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8/11/2013 to 8/20/2013
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August 20, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

37 Kids in Action complete Summer Camp
The Kids in Action Summer Camp organized by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) came to a successful closure on Thursday August 15th. A total of 37 people, mostly children, participated in the two week, summer camp. The camp was divided into two groups, 32 did scuba diving and 5 learned fly fishing. The purpose of the camp was to train the participants in key areas that are important to the economic development of the island. At the same time, it was intended to pass down skills from older professionals to the young generation so that they may be able to apply their knowledge in a sustainable way. According to Phillip “Billy” Leslie, President of the SPTGA, with over 2000 children out on vacation, the island lacks healthy activities for children to stay out of trouble. “In today’s world, we are failing in putting the right programs for our children when they are out of school. With the limited resources, and the help of our partners, we want to be able to help put programs in place that are practical and at the same time related to the island’s activities. It will help us look and take advantage of the good things that exist in our society. We don’t want our children to be exposed to the bad part of the island; we want them to be exposed to healthy diving and fishing and these types of activities so that in the future they can be productive citizens,” said Leslie in his remarks before handing out the certificates of completion. And while Leslie gave a sober reflection of the reality as it relates to the lack of activities, those fortunate to attend the two weeks camp had a blast.

Lizard Tales: La Llorona
“woe on him whom she seduced with her beauty and who having compassion on her weeping near to console her.” The story is told of a wealthy landowner who went on a business trip which kept him away from his wife for long periods. His wife often became restless and, during one of his absence, had an illicit affair. As a result, she bore a child. Knowing that she would not be able to convince her husband that the baby was his, she went to the river and drowned the child. The legend of LA LLORRONA, whose name is in Spanish for “the weeping woman,” tells that this woman has been cursed by God since then and now sits disconsolately on a rock by a river or creek combing her long, wavy black hair and crying pitifully, hoping to inspire the mercy of those who near her. Stories of LA LLORONA are popular in Belize, especially in the district of Orange Walk, and also in the neighbouring countries of Mexico and Guatemala. Although LA LLORONA and XTABAI have traditionally become merged into one legend and, as enchantresses, are said to be variation of the same lore, each possesses distinct characteristics and behaviors.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Kids Become Certified Junior Open Water Divers
Kids in Action Summer Diving Program - Learning to scuba dive is a fulfilling, life-changing, and educational experience and PADI is thrilled to be supporting a kid’s dive program in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize! This summer, PADI, the largest diving organization, in collaboration with the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA), the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve gave local kids the opportunity to explore the underwater world. A total of 34 local students got the opportunity to explore the underwater world and learn of its wonders; joining the children were four police officers of the San Pedro Police Department. Students were presented with their manuals and introduced to their dive instructors on Monday, July 29, 2013, at the San Pedro High School.

Miss San Pedro Contestants Having Fun in the Sun
The Miss San Pedro Pageant 2013 is set for Saturday, August 31, and the six contestants have already commenced their participation in a whirlwind of activites before the main event. They have traveled and been hosted at various establishments in Chetumal, Mexico as they visited the city to purchase some of their clothing and accessories for the pageant, been touring the island going shopping, swimming, snorkeling and dining at various restaurants that are hosting the beautiful ladies. Ambergris Today caught up with the six ladies at Rojo Lounge over the weekend as they were being hosted by Findley Halliday. They enjoyed the relaxing amenities of Azul Resort and were treated with food and refreshments at Rojo Lounge. Here they are cooling off poolside on a beautiful day.

Pioneer Tourist Guides in San Pedro
Since Holiday Hotel was the first hotel to welcome tourists to San Pedro, the pioneer tourist guides have got to be Mr. Gabriel “Gaby” Perez, Mr. Abel Guerrero and Mr. Jose Gonzalez. Pictured here along with San Pedro High School benefactor, Mr. Al Felly, is Gaby Perez. Their main objective was to give their guests something to brag about- a large catch of fish and a fantastic day at sea. Our pioneer guides were very skillful at this. They made sure that their guests reeled in a large catch like this one- five barracudas and a huge grouper. The next trick in the trade was to catch one huge jewfish, sailfish, tarpon, or the like. And the final trick used by Gaby was to enable the guest fishermen to have a long battle in reeling in their catch. The longer the fighting period with the catch, the bigger the bragging rights! Not sure what the record is but there were guests who boasted fighting up to 90 minutes with their catch. Our pioneer guides must have done a very good job because tourists returned time and time again and brought others with them and the trade is still going strong up to this day. It is fishing and diving that attracts visitors to Ambergris Caye and of course their warm hospitality of the tourist guides. Hats off to all of them!

25 Years Ago: What Was Summer Vacations Like for Teens Back Then
Well you are all aware of the various choices children and teenagers have during the summer vacations here in San Pedro. They include summer classes for those who failed, summer programs like music and sports etc., vacation trips and even working for pocket money for other more disciplined teens. It is two months long and of course one has to find constructive things to do. So what did children and teenagers do Years Ago in San Pedro? I am going to assure you that it included first and foremost swimming all afternoon, as opposed to swimming after classes on regular days. However in the morning kids were expected to get some firewood for the fire hearth and mom’s cooking. No firewood, no swimming! Summer vacations were during the months of May and June. This was the season of sea grapes and coco plums and kids spent a lot of time in the bush along the coast in search of these juicy, delicious fruits.

Misc Belizean Sources

Code of Ethics
This is a copy of a brief letter that was sent to the 5 political parties,( PNP, PUP, UDP, VIP, BGIP) calling them to a code of ethics, one we deserve and one that is professionally required. Please be advised that The Belize People's Front, via this letter, hereby challenge you to adhere to a strict code of ethics. Please find attached a press release stating the same, and one in which we plan to hold to a high standard. It's time the Belizean Populace gets the respect and disciplined level of governance we all seek, which is enshrined in our constitution.

No Hands Album Launch
Bethany Ann will be having an CD release party for her 'No Hands' album this Saturday, August 24th, at the George Price Centre starting at 6:00pm. Get a signed copy of her CD. The after party will be at the YMAM Destiny House.

Makita Motocross Championship
The Belize Motocross Association had their first event of the season at the Peter August Stadium yesterday: the Makita Motocross Championship. "Thanks to all the Riders and Fans that came to the race,And a BIG thanks to all our Great sponsors with out them the race would not be possible."

BNDC Performs at Carifesta
The Belize National Dance Company and the Galen Eagles Band performed together at Carifesta. Joris Hendrik was there to record some of the performance. They looked and sounded great. There's another week of festivities to come. The opening ceremony was spectacular, and are definitely worth a watch. The light show and the music, with some dub step in there, was awesome.

Channel 7

CWU Pres “Pancho” Gets 2 Months
On Friday, we showed you the meeting which the Stevedores held on Thursday night to discuss the performance of the leaders of the Christian Workers Union, Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy. They stevedores have been calling for the immediate resignation of Gonzalez and McFoy, which was supposed to take effect last week Friday. Well, all indications were that this call for resignation was ignored, and both men would continue to run to CWU until March 2014, when a general meeting would be called to elect a new executive. Well, Gonzalez and McFoy called a meeting today at the Labour Office in Belize City, where the stevedores were invited along with members from the organizations under the CWU. After almost 3 hours in that meeting; McFoy and Gonzalez granted the media an interview in which they finally responded to some of the criticisms from their membership. Here’s what they told us:

Construction Workers Badly Burned By High Tension Wire, San Pedro
A construction worker in San Pedro is in the KHMH tonight after surviving a massive electrical shock and the fall from a four-storey building. It happened this afternoon at 4:20 pm in the downtown area of the island town. 42 year old Artemio Tamai was on top of Sunbreeze Suites working on a roof when a sheet of zinc he was holding came in contact with what we are told is a BEL high tension wire. Due to the power of the jolt, witnesses say he fell from roof unto Barrier Reef Drive. He was taken to a town doctor and then, due to the seriousness of his injuries, airlifted to Belize City. San Pedro Police say his injuries are not life threatening – and his major injury is second degree burns to his stomach.

Baby Dies Suddenly
This evening, a post mortem was held to determine what caused the death of a three month old child in Belize City. Over the weekend police were called to the home of 36 year old Warren Roches Senior – where his 3 month old baby Warren Roches Jr was seen lying motionless on a bed. Roches told police that he was first alerted by his sister-in-law Tyra Wade that his son was not moving on his bed. 3 month old Warren Roches Jr was not suffering from any health problems and was last medically attended to at the University Clinic by Dr Reyes only 3 weeks ago.

FCD Finding Common Ground In Guatemala
On Friday we told you about a significant agreement signed in Guatemala between The Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park and Balam, a Guatemalan NGO That works in Peten. The agreement seeks to reduce illegal logging in both countries. And while that sounds simple enough, really, it’s not; behind every problem in the Chiquibul is a deeper one – in this case, it’s scarcity of resources and limited government involvement in Southern Peten. Those complex issues were thrashed out on Friday at a round table meeting on Friday morning in Poptun. 7news was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Our journey took us from Belize City to Poptun, Guatemala, about a five hour drive southwest. There, at the Finca Ixobel, Rafael Manzanero of the Friends for Conservation and Development was the only Belizean face. The meeting was the Intersectorial Roundtable On Lands And The Environment in South Peten. Government leaders, Alcaldes, community Representatives, Human Rights Officers, the military and government and non government conservation groups gathered to talk about what is known as the Commonwealth of South Peten which comprises 4 municipalities: Melchor de Mencos, Dolores, Poptun and San Luis.

Hegar Back In Belmopan Race
Less than a month ago, former PUP Standard Bearer in Belmopan Amin Hegar could be seen giving the PUP’s New Golden Boy in the Capital, Jason Patrick Andrews a hearty handshake of endorsement. But, it turns out the old Amin is not going away so easily. He today confirmed that he is stepping back into the race to represent the PUP in Belmopan. Hegar told us today that he endorsed Andrews saying that if the PUP in Belmopan is divided, then he will come back. And according to Hegar, they are – and so he’s getting back into the fray. Ruth Logan is also seeking to contest the division for the PUP, so what Cayo South Candidate and PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat had hopes would be an endorsement for Andrews now appears that it will be a hotly contested convention. No date has been set.

Life Spared In Cayo Collision
Four persons travelling n two vehicles were lucky on Friday night after a collisions on the Western Highway. It happened near Central Farm, just outside San Igancio. Two small pickups were travelling in opposite directions when, according to reports, one of them was getting back into his lane after overtaking another vehicle, and couldn’t get back in time, leading to the collision. We spoke to the sister of one of the men who was rushed to the hospital- Norma Ramirez - Sister of Accident Victim "It's a two car head on collision, I talked to my brother and he was fine but the police were already on site. I found out that the other people that head-on collision with my brother were coming from San Ignacio. The other passenger and my brother had gushes to their head so he was later transported to San Ignacio Hospital that's all I know."

Gun-toting Woman Remanded to Prison
39 year-old Carolee Jean Rhaburn is at prison tonight after she was taken to court for firearm, ammunitions, and drug offences. According to police, she was walking on George Street just before midday on Friday, when she was stopped and searched. The officers reported that they discovered 77 grams – or 2.7 – ounces of marijuana in her purse, and a .38 pistol with 3 live rounds of ammunition in a shoe box she was carrying. As a result, she was charged with drug trafficking, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. She was arraigned today before Magistrate Hamilton who remanded her to prison due to the nature of the offences. She will be taken back to court on September 24, 2013, her next court date.

Norwegian Exec Censured By National Garifuna Council
They say that loose lips sink ships – well, for the sake of Norwegian Cruise Line, that had better not be true! That’s after Project Designer for NCL’s Harvest Caye Project Hugh Darley made what turns out to be an offensive comment about the sacred Garifuna Dugu Ceremony. Darley was trying to speak affectionately of the Garifuna Culture – but made a huge gaffe when he started talking about the Dugu, which is a closed ritual used to call up the ancestors. But, it seems Darley was told it was some kind of cool dance. Here’s what he said:… Hugh Darley "Garifuna - why Garifuna? It's the only place in the world that we could tell that story and it would be real. We would not create a fantasy, we're telling the real story from the real people. We want to train and have people tell their own stories. In the afternoon there will be a big drum circle on the beach and at 3 o'clock we're going to tell the guests 'guess what - we're going to do a big drum circles out on the beach doing a dance called [dugu].' Why? Because nobody ever gets the chance to see that."

Guatemala Has Rosewood Smuggling Problems Too
We all know about Rosewood in Belize and all the contortions and controversy it has put the government through. But, it’s a problem all over the world, and all over this region wherever the precious hardwood grows. Just so in Guatemala where on Friday we found out from the CEO in their Ministry of environment that they had seized 25 containers of illegal rosewood at the Santo Tomas Port. Here’s what he told us:.. César Vinicio Montero Suárez - Guatemalan CEO in the Ministry of the Environment "The department of Peten, especially southeastern Peten, in the case of Poptún has areas where there are ecosystems conducive to the development of rosewood. From that account, five years ago, the price of rosewood explodes internationally; we are talking about 12 to 13 dollars per foot, and that makes extreme pillaging of the specie in areas of southern Petén. A couple of years ago we started activating the mechanisms and we have seen the results. The illegal extraction of rosewood is part of a purely large-scale organized crime that extracts the wood, even with the involvement of some authorities. However, after the government of Guatemala seized more than 25 containers with time at the port of Santo Tomas de Castilla, headed to international markets, it triggered a series of illegal activities carried out by organized crime and we began to dismantle these groups. To date, the pillaging of rosewood is quite controlled, there are mills that have closed down, there are people in the courts, a network even involving people of other nationalities has been dismantled and I think we are on the way to preserving this unique species. "

Junior Jaguars Lose One
Last week, 7News told you about the Belize U-15 National Football Team, or the Junior Jaguars, who left to participate in the first ever CONCACAF Under 15 Championships. In their first game, they defeated St. Lucia, and on Friday, the team faced off against Jamaica. In that game, the Junior Jaguars managed to defeat Jamaica with a final score of 3-1, the first loss of the tournament for Jamaica, who won their first 2 games and didn’t give up any goals. The goal scorers for Belize were Mark Samuels, Alvin Sifontes, and Randy Augustine, who managed to score in the 5th and 7th minute respectively, securing an early and comfortable lead for team Belize. That’s the actual outcome of the game, but it would seem that Jamaican Football Federation got it wrong, causing outrage to Belizeans who saw this weekend. They posted on their website that they soundly defeated Belize with a score of 8-0. It would seem that they got a notification that their information was wrong because when we checked today, they had updated their website with the correct information.

Channel 5

National Garifuna Council upset about Norwegian Cruise Lines use of the Dügu
Norwegian Cruise Line’s fifty million U.S. dollar investment is facing one more objection, but it’s not because of the location of the project or the possible effects on overnight cruise [...]

All member organizations of CWU meet at Labour Office
An amicable solution to an ongoing crisis within the Christian Workers Union has been met, following a lengthy discussion this afternoon with representatives of the nine entities that comprise the [...]

Review of Christian workers Union finances ordered, but too late
Chief Shop Steward Basil Brannon, who represents employees of the Central Bank of Belize, also agrees that it is time for the Christian Workers Union to revamp its administration.  While [...]

Firebrand protester says time is now to shake up CWU
All institutions registered with the Christian Workers Union were present at the meeting at the Labour Department this evening. The most vocal participant is union firebrand Dion Pitter, who has [...]

Baby dies in home but no one sure of the circumstances
There is a disturbing report tonight that a three month old baby has died under suspicious circumstances following his death. While it was not reported in the police blotter, News [...]

Shocked by electricity then plunges to the ground
Sometime around four-fifteen, a crew of construction workers was on the rooftop of Sunset Suite located at the end of Barrier Reef Drive in downtown San Pedro. Apparently a zinc [...]

P.U.P. and Cordel Hyde set to negotiate a possible comeback
There are some major political rumblings that have already began to play out on the National House of Assembly floor. During last week’s meeting of parliament, Minister Michael Finnegan attempted [...]

Well known Senior Citizen violently beaten in Orange Walk
The murder rate may be down but instances senseless violence continues in some communities. A well known senior citizen of Orange Walk Town was viciously attacked by two persons, including [...]

Belize Can will protest in the Capital
There is also news of a political nature, rising in the capital. It doesn’t involve the politics of the two main parties, but instead body politics. If you’ve been following [...]

Belize Can will protest concept of Gender Studies Dept.
Belize Can marches on the National Assembly at eight-thirty Tuesday morning and at eleven, heads over to the University of Belize to send a similar message to the leaders of [...]

Gunman Shot at his wife’s bar then shoots at the cops
A domestic dispute in the village of Camalote in the Cayo District almost turned deadly on Saturday. At about six thirty that evening Police were called out to Sirenita’s Bar [...]

Cayo robber escapes with items worth thousands
Police reports are sketchy, but tonight there is information that an unidentified resident of San Ignacio Town was robbed over the weekend. The robbery allegedly occurred on Friday at around [...]

Man accused of assaulting a cop
The owner of a bar in Belize City is out on bail after he was charged for assaulting a special constable. Twenty-nine year old Lennox Stevens appeared before Magistrate Leslie [...]

Woman’s teary goodbye after being busted for drugs and ammo
The court was also the setting of an emotional farewell. A Belize City woman today made the public outcry after she was remanded on firearm charges. Thirty-nine year old Carolee [...]

Galen University awards two Jaguars with honorary degrees
They have been recognized internationally by CONCACAF and FIFA for integrity during the recent Gold Cup…and this past weekend Team Belize’s Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West also received the Eagle [...]

Galen Eagles sweeps basketball competition across the border
It was a big weekend for Galen, as on the heels of graduation the university also welcomed back its triumphant heroes, the Galen Eagles. The well regarded basketball team just [...]

U-15, baby Jaguars, fighting to keep second place in competition
While the Belize Jaguars’ inaugural trip to CONCACAF’s annual Gold Cup Competition in July was somewhat disappointing, the under-fifteen delegation currently competing in a regional championship tournament in the Cayman [...]

Fresh funding to assist Climate Change studies and development
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre has launched a four year multi-million dollar regional energy efficiency project. The U.S. twelve point four million dollars Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean [...]

Sports Monday highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. There’s a new spirit prevailing inside the Cycling Community as the Belize Cycling Association heads into the 1st General Election [...]


Belize's Under Fifteen National Football Team Wins Jamaica But Loses Against Guatemala
Belize’s Under 15 National Football Team is shining bright like a diamond at the inaugural CONCACAF under-fifteen tournament which is being played in Grand Cayman. The team played its first game against Saint Lucia and won one-nil. The national selection played its second match on Friday August 16th as they went up against Jamaica. Belize scored two goals early in the first half and went on to defeat Jamaica, 3-1. The result improved the Central American side to 2-0-0, while Jamaica lost for the first time in three games. A fifth minute strike from Alvin Sifontes – his second goal of the competition – put Belize up 1-0, a lead that was doubled only two minutes later by man of the match Randy Augustine.

Portugal Deemed Champs Of Mundialito
The Mundialito Football Tournament has become a part of the Orange Walk Community. Every year young football players anxiously wait for the event to kick off at the same time hoping that they are able to form part of one of the many teams that sign up for the competition. This year the tournament kicked off on June 30th and ended yesterday with four teams battling for first, second, third and first place. So who won? Here is a recap of the final matches. Victor Castillo - Reporting Family members arrived at the Louisiana Football Field well equipped with all the necessary instruments to cheer for their team. After 8 long weeks of intense football matches, yesterday marked the grand finale of the Mundialito Football Tournament. Ten teams signed up for the competition but only four made it to the finals. Team USA, sponsored by San Insidro Construction Centre and Team Belize, sponsored by Tico Mendez would go head to head for third and fourth place while teams Espana and Portugal were vying for first and second place.

Work On The Pueblo Nuevo Ferry Gets Under-way
Work on the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District commenced this morning at 9:00pm. The ferry, which was in dire need of maintenance, links Corozal Town to Villages located in Corozal Southeast such as Chunox, Copper Bank and Progresso. After more than a decade of being in use, the deck of the ferry and other sections has corroded and has proven to be a hazard for commuters especially at night. Today when we visited the area the ferry was indeed undergoing repairs. As we spoke to Emil Cano, Assistant District Technical Supervisor, he told us off camera that repairs were being carried out in portions between normal working hours which are from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Two Men Charged For Cattle Theft
Two residents from the village of Libertad in the Corozal District were arraigned today in the Corozal Magistrates Court for the crime of Cattle Theft. Fabian Lino and Alberto Garcia where charged with one count of cattle theft each after Clifton West Sr. reported to police that three head of cattle, valued at $1000.00 each, were stolen from his back yard. Investigations led police to Lino and Garcia who were both offered bail of $1000.00 each which they met. The men are scheduled to re-appear in court on the 21st of October 2013.

Another Armed Robbery In Corozal
Is this a new trend? That is what Corozal Police are asking since for the past few days they have been responding to a number of burglaries and robberies. The most recent robbery report was made on Saturday by a Chinese businessman who was robbed at gunpoint. Fifty year old Weushi Lui was inside his establishment located on 6th Avenue, Corozal Town, when two men wearing masks and armed with a hand gun, entered the store and robbed Lui at gunpoint. The criminals made good their escape with approximately $500.00 in cash in different denominations. Up to news time no one has been detained and police investigations continue.

Undisclosed Amount Of Cash Stolen From Reimer's Feed Mill
Sometime between the early hours of Sunday night and this morning, Reimer’s Feed Mill located on Lovers Lane here in Orange Walk, was burglarized. The assailant or assailants, gained entry to the establishment by cutting the lock of the steel door located on the north side of the building. After cutting the lock, the robber or robbers were able to note that the glass door was not secured and upon entering the business they maneuvered their way so as not to be captured by the security cameras. According to the owner of the establishment, the robber or robbers made good their escape with an undisclosed amount of money. No other items have been reported missing and police investigations continue.

Pastor Accused Of Committing Serious Crimes
A pastor is in big trouble with his congregation and with the law as he is being accused of committing some serious crimes. Reports reaching our newsroom are that Rafael Perez, who is, or we should say was, the pastor of the Assemblies of God Church located on Aurora Street, has been missing since August 5th. However, it’s not because something bad happened to him but rather, he is allegedly in hiding. Members of the church, who spoke to us off camera, told us that Perez offered a number of people to take them to the United States in exchange for money and sexual intercourse, these persons being mostly females. According to some female members of the church, who did not wish to disclose their names, Perez also requested that they have sex with him. But that’s not all. Reports are that not only did Perez take money from people by promising to take them to the U. S, but he also had the audacity to sell most of the church’s assets.

Father Injured While Defending His Son
A resident from the village of San Jose is tonight recovering from a chop wound which he sustained over the weekend. The incident played out yesterday in front of this store located in the village of San Jose, Orange Walk. According to Roque Uh, a man known to him only as Max attacked his son with a machete while he was inside the store. A police constable, who was working as a security guard for the business establishment at the time of the incident, attempted to restrain Max but was unsuccessful. Today we visited the village and spoke to Uh who relived the horrific ordeal. Roque Uh, Resident, San Jose Village “Gracias a Dios, yo estaba acostada cuando vino mi hijo, papi el muchacho ya hizo para machetearme y no me alcanzo, y vino y me lo dijo y fui con la china porque haya está el pólice y le hice seña al pólice cuando el pleito otra vez a dentro con el mismo muchacho. El chino y el pólice fueron y los sacaron y después que el corrió como un mecate el saco el machete de su pantalón y cuando él quiso y agarre es que me daño. Es que cuando yo mire que saco el machete yo quería quitar pero no pude y por eso corrió y se fue. Agarre el machete y como él tiene más fuerza el me lo quito y se fue y el policía trato de agarrar la persona junto con el chino pero ya le hiban a poner las esposas cuando se les escapo y se fue y cuando saco su machete en ese momento.”


Masked Men Robs Chinese Businessman
On Saturday around 8:05 p.m, police responded to a robbery on 6th Avenue in Corozal Town. When they arrived at the location, fifty year old Chinese Businessman, Owen Weushi Lui reported to them that two men wearing masks and armed with a gun, robbed him of approximately five hundred Belize dollars in different denominations. The robbers made good their escape and police are still investigating.

Fifty Graduates Emerge From Galen University
Degrees were conferred on over fifty students at Galen’s Ninth Commencement Exercise on Sunday. After the official welcome address the Director of International Division and Representative from the University of Indianapolis, Marilyn Chase pointed out that the Universities are celebrating ten years of partnership MARILYN CHASE, University of Indianapolis “When I first came to Belize ten years ago, I saw the promise of what could become; I see the fulfillment of that promise in the faces before me. As we gather to celebrate your commencement, you represent the very best of both our institutions; of both of our countries.” The President of Galen University, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, highlighted Galen’s achievements and spoke of reforms at the University during his remarks DR. LOUIS ZABANEH, President, Galen University “You will walk out of this building knowing that your hard work, investment and dedication is acknowledged and is paid off. You will begin to take up the challenge of leading and building Belize. As leaders, you will carry yourself with dignity and act with integrity; you will show respect to others both in speech and in your actions. You already know that the one thing that characterizes a Galen student and graduate is a passionate commitment to the sustainable development of Belize. We, the Galen University Eagles are known for taking bold and innovative actions to build and uplift ourselves, our family, our community and our country.” The Keynote Speaker for the event was Belize City’s Mayor Darrel Bradley who delighted the graduates with words of advice emphasizing the importance of values and taking chances.

Cannabis Found Hidden in Bedroom; Belmopan Resident Arrested
Evan John Arana, a twenty two year old man from Cayo Street in Belmopan was arrested and charged for drug trafficking offenses. Around 6:00 a.m on Friday August 16th, Police searched Arana’s house and discovered two plastic bags inside his bedroom, containing 162 grams of cannabis. Arana was the only person present during the time of the search and he was subsequently arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.

Police Officers Shot At While Intervening in Domestic Disturbance
A shooting incident was reported in Belmopan on Saturday. According to Police reports, they responded to the incident in Camalote Village and their investigations revealed that Roberto Castellanos, reportedly fired several shots at his ex-common law wife. When Police arrived however, they saw Castellanos walking away from the establishment with what appeared to be a sixteen gauge shotgun in his hand. Police tried to get his attention but he ignored police orders. While he walked away, he continued to load the gun and then fired two shots at the police who returned fire and missed him. Castellanos escaped but was caught a few moments later. He was formally arrested and escorted to the Police Station, pending investigations.

Men Enter Restaurant as Customers; They Exited as Robbers
Two men, 34 year old Garfield Flowers and 31 year old Kenroy Vanzie, were charged with burglary when they appeared today in the #4 Magistrate’s Court. They pled not guilty to the charge. Only Vanzie was offered a bail of $2,000, which ne met. Flowers was not offered bail because he owes the court $1,500. Magistrate Dale Cayetano told him that if he pays the outstanding fine bail will be considered. Their case was adjourned until October 3. The incident occurred around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, August 16. The complainant, 49 year old food vendor Muriel Jones, reported to the police that while she was at her business place on Youth For The Future Drive, three men entered and ordered food. She said that one of the men, who wore a blue shirt, demanded money from Lincoln Hamilton, one of her customers who was eating in her restaurant. She said one of the men punched Hamilton when he refused to give them money. The police investigated the incident and reported that their investigation led to the arrest of Flowers and Vanzie. The police say they are searching for a third man to charge him for burglary.

Father in Southern Belize Seeks Help to Find His Son
A father who resides in Cattle Landing Village Toledo is looking for his son who has been reported missing. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the father who shared the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The father, Marcos Antonio Pineda and his 12 year old son Marcos Saul Pineda currently reside in Cattle Landing Village. Mr. Pineda visited Love News and spoke of his missing son.” MARCOS ANTONIO PINEDA “I went fishing in the in area of Cattle Landing; my boy was wearing a red shirt, yellow pants and black slippers. I am sure he came out of the water because I had told him to leave the waters and go home to bathe. I got home at around three o’clock and he was not there. He has a black mole on the centre of his forehead. He is about four and a half feet tall; he has about 80 – 85 pounds. He had left home once under my care and I found him in Punta Gorda Town near the high school area. I had told him to come out of the water or else I would lash him; I reported this to Human Development and to the Police but the police told me I need a photo of him and his album had gotten wet and I don’t have any photo of him.”

Unemployed Woman Found With Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition
In Belize City on Friday around 11:05, police officers were conducting mobile patrol on George Street. During the patrol they stopped forty year old Carolee Rhaburn, a Belizean Domestic of Antelope Street Extension and after a search recovered a black pistol and one magazine containing five, point nine millimeter rounds of ammunition. She has since been detained pending charges of “Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition”.

Landlord Dog Attacks Tenants
A three year-old girl was viciously mauled by a pit-bull dog early on Saturday morning and when her mother intervened to save her daughter’s life, the animal then turned on her. What’s worse is that the incident happened where the family thought they were safe – at home. According to Edwardo Guardado, he moved along with his common-law wife, Maria Guerra, and small daughters to 56 Iguana Street Extension two months ago and thought they were safe at the location because the yard has a high fence and gate. But as he discovered, he thought wrong. Edwardo Guardado, Daughter mauled by pit-bull dog (Translated to English) “On Saturday morning at around six o’clock my mom went to work and the dog started to bark and the baby started to cry. When the dog heard my sister crying, he bit the baby and my mom was trying to pull my sister away but the dog didn’t want to let go and my mom was fighting with the dog and she got bit too. This happened in our yard; the dog is for the owner of the house.” The owner of the dog, Ricardo Velasquez, also decided to talk to us and he said that he has since purchased the medication that the child and her mother need as well as he has agreed to pay the family for the time that Maria Guerra has to stay away from work to nurse herself and her daughter, Alicia back to health.

Results are Out for CSEC Examinations
The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, or C-SEC for short, is generally sat by high school-leaving students in the Caribbean in May and June. SEC subjects are examined for certification at the General and Technical Proficiencies in 33 subjects, 28 subjects at the General Proficiency and five at the Technical Proficiency. It has also expanded to a six-point grading system, from one to six in overall grades, or from A to F in profile grades. The results are out for 2013 and from the looks things, while Belize did well in some areas, it also lost ground in others. And what’s of concern is that only 43 percent of our students who sat the exams received acceptable grades between one and three. But according to the Caribbean Examinations Council’s Local Registrar, Juan Vargas, the overall performance remained generally the same. He said that when compared to our students’ performance last year, Belize did better in 17 subjects while it did not do so well in 16 others, and in one subject, Home Economics Management, Belizean students kept the overall grade at the same level as last year’s. JUAN VARGAS, LOCAL CXC REGISTRAR “There are some salient things that we need to look at; some other things that we need to highlight when you look at individual subjects but more or less compared to what we did last year, it remains the same. Regarding the issues that we need to look at, I will speak to a comparison of what we had last year in Belize to what we had this year.

