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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
Campers graduate from Coral Reef Ed-Ventures
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is a children’s education program held annually in San Pedro. The main focus of the program is to teach children about reef ecology, conservation and preservation of marine habitats. This year’s Coral Reef Ed Ventures camp ended with a fun graduation ceremony on Wednesday, July 13th.
Over 80 campers and their families filled the Lions Den at 7PM for this commemorative event, which included a variety of presentations, skits, videos, and projects that showcased what the graduates learned during the camp. Graduates included campers from both the youth camp (ages 9 through 12), and advanced camp (ages 12 through 17). After the presentations, each student was called on stage to receive their “Expert Card”, which represents that they successfully completed the course.
Taiwan grants $3Million for new MOFA headquarters
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acquired a new $3 Million headquarters building in Belize City, purchased with a US$1.5 Million grant from the Republic of China on Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E Benjamin Ho joined Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington in inaugurating the ministry’s new location at the seaside Villa Fiori mansion at No.10 St. Mark Street in the Hone Park neighbourhood on Tuesday evening, July 12.
Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Sylvester in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed the purchase agreement to acquire the building from the Habet family, witnessed by both Elrington and Ho.
Minister Elrington promised that Belize will not always remain a small economy, and with the acquisition of this building it was preparing the way for Belize to step into a brighter future. He explained that his ministry has been borrowing space from the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and other ministries in Belmopan for years now, and so had been setting aside funds each year while it looked for a new home.
Donations Needed for Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish
The official dates for the third annual Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish have been announced. Camp Starfish is a free two week camp that caters to children with mental and physical disabilities. Camp Coordinator Dalia Alamilla is more than excited to be hosting the camp at the Lions Den, which will run from July 18th to the 29th, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Thanks to the $3,252 donation from the Blue Water Grill and The Phoenix, Camp Starfish will be offering activities that include sessions of coloring, singing, dancing, arts and craft, table games, and occasional outdoor activities. According to Alamilla, Projects Abroad will also be volunteering their time to tend to the children this year. In addition, children from different districts will be attending the camp, making the experience even more fun for everyone.
However, there are more materials needed. Alamilla is asking for kind donations of the following: play dough, paper plates, paper towels, paper bowls, water paint, markers, crayons, construction paper, white typing sheets, poster boards, band-aids, clorox wipes, and plastic storage containers. Additionally, the camp needs a number of the cardboard toilet paper/ paper towel rolls. They ask to please collect them around your home and bring them to camp on the first day.
Misc Belizean Sources
Lion fish Tournament in Dangriga
These are some pictures of today at the Lionfish tournament in Dangriga, this is one of the competitors catch. The tournament continues tomorrow. Come out tomorrow to see Lionfish artworks and taste some excellent Lionfish dishes. Also tomorrow they will have Punta Extravaganza.
Want to plan ahead for the next Belize Screen on the Green in Belmopan?
Check out the full 2016 calendar here posted on the U.S. Embassy's website:
Murder in Belmopan
Belmopan police have detained a Canadian national in connection with a decapitation that happened on Friday. Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation, Superintendent, Howell Gillett, explained to the Reporter that around 9 p.m. Friday night they observed a suspicious character at a bar and searched […]
Atlantic Bank holds back to school loan fair
The Albert Street Branch of Atlantic Bank held it’s fourth annual Back to School Loan Fair on Saturday. It offered special rates on loans for parents to help with the expenses of the incoming school year. Those seeking loans would only need a proof of […]
Churches pray for God’s favor in section 53 challenge
Senator for the Churches, Pastor Ashley Rocke is calling on all churches countrywide to hold a national day of prayer in preparation for the Supreme Court’s decision on the challenge to Belize’s sodomy laws. Rocke is calling for churches to assemble at seven venues on […]
The Belize Times
Barrow Broke the Law?? – Illegal use of $350 million plus $550 million?
