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#504940 - 06/06/15 12:15 PM Today's Belize News: June 6, 2015
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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

Sushi Time at Las Terrazas
With my partner in crime Janelle, we drove up the delightfully smooth paved road north past the bridge to our destination, the beautiful Las Terrazas resort. Chandra greeted us warmly, escorting us to a pavilion near the pool, where the sounds of Any and Pupo echoed beautifully. Our server for the evening, Edvin, took excellent care of us as we settled in, a refreshing drink in hand as we perused the sushi menu. We were intrigued at the list, especially when we happened on one that incorporated the lionfish! The Predator sounded most interesting, and, since we are all about doing our part for the environment, we decide to give that a try, along with a few other delicious-looking options. Chef Papi joined us for a bit, then highly recommended we start with the Cobia sashimi. Thinly sliced fresh cobia fish over a sauce of sesame seed oil, soy, ginger, scallions, a little lime juice and topped with fried rice noodles and Tobiko caviar and seaweed salad. I would say that was quite the introduction to our fabulous dining experience! So much flavor on a dish…Janelle, my little “I don’t like fish that much” companion seemed to have no problem downing some cobia! She was so impressed, she couldn’t wait for the next course!

Los Catrachos take 2nd place in Xcalak Football Marathon
The annual football marathon in the neighboring fishing village of Xcalak in Mexico was held on Saturday, May 30th as part of their 115th Anniversary celebration. The tournament saw the participation of four Belizean teams, two of which are seasoned San Pedro football teams. A total of six teams participated in the tournament: Xcalak, Mahaual, Chetumal, Sarteneja (from Corozal Town), Progresso (from Corozal Town) and representing San Pedranos, San Pedro Joker F C and Catrachos FC. While no island team brought home the championship, Catrachos FC did manage to claim the second place prize in the tournament. Catrachos were in the lead after beating Chetumal 2-0 and Sarteneja 1-0, which allowed them to automatically qualify to the finals. Catrachos FC faced off against Progresso in the finals. They played the full 90 minutes plus injury time, and still, the game ended in a draw. Both teams were not giving way for a score, but there had to be a winner. The next step was the penalty shots. At the start the penalty scores were even, however further in the game, Catrachos failed to capitalize and Progresso took the championship by a score of 5 to 4.

Mayor Guerrero addresses San Pedro Town traffic issues
Traffic conditions on the island have been escalating over the past few years, with residents becoming increasingly concerned about safety, especially that of their children. In order to alleviate the issue, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is taking several steps to ensure the congestion of traffic does not rise. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero detailed the measures that will be put in place to control traffic on the island. According to Guerrero, among the many steps being taken are allocating set parking space and reducing traffic flow in town core. “We are currently making arrangements to use the space adjacent to Saca Chispas as the set parking lot for town. We will be placing gravel and constructing cement dividers for parking slots,” said Guerrero. He further explained that the parking lot would work in conjunction with the new regulations for Pescador and Barrier Reef Drive. “We will soon be implementing several regulations to reduce the congestion in Front (Barrier Reef Drive) and Middle (Pescador) Street. We will only be allowing golf carts, pedestrians, bicycles and ATV’s in this area. No cars, vans, or trucks will be allowed to traffic this area. In addition, only 4-seater golf carts and motorcycles will be allowed to park on Pescador and Barrier Reef Drive.” Said Guerrero. He hopes that with these implementations, pedestrians, especially school children, will be able to move around effortlessly and safely.

Honorable Manuel Heredia donates vehicle to San Pedro Police
The need for more vehicles has been a major concern in the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD). With this in mind, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation donated a 2008 Tacoma Toyota four door pickup to the SPPD. The much needed vehicle will be officially handed over on Saturday June 6th in a short ceremony with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. Present Assistant Superintendent and Acting Officer in charge, Henry Jemmott welcomes the new attachment to their vehicular fleet. “It has been a long time needed for the department, especially in San Pedro. With this new vehicle we will go a long way in assisting and responding to the needs of the community within San Pedro,” said Jemmott. “We hope that this donation helps the police operate more smoothly. As the Area Representative, I want San Pedro to develop safely and to do that; we need to have the resources to support it. For a long time our police have worked with very little resources. I know that with the addition of these new vehicles, we will see a reduction in crime and have a safer island,” said Heredia.

Ambergris Today

Belize to Further Develop Olympic Sports, Hires Strategic Consultant
In a press release the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association indicates that as it continues to advocate for sports development in Belize, more National Federations (NFs), Associations and Sport Governing Bodies are also looking for ways to develop coaches and officials, as well as ways to maintain strong, transparent, financial and governance management practices. Recognizing this need, the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association has hired a Strategic Consultant Dr. Davis who arrived on Monday, June 1st, 2015 for an initial visit. He has since met with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Executive, National Sports Council and National Federations.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Rescue 3.0 Meet Basil Jones
He fell from his nest this morning. He will joining his sibling Robles at Belize Bird Rescue this afternoon. Our week has gone to the birds.

Optinam North America
hampionship sailing event for young Optimist dinghy racers (ages less than 15) . Four young sailors (2 girls & 2 boys) and their coaching staff, will represent our country at "Optinam" in Antiqua, July 1, 2015. We are very excited that this is happening for our youth! Jazmine Campos, from Corozal Town and our local Corozal Bay Sailing Club, is part of the team. We need your immediate help to get her and her team to Optinam. Jazmine hs been sacrificing school and practice every weekend. Let us all REWARD her efforts! If you have been meaning to give but haven't yet, now is the time! We've two more weeks to make the final push. Support Jazmine and Team Belize! All donors will receive a certificate of appreciation for their contribution and be recognized at our next regatta. Thank you!

SUCCESS FOR BELIZE AT CFATF PLENARY
On Wednesday, May 28, The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) determined that Belize successfully qualified to exit both the CFATF Follow-up Process and ICRG Review. To make this determination, CFATF and ICRG assessors conducted a robust review of the measures undertaken by Belize to address deficiencies in its regime to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This review included scrutiny of the legislative framework and implementation of that framework by AML/CFT supervisors and the private sector. By exiting both ICRG Review and CFATF Follow-up Process, Belize now joins the vanguard of CFATF member countries who have achieved the highest levels of compliance with international standards. CFATF is an organisation of 27 jurisdictions of the Caribbean Basin that have all agreed to implement the international standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing established by the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations (FATF Recommendations). Since 2011, Belize has been working closely with the CFATF to address the deficiencies identified in Belize’s AML/CFT regime. Those efforts were redoubled when, in November 2013, the CFATF issued a Public Statement identifying Belize as having strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, June 5, 2015: 75

Poets Corner: Race
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Western civilization started with the Greeks Continued with the Romans freaks Evolved today into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization cheats Extension of white Christian Crusaders Imposing their religion on the southerners Unprecedented white Christian dynasty Ruling for some two thousand years of history Last Week Russia celebrated its allies’ victory over the Nazis Top brass of the BRICS military joined with them in solidarity This brotherhood of nations Resisting Western civilization Who represent just over half the world population No western Europeans, just Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa They’ve dared liberating themselves from the white supremist structure

Bamboo Bar Super Saturdays
Bamboo Bar is under new management, and while it has the same name, it's a completely different bar. Great company, superb bartenders, excellent drinks - try their kamakazis or baby guinesses - and a cool vibe. Saturdays are their special days where they have someone from the community do something there. They have the Cuban Pig Roast last Saturday, and tomorrow will be trance with DJ Feel Awesome.

SHJC 2015 Graduation
Congratulations to all the 2015 Sacred Heart Junior College graduates. SHJC is celebrating 15 years of service to the community, and there were lots of happy graduates. Luis Carballo was the commencement speaker this year.

Channel 5

Marcel Cardona in Legal Pickle
Former U.D.P. Minister and attorney Marcel Cardona is in big trouble with the General Legal Council of the Bar Association and allegedly faces the threat of a one year suspension [...]

Says His Email Was Hacked
Cardona says he feels that he has been denied a fundamental right by not having had the opportunity to mount a defence on his own behalf. Not only was he [...]

Still No Notification from General Legal Council
So what’s next for Cardona? Reports from sources in the Bar Association say that indeed there was a hearing and a recommendation to suspend him for a year. He told [...]

2 Dead in Motorcycle Collision
Two men are dead and a woman is hospitalized after an accident on Thursday night in Southern Belize. The collision of two motorcycles, traveling in the same direction, claimed the [...]

Espinosa Guilty of Manslaughter
An Orange Walk resident has beat a murder charge for the second time. He is Krismar Espinosa, whose trial concluded on Thursday before Justice Herbert Lord in the Orange Walk [...]

Maurice Felix Out on Bail
Well known street figure, thirty year old Maurice Felix was in the Supreme Court today to file bail application. The Belize City resident was before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez for [...]

Civil Aviation Investigates Tropic Air Crash
The Department of Civil Aviation is proceeding with an official probe into a plane crash earlier this week involving a Tropic Air flight en route to the Bay Islands of [...]

Are Belize’s Skies Still Safe?
As we reported in the wake of the accident, it is the second aircraft from Tropic’s fleet to plunge into the Caribbean Sea since December of last year.  We asked [...]

Pilot and Passengers Questioned in Investigation
On Wednesday morning, all three men were returned to the mainland after spending the night at Blackbird Caye.  They were then summoned by the Department of Civil Aviation to assist [...]

SICB Rescinds Decision to Cut Quotas
Two weeks ago the Sugar Cane Production Committee made a decision to review cane-farmer quotas, which resulted in a cut in a majority of them. Already faced with the prospect [...]