Robber Takes Cellular Phones and Batteries from Businessman
A man from San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District reported to police that his business place was burglarized last week. The forty four year old Sales Manager of Mossiah and Victoria Street in Town reported that on Friday August 16th at 3:25 a.m, he was awakened by a noise coming from his yard. He got up to make checks and saw the door for an office-trailer open. He also saw a tall dark complexioned man, who was wearing green T-Shirt and dark long pants, filling a black handbag with cell phones. When the businessman called the police, the culprit escaped through the main gate. The businessman then made checks in the office and noticed that several cell phones with batteries and assorted chargers were missing. The items are valued at six thousand nine hundred and fifty seven thousand Belize Dollars. Police continue to investigate.

Health Authority Holds Training for Food Safety Inspectors
Today, Food Safety Inspectors for the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority, BAHA, are forming part of a training workshop at the Biltmore Hotel. The workshop, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, HACCP, is designed to properly educate the food safety inspectors about the hazards and risks food products. This time around, the workshop is primarily dealing with meat and poultry. According to the Food Safety Director for BAHA, Doctor Miguel Figueroa, the training has seven key principles. DR. MIGUEL FIGUEROA “The seven principles are conducting a hazard analysis to determine what are the risks involved in processing plants, in processing a product. HACCP is a quality assurance system that ensures that the end product is safe for human consumption; so, it’s basically, identifying the hazards that are associated with meat inspection and producing meats and how you control those hazards in the whole chain processing; from the time you receive an animal to the slaughtering facilities up to when it is slaughtered and the carcasses are distributed; so, you follow that chain and you determine what are the risks and see how you can prevent any risk to human whenever humans consume the final product. The Mennonite community is the one of the main players in the training because they are the ones who are producing the chickens, the meats. Presently, some of them do have the HACCP plan but most of them are not implementing the HACCP system; so, one of their main problems would be they do not have any good manufacturing practices; some of them do have the HACCP plan but they are not enforcing or carrying out the plan. This training is a reminder that any facility that produces food for human consumption should have some kind of quality system to follow.”


Package delivered to a Government Ministry contained bullet and note
Police in Belmopan are investigating an alarming report from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Details at this time are still forthcoming, but PlusNews has confirmed that an envelope was delivered to the Ministry on Thursday and found inside were a bullet and a note. The package was addressed to...

GOB revokes lease of Commerce Bight Port
The Government of Belize has revoked the lease granted to Port of Belize to operate and manage the Commerce Bight Port, south of Dangriga. GOB has made previous attempts to repeal PBL’s possession of the port – back in March of 2008, the Government served notice to PBL to ...

Receiver in charge of POB explains next moves in takeover of Commerce Bight Port
As of Thursday, the Belize Port Authority was at the Commerce Bight Port outside of Dangriga seeking to take control per an order from Minister responsible for Ports, Rene Montero. In a press release sent on Friday, the Government charges that owners Port of Belize Limited have failed to...

Meeting rallies support to oust CWU leadership
On Thursday night members of various organizations unionized by the Christian Workers Union (CWU) met to gauge support for a removal of two giants of union leadership in Belize –Antonio Gonzalez, long time president, and James McFoy, general secretary. Yesterday we brought you the men trying to organize the...

Progress made on Stevedore Negotiations
This week we have been following the travails of the Christian Workers Union which is seeing infighting during tense negotiations with the Port of Belize Limited. It has taken many years but according to Port receiver Arturo Vasquez there has been some progress made. Arturo Vasquez – Ports receiver:...

Government to defend Mark Seawell case August 26
On Friday morning Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin finished hearing arguments from the attorney of Mark Seawell, the Belizean wanted in Ohio, USA on charges of drug trafficking and running a continuous criminal enterprise between 1994 and 1997 in his application for habeas corpus. After court, Arthur Saldivar explains what...

NTUCB supports restructuring of PAC
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has joined the Chambers of Commerce and PUP in support of the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee. The NTUCB is calling for the social partners that is the union, the business community’s and the churches to have representation on the PAC. ...

Helping communities near archaeological sites better market their product
The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites Project has a long name but an important role. On Thursday night at the House of Culture it moved into another phase of its 2 year plan to help artisans and others who make a living from tourism better market...

Chopping incident in Salvapan sends man to hospital
Gun violence has shattered the very core of our nation. However, it is not the only means of inflicting grievous harm to another individual. Yesterday at around 4:00 pm police got a report about a chopping incident in Guatemala Street, Salvapan Area. When they arrived at the location, they...

Government gives details of the MOU with NCL
The NCL Cruise project at Harvest Caye is moving forward full throttle. We’ve been covering Wednesday’s lengthy press conference where the MOU agreed to by the Government of Belize and the Norwegian Cruise Line was made public. Tonight we take a closer look at the details of that document...

Pedro Cruz paints mural in San Ignacio
Pedro Cruz, a long time artist, has done many cultural paintings for tourist attraction in Belize. One of his biggest contributions for the San Ignacio Town is the mural he painted beside the San Ignacio Police Station in 1991. 22 years have passed and...

FFB to promote more female football
It has been a year unlike any other for Belizean football, with all manner of national teams going out to represent the country from junior to senior level. The latest to travel is the U-20 Lady Jaguars female team, who will take a short hop to Honduras on Tuesday...

Young basketball players from across the nation meet in Belize City
Basketball has not been left out of the sporting equation. Youth ballers from around the country converged in Belize City for the final rally to conclude this year’s Ballers for Life Summer Camp organized by the Belize Basketball Federation. With more here is that federation’s...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Humane Society Fundraiser
It’s time for another semi annual fundraiser. On Saturday Aug 24th, from noon to 4 pm the Caye Caulker Humane Society will be having another DOGWASH on the beach across from Oceanside Bar. Dr. Zeke and his lovely assistants will be there to give flea & tick dips, check ups, vaccines, worming and much more. There also will be beer for sale for only $3Bzd. Come with your dog(s) and feel free to donate your money and/or time. The more help there is the better. As you can see they need 4 people to wash one dog, so they need lots of volunteers. If you want to help out, please contact Debbie Cooper.

The Reporter

Belizean Youth leader attends International Conference
Belizean youth leader and high school teacher, Kevin Forrester, will represent Belize at the Annual Curators Meeting, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Friday to Tuesday, August 16-20, 2013.

NCL Project will not kill overnight tourism
Cruise and overnight tourism can coexist, Senator Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Local Government and Labour, said Wednesday.

Why the head tax is split $4-$3
This week, the Government of Belize explained why it would return $4.00 out of the $7.00 in head tax, to be collected from the Harvest Caye project, back to Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Stevedores want union’s top executives to resign
A number of stevedores are up in arms against the leadership of their union, the Christian Workers Union (CWU), and have called on its President, Antonio Gonzalez and Secretary James McFoy, to step down by Friday.

Former soldiers war over Ex-Service men League headquarters
The National Executive Council of the Belize Ex-Servicemen’s League has locked its Belize City Branch out of their building on New Town Barracks to teach them a lesson. Belize Ex-Services League President, Bernard Adolphus, said that it’s not that the National Executive Council really wants the Belize City Branch members [...]

Leadership: The first fundamental building block to achieve Sustainable Development
In the next series of articles we will be focusing on Leadership. We will look at the various forms it takes and discuss what research has uncovered about Leadership. We will study some of the world’s greatest Leaders and underscore the lessons to be learnt from their experiences.

Belizean culture at XI Carifesta
Thirty-five Belizean artists will join delegations from other CARICOM countries at the XI Carifesta in Paramaribo, Suriname, from Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 25, where they will be showcasing every aspect of Belizean culture and art.

Robbery suspect pleads with Magistrate not to send him to jail
A Belize City man, who has been accused of an armed robbery, pleaded with Magistrate Clive Lino not to send him to jail, when he was arraigned on Monday. Harry Joseph, 24, a resident of Courtenay Crescent, told Lino that he is the only breadwinner for his family and that [...]

Cop dies after severe beating in George Town
Independence Police confirmed on Tuesday that they have detained two brothers pending investigation into an incident that resulted in the death of a vacationing police constable in George Town Village.

Buckley gets long-overdue $50,000 compensation
By Aaron Humes Former construction worker and a father of five, Steven Buckley, 40, emerged from the St. John’s Credit Union on Basra Street with $2,000 cash in hand last Friday. The money was part of the $50,000 partially payment to Buckley, whose plight since sustaining life-threatening and permanent [...]

Taiwan gives US$20,000 for September Celebrations
The Republic of China on Taiwan has traditionally sought to strengthen the bonds of friendship and mutual cooperation with Belize in a number of endeavours, and the national September celebrations are no exception.

Belizeans awarded 26 scholarships to study in Taiwan
Twenty six young Belizeans have received scholarships to study in the Republic of China on Taiwan, and received their awards from Taiwan’s Ambassador H.E. David C.K. Wu on Saturday, August 4.

Cocoa might prevent memory decline
Drinking cocoa every day may help older people keep their brains healthy, research suggests. A study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found two cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with.

Younger kids breaking out in acne
One of the hallmarks of being a teen is breaking out in acne, but a Toronto dermatologist says that kids might not wait until they are teenagers to see their first pimples. Dr. Paul Cohen, a dermatologist at Toronto’s Rosedale Dermatology Centre, says that puberty is happening at an earlier [...]

Belize Bank Bulldogs lead firms basketball
The undefeated Belize Bank Bulldogs and Atlantic Bank are leading the Belize District firms’ basketball competition, each with three victories as the tournament continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Friday and Saturday nights, August 9-10. Marcel Orosco scored 23 pts, as he led the Belize Bank to a [...]

Triple B’s enter Atlantic Bank football finals
The undefeated Triple B’s of Belmopan have qualified to the championship finals of the Atlantic Bank female football competition, and will host the Ladyville Jaguars in the first final scheduled for the FIFA Goal Project Stadium beside the Football Federation of Belize in Belmopan on Saturday, August 31. The Triple [...]


Caye Caulker Catamaran Sail with Seaduced: Mutton Snapper, Manatees, Jet Skis, Good Times
I may have mentioned that I love to go on a catamaran sail to our sister island of Caye Caulker. And I may have mentioned that it is my favorite trip from Ambergris Caye. In fact, I may have mentioned it in the countless blog posts that I’ve written over the past couple years about this year topic (see below). I’ve been on this trip at least 25 times. And each time it’s a little different and a little bit awesome. Lots of sun and snacks, snorkelling at the two best snorkel stops, a 2 hour stop at Caye Caulker for lunch and a look about and always more…good times. Here are the pictures from our trip with Seaduced by Belize yesterday from San Pedro to Caye Caulker on a perfect August day for sailing. Sailing out to Hol Chan. Loving the bean bags.

Big News for Table Tennis in Belize
Forrest Gump was good at it, the Chinese love it and now there’re enough Belizeans into it that a big-time table tennis championship is coming to Belize for the very first time. Regular readers know that we love to report on all things Belizean, especially anything to do with the environment, responsible travel, arts, culture and music, and sports fans appreciate that we also keep an ear to the ground for athletic news. So it was with interest that we heard that Belize will be hosting the 15th Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships, which will run from September 13 to 16 2013. This is the first time the Jewel has had the honour, and it is significant because the Central American Table Tennis Confederations are adding a new category to the championship, according to 7 News Belize. Speaking to Channel 7, – Belize Table Tennis Association president Arturo “Tux” Vasquez explained that “It’s a first for Belize, it’s the 15th of course and it’s all the Central American countries, masters or veterans and it’s a tournament that will be played between 5 categories, starting with 30-39, 40-49, 60-64, 65-70 and 70 and above.”

Belizean Picadillo
Picadillo is a protein rich meal that's made with spicy black recado. This meal is quick and goes well with corn tortillas. The boiled eggs and ground pork or ground beef makes this meal very filling.

In August of 2012, BELTRAIDE with funding from Compete Caribbean facilitated the development of a Medical Tourism Strategy for Belize. With the strategy completed, BELTRAIDE will be venturing in the formalization of a Medical Tourism Association/ Council via the facilitation of a two day working session. The work sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 and Friday, August 23, 2013, at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET) Facility in Belize City from 8:30a.m.-12:00p.m.

August 11, 2013 - August 17, 2013 Fishing Report
It’s great to see our return guests/family. Adam and Julie, Dave and Gayle, Scott (and now Stephanie), Dean and Tracy, Kevin, Tim, Kyle, Porter, Tripp and Tarpon Tony. We may have had a tough week with a tropical depression, but there were big hearts and fun laughter over the thunder.

International Sources

7 ways to interact with Garífuna culture in Belize
The Garífuna village of Hopkins has a near five-mile stretch of sand, with few people in sight at any one time. No vendors and no noise, aside from the sound of distant drums. Garífuna Settlement Day (November 19) celebrates the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize by dugout canoe, with a live reenactment along the shores of Dangriga. Dusk-till-dawn drumming and dancing at local bars, or "sheds," begins on November 18. "We are the only cassava-making farm in the country," says Cyril Sabal of the family-run Sabal Farm. "We've been here for 25 years and we bake twice a week." Cassava bread is a traditional Garifuna staple.

Garifuna Collective Still Carries the Beat of Belize
Andy Palacio was an artistic pioneer for the music industry in Belize, shaping cross-currents of colonialism and slavery. Unfortunately, Palacio passed away at just 47 years old after suffering a series of small strokes. His passing caused a hart hit for Garifuna music, with a soulful blend of African percussion and guitar. The music expresses the endangered cultural traditions of the Garinagu people, who began migrating to countries like Belize in the 1700 and 1800s. While is collaborators are still working to keep the music alive, the country of Belize is not as influenced by the genre as they were when Palacio was alive. Elsewhere in the world, however, Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel released an album this past summer with a Collective of the music entitled “Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me”, with seven Collective members on their current tour. Michel first encountered Garifuna while he volunteered at a school in Belize.

August 19, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Paranormal Activity
Yes. Someone asked about paranormal activity. The good Doctor has some experience in that...

Editorial- Holding Elected Officials Accountable for Their Actions
Some of us hold jobs that put us in the public light, and in some cases our public actions and behavior can reflect poorly on our employers. Although we are all entitled to our own lives outside of the workplace, it’s a tough position to be in at times when you may feel your actions are “censored” just because of who you work for. The bottom line is being accountable for your behavior and in circumstances when an employee is found publicly offensive or inappropriate the result can be reprimand by the embarrassed employer or even termination. Of course these are choices that each individual is free to make; what is more important, unabashed, unapologetic behavior or a job that most likely holds some social status, is intellectually challenging and pays above average? This situation especially holds true for those who choose to politically serve the community, fully knowing that their private life and public actions will fall under the scrutiny of their constituents and those who voted for them. Who do these public servants have to answer to when their behavior is disappointing when in essence we, the public, are their employers?

Woofer: Hot Dog
Language barriers can really cause a problem. For example, what is a hot dog?

Misc Belizean Sources

King of the Hills Bicycle Race
The King of the Hills bicycle race, sponsored by Belikin, was yesterday. They got some pictures of the event, including the winners receiving their awards. Congratulations, Giovanni Choto of Belikin Western Spirit, for winning the race.

SFDC Deciennial Celebration Pictures
The Succotz Festival Drum Corps had quite an event yesterday. D Russell Photography captured some great shots. Looks like there was quite a band turnout.


Ok the dog did not really eat my homework, that is an excuse for Dr Al as to why I did not finish my Corozal part 2 post yet because I know he is waiting for it ASAP After a full day of rest yesterday, I was feeling a bit better and intending to finish it this morning, but I decided in the interest of recuperating from my head cold that I needed some private pool time instead. Normally I would not go swimming when sick bit it has been so hot the past few days and there is nothing like a good float relax and feel better. Rushing off to a conservation meeting/brainstorming session up north and part 2 will have to wait till tomorrow.

Two Favorites on Ambergris Caye: Ak’Bol Yoga Retreat & Eco Resort and the Belize Chocolate Factory
Favorite #1: Yesterday I went to the best swimming dock on Ambergris Caye…Ak’Bol Eco Resort about 1 and 1/2 miles north of the bridge. Each morning, there is a yoga class out on this GORGEOUS dock and though I have never been, I can only imagine the experience is transcendental. We took the Coastal Express water taxi from Amigos Del Mar dock in town. It’s a really quick ride…less than 10 minutes. If you are in town, you can also easily ride a bike to Ak’Bol…it’s only a few miles. Let me just post my pictures for you. I didn’t really pick & choose because in my mind, this giant dock with it many levels and perfect sandy bottom swimming area and smooth, cool palapa and beach bar with great food and drinks is just well…perfect.

It’s Official – Belize is a Very happy Country
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s events planner, Denise Duran, said that discovering that Belize was listed as one of the top five happiest countries on earth according to the global Happiness Index, comes as no surprise to her. “At Chaa Creek I speak with visitors to Belize all of the time, and they constantly remark on how cheerful Belizeans are,” Ms Duran said, “So I’m not really surprised to hear that we’re officially very happy.” The Happiness Index is an annual report compiled by the New Economics Foundation that for 2013 measured the wellbeing of 151 different nations using a variety of indicators such as global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being and ecological footprints to rank countries according to a Happy Planet Index (HPI). According to this year’s report, Costa Rica was the happiest country, with an HPI of 64.0, with Belize coming in at number four with an HPI of 59.3. “Guests often remark that Belize and Costa Rica are similar, in that we have large protected wildlife areas, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed, peaceful feel, so I can understand that.” she said.

How an Unexpected Delay Led to a Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio, Belize
Sometimes, when it seems like things are going from bad to worst, all you gotta do is hang in there for a bit until the sun comes out again. After barely being allowed into Belize, we were able to get to the insurance office on time. At 3:00p.m. we were still harboring hopes that we’d be able to get down to Belize City in time to catch the 4:30p.m. Water Taxi to Caye Caulker. “So, Insurance Guy, how far are we from Belize city?” Insurance Guy, who looked suspiciously Guatemalan, responded in perfect Belizean-accented English: Oh, about 2… maybe 2 and a half hours.” Our hopes dashed, I mentally made a note to check the wireless signal on my Guatemalan Tigo modem when the vehicle’s paperwork was complete. After meeting the all-Black crew manning the Customs’ entry port, I assumed, like an idiot, that the guy was a Guatemalan guy that lived across the border. So, I asked Insurance Guy where he was from.

“Brass in Pocket” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Got up yesterday morning really looking forward to the day ahead of me. This is the state of mind I generally have but yesterday was different. It was the start of the Premiership season and Arsenal’s first game, a home one against Aston Villa. Sitting on my veranda with a mug of black coffee I had a sense of trepidation. How will Arsenal fare this season with a lack of any meaningful acquisitions? Also would I be able to access their game on the TV? Why was I concerned about this? Because screening rights for the EPL (English Premier League) moved this season from Fox Soccer (which I have always been able to find/access on the TV) to NBC? Last season Fox Soccer televised at least three games simultaneously. Would this be the case for NBC? By 08.00 hours (the local time for kick-off) I had located the NBC channel (103 for anyone that is interested). Even better than that – (or so I thought at the time)- the Arsenal match was the game that was going to be screened. Ninety minutes later (actually throughout most of the ensuing ninety minutes) I wished it hadn’t been. “Why?” I can ‘hear’ you ask. Because Arsenal were abjectly and maladroitly poor and, not surprisingly, lost the game.

International Sources

Cockscomb Basin: Where the big cats are
Jaguars roam Belize’s tropical Cockscomb forest, the heart of a pioneering plan to carve a green corridor linking the big cat species across the region. As humans increasingly destroy big cat habitats around the world, this breathtaking Central American wilderness offers conservationists a rare piece of good news. Compared to the dire fate of lions and tigers, jaguar numbers remain relatively healthy. And nowhere has a denser population of the Western Hemisphere’s largest feline than the sprawling, primeval landscape of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This 128,000-acre expanse of tropical forest — reminiscent of a scene from Jurassic Park — offers the solitary cats their perfect environment of virgin jungles and rivers in which to hide and a rich diet of peccary (a pig-like mammal), paca (a rodent the size of a large terrier), and armadillos. Just as importantly, locals largely respect the laws prohibiting hunting jaguars — other than farmers on those rare occasions when the carnivores attack their livestock. No wonder, then, that scientists believe Cockscomb is home to as many as 80 breeding-age adults, with others regularly coming and going from neighboring protected areas in Guatemala and Mexico.

Norwegian doubles up on islands
I just don’t know why cruise lines didn’t go ahead and rebuild most of the Caribbean. Of course, I’m kidding — well, a bit. Yet another cruise line is building its own port. Norwegian Cruise Line is taking the big step this time, buying 75 acres on the southern side of Belize. This will be the second port built by Norwegian. Carnival built one in Roatan, and Royal Caribbean built one in Jamaica, at Falmouth. Now here is what makes me a little apprehensive. If Norwegian is going to build a second port does that mean if, say, there are four stops on a 7-day cruise will two of them will be ports owned by the cruise line. If that’s the case, well…it’s not such a good idea. I can cope with one on a 7-day cruise and that’s it. Most lines do have one and sometimes, depending on the brand, they share another. I want to experience the “real” Caribbean and West Indies. I love ports like Barbados, St. Maarten and many others and, as long as I don’t miss out on the real thing, I’m okay. The new destination will be

Norwegian Cruise Line plans to develop eco-friendly destination in Belize
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it has purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with anair strip. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million in the project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO. “In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.” Norwegian has retained IDEA Inc. of Orlando, Florida to design the destination and bring the project to fruition. IDEA is an industry leading designer of branded ports of call and branded destinations for the hospitality, entertainment and tourism industries. IDEA has worked with private developers, government ministries, and independent agencies to create branded destinations in Alaska; Florida; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; Mexico; St. Kitts; Honduras; Bahamas; and Jamaica.

Three arrested over Kiwi's death in Belize
Three men have been arrested over the murder of an elderly New Zealand man in Belize. Barry Blayney, 76, was found dead at his grocery shop in the village of Crooked Tree last week, l7 News Belize reported. His hands and feet had been bound and his mouth had been taped. Local websites reported that say Blayney had been killed by thieves who had targeted his store, which he had run for several years. Village View Post reported that the three young men taken into custody did not come from Crooked Tree. Rudolph Crawford, from Crooked Tree, told 7 News Belize: "[Blayney] had a little pretty shop, nothing much - just to keep him going and I have the belief that they thought he had money, that's all I could think."

30 things to do before you die
MOST bucket lists include things like 'go on an adventure in a far-off land', 'learn a new language' or 'buy a dream car'. While all of these experiences can make our lives more exciting, the reason we crave these activities goes a little deeper. What drives each of these desires is one common connector, an innate yearning to belong and to feel love. When we do what we love, we become an expression of love and our happiness is infectious. As I check off my own adventure list - skydiving, going swimming with wild dolphins, climbing Mayan Ruins in Belize - I find that with each activity I complete, I feel a sense of accomplishment, purpose and self-worth. Which led me to think about our human desire to make a difference and live life more fully. All of us want the same thing: to be happy and live a wonderful life. But how we meet this need often differs from person to person.

Breaking Bad "Buried" Review: Home Is Where the Hurt Is
As the Belize Tourism Board sounded the alarm to undo all the damage Saul Goodman did in "Buried," the stellar follow-up to the Season 5b's premiere "Blood Money," so too were the sirens blaring for Walter, Hank, and Skyler. Breaking Bad is showing complete disregard for the health of America's hearts as it moves along in its final season intent on giving the pacemaker industry more business than it can handle. If last week was the slap in the face for Heisenberg's unmasking unhatting, this week was when the sting was felt. And "Buried" showed that sting would be felt where it could hurt Walter most: by everyone within spitting distance of him. Sure, the meat of Breaking Bad's final season is watching eagerly to see if Walter the drug kingpin meets a grisly fate or if he ends the series out on top, but there's also the matter of how big the crater is where Walter's home and family life used to be when all is said and done.

Fun in Belize with the Kids
Belize is known to be a paradise for many people who have been there, given the natural beauty of the place. The hot sun and the cooling waters of the beach coupled with various places of interests and fun things to do make the place truly a nice addition to anyone’s travel bucket list – even for those with kids. Yep, the picturesque sunsets and beaches give the place a romantic air about it, but those are not the only things that Belize can offer as it also has various activities that the whole family can enjoy.

The One Time Electronic Equipment Absolutely Belongs on the Ocean Floor
Like an underwater Google Street View, a new project studies our declining coral reefs by capturing them up-close, on film. It is hard to find clearer waters in the Western Hemisphere than those off the coast of Belize. During an hour-long ride in a rubber Zodiac moving fast over the light blue shallows—whether headed for Turneffe, Lighthouse or Glovers reef—these waters would seem to be among the least troubled on the planet. But looks can be deceiving. It is no secret that reefs around the world are at great risk: Estimates of how many have already been lost range from 40 to 80 percent. Despite the aquamarine waters, the famed reefs off Belize have not escaped harm. Across the Caribbean, it’s estimated that 80 percent of the coral has been lost during the past half century thanks to overfishing, pollution and a changing climate, which is heating up the ocean and turning it more acidic. A 2009 survey off Belize showed its reef badly damaged, with up to 75 percent of it at risk of dying off. Thanks to an innovative new study—the Caitlin Seaview Survey—evidence this summer suggests the damage to the reefs off Belize may have leveled off, and they are even showing some signs of a comeback.

August 18, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Lighthouse Christian Radio hosts Swim Splash Camp
Lighthouse Christian Radio held a three-day swimming camp with USA National Team Triathlete, Casey Bateman. The Swim Splash Camp encompassed swim techniques, water safety, swim stroke methods and basic triathlon training. The camp took place on Monday, August 12th and ran through Wednesday, August 14th at the beach in front of Holiday Hotel and was attended by approximately 30 children from ages 7-18. “This camp is aimed to give children the basic techniques of swimming while providing a safe environment for the children to learn and develop in their swimming,” said Clive Welch, manager of Lighthouse Christian Radio. Due to the proximity of the sea, children here in San Pedro usually learn to swim at an early age, but at many times this is done without proper adult guidance which can be dangerous. “Everyone swims here in San Pedro, but as far as techniques go we do not have that. It is very important that children learn the proper way to swim. Parents should also be more aware of children while they are swimming,” said Welch.

Woofer: Hot Dog
Language barriers can really cause a problem. For example, what is a hot dog?

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: "Kids in Action" Scuba Fun Dive 2013
PADI Suba Certification Fun Dive at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

SFDC Celebration
The Succotz Festival Drum Corps had their big celebration yesterday.


Educators Align National Curriculum To School Curriculum to Improve Student Performance
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the leadership program current principals and vice-principals took at the Corozal Junior College. The program is geared at creating Quality Child friendly Schools which will in turn improve the education system since children will be able to improve in their performance. There are many aspects in good leadership and one of those is being able to identify the weaknesses of ones school and working towards improving those areas. Numeracy is a concern for the entire country and every year it seems as if there is no improvement. However, things are expected to change as those who took part in the program will now go back to their respective classrooms and implement what they learnt in order to improve the education system. Gregorio Moralez, San Narciso Government School “The entire presentation that you see today has been based on all the numerously throughout the curriculum from the infant division to standard six.”

Meet Belize's Delegates For International Pageants
The crowning of the Miss America Latina Del Mundo 2013 is scheduled to take place in Cancun Mexico on Saturday August 31st and Belize will be represented. Twenty year old Jasmine Middleton from Corozal Town will travel to Cancun where she will be joining delegates from 30 different Latin countries taking part in the competition, and the international event activities set to begin tomorrow August 18th. Middleton has participated from the age of 16 in many pageants including Queen of the Bay 2008 in Corozal. In 2011 she was named the winner of the Miss Bitmore Best Western Swimsuit Contest and in 2012 she won the title of the Reina Del Tropico Belize and she was named the winner of the Miss Friendship Award in Honduras for the Reina Del Tropico International 2012 Pageant. Middleton also represented Belize in the 2012 Miss Costa Maya International Pageant and was the second runner up for the Miss World Belize 2009 pageant.

CJC Records Increase In Student Intake
With over 26 years of serving the northern community, this year Corozal Community College witnessed a 10 % increase of student intake for the opening of the new school year. This morning, freshman students from across the north, flooded the schools auditorium as they were given a warm welcome and a tour of the compound. Jose Mai – Dean MJC “Today we are having an orientation for the new students and the purpose of this orientation is to introduce students to college life, we also want to acclimatize students to their new surroundings and we also want to provide the students with an opportunity to meet the teacher, an opportunity for the students to see where they would be having their classes, the type of infrastructure that we have.” According to Jose Mai, Dean of CJC, a 10% increase in student enrolment is prove that as years go by more students are becoming interested in the different courses that the educational institution has to offer.

Children Promote Diabetes Awareness
It is estimated that as many as 13.1 percent of Belizeans over the age of twenty are affected by diabetes placing Belize as the country with the uppermost cases of diabetes related deaths in the Caribbean. Diabetes is a mounting health problem which has gained the name of silent killer because many, who are suffering from the disease, don’t even know they do. In order to raise awareness about the disease, a group of approximately 30 children took to the streets of Corozal Town today with one aim: to let people know that diabetes does exist and it does not discriminate. Julio Uk, organizer Diabetes Awareness Campaign “Today we are creating awareness through riding for diabetes education and prevention, so that the people of Corozal might be aware that there is preventative measures that can be taken for people who suffer from diabetes and those who already have diabetes, that there is way to control them, so Community Restore is creating awareness, we are telling the community that we are here to support any family that is enduring diabetes. We have about 30 kids participating toady on the bike-a-ton.”

No Potable Water In Guinea Grass
For six months now residents of Sarteneja in Corozal have had the terrible experience of not having a single drip of potable water. While the situation there is being looked into, residents of Guinea Grass Village are also experiencing the same problem. While they have not been out of potable water for six months, residents are frustrated since they find the need to fill their buckets at night. The situation is that water pressure is very in certain areas of the village, but that’s not what has resident up in arms. They claim that the water is purposely being cut-off, so, today we headed out to the village in search of answers. One resident, who did not wish to appear on camera, told us that the lack of water has been affecting her in many ways. Resident, Guinea Grass Village “Estan cortando el agua y no han dicho porque lo cortan en la noche y no lo ponen de nuevo has como las once el día siguiente. Esto me está afectando porque no puedo lavar y en este tiempo necesitamos el agua. Sé que algunos no están pagando y por ellos los demás están pagando yo pago pero otros no y ahora hasta yo estoy sufriendo las consecuencias eso no es justo porque yo pago. Entiendo que quieren meter el sistema de meter y eso va a estar más duro porque ya no vamos a poder gastar la cantidad de agua qué usamos ahorita porque entonces si se nos va a empezar a cobrar por la cantidad de agua que uno usa y eso va a estar más duro. Si eso pasa yo abro mi poso mejor.” Chairman of the village, Jose Hernandez, told us via phone that he too shares the same concern but the situation is beyond his control. According to the chairlady of the village’s water board, Angela Pech, what’s affecting the water system is that during the rainy season, when there is lightning and thunder, the electricity plant which controls the water pump, trips off. She has informed the maintenance operator of the glitch and he has been working on the issue.

