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#518105 - 10/08/16 11:35 AM Today's Belize News: October 8, 2016
Marty Offline


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Hand-Over Ceremony of the Belize Coast Guard Maintenance Facility
On October 11, at 10:00 at the Belize Coast Guard Base 4 ½ miles George Price Highway, the United States Ambassador to Belize, Honorable Carlos Moreno, will hand over a boat maintenance facility to the Belize Coast Guard. This facility will enhance the Belize Coast Guard’s maintenance capabilities. It also includes rooms for added storage, training, billeting space, and a medical clinic. The United States Government provided USD $2.23 million to fund the facility and USD $483,000 of sustainment parts, maintenance equipment, and personal protective gear. Since 2011, the United States, through U.S. Southern Command’s counter narcotics program, has contributed more than USD $30 million to build the capacity of the Belize Coast Guard and Belize Defense Force.

San Pedro Kids Club: An after-school program for island children
In an effort to make San Pedro a more “Child-friendly” municipality, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) introduced the San Pedro Kids Club on Monday, October 3rd as the island’s new after-school program. This club was created to allow primary students to receive tutoring, engage in fun games, create arts and crafts, and play sports. Free of cost, the club runs from Monday to Thursday, 2:30PM to 5:30PM, at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex. Due to the recent strikes by the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), student participation was minimal. However, the kids club remained open for those who wished to attend. The club is operated by founders Dee Regis, Brittney O’Daniel, Britney Travis and Kaitlin McWhorter, Arts and Crafts Coordinator Carolina Kumul, Sports Coordinator Josean Kay, and volunteers of Sagebrush Ministries, who all believe that students are the shining stars of the future. According to them, 150 students from across the island have already registered.

Belize’s recovery after Hurricane Earl
After sweeping across Belize on August 3, 2016, Hurricane Earl is estimated to have caused $183.6 million in damages to both the agriculture and tourism sectors. Since then, several international organizations donated funds towards the relief efforts. Two months later, Belizeans are still recovering from the disaster and the Government of Belize (GOB) claims it is doing its best to make do with the resources available.

Lady Dixie Bowen inducted to Brentwood High Hall of Fame
As an alumna of Brentwood High School (BHS) Class of 1970, Lady Dixie Bowen, founder of The Island Academy (TIA), was among five others nominated and inducted into her high school’s Class of 2016 Hall of Fame in Brentwood, Missouri, USA. In order to be nominated, inductees must have achieved distinction in a particular area including, academics, athletics, business, community service, science, medicine, military service, public service, performing or visual arts, and Brentwood’s Alumni Association noted Bowen for being an exemplary alumna of the school.

Oceana in Belize questions Belize’s intent to participate in Sea Seep Survey
A press release sent out from the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum and Geology Department on Wednesday, September 28th, stated that they will be conducting a multi-beam and sea seep survey to the east of the Belize Barrier Reef. The survey would be conducted in the exclusive economic zone excluding all marine protected areas, as well as areas banned from petroleum exploration. The release explains that the sole purpose of the project is to gather new regional data to advance the knowledge of geology and hydrocarbon systems. However, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, along with Oceana in Belize, are not convinced about the project’s environmentally friendly scheme, and are thus opposing the project.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Crocodile Goes on Golf Cart Ride
Island Problems - Living in and around the mangrove forests that comprise a majority of the island's topography, it is not that strange to encounter wild creatures such as the salt water crocodile that in habit Ambergris Caye. On her way to work, local island resident Melody Wolfe encountered this scene just across the Boca del Rio Bridge. She said; "Just another normal day driving to work." I guess its just a normal part of living on Ambergris Caye. Chris Summers of the Ambergris Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) is pictured here after wrangling this average-sized crocodile and loading it on his golf cart to remove it from the populated area. His job, to examine the wild animal, take measurements and data and then relocate it to a less populated area of the island. Chris is the local Crocodile Dundee. THANKS CHRIS & ACES.

Letter from Roman Catholic Bishops on Teacher's Strike
With this letter we want to reiterate our support for all those pushing the Government of Belize to implement policies and laws to monitor and enforce good governance. Now that the Prime Minister has expressed a willingness and desire to go back to the negotiating table, we support the appeal for students and teachers to get back to the classroom. The education of our young people is our primary concern. Other means besides strikes can be used to pressure the government for reforms to insure good governance. We call on the BNTU and other unions, other social partners, the opposition and the Government of Belize to work together to see that these reforms are set into law in the coming weeks and months. The commitment of GOB to sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on December 9, 2016 is one good sign of movement in this area.