Belize’s Fiscal Future Limited
Diminished petroleum revenues and increased public spending is expected to result in only limited fiscal strengthening in Belize in the months ahead, despite rising non-oil government inflows.  Consequently, the country’s [...]

Minister Elrington Speaks on Danny Conorquie
Danny Conorquie was murdered in the line of duty back on September twenty-fifth, 2014. No one has ever been charged and as far as we know the Conorquie family is [...]

Coming Soon – Belize’s First Helium Balloon Ride
If you are to take a drive or walk along the Marine Parade in Belize City, there is an activity that is soon give you an adrenalin rush. The upcoming [...]

Jazz Festival Opens in Belize City
The first ever Belize International Jazz Festival opened with a live concert at the House of Culture in Belize City just moments ago. The first of its kind in the [...]

Hundreds Participate in First Even Jazz Festival
Three hundred and eighteen musicians, twelve engineers, nine international and eleven local bands have signed up and will take part in the festival. The ten-day kicked off this morning with [...]

A Look Back at the History of the Belize City Museum
On this Friday, we dig into our archives and flash way back with a 1994 story about the old prison. As you may know, that prison was located in the [...]

LOVE FM

Police Inspector Chooses Theme for September Celebrations
The official opening of the September celebrations 2015 is about three months away but the wheels have begun spinning when it comes to preparations and planning. Of course, many of those preparations and planning do need a theme and so with that, the National Celebrations Commission has announced the selected theme for this year. That […]

Organizer of Public Meeting Calls on Naysayers to ICJ
Last year there was the start of what was to be a continuous education process as it pertains to the Belize/Guatemala issue. However, following the decision by Guatemala to not hold simultaneous referendum, there was a silence on the issue. However, with Guatemala back on board and with the amendments to the Special Agreement signed […]

VIP Prepares to Take on Its Own Education Campaign on ICJ
The Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, has been very vocal on several issues and one of them is whether or not Belize should participate in taking Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice. The VIP position is a strong “NO” and they are sticking to it. The Party has notices that the Government […]

Attorney Says He Did Not Bribe Judge
Last night it was reported that attorney, Marcel Cardona, was recommended to be placed on a one year suspension following a complaint made against him. That complaint was made by Hana Belickova, a woman from Czechoslovakia in June of 2013. She reportedly filed an affidavit accusing Cardona of overcharging her in the thousands and using […]

Collision of Motorcyles Leave Two Men Dead
Two men are dead as a result of a motorcycle accident in southern Belize. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Two persons are dead as a result of a road traffic accident that occurred on the Stann Creek Valley Road last night. Police here say that they were called out to an area between miles […]

Belize Removed from CFATF’s Blacklist
After coming under much scrutiny when Belize was listed as a country that had not been complying with addressing the deficiencies in the laws of money laundering, the Barrow administration has reason to celebrate tonight as they are now being commended and recognized for measures taken to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The announcement […]

The Guardian

Julius Espat attacks Ivan Ramos
In December of 2013 Julius Espat practically begged the government to reimburse him cash from the Petro Caribe program for money which he claimed he had spent on some Christmas program which he would have held at the time. Of course he was asked to present the vouchers to prove his expenditure and was not able to do so and similarly the government was unable to reimburse him. We are not sure if this is what has him so ‘wrathed’ against the Petro Caribe program but whatever the case, he is upset with the program. But having been the first to try to access the finances from the PUP camp we could not have anticipated his reaction earlier this week when he lashed out against Ivan Ramos who too has accessed the program for finances to run a Mothers/Fathers Day program in Dangriga. Ramos requested finances which each and every representative is entitled to and was granted 25 thousand dollars to run his program. The difference with Ramos and Espat is that Ramos actually presented how he would spend the money while Julius just came up with a figure and could not back up how he had come up with the figure. After Ramos’ request and the granting of it, on Friday of last week the government of Belize made it public and that must have sent a chill down Espat’s spine. That is because the PUP (to the detriment of their less monied standard bearers) have decreed that no one should accept Petro Caribe money.

Land for Citco employees
Employees of the Belize City Council who have been employed with the city for three or more years will be the owners of land courtesy their employer. Mayor Darrell Bradley says that for the past two years he has been working on securing land for employees of the council and by next week he will have 209 parcels of land which will be distributed to employees of the council. According to Bradley the parcels measure 80 X 100 feet and are located at mile 14 on the George Price Highway in an area known as Tropical Park outside of Hattieville Village. For the sake of fairness, the parcels will be distributed to employees based on a lottery system to those employees who have had 3 or more years working at the Belize City Council. The mayor says that the initiative is part of the council motivating its employees, "the City Council Staff work hard and under harsh conditions and this is one way we can motivate them," stated Mayor Bradley.

Jaguars ready for second round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers
While the team has not yet been announced individually we have confirmed who the team of 24 is currently made up of. Those include Goalkeepers Woodrow West and Shane Orio, striker Deon McCauley. They will be complemented by other players including Elroy Smith, Ian Gaynair, Trevor Lennen, Dalton Ealey, Jordi Polanco, Denmark Casey, Andres Makin, Amin August, Devon Makin, Harrison Roches, Elroy Kuylen, Daniel Jimenez, Brian Hulse, Evan Mariano, Marlon Meza Khalil Velasquez and Radney Padilla, Marvin Centano, Delone Torres, Keith Allen and Najib Guerra. The national team, Jaguars, was officially presented at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan on Wednesday as they make preparations to face the Dominican Republic for the first game of round two of the World Cup Qualifiers in Santo Domingo on June 11. At the presentation the team was upbeat and members of the squad along with the coaching staff expressed confidence since the key striker, Deon McCauley is with the team. According to Assistant Coach Charles Slusher, McCauley has been playing with the team and has been working hard and has presented himself as a leader. McCauley's addition to the roster says Slusher takes them to the game with much more confidence. For his part McCauley says that he has been scoring goals both during practice sessions as well as during friendly matches and he is ready for play.

National stakeholder consultation on regional coconut industry platform
On May 27 and 28 the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and International Trade Centre (ITC) hosted a two day consultation workshop with more than 50 coconut industry stakeholders at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development, Belmopan. Mr. Ian Sayers, Head Product Sector Development, of the ITC traveled from Geneva, Switzerland to oversee and facilitate discussions on the targeted revival and expansion of Belize’s coconut industry, assisted by Mr. Maurice Wilson, Head Resource Mobilisation Unit from CARDI’s head office and Dr. Compton Paul, Coordinator of the CARDI/ITC Coconut Program. Mr. Anil Sinha, CARDI’s Country Representative in Belize, gave the opening address and chaired the opening ceremony. Mr. Roberto Harrison, Chief Agriculture Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) gave the feature address. Participating were members of MNRA, Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Belize Bureau of Standards, Beltraide, Foreign Trade Directorate, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture (OIRSA), Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as well as many coconut stakeholders representing local coconut producers and processors, small and large, and the media.

BRN Strongly Endorses ‘Clear the Land’ Castro
Hon. Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro secured his most impressive political victory on Sunday, May 31, as he soundly defeated challenger Dwight Tillett by a three to one margin in the UDP Convention for Belize Rural North. “We journey on to defeat whatever Major disaster that might come,” said Castro immediately after he was declared the victor. “We will continue to deliver the seat for the United Democratic Party here in this constituency.” Castro credited the hard work of his committee for the massive victory. The well organized machinery had the compound of Guadalupe R.C. Primary School flooded with “Clear the Land” shirts at the 9 a.m. start time. The early lead at the polls took away any doubt that may have crept up in Hon. Castro’s head and by 11 a.m. the confident candidate declared to the media, “We know we have the best machinery in the country in terms of rural constituency and its showing out here today. Our committee is bringing out the people and from the time we started we’re two hundred ahead.” There was a steady flow of voters throughout the day. The atmosphere was like that of a bazaar more than an election. Music was blasting and people danced throughout the hot day. The people’s spirits were upbeat and the village “spirits” were flowing. For Castro it was a love fest – more than optics – the love was clearly visible. Inside the polling rooms the scrutineers were very cordial towards each other. They even shared food, snacks and other refreshments. Though their candidate of choice was different, the scrutineers made it clear that “we are all UDP”.

Charlie Charlie Challenge: Can You Really Summon a Demon?
"Charlie, Charlie, can we play?" That is the seemingly innocent question that begins a new "spirit-summoning" game that is taking the Internet by storm. The so-called Charlie Charlie Challenge is based on shaky science (the objective is to summon a malignant spirit from beyond the grave), but there are some real and powerful forces behind this parlor game, according to one expert. Here's how the Charlie Charlie Challenge works: players balance one horizontally aligned pencil on top of a vertically aligned pencil (essentially, in the shape of a cross). Both writing utensils sit atop a piece of paper divided into four quadrants. Two of the quadrants are labeled "yes" and two are labeled "no." Players then invite a spirit, Charlie, to play with them. If the spirit is feeling playful, the top most pencil will allegedly spin until it points to "yes." Then the players can ask Charlie other yes or no questions and wait for the pencil to move again. So what causes the pencils to spin of their own accord? Only one of the most powerful forces on Earth: gravity. In order to balance one object on top of another, the topmost object's center of gravity (a point where an object's mass is said to be concentrated) must be positioned precisely over the supporting object. In the case of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, players balance two long objects with rounded edges on top of one another. Naturally, these hard-to-balance objects have a tendency to roll around.