BelizeCan Continues The Fight Against Gender Policy
The 2013 National Revised Gender Policy is back in the headlines as it continues to be the cause of controversy. Despite all the negativity drawn by the document, since according to the religious sector, it promotes homosexuality; government is going full speed ahead in its implementation. So much so that reports are that GOB has added a Gender Department at the University of Belize in Belmopan although they claim to be awaiting the requested changes on the policy by members of the Clergy. The alleged opening of the department is already receiving disapproval, at least on behalf of BelizeCan. Patrick Menzies- President BelizeCan “Well we have both folks from both inside and out that have informed us that they are going to have a Gender Department created at UB and we have them telling us that the university has passed out copies of the Gender Policy to the staff and that Anne Marie Williams is already there and she is the one who is going to be heading the department. What they are doing Is sensitizing the staff and there are also plans to have classes and because Monday is the first day of class we are doing what we can to bring attention to this and to block that implementation of that department because we believe that is plan to down the wrong road. We will also be having a demonstration in front of the National Assembly and we are asking the P.M to stop that because they already said that they are going to consider the churches input on the policy so we want that they keep their commitment and retract the policy while changes are being done.”


“You’ll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties” in San Pedro, Ambergris Cate, Belize.
I forgot to mention in the previous edition that when we met with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, we had told him that we had chosen someone other than him to build the fence for us. Even though it was obvious that he was disappointed Daniel, being Daniel (and by this I mean a genuinely nice guy), proceeded to ask how we were going to have it constructed. When I explained what we had decided upon he very quickly suggested changes that he said would provide for a much stronger structure. During the course of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we have come to trust Daniel’s judgement/knowledge/advice so we are going to go with his recommendations. Little doubt that the adoption of them will increase the cost. But we will have a fence that is a lot stronger and one that should last a lot longer. After a morning taking care of various bits and pieces Rose and I went to Estel’s for lunch – shrimp omelette for me and a burger for Rose (no photos because quite honestly I wanted to eat my lunch and not delay this whilst taking photos of it – inconsiderate/selfish ? You bet) – and after finishing it we went straight to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there shortly after 15.00 hours.

Belize Travel – Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, an island with the motto “Go Slow” and not a single paved road, has become Belize’s own backpacker paradise. With cheap accommodation and reasonably priced tours, the Caye offers backpackers a chance to experience Caribbean living without going over budget. Prices are rising as more and more developers move in but for now, Caye Caulker still remains a relatively calm, laid back island retreat. Located a short 45 minute boat ride from Belize City, Caye Caulker is filled with activities that could easily keep you busy for a week or more… or you might just want to spend that week lounging on a beach hammock. The island is small, around 5 miles long, and unfortunately doesn’t have any real beaches. That being said, there is plenty to see and do. To start with, you have to check out the island and the best way to do that is by renting a bike or for a bit more speed, a golf cart. Cars are kind of pointless on an island this small and you can actually easily walk to most of the main “attractions” from the center of town.

International Sources

Maku Solicits Support for Under-Privileged People
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has pleaded with Nigerians to always render assistance to less-privileged members of the society. Maku made the appeal in a keynote address he delivered at a dinner, organised by the Belize Consulate in Abuja. The fund-raising event was held in collaboration with the Nigeria-Belize Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. It was organised to solicit financial support for the establishment of an Inspiration Centre, a brain-child of Belize’s Prime Minister’s wife, Kim Barrow, aimed at helping the under-privileged.

Get Going to Belize
Belize is a unique nation in many ways. Although bordered by the Spanish-speaking nations of Mexico and Guatemala, English is the official language, though Spanish and Creole are widely spoken. Modern Belizeans are a mix of Black African, Mayan Indian, Carib Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Mennonite and European influences. One of the most famous attractions to Belize is its well-conserved environment. Both the land and underwater ecosystems of Belize are home to diverse families of flora and fauna, attracting the attention of visitors, scientists and environmental organizations alike. Make sure to bring your scuba gear, because Belize has the world’s second-longest barrier reef. As you explore beyond the coastline, keep your eyes peeled for the Blue Hole, a 1,000-foot-diameter hole in the center of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Over 400 feet deep, Blue Hole is the place to be for recreational diving. You’ll be able to tell everyone you swam with the sharks when you visit Shark Ray Alley, part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a protected barrier reef. Visitors to the alley will encounter nurse sharks and southern sting rays, easily recognized through clear water. Other marine ecosystems to check out are Half Moon Caye, home to nearly a hundred bird species, and Laughing Bird Caye, popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Consolidated Water Provides Growth And Dividends
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO) operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in the Virgin Islands, Belize, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. The company operates in three segments; Retail, which provides services to residential end users, Bulk, which supplies water to government utilities and Services, which designs, constructs and sells desalination plants to third parties and offers plant management and operating services. The company's desalination technology can produce fresh water from seawater which makes it extremely valuable in coastal regions with little or no fresh water available. Shares have nearly doubled since last November on strong operating results but still sit at less than half of the company's all-time highs. At this point, with the dividend roughly equivalent to the 10-year Treasury yield, investors may be wondering if there is any further value in CWCO shares. I'll argue here that long-term tailwinds should continue to drive the stock higher but that a pullback would provide some margin of safety.

August 17, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

PM Barrow welcomes revocation of Commerce Bight Lease
Prime Minister Barrow has welcomed the decision of the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero, to revoke the lease of Commerce Bight Port. The Prime Minister says that the decadent state in which the Commerce Bight Port was found after being in private hands for over 11 years shows the ugly face of the misguided policy of unbridled privatisation pursued by the PUP Government when vital national assets were sold out for short-term gains. The port privatisation exercise relentlessly followed by the previous Government has proved to be a dismal failure, says the Prime Minister. The so-called ‘strategic investor’, Port of Belize Ltd. Owned by businessman Luke Espat, to whom Port Loyola was sold and Commerce Bight Port leased in 2002, is now in receivership. All the grandiose development plans for the two Ports which were given as the reason for privatization are now no more than a dream.

Government of Belize Revokes Lease Granted to Port of Belize Limited
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, The Honourable Rene Montero, Minister responsible for Ports, as authorized by Cabinet, and in accordance with Clause 16 of the Lease, signed an order revoking the Lease granted to Port of Belize Limited (PBL), to operate and manage the Commerce Bight Port, and arranged for possession and control of the Port by the Belize Port Authority with immediate effect. The revocation came as a result of the breach of the following terms and conditions: (a) Clause14.1. PBL has failed to submit a development plan or to carry out any development works at the Port as required by this Clause. This breach alone is sufficient under Clause 16 to revoke the Lease. (b) Clause 4.1. PBL has failed to operate and manage the Port or to carry out the necessary dredging of the approach channel and the dock basin, as required under this Clause. (c) Clause 10. PBL has failed to pay the lease rental to the Government of Belize in accordance with this Clause.

Belize Rotary Club helps address water challenges affecting San Mateo
Rotary Club Distributes Filter Buckets-1Water is one of the basic needs for all humans and it has been the center of world discussion in almost every international forum. The statistics worldwide gives a wider picture of the challenges faced by mankind to tackle water related problems. One community that contributes to the alarming global statistics is San Mateo, situated in the heart of Belize’s prime tourism destination, Ambergris Caye. For that reason the Rotary Club of Belize, working along with US expatriate Ann Kuffner, are leading a cause that will help minimize waterborne illnesses by providing water filter buckets. Water and the globe According to the United Nations (UN), 11% of the world’s population or 783 million people are still living without improved sources of drinking water. In fact, currently 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation due to a shortage in water. The UN also reports that every 20 seconds a child dies as a result of poor sanitation; it is equivalent to 1.5 million preventable deaths each year. Worldwide, diarrhea continues to be the leading cause of illness and death, and 88% of diarrhea deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities along with inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water. But with improved sanitation and safe drinking water, 90% of diarrhea related diseases could be reduced.

Ambergris Today

Giant Squid Carcass Found at Belize Blue Hole?
Remnants of Large Squid Found by Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop - The crew of Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop seems to always have the best of luck when it comes to new discoveries while they are out at sea during their daily tours. A while back they discovered a prehistoric-looking creature that looked like a cross between an eel and a large-mouthed fish, clearly a deep sea dwelling creature. Earlier this week, they found remnants of a very large squid! “It’s a giant squid!” remarked many residents when they saw this elongated body part. The crew of Amigos Del Mar made the discovery once again during one of their trips to the Great Blue Hole of Belize. They picked up this dead creature out of the water and were startled by its size.

Norwegian Cruise Line Plans To Develop $50Mil Eco-Friendly Destination In Belize
Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ: NCLH) announced today that it has purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million in the project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO. “In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Junior DJ Spin-off
Courts is having their Junior DJ Spin-off tomorrow at their Belmopan store, from 9:00am until noon. The competition is for 13 to 19 year olds, and the winner will get a $500 school grant. DJ Richie will be the host, and Cloud 9, Eclipse Sounds, and Black Chiney will make special appearances. Remember DJ's: No talking over the music, people don't want to hear your voices, that's what MC's are for. Big difference.

Conference for Life at GPC
The George Price Centre is having a Conference for Life tomorrow, starting at 9:00am, and all females ages 10 and over are invited. The United Christian Women's Alliance Belize is organizing the event, and it includes food and snacks. For more information, email

Belize Bank Presents Scholarships
Getting ready for the upcoming school season, Belize Bank awarded 13 students scholarships. Congratulations to the students, and a big thanks to Belize Bank! "The Belize Bank gives thirteen scholarships to high school and sixth form students across the country. The scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum 2.75 average. But the bank is also lending its human resources to the program. In each district that has recipients, a bank employee will become a mentor for the student. The students are also obligated to be accountable for absences and their performance. During a brief ceremony this morning the bank also gave school supplies to the scholarship recipients. In 2012, 25 scholarships were given to students."

Courts Presents Scholarships
Courts presented 10 scholarships to students throughout Belize, and 5 of them were from Cayo. Congratulations, students, and a big thanks to Courts for investing in the future of Belize. "A hearty congratulations to our scholarship recipients....we are so proud of you... Keep up the good work!"

San Joaquin Festival and September Celebrations
The 47th San Joaquin Festival is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 16 through 18 Aug 2013, in San Joaquin, Corozal District. Also, we have posted the schedule for Corozal Town's September Celebrations: To see the schedule for the San Joaquin Festival, click on each of the icons on the Calendar above. For the September Celebrations, go to the full calendar page and click on any of the icons there.

Channel 7

Stevedores Continue To Press Against “Pancho”
Last night, 7News told you about the meeting at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Center in Belize City, in which the Waterfront Workers met with the other members of the Christian Workers Union to try to get their support to rally against Union President Antonio Gonzalez. As we’ve reported, they’re trying to get Gonzalez and General Secretary James McFoy to step down, and they had given him until midday yesterday. But all indications are that he ignored their demands, and that the earliest date which he intends to step down is in March of next year. So, we were imbedded in that meeting last night, we’ve prepared a short excerpt on the presentations made by the different speakers: Raymond Rivers - Waterfront Workers Representative "When was the last time Mr. Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy ever submitted anything at all? Financial reports, being present at the jobsite - look at the conditions of the work, especially in Stevedores. That is why we have come to this point and say that it is time -- you used to do good for us but it's really time now." Dion Ras Pitta - Waterfront Workers Representative "Are you satisfied with Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. McFoy conducting business on your behalf? Anyone satisfied?" Audience "No"

Port Receiver Says No More Negotiations Until CWU Stabilizes
So, there is turmoil within the Christian Worker’s Union, as we have been showing you all this week, and the direct effect that this has on one of their functions is to negotiate on behalf of the stevedores with the Port of Belize on a Collective Bargaining Agreement. This agreement has, in fact, been long-delayed for years because each side held on to their strong positions with very little compromise. Well, because the stevedores are the ones leading this campaign against Antonio Gonzalez, the negotiations have stalled yet again. Additionally, both sides have agreed in principle that until this issue is cleared up, the CWU cannot continue to negotiate with the Port of Belize’s Administration. We confirmed this as the Port’s position today when we spoke with CEO and Receiver, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, who explained that this movement was foretold. Here’s how he explained why: Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - CEO, Port of Belize "As far as the negotiation is concerned, it appeared that there was something happening because the union - four weeks in a row - had postponed our weekly meetings since we last met with the Labor commissioner to confirm and to agree in front of him that these negotiations would continue. Just before we met with the labor commissioner, the problem that the union had at the time was that their negotiating team had fallen apart and that's one of the reasons that they needed to regroup their negotiating team and then they would continue. All these delays have never been because of the Port of Belize so when we met with the labor commissioner 5 weeks ago, it is in that presence that they agreed that they would remain with their same negotiating team and they would resume their weekly meetings from then on.

GOB Cancels PBL’s Lease For Commerce Bight Port
But, Vasquez as the Receiver of the Port has his own urgent issues to deal with; that’s after the Government of Belize announced today that they are revoking the lease for the Commerce Bight Port in Dangriga. GOB is citing that the revocation is justified because the Administration of the Port of Belize Limited and the Belize Ports Limited has breached 3 clauses in the lease agreement with Government. They say that the administration has failed to submit a development plan or to carry out any development works at the Commerce Beight Port; they’ve failed to operate and manage the port or to carry out dredging of the approach channel and dock basin; and finally that they’ve failed to pay lease rental to Government. Viewers may remember that Government attempted to revoke the lease in March 2008, but the Administration, which was being run by businessman Luke Espat, filed an injunction against government. GOB’s Attorney, Denys Barrow, was finally able, to convince then Justice of the Supreme Court Hafiz-Bertram to discharge it in July of last year. Employees of the Belize Port Authority were activating to assume control of the Commerce Bight Port, when we spoke to Vasquez today. He explained that the administration is seeking legal advice to determine whether it is possible to reverse the take-over:

FCD And Guat’s BALAM Work To Protect Chiquibul
Today in Poptun Guatemala, Executive Director of the Friends for Conservation and Development, Rafael Manzanero signed a bi-naiton plan for the protection of Chiquibul Maya Mountain Range. If that sounds like two different places: "the Maya Mountains" and "Chiquibul" mashed up into one, it isn't - that's what they call the area in Guatemala. And the agreement is a Guatemalan one, an initiative of the Food and Agricultural Organization and BALAM - a Guatemalan Organization for the conservation of natural and cultural resources. But BALAM has teamed up with FCD because what happens in Southern Peten is directly related to what happens in the Chiquibul Forest. Byron Castellanos, the Executive Director of BALAM told Jules Vasquez and KREM Radio's Marisol Amaya - who are in Poptun, what the agreement signifies: Byron Castellanos, Executive Director, BALAM "And basically, the convention we signed today is a convention focused on developing a bi-national project that has actions in Belize and Guatemala to reduce illegal logging in both countries. FCD is our partner in Belize and we as Balam will implement the activities on the side of Guatemala. The importance of this project is that it is focused on reducing illegal logging in Montañas Mayas Chiquibul, taking into account that it is a very important protected area, a natural area from the perspective of Belize and Guatemala.

Salvadoran Caught With 85 Lbs Of Weed
Tonight, 44 year-old Saldvadoran National Jeremias Pichinte is at prison tonight spending a 3 year sentence after he was busted by the Gang Suppression Unit with 85 and a half pounds of marijuana early this morning. According the GSU, they conducted an operation at around 1 a.m., at the uppler flat of the St. Anthony Trading Center Building, located on Princess Margaret Drive. There they found Pichinte in the second flat, and when they tried to enter, they found him on the back verandah trying to throw away a crocus sack. They detained him, and took him down stairs, where they retrieved the sack. The opened it up, and found 52 pounds of marijuana in 12 small parcels. They also searched his room, and found another 35 and a half pounds in a black garbage bag. This second amount was packaged off in 62 small plastic bags.

NCL's Floating Pier Concept At Harvest Caye
For the past two nights we've been telling you all about the proposed cruise terminal that Norwegian Cruise Lines has planned for the south of Belize at Harvest Caye. It's a lot of minutes of coverage, but, to be fair, the details of the project have been shared publicly in unprecedented fashion. With past cruise terminals, or proposed terminals, we've never gotten a public ventilation of the Memorandum of Understanding. Tonight, we'll look at the concept of a floating pier, which would become Belize's first berthing facility, plus the issue of jobs - how many and when. Here's our final look at Wednesday’s press conference: Daniel Ortiz reporting The single pier will be designed, they say for minimal environmental impact, supported by 25 piles Hugh Darley - Bze Project Manager - NCL "We've got a floating pier system - why floating? Because that is a smaller impact, small foot print - we saw a lot of this in Alaska. When you talk about sensitive waters and where you are, the less concrete, the less structure and the less construction that it takes - floating piers allow us to build it on land and be floated out and put in place; it has minimal amount piles.

BTIA Placencia: Speak Up On NCL Project
And so while the idea there is not to inundate the south - it kind of also is. And that's because while Norwegian is developing a destination on Harvest caye where they hope their visitors will stay and spend all their money, their also zoning in on as many as 60 villages in the south that hardly get any tourism. But Placencia Chapter President Stewart Krohn says you can’t have it both ways. Here's more form our conversaiton with him yesterday:.. Stewart Krohn - President, Placencia BTIA "I am just speaking on behalf of the Placencia BTIA chapter, the national BTIA has a board - that board has to consider things, please make it clear I'm speaking from one little small organization. But don't make the mistake of thinking that it's just the BTIA that is against this thing, if you look at the Belize Hotel Association, Placencia Tour Guide Association, Toledo Branch of BTIA, Southern Environmental Association - and there are more environmental groups that have not put things to paper. So this is not just some BTIA thing, it's not just a Placencia thing, it's not just a Southern thing - this is a National thing. I realize for someone to go and stand up and fight the government, it is not easy - I have to say, I cannot blame anyone, no matter how against this thing they might be - I can't blame you if you don't come out and make a big fuss on the TV like I am. But there are other ways that you can support what we're doing - speak to your area rep and say that 'this thing can't work, this thing doesn't make sense' - listen to the arguments. No one has to stand up and wave your flag and make yourself an enemy because we know that people have to live, people want scholarships for their children, people want land and everything from government because they play such a large role in our lives."

New Special Constables For Belize City
Tonight, the Belize City Council has a 13 shiny new Special Constables who have been trained by the Belize Police Department. It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from this effort at community policing, so today, we attended their graduation and passing out into active duty. Here’s how the Senior Special Constable explained his confidence in these new officers: Clifton Perez - Senior Special Constable "I am confident that they have learned these things and that the practical implications when they hit the streets tomorrow, Sunday or next week that they are prepared for any challenges they face." Andrew Morgan - Special Constable "As one of the 13 candidates who took and completed the special constable course which was held from the 5th - 16th of August, 2013. This course was timely as enforcement officers, we were taught the basic art of policing."

Belize Host’s CA Table Tennis Masters Tournament
The Belize Table Tennis Association is preparing to host the 15th Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships. It is a big opportunity for Belize because it is the first time Belize will be housing the tournament, and because the Central American Table Tennis Confederations are adding a new category. The President of the Association told us more: Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - Belize Table Tennis Association "The 15th Central American Masters Tennis Champions will take place in Belize from the 13th - 16th of September right in the middle of the September Celebrations. It's a first for Belize, it's the 15th of course and it's all the Central American countries, masters or veterans and it's a tournament that will be played between 5 categories, starting with 30-39, 40-49, 60-64, 65-70 and 70 and above. All individual matches will be played within their age category and for the first time in Belize and for the first time in this tournament, a team tournament is being introduced so Belize will be the first in having a team in this event. A team will be the same players playing within the same category as team members - two to a team."

“Ballers For Life” Was Successful
Last week, we showed you the Ballers For Life camp organized by the Basketball Federation of Belize. It was an effort by the Federation to train the young generation of ballers by giving them an outlet for the summer, and to brush up on their skills. It concluded today with a tournament where the ballers showed off their skills, and 7News dropped by to see how much they’ve improved. The President of the Belize Basketball Federation told us about its success: Paul Thompson - President, BBF "The Belize Basketball Federation is conducting a countrywide summer camp, it started August 7th and its finishing today with this big rally that we're having. This camp is our hall mark initiative that we have for our youths programme, so this year we had little over 700 participants in the countrywide camps. Today where it's culminated all the campers from the different districts come to Belize City and participate in a competition verses each other. At the end there will be a champion and there will be a prize. This is annual Ballers for Life summer camp that’s held and this is our third one and it has been successful so far, this accomplishes many things and it brings together the basketball community from across the country - so we're building a community, a family. Also what it does for us, it gives us an opportunity to see the talent that we have at the younger ages, we as a federation participate in the youth categories internationally, u14, U-16, U-17 and this is a grand opportunity for us to see what we have out there and it's also a good opportunity for each district to compete against each other. We love to compete, that's a part of our makeup, it accomplishes many things here by having this camp."

The Third Fiyaa Haawth Festival
If you are a lover of some good ole fiyaa haawth cooking, then on Saturday Willow’s Bank Village is where you might want to be. It’s the village 3rd annual Fiyaa Haawth festival – and yesterday one of the organizers’ stopped by our studios to tell us why this year’s event is considered bigger and better. Natalie Palacio - Vice Chairman, Willows Bank "Well this year we have the radla for the Fyah Hawth competition which is the featured event, as well as Coconut Husking, bicycle racers, slow bicycle race and also greasy pole, watermelon eating competition, beer drinking competition and I can't forget the two for $5.00 Kubuli beer special. The Willow's Bank kitchen is going to be a base kitchen and we also have villagers coming from near and far to have booths that they will also be selling food and desserts, so that's the place you want to be."

Ras Indio’s New Single
Last night, we showed you the Belizean launch of the Garifuna Colletive album called “AYO”, for which they toured heavily in cities in the North America to promote. Well, another well-traveled artist is Ras Indio, who’s performed all over the world trying to promote Belizean music. He’s been in Belize shooting a music video for his new single, and he dropped by to explain why he teamed up with several very talented artists. Here’s how he explained the song and the video: Ras Indio - Artist "Well it speaks for itself as we've been saying - the time is now. It's time now for Belizean artists to buss out and make themselves known to the world. We have some artists here who have represented themselves in different sectors in Belize and I have someone all the way from Nigeria on this track." Deadly on the Beats - Belizean Hitmaker Productions "Basically this track is called 'Time is now" with Belizean artists, Belizean producers, Belizean directors, we're all making a statement saying that it's our time to take it up another notch."

Channel 5

Another G.O.B. Takeover…this time Port of Belize’s Commerce Bight
Since entering into receivership in January 2012, Port of Belize Limited, under the administration of Arturo Vasquez, has undertaken significant expansion of its daily operations.  The company was appropriated from [...]

Government says appropriation was necessary, PM welcomes it
The revocation, according to the release, states that Port of Belize Limited failed to honor three essential requirements, including the submission of a development plan to carry out any development [...]

Stevedores want Christian Workers Union Execs to resign
The executive of the Christian Workers Union, led by president Antonio Gonzalez, has been experiencing an upheaval within its membership, particularly from a gang of stevedores, who contend that they [...]

Negotiations between stevedores and Port at a standstill
Amidst the apparent implosion of the Christian Workers Union is the Port of Belize Limited (P.B.L.).  The stevedores, one of nine entities represented by the union, are contracted by P.B.L. [...]

N.T.U.C.B. indefinitely suspends Christian Workers Union
And with all those issues surrounding P.B.L. and the Christian Workers’ Union, the announcement that the C.W.U. had been suspended from inclusion in the National Trade Union Congress of Belize [...]

National Trade Union Congress Supports restructuring PAC
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is one of the most underrated yet important group that promotes and fights for good governance. The PAC makes judgments on government spending by examining [...]

No oil in commercial quantities, unions still negotiating
And since we were on the subjects of finances and benefit to the Belizean people, News Five asked Reneau for an update on the salary adjustment issue. It’s been months [...]

Belmopan resident chopped to the head
A forty-two year old Salvadoran national is currently in serious condition at the Western Regional Hospital. Amilcar Alvarado Cortez was chopped to the head and hand on Thursday evening while [...]

GSU busts north side resident with 85.5 pounds of weed
What does a person do with eighty five and a half pounds of marijuana? Get busted by the police of course. On Friday August sixteenth, 2013 the Gang Suppression Unit [...]

U-20 women football national team headed to UNCAF competition
The under-twenty female football team is leaving Belize on Tuesday to represent Belize in the UNCAF tournament in Comayagua, Honduras. The team has been preparing since July for the tournament [...]

Belize currently ranked at 10 in 8th Wonder of the World Competition
The Blue Hole is at the top ten slot to possibly become the eighth wonder of the world. That’s the news coming out of the Belize Tourism Board following its [...]

Ras Indio’s new video “The Time is Now”
Ras Indio, the offspring of Bredda David has grown into his own brand of music a long time ago. Indio is not just a reggae singer, but also a promoter [...]

Trained Special Constables dispersed to city streets
A cohort of thirteen special constables was sworn in this afternoon during a brief ceremony at City Hall.  The commencement exercise saw a group of men and women, mostly employees [...]

Corporate sponsors get serious about youths’ hoop dreams
The Ballers for Life Basketball Summer Camp closed this morning with a rally and inter-district competition at the Saint John’s College gymnasium in Belize City. It’s a program hosted by [...]


San Joaquin Prepares To Celebrate Its 47th Fiesta
The center stage for the 47th annual San Joaquin Fiesta is set for this weekend in the village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District. The entrance of the torch from Bacalar was brought in on the 8th of August which marked the initial commencement of the festival. The site is already being prepared for this year’s event which promises to be bigger and better. Yarely Pol – Committee member “Tomorrow being the 16th, the Feast day we have the last novena at five, then at six we have the mass and then the inauguration of the fair at the park grounds at seven thirty more or less, then after that we have the dance with Youth Connection from Orange Walk plus the games and food, that’s for tomorrow Friday.”

Teachers Trained To Be Counsellors
Teachers in the Orange Walk District are currently partaking in a number of workshops with the aim of improving their teaching skills. In the Orange Walk District, teachers are out in full force acquiring the necessary tools that will aid them in tackling two of the biggest challenges in the teaching profession; reading and problem solving. Noel Lopez, Teacher “It has exposed us to a whole lot of strategies that need to be used in language arts and mathematics.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What are some of those strategies?” Noel Lopez, Teacher “For example we were just now being exposed to using pictures, how you can rearrange pictures in different orders and you can be telling different stories from the same set of pictures. In Language Arts first of all we know that children well English not their first language so now with material that they can relate to children will feel more comfortable for example looking at a picture they will able to make up stories just by looking at it.”

Teachers Attack The Challenges Of The Profession
Primary School teachers are not the only ones receiving assistance for effective delivery of the two most important subject areas, Problem Solving and Language Arts. High School teachers are currently taking part in a workshop that is teaching them how to indentify if a child is going through issues that may impede his/her learning. Counseling is an important area especially at the high school level; however, due to lack of resources, a teacher’s terms of reference must be modified to include also being a councilor. In order for teachers to carry out the job well, they received the necessary training. Licia Castillo, School Councillor, OWTHS “This workshop was to equip teachers with basic counseling skills in the classroom.”

PM Says No To Restructuring Of PAC, NTUCB Says Yes
At the House of Representatives last week the Chairman of the Public Account Committee Julius Espat presented a motion to change the formation of the committee in charge of scrutinizing the spending of the government. While for taxpayers, the configuration of the committee might have sounded like a good idea, the motion was highly criticized and rejected by the Barrow Administration. Here are the Prime Ministers critiques about the motion. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Mr. Speaker I am very sorry, this motion is entirely and wholly misconceive, shot through with procedural and substantive errors from beginning to end and I after I finish speaking ask you for a ruling Mr Speaker because it is my submission that is it out of order and has to fall without merits of the motion being debated. First of all, we are told that it is a motion under 25 of the Standing Orders, even that is wrong, when you look at the substance of what the member has set forward it is really a motion that oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 of the standing orders. Section 25 talks about how you move motions and amendments procedurally, tell you in 26 the period of notice which I see Mr Speaker in the case of a private member, but 89 is what talks particularly about a motion to amend the standing orders and that is what the member is proposing, a motion to amend the standing orders, so it oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 and such a motion requires as I see it here in 89 (1) Mr Speaker, not less than eight clear days’ notice. I see that the speaker is at liberty to contract the noticed period so I imagine that it was put in the order papers in consequence of the Speaker having exercised that jurisdiction but even if we get by that particular procedural difficulty there is another procedural difficulty that it strikes me even you Mr Speaker do not have the authority to waive. Let me read 89 (1) Mr Speaker, unless the Speaker shall otherwise direct not less than eight days’ notice of a motion to amend the standing orders shall be given, presumably you directed and so it is less than eight days and the second part, and the notice shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendment, where is the member draft of the proposed amendment.”

Finally San Estevan/Progresso Road To Be Paved
Works for the upgrading of the San Estevan/Progresso Road was set to commence on the 21st of November 2011 and completed by May 21st 2013, but so far the rehabilitation of the 16 miles stretch of road is nowhere in site. As mentioned last night, the deplorable conditions of the road have been affecting thousands of residents who live in Corozal Southeast and find the need to commute to Orange Walk daily. With their livelihoods affected, residents decided to take a stand and demanded answers from Government. Particularly, they wanted to know why the road had not been fixed; after all, the contract was signed close to two years ago. In order to get the attention of GOB, residents threatened to block the road and even the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry. If it was just a bluff, we will never know, what we do know though is that it surely caught Governments attention and tonight residents of Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso and other surrounding villages, have received a commitment from the Ministry of Works that work on the road will commence in ten working days. This was reveled during a very heated meeting held between residents and representatives of the Ministry of Works yesterday in the Village of Progresso.


Fined and Confined for Weed
In court news, 44 year old Jeremiah Pichinte, a Salvadoran with permanent resident status in Belize, was fined and confined by Magistrate Clive Lino today when he pled guilty to two counts of drug trafficking, one for 33 and a half pounds of cannabis and the other for 52 pounds of cannabis. Pichinte was fined ten thousand dollars and was sentenced to three years for each count. He was given until November 16 to pay the first fine and until December 16 to pay the second fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve three years for each fine. The sentences are to run for the first count and concurrently for the second count. At about one o’clock this morning members of the GSU, went to Pichinte’s residence on Princess Margaret Drive. Upon their arrival they saw Pichinte throw a black plastic bag over a fence. When they retrieved the bag it and searched it they found that it contained 33 and a half pounds of cannabis. The police searched Pichinte’s room and found another black plastic bag which contained 52 pounds of cannabis.

Woman Police Back In Court for Extortion
In June this year the charge of extortion against her was struck out by Magistrate Adolph Lucas for want of prosecution and that was supposed to have been the end of the matter. But today 36 year old police officer Janine Tanner was brought back to court and was charged with the same offence. Since the offence can be tried summarily and on indictment, it was not statute barred. Magistrate Clive Lino, whom she appeared before, took a plea from her when she elected to have the case tried summarily. She pled not guilty and she was released on a bail of two thousand dollar. Her next court date is September 30. Disclosure for her was ordered for August 30. The incident occurred on December 11, 2012 at Caye Caulker. The complainant, Christopher Graham, reported the he was driving a loaded golf cart and Tanner stopped him and asked him for his driver’s license. He said when he could not produce any she told him to give her one hundred dollars and two margaritas. Graham said he gave her the money and took her to a restaurant nearby and gave her the Margaritas.