Did the Prime Minister of Belize commit a criminal offence when he was secretly spending and abusing millions of dollars from the Petro Caribe funds? Under the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2012 an Amendment states “……every person who contravenes or knowingly permits or suffers any other person to contravene or instigates any person to contravene any provision of this Act or any regulations made thereunder, SHALL be guilty of an offence and SHALL be liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and term of imprisonment”. The Constitution of Belize and the Finance and Audit Act makes it mandatory for public funds to be safeguarded by doing certain things. All monies, such as Petro Caribe monies must be deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Fund and must be checked and protected by the Accountant General and the Auditor General. If there is a specific purpose for using public monies, there must be special deposits into a Development Fund. Permission must be obtained from the National Assembly.
Where is the Big Deal!!
With gun violence erupting over the past weeks, and reports of murder after murder from gang rivalries and gun violence filling up the evening news and gripping our community with fear, one must ask the where is the Minister of National Security John Saldivar and why is he so silent over the terrible situation in our country?
Just two short months ago, ahead of a political convention for a big position in the UDP, Saldivar couldn’t help himself as he hogged up every possible chances to be on the television every night. He was all over the country meeting UDP delegates and had television ads ad naseaum, with campaign songs and jingles that advertised the slogan “The Big Deal”. Saldivar was backed by a senior Ministerial team of cheerleaders who preached to anyone that Saldivar is the man who will solve the nation’s growing problems.
Well, where is the big deal now?
PUP Stands Strong in Village Council Elections
The Hon. John Briceño and the People’s United Party (PUP) commends and thanks all who participated in the democratic process during the recent Village Council Elections. Even though the United Democratic Party abused its authority by utilizing government resources during the elections, the PUP won just over 40 percent of the villages. This is a significant improvement from the 26 percent three years ago and coming just eight months after a general election.
The successes for the PUP in the Village Council Elections can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the men and women who believe in the principles and rich history of the Party. In contrast, the rapid decline of this UDP government is as a result of their corruption, arrogance, incompetence and mismanagement of the people’s resources.
Guat civilians assert ownership of Sarstoon
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has not indicated if the Government of Belize will submit an official protest note to the Government of Guatemala following the unwanted and illegal presence of an organised group of Guatemalan civilians in the Sarstoon River. Considering Sedi’s “let’s be friends/give peace (or he meant piece?) a chance” stance, it is highly doubtful that there will be any form of protest.
The small group of seven Guatemalan nationals travelled onto Sarstoon River in what they claim was a symbolic move to assert ownership of “Guatemalan territory” on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
Video footage of the expedition has been posted on at least two Facebook pages, the main one is under the offensive name “Belice Es De Guatemala”. The video shows the group of Guatemalans on a vessel, travelling along the southern channel of the Sarstoon. From the video, it appears that the Guatemalan vessel is moving along Belize’s side of the channel. A male person is heard speaking loudly, voicing his sentiments about “territory which they have taken from us”.
Think About It
Over seven thousand primary school children sat the primary school leaving examinations this year. They have now graduated from primary school.
The immediate question should be how many of these children are going to college in September 2016?
The answer should be that everyone will be enrolled and will attend a high school.
More than half will not see the inside of a college. They will never have the opportunity of obtaining a college education.
This sad situation, more than anything else, represents one of the worst events in the life of our young nation. There is no plan, nor is there any commitment on the part of the government to bring this human tragedy to an early end.
How can Belize continue to turn its back on its young people in this cold-hearted fashion? Without a college education the chances of surviving and being able to provide for one’s self and family are drastically curtailed.
Going down a slippery slope
Belize seems on pace for another record setting year as far as murders are concerned. Over the past week, there have been no less than seven murders; three of these happened in the space of less than five hours. Considering from whence we came and considering our small size, this is unthinkable and unacceptable. The trained experts as well as the armchair sociologists have been scrambling for answers but so far, not coming up with much that is practical.