Dr. Barnett has major presence in Freetown
The Leader of the Opposition has great reason to be concerned these days, at it is not only because his party is in shambles and there are moves to dethrone him. His concern should be more focused on the fact that Dr. Carla Barnett is extremely active in the Freetown constituency. Ever since the announcement was made in January of this year, Dr. Barnett has been on the ground visiting her constituents and making every effort to improving the conditions of her people in the division. And part of her work has been to be accessible to her constituents; so not only is she constantly on the ground but she has also established an office which is fully functional since March of this year.

Archaeological site in Benque Viejo del Carmen now being excavated
A new excavation on an archaeological site in Benque Viejo del Carmen has begun. As part of the US Ambassador’s Cultural Preservation Grant fund, the preservation of the archaeological site now employs several Benque Viejo residents. On our most recent visit to the Benque Site, which is located by the Belize Water Services Ltd Pump in Benque Viejo, both Carlos Mendez and Merli Alfaro, as well as other workers were busy exposing the façade of a site that is now believed to have been the household of a rural Maya elite family. The archaeological site itself may have been part of a network derived from the ancient city of Xunantunich, which can be viewed about a kilometer to the northwest from atop a mound at the Benque site. According to George Thompson, Associate Director for Belize’s Parks Management, work began on the Benque Viejo site about a month ago to do regular excavation in an effort to expose the architecture. He said that the final step will be to conserve the site so that it becomes part of a heritage trail.

PUP Area Representative accepts Petro - Caribe finances against the wishes of PUP leaders
The PUP have done their absolute very best to discredit the Government’s Petrocaribe spending, suggesting the most nefarious of purposes, only to find out that one of their own has now come out in favor of the programs. He has gone a step further than that, and he has requested money to conduct one of his own initiatives. That opposition member is PUP’s Dangriga Area Representative, Ivan Ramos, who penned a letter to the Prime Minister, dated Monday, May 27. Ramos, writes, “In my expression of support for the Petrocaribe arrangement and the benefits to the nation deriving there from, I am, as the elected Area Representative for Dangriga, requesting to access the $25,000 you announced available to the Opposition Area Representatives, upon application.” He adds, “These funds, as per the attached budget, will be used to host my annual joint Mothers and Father’s Day event…” Being a man of his word, the Prime Minister and his Ministry released a statement confirming that an area representative from the PUP made the request, which was approved. Since no other applications have emerged, it follows then that Ramos is the area representative who was granted the funding.

Santander settles land dispute with Valley of Peace Farmers
Green Tropics, which has since been rebranded under the name, Santander Farms, has made a generous settlement with the 31 farmers of the Valley of Peace Village in the Cayo District. It involves huge parcels of land being given to those farmers, which is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and instead of squatting on land to plant, these farmers will now be farming legally. It made the news in the entire press core when these 31 farmers accused Santander Farms in March 2014 of destroying over 150 acres of crops that they owned. Unfortunately, the farmers were squatting on Santander’s land and this dispute ended up in the court. PUP Politician Julius Espat was urging them to settle this issue only through the courts, which could have caused the dispute to drag out for months or years before being resolved. Fortunately, more intelligent and reasonable thinkers on both sides decided to sit down and resolve the issue peacefully and out of court through dialogue. The result of that is that on Saturday, May 29, Jose Rogriguez, the CEO of the Santander Group, handed over 160 acres of land to the President of the Agricultural Association of Valley of Peace, Ever Blandon. This land is located in Belmopan, and at the handing over informal ceremony, 22 of the 31 farmers were present to witness in person that they were now landowners.

Attorney sued for statement against police officers
Attorney at Law, Oscar Selgado, 45, was served with a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) on May 18, for a statement he made on national television in relation to a client who was charged with the murder for Jose Beltran, - a taxi man on the island of San Pedro. According to Selgado, his client Luis Campos alleged that he was assaulted by a team of police officers who were led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster. He said this on Channel 5 based on information given to him by Campos. According to Selgado, on the same night his client was allegedly beaten by police, he personally took Campos to the San Pedro Poli Clinic for treatment for his injuries and a doctor classified his injuries as harm. Selgado says that he has now placed the matter in the hands of his attorneys. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster is suing Selgado on three grounds: one being that the alleged beating of Campos was not administered by him or with his knowledge; two that he did not say anything to Selgado’s client that he shared with Channel 5 and three that he did not serve under his command at any time when Selgado was a BDF Officer as he said on Channel 5.

More Sporting Facilities to be upgraded this time in Southern Belize
Two contracts for the rehabilitation and upgrading of sporting facilities in Southern Belize were signed on June 1 at the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL). The contract for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Carl Ramos Football Field and Facilities in Dangriga Town was awarded to Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction of Dangriga, Stann Creek District; and for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Toledo Union Field and Facilities in Punta Gorda Town, the contract was awarded to Coleman Construction Ltd. of Hattieville, Belize District. The estimated completion time of each project is 10 months. The contracts were signed by representatives of the respective companies, Minister of Works and Transport Hon. Rene Montero, and Ms. Christy Mastry, General Manager of BIL.

Belize tops regional sugar production for April
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) has announced that the top sugar producer in the region for the month of April 2015 was Belize, with 28,289 tons of sugar produced. Guyana produced 26,826 tons, followed by Jamaica with 25,862 tons and Barbados with 3,173 tons, for a total regional production of 84,150 tons for the period. Jamaica had topped the regional production in February and March 2015 respectively, while Barbados has just started production. The April figures pushed the year to date production for the current regional sugar crop to 393,357 tons. The SAC says it continues to focus on overseas markets with year-to-date exports to Europe totaling 220,309 tons, followed by 30,259 tons to the United States and 17,484 tons to CARICOM. SAC Chairman Karl James says that while there are challenges affecting sugar production in Jamaica, the production is going well in Belize and Guyana. The SAC Chairman also noted that the Association is well advanced in achieving its goal to boost supply to the CARICOM market.

Jorge Gutierrez charged with attempted murder
One day after celebrating his 18th birthday, Jorge Gutierrez was arrested and charged for the attempted murder of Luis Dominguez, 32. On Thursday, May 21, Luis Dominguez told police that he was riding his bicycle on JR Street when a Hispanic male he knows as Jorge Gutierrez pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at him. He was shot to the left side of the neck, shoulder and head. Dominguez was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where he underwent lifesaving surgery. Police arrested and charged Gutierrez for Dominguez’s shooting. Gutierrez appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Thursday, May 28. He was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm with a deadly instrument, a firearm, and use of deadly means of harm. Gutierrez plead not guilty to the charges but due to the nature of the offenses bail could not be granted. He will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until September 4 or until he can secure bail at the Supreme Court.

Honduran Accused of Burglary with Intent to Rape
Hondurans national Jose Gomez, 34, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after bail was denied for charges of burglary and sexual assault upon an eleven-year-old girl in the Fresh pond area of Burrell Boom. In a report to police, the child’s mother said that sometime between 9 and 11 p.m. on December 4, 2014, they were asleep when her daughter was awoken by someone touching her. When the girl opened her eyes she saw a man rubbing her tummy and touching her in a manner that made her feel uncomfortable. He then jumped on top of her and that was when she screamed. This woke the mother and that was when Gomez jumped off her and ran through the door. The family knows Gomez from the area and implicated him in the report to police. He was later arrested by police and charged for two criminal offenses.

Kenrick August charged for sexually assaulting his Ex
Kenrick August, 35, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand for allegedly sexually assaulting his estranged common-law-wife. Allegations are that on March 10, 2015, he entered the woman’s home without permission, jumped on top of her and began to caress her private parts. In a report to police, the 29-year-old woman said that she was at home in bed when she felt someone climbing on top of her. She noticed it was her ex-common-law-husband who then said to her, “Mek weh talk about weh deh happen in a weh life.” He then said to her, “Mek ah get some ah this ting,” and that was when he began to rub her on her private parts. She began to struggle with him and that’s when her uncle, Glenford, came to her aid and hit August with a piece of stick to the back of his head. August then ran out of her house. The woman went to make a police report and August was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

Shadir Marin remanded for firearm assault of DJ Vintage, he’s out on bail in a day
Shadir Marin, 25, Manager of San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for pulling a gun at Eddison “DJ Vintage” Usher, 41, at a fundraising event at Hour Bar on April 11 of this year. Usher reported to police that he was playing music at a fundraising event for Captain Romi Badillo at Hour Bar when Marin allegedly drove over his wires for the system. He approached Marin and they got into a verbal exchange. According to Usher, Marin then lowered his vehicle window, pulled out a firearm and pointed it at him. Marin is the holder of a license for a firearm and after a police investigation was conducted he was arrested and charged for aggravated assault upon Usher. Marin was represented by attrney Lesly Mendez when he appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Tuesday, June 2, almost two months after the allegations were made. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and due to the nature of the offense bail was denied. Marin was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 28 or until he can secure bail at the Supreme Court.

Disabled man fined for 18 grams of weed
Wheel chair dependent Berris Rowland was busted with weed on Monday, June 1, and wasted no time in pleading guilty to one count of drug possession. At about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, PC Andrew Rodriguez was conducting motorcycle patrol on West Collect Canal when he saw Rowland sitting in a wheel chair. PC Rodriguez says he noticed Rowland pushing something under the cushion of his wheel chair. He then approached Rowland and asked him what he had pushed under the chair. Rowland denied pushing anything under his wheel chair and that was when PC Rodriguez informed him that he would conduct a search on the wheelchair. PC Rodriguez searched the chair and found a transparent plastic bag under the seat cushion which contained a green leafy substance that proved to be 18 grams of cannabis. Rowland was arrested and charged for drug possession.