A New Member Joins the ‘A’ Team
As we embarked on our newest adventure to Travel Belize and began to immerse ourselves in the diverse cultures and destinations that it has to offer, our Ambergris Today team recognized the need to have someone at our home base to continue bringing you “News with a Positive Attitude”. We went in search of someone local or with enough time on Ambergris Caye to know our people and what matters to you, our audience. It had to be someone with a passion for writing, creativity and pull towards new online trends. Our task was not easy, but one we took very seriously. We hope that you, our readers, will be happy with our decision as we proudly welcome Solani Graniel as Ambergris Today’s newest team member.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

FREE Ear Cleaning, Hearing Aid Selection & Fitting
Dr. Buddy Fewell and team from Louisville will be providing FREE Ear Cleaning, Mold Making Hearing Aid Selection & Fitting at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic on Monday October 31st, 2016 starting at 8am.

Anti human trafficking measures
Yesterday 12 persons completed a 4 day training of trainers programme on anti human trafficking measures. The participants came from the Immigration and Labour Departments, Ministry of Human Development, the Police Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. The training was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration with funding from the US Government

SBDC Workshop: ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle, Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Building, ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: 13th October, 2016 Time: 9am to 4pm. The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to self-analyze their capacity as entrepreneurs, and be able to be innovative and develop the capacity to think outside of the box. Cost: $40.00, Includes snacks and Lunch.

YOA Orchestra of the Americas Southern Cone Tour Scholarship
National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) in conjunction with YOA Orchestra of the Americas invite all Belizean musicians to audition for a scholarship to participate in YOA’s Southern Cone Tour in the Summer of 2017.

Bird Conservation Program in the Chiquibul
FCD signed an agreement with Biologist/Artist/Writer - Mr. Marcus England based at Los Angeles for the development of a Bird Conservation Program in the Chiquibul. We are excited on this partnership.

Urban Birdwatch: Dangriga
Dangriga get those shorebirds and hudut ready for tomorrow. The birding crowd is coming your way!

The Belizean YLAI participants have arrived in the U.S. and are ready to represent Belize!
Lets wish them good luck for the next few weeks!!!

History of the San Pedro Sun
On March 13, 1991 the first issue of the San Pedro Sun was printed....The San Pedro House of Culture will launch the exhibit on the growth and coverage of San Pedro new over the last 25 years. Join us as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the San Pedro Sun.

Monthly Weather Summary, September 2016
September 2016 in Belize was mostly moist, especially over the south and over inland areas. The first day started with a few showers and isolated thunderstorms over the south. On the second and third day, fair weather prevailed, with only isolated showers and isolated thunderstorms. On the second night, however, the south experienced a few more. On the fourth day, a weak tropical wave approached the country. This wave was associated with moisture preceding it and so a few showers and thunderstorms affected the country on the fourth and fifth. The following two days were sunny and fair with isolated showers and isolated thunderstorms. Another tropical wave affected the country on the eighth and ninth day. The north of the country experienced the bulk of the rainfall. Mainly fair weather followed on the tenth and eleventh day, except for afternoon hours, when inland areas experienced a few showers and thunderstorms.

Prime Minister requests BNTU to return to negotiating table
In a letter dated today, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow wrote to the BNTU President formally requesting BNTU to return to the negotiating table

World Standards Day 2016
Government of Belize Press Office

Senate Special Select Committee Composition
Senate select committee composition is now official according to Senate President Chang. The senate composition has already passed in the senate to reflect the balance of power in the senate based on senate standing orders. Pup has 3 senators = 1 senator. UDP has 6 senators = 2 senators. 1 for church, 1 for unions and 1 for business. Total of 6 senators. All on the committee will have their chance to question relevant witnesses. We should be meeting shortly to confirm who will be on senate select committee. Then they will decide who is the chairman/chairwoman and start inquiry.

FCD will be hiring a Landscape Manager for the Vaca Forest Reserve
This activity forms part of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative.

Belize Raptor Watch T-shirt campaign!
The 2016 Belize Raptor Watch is well underway and today we are launching a T-shirt campaign! Sport the new Belize Raptor Watch T-shirt and support raptor conservation at the same time. Our goal is to sell at least 50 shirts! All profits will go directly toward raptor research efforts and outreach in Belize. Check out the T-shirt at the link below, and score one of these awesome shirts before October 27th!

Channel 5

Strike Will Continue Into Next Week, But B.N.T.U. Up for Negotiations
There will be at least a sixth day of industrial action organized by the Belize National Teachers’ Union on Tuesday because Monday is a holiday. That is the news coming [...]