We are continually told that crime is going down but the only ones that seem to believe it are those political cronies who are afraid that the reality will hurt the image of their party. This administration did come into office with grandeur promises and after three full terms in office, very few if any of those have been fulfilled. They were going to create jobs but unemployment remains sky high. They were to address poverty but the figures remain at an alarming forty plus percent. And does anyone remember the “double edged machete” that would be wielded at the first sign of corruption? And the grandest promise of all; they were going to address crime. That one has turned out to be the biggest joke of all.
YOUNG LIVES MATTER
Black Lives Matter has become an important protest slogan spawned by the ongoing shootings of young black men by white police officers across the Unites States of America.
The three words are not just a slogan and an urgent cry for justice, but the words have become the name of an equally important protest movement seeking to call national attention for solutions to a situation in the land of the free and home of the brave. America is still very much in the grips of racism.
Last week in the USA, three incidents gave renewed attention to the issue of Black Lives Matter. A young man travelling in a vehicle with his fiancé and her little daughter were stopped by a white police for a traffic check. He ended up being shot to death. The fiancé had filmed most of the incident on her cell phone. It went viral on the internet. Within days another cell phone video surfaced. White police officers again fatally shot another black man. More outrage in the black communities.
Bulldogs, Central Health & Bowen & Bowen win in BDBA basketball
Defending champs Belize Bank Bulldogs (3-3) posted their 3rd win in the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms competition at Birds Isle on Saturday evening.
The Belize Bank Bulldogs humbled Heritage Bank 82-71, led by Roscoe Rhys with 21pts while Lincey Lopez added 16pts. Heritage Bank’s Felix Martinez top scored with 24pts. Kurt “Chengo” Burgess had scored 9pts before he was thrown out of the game for fighting.
Central Health scraped past Infotel 98-95. Travis Bernardez top-scored with 31pts, while Delroy Faber added 11pts and 15 boards. Infotel’s Earl “Bolo” Johnson had 29pts.
City Boys win 2016 SMART Mundialito champs
The City Boys won the 2016 SMART Mundialito championship at the MCC Garden on Sunday, outgunning the Brown Bombers 6-5 in a penalty shootout.
With regulation and overtime ending in a nil-zip draw. In the first round of penalties, City Boys’ Ken Galvez, Kayia Requena, Devin Thurton and Cyril Jones scored their penalties; while Bombers’ Michael Bradley, Keyden Bowen, Eldon Reneau and Jonathan Casimiro converted. The shootout went into sudden death penalty, and Darnell Gonzalez and Talvon Gibson scored for City Boys, while only Jaylen Whyte scored for Bombers. City Boys’ goalie blocked Bombers’ 7th try.
Team Belize wins Gold at CODICADER Games
Belize’s Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani won Belize’s 1st gold medal in the CODICADER Central American U-13 students’ table tennis Doubles at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Friday July 8th. They won 2-0 against silver medallists Johnny Vasquez and Steven Aguilar of Costa Rica. They had also won over Honduras and Panama.
Parkinson won a 2nd gold in the table tennis singles on Sunday afternoon, winning the final against Panama’s Sebastian Mendoza: 11-4, 11-9. Belize’s table tennis female ranked 5th.
True Hope for Belize
I have to take the opportunity this week to express my deepest appreciation to the people of the People’s United Party – and I mean all of you, all of us who fought in the trenches during the past six weeks of Village Council elections. In the end the PUP emerged victorious in 40% of those communities, but the figures aren’t the most important thing. What was important, and is important, is the story of battle in the trenches of a Party united and a people who have new hope in their hearts.
The people of our great Party were fighting against all odds. Week after week we saw the government using all their resources against us. We saw powerful UDP ministers trying to intimidate voters. We saw money passing hands. We saw government vehicles providing support for the UDP slates and carrying voters to the polling stations. We saw the usual promises and threats which have come to symbolize every election under this corrupt UDP government. They have everything at their disposal but still they could not break the PUP’s spirit.
