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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

Blue Tang Inn Awarded 2015 Certificate of Excellence
Blue Tang Inn has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience. “Winning the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a tremendous honor for the entire team at the Blue Tang Inn,” said Kristin Fisher, US Sales & Marketing Director for Blue Tang Inn. “We thank all of our guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor!” When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

Three Caye Caulker Police Officers awarded ‘Best Relief’
Three Caye Caulker Police Officers have received compensation for their hard work. Woman Police Constable (WPC) Brittany Lopez, Police Constable (PC) Hallet King and PC Albert Lawrence of Caye Caulker Police Department (CCPD) Release #1 were awarded Best Relief for the month of May 2015. The officers demonstrated determination to up hold the law and protect the citizens and visitors of Caye Caulker Village. To recognize their achievement the officers were presented with $500 cash on Friday, May 29th during a short ceremony. “With the small force that we have in Caye Caulker, our officers always have to be on top of their game. That’s why it’s good when we can give them a little extra compensation for their hard work. I congratulate these three outstanding officers for making the Police Department proud by upholding the law and serving the community the way it should be,” said Officer in Charge of the CCPD, Kirby Palma. Unfortunately PC Lawrence was not present at the ceremony, as he recently sustained a fractured finger and is receiving medical attention.

Stagnant Water from Unfinished projects becoming an eye sore
Residents have voiced concerns over two development seawall projects to reclaim beaches, but instead have created unsightly stagnant pools and other issues. One development is located on the lagoon side of town core and the other is beachfront, south of town. Among the issues noted are the accumulation of garbage and eutrophication due to the lack of free flowing water. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero addressed the issue, stating that the developers are expected to complete the project soon, thereby getting rid of the eyesore. According to Guerrero, he has spoken to the developers of both areas, and they will be filling the area with sand to beautify the seawall. One of the areas, formerly known as the Sunset Grill, has recently been purchased after it was abandoned for some time by the previous owner. “We have spoken to the new owner and he plans on reconstructing the area and opening a restaurant. They have gotten the development concept approved by all necessary agents and are working on filling in where the stagnant water is. It will be fixed,” said Guerrero. Garbage has been accumulating at the Sunset Grill seawall since it was abandoned, but once construction commences, the area will be cleaned and beautified.

Ricky Luna takes on Merida 2015 WOD Challenge and wins!
Over the weekend of May 29th- 31st two athletes from Ambergris Caye traveled to Merida, Yucatan Mexico to compete in the Merida 2015 WOD Challenge. Head coach and Co-owner of WOD Zone Lucien Pollard and WOD Zone Coach Ricky Luna proudly represented Belize in the competition. At the end of some incredibly tough challenges, Luna ended up taking the top prize in the Intermediate Division. According to Pollard, WOD Zone found out about the event through the popular social media outlet Facebook. After contacting the organizers of the event, they were invited to join in the challenge. There were three different categories: scaled, intermediate, and RX. Intermediate competitor Luna was completely surprised with the results of his efforts. “I was not expecting to win at all. I felt nervous and excited, because we hadn’t competed before,” he said. “We had been on a break from the gym, so we went to this competition to see where we were physically. When I came in first, I was shocked!” The competition consisted of weight lifting, gymnastics and conditioning (cardio), and saw him take the top spot out of 75 total competitors.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Two carriers on the Belize route now!
With today's inaugural Los Angeles, California to Belize flight (Airbus 319) by American Airlines we now have two carriers flying the route. Here are both on the ground at BZE this morning. We wish our friends at American and Delta the best!

21st Annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee
Corozal House of Culture's Coordinator was honoured to participate as head judge at the 21st Annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee at the Corozal Community College this morning. Twelve bright, beautiful children took up the challenge with such confidence and grace. Congratulations to winner Aaliyah Leiva from Louisiana Government School of the Orange Walk District. Second place went to Mishtony Castillo of Christiline Gill Seventh Day Adventist School and third place to Aimee Gonzalez of Corozal Nazarene School, both of Corozal Town. A special thank you to Mr. Jahmor Lopez, Corozal District Principal Education Officer for the opportunity given.

Tropic Air Flight 9N2300 (PASSENGER ACCOUNT & CLARIFICATION)
I write to clarify the misreporting that has been transmitted subsequent to our airplane incident on Tuesday. This misreporting I understand has been the result of (as best I can tell) an errant account of events by the Coast Guard and a lack of updates and clarification by Tropic Air. While it is true that the Coast Guard did recover us from the widlife sanctuary and island near the crash site-the recovery did not take place twenty (20) minutes after the crash landing, nor was the recovery at the actual crash site. After surviving the crash landing ("ditching") the pilot -who ultimately pulled the two of us out of the aircraft as we had difficulties opening the passenger door as the plane was submerged and upside down- informed us that we would all need to swim to the island where the Audubon Society was stationed. This was approximately three (3) miles away from our crash site, according to the pilot himself. At this time we encountered increasingly poor weather; torrential rain and driving wind. As all three of us had no major injuries from the impact, were in good health and good swimmers (myself a former competitive swimmer and lifeguard), the pilot retrieved and inflated our safety raft.