P.M. Says He Will Meet With B.N.T.U. as Part of Umbrella N.T.U.C.B.
Within a few hours of Luke Palacio’s statement, the Prime Minister responded. He wrote to the B.N.T.U. president saying that Palacio’s statement is a fig leaf. According to the Prime [...]

Teachers Will Continue Community Service and Public Education Campaign
So while they will be out of school once more, the teachers will not be idle. According to B.N.T.U. National President Luke Palacio, the teaching corps will be hitting the [...]

B.N.T.U. Executives Chastise Foreign Affairs Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, speaking to reporters over the weekend following a meeting of the United Democratic Party’s National Party Council, made statements on the then-coming industrial action [...]

Teachers’ Union Salutes Catholic Bishop, Rebukes Papal Nuncio
The Teachers’ Union also addressed the ongoing concern with the Roman Catholic management. Following a letter from Bishop Dorrick Wright addressing the strike plans, the Papal Nuncio visited Belize during [...]

Teachers and Chamber of Commerce Meet Next Week
As has been reported, the Belize National Teachers’ Union and Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been in dialogue concerning the ongoing industrial action. We will have more on the [...]

B.C.C.I. to Decide on Role with Senate Inquiry, Possible Shutdown
But the ongoing teachers’ strike has somewhat overshadowed the Select Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department, for 2011-2013. But the issue is [...]

G.O.B. Names Members of Special Committee; First Meeting on Wednesday
While the B.C.C.I. is yet to make a determination, the Government has pulled a fast one. The Clerk of the National Assembly announced that the Senate Select Committee established last [...]

Fire Victims Flown out to U.S. for Life-Saving Treatment
This afternoon, two minors severely burnt in an act of arson were airlifted to the United States. Four-year old Ian Sambula and eight-year old Empress Hamilton sustained burns to ninety [...]

Funds Needed to Pay for Air Ambulances
Yvette Burks of Burn Victim Mercy Fund is asking for assistance to repay a loan she took out to cover the cost of airlifting the burn victims to the Shriner’s [...]

Godfrey Smith Releases “The Biography of Michael Manley”
Attorney and author Godfrey Smith has released his second book, which he describes as the definitive biography of late Jamaican statesman Michael Manley. He previously wrote to great acclaim the [...]

Man Charged With “Going Equipped” to Burglarize House
A neighbourhood watch on Coral Grove Drive, Belize City, and quick response to a burglary in progress led to the arrest of a well-known criminal figure of Guadalupe Street. This [...]

Accused in Sex Assault Case is Cleared in Court
Back in March, we told you about thirty nine year old Amador Pott who was charged with sexual assault, exposing his person in public and using insulting words. Well, last [...]

Caleb Orozco Celebrates Gay Partners Taking Cases to Court
Domestic violence, unfortunately, is not unusual; many cases are reported at the Family Court and Magistrate’s Courts on a daily basis. But since August tenth, when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister Takes Credit for U.N. Speech
Minister for Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, known for his cautious approach on the international stage with the Guatemalan claim, earned rare cheers for what was seen as a stronger position [...]

Guatemala and Belize Advance Efforts to Resolve Dispute
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington also spoke on how things are moving with relation to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize. There are two significant developments. First, Guatemala’s Congress [...]

World Mental Health Day Observed
Every year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October tenth. The theme this year is focused on Psychological First Aid and the support people can provide to those in [...]

Pastors Meet to Boost Spiritual Work
This week, pastors from across denominational lines and the country converged at the Biltmore Plaza for a three-day conference funded by the Houston Texas Healing Church in the U.S.  The [...]

Teachers Training in Science Education under UNESCO
A two-day workshop to train teachers in science education was underway today in Belize City. Fifteen primary school teachers from across the country were hard at work with micro science [...]


Top
#518106 - 10/08/16 11:36 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 8, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Brother kills brother
The Cain family in Louisiana, Orange Walk Town, is mourning the death of their eldest son, Ruben, 41, who died after he was stabbed by his younger brother, who is now in police custody. The incident occurred at about 3:45 p.m. yesterday afternoon in the family’s yard in Louisiana. Witnesses said that Ruben and his sibling became involved in an argument which escalated, and Ruben was stabbed in the chest. Police said that when they arrived at the scene, they saw a man lying on the ground with a stab wound in his chest, but he was still breathing. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival. Police said that the deceased’s brother was arrested near the family residence, and that he did not resist arrest.