Teenager dead, young girl crippled – accused men walk
Phillip Wallace, 24, and Austin Underwood, 22, are free from charges relating to a February 2010 shooting that left Dorrell Williams, 19, dead and 7-year-old Janay Moguel paralyzed. On February 1, 2010, gunmen sprayed bullets at an enemy on Central American Boulevard; however, they missed the intended target and hit a number of innocent bystanders. When shots subsided, Dorrell Williams, Robert Howard, senior citizen Stephen Rhamdas and his granddaughter Janay Moguel had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial for gunshot wound treatment. One day later, February 2, Williams was pronounced brain dead due to a 9 mm slug lodged in his head. Howard, Rhamdas and Moguel survived; however, the child has been left paralyzed. One of the bullets damaged her spinal cord which caused her left arm and two legs to become unresponsive.

Cayo Western Ballaz faces San Pedro Tigersharks for Basketball Supremacy
The National Elite Basketball League will enter into its championship round on Friday 5 June, 2015, with game one of its best of three series at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town at 9:00 pm between the Cayo Western Ballaz the number one seed and the San Pedro Tigersharks the number two seed. The San Pedro Tigersharks reached the finals when on Sunday 31 May it eliminated the Belmopan Red Tiagaz in the third and final game of the series out at the San Pedro High School by the score of 67-57. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tigersharks were Darwin Leslie with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals, James Milton with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and a steal and Tyrone Edwards with 12 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists and 3 steals. For the Belmopan Red Taigaz, the top scorers were Farron Louriano with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 assist and Jarrel Velasquez with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

Dr. Peter Davis in Belize to work on Strategic Plan for the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association is playing host to Dr. Peter G. Davis who has been hired to develop the Strategic Plan for the National Olympic Committee. Dr. Davis has worked in Elite Sport Management for over 30 years. Dr. Davis is originally from Australia. He earned his MSc from the University of Oregon and his PhD from the University of Minnesota in the USA. Dr. Davis started his career in elite sport in 1981 as an Exercise Physiologist for Nike Inc, working with some of the best Track and Field athletes in the world at the Athletics West Track in Club. Since that time he has worked at the Australian Institute of Sport, first as a high performance Exercise Physiologist, then with the “Olympics Athlete Programme” to help prepare Australian athletes for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.

Belize Softball Federations names national junior girls softballers
The Belize Softball Federation has announced the names of the twenty five junior girls’ softballers that will be trying out for 18 spots to represent Belize at the Central American Junior Girls Softball Championship scheduled for San Salvador, El Salvador from July 31-August 3, 2015. The players selected are from across the country and they are Shareeni Soberanis, Shanaya Soberanis, Rose Simpson, Renisha Richards, Ronicia Vernon, Shanae Williams and Ashira Harris from Cayo, Denika Noralez, Chelsea Young, Kelsy Robinson, Elma Wade, Sabrina Campos, Devonie Reyes, Ranisha Rhaburn, Zhanae Jex, Rebecca Nicholson, Lynese Alvarez, Jalecia Jones and Sherelee Nicholson from Belize Rural, Jasany Westby and Janel Conorquie from Orange Walk, Essenie Ciego and Jahshema Saunders from Belize City.

Beacon halts the Belize Bank Bulldogs in Belize City Softball Competition
The average of win-loss seems to have caught up with the defending Belize City Senior Female Softball Champions the Belize Bank Bulldogs when on Wednesday 27 May, 2015 the Beacon edged it out by the score of 6-4. The Beacon scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning when, second baseman Licia Ferguson single to open the game. She later advanced to second base on shortstop Mertell Bailey’s infield hit and scored when designed player Naoko Takahashi single to left field. Bailey who had advanced to third base on Takahashi single scored on left fielder Clarencia Jones’ single to left field. It was not until the bottom of the 3rd inning that the Belize Bank Bulldogs scored three runs on 5 hits and an error to take a 3-2 lead.

Belize Telemedia maintains lead in Belize City Senior Softball Competition
The 2015 Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition continued on Friday 29 May, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. In the game played, the current leaders in this year’s competition Belize Telemedia Ltd. defeated the upstart Beacon by the score of 10-3. Belize Telemedia Ltd., batting in the top of the 1st inning, scored the 1st run of the game when catcher Earlene Belisle opened the game with a single to centre field and later scored on Christine Avila’s base hit. The Beacon batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored when right fielder Licia Ferguson who has reached on a base on balls advanced to second base on a fielders’ choice and scored on centre fielder Astrid Jones run producing double. Meanwhile, Belize Telemedia Ltd. scored another run on two more hits to make the score 2-1. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Beacon scored 2 runs on four hits that drove its starting pitcher Kamini Smith from the mound in favour of Kenisha Sutherland.

Looking at the numbers - Castro’s Convention
On Tuesday morning I heard a lady caller to the Rise and Shine morning talk show ask the question “How will Edmond Castro win the next election with only 1612 votes he got on Sunday ?” The answer is as easy as he did in 2012 & 2008. No PUP or any other candidate besides Castro has ever gotten more than the 1612 votes he received on Sunday . So with those numbers Castro would have won every election in Belize Rural North since 1961 when the division was formed. One only has to check the Elections and Boundaries website to verify that. In 2012 Arthur Saldivar who worked BRN from the time when Maxwell Samuels ran dating back to the 1989 campaign to when he (Arthur) ran and even up to when he was dumped by the PUP was the most popular PUP Politician who ever ran for office in BRN. The results of the Election of 2012 proved that. Not only did Arthur operate politically at a high level for the PUP, he also lives in the area and has ties to the area . Such is not the case with the new PUP candidate Major Unknown who apart from being a newcomer to politics is a stranger to the area. By the time the next Election comes around he would not be in the area to establish a relationship with the voters who are spread out in the 28 or so villages of BRN.

Elected to Disserve
When the elections were called in 2012, the United democratic Party won by a very slim margin garnering only 17 of the 31 seats countrywide. The jury is still out on the outcome of this very narrow margin of victory. The People’s United Party lost the election but won 14 seats. Now that suggests that the people for whatever reason decided to give these 14 PUP representatives a chance to prove themselves. What a disaster that has proven to be. On the 21 October, 2014, a mere one year and seven months after the people elected him, the PUP representative for Cayo North Joseph Mahmud announced that he would not be seeking to be the standard bearer and contest the next general elections. A month later he made history when on November 24 he resigned as area representative triggering a bi-election which the UDP won handsomely. Thirteen days earlier on November 11, another area representative, Marco Tulio Mendez also announced that he was no longer interested in being the standard bearer for the people who had elected him in 2012. He remains the area representative but he is shrouded in controversy as he has been arrested, accused of some very serious offences. The never ending saga of ruinous events that have followed and continue to follow the People’s United Party left a bitter taste in the mouths of those who trusted and voted for them in the last general elections. This was demonstrated in patent form when the electors came out for the recent municipal elections and endorsed the work that United Democratic Party was doing and voted red all the way except for four councilors and a Mayor.

Quiet hurricane season expected, CEMO prepared for worst case
The Belize City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) held a press briefing on Monday, June 1, to assure residents that the city is “prepared for a disaster”. June 1 marks the beginning of the hurricane season and according to the National Meteorological Service of Belize, “projections from the more reputable organizations that produce hurricane seasonal outlooks indicate that a below average to near average activity is likely this season”. Despite this forecast for a quiet season, the MET Service emphasizes the importance of “being prepared” in the event of a hurricane and CEMO is preaching the same. “We have been planning for a hurricane from the close of the last hurricane season,” says Mayor Darrell Bradley. Shortly after the close of last year’s hurricane season the organization looked at some of its weaknesses. Mayor Bradley says the main weakness identified was rescue workers’ inability to effectively care for people with special needs. It is a weakness that CEMO has been trying to fix for over two years now. Last year the council signed up over a dozen staffers for sign language classes so there should now be someone trained to communicate using sign language in every evacuation mission. Another weakness in the system was a lack of traffic control during evacuation periods. This is now the second year that a comprehensive evacuation system is available to be put to the test. Immediately after the Mayor issues an evacuation order, traffic personnel will be out to direct the flow of motor vehicles on a particular route. These routes can be seen on huge billboards across the city. In order to prevent traffic congestion by those heavy machine vehicles, companies will be instructed to move those vehicles out of the city as early as possible.

Mose Hyde’s needless Petro Panic
Kremandala’s media personality Evan Mose Hyde has taken an embarrassing and impolitic stance by suggesting to his radio listeners and television viewers that Government has in the past borrowed money from Petrocaribe to pay salaries and conduct debt servicing. His conspiracy was that the government had a crisis shortfall in its obligation to deal with recurrent expenditure, and that it broke the rules by using Petrocaribe Funds, which the arrangement between both the Belize and Venezuelan Governments does not allow for. He further suggested that Government was somehow trying to cover it up and not inform the general public. On their morning program called WUB Morning Vibes, Hyde and his co-host revealed a Central Bank document which stated that there were 2 transfers in March 2014 and March 2015 of 20 million dollars each. Those monies went from the Government’s Petrocaribe account to Government’s operating account. He interpreted that to mean that Government improperly used Petro money to pay salaries and other debt obligations. Well, the Ministry of Finance has clarified that it does not believe that he did so out of malice, but out of ignorance, and that if he had gotten a comment from the Government, he would have known that his interpretation was completely wrong.