Belize’s Queen of the Bay Pageant Quickly Approaches
Plans are in place for the pageant in which the Emblem of Freedom, the Queen of the Bay 2013 will be selected. Contestants from all over the country are prepared to bring their beauty and skills to the stage to compete for the honorable title. This year however, the talent section of the pageant has been separated from the final night showdown and Deputy Coordinator for the pageant, Anne Marie Williams says this is not the first time that the talent night is being separated from the main night. ANN MARIE WILLIAMS “In an effort to reform the Queen of the Bay it was decided to do something like this because it affords the candidates an opportunity to actually concentrate on doing a class act for their talent. Instead of you coming to the show and you sit out five hours, you could come to the show, sit out 2 ½ hours, three hours max and the night of the show, which is actually the 30th of August, the Queen of the Bay pageant, you will get to see the best talent; so, the person who wins tomorrow night and also the second person too, in terms of scores, although there will only be one best talent awarded but you will get to see those two talents as a regular part of the show and once the talent is out of the way, the candidates can truly focus on their introduction, the curtsy, the question and answer segment and evening gown competition.

Commerce Bight Port Now Under Control of Belize Port Authority
The Government of Belize this morning issued a press release to inform that the lease granted to Port of Belize Limited, PBL, to operate and manage the Commerce Bight Port has been revoked and the Minister, Rene Montero, has arranged for possession and control of the Port by the Belize Port Authority with immediate effect. Love News called the Chief Executive officer in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Errol Gentle who explained the particulars of the lease and under what grounds it was revoked. ERROL GENTLE “The minister responsible for ports, in this case, the Honorable Rene Montero, who is the Minister of Works and Transport, the ports fall under his jurisdiction or is part of his portfolio, got approval from Cabinet and in accordance with Clause 16 of the lease; in the clause 16, it says, the Minister may, if satisfied there has been a breach of the terms and conditions of this lease or any contraventions of any other provision of the laws of Belize or any regulations made there under or bylaws or there has been a failure by the leasee to implement to the satisfaction of the Minister, a development plan submitted under clause 14 hereof revoke or suspend such lease after given to the leasee at least one month’s notice of intention to do so. I know you will recall that in 2008 this was done, however PBL had applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction, restraining the Minister from taking possession of the port; that was granted, however on the 20th July of 2012, the Supreme Court discharged that injunction; so, the Minister was then able to, after having served notice to revoke the lease and that is exactly what’d happened.

Attempted Murder Under Investigation in Western Belize
A man has been detained pending investigations into an attempted murder in Belmopan. Police visited a scene on Guatemala Street in the Salvapan area of Belmopan after receiving information about a chopping incident, and found a Hispanic man, bleeding profusely with a large chop wound to the left side of his head and right arm. The man was transported to the Western Regional hospital where he was identified as 42 year old Amilcar Alvarado Cortez, a Salvadoran of Costa Rica Street in Salvapan. Police detained one person in connection to the incident as investigations continue.

Arraigned for Impregnating A Teenager
A Belize City man has been arrested and charged in connection with an incident of carnal knowledge. On Wednesday a fourteen year old girl in the company of her mother, reported to police that on the 10th of March she visited the home of a man known to her as “Edwin Peña” in Belize City, and they engaged in sexual intercourse. She also reported that they had intercourse in the months of April and May 2013 while she lived at his mother’s residence in Belize City. The girl stated that she was examined by a doctor who confirmed that she is pregnant and Peña is the only person she has had sex with. As a result Evin Adalid Membreño Ardon was formally arrested and charged for three counts of unlawful carnal knowledge and one count of carnal knowledge.

Fire Hearth Festival Scheduled In Belize District
Willows Bank is described as the little village with a big heart and this weekend the little village is inviting the public for its third annual Willows Bank Fire Hearth Festival. The festival takes place this Saturday starting at ten o’clock in the morning to six o’clock in the evening. According to the Vice Chair Person of Willows Bank, Natalie Palacio, the event is filled with activities for the entire family. NATALIE PALACIO “It will feature greasy pole, beer drinking contest, watermelon eating contest, bicycle race, slow bicycle race and many activities for each and every person in the family. This year the theme is a corn based competition; it’s going to be a ducunu dinner. Basically, the competitors will have to cook a ducunu dinner with a meat of their choice and a side dish either coleslaw, fresh veg or potato salad along with a dessert with corn being the main theme. This is done every year and this is the 3rd year that we are celebrating this festival. We’re going to have a lot of interesting activities, as I mentioned, as well as wonderful offers from some of our sponsors such as Smart. They will be having the double up and triple up as well Kubuli beer at 2 for 5$.” Palacio says that a bus is leaving Pound Yard Bridge at ten o’clock on Saturday morning en-route to the festival. Money raised from the festival will be used for various other activities throughout the year.


Rise and Shine discusses God, Family, and Abortion
Abortion is the termination of a human pregnancy and while there are natural abortions, there are induced ones. For decades the debate on induced abortion has occupied homes, schools, court rooms and parliament. In Belize, however, there has yet to be sufficient practical dialogue on the air waves. But...

United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize holds “Conference for Life”
The newly formed United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize will be hosting its first event, “Conference For Life” this coming Saturday. It’s a full day of presentations on the topic of abortion; from legal, spiritual, medical, social and modern perspectives. It will also be looking at the issue of sexual...

Missing man found dead in hotel room
Timothy Callanan has been found dead. On Wednesday, we reported that his family had reported Mr Callanan missing. Timothy Callanan was last seen Tuesday morning, sometime around 11am, leaving a law firm on Church Street in Belize City. He had a number of appointments that day and never made...

Elderly man bound and killed in his house in Crooked Tree
The merciless killing of an elderly man in the village of Crooked tree has left residents of that area in shock. According to Barry Blaney’s neighbours and friends, Mr Blaney was a poor, humble man and had no known enemies. The 76 year old lived in a dilapidated wooden...

NCL representatives describe the benefits of the Harvest Caye project
There has been much hullabaloo about the proposed project for an island eco-park at Harvest Caye in the South Stann Creek District. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Belize and Belize Island Holdings Limited, the official owner of Harvest Caye and bought over by Norwegian Cruise Lines...

Placencia BTIA still opposed to Harvest Caye project
Former journalist and resort developer Stewart Krohn has become one of the harshest critics of the proposed development at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District. He has attacked the proposed split of head tax payments in favour of Norwegian as “crack-head economics” and slammed the Government for agreeing...

Mark Seawell extradition hearing finally underway
There was one last delay before the habeas corpus hearing for wanted accused drug trafficker Mark Seawell got underway Thursday afternoon in the Supreme Court. Due to vehicle problems, Mr Seawell was not brought to court until midday, more than two hours after he was scheduled to be there....

Four car pileup on the Northern Highway
Four vehicles collided Thursday morning on the Northern Highway. It was not fatal accident. Just after nine Thursday morning, a white jeep Cherokee was driving on mile 2 ½ on the Northern highway heading in the direction of Belize city when it ran into the...

Disaffected workers say CWU President must go now
Earlier this week President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) Dylan Reneau told another media house that the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) has been suspended from the umbrella organization because of unpaid dues. The CWU has been involved in long-running negotiations with the Port of Belize...

Garifuna Collective launches new album “AYO”
The Garifuna Collective has launched their new album AYO. AYO in English means goodbye and originated from The Collectives’ promise to carry the torch of cultural innovation passed on by the lateAndy Palacio. Al Obando, tour manager for the group, explains that the album has already been launched in...

Plus TV explores history and culture in the South
We’ve been bringing coverage of BTB’s media familiarization tour, where members of the local press were treated with a first class exploration of the country. Tonight, we take you back into history and show you what was the driving force behind the country’s initiation into the industrial era. That...

Free clinic held in the South
Free clinical care for children will be offered at the Southern Regional Hospital Friday. With details here is our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: Children from Dangriga and surrounding communities of the Stann Creek District will be receiving free medical care at the Southern Regional...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Workshop for reading with and to children announced

Visual Aids workshop for teachers held
Today August 16th, Teachers from the CC Roman Catholic School and Little Stars Preschool took part in a Visual aids Workshop facilitated by Ms. Arianie Gongora from San Pedro. The purpose of the workshop was to show teachers different ways to make learning fun for kids as well as learning and play areas in the classroom using recycled materials etc. Thanks to our Vice Chair of the Caye Caulker Village Council, Mrs. Enelda Rosado for coordinating such a great workshop.


Norwegian reps say new destination island to highlight Garifuna culture. A US$50 million project planned for the southern island of Harvest Caye, which straddles the districts of Toledo and Stann Creek, continues to stir controversy in the tourism sector; but at a press conference held at the Matalon in Belize City today, officials of both the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line gave a comprehensive overview of their plans for a new cruise port in the south – in fact, under the terms of their agreement, no other cruise port would be able to penetrate the south for at least 25 years. Whereas Southern Belize has many offshore and onshore attractions, what the partners hope will bring cruise tourists are the cultures of the South, and particularly that of the Garinagu – especially the dügü dance. Norwegian said that it has retained IDEA Inc. of Orlando, Florida to design the destination and bring the project to fruition. Hugh Darley, the company’s president and executive producer, is responsible for developing a unique “story” about Belize at the destination island – similar to Walt Disney, with which he once worked. He explained why the Garifuna theme was chosen:

Senior citizen found tied up and dead in his bed. The residents of the quiet village of Crooked Tree, well-known for its yearly Cashew Fest, are trying to come to grips with a murder that has left their community shaken. Brian Blayney, 74, originally from New Zealand and a resident of the village for the past 9 years, was found dead in his house in the village yesterday, at about 12:00 noon. He was found with his feet and hands tied; his nose and mouth were duct-taped, and clothes covered his head on the bed on which he was found lying. Police took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. The villagers in the area began to get worried when Blayney, who owned a small shop, did not open for business as usual yesterday morning, Wednesday. Fiona Building, a villager and a customer of Blayney’s store who lives in the area, told reporters that she went to Blayney’s house to check on him to see if he was okay, because she knew that he was having lung problems.

Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Mark King, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, in a press release issued today from his office, threatened KREM Radio with a lawsuit, claiming that the station’s newscast on Wednesday evening “slandered his reputation” by “suggesting that he had taken away land” from National Team football player Ian “Yellow” Gaynair. Amandala has been reliably informed that a lease approval for a house lot had been issued to football superstar Gaynair; it allegedly had been abruptly cancelled. The house lot was initially issued to Gaynair seven years ago in the Lake Independence area. We were informed that the cancellation occurred after he had invested thousands of dollars to fill and develop the lot. Ian “Yellow” Gaynair is originally from the Lake Independence constituency in Southside Belize City; and he is only one out of a handful of young men in his neighborhood near Berger Field on Sarstoon Street who have been able to successfully persevere, despite the recurring incidences of crime and violence that have constantly plagued the Southside areas.

Brandon Tillett and Jermaine Ottley say GSU beat them up for no apparent reason. Today, two cases emerged concerning alleged incidents of police brutality carried out by the “infamous” Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). Jermaine Ottley, 35, a resident of #79 Allenby Street, appeared in court today for a drug trafficking case to which he has to answer. Although Ottley is out on bail, he arrived at court this morning courtesy of the police van which brings persons facing new charges from the Queen Street Police Station. This, according to Ottley, was because while he was getting dressed to attend court this morning, five officers from the GSU arrived at his house and beat him and his friend, Brandon Tillett, 27, aka BET, with such brute force that Tillett had to be taken to the hospital. In speaking with the media today, Ottley told us that he had done nothing to warrant the savagery of the officers, and there is as yet no evidence to contradict what he said, since there were no charges read to him in court – only an adjournment date given to him. Ottley also had very visible bruises to support his allegations of brutality by the officers.

After the thieves left, passersby entered the open store and also began stealing. A Chinese store on Croton Lane in Lake I was burglarized at about 11:00 Thursday night, August 8, and thieves stole an undisclosed amount of money and goods. Reports are that five thieves cut the locks and damaged the back door, forcing it open, and went into the store, where they stole money and goods. They then ran out of the store, but because the door was damaged, it could not be closed. Several individuals in the area who were alerted by the thieves running out of the store, went to see what was happening, and saw the door was open and they went into the store and also stole groceries, liquor, and other items. A neighbor who saw what was happening called police, who responded quickly and spotted several of the thieving passersby, who ran away when they saw the police.

Eleven days after Benque resident Pedro Antonio Vasquez, 51, was brutally killed, police are yet to arrest his killer or killers. Vasquez, who is the first person to be killed in Benque within a year, was found with stab wounds, lying on the side of the road in a pool of blood at about 5:00 Sunday morning, August 4. Police said that when they went to the area of the old Esso Gas Station, on Churchill Street, they saw Vasquez motionless, lying face-down on the ground adjacent to the gas station. Vasquez was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival Police said that Vasquez had been beaten and stabbed. Several injuries to the left and right sides of his forehead seemed to indicate that he was beaten with a blunt object. There was also a large stab wound on his face near his nostril.

Official reports to Amandala are that a 14-year old minor who allegedly shot his 10-year old cousin around 11:00 on the night of July 25 has been formally charged with firearm offences in relation to the gun that was used. ASP Christopher Noble, O.C. Ladyville Police, officially confirmed to the media on Monday that while the investigation into the incident continues, the matter is presently before the court as a directive from the Office of the DPP. Media reports are that the 10-year-old was mistakenly shot in the abdomen allegedly by his 14-year old cousin while standing in front of their family yard, which is located on a street that runs behind the Ladyville Police Station. The young man was reportedly playing with the firearm when the incident occurred. The bullet exited the 10-year-old and penetrated an Astro Van that was parked nearby on the side of the street. The child was then rushed to the police station and transported for medical attention at the military camp in Ladyville by the police.

The search for a businessman of San Pedro who was reported missing on Tuesday ended about 5:30 yesterday evening when his body was found in a hotel room on Coney Drive in Belize City by a worker of the hotel. Timothy James Callanan, 43, a Belizean businessman of Flying Fish Drive, San Pedro Town, was found in his room in a sitting position, leaning forward, with his hands in front of his face on the bed in his room, and he was motionless. Police say that in the room at the time were many tablets and capsules, and suicide notes. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Police say that Callanan arrived at the hotel at about 12:30 on Tuesday afternoon, August 13, for a one- night stay. About 4:00 p.m. the following day, Wednesday, the hotel receptionist noticed that the room was still occupied by Callanan, which was way past the sign-out time. She went to the room to see what was happening and when she opened the door, she saw Callanan motionless, in the position already described. In an interview on KREM Radio, his wife said that he had left San Pedro on Tuesday to come to the city to conduct business. She became alarmed when he did not return, and reported him missing that same Tuesday. She said that he was suffering with depression. Police have ruled the death a suicide.

Usher pleaded not guilty and told the court that the charge will be withdrawn at the next adjournment. Gilroy Usher, 56, the People’s United Party standard bearer for the Port Loyola Division and owner of Monica’s Pawn Shop, located on Central American Boulevard, today appeared in the Magistrate’s Court to answer to a charge of harm upon his wife, Magdalena Usher, 51. Although most of the details of the incident are unknown, what has been reported is that on Monday at the couple’s home at #7739 Madam Liz Avenue, Mrs. Usher was reportedly harmed with a pint bottle, and she made a report to police. Usher pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered and met bail of $900 with one surety of the same amount. He was ordered to attend a Batterer’s Intervention Program at the Women’s Department. He was also ordered to not interfere with his wife, and he must reside at his daughter’s residence at #5612 Lizarraga Avenue.

The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is proud to announce that Team Belize won its first U-15 game in the CONCACAF Cayman Islands 2013 Under-15 Championship. Alvin Sifontes scored the only goal at minute 21 in the second half. These games are being played 35 minutes per half. The Belize fans present were giving tremendous support to the Team and were overjoyed with the victory. Dominican Republic has withdrawn from the competition and was in our group. Team Belize will be resting on Thursday, and their next game will be on Friday vs Jamaica at 6:00 p.m. (Ed. Note: Belize’s 1-0 win over St. Lucia on Tuesday is historic, as this is the inaugural CONCACAF U-15 tournament, and for a change, we are starting “on the good foot.” Belize plays Jamaica on Friday, Guatemala on Sunday, and Grenada on Tuesday of next week. The winner of the group goes on to the semifinals on Friday, August 23. The finals are Sunday, August 25. Gwaan up, Baby Jaguars!!)

I am looking on the funeral service program for one Louis Antonio Garbutt, “Sunrise September 19, 1940 – Sunset June 28, 2013,” held on Friday, July 5, in Brooklyn, New York, and many thoughts run through my mind. With each passing decade, since the massive exodus of Belizeans in the 1960’s and 1970’s reached a zenith with amnesty in the mid-1980’s, some of us who stubbornly stayed behind have shared a nostalgic vision of a day when all our long lost friends, relatives and childhood heroes would join in one big home-coming excursion, to reconnect and reminisce with their generational counterparts back in the Jewel. That would be some celebration indeed. There remains a wounded part of the Belizean psyche that psychologists can maybe explain and analyze, to figure out how it impacts on our lives as we go forward with this silent longing and yearning for wholeness and unison with the faces and voices we grew up with and who formed an integral part of our reality and sense of identity. Alas, the lives of many Belizeans in the diaspora, including some of our legends, are slowly coming to an end, and the dream has become an unrealistic fantasy, as we come to terms with the fact that folks living abroad have put down new roots in different circumstances, while Belize has grown and developed along a different path than when they left it, and their world has grown around them to a point where we have to accept the fact that there will not ever be that grand home-coming reunion after all. Some folks do manage to make the trip around September time, but for most Belizeans abroad, that is it, the past, a distant time and place, gone though not forgotten.

The Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) U-18 Basketball Tournament climaxed today with the final game between the two top teams, Jane Usher Ballerz and Complex Unruly Ballerz, at the Maud Williams High School basketball court in Belize City. The tournament tipped off on July 30 with a total of 8 teams that were divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Four teams advanced to the knockout round that began on Wednesday, August 7, whereby the #1 ranked team from Group A played the #2 ranked team from Group B, and #1 from Group B played #2 from Group A. In the first game, Complex Unruly Ballerz defeated Rising Starz, 51-47, to advance to the finals; while in the second game, Jane Usher Ballerz beat Freedom Street Ballerz, 47-39, to qualify for the other spot in the finals. After an exciting and energetic game between the two finalists today, Jane Usher Ballerz defeated the Complex Unruly Ballerz, 63-55, to take the championship. Albert Longsworth from Jane Usher Ballerz led all scorers with 20 points (pts), 3 rebounds (rebs) and 3 steals (stls). He was named MVP of the tournament based on his performance in the games as well as his leadership skills and discipline on and off the court. Akeem Richardson, also of Jane Usher Ballerz, scored 12 pts, made 10 rebs and got 8 stls to help secure the win. Meanwhile, for Compex Unruly Ballerz, Francis Arana contributed 17 pts 4 stls 4 assists and Alejandro Baptist 18 pts 6 rebs.

The FFB’s Atlantic Bank Female Football Tournament continued over the weekend with the second leg of its home-and-away semifinal series. On Saturday night at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, Belmopan’s Triple B bombed home-standing DFC Gentle Touch of Cayo, 4-1, with goals from Miriam Villamil (9’), Kaina Martinez (31’) and Kaya Cattouse (65’ & 78’). The only reply from Gentle Touch was a late consolation goal by Cindy Fuentes (85’). Triple B also won the previous encounter, 3-1, so they have qualified to the Finals. (By the way, we just confirmed that that is indeed Kaina Martinez, Central American sprinting champion and record holder, playing football with Triple B.) The other semifinal series was decided on Sunday afternoon at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga, where visiting Ladyville Jaguars gained a 2-1 victory over home squad Griga Pumas. Kara Kisling struck twice (20’ & 26’) in the first half for Ladyville, and Griga only managed to cut the lead in half, a few minutes before the long whistle, on a goal by Jacklaine Arzu (86’). With the 2-1 win, Ladyville Jaguars are aggregate 3-2 winners over Griga Pumas, since the first leg of their semifinal series had ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

This tourism business is never where we who publish this newspaper wanted to go, and it really wasn’t where Mr. Price and Mr. Goldson wanted Belize to go. When this newspaper began in August of 1969, informed Belizeans had already seen where raw tourism had taken Cuba, and how violently the Cubans had felt forced to resist tourism’s decadence and debauchery. The United States had made Cuba into its tourism whorehouse, and this was what Castro’s revolution, victorious on New Year’s Day of 1959, had been about. By 1969, American investment capital was definitely looking for another playground for its citizens who wanted somewhere outside of the United States, but not too far away, to “let loose” and enjoy their wealth. Belize, just 600 miles away from Florida, appeared to fit that bill. So it was that a proposal came for Belize to grant casino licenses. This was the summer of 1969, mind you. Mr. Price’s PUP government, led by Madame Gwendolyn Lizarraga, a Cabinet Minister and the most powerful woman in the ruling party, firmly rejected that casino proposal, whose leading Cabinet advocates were the two right wing PUP Ministers – Ambergris Caye’s Louis Sylvestre and Crooked Tree’s Fred Hunter. In the campaign to reject the gambling casino initiative, Roman Catholic Bishop, Robert L. Hodapp, played a leading role. Where the excesses of tourism are concerned, gambling casinos are the “thin edge of the wedge,” as can be seen from the well-publicized story of Las Vegas, Nevada. If you have enough money, you can get anything you want at a gambling casino: that’s the bottom line wherever casinos are introduced.

Finally, there are a great many people inside and outside Congo who profit immensely from a large, barely governed territory full of minerals and opportunities for extortion, trafficking, and smuggling. They have a profound interest in ensuring that Congo doesn’t become anything more than the pseudo-country it is today. - pg. 79, FP FOREIGN POLICY, July/August 2013, Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills “Well, I may have taken the opportunity to discuss where things are with the various court cases and the various bits of legislation,” said the Prime Minister with what sounded almost like a British accent.” - Pg. 7, THE BELIZE TIMES, July 7, 2013 The brother Wawat Napata accused me on Monday afternoon, in the presence of Clinton Uh Luna, of doing the Belizean people a disservice by allowing them to believe that Belize is an independent nation. I suppose Uh Luna agreed with him. I think I understood what Wawat was saying, but I did not pursue the thought until the following afternoon, when I came into possession of the July/August 2013 issue of a magazine which is called FP or Foreign Policy. The editors describe this particular issue as their 9th Annual Failed States Issue. I read an article in the magazine, by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills, in which they say that it is time to admit that the Democratic Republic of Congo does not exist. Herbst and Mills argue, “And in today’s Congo, let’s be clear: There is no sovereign power at all outside the urban areas, leaving two-thirds of the country’s estimated 75 million people beyond the purview of a central government.”

Norwegian project promoted as “win-win” for the South. Licky licky: slang, adjective — suck up/greedy ( Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it has purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of a US$50 million eco-friendly cruise destination. Today, Colin Murphy – Norwegian’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, speaking at a press conference held at The Matalon in Belize City, declined to disclose the price tag, citing confidentiality in the purchase agreement. Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse, said, “We are committed to ensuring that every investment that comes to the table is well analyzed, well documented and well researched, so that we dispense once and for all with those innuendos and sayings that there are things under the table and people have deals –we don’t want any negative to surround any potential investment that comes to this country – but to ensure that it is upfront and transparent, and we can look you in the eye, and say ‘Yes – this is a good thing!’”

In a brief shining moment of understanding that a nation thrives best when its people participate as fully as possible in democratic government, a government of the People’s United Party gave the Belizean people that power in the form of the Referendum Act. As far as I am aware, there is no such law in the two foremost, formerly Christian democracies – Great Britain and the United States of America. Is it possible that in the philosophy of rule of, for, and by the people, we are more advanced than they are? The Referendum Act was passed in 2000, eight years before the people rejected the PUP in the general election of 2008, giving the UDP an overwhelming mandate of 26 seats to 5; also, as long as eight years ago. Since then, there has been only one application, that by Oceana seeking to prevent the drilling for oil inside the Belize Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site. In a few days, Oceana was able to obtain the required number of signatures to a petition for a referendum to ban offshore drilling in our Belizean sea. The signators were certified members of the Belizean electorate, as required. It is a matter of record that the Elections and Boundaries Commission, which is charged in the Act to validate the signatures to the petition, declared that the number of validated signatures did not meet the requirement.

A third party with Westminister…no way… “…Let the light of Your divine wisdom direct their plans and endeavors so that with Your help, we may attain our just objectives…” The failure of the political parties to fulfill their promises to the people, the replacement of their campaign manifesto with excesses and incompetencies, bordering on stupidities upon assumption of power, has resulted in a loss of faith and trust by the people, as can be inferred by their decreasing participation in the recent elections, both local and national. Cynical and disenchanted with the present political “leaders of all the spectrum, the silent majority believes that a third party is the solution. This is a vain hope and a futile wish with the Westminister system. Let us examine a little. What happened in Belize happens throughout the Third World member countries of the British Commonwealth (synonym for the British Empire). Having been subjected to the methodical erasure of our mind and intellect by the Master for so long, we have accepted gratefully and docilely the Constitution he wrote for us. He knows that the cadre of elites he has programmed in his mind set cannot but continue to exhibit the same exploitation of, and contempt for, the masses as he did.

A family is lucky to be alive, but shaken up after an out-of-control front end loader rolled into, and wrecked, their house at about 10:00 Saturday morning, in Camalote Village, Cayo. The family was in their living room watching television when the loader rolled into the house through the side of the bedroom. Luckily, no one was in bed at the time, but the house was extensively damaged. The Ministry of Works supervisor, under whose instructions the loader was operating, told the house owner, Hubert Mark of Camalote, that the brakes of the tractor was malfunctioning, and it was parked where they were working. Then an unauthorized worker went to the tractor and released the brakes, causing the tractor to roll, and he could not stop it. The worker then jumped out of the machine, leaving it unmanned. The tractor then crashed into the house. Mark told reporters that the Ministry of Works has committed to repairing the house.

This week Belize is hosting the Tenth Undersecretary and Vice Ministers of Agriculture Meeting from August 12 to 14, 2013. The meeting is an annual gathering in which Guatemala, the United States, Mexico and Belize work at reviewing and approving the operational and financial work plans of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly Program. During this meeting, Belize and the Unites States Department of Agriculture signed a bilateral cooperative agreement to strengthen our Medfly program with the objective of maintaining our medfly- free status and preventing the northward movement of this pest into Mexico and the United States. Medfly Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hernan Zetina, told Amandala that this is the first time that the event is being hosted in Belize and they took the opportunity to sign a bilateral agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture and Belize in order to formalize the assistance that the USDA provides to monitor and control the medfly population, which has been detected over the last two decades mainly in southern Belize. Zetina said that Belize has always had support from the USDA, but a cooperative agreement has never been signed. Initially, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 1976, but now the Ministry has signed a formal agreement in an effort to keep Belize free from the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly.

The Amandala, which has been aptly dubbed “The newspaper with the widest circulation in Belize”, celebrated its 44th anniversary this past Tuesday, August 13, 2013. The newspaper was first published in Belize in 1969 as an organ of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) movement. It started out as a simple stenciled spreadsheet that was usually distributed by members and supporters of UBAD in Belize City streets. The newspaper’s first issues were mainly dedicated to promoting the affairs of UBAD, such as protests, celebrations and meetings in addition to featuring articles on issues of national interest combined with criticism of the then ruling political party and its leader. The Amandala has battled fierce competition and withstood adversity almost since its inception. For example, the newspaper’s first primary competitor was established by leaders of the then Chamber of Commerce who had the latest printing technology available at their disposal at the time, while the Amandala relied on rudimentary facilities and was funded mainly by grassroots contributions. Still, the journey of growth, as slow and rough as it might have been, was, in a sense, inevitable. The newspaper steadily established a reputation as a voice for the people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder by speaking truth to power; thus gaining the support of Belizeans far and wide.

I want to clarify some issues related to the article “Was Queen’s Park Rangers The Greatest?” that was published in the Amandala August 9th, 2013 by my friend, Michael Finnegan. Before the team was taken over by Mr. Frank Sharp the name of the team was “Rovers,” which was founded, coached and trained by Dundee Lino D-Line because he was disliked after Queen’s Park Rangers lost the Interdistrict Competition to the Orange Walk selection in the late 1960’s. He was accused of selling out the game with the goalkeeper Ramball Rodriguez. All Belize won the Interdistrict Competition for some years until 1975 when I started playing for All Orange Walk with Enrique Carballo, Gregzie Jones, Nolie Leiva, Cheesie Flowers, Stud Hendricks, Mark Anthony Chavarria, Matthew Williams, Romaldo Lambey, Matute, Daniel Cacho, Renan Briceño, Bunz Bennett, Harrier Laing. We were the first team to defeat All Belize convincingly at MCC Grounds. After the game we had to get police escort out of the park inside our bus. The Belize City people were stoning the bus with bottles and cursing us out because they were angry that they lost. Delhart Courtenay was the referee for that game. Dean Lindo took our team to Pickwick Club beside MCC Grounds for a treat that evening.

A woman who fell off a bus almost lost her leg after the bus wheel rolled over the leg, which was damaged from above the knee all the way to the ankle. Rachel Burke, 25, of Bainville, Hattieville, has been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where she is being treated for the injuries. The incident occurred about 10:30 yesterday morning at a pedestrian crossing between Miles 15 and 16 on the George Price Highway in Hattieville. The driver of the bus, Elias Salazar, 41, has been issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). Police reports are that when they went to the site of the accident, they saw a white, blue and red D&E bus on the right side of the highway facing the direction of Belize City. Their initial investigation revealed that Salazar was driving the bus to Belize City and upon reaching the pedestrian ramp, Rachel Burke, one of the bus’ passengers, went to the front of the bus. At that point, the driver stopped over the ramp and the door was opened.


The Belize Times

It was the most disgraceful and outrageous behavior by a politician, in both words and deeds, ever to occur in the House of Representatives. At last Wednesday’s 7th August meeting of the House, the dishonorable Michael Finnegan succeeded in outdoing his disgraceful self. He told the Speaker that if Honorable Dolores Balderamos Garcia had seen “Yellowman” urinating in public she should prove it by saying what was the size of his penis, Finnegan demonstrated the size of Yellowman’s private part by holding up his two fingers in a gesture. The UDP members of the House burst out in sustained laughter. Television cameras showed them grinning and laughing, including the Prime Minister and his Deputy in the front row. The camera did not show if the Speaker was giggling at the indecent remarks, but he certainly did nothing about the worst and lowest behavior ever to occur in the House. His failure to immediately sanction Finnegan manifested his complicity.

BREAD “GONE UP”: Why food in Belize becomes much more expensive?
While Dean Barrow was trying to show himself in the House and using all those big words and Finnegan was using all those dirty words, another word was the reality. The word is “expensive”. Dean Barrow said: “We’ve taken imported flour off the restricted list and so ...