Trenton Lovell, 27, accused of murdering LA deputy Sheriff
Trenton Trevor Lovell, 27, a Belizean man who was on parole in Lancaster, Los Angeles, USA, was identified this afternoon as the man accused of shooting a veteran Los Angeles Sheriff Sergeant, Steve Owens, 53, stealing his patrol cruiser and then ramming it into another police mobile, resulting in the injury of another deputy. News reports published today indicate that Lovell had been booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Wednesday at 5:25 p.m., and held in lieu of $2 million. In an account posted yesterday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) homicide investigators learned that shortly after noon, their Lancaster Station received a call of a burglary at 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 in Lancaster, where Lovell had been staying at an apartment with his sister.

Arsonist’s fire kills child, 11
The Hamilton family on Aloe Vera Street in Lake Independence has not only lost the place they called home, but the life of an innocent 11-year-old child that was their son, nephew and brother. Seven persons, of whom four were children, were all at the Hamilton’s residence sometime after 8 o’clock on Tuesday night when an arsonist and now murderer stormed inside. He quickly doused the living room with gasoline and also threw some on the father, struck some matchsticks and ran outside. Aaron Gabourel, a student at Stella Maris, was asleep in his bed at the time. His father, Winston Gabourel, Sr., who was partly on fire, nevertheless ran to the bedroom to try to rescue his sleeping son. However, it was a failed attempt. The child had been too badly burnt on his arms and back, and lost his life as a result of the fire.

BNTU industrial action continues into its 5th day – Friday!
After 96 uninterrupted hours of industrial action, intense meetings and community canvassing, the teachers of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) today showed no signs of exhaustion or exasperation as they militantly marched throughout the streets of Belize City. In mid-August, following the damages brought on by Hurricane Earl, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had met with the BNTU, the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) to discuss a deferral of promised salary increases of 3% until next April. While the other two unions had without reluctance accepted the deferral, the BNTU had insisted that it would only accept such a deferral on the condition that the government favorably responded to its 8 demands, which it believe would have contributed to good governance. Included in the eight demands were the appointment of the 13th Senator, the removal of Minister Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police, an international investigation into the William “Danny” Mason case, and the re-institution of the Integrity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee.

Brenae Timmons’ parents file lawsuit for Samuel Haynes Institute iron gate accident
A near tragic accident occurred on January 29, shortly after 6:00 p.m., in Lake Independence when an iron gate at the entrance of the Samuel Haynes Institute fell on top of 3-year-old Brenae Timmons, who had to remain in an induced coma for two weeks, and was hospitalized for 36 days—an ordeal that has damaged her brain. Brenae Timmons and her parents have retained attorney Hon. Kareem Musa, who filed a claim in the Supreme Court seeking general damages and special damages resulting from the accident. Brenae Timmons is named as the first claimant in the lawsuit, and, on her behalf, general damages are being sought for the severe head and brain injuries she sustained as a result of the accident. Her mother, Keisha Reneau and Bernard Timmons, her father, are named as the second claimants, in the lawsuit and they are seeking special damages.

Mayaro fever, a new viral disease, on the radar
A new wave of viral diseases caused by mosquitos has been sweeping our region, the most recent being the Zika virus, which could go undetected in the vast majority of people who contract it, but which could result in significant effects on patients, including a paralyzing condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. While there have been no cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in Belize associated with Zika and no Zika-associated cases of microcephaly confirmed, the country has seen nearly 600 clinically suspected cases. Notably, this exceeds the number of clinically suspected dengue cases, which totaled 321 up to September 24. The first case of Zika was confirmed in Belize in May, and since then, it has cropped up in every district, with the bulk of cases being confirmed in the Belize and Cayo Districts. However, there are thousands of other cases where patients have been found to have Zika or dengue-like symptoms which remain a mystery, since those individuals have tested negative for the arboviruses (viruses transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitos) known to be circulating in Belize. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, underscored the need for alertness.

Toledo Union Field now Victor Sanchez Union Field
According to information we received today from Freedom Fighters FC manager, Clifford King, the old Toledo Union Field, which has undergone major renovations, causing previous home games for the Freedom Fighters to be played elsewhere, will be opened under a new name this Sunday, October 9, when they host the visiting FC Belize in Week 9 of the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2016-2017. We asked Cliff about the reason for the name change and he promised to do some further research, but gave us this preliminary response: “I only recall Victor Sanchez briefly in his playing days, but more so as coach and football enthusiast in PG. He was even one of the local referees at one point.