Public Service Information Day held in San Ignacio Town
A public service information day was held on Friday of last week at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. Public officers from various Government of Belize Ministries and Departments were present to educate members of the public on their various roles. At the yearly event, there were booths from the Belize Police Department as well as from the Ministry of Health, Education and others. Students from surrounding areas of San Ignacio took the opportunity to visit the various booths to learn about the functions of the different Government Ministries. The Hon. Charles Gibson, the Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries was present last Friday and visited the various booths and meet with public officers. In a short ceremony at the Cayo Welcome Center the Hon. Charles Gibson was greeted by the various representatives from the Government Departments.

Contract signed for water supply for Gardenia and Biscayne
A total of 155 households in Gardenia and Biscayne, Belize District will soon have access to the supply of reliable potable water as a result of the Gardenia/Biscayne Water Supply Sub-project that is funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of $999,408.49 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. This means that 78 households in Gardenia & 77 in Biscayne will significantly improve and enhance their quality of life in meeting their daily water needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking. Equally important, the completion of the Gardenia/Biscayne Water Supply Sub-project also means the potential reduction in the vulnerability and incidences of residents and the villages to water-borne diseases; thus, making significant achievements in improving their quality of health, and by extension, the wider society of Belize. Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF) steadfast in its commitment of building partnership is collaborating with (BWS) in implementing the Gardenia/Biscayne Water Supply Sub-project as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy in addressing the basic needs of Belizeans, and in particular in the areas of health, water and sanitation.

FFB voted for Blatter as FIFA President but Blatter resigned
Swiss Football administrator Joseph Sepp Blatter has resigned from FIFA, the biggest sport governing body in the world. That’s less than a week after being elected for his fifth term, in a candidacy that Ruperto Vicente, President of the Football Federation of Belize, voted for him also. Vicente and a group of FFB executive members flew to Zurich, Switzerland to attend the 65th Congress of FIFA, which was held on Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29. In that congress, members of the football associations and federations from all across the world flew in to attend and cast their vote for the candidate they believe would win. Blatter was running against his opponent, Prince Ali Bin Hussein. That should have been the most newsworthy aspect of the congress, who would be elected. But, that’s the time when the United States Department of Justice decided to unseal indictable charges against 13 of the officials who were present at the time.

Maurice Felix on Remand for Attempted Murder
The notorious Maurice Felix, 30, is behind bars once again. Felix is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned for a shooting incident on Caesar Ridge Road that left two men injured on May 25. According to police, Mark Gentle/Vernon, 27, and Calvin Cumberbatch, 34, were sitting on the steps of their residence when a vehicle approached and two men jumped out. The men opened fire at Gentle and Cumberbatch with automatic weapons and then sped off in the vehicle. Gentle and Cumberbatch were shot multiple times and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial for treatment. Cumberbatch was treated and released but Gentle was admitted to ward in a critical condition. Police investigation led to the arrest of Maurice Felix of #3550 Sanker Street.

Al Jones busted with .38 pistol
Al Jones, 25, is back behind bars at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on Friday, May 29, for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm. According to police, Jones was busted with a firearm at around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27. Police Constable Eric Reid, and other officers responded to reports of an individual being in possession of a firearm on Antelope Street, not too far from the Raccoon Street Police Station. When they arrived in the area, they saw Jones who fitted the description of the suspect given by control room. Reid says that when Jones saw the police he began to run. Police set chase after him and caught up with him shortly after. They found him in possession of a .38 Special revolver with a grey and black grip. The firearm was loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Jones was arrested and escorted to the police station where he remained for two days before being arraigned on Friday.

Police in Cayo continue investigations into Roaring Creek murders
Belmopan Police continue their investigations relating to the two recent murders near Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District. 28 year old Edilberto Madrid, a resident of Roaring Creek was found decapitated and his body was also mutilated on May 26th about 200 yards away from the Agripino Cawich Bridge in the Young Bank Area of Camalote Village. While 51 year old Steven Hyde, was discovered grossly mutilated in the neighborhood at a private farm and in a shallow grave a day later. Belmopan Police now believe that both crimes are related and that the second incident was an attempt to cover the tracks of the first. “We want to be absolutely sure, that is why we are taking our time,” says Howell Gillett, Officer in Charge of Belmopan Police.

Belize City primary schools football competition winding down
une, 2015, in the only game played, St. Joseph Primary School blanked Belize Elementary School by the score of 2-0. The goals for St. Joseph School were scored by Sergio Andrade and Bjarne Gabourel. In the second game, Wesley Upper School won via the default route over St. Mary’s Primary School. In game three, Holy Redeemer School also won over James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School via the default route. In the only game in the girls’ category, Wesley Upper School also won via the default route over St. Mary’s Primary School. On Monday 1st June, in the first of three games in the boys’ competition, St. Ignatius School won via the default route over Ebenezer Methodist School.


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#504941 - 06/06/15 12:15 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 6, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Belize rejects Guat claim over Sarstoon Island
We have yet to receive a report on Guatemala’s official response to Belize’s protest note on the Sarstoon Island incursion by Guatemala’s Fuerza Especial Naval, a special arm of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF). We also have no information detailing the exchanges between the Government of Belize and the Government of Guatemala. Amandala tried to get a word with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who reportedly made the intervention at the official level with the Guatemalans, but he declined an interview. He said that enough has already been said on the matter. Last week, when we spoke with Col. George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources, we were not informed that the Belize Coast Guard had actually cut short its trip to the Sarstoon area because of the challenge by the Guatemalans. We asked Lovell why he did not explain this to us, and he told us that we did not ask. How we were supposed to know that the mission had been cut short, he did not say. Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington has said that they were supposed to stay for 10 days, but the Belizeans left on the second day of their mission, on orders by GOB because of the challenge by the Guatemalans. On the Love FM Morning Show today, Elrington was asked what Belize could lose at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and in his response Elrington suggested that Belize could lose some of its remote island territory.

Woman caught on surveillance camera burglarizing home, remanded to prison
A woman who has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty was remanded to prison this morning after she was arraigned on charges of burglary and handling stolen goods. Margareta Noralez Pech, 33, a housekeeper of 23 Amara Avenue, pleaded not guilty to the two charges when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The allegation against Pech is that on May 29, she entered, as a trespasser, the home of Kelsey Musa, located at 10 Eyre Street, and stole an assortment of jewelry and other items valued at $3,235. Pech was unable to convince the court that she should be granted bail after the court prosecutor made strong objections why she should be remanded to prison.

Pig thieves murder woman, 46
A vigilant watchman of a pig farm on the More Tomorrow Road is now bereft of his common-law wife, Paula Zaharias, 46, the mother of his 5 children, who was shot in the head at about 1:30 this morning by one of three thieves who fired about nine shots at them in their house after the watchman caught them trying to steal pigs from the farm. The bandits then fled the area empty-handed. Paula Zaharias was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival at about 3:30 this morning. The pig farm, belonging to Michael Flowers, is located on the More Tomorrow Road about three miles from the village. Flowers told Amandala today at the farm that the caretaker, 51, whom he only knows as “Primo,” told him that he, Paula and their five children, ranging in age from 3 to 15 years, were in the farmhouse this morning at about 1:30 when he heard noise coming from the pig sty where the large pigs were kept.

The placement of people on our flag “was a bad idea” – Former PM Manuel Esquivel
Former Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel told Amandala today that there is the need for the Belize flag to be standardized, with formal specifications documented for the colors of the flag, as well as the intricate design details which define it. At the time of Independence, he said, the flags were sewn and hand-painted in Belize. However, he told us that beyond talking about the specs of the Belize flag – which exists in an endless variation due to mass production by various establishments, perhaps beginning in the 1990s – the wise course of action would be to remove the men from the flag altogether. Although he agrees that such a move would be controversial, he said that to only portray a black and a brown man on the flag is hardly representative of the ethnically diverse people of Belize. Esquivel pointed to the fact that the Belize flag is the only flag with people on it – which, he told us, was “a bad idea.” When the national flag was being designed, he was one of the persons who sat on a committee comprised of persons from the People’s United Party and the United Democratic Party, tasked with coming up with a national flag. According to Esquivel, the forerunner to the flag was sky blue and it did not have any red on it. The thought was that it would be impossible to get Belizeans to rally together under a flag which clearly represented the ruling party at the time. So the solution was introducing some red – the color of the United Democratic Party.

Hopkins wants demarcation and security of ancestral lands
Hopkins Village chairman, Felix Miranda, has written Natural Resources Minister Gaspar Vega demanding that the Government of Belize cease to issue ancestral lands in the territory of Yugadan, the Garifuna name for Hopkins. The two-page letter to Vega also cites what Miranda identifies as ancestral farmlands: Salisa, Huhuti, Dunkin, Mudawa, Seidini, Newtown and Kachurugu, among lands that were allegedly “muscled by the Government without the free, prior and informed consent of the Garifuna Indigenous Peoples of Yugadan, Hopkins.” Amandala tried to contact Minister Vega about the letter, but we were unable to speak with him, so we left a message with his secretary. We also contacted Vega’s CEO, Sharon Ramclam, who told us that she was unaware of the letter but would look into the matter. Miranda wrote not just as chairman of Yugadan, but also as an activist member of Lawanserun Yugadan Corporation, a group of about 24 villagers formed for this purpose as well as to promote progress in their village. The group members include village council members, Hilaria Ramos, a trustee of Lawanserun, and Ashford Miranda. Uwahnie Martinez is the president of the group and Felix Miranda is the secretary.