While Michael Finnegan was taking the public for stock on Krem’s WUB Morning Vibes on Tuesday, “apologizing”, Joe Bradley was hard at work trying to out-do the nasty UDP attack on ...

National Football Hero: Victim of “Mr. Quitar”
No Belizean will ever forget what they were doing and where they were the moment Belize’s very own Ian “Yellow” Gaynair, scored that spectacular header against the mighty American team. He will no ...

TANYA CARTER IS ON FIRE She is brown sugar. She is fresh Cayo honey. She is a work of art still in progress. And she has done it again. Fresh from a tour of Jah-Mek-Ya, where the inspiration is always at bubbling point in Kingston town, Tanya Carter has let off again. While ...

Dabbling in Dirt
By G. Michael Reid Belizeans last Wednesday were once again subjected to an agonizing display of indecorum and disrespect. This now, coming from a supposedly Honorable House comprised of supposedly Honorable Members. Did anyone at some point change the meaning of honorable? This supposedly Honorable House is governed by a strict and ...

What Finnegan did was not an apology. To us at the BELIZE TIMES Finnegan is not a leader and he sure as hell is not an example for anyone in Belize. We will go further to say that he does not represent Belizean men, or Belize. We also insist that from ...

Belize Bank & Atlantic Bank win 3 back to back in Firms basketball
Belize Bank Bulldogs, Atlantic Bank and Ports Belize Ltd remain undefeated in the Belize District firms’ basketball competition which continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City over the weekend, the Bulldogs and Atlantic each have 3 ...

Ladyville Jaguars win thru to Atlantic Bank women’s football finals
The Ladyville Jaguars made the Atlantic Bank women’s football championship finals by a 2-1 win against the Dangriga Pumas in Game 2 of the semifinals at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Sunday. The jaguars had settled ...

Oceana Strikers & Bombers win in Belize City men’s softball
The Bombers and Oceana Strikers posted wins when in the Belize City softball competition kicked off at the home of softball at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Friday night. In Game ...

BELIZE TIMES has received reliable information that a major business deal has been made by a pack of UDP cronies. Our information is that Belize Aggregates Ltd has been sold. This is huge because Belize Aggregates is ...

AMAZING GRACE – Kissing Pavement
Driving. It is the initiation process so important to most teens living in the city. It is the ticket to freedom and the visible representation of trust and maturity. Although, admittedly, this does not apply to all youths, many look forward to the day when they hold their own drivers ...

Barrow’s GSU vs. Barrow-Sponsored GSG (Round 4)
Brandon Tillett (a.k.a. BET) is a well-known street figure and according to the GSU, he is a reputed member of the George Street Gang. The George Street Gang is one of the ...

Yearly, July and August are the only two months allowed by law to transfer your vote from one electoral division to another. The process is simple to follow: visit the Elections and Boundaries Office closest to you, present a valid ID and fill out ...

“I am your father” – Dean Barrow, House of Representatives 7th August, 2013 What is happening to Dean Barrow? It is easy to say he is arrogant and full of himself, but that is so recognized that many of his faithful ...

Lady Diana – The Queen of Pain
Last Friday Love FM reported that the President of NICH Lady Diana Haylock had received a check from the Taiwan Ambassador for $40,000 to assist with the September Celebrations. While this occurred some nine leaders of Belize City’s popular Carnival Mass bands were being bitten by mosquitos outside the famed ...

PUP Women Lead Charge Against Chauvinist Finnegan
On Monday the 12th of August, 2013, four vibrant, outstanding and Honorable PUP women stood firm and resolute in their challenge to the despicable behavior of Michael Finnegan at last Wednesday’s House Meeting. Former Speaker of the House and two time PUP area representative from Dangriga, the Hon. Sylvia Flores; two ...

A New Low for Belize?
By Senator Lisa Shoman “One of the pillars of the work of UN Women is women’s political participation, a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy.” UN Women website. Belize has the dubious distinction of having the lowest percentage of women’s political participation of any country in the Americas. To ...

Women’s Issues Network or WIN BELIZE sent out a wishy washy release dated August 13, 2012. It is a screaming disappointment. For background WIN Belize was established in 1993 when several Belizean organizations came together as a steering committee with the goal of speaking with ...

Greedy Barrows at it again
This is becoming Executive committee made up of two people. Just two. Guess who are the two? Net Vasquez, UDP crony and father of Channel 7’s Jules Vasquez and [drum roll] Anwar Barrow, gluttonous political businessman who is the son of Dean Oliver Barrow. More nepotism? The resolution ...

The biggest and most scandalous issue in healthcare in Belize’s history have all been under Pablo Marin. The House of Representatives ...

By Dolores Balderamos Garcia I am still pretty disgusted at the whole sorry episode, but I thought that it is best to write about it now that the events are fresh, since they occurred only five days ago. Of course I am talking about the new low in the House of Representatives ...

JAILING BELIZE: How Belize imprisons its population
Belize is ranked at 15th on the list of countries that with the highest incarcerated prisoners. The research which was finalized in February, 2013, ranks countries by calculating the number of prisoners per 100,000 of ...

Reflections on the public square – PUP WOMEN
By Francis W. Fonseca The women of the People’s United Party have always been central to the Party’s electoral success. Women form the majority on PUP Constituency executives across the country and easily account for some 60% of the Party’s Campaign Team in any given election. The women of the PUP are smart, ...

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) global food prices fell for a third month in July to their lowest level in a year. The food price index of the FAO, a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a ...

Kudos to Hon. D. Balderamos
Dear Editor, This letter is concerning the recent showdown in the House of Representatives between Mr. Finnegan and Dolores Balderamos that has undermined the egos of Belizean Women everywhere! I speak not by political affiliation on this matter, but on behalf of my fellow women guided by like sentiments. It is truly ...

Dear Editor, We, the women of Belize Rural Central reject Finnegan’s reluctant , half-baked apology on the grounds that we believe it is not genuine. What Finnegan has been getting as backlash for his stupid action is “woman fum fum”. This is the only reason he is now trying to hide behind ...

Barrow excess ego zero substance
“He that keep his mouth keep his life; but he that open his lips shall have destruction.” Proverbs 13:3 Dear Editor, I watched with utter dismay last week’s sitting of the House of Representatives when Prime Minister Dean Barrow attempted to exalt himself with the title of “Father ...


The Maya Ruins of Cahal Pech: Practically IN Downtown San Ignacio, Belize
The Maya get a point for bluntness. Or perhaps the people that lived in and named the hilltop residence Cahal Pech – translated “Place of Ticks” and pronounced “pesh” not “peck” - were not looking for visitors. But this beautiful site is so easy to get to and quite impressive, you will want to see it. The Maya built these structures looking out over the Macal and Mopan Rivers and a beautiful lush valley. Any visitor to San Ignacio, the largest town in the Cayo district, must go up the hill and enjoy Cahal Pech. Don’t worry, the ticks have moved out. I’m not sure why I’ve skipped Cahal Pech in the past. Perhaps I figured that it was too close to town to be good? I don’t remember…but this time was THE time. The site is a quick 8 minute $8bzd ride from the town center up a steep seriously hill.

Chaa Creek Featured on USA Today’s Bucket List
The owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek said that the eco resort’s inclusion in a recent USA Today travel guide “bucket list” is good news for the nascent Belizean tourism industry, and further proves that environmentally sustainable, Green tourism can provide a high quality travel experience. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick started Chaa Creek by accepting guests at their small family farm in a remote part of Belize in 1981, said that recognition such as USA Today’s provides an important boost to the Belizean tourism industry, which since it’s relatively recent inception has struggled to achieve name recognition in the highly competitive Caribbean travel industry. “While we are of course happy to have Chaa Creek represented in such a prestigious list of exotic, high quality places, I think the big story is that Belize is finally becoming recognised as the high quality destination that it is,” Ms Fleming said, “and further proves that a commitment to sustainable tourism and responsible travel can still provide a high quality travel experience,” she added. The Lodge at Chaa Creek was one of eleven desirable destinations listed in an August 14 2013 USA Today feature titled, “11 unique lodgings for your travel bucket list”. “Travel is about new experiences—and travel at its best can mean eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime and even life-changing journeys. Many of us have a personal bucket list of trips to try before we die, and those who don’t might just need a little inspiration,” the article states before describing what the authors consider to be eleven of the best in the world.

The Postcard Conspiracy
My lungs were screaming, I found myself counting down the seconds until I knew I would have to head above the surface my head body craving for air, another sharp intake of breath, respite from the 'hurting'. I'd been sent out to Belize with a small team of engineers and scientists as a cameraman and general field producer to cover the placement of a live broadcast webcam that would stream and be operated from the National Geographic website. But this was no ordinary webcam! As part of their responsibility the remote imaging department at National Geographic Television and Film also maintained and oversaw the interactive broadcast features such as the Pete's Pond webcam in Botswana. This undertaking was to be the latest addition to the broadcast array and was to be located some 12m underwater on the fringing coral shelf of a small island in the southern reaches of the World's second largest barrier reef system in Belize. The island, locally called Cayes, lies about an hour offshore from the coastal town of Dangriga. We'd departed from there as that is where our local contact was based. At first appearing as a speck on the horizon I could hardly keep my smiles to myself as we neared our destination. I've got a serious case of 'Islanditis' having lived in the Pacific for some 8yrs prior to working at Nat Geo. The fringing golden sands, a max elevation of about 1m and crystal clear, warm waters induced a state of almost disbelief. "OK, so I'm getting paid to be here for a month, to dive almost every day and place a webcam on the reef"? Result!

“(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
When started out on this blogging lark I did so (as I have mentioned previously) as an easy means of accomplishing a few objectives. I wanted to record our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It would be a relatively easy way (or so I thought at the time) of letting family and friends know how we were ‘doing’. And it would give me something to do. A routine in my life. And a routine that required a degree of discipline by me. Well, nearly ten months on from when I started the blog I am pleased to say that as far as I am concerned it has met the objectives I set for it and myself. Rose and I definitely have a (comprehensive) photographic and written record of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. With the blog there’s always something there to remind me of the experience. It has also proven to be an extremely good medium for keeping our family and friends up-to-date with how we are faring. And (trust me on this) it has given me something to do! It’s given me so much more though. A true sense of achievement. Keeping the brain (yes I do have a brain – just that some of you (ex colleagues this is specifically ‘aimed’ at some of you) may not have witnessed it being engaged too often) active. Readers (using social networking jargon I will be so presumptuous as to say ‘followers) that live close and and many thousands of miles away that I have had and continue to have the pleasure of engaging with and feel that I have really got to know.

International Sources

New Zealander killed in Belize
A New Zealand man has reportedly been murdered during a robbery at his home in the Central American country of Belize. Barry Blayney, 76, was found at his home in Crooked Tree by local residents, local news channel 7 News Belize reported. He was found with his hands and feet bound. There was a cloth over his head and his mouth was taped up. A local resident Rudolph Crawford told 7 News Belize that Blayney used to run a shop in the area. "He had a little pretty shop, nothing much - just to keep him going and I have the belief that they thought he had money, that's all I could think," he said. Police said there were no signs of physical violence and believe he may have suffocated because of the tape on his mouth as a result of long-term breathing problems.

Norwegian to Develop Tourism Destination in Belize
Norwegian Cruise Line purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million in the project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO. “In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.” Norwegian has retained IDEA Inc. of Orlando, Fla., to design the destination. IDEA is a designer of branded ports of call and branded destinations for the hospitality, entertainment and tourism industries. IDEA worked with private developers, government ministries, and independent agencies to create branded destinations in Alaska; Florida; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; Mexico; St. Kitts; Honduras; Bahamas; and Jamaica.

Championship: Doncaster chairman John Ryan is "wholly satisfied" with takeover
Doncaster chairman John Ryan is "wholly satisfied" that Sequentia Capital S.A have the funds to complete their proposed takeover of the club. An unnamed investor from Central American tax haven Belize is behind Sequentia's bid to buy Rovers, who have another investment offer on the table from a London hedge fund. Ryan, a life-long Doncaster supporter who bought the club in 1999, favours the Sequentia proposal and has revealed he has seen proof of the consortium's financial clout. "Funds were proven by Sequentia Capital S.A's bank to me and therefore I am wholly satisfied sufficient funds are available to Sequentia Capital S.A to complete the transaction and fund Doncaster Rovers Football Club going forward," said Ryan in a statement. "The shareholders of Doncaster Rovers Football Club are currently considering the offer." Sequentia aim to "acquire 100 per cent of the company which owns the club".

Homophobia In The Caribbean: Anti-Sodomy Laws And Persecution, Being Gay Is No Fun In The Islands
When Maurice Tomlinson heard his son had made it to the spelling bee championships, he wanted to witness the 12-year-old take the prize. But his sexuality got in the way. The 43-year-old Jamaican-born father wanted to visit his son in Belize but knew he'd be breaking the law if he tried. In a statute dating to the 19th century, during the country’s colonial past, homosexuals are lumped in with prostitutes, the “mentally deficient” and the “deaf and dumb,” all of whom are prohibited from entering the country. Tomlinson could have tried for an exemption but decided against it. “Do I go and break the law and compromise everything I stand for?” he said, describing his frustration. Belize is among 11 Caribbean countries that have anti-sodomy laws where men can face up to 25 years or even life imprisonment for having anal sex with other men. Almost half of the countries have laws that prosecute women for having same-sex relations, and at least two have immigration laws that ban gay people from entering the country.

Belize targets international fish markets to protect coral reefs from an uninvited visitor
Along Belize's world heritage site-listed barrier reef, coastal communities are making waves in fight against a rapacious predator. At 11am on Tuesday, 2 July, the first box of filleted invasive lionfish left Belize international airport bound for Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its contents: 5.2 kg of the invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans, a species that poses one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of coral reefs and fisheries throughout the Caribbean region. First released accidentally into the Caribbean near Florida by aquarists in the 1980s, the predatory fish from the Indo-Pacific has no natural predators in the Atlantic, and an exploding population is steadily eating its way across the entire Caribbean Sea. From the Bahamas to Barbados, coral reefs – and the traditional fisheries they support – are now under siege from this unforeseen threat. While complete eradication of this destructive fish is now impossible, consistent, high-volume removal efforts may halt population growth, diminishing the devastating threat the species poses to native fish populations. On Belize’s World Heritage listed Barrier Reef Reserve System, efforts are now underway to do just that. Conservationists and communities are working together to confront the lion in its den, by cultivating a new international export market for this surprisingly delicious fish; a prospect that Blue Ventures has been exploring within the domestic and international spheres since 2012.

About Caribbean Coral Reefs
From glass-bottom boat tours to scuba diving, coral reefs are front and center among attractions of the Caribbean. The environmental conditions found in the Caribbean Sea have given rise to coral reefs that rank among the world's finest, and these reefs are home to a variety of sea life. Despite their stony appearance, coral reefs are fragile, living things. The best way to ensure their future is to show them the same respect you would give any kind of wildlife that you traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to see.

Inspirational Photographers
A curated guide to the best photographers on the Internet

Quintana Roo Underwater Cave Project
For the Quintana Roo Underwater Cave Project, Meacham and his team are exploring and mapping what is believed to be the longest underwater cave system in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Yucatan biodiversity assessed by photography expedition
Photos released at the opening of the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) in Merida, Mexico, this weekend highlight the diversity and threats to conservation in the Yucatán Peninsula.

August 16, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Unknown vessel causes significant damage to the reef at Shark Ray Alley
Hol Chan Marine Reserve is asking the public’s assistance in investigating an incident that has left a significant strand of Acopora palmate (Elkhorn Coral) of the main reef damaged. It is believed that sometime on Sunday night, a boat ran aground the reef at Shark Ray Alley, located within the marine reserve. The vessel was pulled out unnoticed, but the impact is significant. On Monday August 5th, Hol Chan Marine Reserve office was informed of the incident after damages left behind by the vessel were clearly observed. “A vessel did run aground the reef and we highly suspect it occurred some part of Sunday (August 4th) night because when we visited the site on Monday, the damages were fresh. The damage done to the reef is significant. A lot of the corals were overturned and the Elkhorn Coral were broken into a lot of little pieces. It was just a lot of damage,” Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The damage to the reef was done in two areas, but the largest impacted area measures 85 feet by 42 feet. “Because of the size of the area that was damaged, we believe it was a large vessel. It must have been something larger than the tour boats,” added Forman.

Ambergris Today

Belize at Miss World and Miss America Latina Pageants
Lovely Destinee Arnold just recently won the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2013-2014 and is off to represent Belize at the Miss United Continent Pageant in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but there are two more Belizean beauties who will be proudly representing Belize in two international pageants. Idolly Saldivar, Miss World Belize 2013-2014, will have the task of representing Belize at this year’s Miss World Pageant in Jakarta, Indonesia while Karen Middleton, Miss America Latina Del Mundo Belize 2013-2014, will participate in the Miss America Latina Del Mundo Pageant in Cancun, Mexico. Miss World Belize 2013-2014 will be represented by Miss Idolly Louise Saldivar of Belize City at the 63rd Miss World Final Contest to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Miss Salidvar is a beautiful model with black hair, dark brown eyes, 5ft 5in tall and is a graduate from Palloti High School in Academic Science. She also earned an Associate Degree in General Studies from St. John’s College, School of Liberal Arts. Her future ambition is to become a dentist.

Professional Triathlete Casey Bateman Hosts Summer Swim Splash in Belize
The Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry and Casey Bateman US National Team Triathlete hosted a Summer Swim Splash Camp in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week. The three-day event took place from Monday, August 12, to Wednesday, August 14, 2013 in front of the Holiday Hotel and hosted 32 students. “It was a really nice experience; these children are amazing,” commented Casey Bateman to Ambergris Today. “The small children were taught basic skills on how to float and swim safety while the more advanced children were taught stroke refinement and triathlon work outs.” The event was a total success and Bateman hopes to make it an annual event and hopefully have the cooperation of the business community for the benefit of the children of San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Sports Commentary: Reaction to 'Was Queens Park Rangers the Greatest?'
By Wellington C. Ramos Former All Orange Walk Player I want to clarify some issues related to the article “Was Queens Park Rangers The Greatest?” that was published in the Amandala sport section August 9, 2013, by my friend Michael Finnegan. Before the team was taken over by Mr Frank Sharp, the name of the team was “Rovers”, which was founded, coached and trained by Dundee Lino D-Line because he was disliked after Queens Park Rangers lost the Inter-district Competition to Orange Walk Selection in the late 1960s. He was accused of selling out the game with the goalkeeper Ramball Rodriguez. All Belize won the Inter-district Competition for some years until 1975 when I started playing for All Orange Walk, with Enrique Carballo, Gregzie Jones, Nolie Leiva, Cheesie Flowers, Studd Hendricks, Mark Anthony Chavarria, Matthew Williams, Romaldo Lambey, Matutue, Daniel Cacho, Renan Briceno, Bunz Bennett, Harrier Laing. We were the first team to defeat All Belize convincingly at MCC grounds. After the game we had to get a police escort out of the park inside our bus. The Belize City people were stoning the bus with bottles and cursing us out because they were angry that they lost. Delhart Courtney was the referee for that game. Dean Lindo took our team to Picwick Club beside MCC Grounds for a treat that evening.

Waste disposal on North Ambergris Caye
Residents and Businesses on North Ambergris Caye, please contact the Town Foreman, Mr. Samuel Gonzalez to establish a drop off station for the disposal of your waste. You may contact him on his mobile number: 661-2275 or 627-9412

Galen Eagles Band Reaches Carifesta
The Galen Eagles Band, along with the Belize National Dance Company, and Joris Hendrik, have arrived in Suriname to represent Belize at Carifesta IX. In related news, the Galen Eagles Band has submitted a video to the Belize Celebrations video competition on fb, entitled Proud of My Belize, which was written by Shannelly Sutherland, and it will be performed at Carifesta.

Rotaract Cristo Rey Book Project
Feelgood news of the day. The Rotaract club had their Cristo Rey Book project recently. Thanks, Rotaract! In related news, they are starting up their Sunday Bingo again, starting this Sunday at Hode's. All proceeds go to their noble causes of helping out the community. "Thanks to everyone who showed up to help with our ongoing book project. We have some exciting longterm plans to help out high school kids! Stay tuned!!"

SFDC Deccenial Anniversary Preparations
The Succutz Festival Drum Corps is getting ready for their Deccenial anniversary this Saturday. It'll be an all day event, starting early Saturday morning. "The band is now in its Decennial Anniversary. We take this time to do the necessary preparations to celebrate 10 years of existence and bringing out the very best of our Belizean youths. It is not every day that we conclude that what was aspired emerged into one of the highlight of our village and also our country, and for that, we plan to celebrate it immensely!"

Channel 7

Stevedores Trying To Push Out “Pancho”
Right now at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Center in Belize City, the Waterfront Workers are meeting with other members of the Christian Workers Union, trying to get their support to rally against union president Antonio Gonzalez. As we've reported, the waterfront workers want him to resign immediately. Gonzalez has agreed to step down after an Annual General Meeting on March 14th, 2014. Today, the leaders of the waterfront workers told us why they are calling on their fellow CWU members from other organization to push out Pancho: Raymond Rivers - Waterfront Workers Representative "This meeting this evening is for us to bring awareness to Central Bank, Social Security, DFC, Banana Growing, Stevedore and all the other organizations that are registered under Christian Workers Union because Mr. Gonzalez has failed to give us a financial report, failed to have election, failed everything but live good from our money. We are sure that he receives approximately $200,000 a year from all the entities and that is what concerns me most of all."

Land Grab Against Gaynair?
Ian Gaynair is the star member of the Belize's National Team, Jaguars, who scored Belize's only goal in the Gold Cup. He is also 1 of 2 members who has been honored locally and internationally for turning down money from a match fixer. Tonight, however, he's back in the news because a parcel of land which he has claims to was taken away from him. Gaynair was granted lease approval for lot number 9236 on Holy Emmanuel Street near the Gungulung Area of Lake Independence. He's invested to develop the piece of land, and June of this year, he discovered that he no longer has any claims to it. That's because it was given to another someone else, who now has title to this piece of land. Gaynair went to renew his driver's license in June, which he couldn't do because he had outstanding property taxes. So, when he attempted to pay for the taxes in relation to this piece of land, he was informed that it no longer belongs to him. 7News understands that he hasn't paid property taxes for the land. We contacted him for comment, which he declined. Gaynair works for the Vital Statistics Unit, a Government department.

Seawell Before The Supreme Court
Last week, 7News told you about the much-delayed Habeas Corpus Hearing for Mark Seawell. He's wanted by the United States for narcotics trafficking, and he's been on remand for over 7 years. And since 2011, he's been trying to get this hearing in the Supreme Court. Well, today, finally, his attorney, Arthur Saldivar was able to begin presenting his case to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Saldivar addressed CJ Benjamin for a little over 3 hours this afternoon, and after the case was adjourned, 7News spoke to him about his impression of how the arguments were being received. Here's how he explained it: Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Mark Seawell "The hearing has started on the habeas corpus application and these things are limited in relation to what we can argue on. It has to come on the abuse of process principle and it has to basically be kept within the confines of what is allowed in these particular instances. Certainly what we have put forward thus far relates to what we consider to be important in terms of the likelihood of a fair trial or the fact that one may be impossible should Mr. Seawell be extradited. But at the end of the day, I believe that for the most part the submission has carried through what we would want to be presented and we look forward to tomorrow to continue in concluding."

No Clues In Death Of New Zealander
Who killed elderly Crooked Tree Resident, 76 year old Barry Blayney – who is originally from New Zealand. A number of persons have been taken in for questioning, but Belize District Rural Police still have no major leads. His body was discovered yesterday afternoon in his house with his hands and feet bound, with a piece of cloth over his head, and his mouth taped up. There were no signs of physical violence on his body, and one theory is that he may have been tied up by robbers, and because he has breathing problems, the tape on his mouth could have caused his death. But that's just a theory investigators have – and it's far from conclusive. According to the residents, Blayney moved to Crooked Tree almost 10 years ago. Police have not been able to contact his family because there is no New Zealand Consular Representative in Belize.

The Details Of the MOU
Last night, we gave you a snapshot of the plans for the Norwegian Cruise Destination at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. They're promising investment of 50 million US dollars in a destination that will be opened up in two years, and which will create directly and indirectly over a thousand jobs. But it's not completely a done deal – right now its just a memorandum of understanding, which we'll look more closely at in tonight's story: Jules Vasquez reporting The eight page, 23 point Memorandum of Understanding, dated July 31st, 2013, is the product of long negotiation according to Minister Godwin Hulse: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Chair, Cabinet Investment Committee "There have been many presentations of MOU's and the final one that will be presented today will clear up a bit of confusion because there's been - I think it started with about draft 6, we're at draft 10 but they caught up on us on draft 6 and moved steadily through the various progressions." The final signing was done on July 31st by trade minister Erwin Contreras who attended yesterday’s event, but as is his style, did not speak or take the head table. His CEO Mike Singh outlined one of the controversial points of the MOU – the head tax arrangement:

BTIA Stays Bex, Says It’s Crackhead Economics, On Steroids!
And while it's a big pitch being made, the president of the Placencia Chapter of the BTIA Stewart Krohn is not convinced Krohn and overnight tourism interests in Placencia have been opposing the plan from the very start – and today he told us, he still believes it can be vigorously and effectively opposed – especially the head tax: Stewart Khron - BTIA, President, Placencia "All I can say is that I hate to bring back this crackhead analogy - but I know crackheads on the street who are better negotiators than the people who negotiated this agreement. To say that you are now limiting yourself, you will review the head tax once every five years? Do you think the Income Tax or the GST department can make a commitment to review the GST only once every five years? This is insanity and then after five years and they somehow summon the courage to raise it by $1.00, which is the limit to which they will raise it, out of the $1.00 then $0.50 is going to go to NCL? This is the ultimate crackhead MOU." Jules Vasquez "It will happen - like it or not." Stewart Khron "Who says it will happen, like it or not? It not over until it's over Jules. You of all people know that in Belizean politics, strange events can intervene. Next week you might see an NCL ship crash on the Belize reef - with that be a game changer? Yes it would. Whenever someone tells you that it's a done deal - what they're really telling you is that might not be a done deal but they would love for it to be a done deal. I would like to tell people out there - particularly people outside of the South who might be sitting on the sidelines and saying 'well yeah I kind of sympathize with the people down there, but it's a done deal so I'll just shut up'. It's not a done deal and we've seen before in Belizean history, if the people raise their voices loudly enough then even done deals can be undone."

American From San Pedro Committed Suicide In City
Tonight, the body of 43 year-old American Belizean Timothy James Callanan, a resident of San Pedro Town, is at the KHMH awaiting a post-mortem, after it was discovered at around 5 yesterday evening at the Golden Tree Hotel. At this point, police believe that he killed himself. Callanan arrived at the hotel at around midday on Tuesday, and he was supposed to have only spent the overnight. So, when the receptionist noticed that he hadn't left up to four pm the following day, she decided to check up on him, and that's when she discovered his body. She contacted the police, who responded and retrieved the body. They found various suicide notes. He was last seen leaving Dean Lindo's law firm on Church Street at 11 am on Tuesday. Lindo reports that he was on his way to Burt Bradley but never made it there or to any of his appointments.

Bumper To Bumper Fender Bender
The northern highway is always bumper to bumper in the morning rush hour, and today that caused a four vehicle pile-up. It happened in front of Benny's Warehouse at around 8:00 when one of the drivers didn't see the vehicle in front of him come to a stop. That led a driver to rear end him, and then another, and then another in a chain reaction. When it was all over, a Dodge Neon had suffered the most serious damaged with its transmission wrecked. It's not big news, but we are highlighting a recurrent problem in that area where traffic slows and drivers tend to skylark.

Budna Gets Over Some Legal Hurdles
Joseph Budna has gotten some of his legal worries out of the way. As we told you, last year in Guatemala he was charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals. According the Guatemalan press, Budna was the leader of a ring of criminals specializing in international kidnappings in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Well he contacted us from Guatemala where he told us that 6 days ago – he had a breakthrough in the Peten Supreme Court – when he proved that the policeman who shot him during his September 2012 arrest had something personal against him: Voice of: Joseph Budna - From Peten, Guatemala "As you know I was charged for attempted murder and as well for an unlicensed firearm - that was a .40 firearm which police claimed at the time of my arrest that I fired shots after them. Now, I could tell you that that was false and at the Supreme Court in Peten that was proven to be false and that was the reason why the Supreme Court of that jurisdiction had set me free of attempted murder and an unlicensed firearm charges. This was one of the previous cases in Peten that I opened gun shot against them and kidnapped police in Peten, after they tried to apprehend me. None of the police weapon, none of the police bullets that they fired at me was taken before the court - I told the judge that it is without any doubt that the firearm was what they called 'quemal' and what is called on the street - means a firearm was used that was not registered and it was illegal. So I have the judge believe that these police officer - rather than arrested me, they reached to eliminate me for special interest."

NTUCB Supports Public Finance Reform
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize supports the proposed re-structuring of the public accounts committee. As we showed you on Friday, the motion was presented to the house by PUP Representative Julius Espat but soundly rejected by the House Speaker. But the NTUCB says it represents a unique opportunity to enhance participatory democracy and signal to the people that there is political will to reform isntituions. In the statement, the NTUCB lament s that, quote, "the government came into office on a platform of reform but sadly they have not done enough." They are asking the government to take ownership of the motion and ensure restructuring of the Accounts Committee. The Prime Minister has said that the restructuring as proposed by Espat would up-end the house standing orders and goes against the very basis of the parliamentary system.

Belize U-15 Footballers Await Jamaica
Tonight, the Belize U-15 National Football Team is in the Cayman Islands, and they are awaiting their second match. As we reported, the team defeated Saint Lucia with a score of 1-0 on Wednesday. The goal came from Alvin Siftones, who scored in the twenty-first minute of the second half. According the Football Federation of Belize, there were Belizean fans who were present in the stadium, and they gave tremendous support. The team is resting up for their next game against Jamaica, which they will play at around 6 tomorrow evening.

Garifuna Collective Launches “Ayo” In Belize
The Garifuna Collective has toured North America in support of their new album "Ayo" and now they've come back to Belize to launch the album locally. The album has been praised by music reviewers worldwide for creating a magical album filled with songs of "heartbreak, hope and joy." Indeed, the album produced and recorded at Stonetree records in Benque Viejo is a major cultural product– and today some of the band members told us why you should get it: Al Ovando - Bassist, Ga rifuna Collective "This is the officially day of release for the album 'Ayo' - it's a tribute to Andy Palacio - it's the second album of the Garifuna Collective band itself and it's just a continuation of what Andy started and we are just officially launching it today and letting the public know that it is now available in the stores. We'd like everyone to support and make sure everyone gets a copy." Desiree Diego - Vocalist, Garifuna Collective "It means a whole lot to us, to add to what Al said - it's a tribute to Andy, bidding him farewell and also working on new songs. I must say that I want everybody to get a copy of this CD, who could purchase it and listen to it; vibes up with the CD and us working along with the public."