2 defending champs fall in SSBA Basketball Tournament
The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Basketball Association (SSBA) hosted its third week of basketball games at the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio Town over the weekened. On Friday night, Belmopan defeated Cayo Storm, 42-34, in the Under 19 division. Denzel Brown was the top scorer in the game with 12 points, while Gabriel Hyde and Gerjen Hernandez netted 9 pts apiece in the win. Cayo Storm was led by Robert Jeffries and Kahlil Rancharan, who tallied 9 pts each. In game 2, Tuff Enuff up ended the defending U23 champs, 54-47. Douglas Valley had the game high with 16 pts, while Brian White and Sydney Bradley scored 13 and 11 pts, respectively. The top scorer for McRoe Lions was Francis Arana with 15 pts, while Jamal Augustine and Ian Rene tallied 12 and 10 pts, respectively. In the nightcap, Belmopan Print Belize was a no-show, giving the victory to Panthers in the Senior category.

Belize finishes third at AFECAVOL WCQT
Belize finished third at the AFECAVOL Men’s FIVB World Championship qualification tournament, after winning over Honduras 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-15) at St. Catherine Academy Center of Belize City. Belize ended a 16-year drought of not reaching the podium in a major event. A festive crowd packed the SCA Center to watch Belize fire-up against Honduras with an exciting victory. Belize finished the event with 4-2 win-loss record, 18 points and third place. Honduras ended with 1-5, 8 points and sixth position. Belize had an impressive 11-4 blocking margin, stopping Honduras’ intentions in keeping the ball on their side of the court. Belize also held advantage in kills (38-30) and in serves (4-1); they scored on 23 opponent errors and committed 20 of their own.

Belmopan F.A. Kids, Female and Youth Cup 2016 Closing Tournament Week 6 results
The Belmopan Football Association’s, (BFA) Kids, Female and Youth Cup 2016 Closing Tournament, sponsored by Hon. John Saldivar continued with Week 6 games over the weekend at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In game 1 on Saturday, starting at 9:00 a.m., (U-13) Mountain View Revolution dropped Bandits, 2-1, with Allen Umana (8’ & 15’) netting both goals for Mountain View, while Allen Jones (32’) scored for the Bandits. In game 2, (U-13) Police Cadets bombed Armenia Red Dragon, 7-1, with goals coming from Alexander Waight (5’), Deron Guzman (12’), Dion Guzman (14’), Joseph Linarez (17’ & 21’) and Javier Ramos (24’), along with an own goal by Armenia’s Kenny Garcia (28’ auto goal); while Bryan Medrano (42’) got the lone goal for Armenia. In game 3, it was Piccini Rising Star, 4-1, over Salvapan FC. Piccini goals were by Michichal Duane (7’), Payravaughn Guy (31’), Herman Martinez (38’) and Antwone Lewis (41’); while Nigel Hernandez (43’) scored for Salvapan. Game 4 (Female U-17) saw Valley of Peace Girls with the 3-1 win over San Martin Medina’s Girls. Shaking the net for Valley of Peace Girls were Glendy Arevalo (15’) and Angelica Magana (35’ & 40’), while Ashly Rodriguez (45’) got the sole tally for San Martin Medina’s Girls.

Rome to Belmopan’s rescue
A couple weeks ago we had described the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) as an irresistible force and the Government of Belize as the immoveable object. In the Wednesday evening national radio and television newscasts this week, the immoveable object delivered a devastating blow to the momentum of the irresistible force. It was hours before a critical series of rallies by the striking teachers of Belize in the cities and towns of the nation scheduled for Thursday morning, October 7. In comments to the Belizean media on Wednesday after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, the Papal Nuncio for Belize and El Salvador, Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, said everything the United Democratic Party (UDP) propagandists had been saying and everything the Government of Belize wanted to hear. The children belonged in school. The teachers should end the strike and return to the negotiating table. It was the Opposition which should be taking the initiatives the teachers of Belize had been taking.

From the Publisher
A close relative of mine visiting from the United States last week was berating me about criticisms I’ve expressed over the decades with respect to what he called Belize’s “creation story” or “creation myth.” He felt I had been doing a disservice where a vital part of our national narrative was concerned. He was, of course, referring to the Battle of St. George’s Caye history. In my old age, I try to avoid opinionated discussions with younger family members, because I have found over the years that such conversations become too heated, and end up as quarrels. As such, they serve no purpose. We were drinking a little wine at the time, and it appears this was a complaint he had wanted to make to me for a long time. I saw how dangerous such a conversation could become, and I did my best to humble myself and be calm, but while the conversation did not become explosive, it definitely became hostile.