Vicente voted for Blatter
The resignation of former longstanding International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)president, Sepp Blatter, which occurred yesterday, Tuesday, sent social media, not to mention the football world, into a frenzy. Although many influential stakeholders within that realm have been calling for Blatter’s resignationeven before the elections were held at the 65th FIFA Congress last Friday, May 29, in Zurich, Switzerland, Blatter won a fifth consecutive term amid massive corruption scandals which have surfaced within the international football governing body. During those elections, Football Federation of Belize (FFB) president, Ruperto Vicente – who had attended the event with two other FFB executives – voted for Blatter despite the revelations. While heading back out of the country on another footballrelated matter on Monday of this week, Vicente, in an interview with the media, asserted that he had voted for the embattled FIFA president because “he [Blatter] was up for development, and Belize needs as much assistance in development as possible, and so, we also put the challenge that it is now his responsibility to clean up the situation in FIFA.”

C-Ray Cycling Club events – Saturday races and Youth Summer Series
The C-Ray Cycling Club has committed to hosting races for all categories throughout the summer, on Saturdays. Races are held on the Boom-Hattieville road and start at 6:00 a.m. in front of Data-Pro, travel to Hattieville round-about, and return to finish in front of Data-Pro. Categories – Elite, Masters, Junior and Female. Three races have been held so far, and the current record is 53 minutes, held by Delawn Abraham. We invite ALL CYCLISTS to come out this Saturday, June 6, at 6:00 a.m. to participate. Registration is $5.00 per person. The races are led and followed by Police. Youth Summer Series The 2nd Annual C-Ray Youth Summer Series will commence on Sunday, June 14, on Marine Parade Boulevard and will be run on 4 Sundays – June 14, June 21, July 5 and July 19. All youths, ages 3-18 years are invited to come out and race! Registration is FREE. Helmet is mandatory. New Category: Mountain Bike / Beach Cruiser. Great prizes! Bring out the entire family!!

Belize Jaguars prepare for 2nd round of WC Qualifiers
After squeezing past the Grand Cayman national selection in the first round, the Belize National Men’s “A” football selection, the Belize Jaguars, are engaged in their final stages of preparations for an upcoming game against the Dominican Republic as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The first of the 2-game series will be played next Thursday, June 11, in the Dominican Republic, whereas the second match will take place at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) stadium in Belmopan on Sunday, June 14. The team has been in training on their home field for the past 5 months, and today, the FFB called a press conference at their Belmopan headquarters to present the group of players and support staff who will make up the team in the second round of competition. Head Coach, Jorge Nunez, told the gathering that the 23 players are “in 100% top shape,” and since everyone has been “putting in their part” during workouts, he is “confident” that the team will advance after encountering the Dominican Republic team.

2015 – 2nd Bi-Annual RF&G National Ranking Tournament
The 2015 2nd Bi-Annual RF&G National Ranking Tournament was played this past weekend at the BES Auditorium, with some 50 plus participants playing in four different categories. In the A-Division, after some intense matches, the day closed off with an exciting final that went down to the wire between Carlos Cui and Tyrone Tun. Carlos won, 3-2, just managing to edge out Tyrone in the last set of the finals, 13-11. The final results were as follows: A-Division: 1st – Carlos Cui; 2nd – Tyrone Tun; 3rd – Nicholas Martin. In the B-Division, 10 players started out in the Round Robin Elimination groups, with the top 8 advancing to the Double Elimination Finals. This time around, #1 ranked Junior player, Latrell Solis played his first RF&G Ranking Tournament as an official member of the B-Division Category, making his way undefeated to the finals.

Editorial: The turkey and the Sarstoon River mouth…
On Channel 5 Wednesday morning, Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington confirmed that it was Prime Minister Dean Barrow himself who on Friday morning, May 29, defused a standoff situation between armed elements of the Belize Coast Guard and armed elements of the Guatemalan Navy by instructing our Coast Guard to “stand down” from their positions on an island at the mouth of the Sarstoon River, an island which is clearly in Belizean territory. When this newspaper went to press on Monday night, June 1, this week, more than 80 hours after this border incident, which actually began at the Sarstoon on Thursday morning, May 28, the information confirmed on Wednesday morning by Elrington had, for whatever the reason(s), not been available to our assistant editor, Adele Ramos, when she wrote a front page story for our Tuesday issue titled, THE COAST GUARD – BELIZE’S NEWEST HEROES! At the time of this latest Sarstoon River incident, which lasted from Thursday morning to Friday morning last week, Minister Elrington had been in Guatemala City. He had been there for days. What he was remaining there for is not clear, because it was THREE DAYS BEFORE the Sarstoon standoff began that he had “signed a protocol to amend the ICJ special agreement, to permit Guatemala to proceed ahead of Belize to hold its national referendum on whether its unfounded claim … should be heard at the ICJ.” (pg. 1, Amandala, Wednesday, June 3, 2015.)

From the Publisher
Sunday’s UDP convention in Belize Rural North concluded with a massive triumph for the incumbent standard bearer/area representative, Hon. Edmond Castro, and a crushing defeat for the challenger, Mr. Dwight Tillett, who had reportedly been the chief executive officer in Castro’s Ministry for several years. In the aftermath of the convention, Mr. Tillett made comments which reflect irreparable disillusionment with, and estrangement from, Mr. Castro, and, to a certain extent, a loss of faith in his party. While he had appeared to retain his equanimity early on Sunday even in the face of the swarming masses of Castro supporters, it was only human for Dwight to feel, as shocking reality set in later, a sense of betrayal, certainly with the UDP voters and probably with his party. The Crooked Tree section of the Tillett family into which Dwight Tillett was born, first appeared on the national political stage in late 1973/early 1974 with two of Dwight’s older brothers being introduced as UDP general election candidates. These were Lionel and Kenneth, in the Corozal North and Collet constituencies respectively. (Strictly speaking, there was no UDP candidate in the two Corozal constituencies in 1974: Lionel in the North and Santiago Gongora in Corozal South were described on the ballot as representing the Corozal United Front (CUF), but they were understood to be UDPs.) The UDP had just been formally established under the de facto leadership of Dean Lindo in September of 1973, and when Lindo presented his two personable Tillett candidates, who had come in from their homes in Oklahoma to campaign along with their American wives, there was somewhat of a stir in local political circles.

Youth activist Alberto Vellos writes
Dear Editor, There is a tried and tested script for what occurred last week Friday here in Belize City. I know, for I have lived through the script too many times not to recognise when it’s happening. Here’s how the script goes: young people are gathered under the banner of a youth forum, they are encouraged by peers and adult advisors who promise that this will be “the opportune moment” to discuss their dreams and aspirations, and that this will be the defining call for change. They are then joined by the Minister of Youth who, most times, is neither young and does not understand nor share the most basic aspirations of our youth. Yet he/she attends and, right on cue, promises that our youth are listened to because “they matter” and are “important”, and of course because “they are the future”. The curtains are then lowered, and everything goes back to normal but the participants can Share and Like each other’s photos on social networks and feel good about the experience. As anticipated, that script played out last week at a “Youth Forum” held at the Gateway Youth Center under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and for that reason I refused to be a part of it. I have seen and been a part of more than a fair share of these token-aimed and token-driven events. The result has been that after each meeting, I and many others were left waiting for the sweet-sounding political promises to be kept, for the adult advisors to take action on our behalf and for the future to arrive. None of the above ever occurred.

Big Falls alcalde faces ouster attempt
About 150 villagers of Big Falls, a village of about 3,000 residents, met in their village on Sunday, May 31, pledging to “overthrow” the alcalde of their village, Regino Hernandez, over a series of allegations which have been lodged with the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA). Lindley Ramclam, the chairman of the village, told us that he has no issues with the alcalde, whose purpose, he said, is to maintain law and order in the community according to the traditional system, while the village council, which Ramclam leads, is tasked with looking after community development. PGTV shared a video clip of the meeting with us, in which villagers are alleging that the village council had received $20,000 from Central Government but has not properly accounted for how the money was used. Also, a woman complained that the alcalde doubled her fine when she challenged him about why he was charging her $30, allegedly for telling a lie. The TAA, which has received a slew of written complaints, has consequently triggered a process of investigation which will ultimately reveal whether the complaints against Hernandez bear enough substance to prompt them to seek his removal. However, we were advised by Pablo Mis, representative of the Maya Leaders Alliance, an affiliate of the TAA, that the process is quite involved and the ultimate removal can only happen after a properly convened meeting at which the villagers themselves would vote on whether they want Hernandez to be removed as alcalde.

52 apprentices graduate from ABTEC program
Recognizing that skills training can equip youth in their quest to secure gainful employment, the American-Belizean Technology and Education Center (ABTEC), which is located on Regent Street in Belize City, has been assisting Belizean youths and adults to garner different vocational skills since January 2014. ABTEC operates on the principle that, “you don’t have to come from a place of privilege to accomplish great things”, and today the center held a graduation ceremony for 52 trainees from varied backgrounds who plan to prove that mantra to be true. When the event concluded, Amandala spoke to ABTEC’s deputy director, Stephanie Betancourt, who also serves as an IT teacher for the program, and she elaborated on the programs that they offer to the public.

Santander and Valley of Peace farmers make amends
Over 30 farmers from the Valley of Peace area in Cayo were granted ownership of 160 acres of land at a location next to the Santander farm in Belmopan since last Saturday, May 30. The goodwill gesture came after months of negotiations that took place in the wake of a crop dusting exercise that was carried out by Green Tropics, a subsidiary of the Santander Group, in March of 2014 which resulted in the alleged destruction of close to half a million dollars’ worth of vegetables belonging to the Valley of Peace Farmers Association. The farmers filed a lawsuit in response, but later received an eviction notice from the company which maintained that the crops were planted on its titled land. The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court, but now, the two parties have made amends and those 31 farmers have been gifted with their own titled land on the same property, not far from where they had originally settled.