THE WONDERER AND COASTAL EROSION IN BELIZE
Coastal erosion is a natural process and also man made. Some 40 years ago when I was a kid and wandered around Belize when tourism was not much in existence coastal erosion was mostly due to storms or hurricanes. Ambergris Caye at that time had about 2 small hotels and Placencia had one very small hotel. Caye caulker had none. We practically had to use sailboats or big dugout canoes with a small engine as the only means to access these islands. I wondered why there is so much erosion lately, so much coast disappearing or being washed away so I decided to wander around the country. I went from north to south and everywhere they are fighting erosion. All sorts of methods being used, some work and some create more erosion. We found out that perpendicular groins to the coastline creates more problems than benefits. It usually benefits the property to the north of the groin but damages the property to the south. You see our sea currents inside the barrier reef are mainly from north to south and the sand shifts usually in this direction. The sand is caught on the northern section benefitting this property but usually creates damages to the property next door even if it has vegetation. Not a good idea. Useless idea in Belize.
Ms. Yvonne, Lady Fearless
The name Yvonne McCalla Sobers is familiar to me. First of all, she is the mother of my old law school classmate Hilaire Sobers, who now lives in Washington D.C. I remember being extremely impressed by the strength and warmth of her personality when I met her in Jamaica many years ago while in law school. Next, Ms. Yvonne has worn and still wears many hats. She is perhaps best known for being one of Jamaica’s strongest, if not the strongest, advocate for human rights. She is also Chairperson of e-Learning Jamaica Limited, a company dedicated to encouraging young people to embrace new forms of technology so as to achieve a quality education. She is additionally an aquaponic farmer, having earlier been a history and mathematics teacher at Jamaica College.
Her tiny stature belies the power of her presence and demeanor, as she takes on a multitude of causes, usually in defence of the rights of Jamaica’s most vulnerable persons. Recently, she took on then Education Minister Ronnie Thwaites, who supported the decision of many school principals to send home students who wore tight pants and short skirts or were otherwise “inappropriately dressed for school.”
The value of Lobster to the nation
Spiny lobsters, also known as langouste or rock lobsters, are a family (Palinuridae) of about 60 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. Spiny lobsters are also, especially in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Bahamas, sometimes called crayfish, sea crayfish, or crawfish (“kreef” in South Africa), terms which elsewhere are reserved for freshwater crayfish.
Commercial lobster production (harvesting) in Belize started around 1950, peaking around 1984 when production reached around 1,000 metric tonnes. The value of exports peaked around the year 2000 at around BZ$18 million, for around 293 tonnes, when the average international price was around US$29 per kilogram or around US$13 per pound.
The Fisheries Act of 1948, and its Amendments, Regulations and its Subsidiary Legislation regulate fishing for lobster. It is illegal to harvest:
Banner Executed Because He Owed Money for Drugs
On Saturday night at around 9:15pm Roger Banner, 29, was sitting on the canal rail talking to his girlfriend on West Collet Canal, near Publics Supermarket, when he was approached by three persons. One of those persons, Police say, took out a firearm and fired multiple shots at Banner, hitting him in the head. He died on the scene.
Police say that the brazen murder was a hit on Banner by somebody he owed money for drugs.
According to ACP Chester Williams, Commander of Eastern Division South, “there were three persons together, but only one of them was armed with a firearm. Nonetheless, if our investigation or our evidence points us to all persons based on the doctrine of joint enterprise we believe that we’ll be able to charge all three with his murder. We believe that he was indebted to somebody for some drugs and that person was the one who put the hit on him. So that is what our investigation is revealing at this time”.
U.S. fugitive busted in Belize
A retired American soldier, who over stayed his visit to Belize by nine months, was busted by immigration officers at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Sunday, July 10th.
Tarry Eugene Rhodes, 46, a resident of the U.S. state of Ohio appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers this afternoon. He told the Magistrate that he had not been given a chance to call an attorney, but Rogers told him that the offense for which he was before the court is a strict liability offense and that an attorney would be of very little help to him now.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to comply with a visitor’s permit and was fined $1,200 plus $5 cost of court which he was ordered to pay forthwith.