Breaking News!
Dear Editor, Sealed indictments are being prepared against Belizean politicians! Secret Swiss and Caribbean bank accounts being investigated! Ambiguity discovered in tax-returns! Disgruntled cronies spill the beans! Just kidding! But it’s a thought…. Speaking of the plutocratic class, I read where Sedi Elrington’s arrogance and sense of self-importance was on display yet again, blinding him as to what’s really going on in the country. Misinterpreting the BNTU’s legitimate concerns over how Belize is being governed and how —as citizens— they are giving collective voice to these issues, Elrington seems to believe the teachers should “stay in their place” (House Negro?, Field Negro?, Uncle Remus?), and that they have no right to their demonstrations, and in addition, are too dumb to realize they can never breathe the exalted air he inhales!

Retirement Age in Belize Revisited
There is a close correlation between a person’s retirement age, pension and social security benefits in that they normally fall relatively close to each other. Though a country’s standard retirement age varies, the norm is between the ages of 55 and 70 years; with some being higher. The retirement age for most countries in this region falls between 60 and 65 years. Belize on the other hand has one of the lowest mandatory retirement ages of 55 years for employees of the Public Service, the largest employer in the country. The only other country with a similarly low retirement age of 55 years is Haiti. The variation between the retirement age for public servants and the age at which a person can access Belize’s Social Security benefits is wide — with the retirement age being 55 and the age for accessing social security benefits being 60 for retired persons and age 65 if you continue to work. This leaves a gap of 5 to 10 years leading to a level of uncertainty for retirees. Those in the private sector, according to the labour laws, may retire after attaining the age of 60 and after being employed for 10 years. Judges are given a little more time, with a retirement age of 65, but magistrates fall within the Public Service retirement scheme. According to a memo dated 2010 from the Ministry of Education, teachers are allowed to work until 60 once “they convey their decision in writing…to continue in the teaching profession in advance”.

USAID exits Belize
There have been recent reports that the US-financed program, Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), a social marketing program which began operating in Belize in 1999, has closed its doors in Belize and yesterday, it was formally announced that United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which also finances the Spanish program, PASCA: the Program for Strengthening the Central American Response to HIV, would cease having a direct presence in Belize. The programs have been active in helping the Government of Belize with its response to HIV/AIDS, and Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, told the press Wednesday that something would have to be done to subsume the work under some other entity. A press release from the US Embassy in Belize noted that, “Since 2002, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in large part thanks to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided over US$4.25 million to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Belize and over 21 organizations in Belize have received support.”

Protesters (not BNTU) burn tires on BelCan Bridge
On April 20, 2005, the BelCan Bridge recorded a dramatic clash between police officers and supporters of the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), joined by university students. That clash was a part of a sustained campaign against the administration of former Prime Minister, Said Musa, which had allegedly engaged in massive corruption. Eleven years, five months and three days later, BelCan Bridge would again record another clash between civilians and the state. However, this time it would be against the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) government, under pressure by the Belize National Teachers’ Union, which is engaging in continued industrial action until government favorably responds to its 8-point demands for better governance.

The Reporter

Strike continues!
The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), after a full day of meetings, has decided to extend its sustained strike action against the Government of Belize into next week. The BNTU’s Council of Management met today, and the branch offices also held membership meetings to decide that teachers would not return to their classrooms on Tuesday. The union says that it is prepared to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to resume negotiations on its eight-point list of good governance demands. The Union however, says it will await a formal invitation from the Prime Minister before going back to negotiate. The Union also said that it wants an apology from Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington for remarks he made against the teachers this week.

Chamber of Commerce considers shutdown
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is considering a one day shutdown if the Government of Belize does not comply with its good governance demands. The BCCI said today that it will meet on October 12, for a special General Meeting, which will focus around the Senate Special Select Committee assembled to review the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department, and on good governance matters, such as the installation of the 13th Senator, the reconfiguration of the Public Accounts Committee, and activation of the Integrity Commission. “Members did not feel that the motion that passed had either a composition or terms of reference that would allow for a thorough investigation of the matter. Therefore, a resolution will be presented for members to vote on sending our motion back to the Senate for full acceptance, or have a one-day shutdown if motion is not successful,” The Chamber said.