The Reporter

Cardona responds to allegations of unethical legal practice
Attorney Marcel Cardona responded to reports that he has been recommended for suspension for a year by the General Legal Council on allegations of unethical legal practices saying he completely surprised and wasn’t notified about any such occurrence. Cardona said the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Association may have proceeded to make the decision but neither he nor the complainant were present at the meeting supposedly held earlier this week. According to Cardona, he still hasn’t been able to get any official documentation of the alleged decision made against him. He said he is currently awaiting confirmation on the issue. Cardona said he was shocked because when an accusation is made against someone’s professional reputation, especially an attorney, the accused should be given an opportunity to defend their self in person. Cardona said from what he has been able to gather there are two complaints against him by a past client. Cardona said on the allegation that he overcharged for his service that he is fully prepared to substantiate the value of service to the disgruntled client.

Belize praised for anti-laundering laws
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) have removed Belize from the CFATF follow-up process and the ICRG review program after assessing the measures undertaken by Belize to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The review included scrutiny of Belize’s legislative framework and its implementation by Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Caribbean Financial Task-force (CFT) supervisors and the private sector. According to a government release, Belize now joins a vanguard of CFATF member countries who have achieved the highest levels of compliance with international standards. CFATF member countries have expressed congratulations to Belize for making such remarkable progress in a short period of time, having only starting work on strengthening deficiencies in the country’s system since 2011. Research shows that only the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, who both only had minor deficiencies, were able to exit the follow-up in less time.

Solar streetlights coming to Phillip Goldson Highway
The stretch of road on the Phillip Goldson Highway from the Haulover Bridge to the Airport Road junction will soon have better visibility at night, through a government renewable energy project. Under the project, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities, along with various partner agencies will place solar-powered street lights along the road, which is known for being especially dark at night time. The project, valued at US $300,000, is funded by the government of the Republic of China -Taiwan. Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Dr. Colin Young, explained this week that the project is only a pilot, but if proven effective, central government will consider rolling out the solar powered lights to other areas in the country.

New Haulover Bridge for Belize
Belize is to get a new Haulover Bridge, as well as a four-lane highway from Belize City to the new bridge. There is no exact time-frame for this development, but last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow made a start by signing a deal with the Caribbean Development Bank. Under this agreement, CDB will donate Bze $4.8 million to the project, which is expected to cost $29.7 million in all. The new bridge will ease the pressure on the existing bridge, which is the gateway to Belize City for the northern half of the country.

Character Defamation: Alcalde and chairman say they will sue
Regino Hernandez, the Alcalde of Big Falls Village in Toledo has said he intends to sue for libel, all those persons who made allegations against him of mishandling public funds. At a village public meeting last Sundaytwo persons stood up to accuse Hernandez of not providing accounting details of money which the Government had given the village council in 2013. The figure, they said, amounts to $20,000. In a telephone conversation with The Reporter, Hernandez reported this week that the councillor who called the meeting, did so on the premise to talk about communal land rights, an issue which he, the councillor supports, but which Hernandez opposes. Instead, the meeting took a different turn when certain persons accused the Alcalde of misusing public money and not providing accountability. Hernandez clarified that as an alcalde, he does not deal with the matters of the village.

American sex offender caught in Belize
Another American fugitive wanted for charges related to sexual offenses has been caught in Belize and deported back to the US to answer those charges. On Monday, David Long, 63, who is wanted in Shawnee County, Kansas was apprehended by US Marshals in Unitedville […]

Cane farm helper crushed to death 
Julio Macal, a cane farm worker from Xaibe Village, Corozal, was crushed to death on Saturday around 1 a.m., as he and his colleague, Ismael Camal approached the Tower Hill Sugar Factory to deliver cane. The two were towing a trailer loaded with cane […]

Youth leaders raise their voices
More than 100 youths and youth leaders from all six districts gathered at the Gateway Youth Center in Belize City for the first-ever Young Leaders Forum. The forum last Friday was held under the theme, “Youth: A Time for Equality in Decision Making.” The forum […]

Body 2000 gym resolves trade license issue
A leading Belize City gym, Body 2000, has resolved its trade licensing issue with the Belize City Council and re-opened this week after being forcibly shut down last week by City Council personnel and police officers. Mayor Darrell Bradley said he was not aware […]

PUP vs Ramos (Pt 2)
The deputy leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) Julius Espat, has opined that PUP Dangriga area representative, Ivan Ramos, should be disciplined for going against the party’s official position on acceptance of PetroCaribe funds from the Government. Ramos, who at the PUP’s last […]

Belize tops regional sugar production .Less cane, more sugar!
Belize produced more sugar for the month of April than any other Caribbean country, says a report issued this week by the Sugar Association of the Caribbean. The SACs data said that in April 2015, Belize milled 28,289 tons of sugar, followed by Guyana, which […]

Predicted: a “dry” rainy season in 2015
Forecasters in the Caribbean this week, are concerned about the effects that abnormally dry rainy seasons may have on the productive sector of affected countries. At the Regional Climate Outlook forum for the 2015 hurricane season, held in CASTRIES, St Lucia, forecasters warned that abnormally […]

Editorial
Santander, the Spanish owned corporation which is now completing Belize’s second sugar factory in the Cayo District, has just won the admiration and respect of the people of Belize for the way it has resolved the squatting problem created by members of the farming community of the Valley of Peace. […]

Beef – it’s what’s NOT for dinner!
Beef steak and ground beef may become prohibitively expensive for many Belizeans if prices continue to rise. Data from the Statistical Institute of Belize showed that from April 2013-April 2015 the average price per lb. of beef steak rose from $6.02 to $7.32. The average […]

Guilty! Three men to serve three years in jail
Three men are currently serving a three -year prison term after being found guilty of drug trafficking. The men, Richard Smith, Kent Nunez, and Jason Phillips were found near the Benque border on March 16, 2011 in a maroon-coloured car with 17,233 grams (about […]

Kolbe saves $60,000 by switching bulbs
The Kolbe Foundation, which manages the Belize Central Prison on the Boom/Hattieville Road, expects to save close to $60,000 a year ($5,000 a month) in electricity bills by switching to a new, energy-efficient lighting system on its compound. Chief Executive Officer at Kolbe, Virgil Murillo, […]

Tropic Air plane forced to land at sea with passengers aboard
The Civil Aviation Department has started its preliminary investigation into the accident involving a Tropic Air plane which made an emergency -landing in the sea in shallow water on Tuesday. The aircraft has not been recovered so far. Civil Aviation Director, Lindsay Garbutt told […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Love FM’s “Punta Fuego Outstanding Fisher of the Year Award”
Punta Fuego is Belize’s hottest radio drama, airing Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. and repeating on Sundays at 1:15 p.m on LoveFm radio. Punta Fuego is a fictional coastal village in Belize, where a young fisherman by the name of Richie is put to the test when deceit and danger come […]

Attorney and magistrate to be suspended for unethical practices
Two prominent members of the legal profession face suspension for reported unethical practices. One is a former area representative who admitted to bribing certain officials to ensure his client would get bail for minor offenses; the other is a long-time magistrate who is alleged to have used his […]

Trio face major jail time and fines for drug trafficking
Three men, two of whom have previous convictions for drug offences, face a heavy fall in relation to another bust of drug trafficking in the Cayo District for which they were convicted last week. 35 year old Richard Smith, 30 year old Kent Nunez and 29 year old […]

Aaliyah Levia Wins National Spelling Bee Competition
The 21st national Spelling Bee finals took center-stage today at the Corozal Community College Auditorium where hundreds of students, teachers and parents converged for the main spelling bee event. Twelve finalists representing the six districts went head to head in four rounds of intense spelling competition. After two rounds using […]

Two vehicles collided this afternoon on Benque Road near Chuc’s Gas Station
Reports reaching our newsroom is that two vehicles collided this afternoon around 1:47 p.m. near Chuc’s Gas Station on Benque Viejo Road. According to our sources, one of the vehicle is a black pick up truck that sells butane in San Ignacio Town. Police have been dispatched to the scene […]

Major Archaeological find at Nim Li Punit
The Nim Li Punit Archaeological site, located approximately 25 miles outside of Punta Gorda Town, has been the center of much hype in the archaeological world over the past few days. It was about 12 days ago that archaeologists and researchers found 8 pieces of Jade and 26 ceramic pots […]

Fatal motorcycle crash on the Hummingbird Highway claims two lives
Information reaching our news room is that last night around 8:30pm, police visited an area between mile 5 and 6 on the Hummingbird Highway where they encountered two motorbikes that were extensively damaged and facing each other. According to police reports, the motorbikes belong to 28 year old William Triguero […]

Coast Guard Officers honored for bravery in last week’s standoff with Guatemalan Navy
Last week Thursday and Friday, a confrontation and standoff between Belizean Coast Guards and Guatemalan Navy vessels, poured out from every media house and of course, Belize Media Group was among the first to bring you coverage of that incident. The confrontation occurred when a Guatemalan vessel was seen in […]

“Belize Renewed, Confident, Competitive, and Committed” is this year’s theme for September Celebrations
In just a few months, the infectious beats, drum rhythms and carnival vibes will flood the land of Belize as it will be celebrating its month of Independence. And in that light, the National Celebrations Commission of Belize has issued a press release with this year’s September Celebration Theme. According […]

Belize Jaguars confident about victory in upcoming game against Dominican Republic
Earlier this year, Belize’s National football team traveled to the Cayman Islands for a game that our Jaguars eventually won by the slimmest margin possible, earning a game against the Dominican Republic’s Los Quisqueyanos and keeping Belize’s dream of World Cup qualification alive. In the game against Cayman, […]