Punta Fuego Outstanding Fisher of the Year Award
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 to his village. This drama is set to ignite the passion of Belizeans across the country as the villagers fight against injustices and corruption while struggling with the hardships of life on the fire point. In commemoration of International Fisherman’s Day, an event celebrated annually on June 29th, Punta Fuego will be presenting the hardworking members of Belize’s Fisheries sector with the “Punta Fuego Outstanding Fisher of the Year Award.” Nominations can be made by the public through a written letter with a maximum of 250 words, stating what makes the nominated person a responsible Belizean fisher. The letter along with a photo of the nominee addressed to “Punta Fuego” can be delivered to LoveFm on Slaughterhouse Road in Belize City or emailed to sharmanegarcia@yahoo.com. The deadline for submission is June 15, 2015 at 4pm and the winner of this award will be announced on Love FM’s Morning Show on July 3rd.

Busy week at Belize Bird Rescue
Quite a week! We had 11 intakes, 8 of which BBR rescued or picked up. We spent a total of 16 hours and 50 minutes on pick-ups (including waiting time) and travelled 590 miles of unforgiving Belizean roads. Our fuel costs vary from $750US to $1800US a month and are second only to our feed bill. Of the intakes, 5 birds are injured and 6 are babies (technically 2 are both). Our existing nursery and hospital space is getting rather crowded! Please consider making a (US tax-deductible) donation to our facility upgrade fundraiser, or help us spread the word by sharing this link: https://goto.gg/20581

Hon. Santi Says Mayor Bradley Didn't Invite Him To Endorsement Convention
As we told you last night, Mayor Darrell Bradley is going to be endorsed as the UDP standard bearer on Sunday. We badgered him yesterday about whether his predecessor, the sitting area representative Santino Castillo would be attending. Bradley told us he invited Castillo - but did not know if he would be there. He told us we would have to ask Castillo. We couldn't reach him - but those in his camp tell us plainly that Castillo received no invitation to the Bradley convention. Castillo, we are told, will be out of the country on personal leave this weekend so will not attend the convention which is a block away from his house at the Lopez Mateos park. Those we spoke to in the Castillo camp say that they feel it is an affront that the sitting representative was not invited - especially after Castillo graciously stepped aside to allow Bradley to ascend unimpeded to the standard bearer position.

Two Faces of Belize Central Prison
On Monday, we showed you a portion of our interview with 24 year-old Robinson Michael, the man who came fresh out of the Belize Central Prison to condemn the Kolbe Administration for corruption and advantage taking. That's a very serious charge to lay at the feet of the country's prison keepers, and so we held off on airing his allegations against Kolbe until we got an opportunity to speak with an executive of the prison to address his laundry list of allegations. That opportunity presented itself today, when our news team had a sit-down with the CEO and an accompanying tour of the facility. Daniel Ortiz has that story with allegations and counter allegations on both sides. Virgilio Murrillo - Acting CEO, Belize Central Prison "Kolbe Foundation is very much into maintaining a secure humane prison that is geared towards rehabilitation for successful re-integration of the inmates that come here. We are very much aware that incarcerating has a negative impact on families, particularly spouses and children. What we try to is as a captive audience we try to rehabilitate these offenders so that when they return to society they can transition successfully and remain crime free once they return to society."

Espinosa Convicted of Manslaughter
In 2007, Krismar Espinosa was charged for the murder of 24 year old mother Rachel Chun. And now, eight years later he has been convicted for manslaughter. On Wednesday in the northern session of the Supreme Court, after two hours of deliberation, a jury of 12 persons was unable to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty for murder - so they found him guilty of manslaughter. In September of 2007, Chun was believed to have been taken into an abandoned building in Santa Familia, sexually assaulted and then bludgeoned with a cement block. She was found days later, half naked and decomposing. She was last seen with Esipnoza in front of her home. He will be sentenced on June 18th.

Marcel Cardona Says He Never Wrote Any Email
Last night we told you about the serious complaint of professional misconduct against Marcel Cardona which was sent to the General Legal Council. The Council - we are informed - this week took the decision to suspend Cardona from legal practice for a year. That decision still has to be approved by the Chief Justice. You'll hear what Cardona has to say shortly, but first we got back to the evidence. As we told you last night - aCzechoslovakian woman, claims that Cardona took just under thirty two thousand dollars of her money - and claimed that he had to use twenty thousand to bribe authorities to release her son, Martin Muzikant. Here is the evidence she put forward:.. Now that's a very serious allegation, that Cardona as an officer of the court allegedly put in writing, that he would use a client's money to pervert the course of justice, while bribing and conspiring with a judicial officer.

Maurice Felix Gets Bail
Maurice Felix was accused by police of spraying gunfire towards the house of Pamela Cumberatch and injuring her son and husband. Those are two counts of attempted murder, one count of dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. This morning 30 year old Feliz was back at court, this time with Attorney Oscar Selgado to hear a bail application. Selgado was able to get bail of fifteen thousand dollars for the Gill Street associate. Justice Troadio Gonzalez ordered him to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday, and he must make no contact with the victims or prosecution witnesses and that he must attends all court adjournments. In court, the DPP's representative, represented by Senior Crown Counsel, Cecil Ramirez, had no objection to bail being granted to Felix.

Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Stann Creek
Two men are dead after their motorcycles collided on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Last night at around 8:30, 28 year old William Triguero was traveling towards Sarawee village on his motorcycle when he rammed into 32 year old David Mcpherson near miles 5 and 6: Both men received massive head injuries and died on the spot. 26 year old Lucita Chun of Hope Creek Village who was traveling along with Triguero received a large cut wound to the forehead and was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital and later to the K.H.M.H. where she was admitted in a stable condition. When we spoke to police this evening, they said that it seems that Triguero veered from his lane and crashed into Mcpherson. They also said that speed was a major factor in the accident.

CARILED For Belize City
Every year the World Bank compares nations for the relative ease of doing business. Belize does not do well on this rating - most recently this nation was rated at 116th. But, with the help of CARILED, the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project - municipal bodies on Belize City, San Ignacio and Belmopan hope to change that. CARILED officials are touring the country -and yesterday the mayor of Belize city told the media it's all about making it easier to do business:.. "To implement ways of ease of doing business, that's the whole purpose of the round table. What we want to focus on ways that all 9 municipalities in Belize can promote easy business during within the space.

Major Jail and Fine For Accused Drug Traffickers
Last week, we told you about the case in which 35 year old Richard Smith, 30 year old Kent Nunez and 29 year old Jason Phillips were all convicted of smuggling 38 pounds of marijuana in Belize. They got some stiff fines to pay in a hurry, and their attorney has gotten the Chief Magistrate to allow them pay their fines at a more lenient pace. Smith, who had 2 previous convictions for drug offences, was fined $15,000 and sentenced to 3 years. He was ordered to pay $3,000 by August 30 and the balance by March 30, 2016. If he defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. Nunez was fined $10,000 and sentenced to 3 years. He was ordered to pay $2,000 by August 30 and the balance by March 30, 2016. If he defaults on payment he will serve 3 years.

Corozal Has Free Wifi In Central Park
Corozal Town now has free wi fi in its Central Park. The initiative is spearheaded by the town board and BTL. Everyday students can access free wi-fi - but only for one hour per log in. The students said it's just fine by them:.. The program has been operational for a few weeks.

Prensa Libre's Ad Shows Belize As A Part Guatemala's Map
Guatemalan general elections are coming up in November, and if you want something that will really rub you the wrong way, check the ad for this awareness campaign that the PRensa Libre newspaper is running. It's a campaign called Decision Libre 2015, to educate voters. But, as you can see the map on the logo for the campaign is the wrong one! IT incorporates Belize as a part of Guatemala. This, observers say is just a symptom of how ingrained the deluded concept of Belize-Ownership is in that country. We have since seen other logos without Belize in the map. But this one is still up on their website.

Medical Associates Vs. Hon. King?
And in what may also be filed under false advertising, UDP Area Representative for Lake Independence Mark King has taken over a Belize Medical Associates Bust Stop in his area, and branded it with his name. Medical Associates has been maintaining the bus stop at the corner of the western highway and western avenue for five years now - so they were shocked today to see that King had taken it over. Medical Associates says they have a memorandum of understanding with the city council for the maintenance of upkeep of this bus stop. They say they will paint it over tomorrow.

This Year's Top Spellers Are...
Twelve district finalists competed in the 21st annual Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee today at the Corozal Community Auditorium. And, fitting for its northern setting, the top three finishers were all from the north. Our collegaues at CTV-3 spoke to them:.. AALIYAH LEIVA won FIRST PLACE by spelling the word "mitochondria". And MUSHTONI CASTILLO earned second by spelling "schnitzel."

Preparing For Belize's First Jazz Festival
While Jazz music may not be as accessible as reggae or pop music, it is the finest, most sublime display of virtuosity, impriovisation and soul in the world up music. And, now the directors of the 1st ever Belize International Jazz Festival want to expose Belizeans to this genre of music with the hope that Belizeans can learn more about Jazz. While Jazz is at the forefront of the festival, there will be a fusion of other genres, styles and variations of jazz music. The festival officially opened today and we spoke to the directors and two of the artists today at the Bliss. They told us just how big and important this festival is for the young Belizean artists and for cultural and musical development. The festival will last for 10 days. There will be an opening concert tomorrow at the Memorial Park which will kick off the festival - the festival will feature a range of musicians and bands from Cuba, Belize among other surprise appearances. Veteran Belizean American trumpet player Luciano Rosado says with this event, Belize has come a long way:

LCOE JAZZ IN TUNISIA...
And to get you in the mood for the festival, we close tonight with a little teaser from Rosado as he plays a verse from Dizzy Gillespie's timeless night in Tunisia:..

