance, which puts him above the National Assembly, the Courts and all manner of accountability; was at it again. Last week he announced that he would make the changes that the nation had been insisting he must make or face street protests. Given how the Prime Minister lied to Belizeans that he would change the unjust and draconian sections of the gun law that arbitrarily puts innocent persons in jail; we cannot trust his word.
Remember all those big announcements about the building of a grand headquarters for the National Bank, near the new Chetumal Bridge. That has been scrapped. A former government building on Regent Street, Belize City, which fell into the hands of a certain Espat has been purchased from him by the government for a whopping three plus millions of dollars. That will be the new National Bank building.

The Master of Games
A while ago, journalist extraordinaire Glenn Tillett told me a story that has resonated over time. According to Glenn, there was a farmer who lived out in the country on a farm with lots of animals. Eventually, the farmer met a girl and they got married. Unfortunately, the house in which he lived, while okay for him, was way too small for his new wife’s liking. He promised her that he would build a bigger house but as time went by, the wife realized that her husband had no intention of making good on this promise. She began to constantly complain and her incessant nagging began driving the old farmer insane. One day, after listening to his wife carry on seemingly without end, the farmer went outside and brought the cow into the house. Well, as could be expected, the wife went berserk since the already teeming quarters had now become even more cramped. She increased her nagging and the next day the farmer went out and brought in the horse. The more she complained, the more animals came into the house; he brought in the pigs and after that the chickens. This of course, meant that there was now hardly enough room in the house to move and the wife wondered if her husband had totally lost it. They lived like that for a couple of weeks and all the while the wife kept on complaining and complaining. One day the husband came home and without warning, moved all the animals out of the house. The wife was relieved and extremely grateful for the much needed space in her home. She thanked her husband for being so considerate and kind and they lived happily ever after in the same tiny little shack that was once so impossible to live in.

It’s A No, No!
Belizeans were given an insight into the low lever of incompetence that is the hallmark of the present Government Unfortunately it involved the more important national issue facing the nation. None other than the “artificial” Foreign Minister of Belize is at the center of this quiet storm. On Saturday, 16 May 2015, the Guatemala Foreign Minister flew into Belize to hold an unannounced meeting with the Belize Foreign Minister. There was no press briefing, nor were there any questions or answers for the visiting Foreign Minister especially given the timing of his visit. On Monday, 25 May 2015 Belize Foreign Minister will be in Guatemala to sign an amendment of the Special Agreement or Compromis of 2008. The amendment will change a fundamental plan of the Special Agreement. The section to be hanged is that rather than holding a referendum in Belize and in Guatemala on the same day, the holding of the simultaneous referenda can be done separately. This change is expressly at the request of Guatemala. The Belize government, without thinking it through has agreed.

Michel Chebat’s “Copa del Verano 2015” – A Huge Success!!
“I believe that Sports can be a channel to keep our young people out of trouble and engaged in positive development,” remarked Michel Chebat, the People’s United Party’s Standard Bearer for Cayo North. This past weekend, over 200 sports enthusiasts including football players, coaches and managers participated in the first ever “Copa del Verano 2015” football competition, organised and sponsored by Mr. Chebat. After eight weeks of rigorous but fun competition, the football tournament came to end at the Bullet Tree Falls Football field on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The champions, Peñaroll, received a trophy and the first prize of $600. In 2nd place was Warriors F.C. who received a trophy and $400 prize.

Holy Redeemer girls & boys lead primary school football
The Holy Redeemer RC School girls and boys remain undefeated as they lead the Belize City primary school football competition which continued at the M.C.C. Grounds last Thursday, May 14. The Holy Redeemer girls blasted the Wesley Upper School girls last Thursday. Yu Ting scored 2 goals; while Wareyni Gillett converted a penalty and Amani Allen scored a 4th goal. The Holy Redeemer held the undefeated Wesley Upper to a 0-0 draw last Thursday.