2011 murder trial crumbles – Key witness failed to identify the accused
Another man accused of murder walked free on Monday July 11th when the prosecution’s main witness failed to say with certainty that the accused man was the man he had identified to police almost 5 years ago.
Sanjay Lino, 22, was indicted for the October 2011 murder of Sand Hill grocer Ernesto Myvette, who was shot and killed during a robbery.
After being almost 5 years on remand for the murder and waiting for a trial, Lino walked out of the Supreme Court freed of the charge when the Crown’s case collapsed.
Two gang-affiliated men remanded on murder charges
Police investigators have charged two men for two out of the three murders that occurred last Wednesday evening.
The men, who are believed to be affiliated with Belize City gangs, were brought to the Magistrate’s Court during the morning and afternoon sessions and the murder charge was read to them, after which they were remanded to prison to await their trial-day.
Valentine Baptist, 27, who is a resident of Castle Street, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in the morning session of her court.
‘Buzzard’ Murdered on Plues Street
Police have few leads in the brutal murder of popular security guard Kariem Hafiya, 40. Hafiya, affectionately known as ‘Buzzard’ had just left his post at NICH after working the overnight shift, and had arrived at his apartment on Plues Street at around 4:00am when he was shot to death by an unknown gunman. Police recovered as many as 15 expended shells in the area, though they would not confirm how many shots hit Hafiya.
Gang tensions have escalated in past months and have resulted in continuous bloodshed in the city, but Police say that they have no reason to suspect that this killing is related to ongoing gang warfare. Hafiya was not known to have any gang affiliations.
Quo Vadis Barrow?
Y’all saw that fancy jet flying over Belize City early this morning? Well that was the debt collector, Lord Ashcroft, come to pick up his two hundred million pounds of flesh from his bally Dean Oliver. I gotta say it again – TWO HUNDRED MILLION! That’s $200,000,000.00. And it’s only a first payment. Just a part-payment. Just half! You know if I were a more skeptical fellow and if I didn’t swear by this wonderful, saintly politician, I’d want to think that some really secret, lucrative deals were made when the Lord and King Dean sat down in Miami together last summer. But not Dean Oliver. He would never. So anyway, fun and joke aside, the Lord wants his cheese, and the Prime Minister is reportedly MIA. That’s Missing in Action for the uninitiated – as in nowhere to be found. The last time we checked the PM and loyal Joe were talking paper in all shapes and forms and notes, but the Lord don’t want no paper – he wants cash! And he wants it TODAY. That’s the DEADLINE. Can you just imagine that vein in the side of the PM’s head looking to pop? Talk big again mih bally. Lord Ashcroft got the medicine fu you!
Orange Walk Town Council – Hard at Work!
I must speak on behalf of my town and mayor. I can sincerely say how upset I am at how this government has treated our beloved town and district as a whole.
The Orange Walk Town Council asked for help from Central Government to assist in dealing with staggering debts left by past UDP administrations. They asked for any assistance they could get and were ignored. They tried the Ministries of Finance, Works, Local Government and even the Office of the Prime Minister. But the truth is simple. Once the UDP is not in charge of the municipality, the UDP Central Government will not help.
I’m not the only one saying it. I remember Prime Minister Dean Barrow saying it when he came to Orange Walk just before the last municipal elections. He told the people that if they wanted anything to be done in the town, they would have to vote in the UDP. Imagine that, from the leader of this country.