Mental Health parade hits Belize City streets
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with various other ministries and organizations, held its third annual Mental Health Walk through the streets of Belize City this morning. Participants, which included students from Wesley College, marched from Cleopatra White Polyclinic II, to the Battle Field Park, via Central American Boulevard, Cemetery Road, Orange Street, Albert Street and Regent Street. The Ministry followed up with a ceremony at the park, which entailed speeches by several guest speakers, including the Minister of Health Pablo Marin, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, and special guest speaker Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of the Prime Minister and Special Envoy for Women and Children.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

DYS Rep speaks of National Youth Party at BNTU’s rally
Shawn Saldano, the Public relations representative for the Department of Youth Services (DYS) was present yesterday at the BNTU’s rally in Belize city. Saldano gave a vivacious speech expressing his full support for the educators and also making it known that by doing so, […]

Patrick Faber says Elrington’s comments are ‘Unfortunate’
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elringron in an interview with the media had referred to the educators as not knowing whether they have the “wisdom, ability of competence to deal with those issues.” On the Open Your Eyes morning show, Minister of Education Patrick Faber was asked […]

Prime Minister will meet, but with N.T.U.C.B.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has written to BNTU president Luke Palacio, stating that the BNTU’s request for a meeting has been trumped by its umbrella organization, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Palacio’s claim that no formal request has been made to return to […]

Chamber to decide on approach for BNTU’s request for solidarity
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has not come out in full force in supporting the teachers. This is because, the Chamber is in a surveying process to determine how their members would respond to the BNTU’s call for their solidarity. Senator […]

Belize Bureau of Standards to observe World Standards Day
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) has announced that World Standards Day will be internationally observed on October 14, 2016 under the theme “STANDARDS BUILD TRUST”. The BBS says that, “This year’s theme highlights that standards in everyday life instill trust and create a uniform […]

Teacher’s strike will continue
Belize National Teacher’s Union president Luke Palacio confirmed this evening that the industrial action which commenced on Monday continues at least to Tuesday. However, he opened the doors to a possible meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday, provided the Prime Minister formally reaches out to the […]

Catholic Diocese issues unsigned letter telling teachers to go back to the classroom
The teachers absence from classrooms across the country was felt yesterday, with rallies held in every district. Yesterday, the Catholic Bishops, Dorick Wright and Christopher Glancey sent out a letter saying it’s time to go back to school. The letter reads “We want to reiterate […]

Benque Viejo bus terminal closed
The bus terminal in Benque Viejo Town has been closed down and is causing a major inconvenience because buses have to park on the side of the road to load and off load passengers. A source told BBN that commuters have to stand up in […]

Police officers in Orange Walk involved in human trafficking ring
A police corporal and a police constable from Orange Walk may be involved in a human trafficking ring. According to reports, the two officers have been detained in connection with human trafficking charges; however the police department has not yet released the full details of […]

Belize will soon have a court-connected arbitration facility
A Government of Belize press release is reporting that the Supreme Court of Belize will soon roll out a Court-connected Arbitration facility which will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean Region. “The first cohort of participants, comprising eighteen (18) lawyers drawn […]

Blogs

Have Fun Stay Fit
In addition to being the title for this write up, Have Fun Stay Fit is also the business name of the great new personal trainers on the island. My friend Sandie told me about them and I was so surprised and very pleased that the price was $10.00 BZD per session. Sara and Greg use a solid combination that works your body hard and create the custom workouts geared towards the individual’s needs and goals. Workout sessions last about 30-40 minutes and as mentioned above cost $10.00 Belize dollars – so worth it. They can be done with a group or on your own. If you do not opt to work out at their San Pablo area house, they will choose a time and location that fits your schedule. For me that was 10:00 am outside my house on Sunset dock. Although a few friends have shown interest in trying it, so far no one has stepped up to the plate and come. That has not stopped me though, once again I am trying to get back into shape.

Hot Gorgeous Weather Continues in Belize & A Few Events Around San Pedro
The first week of this month has been absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. A frequent visitor friend and diver asked me yesterday – “why don’t more people come down to Belize in October? It’s spectacular!” Things are relatively quiet on the island. There are tourists…but not that many. A few businesses are remodeling, new businesses are being built and our first wave of tourism will be Thanksgiving week…and then followed by Christmas. Perhaps the biggest week of the year. Monday is a holiday here in Belize – Pan-American Day. Columbus Day in the United States (he wasn’t so kind to people in these parts) and Thanksgiving in Canada. Here in San Pedro there is a huge magic show coming to town. There is something about magicians that makes me physically tense and angry – but this should be a pretty great show sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye.