Alicia Thompson wins 2015 Female Cross Country Cycling Classic
Team Belize Bank Swoosh’s Alicia Thompson won the 26th annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic, a 68 mile ride on the George Price Highway from San Ignacio to the finish line by Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday. Team Westline’s Keirah Eiley had won some station prizes as she led the race at the start, but by Mount Hope Alicia made her move and shook off the chasers at Old Man Hill in Teakettle Village extending her lead to 4 minutes by the time she reached St. Matthew’s Village. The chase group could not catch Thompson because Shalini Zabaneh and Kaya Cattouse were playing a strategy game of cat-and-mouse. Shalini unwilling to take Kaya to the tape, knowing Cattouse was the stronger sprinter, while Cattouse making no effort to catch up with Thompson.

Brown Suga wins 2015 Strongman Competition
Victor Valencia a.k.a. “Brown Suga” retained the title of “Belize’s Strongest Man” by winning the Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation’s 2015 Strongman contest held at the BTL Park last Saturday. Valencia, who had won the 2014 Belize Body Building Fitness Federation (BBBFF) Strongman competition, represented the Body 2000 Gym in a competition with seven other men. He won the $1,000 1st prize by winning the bench press with a lift of 385lbs, in which he tied with Theo Gentle and he was 1st in the “clean and press” with 25 repetitions. He was also 2nd in 3 other events: carrying logs contest in 47 seconds, 2nd in Tractor Tire flip in 47 seconds; and he had the 2nd best time for the SUV pull at 29 seconds. He also won 3rd place in the squats and 3rd place in Hercules Hold at 48 seconds.

Kareem Grant executed on Periwinkle Street
The gun violence continued in Belize City with shooting murder of 26 year old Kareem Grant on Periwinkle Street in the Lake Independence Area on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Grant received multiple shots his body and face. He was inside a fenced yard when he was ambushed by a gunman. Police have found several 9mm expended shells on the scene. Grant was on the news as recent as December 2014 claiming that members of the Gang Suppression Unit had violently beaten him and another friend with a metal pipe during a search of a home on Periwinkle Street. The men made a public complaint before the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department, and the matter was reportedly under investigation.

PUP OW Town Council – All About Hard Work & Progress!!
The Orange Walk Town Council made, and has maintained a commitment of transparency and accountability in managing the affairs of the town. The OWTC has also implemented a policy of positive partnership and interaction with the residents we serve. Guided by that, Mayor Kevin Bernard and the Council are pleased and proud to provide an update on the results of prudential, responsible financial management by a team with integrity. Upon assuming office in 2012, we met and were burdened by an unexpected and crippling debt left by the administration leaving office. This included almost $300,000 in old bills. That has now been settled. In 2012 we met an unserviced bank overdraft to the tune of almost $150,000. That has now been paid off. We met unpaid critical bills – $72,000 to the Social Security Board and $22,000 in Income Tax. We have brought those commitments up to date. And we have paid more than $100,000 in gratuity owed to employees who have left the Council. There is a balance of less than $30,000 remaining.

Belizean makes history at Duke University graduation
Last week, Belizean Kara Nisbet graduated from Duke University with an LLM concentrated in banking and finance law. She is the first Belizean to attend the Duke University School of Law, which is ranked 8 in the United States. Kara also attained an LLB with first class honors from the University of Buckingham (United Kingdom). While there, she also received the Butterworths Prize for the student with the best performance in Part 2 examinations and the prize for the best performance in the June 2013 part 1 examinations. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in international studies from the University of South Florida.

PUP Cayo Central youth hold successful camp fire
Over 40 young persons from Cayo Central participated in a first of its kind Youth Campfire organised by the PUP Cayo Central youth leaders. The event was held on Saturday, May 16th, on Orchid St. in Santa Elena Town. During the gathering, there were team-building games and activities surrounding the theme “I have power”. One of the activities was to answer questions such as “If I were the Prime Minister of Belize what would I change”, to which the responses were, “I would stop spending Petrocaribe money crazily” and “I would let teachers get pay on the 15th and ending of month”. Another question asked the participants how they could make a difference in their community. They said that forming youth groups and carrying out community service were key ways. One of the PUP Cayo Central youth leaders, Zoila Palma, expressed a positive message to the participants saying “It is important for you to know that working together WE as youths have power! Our main goal is to empower young minds! Build a better future for Belize! It is important that we are counted in as well”.