Breaking Belize News
Pastor found decapitated; accused suspect linked to online scams
Pastor Llewelyn “Lue” Lucas of Dangriga is the alleged victim of a reported decapitation murder in Dangriga, media sources report. The head of a man identified as Lucas, as well as a large sum of cash and several licensed firearms, were found by Belmopan police […]
Belize: La Feria De Benque Viejo Del Carmen
I was invited to go to the Feria de Benque Viejo del Carmen Thursday night….I have not been to the fiesta in a while…although I used to go every year during my younger days. There are beautiful girls all over Belize….but Benque Viejo has a […]
Income Tax Department in Belmopan robbed Friday
The Income Tax Department’s office in Belmopan was robbed Friday afternoon at the close of the business day while cashiers were reconciling the day’s collections. The employees at the department were also robbed of their personal belongings including cell phones. The robbers were dressed in camouflage uniforms […]
Murder in Belmopan; man held
It has been confirmed that a murder was reported in Belmopan this morning. We are told that a Canadian national is being held at the Belmopan police station. Reports reaching us are that he was supposedly found with a human head in his vehicle. We […]
Pokémon GO! Craze Reaches Belize
In just ten days since its release, an old favorite has quickly become a new addiction. We are talking about Pokémon Go, the mobile app that is re-introducing the original Pocket Monsters – Pokémon for short – to a new generation. The app was released […]
One Day in Belize City for the BTB Digital Marketing Summit
I made my way over to the Biltmore – a few miles and $15bzd by taxi. As always, if I like the taxi man, I take his name and number. You never know when you are going to be in a rush for the boat, in need of a ride! He promised he’d be back at my beckoning.
I was a bit early but there was a good crowd at the marketing summit. We were given some folders, marketing materials and a few extras…and the meeting got started with a whirl wind of presenters.
I am certainly not going to go through it all here – I’m not sure I could if I wanted to. But here is what grabbed me.
Technology is growing exponentially. No, you do not need to be on the cutting edge, but you should be moving forward. If you are not, you are slipping back.
Millennials (you are allowed to groan if you are sick of hearing that word) – the people that reached adulthood around 2000 – can not be ignored. Sure they might have the stigma of being self centered and glued to their technology, but they are also a HUGE group with disposable income LOOKING ACTIVELY for experiences. Experiences exactly like those that can be found in Belize.
People now trust a friends’ recommendation (a real friend, a virtual friend, a blogger friend) much more then they trust a logo. Copa Airlines talked about an extremely successful marketing campaign – to ‘sell Panama’ – with bloggers from around Latin America and the USA. Not just travel bloggers but lifestyle, fashion and adventure. They knew their objective, who they want to reach and they went after it.
The Sky is not falling, the system is imploding!
When the United Democratic Party (UDP) won National elections in 2008, they rode in on a promise of accountability and change. The Barrow administration made bold promises to change the system of governance. The Peoples United Party (PUP) was overshadowed with accusations of corruption, squandering of public funds and increased taxation. Barrow differentiated himself, to a populace grown weary of the Musa’s administration, by making a bold statement “As soon as it [corruption] rears its ugly head, I personally will cut it off…”
Fast forward 2016 and Belize is still faced with the exact same systematic deficiencies. Accusations of corruption, squandering of public funds and increased taxation, only now the people of Belize are apathetic and cynical about the political process and government. In fact, most cannot distinguish between political parties and government. The lines have been completely erased. People have absolutely no trust in the government and it shows. Sadly, the PUP lacks the credibility to address many of these issues because eight years later, they have refused to bring new blood into the party and the message is dead on delivery. The UDP continued success at the polls correlates with PUP failing to regroup and distance itself from the personalities that created their demise.
Belize Trip - My Second Home, 5min. My very first attempt to capture my traveling addiction, and what better place to start than my home away from home - Belize!
Belize, 8min. The trip of a lifetime.
Honeymoon at Hatchet Caye, Belize, 15min.
Day 9 - Cayo, Belize, 4min.
Belize Recipe for Tamarind Juice, 1min.
San Pedro Island Diving, Belize, 7min.
Snorkeling in Belize's Shark Ray Alley with the sting rays, 2.5min.
Scuba Diving in Mexico Rocks in Belize with a sea turtle, 3min.
Time Lapse of Xunantunich Mayan Ruin Belize, 1/2min.