Profile Of a Stroke Of Luck, And Hard Work
Tonight's profile is about Doctor Priscilla Brown Lopez – who was born in Lucky Strike Village in difficult circumstances. Tonight she tells the profile how a stroke of luck landed this lucky strike girl in the teaching profession:

PG Youth Volunteers Walk The Line
This summer, we've told you about all kinds of camps, but in the great outdoors of PG, they do things a little differently. Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers took this group of kids to the border – at the banks of the Upper Temash. It was a full day of activity, as they made the trek to the border, complete with lessons in map reading, and flag waving.

A Concert For Carnival Cash
On Saturday night, six carnival senior bands will be competing against each other at the 4th annual Soca Madness Competition. It's an event organized each year by Flavaz Entertainment – mainly to give a helping hand with some financial support to the winning bands. We all know carnival is fun but is also costly – and so this Saturday, these senior bands will be putting on a show in front of an audience – in hopes of winning hundreds of dollars. The organizer told us more: Andazi - Organizer, Flavaz Entertainment "Today, August 17th at the MCC Tennis Court - it's just going to be a big party. Basically it's a dance competition between 6 of the senior bands in this year's carnival road march and we're going to be giving away prizes to the different carnival bands and this is all in aid of helping them prepare for the road march. Basically we have three rounds for the competition - we will have a freestyle round where we will just throw music out at them and then they will do their thing on stage. Then they'll have an audience response round where they really have to work for the attention of the crowd. Finally, we have a little carnival costume competition.

Channel 5

N.T.U.C.B. supports restructuring Public Accounts Committee
There have been a great deal of verbal fireworks on both sides of the floor in the House of Representatives recently, including blistering remarks by chairman Julius Espat, regarding the [...]

The Norwegian men explain why the Harvest Caye Port is needed
The ink on the Memorandum of Understanding between Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Government of Belize has been dry from July thirty first. Minister Godwin Hulse said that it [...]

B.T.I.A. Placencia Chairman maintains NCL is a bad deal for Belize
You’ve heard about the minimum of twenty-five percent of the passengers guaranteed to go on tours….that numerical amount continued to resound in the MOU as the government agreed to a [...]

Missing San Pedro businessman found dead in Belize City Hotel
Earlier this week, a missing person’s bulletin was in circulation within the media concerning the whereabouts of forty-three year old Timothy James Callanan, a naturalized Belizean businessman of San Pedro [...]

Lease land taken away from celebrated Jaguar, Ian Gaynair
He scored the only goal for Team Belize in the Gold Cup in July. He received international acclaim and recognition from CONCACAF and FIFA for turning down a bribe to [...]

Mark King wants a ‘reversible’ apology?
Self-proclaimed Minister of Gangs Mark King will be taking KREM News to court, or at least he claims he will if they do not issue a public apology to him. [...]

The long winding and bumpy road to Sarteneja
On Wednesday’s newscast we showed you one of the biggest problems affecting the thirty-five residents of the seaside community of Sarteneja. The water system is broken, and there has been [...]

Ferry in Corozal closes and villagers suffer miles of consequences
The Ministry of Works is currently rehabilitating the Copper Bank/Chunox Ferry in the Corozal district. Normally that would be good news, but residents of the communities of Sarteneja, Progresso, Chunox [...]

It started with a stolen cow, but ended with pointed gun
Thirty-one year old Jerome Crawford, of Hattieville, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison, following an incident in the village on Wednesday during which he allegedly pulled a [...]

High school student busted on burglary charges
A nineteen year old student of Maud Williams High School is on pretrial detention at the Belize Central Prison after being charged with burglary and handling stolen goods.  Salvadoran national [...]

Will Mark Seawell be extradited to the U.S.A.?
The protracted case of Mark Seawell, wanted by U.S. authorities on a slew of drug-related offenses, resumed today in the Supreme Court chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  Seawell, who [...]

Mayor and delegation back from developing sister city relations
While Seawell fights extradition to the US, a local contingent of Belizeans recently returned from a tour of parts of America.  Forming and sustaining sister city relationships is one way [...]

Some real old time fire hearth cooking in Willows Bank
This Saturday, Willows Bank will come alive once again for its third annual Fire-Hearth Festival. And the name speaks for itself…the celebration features a fire hearth cook-off where a representative [...]

Garifuna Collective release Ayo, a tribute to Andy Palacio
They are back in the Jewel….the Garifuna Collective is back from a tour in North America where they were featured in thirty-eight festivals and made appearances in twenty-five cities. The [...]

Healthy Living gets its cholesterol checked
Most people find out they have high cholesterol while conducting routine screening tests.  Even so, high cholesterol is diagnosed in Belize on a daily basis. It is a worrisome situation [...]


Southern Cruise Port Will Not Take Away From Belize City Port, Says Tourism Authorities
The Memorandum of Understanding for the Harvest Caye Project in southern Belize has been signed, as we reported on Wednesday, and its Master plan underwent a few changes along the way. But Leader of Government Business, Senator Hulse assured that Norwegian Cruise Line will be required to meet a list of prerequisites and that the Belize City port will not be affected by the expansion of cruise tourism now in southern Belize. Senator Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business “Any scheduled visits in the north at the existing thing, those shall not be diverted; so, whatever is scheduled there, we will maintain and then you go to the south; we will not transfer them; so, all this fear that was happening in Belize City will stop – that’s not true. This supports the national tourism master plan in reaching its objectives of 1.5 million cruise passengers by 2030 and communities and businesses to benefit and be impacted. So, the technical team worked around that; the Cabinet was satisfied, it’s socially acceptable; of course, you can’t please everybody, so am not here to say that everybody is going to say hoorah but there are a lot of people who will. Economically acceptable, the analysis showed that it would bring revenue to government and foreign exchange and economic benefits to Belize. Legally doable? Absolutely; the concession does not infringe on – concessions in Belize city they company will abide by all necessary environmental compliance rules the company will abide by the labor laws of Belize the company will abide under respective license granted by the port of authority company will apply for incentive under the physical incentive act the company will abide by all necessary statutory boarding — immigration and vessel requirements as stipulated by the port authority company will be license under the hotel and tourist accommodating act and the company will undergo US dollar exchange under the exchange control act so it’s legal do-able no secrets here nothing to hide.”

Garifuna Collective Promotes Album In Memory of Andy Palacio
The Garifuna Collective has recently returned from touring the United States and Canada. But the ever hard-working group hasn’t taken the time to stop and rest just yet. They are already promoting their new album “AYO” an album dedicated to Andy Palacio and others in the group that have moved on from this world. Today Love News spoke with Tour Manager, Al Obando and Lead Vocalist and Maracas player, Desiree Diego about the new album. AL OBANDO, Tour Manager, The Garifuna Collective “The album was designed from the Garifuna Collective members themselves; the whole philosophy of the album is that it sounds like a traditional group of people singing all the songs, there is no one main singer; the group is paying tribute to Andy so, all the songs is designed and arranged that way with multiple vocals in each song.” DESIREE DIEGO, Lead Vocal/Maracas, the Garifuna Collective “Ayo means goodbye in English and since it is a tribute to Andy bidding him farewell, it all works off the CD with Ayo. The song is saying that Belize has wept during the death of Andy, his parents are grieving, his children and actually behind it it’s seeing the pain when they went to the funeral for Andy Palacio in 2008; so, that’s what Ayo is basically saying and it is written in Garifuna and in English.”

Maintenance Works on Ferries in Northern Belize Underway
The Ministry of Works has started work on two ferries that connect Corozal Town to the communities of Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso, Little Belize, and Sarteneja. There are allegations that no official notice was given to the public and that the Ministry has not put in place measures of how to keep the flow of traffic in the area. Love News spoke with works CEO Errol Gentle about the situation. ERROL GENTLE “I am not certain if that was done without any announcement to the public because usually a month before we do any work it is announced; so, if there was no announcement, I would have to talk to my Officer in Charge in Corozal but you could imagine having a ferry in the river for quite some while and no maintenance is done; there’s corrosion in some places, there might be some holes in the ferry; so, for the safety of the vehicles and the safety for people, we have to ensure that we save lives; from time to time we have to do maintenance on the ferry. We have been doing some surface maintenance but it’s time that we actually take the ferries out of the water and address whatever problems that exist under the surface of the ferry. On the surface, you’ll see some of the running boards have been replaced; the approaches to both of the ferries will be fixed; the cable that holds the ferry together will be replaced and the actual flotation part of the ferry, the metal part that do have some holes in some areas, in order for us to repair them that has be taken out; we’ll have to cut out the rotten part and put in welding in new sheeting unto the ferry. The first one took a little bit longer than we thought; we’re expecting like one month or a month and a half and the second ferry that we’ll be working on is the bigger ferry; so, certainly it will take much longer. The concern of the villagers is that the ferry will be taken out and there will be no consideration for movement of passengers and the movement of vehicles but we will be looking into that and will be doing whatever is possible to ensure that they’ll be free flow of traffic.”.

Elderly Man Found Dead Identified As A New Zealand National
Last night we told you about a murder that had occurred in Crooked Tree Village. The victim, identified at seventy six year old New Zealand national, Barry Blainey, was found at around midday yesterday by a resident of the Village, Fiona Buylding. Buylding told Love News that after noticing that Blainey had skipped his daily routines, she went to check up on him at his house. There she observed that Blainey was motionless, lying face down with his hands and feet bound and his head covered with a sheet. Immediately, Buylding says, that she alerted a close friend and neighbor to Blainey, Rudolf Crawford who then called the authorities. Residents of the Village believe that Blainey was killed sometime Tuesday night when the rain poured down. Police have yet to release any details of this latest homicide but villagers believe that Blainey was robbed before he was killed. Blainey had moved into the village some ten years ago and lived mostly by himself after the death of his wife. Villagers are still baffled as to why anyone would want to harm Blainey, especially since he is described as a humble individual who kept to himself. Love News understands that several persons have been detained for questioning.

Belize To Be Represented in Two Upcoming International Pageants
Two Belizean beauties are headed out of the country to represent Belize in two pageants scheduled for August and September. The two young women are Karen Jasmine Middleton, who will make representation at the Miss Latin America of the World to be held at the Barcelo’ Maya Beach Resort in Rivera Maya Cancun, Mexico and Idolly Saldivar who will be traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia to represent Belize at the 63rd annual Miss World. The pageant activities in Mexico will commence on Sunday August 18 and runs until August 31 at 9:00 p.m. Middleton is twenty years old and hails from Corozal Town. She has participated in various pageants since the age of sixteen. She captured the title of Miss Independence Corozal in 2008; placed second runner up in the Miss World Belize pageant 2009 and earned the title of the Miss Amity award. She has won the Reina Del Tropico Internacional 2012 in Honduras for which she also received the Miss Friendship Award. The Miss Latin America of the World pageant will be held on August 31 at the Teatro Monte Alban inside the Barcelo Maya Palace Hotel in Cancun. Meanwhile, Saldivar, the titleholder for Miss Earth Belize 2012-2013, Miss Costa Maya international 2011 and Miss Piel Dorada 2011 will be competing for the title of Miss World against approximately 130 other coutnries. She arrives in the City of Bali on September 3 and returns home by September 30. The event will be televised on the E! Channel on September 28, 2013.

Magistrate Revokes Gun License for Security Guard
Forty-five year old Kim Taylor, A security guard who resides on Partridge street, was charged with altering a firearm when he appeared today before Magistrate Clive Lino. Taylor pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Lino explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence falls under the Firearm Act. Taylor was remanded into custody until October 1. The alleged offence occurred on March 8. According to the allegation, Taylor, the holder of a gun license for a Glock nine millimetre pistol, altered the firearm by removing the barrel and replacing it with another Glock nine millimetre barrel. Taylor’s gun license was revoked. Taylor was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.


San Joaquin Prepares To Celebrate Its 47th Fiesta
The center stage for the 47th annual San Joaquin Fiesta is set for this weekend in the village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District. The entrance of the torch from Bacalar was brought in on the 8th of August which marked the initial commencement of the festival. The site is already being prepared for this year’s event which promises to be bigger and better. Yarely Pol – Committee member “Tomorrow being the 16th, the Feast day we have the last novena at five, then at six we have the mass and then the inauguration of the fair at the park grounds at seven thirty more or less, then after that we have the dance with Youth Connection from Orange Walk plus the games and food, that’s for tomorrow Friday.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “So what is expected from the public whenever they arrive at San Joaquin?” Yarely Pol – Committee member “We are expecting them to feel at home, welcomed to come and enjoy with their families, it is a family fair, new games, new attractions and for the couples who to enjoy themselves well the dance.”

Teachers Trained To Be Counsellors
Primary School teachers are not the only ones receiving assistance for effective delivery of the two most important subject areas, Problem Solving and Language Arts. High School teachers are currently taking part in a workshop that is teaching them how to indentify if a child is going through issues that may impede his/her learning. Counseling is an important area especially at the high school level; however, due to lack of resources, a teacher’s terms of reference must be modified to include also being a councilor. In order for teachers to carry out the job well, they received the necessary training. Licia Castillo, School Councillor, OWTHS “This workshop was to equip teachers with basic counseling skills in the classroom.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Ok, then me why do you believe it is important to equip teachers with this information, to make my question clear, I mean one week of these techniques, do you believe it will assist teachers to actually play that role in their school?"

Teachers Attack The Challenges Of The Profession
Teachers in the Orange Walk District are currently partaking in a number of workshops with the aim of improving their teaching skills. In the Orange Walk District, teachers are out in full force acquiring the necessary tools that will aid them in tackling two of the biggest challenges in the teaching profession; reading and problem solving. Noel Lopez, Teacher “It has exposed us to a whole lot of strategies that need to be used in language arts and mathematics.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What are some of those strategies?” Noel Lopez, Teacher “For example we were just now being exposed to using pictures, how you can rearrange pictures in different orders and you can be telling different stories from the same set of pictures. In Language Arts first of all we know that children well English not their first language so now with material that they can relate to children will feel more comfortable for example looking at a picture they will able to make up stories just by looking at it.”

PM Says No To Restructuring Of PAC, NTUCB Says Yes
At the House of Representatives last week the Chairman of the Public Account Committee Julius Espat presented a motion to change the formation of the committee in charge of scrutinizing the spending of the government. While for taxpayers, the configuration of the committee might have sounded like a good idea, the motion was highly criticized and rejected by the Barrow Administration. Here are the Prime Ministers critiques about the motion. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Mr. Speaker I am very sorry, this motion is entirely and wholly misconceive, shot through with procedural and substantive errors from beginning to end and I after I finish speaking ask you for a ruling Mr Speaker because it is my submission that is it out of order and has to fall without merits of the motion being debated. First of all, we are told that it is a motion under 25 of the Standing Orders, even that is wrong, when you look at the substance of what the member has set forward it is really a motion that oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 of the standing orders. Section 25 talks about how you move motions and amendments procedurally, tell you in 26 the period of notice which I see Mr Speaker in the case of a private member, but 89 is what talks particularly about a motion to amend the standing orders and that is what the member is proposing, a motion to amend the standing orders, so it oath to have been brought pursuant to section 89 and such a motion requires as I see it here in 89 (1) Mr Speaker, not less than eight clear days’ notice. I see that the speaker is at liberty to contract the noticed period so I imagine that it was put in the order papers in consequence of the Speaker having exercised that jurisdiction but even if we get by that particular procedural difficulty there is another procedural difficulty that it strikes me even you Mr Speaker do not have the authority to waive. Let me read 89 (1) Mr Speaker, unless the Speaker shall otherwise direct not less than eight days’ notice of a motion to amend the standing orders shall be given, presumably you directed and so it is less than eight days and the second part, and the notice shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendment, where is the member draft of the proposed amendment.”

Finally San Estevan/Progresso Road To Be Paved
Works for the upgrading of the San Estevan/Progresso Road was set to commence on the 21st of November 2011 and completed by May 21st 2013, but so far the rehabilitation of the 16 miles stretch of road is nowhere in site. As mentioned last night, the deplorable conditions of the road have been affecting thousands of residents who live in Corozal Southeast and find the need to commute to Orange Walk daily. With their livelihoods affected, residents decided to take a stand and demanded answers from Government. Particularly, they wanted to know why the road had not been fixed; after all, the contract was signed close to two years ago. In order to get the attention of GOB, residents threatened to block the road and even the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry. If it was just a bluff, we will never know, what we do know though is that it surely caught Governments attention and tonight residents of Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso and other surrounding villages, have received a commitment from the Ministry of Works that work on the road will commence in ten working days. This was reveled during a very heated meeting held between residents and representatives of the Ministry of Works yesterday in the Village of Progresso.


GOB & Norwegian Cruise Line push Harvest Caye project
The Memorandum of Understanding between Norwegian Cruise Line and the Government of Belize was signed a few days ago, but the hard work that both sides hope will lead to a prosperous cruise port facility at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District has only just begun. Today a...

Gilroy Usher out on bail after pleading not guilty to harm
Gilroy Usher, is out on bail after he pleaded not guilty to harm. The 56 year old businessman, who was PUP Standard Bearer for Port Loyola in the previous General Elections, was arrested following an alleged domestic dispute on Monday. It is alleged he beat his wife and she...

Jason Anderson found guilty of drug possession
On Wednesday, 23 year old Jason Anderson, who is on remand for murder, was found guilty of drug possession. Anderson plead guilty today after he was caught with one gram of cannabis. He was busted with the weed on February 5 2013, upon returning from the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court....

Contractor tries to recover money spent on renovation and expansion of Dangriga Market
The Belize Municipal Development Project is a 30 million dollar venture financed by the World Bank, aimed at providing infrastructure development to seven municipalities in Belize. The first phase of the project, which is being spearheaded by the Social Investment Fund, is near completion, as works in six of...

Gilberto Augustus Welcome acquitted of serious firearm related offense
In late July 2011, a Belize City man was allegedly busted with 2 live rounds of 9 mm ammunitions inside his bedroom. He was charged with kept ammunition without gun license and remanded to the Belize Central Prison for 90 days. But tonight, 22-year-old Gilberto Augustus Welcome is a...

Student remanded for two criminal offences
A teenager who is a second form student is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused and charged with two criminal offenses; burglary and handling stolen goods. He is 19-year-old Salvadoran national, Carlos David Beltran. Beltran appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton Wednesday evening . Allegations...

Timothy Callanan missing since Tuesday
The family of Belize City resident Timothy Callanan is asking for help in locating their loved one. Callanan was last seen Tuesday morning, sometime around 11am, leaving the law firm on Church Street in Belize city. He had a number of appointments that day and never made it to...

Shower activity moves over Yucatan and Belize
According to the National Hurricane Centre there is a 60% chance that a tropical wave forecast to hit landfall in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula in the next couple of days, could develop into a tropical depression. We talked to the Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez who gave us...

Two ferries closed for repair
The Corozal/Progresso and the Copper Bank/Chunox ferry are both under repair. There have been numerous complaints about the ferries being unsafe for both vehicles and humans. The damaged decks of these ferries are especially dangerous at night. On Tuesday, August 13th, the ferries were...

Belize National Football Team gives back to the community
The Belize National Football Team is giving back to the community. While the team was in the USA, they were challenged to bring back a small gift for a needy child in Belize. Each player donated US$20.00 to purchase a school bag to bring back home for the kids....

Belizean artists perform at California’s “Reggae on the River”
“Reggae on the River” is an annual Reggae fest held in Humbuldt County, California on the first week of August. The Festival was born in 1983 and has since gotten very popular, reeling in thousands of reggae fans from across the border. In this year’s festival, Belize had the...

One hundred and six Belizeans certified CERT members
On Saturday, August 10th One hundred and six Belizeans were certified as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. A ceremony was held in Burrel Boom which acknowledged the participants for completing their two year training program. The training project was funded by USAID and...

The Guardian

Vision for Lake Independence
Hon. Mark King, Area Representative for Lake Independence, has proposed to the Belize City Council as a part of his master plan to re-design and transform the entire Mahogany street area into a modernized part of the city. The plan will entail massive work which will completely transform the surroundings and environment of the existing area. The project has been approved by Hon. Mark King, His Worship Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council, the BWS Chairman, Alberto August and it is now going through a consultation process with other stakeholders. The Mahogany Street beautification project will include changes to be made to the sidewalks, bus stops, taxi stands, the cementing of the entire length of Mahogany Street as well as the greening of the road sides, the construction of bicycle paths, the painting of the area, installation of new shops and park light posts and much more.

Woman Beater
The People’s United Party’s United Women’s Group was nowhere to be found when PUP Standard Bearer in Port Loyola was escorted to the Magistrate’s Court to be charged after he allegedly beat his wife. It would seem that this is an issue that they ought to be condemning considering the hullabaloo that they made when they claimed to be coming out in defense of Dolores Balderamos Garcia after they claim she was being mistreated. Despite their not being present, Gilroy Usher Sr., who represented the PUP in the last General Election in the Port Loyola division and who failed miserably, was paraded to Magistrate’s Court where he was formally charged with causing harm to his wife, 51-year-old Magdalena Usher. The wife reported to police that on Monday August 12th, Gilroy Usher Sr. beat her. She stated that sometime before 9 on that morning she was hit in the face multiple times by Gilroy Usher Sr. Information reaching the Guardian suggests that Usher used a pint bottle to hit his wife in the face.

NCL is coming - Jobs Now and Plenty More Later
Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) proposal to invest no less than US$50 million on the Harvest Caye project has satisfied the Government’s criteria for foreign investment in Belize and the Cabinet Sub-Committee with responsibility for foreign investments publicly gave its nod of approval on Wednesday, August 14th, in Belize City. Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse, Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, says it is a relief to be finally able to put all rumours about the Memorandum of Understanding to bed. He says there is an obvious reason the details of the agreement was not discussed in public earlier: “There is no secret behind this thing. It is called negotiation.” He says this is the first Government to establish a committee that will oversee all foreign investment in the country and in order for NCL’s or any other project to be approved they must satisfy five criteria.

UB awards scholarships to 83 students
The students were awarded the scholarships at the University of Belize Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan on August 9.

Owen Baptist Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking
On Wednesday, August 7th, 42-year-old Owen Baptist was busted with over five pounds of weed at his home and 37 cannabis plants on his farm in Isabella Bank in the Belize River Valley. The drugs were found during a search operation by police at about 4:15 p.m. on August 7th. Baptist was the only person present at the house during the time of the search. Police searched under his wooden structure and found the weed scattered on the ground. They then went over to his farm and found 37 cannabis plants. Baptist was arrested and charged with drug trafficking and cultivation of a controlled drug. Baptist had no legal representative when he appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton on Friday, August 9th. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to both offenses. Baptists told Magistrate Hamilton that he considers his farm to be a psychiatric clinic because he cares for mentally ill patients there. He had nothing to say during mitigation plea. Magistrate Hamilton explained that he could refrain from imposing custodial sentence but Baptist has not given any reason why he should not be sent to prison. Hamilton then sentenced him to two three-year jail terms and a fine of $10,000 on each count. The prison sentences are to run concurrently; therefore, he will serve only three years in prison.

Cop busted with Weed in Cayo
Good intelligence and quick police work led to the interception of a high profile duo in Santa Elena Town, Cayo on August 9, 2013. The two men, Police Officer Darel Gilbert Swazo, 29 years old, attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office and Herby Edison Morera 30 years old and attached to the customer service section at the Belize Telemedia Limited were asked to exit their vehicle near Alwin’s Superstore on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town on that date. Found inside a double black plastic bag, inside the white two door vehicle (with license plate C35533), were four and a half pounds of a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Further checks in the vehicle did not find any other incriminating evidence. Both men, Darel Giblert Swazo and Herby Edison Morera were thereon arrested and jointly charged for drug trafficking. They were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Monday of this week after which they were granted and met bail. Both their cases have been adjourned to November 7, 2013.

Police Constable Succumbs to Injuries from Brawl
The family of 26-year-old Police Constable Roy Robert Fernandez is demanding justice after their loved one died from injuries sustained during an attack in his home village, Georgetown in the Stann Creek District. According to reports, Fernandez was socializing with a woman and her sister at their mother’s house on Saturday, August 3rd, when the woman’s ex-common-law-husband’s brother passed by and saw them. Knowing that her ex was a jealous man, the woman told Fernandez not to walk home alone. Therefore, he left for home in the company of the two women. According to police report, while walking home they met up with the woman’s ex and his brother. The brother began to curse Fernandez and followed him. They eventually attacked and brutally beat Fernandez. He suffered from a swollen face, burst bottom lip and complained of pain to his upper body. Fernandez did not report the incident and refused medical attention. It was not until sometime around 5 a.m. on Saturday, August 10th, that Fernandez started complaining that he was in unbearable pain and unable to urinate. He was immediately taken to the clinic but it was too late. He passed away at 5:40 p.m. that same day. Police have detained the brothers as part of their investigation into Fernandez’s death. He was on a month vacation from duty at Precinct 1 in Belize City.

Busted with Weed
On Tuesday, August 13th, 27-year-old Jermaine Alex Grant, a construction worker, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. He appeared before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge. On Monday, August 12th, he was found in possession of 15.6 grams of cannabis which according to PC #662, Mark Martinez was found in the crutch area of his boxer shorts. After pleading guilty, Grant asked the court for leniency and Magistrate Stewart imposed a non-custodial sentence where she fined him $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he was ordered to pay $200 forthwith and the balance by October 15, 2013 in default 6 months imprisonment.

Shaquille Neal Charged for Stabbing Uncle
21-year-old Shaquille Neal appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 9th, to answer to a charge of grievous harm upon his uncle, Phillip Neal. According to Police report, on July 14th, Shaquille and Phillip Neal got into an argument at their Periwinkle street home which ended with Shaquille stabbing his uncle twice, once to the chest and once to the left arm. He was treated by a doctor who classified his injuries as grievous harm. In court, Shaquille Neal was without legal representation when he appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was offered in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is to appear back in court on September 30th.

BDF Soldier Threatens Wife with Machete
A Belize City woman is having second thoughts about marrying her common-law-husband after he pulled a machete and threatened to kill her and her family. Her common-law-husband is 28-year-old Belize Defense Force soldier Michael Zuniga. The woman reported to police that she and Zuniga were at her mother’s home for a family function on Saturday, August 10th. She said Zuniga got drunk and the two began to quarrel. She chose to leave her mother’s house and head to her home in the Rio Bravo Crescent area near Faber’s Road. Zuniga followed her home and at about 10 p.m. their argument escalated to the point that he pulled a machete, threatened and punched her. She went to the hospital where a doctor classified her injury as harm. Zuniga was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of using threatening words and one count of harm upon his common-law-wife. In court on Monday, August 12th, Zuniga pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Clive Lino. He was granted bail at $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount but court record showed that he owes the court $800 for a previous conviction of drug possession. He could not meet bail and spent the night in prison before he was able to pay his fine on Tuesday.

Junior footballers participating in CONCACAF championship
The Football Federation of Belize National U-15 male team is currently in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands where it will participate in the CONCACAF U-15 championship. The team left the country on Monday August 12 for the tournament. The team consist of the following players: Elton Gordon, Jamir Alpuche, Karl Haylock, Dale Pelayo, Rogi Solorzano, Kowat Nicholas, Marlon Garcia, Randy Augustine, Trey Harris, Mark Samuels, Dylan Rhys, Brandon Cante, Wayne Cadle, Sammy Sosa, Charles James, Alvin Sifontes, Shevon Butenschoen and Rene Leslie. The technical staff consist of Head Coach, Renan Escobedo, Assistant Coach, Alex Noralez, Physical Trainer, Dennis Serano and Equipment Manager, Herbert Trapp.

Atlantic Bank and Belize Bank lead in Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association 2013 Firms Competition continued on Saturday, August 11th, at Bird’s Isle with three more games on the schedule. In the first game played, Customs/Ministry of Education defeated the Belize City Council/Post Office by the score of 67-61. The top scorers for Customs/Ministry of Education were Kevin Lorenzo with 29 points, Winston Pratt with 22 points and Ephrain Philips with 10 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize City Council/Post Office squad were Kenroy Usher with 14 points, Densford Bevans with 10 points and Cordel Gonzalez Jr. with 9 points. In game two, it was the Belize Bank/Broadway Trust that continued on its winning path when it doubled up on PUC/CBA/Fisheries by the score of 85-41. The top scorers for the Belize Bank/Broadway Trust were Marcel Orozco with 23 points, Troy Gabb with 20 points, and Terrique Gabb with 18 points. For PUC/CBA/Fisheries the top scorers were Andrew Robateau with 12 points, Claudio Leal with 8 points and Raymond Charley with 7 points.

Belize Cycling Association National Elections set
The Interim Committee of the Belize Cycling Association is pleased to inform the general populace that the Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association has confirmed that the elections for the Belize Cycling Association’s National Executive has been scheduled for Saturday, August 31st, 2013 at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive commencing at 2:00 pm. The Interim Committee takes this opportunity to remind those zones that have not yet submitted their list of delegates to do some no later than one week before the scheduled elections.

King of the Hills comes up this Sunday
The Western Region Cycling Association is hosting the “Belikin Western Spirit – King of the Hills” Cycling Race on Sunday, August 18th, 2013 starting at 8:00 a.m. in San Ignacio Town. The event will include Elite, Masters, Juniors, Women and Weekend Warriors riders. The race will commence from the San Ignacio Welcome Centre and the registration fee is $20.00 per rider. In the open category, 1st – 10th place will receive prizes starting at $700.00 and trophy. In this category, riders will have to complete 15 laps. In the Junior category, 1st -10th place will receive starting at $300.00 and trophy and in the masters category, 1st-10th place will receive starting at $500.00 and trophy.

Belize not doing well in Pan American Women’s Championship
The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize is currently participating in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship that is being played in Guayanbo, Puerto Rico. The team has played four games so far and have lost all four games played. On Monday, August 12th, in the game played against the Dominican Republic, Team Belize fell by the score of 13-0 in six innings. The combined pitching of Belize’s starter and loser Francine Hoare and Lisa Jones gave up a total of 13 runs on 13 hits. Jones who relieved Hoare in the top of the 6th inning gave up 5 runs on 3 hits, including a three run home run to third baseman Eduarda Rocha and a two run home run to relief pitcher Geovanny Nuoe. Meanwhile, Team Belize collected only two hits. The two singles belonged to Designated Player Naricia Frazer and left field Joline Davis.

HURTED Dolores Simply Blowing Smoke
Does anyone believe that the power hungry representative from Belize Rural Central was so “hurted” that she did not want to return to the House? Please! Being in the House of Representatives is her only reason for being in politics. Her reason is certainly not to help the people because her record shows that for five years as Representative for Port Loyola she was Missing In Action and now in Belize Rural Central she is as infamous as Tata Duende, starring many unpleasant tales but has never been seen in real life. The People’s United Party knows fully well that the longer the public is talking about Dolores’s feelings the longer the focus is off the fact that the past and present leader of their party was chastised by the Caribbean Court of Justice and internationally exposed as corrupt men, and in the case of Fonseca a dangerous candidate for Prime Minister.

BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp Concludes
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp for 2013 concluded over the past weekend in Toledo. This year’s camp was held at the Julian Cho Technical High School located in the village of Big Falls, close to 300 cadets from around the country had attended.

Belmopan City Administrator calls on Belmopan Residents to be patient
Belmopan City Administrator, Angela Wade, has called on Belmopan residents to be patient as improvements to the City’s market are now ongoing. This comes as cooks from restaurants in Belmopan have been complaining that their only means of re-stocking on vegetables and other produce is by travelling several miles away to the National Agriculture and Show Grounds site.

Stephen Buckley Receives First $50,000
On Friday, August 9th, 40-year-old Stephen Emmanuel Buckley picked up two cheques from the Central Bank of Belize; one for $35,000 and the other for $15,000. Buckley’s attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, is negotiating a settlement with the Government of Belize and the $50,000 is an initial payment to help him cover immediate expenses.

Belize District Village Council Association elected
On Saturday August 10th, the Belize District Association of Village Councils held an annual general meeting during which a new DAVCO executive was elected.

Dolores is missing in Rural Central
From the day of elections in March of 2012, Dolores has not been seen or heard from in her constituency. She only resurfaced during the last village council elections, but when she did invariably she met up with a formidable challenge in all the villages. The challenge was so great that she lost virtually all the villages in her constituency. To a great degree, Brian ‘Yellowman’ Audinet was present in just about every one of those elections, and Dolores resented that and keeps on resenting it. So great was that resentment that she could not wait for an opportunity to try to get back at him and malign him in a national forum.

More Medfly Support from USDA
On Monday, August 12th, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, and Under Secretary of the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programmes, Edward Avalos, signed a Cooperative Agreement to formalize assistance and interchange of technology between Belize and the U.S. The Agreement will see the Ministry of Agriculture, specifically the Medfly program receive technical assistance as well as trapping material and specialized spraying equipment for the control of the Medfly.

NCL Disappointed with BTIA
Representatives of the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line responded to the Belize Tourism Industry Association at a press conference on Wednesday, August 14th. Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vice President of Destination Development, says he is extremely disappointed to see that an “organization established to promote tourism would reject our proposal before they even knew what the project entails.” He says he cannot understand how the hoteliers believe that cruise tourism would negatively impact overnight tourism when “everywhere we have conducted business proved otherwise”. Hugh Darley, Harvest Caye Project Coordinator, says the hoteliers must understand that “cruise tourism is like the appetizer before dinner”. He went on to say that Cruise tourism is like familiarization trips that are free of cost to Belize. When cruise tourists are impressed during the six hours they experience off the ship they return to stay overnight.

When will the Progresso Road be done?
Personnel from the Ministry of Works including the Chief Executive Officer, Erroll Gentle; Chief Engineer, Lennox Bradley; Project Execution Officer, Deon Pascacio; European Union liaison, Catherine Mendez; and Project Engineer Robert Allen braved a gathering of villagers in Progresso Village on Wednesday, August 14th. They had been invited to give the residents an update on the construction of the highway between Progresso and Orange Walk.

Mayor Bradley Building Relations to Uplift Belize City
Mayor Darrell Bradley recently travelled with a delegation from the Belize City Council to the United States from July 31st to August 8th in order to strengthen old Sister City Relationships and build new ones. The delegation included Councilor responsible for Sister City Relations, Dion Leslie, Councilor responsible for Parks and Playgrounds, Kevin Singh, Public Relations Officer, Michelle Smith, and Director of Administration, Sharlene Rudon.

Press Release – Special Envoy for Women & Children
As Special Envoy for Women and Children, I regret the incident that occurred in the House of Representatives last week; however I welcome the words of apology offered by Hon. Michael Finnegan this morning.

Crossing the Tourism Rubicon
Why do we keep dividing ourselves? We seem to be masters of controversy, and, when you stop to think about it interpretation may have a great deal to do with it. The manner we perceive others who are not much dissimilar from us impairs our ability to communicate, build relationships and ultimately disenfranchises our ability to 'nation-build'.

Youth Talks - Pikni d mine Pikni…..
Seeing a young woman with a big belly waiting at the clinic has become a scene of no real alarm to our Belizean public. In Belize, statistics show that girls as early as ten years are getting pregnant and about twenty five percent of live births are by young girls under the age of twenty.Indeed some girls live in such circumstances that sex is a money making venue dedicated to making money to maintain themselves and their families. Other girls have life pretty sweet, mommy and daddy pays everything and swells them with material wants. In other words regardless of the circumstances of our young girls, more young women are having sex at very early ages in there adolescence. So early that they do not understand the responsibility that comes with it. Many youths are not taking precautionary methods, to not only rid themselves of diseases, but also of creating defenseless babies that they cannot maintain. This teenage pregnancy topic is discussed all the time. Every school in Belize I believe has a week or an activity conducted to explain to students the safety methods they can use when having sex. Parents speak about it and even the youths can see the outcomes of wrong sexual practices. So why is it that we have such a high number of teenage pregnancies? Why is it that even though parents, local officers and teachers repeat to the youths that they should wait or use a condom or other safe methods do they still go against advice and end up in some insane situation?

Family Issue - Gender and Development
Despite the great achievements made in Human and Women’s rights work over the decades, it still remains that globally there are vast economic and social differences between them. More importantly, whether intended or unintended, these differences vary across gender lines and continuously impede the individual and collective ability of women and men to reach their full potential. These types of considerations about gender should influence legal reform and the development of public policies if countries are to witness a change in these gender imbalances. Public policies can either perpetuate or eliminate discrimination and gender inequality; therefore policy-makers must take firm action to maintain a perspective that focuses on gender equity. Gender equity is achieved by systematically identifying and removing discrimination in order to give women and men equal opportunities in all facets of life. Gender Mainstreaming involves incorporating gender considerations into all policies programmes and practises so that analysis of the effects of programs and interventions for women and men influence decisions to create gender equity. Achieving gender equity is integral to National Development so that the country optimises the human capital of women and men in development. The Revised National gender Policy 2013 does exactly this. Any notions of gender equity are inextricably linked to the principle that women and men may need to be treated differently to achieve equal opportunities to equity in the quality of their lives. This principle purports that men and women may need to be treated differently to achieve sameness in results in the quality of their lives. The equity principle focuses on reducing disparity by targeting those disadvantaged groups with evidence-based programmes and interventions that help to reduce power imbalances and broaden access to services and resources to the most marginalized. These considerations have an impact on the wide range of interventions that must be implemented by the State and its partners.

Charlie Slusher completes International Coaching training
Charlie Slusher will be returning to Belize on August 16th after completing a two week Union of European Football Associations in Europe (UEFA) coaching course in the Netherlands. The course was hosted by the Royal Netherlands Football Association with facilitators being from the UEFA (A) and (B) levels. The course accepted 25 coach applicants from across the world including Brazil, Japan, China, Scotland, Australia, South Africa and Belize. Only coaches who met the course's requirements were accepted to participate. Charlie Slusher's completion of the courses makes him the only one in the country to have participated in the coaching program which had instruction from members of the Royal Netherlands Football Association Coaching Department and Academy. He told the Guardian that he is exceptionally pleased at his accomplishment and intends to return to Belize to give back to the sport which he loves and has been involved with all his life.

New Board for Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio
A new Board of Directors has been elected for the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio. The new board was voted unanimously on August 10, 2013 at the Octavia Waight Center. Overseeing the voting process was Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre and Mrs. Marla Vasquez , both who are members of the Board at Helpage Belize. The New Octavia Waight Center Board is composed of Claudette Hulse as Chairperson, Mirna Martinez as Vice Chairperson, Clemente Cruz as Secretary and Bernadette Fernandez as Treasurer. Other Board members at the Octavia Waight Center are Glory Burns, Carmita Lennan and Josephine Chulin. The Octavia Waight Center currently provides residential care for 27 senior citizens. These citizens are given shelter, food, medical attention, physical therapy, companionship and other individual needs. The therapy center at the home is also open to accident and stroke victims from the community; to conduct physical therapy sessions. Senior residents at the Octavia Waight Center are regularly taken out to breathe some fresh air at the Succotz River, the Bank of the Macal River, the Spanish Lookout Residential Home for the elderly and to Old Belize.

Bacon Boy’s misdirected concern
It seems that the Bacon Boy, Mark Lizarraga, really has his concerns misdirected. He rose to speak in the Senate on Monday, August 14th only to show that he really does not belong in the Senate representing the business community. The biggest concern he had was wanting to know how much money was being paid by government in legal fees in the most recent CCJ judgment which saved Belizean taxpayers 88 Million dollars. If it were 10 million dollars (and we are not saying that is the figure) that were paid in legal fees it would have been justified considering the outcome of the judgment. After the CCJ ruling, Belize was absolved from paying the 88 million dollar arbitration award along with the interest which it was bearing.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Notice To Property/Land Owners
The CCVC is trying to update all its files and data. We are urging the public to assist us by providing a copy of their land title, or proof of ownership plus the last receipt for payment of property tax. This is essential to keep all books updated and correct. Thanks You, CCVC


Invest 92L Sits Off Ambergris Caye But Not Doing Much Else…
The first real tropical anything (system, wave, hiccup…whatever we want to call it) is currently doing its thing off the coast of Belize. Wind gusts up to 30mph, moving WNW at 12mph (all on the pic from that I copied just a few minutes ago) but for us in San Pedro? We are thankfully not seeing very much.

VIDEO: Kids in Action, Scuba Certification, Fun Dive Preview
San Pedro Youth complete PADI Scuba Certification

Invest in your Marketing Skills
Many small businesses follow the philosophy of “it’s too expensive to do marketing”, choosing instead to put marketing on the backburner until that elusive day arrives when they may actually have some spare time to think about it. Unfortunately for most small business operators, that day rarely comes. In cases where budgets are low, sales are stagnant or where you have too many ideas that you don’t know where to begin, then the marketing planning process helps you to focus your time and resources on where it will count.

The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business
The heart of your business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of your business depend on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is a process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close.

“Life thru a Lens” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday was the second day running when I got up late. Didn’t ‘hit’ the veranda with the coffee until 05.10 hours. What’s happening? After ‘knocking out’ the previous edition I got ready and headed down to Estel’s for my usual choice of breakfast (eggs sunny-side up, bacon, potatoes and a flour tortilla. Oh, and black coffee of course). With breakfast taken care of (or was it me that the breakfast took care of?) I walked to the Atlantic International Bank Limited branch in Pescador Drive to make a withdrawal (oh for the day when I visit to make a deposit!) for some bills that we have to pay. Then it was straight home to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to collect Rose and then pick up Edmund and George (two guys that have been recommended to us to build the fence we want) and take them to our lot.

I Can't Belize It! Part 2
Needless to say Tommy and I were pretty excited once our plane touched down on the tarmac at the Belize City airport. We were ready to start our vacation together! We got through customs and picking up our checked baggage fairly quickly. We crossed the street once we exited the airport doors to retrieve our rental car. And then we were on our way to Placencia! Googlemaps estimated that it was about a 3.5 hour drive from Belize City to Placencia, a town on the coast. The drive was pretty uneventful. We saw a lot of the small country that is Belize. It was so lush and for the most part very underdeveloped which was a change from what we had seen for a few years. There would be stretches of rain forest and trees and not much else and then out of nowhere huts (aka villages) would appear and disappear. One thing we noticed is that Belizeans aren’t fans of road signs. There were hardly any signs to guide us on our 3.5 hour drive, which made things interesting at times. We definitely had to turn around once and we were constantly guessing ourselves and our map, which led us to rely on several (luckily) friendly and dependable locals pointing us in the direction of certain highways and roads. We were getting pretty antsy once we drove into Placencia. It was around 5:30pm and we hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink since we got off our plane almost four hours earlier. But soon I spotted the sign for our resort, Singing Sands Inn!

God Uses His People to Save Lives – A Belize Story
There are so many stories I want to share about our Belize mission trip but I think I’ll begin with this one because it had such an impact on me in terms of how God uses us when we yield to his will. This is actually mostly my wife’s story but since she doesn’t have a blog… So toward the end of our week in Belize, we (the group from our church) hosted a block party at the local church where we had been based throughout our tour, where we served about 600 hot dogs, had music blaring, played games, and just generally had a good time hanging out with the locals. After my wife Sonya had finished serving hot dogs, she noticed a young lady standing by herself nearby. Sonya isn’t generally prone to just go up to strangers and initiate conversations but something compelled her to do so in this case. She went over and introduced herself. As the two ladies talked, it came up in the conversation that some people from our church had visited this lady’s home earlier in the week and brought food supplies. As Sonya listened, she began to realize that it was the group I was with that had visited (each visitation team had about 3 or 4 women and a guy). She shared this with the young lady, at which point, she began to really open up to my wife. We are not certain why. It may have been because she thought Sonya was the “pastor’s wife.” You see, I had delivered the sermon the previous Sunday and she had attended church that day so she remembered me when my group visited. She had remarked to Sonya “Oh, you are Pastor Travis’ wife.” In any case, the conversation started turning much more personal at this point and she suddenly seemed to feel more at ease sharing some very painful stories with Sonya.

International Sources

Norwegian Cruise Line signs on to develop Belize cruise destination
Norwegian Cruise Line has purchased around 75 acres in southern Belize for a planned cruise port destination, the company announced yesterday. The land, which is called Harvest Caye, is comprised of a pair of islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts in Belize. Norwegian said it planned to invest $50 million in the project, Caribbean Journal reported. The two islands had previously been approved for a resort project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries, and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL President and CEO in a statement. Sheehan said the company planned to develop the destination using a “sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.” Orlando, Florida-based IDEA Inc will be designing the destination, having previously worked with developers to create branded destinations in St Lucia, the Bahamas, Jamaica and elsewhere. The master plan is still under development, the company said, although the tentative vision is to create a cruise destination of two locations: an island destination with docking facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours. The project is slated to include a floating pier, and island village, a lagoon and a beach area.

Norwegian Cruise Line invests $50m in Belize project
Norwegian Cruise Line has bought a 75-acre plot in southern Belize on which it plans to develop an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Cave, is made up of two islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo areas. The area had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian said the $50 million investment would allow them to bring four times as many guests to Belize. Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive, said: "As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today. "In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise." Norwegian has tasked IDEA, designers of branded ports of call and destinations for the hospitality, entertainment and tourism industries, with bringing the project to fruition.

My favorite part of our trip to Belize was "Little friends from Ambergris Caye"!
Belize is very beautiful and we had a wonderful trip, but the best part was spending everyday with these special kids.

The Rules Apply to All of Us
If you are a technical diver — a cave diver, a trimix diver, a rebreather diver, something of that sort – you have read someplace that complacency kills experienced divers. Fact is, you may have read it several times and heard it said repeatedly because that phrase is contained in most if not all technical diving textbooks. It is so commonly bandied about that for some of us, it may have become a little trite… a cliché… something to become complacent about. Time to smarten up. Recently, there was yet another senseless death, which might serve to illustrate the point. This one happened at Ginnie Springs in north Florida. A young guy named Carlos Fonseca had an oxygen toxicity episode a couple of hundred metres inside the cave and died. He was breathing from a stage bottle clearly marked oxygen and later analysed to be just about pure O2. According to statements from the folks diving with him, Carlos thought he was breathing air. Before the dive started, he was questioned about the bottle, challenged about analysing it, but insisted that he had filled it with air, even though it was labeled for dedicated oxygen service. Now he is dead. This incident is sad and terribly tragic… a family without a dad/husband/son/brother et al… But unfortunately it is not surprising that a certified cave and trimix diver died doing a simple, run of the mill dive that was WELL within the scope of his training and experience. As slight as his experience may have been, and as rapidly as he had progressed from open-water diver to cave diver, the dive was a simple one for which he had adequate training. Diving is an activity that requires some restraint because it is so easy to push beyond one’s capabilities… as Steve Berman once said — and I paraphrase — any twerp can get to the back of a cave. But not everyone can manage the journey back out. I did not know Carlos… never even met him… but I do know the fella who taught him to cave dive and a couple of buddies had dived with him during the past couple of years. He had progressed from open-water punter to trimix and cave in a couple of years. He had the money, time and desire to do so.

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World
Awesome maps. If you're a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this c...

August 15, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belize wins first game at CONCACAF 2013 U15 Championship
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is proud to announce that team Belize won its first U-15 game in the CONCACAF Cayman Islands 2013 Under 15 Championship. Alvin Sifontes scored the only goal at minute 21 in the second half. These games are being played 35 minutes per half. The Belize Fans present were giving tremendous support to the team and were overjoyed with the victory.

Parliamentarian disrespects House of Representative
The opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children have joined the many Belizeans in condemning the behavior of a senior parliamentarian. During the last meeting of the House of Representative on August 7th, Hon Michael Finnegan launched an offensive remark at the only female Member of Parliament, Honorable Dolores Balderamos Garcia. Garcia had risen to address a national concern regarding the behavior of the parliament’s Mace-bearer (Sergeant at arms) Brian “Yellow man” Audinett. He had been documented urinating in public and had been seen exiting the National Assembly Building inebriated and is now facing criminal charges for attacking a civilian and police officer. “Mr. Speaker, I am extremely concerned. I believe that the Sergeant of Arms that we have now, not only has he been found guilty of harm to a woman back in 2006 and charged $150, but I have personally seen the conduct of him being inebriated in these precincts, of him draining the bottle of Belikin outside of this House and of his behavior and of his conduct out in public, urinating in public and now we have a situation,” said Garcia, Area Representative for Belize Rural Central. While Garcia was raising the issue before the Speaker of the House, Hon Michael Finnegan interrupted and shouted “Is the lady finished? You are crude; you are a crude woman!”

Ambergris Today

Destinee Arnold to Compete at the Miss United Continent Pageant
Beautiful Destinee Arnold recently stole the hearts of many, if not all Belizeans, at the Miss Costa Maya International Pageant winning the prestigious title and crown. Destinee is no stranger to pageantry and proudly represented our beautiful Belize to the best of her abilities. Destinee Arnold won the title of Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize in July 2012 and represented Belize in the Miss International Pageant in Okinawa, Japan in 2012. She participated in the Miss Ethnic World pageant in Long Beach California where she won the title of Miss Ethnic World 2013.

CONCACAF Kicks Off First Under-15 Championship
The inaugural tournament is an initiative of President Webb, recognizing the need for a concentrated effort that would support and grow football at the youth level. The Under-15 Championship, which will be held every two years, is expected to strengthen the love of the game among young players and foster a commitment to the sport that will grow along with them. In addition to the sporting advantages of introducing players between the ages of 13-15 to a higher-level of football on a regional stage, the Under-15 tournament is bringing nearly 700 participants to the island during the low-season for tourism. For the Cayman Islands, it is a win-win scenario.

Education in Belize: Getting Back on Track for a New School Year!
No adult, especially a professional, likes to be told over and over what to do, or be reminded of it. In my previous Guidance Counseling Blog, I wholeheartedly applaud and encourage the many teachers in Belize who, of their own accord, are now working enthusiastically to spread the spark of the new movement for much-needed school reform throughout our jewel of a country. We parents admire each of you, teachers in Belize, for recommitting yourselves to the Education process, and for making every effort to strengthen your daily commitments to help your many students learn! In this month’s Blog, I have neither messages nor reminders to shout from my soap box, but merely wish to offer a few helpful hints to students and teachers as they begin the countdown to another good and productive school year.

Misc Belizean Sources

George Price Highway Roundabout
The roundabout for the new part of the George Price Highway, at La Loma Luz boulevard, is progressing nicely. What will the put in the center of it?

Inclusive Linkage Project Design Workshop
The Inclusive Linkage Project promotes tourism development in Cayo and the border zone through capacity building and the establishment of strategic alliances. Beltraide held a workshop in San Antonio for just that. "The objectives of this project are to implement plans to improve and promote sustainability of the production linkage. Under this component, technical assistance is being provided to groups in the border zone to strengthen the business support to women and youth involved in the Value chain of Tourism in the border zone. Five groups benefited with the development of their business plan and capacity building in management skills. As a continuity of this component, four groups will receive technical assistance and consulting service for the design and development of new products. The purpose of the is to expand their current craft productions, through product diversification, according to its technical and productive capacity as well as in agreement to the trends and demands of the domestic and international market, without losing their culture iconography."

MPR Off Road Challenge
The 2013 Off Road Challenge is the 31st of August. Hidden Valley Inn is the start and finish for the 100 kilometer race through Mountain Pine Ridge. "If you missed the one last year, 4x4 Off-Road Challenge is on again. Your opportunity to prove yourself is NOW! Pin the date on your calendar ‘31st August 2013’. 4x4 Off-Road Challenge is in full swing…see you at Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve!"

Cayo Cultural Heritage Workshop
The Institute for Social & Cultural Research has started their Intangible Cultural Heritage workshops around Belize, and they'll be having Cayo's starting tomorrow, at CET. They are free, and there are still spaces available. Email Phylicia Pelayo at for more informaion. "Please see the information below for dates and venues for the Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) that will be offered at all the districts. The workshop is open to those who work in the area of culture, educators, students etc.

TBZ's July 2013 Zooletter
The Belize Zoo has released their latest Zooletter, covering the last few months of activities at the zoo. It covers everything from the zoo's Summer camp to the awarding of Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow award to Sharon Matola. "The latest edition of the Belize Zooletter is now available on our website! Check out all the great events that have happened at the 'best little zoo in the world' up to July 2013. All the articles can be viewed here:

Jaguars Win First CONCACAF Game
Congratulations to the Little Jaguars on winning their first game at the CONCACAF U-15 championship, which is taking place in Grand Cayman. They play again on Thursday against the Dominican Republic and on Friday against Jamaica. Best of luck! "Our "Cubs" (Baby Jaguars) got off to an excellent start earlier this evening at The Ed Bush Stadium in Grand Cayman with a 1 - 0 victory over St. Lucia on a goal by Alvin Sifontes."

UB Scholarship Award Ceremony
The University of Belize had their awards ceremony for the 83 recipients of the 3 different scholarships. Congratulations to all the brilliant students! "The students were awarded the scholarships at the University of Belize Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan on August 9. The awards to the students were in three categories: Barton, UB Alumni Association, and Student-Athlete Scholarships. The Barton Scholarship fund provides full and partial scholarships to students enrolled in University of Belize’s Associate and Bachelor Degree programs. A total of 15 students were awarded this scholarship. Funding for this scholarship is provided through annual support from one of the University of Belize’s benefactors, Nick and Debbie Barton from the UK."

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency is facilitating a Web Portal Training in BELTRAIDE’s conference room. It is being conducted from 8:30a.m.- 1:15pm. This workshop is focusing on the use of the web portal developed by Caribbean Export which can be accessed at The general objective is to provide export ready and exporting companies with web based access to export planning and market entry requirements information for the US and European markets. It will also enable enterprises to comply with the established procedures and regulations relating to packaging, labelling, etc. for specialty foods entering these markets.

Channel 7

76 Year Old Murdered in Crooked Tree
About half hour ago, Ladyville Police finished up their first afternoon of investigations into the murder of a Crooked Tree Resident, 76 year old Barry Blayney – who is originally from New Zealand. His body was discovered this afternoon when the residents of Crooked Tree realized that he had not opened his grocery shop like he normally does. Police are still finishing up their preliminary findings, and have not released any official information. 7News has learned, however, that Blayney’s body was discovered with his hands and feet tied up, with a piece of cloth over his head and his mouth taped up. There were no signs of physical violence, but due to the circumstances, police are treating the case as a homicide. We traveled to Crooked Tree today, where we spoke to the first responders. Here’s how they described what they saw: Rudolph Crawford - Friend of Deceased "After 12 today, a young lady by the name of Fiona went to my house and she said that she went to the shop and it was closed, she thought that the man wasn't feeling good so she went by the house by where he lives and she saw this gentleman tied up; it seemed like he was dead already. What I did is to call the police immediately and he asked me if I was sure if the man was dead- I told him that I wasn't sure but that the young lady said he might be dead because he's not moving and not answering, so they asked me to check and call them back. I came and I checked and I saw him on the bed with his two feet tied up together and his two hands and the bedding were covering his face so I couldn't see his face."

Gilroy Usher Sr. Criminally Charged For Harm To Wife
He’s offered himself as a candidate for general elections in 2012 and is the PUP caretaker for the Port Loyola Division, but tonight, 56 year-old Gilroy Usher Sr., is not in the news for his politics, he’s making headlines because he’s accused of beating his wife. Police say that the incident happened on Monday at their home on Madam Liz Avenue. Police have not shared details of the report with the media – and it was not read in court today, but 7News has learned that Usher’s wife, 51 year-old Magdalena, alleges that he assaulted her with a pint bottle. Usher was charged with harm, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart. He pleaded not guilty, and Magistrate Stuart granted him bail of $900 dollars, which he was able to meet. She also ordered that he attends the Batterers Intervention Program at the Women’s Department. He must also not interfere with the complainant – in this case his wife – and he must temporarily move in with his daughter at Lizarraga Avenue. The case has been adjourned to September 25, but Usher told the court that the matter will be withdrawn at the next hearing, indicating that this information was for the press present in the courtroom. But, if he wanted us to know something, he sure has a funny way of showing it, because, Usher - who is a public figure - dodged the media when he left the courtroom.

The Norwegian Cruise Deal Officially Outlined
For months, there’s been buzz and blowback about the proposed cruise tourism project in southern Belize spearheaded by Norwegian Cruise Line. We’ve heard a diversity of viewpoints, but we haven’t heard from Norwegian, which, we gather, didn’t want to negotiate in public. But the negotiation is just about finished because two weeks ago on the 31st of July, both sides signed an eight page, 23 point memorandum of understanding. The MOU was released to the media at a two and half hour press conference which finished about two hours ago. Due to time constraints, we can’t go into full details on that tonight, but we can provide the broad outline of the project. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million USD Dolalrs in the Harvest Caye project, just south of Placencia which it expects to complete in 2015. They expect to create 1200 jobs during construction and once the project is underway. That outline was fleshed out by an all star cast of government leaders and Norwegian Executives at the event which was held on the sixth floor of the Matalon Building. Minister Godwin Hulse, who heads the cabinet subcommittee on investment and who led the negotiations with Norwegian told the media Government is obliged to welcome investment…

Stevedores Says Union Pres “Pancho” Must Resign By Friday
Yesterday, we showed you the move that is afoot to remove the President and the General Secretary of the Christian Workers Union. It is a dispute which the stevedores have initiated. The stevedores are claiming that Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy have crippled their negotiations with the Port of Belize, and more importantly, they HAVE NEGLECTED important duties which keeps the union accredited and recognized by law and leaving it indefinitely suspended from the NTUCB. The stevedores have given Gonzalez and McFoy until Friday to vacate their offices peacefully, and they told us that he already accepted their ultimatum. Well, in a letter sent to the stevedores yesterday, that was certainly not the position he and McFoy took. Addressing their complaint of a lack of accountability, both executive members promised to have a financial statements finalized within two months of the date of the letter. The stevedores gave him until Friday, but according to the letter, McFoy and Gonzalez promise that a National General Meeting will be held by March 2014, and that Gonzalez will not seek re-election. Gonzalez gives no indication that he will vacate the office before the election, and certainly not by Friday.

Prisoner Found With Weed Concealed
Last night, 7News told you about the strip search which residents of Kraal Road found objectionable. The Gang Suppression Unit's justification was that there are drug peddlers who use their bodies to hide drugs. Well tonight, 23 years old Jason Anderson will spend time in jail because he was caught trying to smuggle weed into the facility using his body. In February of this year, Anderson was removed from prison and he was taken to the Belmopan Magistrates Court for an adjournment on his murder charge. When he was brought back later that day, one of the prison officers conducted a search on him, and discovered 1 gram of cannabis in Anderson's groin area. He tried to fight off the officer, and ended up injuring him on the knee, but the officer managed to subdue him and call the police. He was charged with drug possession, and he was supposed to stand trial before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Anderson changed his plea to guilty after the arresting officer testified against him today.

Culture Warriors Head For Carifesta
A delegation of 34 Belizean artists in different genres left Belize today to participate in the eleventh Carifesta which is being held this year in Surinam. It’s a big deal because Belize missed the last Carifesta in 2008 in Guyana. So, you can call it a comeback as they are taking the biggest contingent in memory, including dancers, craft-makers, fashion designers, literary artists, visual artists, and a film-maker. We spoke to some of the team before they left today:… Karen Vernon - Carifesta Contingent Manager "We have representations from music bands, theater, fashion in jewelry and clothing, the literary arts and visual arts so we have a broad representation and that is what we're taking with us to Suriname." Denise Enriquez - Marketing & PR, Dance Company "Performing abroad is no new thing for us because we were in Europe for two months last year, so we really understand what it is to perform at that level. Well we have every confidence in our abilities and we're taking our strongest and best dancers. We feel that we'll be able to dance that stage off. It's kind of a change for us that we'll actually be participating in a festival that has other countries that are doing similar things. Jamaica and Barbados have pretty much the same creole background that we have, but we've seen them perform before and we know we can bring it."

Courts Cares, Apparently
This morning a small ceremony was held at the Courts Belize City Branch, where 10 students from across the country each received a full 4 year scholarship. It is an initiative spearheaded annually by the company for over 10 years and today 7news was there to capture this good gesture. Monica Bodden reporting Over a hundred applicants this year, ten students were chosen for a full High School Scholarship all courtesy of Courts Belize. Kovenka James - Marketing Officer "We have a presentation of ten full scholarships given to our participants, it's a full tuition scholarship - full fees, full books. We actually got over 100 applications, we went through them based on their financial need and of course their academic achievements."

Will Harvest Caye Take Ships From Belize City
EARLY ON, we had clips from today’s press conference announcing the signing of the MOU with Norwegian Cruise Line to build a port in Southern Belize. One sound-byte we missed is an important one: it discusses the impact the Docking facility in southern Belize will have on the Cruise attractions in Belize City. Belize City has been the center for cruise tourism since its inception. IT may not be the best place in terms of visitor reviews, but it employs many, and, recently, a great deal of investment has been made to upgrade the environs surrounding the Fort Street Tourism village. So will Belize now be abandoned for this new facility in the south with a berthing dock? They say it won’t: Colin Murphy - VP, Destination & Strategic Development,NCL "With all companies concerned, this is a sgnificance increase in volumes to Belize which means when it results it's like 400% increase in tax revenue to the country. 400% increase in payment to PACT, to preserve and protect the environment - it diversifies the dependence on Belize City so it takes pressure off of Belize City while keeping all the operators in place. One of the concerns that was raised is if everyone from Belize City was going to go down south. One of our competitors have been cancelling cruises because Belize is full, full, full so there up to five ship a day so we don't think it's going to be any impact to the folks in Belize City at all."