Southside – A Sad State of Affairs
I have written numerous articles regarding the senseless crime and violence that have engulfed the old capital, especially the area that has been labelled “Southside”. I have identified several root causes drawing on contributions from various sources even the American journal of psychiatry, which suggested that some people may be born with brain deficiency because of lack of proper nutrients making these individuals prone to violence. Unless a solution is sought the next phase of the gang culture and the wave of violence could be catastrophic for Belize. As I embark on this article my fingers are getting numb, my ink is running out and my voice is getting weary. The “Southside” is being crushed to a violent degradation and no one seems to care. The church seems intent in remaining silent to the issue of crime and violence “behind the anesthezing security of stained glass windows”. The Minister of National Security John Saldivar seems content on “putting more boots on the ground” and waging a war on gangs and the southside community “smothering them in the air tight cage of poverty”. The United Democratic Party has lost two great opportunities to tackle this problem: their victory in the 1984 general election when the gang culture was at its nascent stage and their 2008 victory and the availability of the Petrocaribe funds. As the body count continues to rise, the UDP’s sole concern is holding onto national power and becoming a third term government instead of stopping the haemorrhaging of the inner city youths killing each other.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Everybody’s Business?
Just this past week we have seen the spectacle of the mostly silent Commissioner of Police finally breaking that silence to say that crime is everybody’s business. Of course this followed the ranting of the Minister of National Security as he addressed police recruits apparently at a passing-out parade. Major crimes are down, the Minister said!! Now, what are major crimes? I believe these would include grievous harm, large scale thefts and robberies, rapes and other serious assaults on persons, etc. But the most ‘major’ crime must be murder. Perhaps other reported major crimes are down so far this year 2015. But, alas, the biggest crime – murder – is definitely way up. Over fifty murders have been reported since the beginning of the year, with as many as four or five in one weekend, and alarmingly for me, several of them in Ladyville. I think it is asinine for the Minister to be scolding and hectoring the media and telling them that they are sensationalizing the crime situation in our country. I saw Pastor Louis Wade yesterday telling television viewers that he travelled from the Belmopan to Belize City to attend a meeting in which the media were being asked to ‘bury’ crime stories deep into their newscasts, no doubt so that authorities can sugar-coat the real situation of crime in Belize. Again, silly I think.

Rejuvenated Hope in Dangriga! – PUP Soldiers Rally with PUP Standard Bearer Anthony Sabal
There is a wave of hope and renewed vibrancy stirring in the bowels of the greatest political party in Belize. As this revitalization makes its way across the nation, a sense of hope and confidence is building throughout the various sectors of the PUP. Dangriga is of no exception. Following on the heels of the PUP Leadership press conference held last Wednesday to announce a new Standard Bearer for Dangriga, a meeting was held on Monday May 18th with PUP Executive Members from Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek inclusive of the new standard bearer for this division Mr. Anthony Sabal for on a one-on-one session to discuss the roadmap for victory in the constituency. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Dangriga Executive Committee, Davis Marshall, Regional Campaign Manager, Dr. Henry Canton, National Executive Members from Dangriga, Members of the Order of Distinguished Service, former mayor Cassian Nunez, former councillor candidates, campaigners and supporters of PUP Dangriga.