39 year old Paula Garcia killed in pig robbery attempt
The unexpected and saddening murder of 39 year old wife and mother, Paula Garcia, occurred in the wee hours of the morning yesterday, June 4th. Paula, along with her husband and 5 children, had just moved from Orange Walk to an area on the ‘More Tomorrow Road’ last […]

Expect cloudy skies with a few showers the next few days
General situation for today Friday is for Cloudy skies to be expected at times with a few showers and thunderstorms mainly along coastal areas this morning, inland this afternoon and in the south tonight. Wind blows at North to Northwest this morning changing direction to East to Northeast at 5 […]

Blogs

“Good Time” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
My day yesterday started much as every day starts for me. I wake up! Then it’s to the kitchen (I do put some clothes on), kettle on and then the mug of black, unsweetened instant coffee. Mug in hand I then unplug the iPad Air and take both out to the veranda. The western one on the lagoon side. I then spend around an hour to ninety minutes catching up with what’s been going on in the world. Well, to be honest, not everything, just the bits that interest me. I then shower, shave, dress, pat Ziggy, kiss Rose goodbye (I have been known to get this in the wrong order) and head off for breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea. During my time at Estel’s I normally give some thought as to what I plan to do for the rest of the day. What tasks I think I might like to tackle. I never put too many on my mental list because I don’t want to fail. I didn’t draw up the list yesterday though because I knew that we had Peter Lawrence’s (aka Pedro of Pedro’s Hotel) birthday lunch to attend at Caribbean Villas Hotel so I just spent a bit of time watching (it’s so much easier watching) Lloyd and Gonzalo working on the garden.

Belize Recipe: Make a Cassava Crusted Snapper Fillet!
Fish is quick in cooking, nutritious, and delicious when prepared simply. Chef Mario adds fresh kale and cassava that is organically grown at Chaa Creek’s Maya Organic Farm to give this recipe a deliciously rich flavour. Season the fish fillet with chef’s special rub, dip in plain all-purpose flour then milk batter followed by grated cassava well covered, fry in vegetable oil at medium high temperature until light brown color on both sides, place in kitchen paper to absorb any oil excess. Prepare the creamy kale sauce in a small sauce pan by adding a spoon of butter, garlic and kale, stirring constantly until kale is cooked enough then add the sour cream, adjust seasoning with kosher salt, black or white pepper and a splash of wine.

Endurance training and Big beach party
I remember when Andrew Milner founder of of the San Pedro Sailing club was sitting in our back yard years ago telling us about his dream to teach local island kids the art of sailing and how his plans were to find the Olympic quality sailors and get them to master a skill that will allow them to travel work worldwide. His dream was not without it’s struggles but he stuck with it and has come to help the kids win lots of trophies, and learn good sportsmanship and life skills. His write up below shows just the kind of quality he and the sailing school are dedicated to providing their kids. Further below that you will find details on their upcoming big beach party fundraiser happening this Sunday at Amber Beach Bar and Grill located at Caribbean Villas Hotel. It will be loads of fun and there are tons of great pries to win on as you will see when you make it to the list.

Ambergris Caye’s Largest Development Brings Renowned Designer Amanda Lindroth On Board
Mahogany Bay Village is the largest development to date on Ambergris Caye. Over sixty acres of land that is basically a blank slate. When complete, the property will feature private residences, a four-star hotel, bay and beach clubs, a general store, restaurants, a spa and a business center. And according to the plans so much more. I was quite smitten with the gorgeous furniture and woodwork, the simple but beautiful design and the fact that almost all of it was made in Belize by Belizean craftsmen with sustainable hardwoods. There is a huge team out by Belmopan, Belize constructing it all. Mahogany Bay, according to the Labor Department, is the 8th largest employer in the country right now with 160 to 180 Belizean employees working on the houses and the furniture. And the plans are grand…from the 200+ room resort (to be opened at the end of this year/beginning of next) to the 16,000 square foot Great House. And some of the best, in design, in sales and in construction are being brought in to do the job.

International Sourcesizz

Review: Airflo Chard's Tropical Punch fly line
No type of fly fishing is more demanding on an angler’s fly line than tropical saltwater fishing. For the most part, this is a function of the physical conditions and the challenging nature of the species that tropical saltwater anglers spend most of their time targeting. For years, Airflo has been making my favorite saltwater fly lines. There are lots of very good saltwater lines out there these days, but in my experience, Airflo lines consistently shine in the tropics. At Belize’s Turneffe Flats, anglers spend part of their time chasing permit in one of the Turneffe Atoll’s lagoons, where large schools of permit frequently gather in water that is a few feet deeper than conditions that are typical on the flats. This often calls for considerably heavier crab or shrimp flies, in order to quickly get the fly down to the bottom where the fish are plucking at prey in the turtle grass. In these situations, when asked to do so, the Tropical Punch turned over these heavy patterns more effectively than other lines in the boat did. To be fair, turning over such heavy patterns is notably unpleasant regardless of the line running through the guides, but the Tropical Punch does make doing so noticeably easier.

Redefining "Sustainability" as More, More and, Well, More
Since its birth in 1987, for many, the term "sustainable development" has become synonymous with "less." "Sustainability" seemed to lock us into a static, zero-sum game of painful sacrifices. Facing finite or shrinking ecological limits, we felt forced to: ensure future food security only by inhibiting demands today; increase jobs and revenues only at the expense of wild nature; and restore wildness only by crimping economic growth. But this week, groundbreaking research redefines sustainability more positively. Two years' collaboration with university scientists revealed that, through a transition to sustainable fishing -- harvesting smarter, not harder -- the oceans can yield far more, across the board. Consider Belize, which suffered sharp declines in reef fish and conch; spiny lobster harvests shrank from 200 to 20 per day for many fishermen. Then two communities tried a new approach called "managed access", granting them secure rights to their historical fishing areas, and everything changed. Early adopters saw a dramatic decline in illegal fishing, fish populations rebounded, and fishing businesses grew. Fishermen became champions of nearby marine protected areas. Word spread up the coast until nearly all 3,000 fishermen wanted the same opportunities. Last week, Belize voted to take the approach nationwide in the next year.

Students find learning opportunities from jaguars at Elmwood Park Zoo
Norristown Area School District and Belize may be some 1,700 miles apart. But concern for the Central American country’s indigenous and endangered jaguars has made Belize a household name for students at NASD’s Cole Manor Elementary School in East Norriton. In fact, jaguars – the only American great cats as well as the largest spotted cats in the world – will be the centerpiece of CMES’s June 10 Academic EXPO. Folks familiar with the so-called Butterfly Effect know that theory is popularly reduced to the question “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” With regard to the CMES EXPO, that question might well be reframed as “Did the plight of jaguars in Belize set off a creative learning storm in Norristown?” The short answer – it sure did.

Videos

  • "Horrotch" in the making.., 1/2min. Masa with chaya, gonna be boiled for a while then will be taken out of the foil and into the pot of black beans

  • Shark dive in Belize, 1min.

  • Hopkins Belize Tours Animal Spotted Sittee River, 2min. One day while traveling with Charleton of Hopkins Belize Tours, We Spotted This Mammal On the Road, It Was Amazing.

  • Punta Fuego (Belize), 1min.

  • Belize Scuba with a Shark, 1min. Belize vacation scuba dive with a shark.

  • Our Belize Trip, 6min.

  • Philip W Goldson MZBZ BZE Belize Arrival Rwy 25, 1min. Maya Island Airways flight midday from San Pedro to Belize International airport showing the landing and taxi to the ramp and 4 USMC Sea Stallion helicopters refuelling en route.

  • Spotted eagle rays, 15sec. During the first dive of the 2015 long-term atoll monitoring activities the team were greeted by two amazing spotted eagle rays. Glover's Reef Research Station

  • MOYO HONEYMOON, 4min.

  • Spotted Eagle Rays in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Spotted Eagle Rays in Belize, 1min.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize... without the tube, 10min. This was one of the coolest things I have ever done! We were supposed to float leisurely down the river on our tubes. But that seemed a little boring haha, so we jumped off and swam most of it : ) Glad there was someone else there willing to give up their tube with me. Would you believe Bailey and I only met each other only 5 days prior?

  • Earthbag construction of a two story round building with a root cellar in Belize, 18min. Jaime Marin describes his experiment with building an earthbag root cellar in Belize. Using the most cost effective resources available at hand to develop a minimalistic but effective source of shelter and infrastructure for this transitional home project for children at Barzakh Falah in Georgeville, Belize. The project uses volunteer labor as it gets closer and closer to completion and minimal funds solely for materials. You will not find any embellishments to their buildings but the focus is more on erecting functional structures that will receive their own personalization as time goes on by the inhabitants it will serve. This is totally a local initiative and much thanks is given to all the earthbag community out there. This is a little we can give back of what we've learned thanks to all of you in the hopes it will help others in return. Also thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who have literally poured their grain of sand into bringing us this far. The video provides an overview of the building process including details on the foundation, bagging process, architectural support, and useful tools of the trade.

  • A Look Back At The History Of The Belize City Museum, 4min. On this Friday, we dig into our archives and flash way back with a 1994 story about the old prison. As you may know, that prison was located in the heart of the city, where the Museum of Belize now sits. Parts of the structure were retained for the museum and now serve as a point of history on the museum tour. This story takes a look back at history.

  • Coming Soon - Belize's First Helium Balloon Ride, 2.5min.

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