International Sourcesizz

Cat Found On Side Of Road Looks Completely Different Now
The veterinarian didn't see any way to put this cat back together again. His jaw had probably been smashed for days. And all that crust on his face? That was actually blood and pus from infection. He couldn't keep his mouth closed or his tongue from hanging out of it. And that was bone poking through his gums. The vet figured he should be put down. But the woman who found him lying at the edge of a highway in Belize knew this cat had a will not just to live, but to be loved. "He had been purring the whole time in the car," Melissa, the woman who found the cat, tells The Dodo, "like he was glad to be safe finally." But the cat was too tiny for surgery. Besides, how would he ever be able to eat with a mouth like that? "I randomly had a tin of cat food in my purse, the kind with the gravy," recalls Melissa, who asked that he full name not be used for this story. "So we said, let's see if he can eat." The cat shoved his entire head in the bowl, soaking up the rich gravy, broken jaw and all. So, it was settled. The cat would go home with Melissa, and a ready supply of antibiotics.

World Heritage Marine Sites & Our Fight for Healthy Oceans
Since the first marine site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, 49 sites in 37 countries stretching from the tropics to the poles have received this prestigious designation as an irreplaceable wonder of the world’s oceans. Yet these unique places are facing unprecedented challenges and change. Right now, more than 15 World Heritage marine sites are suffering from serious coral bleaching and a third of all World Heritage marine sites are still unsustainably or illegally fished. From August 27-31, the guardians of the 49 World Heritage marine sites gathered from around the world in the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavor for UNESCO’s Third World Heritage Marine Managers Conference, looking to share resources and find smart solutions.

Flesh-Eating Worms Have Returned to Florida
Increased trade with Cuba might have brought the little buggers back. Screwworms do exactly what it sounds like screwworms do. The adults lay eggs in open wounds, and the hatched larvae burrow, corkscrew-like, through flesh. Screwworms ate their way into livestock, dogs, deer, and even humans in the U.S. until they were wiped out in 1982, in one of the most successful national eradication campaigns ever. This week, however, U.S. officials confirmed that the screwworm is back. Poor deer in a wildlife refuge in the Florida Keys had somehow picked up the parasite, the U.S.’s first local infestation in 30 years. The screwworm “sends shivers down every rancher's spine,” said Florida’s agricultural commissioner Adam Putnam in an unusually vivid official statement. “I've grown up hearing the horror stories from the last occurrence.”

Videos

  • Elvi's Kitchen celebrates 40 years, 2min. Wow! What an amazing 40 years this has been. If you would like to know what we are really about, take a look at this amazing video! From Elvi's Burger Isle to the Amazing, fine dining with a Local flare restaurant we are today!

  • Belize Monkey River Boat Tour, 1min. The Monkey River Boat Cruise allows you to explore the wide diversity of wildlife in Southern Belize. View Howler monkeys racing through the forest, birds darting from tree to tree, crocodiles sunning on the river banks and occasionally catch a glimpse of the shy and gentle manatee...

  • Caribbean Chicken, Blue Creek, Belize., 8min.

  • Circle R Products, Blue Creek, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Caribbean Chicken/Circle R Products, cooking segment, Blue Creek, Belize, 4min.

  • Message from Belize City BNTU Branch President, Kathleen Flowers and General Secretary Keisha Young-Flowers, 6min. Ms. Kathleen thanks all for their continued support while Ms. Keisha speaks of communications to the PM on their demands.

  • The BNTU strike continues, 1min. Message from president of the BNTU, Luke Palacio. Strike continues. Meanwhile, the union awaits formal invitation from PM to return to the negotiating table and will remain on strike until they are satisfied with the outcome.

  • Miss Earth Belize Environmental Video, 3min. Chantae Guy is representing Belize at the Miss Earth pageant, which will be held at the end of October in the Philipines. Her environmental video is nice, and you can vote for her as Miss Photogenic now.

  • Belize Technology Report (episode 3), 62min. As seen on Belize Technology Report. Hosted by Steve ODell. Produced by Steve ODell.

  • Belize City to San Pedro landing, 1.5min.

  • Belize Excursion Part 01, 73min. On our excursion to Belize we started with a bus ride to the Altun Ha Mayan ruins. This video is of that bus ride and arrival at the ruins. The guide gives a lot of information about the country of Belize.

  • Belize Excursion Part 01, 3min.

  • Howler Monkeys in Belize, 1min. Friendly monkeys.

  • Beautiful morning in Hopkins Village Belize, 1min.

  • Belize Diving Esmeralda, 1min.

  • Destination Belize App, 1min. A new way to Travel and Explore Belize.

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