PUP Northern Caucus rejects quota reduction for cane farmers
The People’s United Party Northern Caucus is greatly concerned over the events that have recently unfolded in the sugar industry, namely the significant reduction of sugar cane delivery quotas for each of the 18 branches, accompanied by a stunning inverse quota increase only for Cane Growing Project (CGP) and Research, which are both owned by American Sugar Refining (ASR)/Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). This latest blow to the cane farmers of Orange Walk and Corozal demonstrates the failure and ineptitude of this UDP government in the management of the sugar industry. Once again, the Dean Barrow administration and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega have allowed ASR/BSI to ride roughshod and trample over the rights of our Belizean cane farmers. Let us remember that in January of this year, the UDP government joined forces with ASR/BSI in executing certain manoeuvres and manipulations to force the cane farmers into signing a contract with ASR/BSI, that allows ASR/BSI to seize ownership of the sugar cane at the moment that the cane reaches the weighing scale, without the farmers receiving a single dollar yet for their sugar cane produce. Now, the UDP government is condoning the reduction of 172,000 tons in the sugar cane quotas of the farmers, to brazenly accommodate an increase in delivery quota for ASR/BSI only. This is an alarming trend.

Fuel prices shoot up – Premium back to $10.01 a gallon
Commuters will be making a lot of fuss the next time they fill up their vehicles’ gas tanks and this is because they won’t be expecting the depressing news that fuel prices have gone up once again. This week the price of Diesel increased to $8.04 per gallon. Regular fuel increased from $8.88 per gallon to $9.39, while Premium fuel increased from $9.36 to $10.01 per gallon. This is a 51 cents jump for Regular fuel and a 65 cents hike for Premium gas. There was no warning from the Government about the increases in fuel prices. They seem to have lost the sense of responsibility to keep Belizeans informed. The increases come as a big surprise, since on the world market crude oil prices continue at a mid-low point. Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled at U.S. $58.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, stood at U.S. $65.03.

Six Acres and a Fool!
Dear Editor, The question that the poor people living on the land behind Gungulung should ask the UDP Lake I representative is: who facilitated the chiney man to get six acres of prime land in Lake I? They should also ask him how did the chiney man get this piece of land and who in the Ministry of Lands helped him to get it? Was it the Lands Minister? Or was it King, who asked for the Minister’s help? It is a tragedy and shame for the people who have occupied the land for many years to be removed. I can only imagine the level of fear which the mothers and children there are living in. It’s already bad that the UDP Government is protecting the interest of rich foreigners. Now, King has admitted to be protecting the interests of his UDP cronies first, and then Belizeans last.

Kismet’s Cry: Stop Hopkins Beach Erosion!
Dear Editor, Just the other day I was told by a local man that the illegal jetty was completely removed and the beach in Hopkins was already coming back. He said it was true, when I said not true, so we walked over and he was WRONG!! Hopkins Harbor Resort did one day of removing the tip of the jetty while BTB and Lands Department officials were here, after being ordered to remove the jetty they built years ago. The building of the groin/jetty, along with the dredging and cutting of the black mangroves caused massive erosion of Hopkins’ shore line. When the officials left the site, the removal work stopped. Can anyone tell me why? The jetty is still in place blocking the sand flow. My coconut tree is now going quickly straight into the sea. That means the beach is still losing sand, eroding the shore. So much for the court order to take down the jetty to conserve the beach and stop erosion. Here at Kismet, I do not see 1 inch coming back, especially my way. I would just like it to stop, to slow down the caving of my sea wall. I have lost over 100 feet of beach leaving me 45 feet of yard to my front step.

Belize educators must rescue CXC Literature Curriculum
Dear Editor, Caribbean people know the value of Literature and expect a more prominent place for the subject in the school curriculum, but the Literature experience will not advance in schools once CXC’s revised plan for the subject is implemented. CXC’s successive revisions of the original conceptualization of Literature teaching and learning has been so detrimental to the discipline that it is now time for teachers to advocate for another examining board to oversee the advancement and protection of the discipline. Originally, in the 1980’s English B offered schools a 3 year cycle of choice of a minimum of 5 from 12 possible set texts. What a joy it was to teach and assess the responses of students and candidates from the region! What diverse perspectives were offered and what mature discussions were generated among teachers at the marking tables. CXC’ challenge was the wide variation among the distribution of marks in the 22 optional questions. Instead of addressing the issue by developing markers’ skills in detecting and assessing the quality of the candidates’ generic skills set in interpreting the questions and responding to the texts, this ‘entrepreneurial’ regional institution jettisoned the best interest of Literature and introduced in 2006, the first major blow against the original ideal of wide reading, choice and thematic focus in Literature Study – the equally weighted three profiles of Drama, Poetry and Prose. The disaster that created in teacher self-confidence and student reaction to Literature still reverberates today.