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Introducing the Miss Lobster Fest 2015 Candidates
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee has announced the names of the candidates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest competition. They are Miss Leah Canto, Miss Aricelli Cadle, Miss Shayenn Magana and Miss Alessa Madrill. We are very glad that we are not the judges for the pageant because we can honestly say we wouldn’t know which one to choose. They are all befitting of the crown.

The Reporter

American Airlines inaugurates new flight
American Airlines inaugurated its newest flight route between Belize from Los Angeles on Saturday at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, as part of its expansion of routes in the Caribbean and Latin American region. Officials from the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and representatives from American Airlines were on hand for the inauguration. As the plane landed and neared its stop it received its honorary water christening to commemorate its first landing. The BTB has welcomed the additional route saying it will continue to expand Belize’s growing tourism industry. As part of its expansion, American Airlines has added six new routes throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. This expansion includes Belize, as well as the Grand Cayman, Nicaragua, and Guadalajara and Monterrey in Mexico.

Four new vehicles for San Pedro police
The San Pedro Police Formation, through a donation from the Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council and the island’s area representative, will soon receive four new vehicles, valued over $100,000, to assist with operations on the island. According to Inspector Henry Jemmott, officer commanding San Pedro Police Station, the station will receive a Mitsubishi Montero, a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and two golf carts. Jemmott said the golf carts are courtesy the Ministry of National Security and cost upward of $30,000 each, while the SUV and pickup truck are courtesy the San Pedro Town Council and Area Representative Manuel Heredia, respectively.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Early morning ladyville shooting leaves one man hospitalized
Abraham Leslie, a resident of Myrtle Waight Street in Ladyville is currently hospitalized after a shooting incident in the wee hours of this morning, June 6th. Reports are that police were called to the BDF Medical Hospital and arrived at about 1:50a.m. Where they saw the 29 year old […]

Australian hired as Belize’s new Olympic Sports strategic consultant
Australian by birth, Dr. Davis received his MSc from the University of Oregon, his PhD from the University of Minnesota in USA and has worked as a , coach and high performance sport administrator. Since the start of his career in 1981, he has worked with countries including, Australia, USA, […]

UK Prime Minister is fueled by FIFA scandal to fight corruption
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron will join U.S President Barrack Obama, along with other Prime Ministers in a G7 summit to be hosted at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Topics like climate change and sustainable development have been put at the […]

Belize is top sugar producer in the Caribbean for the month of April
Sugar accounts for 60% of Belize’s agricultural exports and with a thriving Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) that keeps improving every year, it comes as no surprise that it has reached another milestone. The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) released a report this week, showing that Belize produced more sugar […]

Conditions to become less moist and unstable today
Conditions today are expected to be sunny with cloudy spells along with a few showers or thunderstorms over some coastal areas this morning, then inland this afternoon. Winds blows light and variable, becoming east to northeast at 5 to 15 knots later today. Sea state light chop. High temperatures today […]

American Airlines Inauguration of new flight from Los Angeles
American Airlines this morning launched its new non-stop service from Los Angeles, California, to the Philip Goldson International Airport here. The new service is expected to take advantage of the high population of Belizeans living in L.A., a key transport hub in the Western United States. American already services […]

The Belize Times

Petrocaribe Pińata!! – Leaked Documents Expose Secret & Unauthorized Uses of Petro-Caribe Loan Money
Leaked Central Bank documents reveal that there have been hidden and unauthorized uses of tens of millions of dollars from the Petro-Caribe Loan Funds, as the Barrow Administration continues to administer the funds from the program like a pińata WITH ABSOLUTELY NO ACCOUNTABILITY OR TRANSPARENCY. On Monday morning, June 1st, Krem Radio Wake Up Belize Show’s fiery host Mose Hyde held up leaked documents on his radio/television show and explained that the documents spelled out serious flagrances in the manner in which the Government has been spending the Petro-Caribe loan monies. The documents revealed that the Government had used $20,000,000 (TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS) from the Petro-Caribe Loan money for the payment of salaries TWICE, in 2014 and 2015.

Darrell Bradley, the Belizean Pinocchio
Whenever Pinocchio lied, his nose grew longer and longer. Pinocchio’s Belizean counterpart, Mayor Darrell Bradley, has a similar fetish for lying, but when he lies, his lips grow longer and longer. In each television appearance, those that know Darrell Bradley and his conniving ways could easily detect the lies flowing from his lips. Whether he was denying that he gave a liquor license to his councilor buddy, Deon Leslie, to operate a bar/nightclub at BTL park where children recreate; or whether he was denying that he would serve out his full term as Mayor before abandoning city residents with a $50 million dollar debt, Darrell Bradley has proven himself to be one of the most untrustworthy politicians in modern day Belize, putting even the original “liad-man”, Dean Barrow, to shame.

3 Men charged for weed hidden in Winnie the Pooh bag
Three men were arrested and charged after Police authorities in Benque Viejo del Carmen searched the trunk of the vehicle they were travelling in and discovered a large quantity of marijuana hidden inside a Winnie the Pooh bag. The men, 43 year old Juan Garcia, who is a taxi driver of Dangriga Town, 29 year old Jose Majil Madre of Dangriga Town, and 21 year old Herson Gonzales, a taxi driver of Arenal Village, were travelling from Arenal Village to Benque Viejo and stopped at a Police checkpoint in Arenal Village. The passenger area of the vehicle was searched but nothing was found. It wasn’t until Police officers checked the trunk and peered into a large red and black Winnie the Pooh bag that they found illegal substance. Inside the bright coloured bag they found twenty-five parcels wrapped in black plastic bags that were tightly sealed by transparent tape. When the parcels were checked by the Police, its content was suspected to be cannabis.

Petrocaribe $$$ wasted! – Crooked Tree Causeway Collapses
It is not known how many tens of thousands of dollars from the Petrocaribe loans was hastily diverted for a Crooked Tree Causeway project, just in time for Edmund Castro’s Belize Rural North convention, but it certainly is clear that those monies have been wasted. The causeway, on which material was dumped for an elevation project, began falling apart following brief showers over the Belize District. Part of the stretch of road cracked and fell into the river, causing commuters to panic and become concerned about the safety of the passageway. While more monies will now be needed to repair the causeway, there are no indications that those responsible for the project are being properly supervised to ensure the best value for money. The residents are very sceptical of this and they believe that the causeway is hazardous and not suitable.

Think About It
The Guatemalan military and the Belize Coast Guard had a stand-off/face-off in the coastal waters down south. It happened at Sarstoon Island which is in Belizean territorial waters. The Guatemalan military patrol insisted that our Coast Guard leave the Island which on orders from the Prime Minister they reluctantly did. Put another way, Belize had to put its tail between its legs and slink away. This happened on Thursday 28 May 2015 and lasted for 26 hours. This is a full day plus two hours for the Guatemalans to have verified their position as to whether they were in our territorial waters or not. They knew exactly where they were and intentionally forced us to eat crow. Their Generals and Commanders are laughing at us. We are a laughing stock. We are proud to hear that our Coast Guard stood their ground. We thank almighty God that things did not escalate. The Belize government has wimped out of the matter. As they have done in previous situations. We are ashamed by our government. No one is asking them to start a war. We are asking that they do what any government would do in the circumstances. Lodge a formal protest, a strong one, each time Guatemala slips up or engages in these types of behavior. Six days after the Sarstoon Island matter the government has still not protested to Guatemala.

Care or not to care
As a supporter of the People’s United Party, I was only moderately interested in the outcome of last week’s convention in the Belize Rural North (BRN). The final tally of the votes however, piqued my interest to the point where I felt compelled to spend some time musing over the political paradigm and culture of not only BRN but of our country on a whole. Why do voters remain loyal to politicians and political parties even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are corrupt? The convention held in the village of Sand Hill was to determine who would run on the party ticket of the United Democratic Party in the next General Elections. From all indications, those elections will be held sooner than later but that of course, hinges on the arbitrary decision of one man and one man only; the Prime Minister. I have long advocated for a set day for elections as is the case in the US where elections are held on the first Tuesday in November. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca has already indicated being favorable to that concept and has gone further in promising a four-year term. This makes perfect sense and the idea that one man can, merely on whim and fancy, decide when, where and why to hold elections opens a wide door to manipulation and chicanery.

ENDANGERING BELIZE
Belize has been told to get off Sarstoon Island and told to leave from our territorial sea. On Wednesday 3rd June 2015, the Belize Coast Guard gave a detailed media interview on their rescue mission to Lighthouse Reef to assist in a Tropic Airplane that was forced to land with its pilot and two passengers in shallow waters. There has no full report to this nation by the Belize Coast Guard regarding a 26 hours face off with one, then two Guatemalan gun boats. This happened at the small Sarstoon Island in the southern waters of Belize. The confrontation started between 10:00 A.M to 11:00 A.M on the morning of Thursday 28 May 2015. Belize Coast Guard personnel had travelled by boat to Sarstoon Island to gather preliminary preparations for a base construction. A Guatemalan gun boat patrol was quick to approach and request the Belize Coast Guard to leave for violating Guatemalan maritime territory. According to Chief Executive Officer, Lt. Col. George Lovell, of the Ministry of National Security, the Coast Guard Captain told the Guatemalans it was they who were in Belizean waters and should leave. They did not leave. Lovell also said that in the afternoon the Guatemalan gun boat left and returned with a bigger boat and more military personnel. They insisted the Belize Coast Guard leave. If we are to believe this secondhand version from Lovell, the Guatemalans remained in close proximity to the Coast Guard and even began circling the Sarstoon Island.

BTTA holds RF&G table tennis championships
Over 50 players in 4 different categories contested the 2nd bi-annual RF&G table tennis ranking tournament hosted by the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Sunday. After the round robin qualifiers in the morning, the top performers in each group advanced to a double elimination round in all categories. Carlos Cui won the A Division, 14-year-old Latrell Solis won the B-Division, John Del Cid won the C division, and Petie Usher-Matus won the Women’s division 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 Cui won 3-2 just managing to edge out Tyrone in the finals set 13-11.