5 murders in 3 days
In John Saldivar’s twisted mind, the level of crime in Belize is decreasing but the reality for most Belizeans is just the opposite. The past weekend proved Saldivar’s assertions to be completely bogus and his rationale rooted on deceit, when four more violent murders increased the murder count to 56. There were five very gruesome murders between Friday, May 15th, and Sunday, May 17th, the first which occurred during the wee hours of Friday morning. Sylvin Thomas Encalada Sr., a security guard, was found murdered at his work site at Maya Cement Warehouse in Ladyville. He had been found on the rope of the compound’s security booth with a rope around his neck, as if he had taken his own life. But the Police’s investigations ruled out suicide, after finding evidence of foul play. Bruises were found on Encalada’s ankles, and a post mortem indicated that the cause of death was manual strangulation.

Decomposed body found identified as Denfield Bowen
The decomposed body of a man found locked in a pickup truck through a feeder road near the Westlake community late this afternoon is believe to be that of 27 year old Denfield Bowen, Jr. Bowen went missing in late April. His common-law wife reported to the Police that he received a phone call before leaving home around 5:30 pm on Thursday April 30th and was not seen or heard from since. Bowen, a resident of Plues Street in Belize City, left home in his red two-door Mazda pickup truck with license plates BZ-C 36757. It was in this same truck that his body was found. The last time Bowen was seen, he was wearing a white T-shirt with the marking ‘RIP Kareem Lopez’ on the front and ‘Robbery’ on the back, along with a yellow ¾ pants and a pair of green Nike slippers.

International Sourcesizz

Belize: Sanctuary from the insanity
Bummed from burnout? Take sanctuary in Belize. There are still places in this world where you can hide from that boogie man chasing you with bills, commitments and, oh yeah, those reports you need to finish even though no one will ever read them. Belize is a place you can take sanctuary from your life and not have to be found for a few days, a week, or longer (or, if you take Heisenberg’s approach in “Breaking Bad,” make that forever). In fact, Belize is becoming the next hot spot for haven seekers noodling around for that perfect paradise to retire into and still hold onto that precious nest egg. Wedged onto the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize used to be British. That means the lingua franca is English and the political system is democratic with familiar laws that uphold the tenets of innocence until proven guilty. But this ancient Mayan land is also the land of hidden secrets – and those explorations are affordable to most Americans seeking to squeeze value from the U.S. dollar where 50 cents buys on Belizean dollar.

Videos

  • How to set and harvest tuba (coconut sap), 10min. This is a drink from ancient time

  • Trumpet the Toucan Visits WBAL, 3min. Amy Eveleth from the Maryland Zoo brings Trumpet the Toucan to WBAL-TV.

  • , 1/2min. The San Pedro 11th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge 2015 kicks off!!!! All the best to the competitors.

  • Start of the race this morning, 1min. Good morning San Pedro what a beautiful sight to see all the young men that are participating in the Eco challenge kayak race,,good luck to all, enjoy.

  • Belize Dive- Spring 2014 Ambergris Cay, 8min. My family and I get our scuba diving licenses in Ambergris Cay, Belize.

  • Diving in Belize, 3min. Diving at the Turneffe Atoll.

  • Our Alarm Clock in Belize., 15sec. Short video of a plane taking off from Tropic Air in San Pedro, Belize. This is our alarm clock every morning at 7:00 AM as the planes leave the runway fly across the lagoon and right by our bedroom window.

  • Scuba Diving in Belize, 6min.

  • Oak Grove UMC - Belize Trip Thank You, 4min.