Young Warriors, City Boys, Rising Stars & Bombers win in Smart Mundialito
The undefeated Young Warriors, Rising Stars and defending champs City Boys all posted wins in Week 7 of the 2015 SMART Mundialito annual football tournament at the M.C.C. Garden in Belize City on Saturday. Ladyville Rising Stars vs. Carlston FC – 1-0 Goals by Elan White (2) Face of Belize vs. Ladyville Jaguars – 1-1 Goals by D’jon Canello, Mushay Grant Young Warriors vs. London Strikers – 1-0 Goal by Anthony Usher Brown Bombers vs. Third World – 3-0 (Default Win) City Boys vs. Hattieville Youth FC – 1-0

Central Bank & DigiCell topple opponents in Interoffice Basketball
The Belize Bank Bulldogs, Belikin, Digicell 4G, Central Bank and Central Health all posted big wins in the Belize City interoffice basketball competition at Bird’s Isle over the weekend Central Bank crushed Ready Call 81-66, led by Jacob “Snake” Leslie and Mark Swift with 21 points each. Dave Apolonio and Ed Baptist added 10 points each. Ready Call’s Raheim Franklin led his team’s score with 17 points and 6 rebounds. DigiCell 4G upset the defending champs Complex Generals 47-37, led by Raheem Staine with 15 points and Jason Lamb with 10 points. Complex’s Rhetton Belisle and Wilfred Richards scored 11 points apiece and Roman Williams added 5 points.

The Petro Caribe Crutch
Ever since 2012, the UDP Government of Belize has ceased to grow its recurrent revenue. The influx of the Petro Caribe Loan that has been provided by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela via the initiative started by the late Commander Hugo Chavez, the government has gotten lazy. The revelation of the Statement of Government Account at the Central Bank of Belize clearly indicates that the UDP Government of Belize is technically broke. We say this because on March 18, 2014, the Barrow Government borrowed $20.0m from the Petro Caribe account to pay salaries for public officers (see Image 1. Also note that in December 16, 2014 another $20.0m was borrowed. In total the government borrowed $40.0m to finance recurrent operations. This was further confirmed by the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, in a television interview on Monday, June 1, 2015, where he claimed the government keeps finding itself in a cash crunch and therefore had to draw down on the Petro Caribe loan funds. He tried to explain that the draw down was a reimbursement for monies previously spent by the government on projects that were to be funded by the Petro Caribe loan, but the entire nation of Belize knows that is hogwash. How can the country be in a cash crunch and have liquidity to spend on Petro Caribe project at the same time? This has been the modus operandi of this Barrow administration. Just plain lazy and greedy for easy money.

UDP Embraces Corruption!
With almost unlimited access to Petrocaribe money and almost the entire UDP Cabinet backing him, disgraced UDP Area Representative Edmond Castro pulled off a win in the UDP’s Belize Rural North Standard Bearer convention held on Sunday, May 31st, 2015. This shows how much the United Democratic Party embraces corruption. Big time Ministers like Boots Martinez, Patrick Faber, John Saldivar, and Mark King brought their heavy brown paper bags to support Castro against a political novice, Pastor Dwight Tillett. While the strong show of support paid off for Castro, it left Belizeans asking whether something was wrong with the people of Belize Rural North. Castro must have been sharing red cool aid. In the weeks leading to the convention, Castro’s name continued to come up in scandals, keeping consistent with his political history. He recently appeared in Court in the defamation case which he brought against whistleblower Alvarine Burgess, but ended up admitting that he participated in a visa hustle. Castro then had to answer allegations that he was illegally occupying privately owned land, and he admitted that he was indeed cultivating cane on land that didn’t belong to him.

PUP Hattieville Campaign Team Ready to Rumble!!
PUP Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia and her Hattieville campaign team are preparing vigorously for the upcoming general election campaign. On Saturday May 30th, team members attended a very informative and inspiring training session conducted by training expert and PUP stalwart Ms Merilyn Young. All the pointers and discussions were well received by those in attendance, who pledged to continue the on-the-ground visits and campaigning on behalf of their caring and hardworking PUP area representative.

Consejo Takes Neighborhood Watch to a New Level
We are a “different” Neighborhood Watch. Out of perceived necessity based on our distance from Police and Medical services in town and the need to have resources quickly available. We have developed the “Responder” program. Responders are our neighbors. They care enough about the community to have volunteered to respond when called upon. Sometimes in the middle of dinner and sometimes well after dark. While you may not always think we “do it right”, our responders are doing this because they are willing to help protect the community. Remember, we work with but, are not a replacement for the police or community medical services or NEMO. What we are is a first line of defense. Looking out for one another and responding as quickly as we can when called for a criminal situation, medical emergency, or a natural disaster. Our responders respond to events when a neighbor reports suspicious activity. We remind all residents that our community is safe because people are watching and not assuming “well it must be OK” we congratulate our residents for maintaining a vigilant attitude.

Down Memory Lane – Respect to Mr. Gonzalo “William” Quinto
Several weeks ago I posted on my timeline chronicling the Old Parr basketball teams. The sponsor of that team was Mr. Gonzalo Quinto. Mr. Quinto is known by many Belizeans for the above introduction but there are also many Belizeans, especially the younger generation who know little about Mr. Quinto and his Chinese friend Mr. Simon Quan. Mr. James Lee and several others were responsible for sponsoring and popularizing the game of Volleyball in Belize. Before I get to the volleyball piece I would like to highlight a couple of Mr. Quinto’s work and generosity which I believe he would not object to being promulgated. During our playing career, after every game and whether we won or lost (we did not lose many) his Canton Restaurant on New Road was closed to the public and opened solely for his players, their wives, girlfriends and most loyal fans who accompanied us after games. We were afforded whatever we wanted to eat and or drink all at his expense. Additionally we were each given a stipend as appreciation for our efforts. All we wanted to do was win for him and watch him flash his infectious smile as he hoisted the championship trophy four times out of five years before I migrated to the US. We were respectful and appreciative of his generosity. Small gestures like this had a profound effect on a poor boy from Plues Street. I’ll explain in closing.

Keeping it real – We need less talk, more action
Youth development is not a one night stand in which we launch a youth policy, romance our youth population with endless possibilities and then wake up with a hangover from excessive cocktail consumption. It has been two years and four months since the grand launch and celebration of a document that was to forever change the realities of our Belizean youth. Though vague in its approach to education, youth governance and economic opportunities people this policy contains the blueprint of our lives, it is all we have to dream from. To date, the only things that have tremendously changed for us are the quality of the streets on which young black men are murdered on. Since 2008 almost 1000 Belizeans have been murdered of which more than half are estimated to be youth. A crime occurs in our country every 23 minutes of which 34% occur in the Belize District, according to data from the IT unit of the Police Department. Of this amount the majority is reported on the south side of Belize City where ‘bars, pawnshops and gaming salons outnumber schools 25 to 1′.

PUP Collet holds BBQ & Cowfoot Soup Sale!
The food available at the BBQ & Cowfoot Soup Fundraising Sale held on Vernon Street by the PUP Collet Committee was delicious, but the vibes among residents and supporters who turned out to support was positive and upbeat. PUP Collet Standard Bearer Yasmin Shoman and members of her Committee were on hand to greet and chat with supporters.

PUP Love in Esperanza! – PUP Cayo North East Celebrates Community’s 50th Anniversary
It was a festivity like no other – residents of Esperanza Village gathered at the community center and football field to celebrate their community’s 50th anniversary in grand fashion. PUP Cayo North East Standard Bearer Orlando “Landy” Habet and his well-oiled Committee Executive organised a day of fun activities. It started with a football tournament for the athletes. The matches were competitive and finishing in the first place were the Esperanza Warriors. Second place was Los Tambos football club and Third place was Atleticos football club.

City Administrator totals CitCo vehicle – Will taxpayers pay for damaged late-model vehicle?
Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley has come to the City Administrator’s defense after the City Council-purchased vehicle assigned to her ended up totalled along the Northern Highway after a trip to Chetumal. Bradley told Channel 7 News said that the Government’s vehicle policy gives him full and unlimited use of vehicles just “like a Minister” while his City Administrator, Candance Burke, also has access to her vehicle just like a “Minister’s Chief Executive Officer”. This explains where the Mayor gets his pig-headed attitude. He believes he should be treated like a Minister! But back to the City Council’s damaged vehicle. Burke and her family were apparently driving back to Belize City after going shopping in Chetumal, when the vehicle flipped around mile 14 on the Northern Highway and landed in the bushes, completely damaged. The Council tried its best to conceal the accident. There was no report of it to the Police, as far as we know. This is the second City Council vehicle assigned to Burke that has been badly damaged. The first one, a nearly brand-new Toyota Hilux, was crashed in December last year.

Dolores and the PUP – Always working for Belize Rural Central
Hon. Dolores continues vigorous outreach in BRC. On Tuesday May 26th Ms. Dolores presented a donation to the principal and teachers to the Hattieville Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to assist with the school’s utilities. She also delivered along with her staff several loads of hardcore material for the Belizean American Site, Farmer’s Site and Old Hattieville. The material will help residents significantly, as the rainy season approaches. Photos show handing over of cheque, delivery of material and visits with residents.

Former Corozal Town Mayor Mario Narvaez Dies At 62
Former Corozal Town Mayor Mario Ignacio Narvaez has passed away at age 62. Mr. Narvaez had been in hospice for about a year, receiving treatment for illness, and died about 9:45pm on Monday June 1, 2015 at the Star Medica Center in Merida Yucatan, Mexico. He was Corozal’s first Mayor, who was directly elected by the residents of Corozal Town after the law was revised in 1999 by the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize. Mayor Narvaez was elected under the People’s United Party banner to serve two consecutive terms by Corozal Town residents. Under his stewardship as Mayor, Corozal Town saw many developments and infrastructural projects that are presently creating benefits for the people of Corozal Town. The Gabriel Hoare Market brought great economic benefits; the completely refurbished Central Park; the relocation of the Slaughter House; paved streets using Town Council revenues, are just some of the great accomplishments done by one of the best Mayors Corozal Town had ever seen.

Belize’s Shining Stars – Part 2 Featuring: Pallotti High School, Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Edward P. Yorke High School, Belize High School, Excelsior High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Anglican Cathedral College, and Toledo Community College
The BELIZE TIMES’ continues its commitment to highlighting the top achievers among our young and bright high school graduates. We begin this week’s closer coverage with Pallotti High School on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. The venerable Catholic all-girls school will march up 63 more young women in their continuous and long-standing tradition on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at the St. Joseph’s Church on St. Joseph Street, starting at 10:00 am. Leading them will be: 16-year-old Ms. Jasmine Myvett (Valedictorian, from 4 Arts, with an Overall Grade Average of 94%) and 17-year-old Ms. Soila Rodriguez (Salutatorian, from 4 Business, with an Overall Grade Average of 93%). The BELIZE TIMES sat with these quiet yet fiercely determined ladies at the school campus on Monday morning.

Blogs

San Pedro’s Ricky Luna ROCKS Merida Mexico’s 2015 WOD Challenge
Crossfit was founded in 2000 in California – a combination of high intensity training, weight-lifting and more – and over the last 10 years has spread like fitness wildfire. And in the last two years it has really exploded in Belize. There is a gym in Placencia and two on Ambergris Caye – San Pedro Crossfit (north of town in the Boca Del Rio area) and W.O.D. Zone (just south). Both “boxes” or gyms are owned and run by Belizeans. In just two years, it’s taken over the island and classes at both gyms are filled with locals, expats and visitors. Fitness, healthy eating and constant Crossfit talk have taken over San Pedro. :) Just last weekend, members of the San Pedro, Belize WOD Zone headed up to Merida, Mexico for a competition. Keep in mind that the daily AVERAGE high for the month of May in Merida is 97 degrees. And the population of just that city is almost double that of the country of Belize.

International Sourcesizz

Scenario planning builds cooperative confidence
They are the masterminds behind a prison riot and escape, a grounded maritime vessel and a transnational organized crime syndicate, but the men and women of the Ground Operations Team are only creating scenarios to test the 19 partner countries participating in Tradewinds 2015. The objective of Tradewinds, a combined, joint U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise, is to strengthen the capacity of nations in the Caribbean to respond to natural disasters, as well as land and maritime threats that include illicit trafficking. This year marks the 31st annual Tradewinds exercise. Phase one continues in St. Kitts and Nevis through June 9. Belize will host Phase two from June 15–24. Phase three is July 14-16 in Miami for key stakeholders and decision makers within the region.

Eat, Play, Love
Remember that dog? Cayo, the stray from Burns avenue, is now with her newly adopted owner in Alaska. This is a great story of a tourist bonding with a local potlicker, and with CAWS' help, getting the dog back home. Well worth the read. Thanks, CAWS! "After nearly a month, Cayo arrived in Juneau on an Alaska Airlines flight. Leach was there to meet Cayo and her handler, Mendi Antisdel, at the Juneau International Airport on Thursday afternoon. When the crate was unloaded in the baggage claim area, Leach was giddy with excitement; she had a friend drive her because she was vibrating with nervous energy. As soon as she could, Leach released Cayo from the crate and clutched the medium-sized, black dog to her chest. Cayo licked her face in greeting. Cayo is home now. Cayo has a happy ending. By Thursday afternoon she was wrapped up in a sweater by a fire, acclimating to a new life with colder weather but warm embraces."

Videos

  • Best of Belize - Scuba Diving, 12min. Montage of my best scuba diving clips from Belize, April 2015. Hamanasi, Adventure & Dive Resort in Hopkins

  • Belize Scuba diving, 4min.

  • Belize, 4.5min. Video de los geniales dias que pasamos en Belize.

  • Hanging out with a Belizean Legend/Daddy Tracey, 3min. It was such a beautiful time hanging out with Daddy Tracey yesterday! Wow, he is such a great guy... Fridays at Daddy's Place is very special, you can hear music in the air from blocks away... I was so impressed with his mannerism, humbleness, very intelligent and street-wise. I knew Daddy Tracey from his early beginings here in Los Angeles -1990, but we were never close friends till now.... He is certainly one of the most amazing -down to earth person that i have ever met.. Absolutely..... Spending all of the evening at his house, i discovered that there is something spiritual about Daddy Tracey, he had about 100 visitors in less than the first 3 hours i arrived there. All his visitors appears to love and "near" worship him--- I see alot of happiness in his children eyes-- I got to share this... Every single person was happy -and of course later that night wah big Reggae PARTY Bruk out-- Actually i got home this morning at 6:30 am

  • Back to Belize 2015, 5min. My third trip in three years spending some time with the most beautiful and joyful kids of Belize :)

  • Belize beach theme, 7min. Way to much trash.......still working on the program.

  • Whale shark dive Belize 3/15, 6min. Whale shark dive out of Hopkins, Belize.

  • Belize 2015, 13min. ur 2015 Trip to Belize.