Channel 5

Elderly man found dead and tied in bed
It is not often that you hear of criminal activities happening in the village of Crooked Tree…but tonight there is a disturbing report of an elderly man found dead within [...]

NCL MOU signed and more jobs on ships and on island
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Memorandum of Understanding has been signed. The MOU which was shared in the media was the sixth draft according to Godwin Hulse, who led the ministerial committee [...]

NCL gets larger share of tax and amends EIA for different development
The Norwegian Cruise Line press conference pulled out a surprise announcement from Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President of Destination and Strategic Development. NCL would not only hire a thousand Belizeans, [...]

B.T.B. to champion NCL’s opportunities to villages
Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia took a back seat to Minister Hulse, and Laura Esquivel Frampton, the Director of Tourism.  The Belize Tourism Industry Association often referred to the Belize [...]

Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink in Sarteneja
Sarteneja is a small village in the Corozal District, accessible by ferry from Corozal Town, or by dirt road from Orange Walk Town. With a population of about thirty-five hundred, [...]

Belize Bank gives 13 scholarships to match 2013
In 2012, the Belize Bank started a scholarship program to match the celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary.  Twenty-five students across the country went home will full scholarships.  Now thirteen more [...]

Dude punched his ex girlfriend
Twenty-four year old Albert Wade junior, a construction worker of a Belize City address, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault today, following an altercation during which he allegedly [...]

Politician’s fight with his wife taken to court
Former P.U.P. standard bearer, fifty-six year old Gilbert Usher Senior, has been in police custody since Monday, following a domestic dispute with his wife during which he allegedly hit her.  [...]

Imprisoned for two rounds, but wrong bullets appear at trial
Twenty-two year old Gilberto Welcome was acquitted of ammunition charges on Tuesday evening when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano.  Following the discovery of two live rounds of nine millimeter [...]

Artistic delegation heads to CARIFESTA in Suriname
A delegation of thirty-five Belizean performers, fashion designers, visual artists and writers, led by president of the National Institute of Culture and History Diane Haylock, left for Paramaribo, Suriname this [...]

UNICOMER’s Courts donates 10 high school scholarships
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the thirteen scholarships that the Belize Bank has given to well deserving students. UNICOMER, the parent company of Courts Belize also gave [...]

Who will be the next Superstar!
It’s coming down to the wire as season two of the hottest local entertainment show, Be The Next Superstars, is inching closer to its end. Three performers were eliminated on [...]


Closed Press Briefing Held on Proposed Port at Harvest Caye
The Memorandum of Understanding for the introduction of cruise tourism in southern Belize was signed between the Government of Belize and the Developer, Belize Island Holdings Limited on July 31st, 2013 and today, the relevant parties held a closed press briefing to explain in detail to the media the advantages of having the project in southern Belize. The investor, Norwegian Cruise Line, which is the smallest of three cruise lines to our shores, has been visiting Belize since 1998 and its proposal to develop a port at Harvest Caye for cruise tourism has come under heat from representatives mostly involved in overnight tourism. Today’s speakers on the project included the Leader of Government Business and Chairman of the Cruise Sub-Committee, Senator/Minister Godwin Hulse, Norwegian Cruise Line Representative, Colin Murphy, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion, Mike Singh, the Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton, and the Director of Cruise Tourism at the Belize Tourism Board, Valdemar Andrade. In his opening remarks, Senator Hulse said that there have been many innuendos about the project, but he assured that there is nothing secret about it and that at the end of the day, it aims to bring visitors to southern Belize and that it promises to be a win-win situation for investor and country.

Corozal Police Investigate Burglaries
A couple of burglaries have been reported in the Corozal District. In the first instance, a twenty three year old man of San Narciso Village reported that between the hours of 8:30 p.m. on the 10th of August and 12:30 p.m on the 11th of August, his house was burglarized and a number of household items and electronics valued at over one thousand four hundred dollars were taken. Twenty four year old Gilberto Cob, a twenty four year old laborer of San Narciso Village was subsequently arrested and charged for the crime of burglary. In the other incident, a forty three year old Canadian National of Corozal Town reported that between 11:30 a.m on the tenth of August and 10:00 a.m. on the eleventh of August, his house was burglarized. Stolen were two flat screen television sets valued at four thousand seven hundred dollars. As a result, twenty four year old Daniel Aldana, a laborer of Santana Village in the Belize District was arrested and charged for the crimes of Burglary and Handling Stolen Goods. He appeared before Magistrate Hamilton yesterday where he pled guilty to handling stolen good and was fined four thousand dollars to be paid by November of this year.

Youths Head to Southern Border as Part of Territorial Volunteers
Today youths from Belize City and the Toledo District are heading towards another part of our southern border with Guatemala. The youths are headed by People’s National Party leader, Will Maheia, as part of the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ effort to demarcate our border with Guatemala. The visit this time is taking the group to an area near the upper Temash River. They will spend tonight in the area and return to Punta Gorda Town on Thursday.

Six Months in Jail For One Gram of Cannabis
Twenty- three year old Jason Anderson, a prisoner remanded on a charge of murder, was sentenced to six months today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano when he pled guilty to possession of one gram of cannabis. Anderson changed his plea from not guilty to guilty after the first witness, police constable Darlon Yarde, who was the arresting officer, testified. The incident occurred on February 5, 2013. Anderson had just returned to prison from Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. He was searched by grade 1 prison officer Fernando Teck and the search resulted in the discovery of the cannabis in his groin area. A struggle ensued between Anderson and Teck and during it Teck received an injury to his knee. Teck , however, still managed to subdue Anderson. Anderson is still faced with a charge of harm for which trial has been set for August 28.


Minister offers apology over comments made in House meeting
The Hon. Michael Finnegan remains under public scrutiny following comments he made to fellow house member the Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia at Wednesday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, the Minister called into Krem TV’s WUB and offered an apology to members of the house as well as...

SATIIM to request injunction for US Capital Energy to suspend operations in Sarstoon Temash National Park
On August 1, the NGO Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) wrote US Capital Energy, a company seeking petroleum deposits in the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the Toledo District. In that letter, US Capital was asked to suspend their activities in the National Park until the hearing...

Prison Officers appeal for action from the Minister of Labour
Late last month, the Labour Commissioner published his findings on recent firings at the Kolbe Foundation. Within a six month period, a total of thirty three employees were no longer employed with Kolbe Foundation at the Belize Central Prison. There were several public complaints and the Commissioner’s report centered...

Is Belize a major transit for the trafficking of drugs and weapons to Mexico?
Belize is in regional news again and as has become all too common, it isn’t good news. Just recently, there were reports of drugs found in pineapple concentrate containers headed to the Belize/Corozal free Zone. That refrigerated vehicle was intercepted in Guatemala. Today, according to Diario Respuesta de Quintana...

Bus ends up in drain after being hit by a pickup truck
There was a road traffic accident this morning on the Humming bird highway involving a bus and a pickup truck but no one was seriously injured. The bus was heading from Dangriga town to Belmopan and behind it was the Tacoma pickup. The...

Passenger recovers in KHMH after falling from moving bus
There was a mishap involving a bus, this time in Hattieville Village. When the bus reached a pedestrian ramp, and one of the passengers of the D&E transit, Rachel Burke, proceeded to the front of the bus. It came to a stop, but Burke did not come off the...

Jermaine Ottley claims he was beat by 5 police officers
He has a case pending for drug trafficking in the lower court but on Tuesday, before 35-year-old Jermaine Ottley could make it to court for his case, he claims he was beat by 5 police officers of the GSU. The incident allegedly occurred this morning while Ottley was getting...

Jermaine Alex Grant fined for possession of drugs
27-year-old Jermaine Alex Grant was arraigned Tuesday morning in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. According to police, yesterday afternoon, officers were conducting mobile patrol in the area of East Collect Canal when Grant was spotted acting suspiciously. Police...

Serial killer may have visited Belize
Was a serial killer in Belize during 2001 and 2008? That is what American Federal Agents are trying to find out. Admitted serial killer Israel Keyes has been tied to 11 murders and authorities are looking into possible ties to killings in other countries, specifically Canada, Mexico and Belize....

Senator Godwin Hulse says National Bank of Belize is a “good thing”
You probably haven’t heard much about the Capitalization of the National Bank of Belize. It is one of the motions that was passed in the House of Representatives last week and subsequently passed in the Senate yesterday. The project, says GOB will provide an affordable credit system to public...

Countrywide Workshops highlight importance of our Cultural Heritage
What is cultural heritage? It catches the sum total of the Belizean experience: food, music and dance, language, customs, religion and other matters. But not all of that is seen. The Gombay and Garifuna drums are made in a special...

Belizean Evan Perez debuts as Justice Reporter at CNN
Belizeans have been making their mark on the international scene as of late. Rebecca Stirm sewed her way to Caribbean stardom on Mission Catwalk, Chantae Guy strut to the Top Model Finals at Miss World 2013 and more recently, the Jaguars made a roar at their first appearance at...

FFB Stadium to have improved lighting system
Earlier this year, the CONCACAF’s stadium inspectors determined that the local FFB stadium in Belmopan did not meet the minimum standard requirements for the CONCACAF Champion League 2013; one of which was the lighting. Back then, FBB committed to upgrading the stadium and today took the first step in...

The August 18th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Belize In the Foreign Press: Miami Herald Headlines Norwegian Cruise Project:
    Norwegian Cruise Line has bought two islands in southern Belize to develop as a port of call for its western Caribbean cruises. The line announced Wednesday that it had bought 75 acres in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that previously were approved for development of a resort. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million in the Harvest Caye project, which it expects to complete in 2015. “While the master plan for the 75 acres is still under development, the vision is to create a world-class cruise destination, consisting of two locations: an island destination with docking/ tendering facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours,” Norwegian said in a press release. “Major components of include a floating pier, island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, marina, transportation hub for tours to the mainland, a lagoon for a variety of water sports and a relaxing beach area. The goal is to design an authentic experience grounded in the storyline of nature, ancient culture, art, adventure and music that celebrates Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna history and culture.”
  • Creations for the Celebrations!:
    It’s an old tradition that was somehow lost along the way, but has been reclaimed and rekindled since 2008. And it has now become one of the most anticipated events associated with the Annual National September Celebrations. It’s the National Song Competition, and it was held this past weekend at the Memorial Park in Belize City. Broadcast live on all the major national television and radio stations, the event attracted a large crowd. When the night was over, the winners that emerged in the three categories were as follows: In the Junior Category, First place went to Jael August who received $1,500.00 and a trophy; and second place was taken by Marilyn Vansen who took home $1,000.00 and a trophy.
  • Belmopan’s Queen of the Bay Competes in National Pageant:
    Miss Mikayla Banner is the 2013 Queen of the Bay for Belmopan City. She won the title on Friday August 2, 2013, competing among four other ladies in the Queen of the Bay Pageant which was held at the University of Belize Gymnasium in Belmopan. Mikayla Banner will represent Belmopan in the National Queen of the Bay Pageant 2013, which starts August 17 with the Talent Night, and culminates August 30 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. For residents of the area who wish to attend and support, a bus leaves Camalote at 4:30 PM Saturday August 17, and from Belmopan at 5:00 PM. Fare is $10.00. Let’s Support our lovely Queen.
  • Please, No More Distractions!:
    In our last edition, we wrote about distractions that can affect the focus of the current administration, and at last Wednesday’s Special House Meeting, we saw a very good example— a good example of a bad thing, that is. The biggest issue of the day was the motion that fittingly sought to bring the former Prime Minister and current Leader of the Opposition to account for the great injustice they inflicted on the Nation in signing away major giveaways through tax write-offs to a foreign Billionaire on the backs of the hardworking People of Belize, and attempting to bind the current administration to the perpetuation of the unholy arrangement.
  • University of Belize Awards Scholarships:
    The University of Belize has awarded scholarships for the new school year to a total of 83 students. The students were awarded the scholarships at the University of Belize Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus in Belmopan on Friday, August 9, 2013. The awards to the students were in three categories: Barton, UB Alumni Association, and Student- Athlete Scholarships. The Barton Scholarship fund provides full and partial scholarships to students enrolled in University of Belize’s Associate and Bachelor Degree programs. A total of 15 students were awarded this scholarship. Funding for this scholarship is provided through annual support from one of the University of Belize’s benefactors, Nick and Debbie Barton from the United Kingdom.
  • Investing in the Future of Belmopan: Saldivar & Recondev Donate to El Shaddai Primary School for Computers:
    Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the School. Hon. Saldivar presented the cheque of $3,000 on Monnday, August 5, 2013 to Vice Principal Valentine Diego at the School’s campus on Macal Street in Belmopan City. Accompanying the Minister was Chairman of RECONDEV Rodney Neal and the Corporation’s General Manager Hector Sabido.
  • Taiwan Donates $40,000 to Belize for Celebrations:
    His Excellency David .K. Wu, Ambassador to Belize from the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Wednesday August 7, 2013 donated a check for $40,000 Bze to the Co- Chairperson of the September Celebrations Commission, Diane C. Haylock at the House of Culture in Belize City. In his presentation, His Excellency David K. Wu Wu voiced his pleasure in being able to contribute to the 32nd anniversary celebrations of Belize’s Independence and the 215th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. In accepting the donation, Co- Chairperson of the September Celebrations Commission expressed her gratitude on behalf of the Chair Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. to the embassy for their continued show of friendship and solidarity to the people of Belize and conveyed that the money will be used to enhance various cultural activities on the calendar of events this year.
  • Orientation Luncheon for Belizean Students to Study in Taiwan:
    to Study in Taiwan Last Saturday, August 10, 2013, an Orientation Luncheon was held for 26 Belizean Students who have obtained full scholarships from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to begin studying in that Country in the upcoming academic year. Saturday’s event, hosted by the Taiwanese Ambassador in Belize, H.E. David Wu, was called the Belize Taiwan International Collaboration Development Fund Alumni Society Scholarships Orientation Luncheon, and it was held at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel where the recipients gathered with past recipients. In an interview with Love TV, Ambassador Wu noted that this is the largest number of students to be granted such scholarships at the same time.
  • Oak Foundation donates $2 Million for Pediatric Care Unit:
    The Ministry of Health was pleased to be a part of the announcement by Ms. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children on the generous donation of two million dollars from the Oak foundation towards the construction of the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
  • Technical Mission on Non-Communicable Diseases and Cancer:
    The Ministry of Health has been selected as one of the participants in a global project with the goal of “Strengthening policy frameworks to reduce premature death toll from Non-Communicable Diseases.” As part of the project, a technical mission led by regional consultant, Silvana Luciani, Pan American Health Organization’s Washington Office was in country from the 15th to 10th, July to advance work in the area of national plans for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer.
  • Mental Health Annual Workshop:
    The eleventh Annual Mental Health Workshop was held from July 18th - 20th in Placencia Village under the theme, “Integrating Quality into Mental Health Care. In a short opening ceremony to welcome the participants, Dr. Phillip Castillo encouraged the nurses to elevate the conversation to improve what exist in Mental Health while, Matron Augustina Elijio ask the nurses to adhere to principles, ethics, scope of practice and standards at all times when carrying out the duty of nursing. Mental Health Program Nursing Administrator Eleanor Bennett welcomed and introduced Dr. Wesley Quimbo, Psychiatrist for Ministry of Health; he takes over from Dr. Claudina Cayetano who moved on to PAHO earlier this year.
  • Vector Control gets pickup trucks to increase ULV Spraying of Mosquitoes:
    The Government of Belize recently purchased two 2013 Great Wall - Wingle 4 x 4 pickup trucks for the vector control program to assist with Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spraying in the Corozal and Toledo districts. The total cost of both vehicles was BZ$78,800.00. One of the trucks was handed over to the Northern Region and the second pick-up was sent down south to do work in the Toledo District. The Ministry of Health has stepped up its surveillance and interventions to prevent dengue - from health education, mass larviciding, to ULV spraying.
  • Suspected Bovine Rabies Case Notified:
    The Ministry of Health is hereby notifying the public that a suspected case of bovine rabies (rabies in cow) was reported on the 24th of July 2013 by Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in the New Road Area of the Toledo District. While there is no confirmed case as yet, the public is reminded that periodic cases are seen in the country alluding to active circulation of the rabies virus. Officials of the Ministry of Health and BAHA will contiue to monitor the situation and we encourage you to report any suspected case.
  • Which is your “Last-Days” Attitude?:
    The pages of history are filled with the memoirs of those who assisted in evil and those who labored and sacrificed to reverse it and to do good. Then there were those who just observed; those who chose not to get involved thinking that their very own survival was at stake. This same scenario plays out in our world today. The recent events in our own nation have proven that these three aforementioned attitudes also exist. Although the “observers” in the war between Good and Evil may be okay in the court of public opinion, God’s Word places them in one of the two categories. The truth is that when we remain silent and untroubled amidst all the mayhem, we are joining forces with those that oppose good. We must reflect on the Scriptures to determine which attitude we must choose, especially in these Last Days.
  • Revolutionizing Public Transportation: South Korea and Belize Collaborate to Forge Master Plan:
    A Major undertaking is in the making that promises to revolutionize and modernize Belize’s Public Transportation System. It’s a collaborative undertaking between the Government of South Korea through the Korea Development Institute and the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities and other relevant Ministries and Departments. A meeting took place two Mondays ago, on August 5, 2013 at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City between the relevant bodies to begin forging and formulating a Transportation Master Plan for Belize. The meeting follows the signing of a bilateral agreement some time ago with the Government of the Republic of South Korea through its Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
  • Staying in Touch with the People: Saldivar Holds Belmopan Neighbourhood Meetings:
    More than a hundred and fifty residents of Belmopan came out last Wednesday, August 31, 2013 to a town-hall style meeting conducted at the Governor General Field at the Corner of Libertad Street and the Ring Road. It was only one in a series of neighborhood meetings held by Honorable Saldivar in every zone of the electoral division that he serves, the Belmopan Constituency. It is a very effective way of staying in touch with the people, keeping them informed about ongoing developments, about the work of their Government and Area Representative, and to hear and address their concerns and issues. Following the meetings, residents also get to speak one and one with their Area Representative and discuss whatever personal issues and concerns they might have.
  • NBA Champion Inspires Young Belizeans:
    Former NBA player, Derek Anderson delivered a Motivational Speech on Entrepreneurship to basketball players and members of the surrounding areas of Belmopan on Thursday August 8, 2013 at the Jaguar Auditorium, University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan. He is one of 13 players who won an NBA Championship (in 2006 with the Miami Heat) and an NCAA Championship. Growing up poor and without parents who had left him to the streets, Derek found his inner self-motivation that led to his success as a producer, philanthropist, inventor and author. His inspirational story is detailed in his book titled “Stamina.” Derek’s visit to Belize at the invitation by the US Embassy was to reach out and help others who have found themselves in similar situation as he did. He retired from the NBA in 2008.
  • Belmopan Day - Saturday, August 3, 2013:
    Photo collage
  • Discipline - Teamwork - Leadership: National Security Minister visits BDF Youth Cadet Corp Summer Camp:
    In our last two editions, we featured the Belize Defence Force’s Battle Camp conducted annually for members of the Volunteer Battalion. This week, the Volunteer Battalion is in the news again, this time with respect to the annual summer camp that it conducts and supervises for members of the BDF Youth Cadet Corps (BDFYCC). The camp, which was just completed this past weekend, ran for one week and a day, from Saturday, August 3 to Saturday August 10, 2013, and was held this year at the Julian Cho Technical High School in Big Falls, Toledo. Close to 300 children and youth attended the camp, which is almost half of the total number of members that now make up the BDF Youth Cadet Corps. That total number, which last year stood at just over 500, has now been increased to around 650, with about 120 additional members added as part of the commitment by Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar.
  • Special Fireworks at Special Sitting! Musa & Fonseca Rebuked & Retaliate:
    than the traditional Friday, it was called a Special; and it was special, indeed, in more than one. For one, last Wednesdays House Meeting in Belmopan had more than its fair share of drama; and according to some, the discourse descended to a new low. There were a total of 13 Bills that were introduced, but none of those turned out to be the big news of the day. As anticipated, the attempt by PUP Cayo South Representative, Julius Espat, to bring a motion to the House to alter the composition of the Public Accounts Committee was pretty contentious. But that was heavily rivaled, if not eclipsed by a motion which Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented which he defined as a resolution to, “deplore and deprecate the actions of the member for Fort George and the Member for Freetown, while in government for…granting tax concessions entirely contrary to the laws of Belize.”
  • Dead On Arrival! Much Heralded Julius Espat Motion Falls to the Floor:
    He had created quite a stir in the local media about his intentions to introduce a motion in the National Assembly to alter the composition of the Public Accounts Committee which he presently chairs as a member of the Opposition. But when Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat brought his much heralded motion to the Special House Sitting last Wednesday, it was almost anti-climactic, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow followed through on his promise to dismantle and expose the motion as ill-conceived, procedurally out of order and therefore unfit even to be debated in the House, let alone passed. Here is how Espat attempted to introduce his misconceived motion, and how it immediately got knocked to the floor and literally thrown out of the National Assembly:
  • Belize Wins Game One: CONCACAF Under -15 Football Tournament Underway in Cayman:
    CONCACAF kicked off its first ever U-15 championship in the Cayman Islands yesterday with Bermuda beating the Virgin Islands 8-0 and Belize beating St. Lucia 1-0. The championships, an initiative of CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, will be played through to August 25 with 23 national teams competing for the title. The tournament marks another step for the confederation under its new management regime, and its determination to raise all elements of the game throughout its region to higher levels – both on and off the field. “It is important for coaches and players to have competitions for development,” said Webb. “This tournament was conceived to intensify our grassroots efforts while helping to identify and develop talent that will eventually create our future stars.”
  • FFB Football Stadium’s Lights Being Upgraded:
    On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, a contract was signed between the Football Federation of Belize and Canchas Deportivas de Centro America of El Salvador for the improvement of the lightning facilities at the F.F.B. Stadium in Belmopan. This project is being financed by FIFA US $298,000.00. In a Press Release, the F.F.B says it will keep the public informed on the progress of this project and other projects scheduled to be undertaken by F.F.B and FIFA this year.
  • Spreading the Love: National Footballers Donate School Bags:
    Football Team has been receiving generously from the Belizean population, but on Wednesday, July 31 they gave back a little. While in the USA before the last game the team was challenge to bring back a small gift for a needed child in Belize. Team Jaguars rose to the challenge and each donated US$20.00 to purchase a school bag to bring back home for the kids. Team captain Dalton Eiley handed over the money to Senior V.P. Sergio Chuc to purchase the school bags.
  • Atlantic Bank Women’s Football Finals: Belmopan Triple B’s confront Ladyville Jaguars:
    The undefeated Belmopan Triple B’s will meet the Ladyville Jaguars in the Atlantic Bank women’s football championship finals. Triple B’s ran over Esperanza’s Gentle Touch 4-1 in Game 2 of their semifinal series at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio on Saturday to advance to the finals by a 7-2 a goal aggregate. Shirley Codd anchored Triple B’s defense with help from Beatrice Alfaro, Wendy Vernon and Roslyn “Chu-Chu” Cadle, but couldn’t stop Gentle Touch’s Kimberly “Brazilian” Perez from unleashing a left foot shot that mercifully went wide of the uprights early in the game.
  • Miley Garcia Cayo Softball Finals: Camalote Blazers vs Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy:
    Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy will meet the undefeated Camalote Blazers in the Cayo Softball Association’s female softball championship finals to be played at Joan Garbutt on Sunday, August 25. This will happen after the national women’s tem returns home from the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championships in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on Monday, August 19th. The consolation game for 3rd place will also see Esperanza Wolverines do battle with the Ontario Rebels. Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy had eliminated the Wolverines from the finals by a 9-5 win in Game 2 of their semifinals series in Esperanza on Sunday, August 4. Esperanza’s pitcher Indira Spain gave up 9 hits, struck out 3 batters and walked one while Esperanza’s diamond made 5 errors. Roaring Creek led 3-0 when Tanya Davis, Stephanie Francis and Shadalee Ho scored in the 1st inning. Esperanza’s Patricia Spain and Melinda Blancaneaux scored to lead 5-3 when Shamira Wade, Indira Spain and Pat Spain scored in the 2nd inning.
  • Cayo First Division Football: The San Martin Aguilas Beats Roaring Creek:
    The San Martin Aguilas bombed Roaring Creek: 2-0 to win the Cayo 1st Division football Championship at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday afternoon, August 4. The San Martin’s forwards Giovanni Lopez and Henry Nino Gomez led the attack with the help of midfielders Santiago Cruz, Carlos Tzalam, Bandido Gutierrez and Nicolas Caliz, but Brett Smith led the Roaring Creek defense with the help of Avery Galvez, Amir Torres and Kenny Williams and goalie Jose Mangar to keep the Aguilas scoreless up to the half time a break. MVP Robert Sutherland led the Aguilas’ defensive line of Carlos Avellos, Victor Caliz and Nicholas Caliz to shut down Roaring Creek’s top scorer Darrell Myvett the Myvett the entire game. Roaring Creek’s Ajani Banner also attacked the goal, but San Martin goalie was taking care of business. Roaring Creek’s goalie Jose Mangar handled Giovanni Lopez’s shot on goal but when the defenders tried to get the ball out, Giovanni Lopez recovered the ball to shoot right back at goal, embarrassing Mangar with the 1st winning goal.


Education in Belize: Getting Back on Track for a New School Year!
No adult, especially a professional, likes to be told over and over what to do, or be reminded of it. In my previous Guidance Counseling Blog, I wholeheartedly applaud and encourage the many teachers in Belize who, of their own accord, are now working enthusiastically to spread the spark of the new movement for much-needed school reform throughout our jewel of a country. We parents admire each of you, teachers in Belize, for recommitting yourselves to the Education process, and for making every effort to strengthen your daily commitments to help your many students learn! In this month’s Blog, I have neither messages nor reminders to shout from my soap box, but merely wish to offer a few helpful hints to students and teachers as they begin the countdown to another good and productive school year. Summer vacations, for students at all levels throughout Primary and Secondary schools in Belize, are almost over. For most of the students who have been on 2 months vacation, getting back on track and into a regular school routine will not be easy; neither will it automatically happen from one day to the next. Nevertheless, many psychologists strongly recommend that, in order to maintain good physical and mental health, we should all maintain some form of daily routine. So, for now, let’s not concern ourselves with whether Belize is a Nation at Risk, or with trying to find out who is responsible or accountable for this year’s very low PSE proficiency scores. Instead, let’s make every effort to help our students and teachers try to get back into a school routine, and be totally ready for the new 2013/2014 school year that’s about to start.

Day trip to Corozal part 1
Most people pass through Corozal Town n their way to Mexico and would say there is not much going there. Having passed through several times I kind of thought that too. I decided the best way to visit Corozal was to meet someone there to show me around. Cathie and I were back and forth in a post on Expat Blog forum and I decided to to private message her and plan a trip to meet her in person. After meeting up at her house, we walked down to the Sea Breeze Hotel for a delicious $8 bzd breakfast. They also have cheap rooms there, I did not see inside one, but the rest of the place looks clean and the staff were nice. My Gallery is acting up and pictures are coming up out of order. I am off to a special Birthday lunch at Pedro’s. Will fix it later and ad more details and pics of shopping to this post. St Francis Xavier School has artwork painted all along the fence depicting when different cultural groups settled in Belize.

The Magic of the Macal
Sometimes it’s the things you don’t plan on that turn out to be the best. We were vacationing at Chaa Creek with my friend Al and his girlfriend Kate and were having a sunset drink or two at the Jungle Lounge “recovering” from a full day of swimming, walking the Rainforest Medicine Trail, having a hearty lunch, swimming again, and then the girls treated themselves to a massage at the Hilltop Spa while Al and I wandered around the Natural History Centre before leisurely walking back to the Jungle Lounge to meet the girls. Whatever they did at the Spa worked like magic, and we both commented on how radiant the girls looked. But I digress. While working up our appetite for another one of Chef Mario’s exquisite dinners, we discussed what we’d do the next day, our last one at Chaa Creek before heading home. We’d already toured Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, been horseback riding and generally accomplished what we set out to do – push the boundaries of extreme relaxation.

Murder In Crooked Tree Village
Mr. Barry Blayney, a Canadian, has been found murdered in his home in Crooked Tree Village. He has been living in Crooked Tree Village for a number of years and was operating a small grocery store. This morning a neighbor went to the shop to purchase some items and when she called out for him, he did not answer. Upon checking the unlocked house, Mr. Blayney was found with his arms bound behind his back and tape across his mouth. Robbery is believed to have been the cause and earlier this evening the police found some of the items from his shop behind some bushes in the area. Three young men living in the village have been taken into custody by the police and the investigation continues.

“El Cóndor Pasa” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Had a lie -in yesterday morning. Didn’t get up until 04.45 hours. I am surely not going to be one of these people that lay in bed all day. Am I ? Didn’t really do a great deal. Yes, I spent time on the veranda with a coffee (black, no sugar) and the iPad but … Made breakfast – and of course ate it – showered, shaved and dressed. But that was about it. It’s surprising though how quickly the time can pass (unless you are waiting for something that is) when you are doing nothing and before we knew it the time had come for us to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We got there around 14.50 hours (some of you regular readers may wonder how I can be so precise about the time when I occasionally make the point that I don’t wear a watch anymore. Easy. Rose does carry one) to find that a delivery from Daniel Camal‘s (he is our building contractor) wood shop. Quickly parking the ‘cart we rushed up the stairs to the First Floor for a better vantage point.

It’s Drinks O’clock! Dock Your Boat And I’ll Meet You At The Bar: The top five Belize beach bars
Everyone can agree with me that when you’re on vacation, there isn’t anything quite like hanging out by the beach, a cold drink in hand, gentle wind hitting your face, and gazing into the horizon as the sun glistens over the ocean or sea. And if you’re into sunsets (aren’t we all?), the perfect beach bar during twilight is magical, simply magical. I know a thing or two about the local nightlife and entertainment scene and I’ve decided to round up the best beach bars in Belize so that when you visit, you know exactly where to go to have a good time. So if you’re ever nearby any of the bars mentioned below, make sure you stop by and don’t forget to say that Lorenzo sent you. They’ll owe me a beer. The top five Belize beach bars: Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar, Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, Palapa Bar and Grill, Barefoot Beach Bar, The Lazy Lizard Bar

International Sources

John McAfee: people of Belize should rise up against 'dictatorship'
Internet entrepreneur, wanted for questioning of murder of businessman, says he is victim of abuse by Belize police. John McAfee, the multimillionaire internet entrepreneur wanted for questioning over the murder of an American businessman in Belize, has called on local people to rise up against the Central American country's government, which he says has turned into a dictatorship. McAfee, described as a "person of interest" after Gregory Faull, 52, was found with a gunshot wound to his head at his house close to McAfee's home, told the Guardian he was still in the country and had no intention of handing himself in. Speaking from a Belizean telephone number, he confirmed he was the author of a colourful blog declaring his innocence and detailing the way he had returned to his home in various elaborate disguises. "Of course it's me," the 67-year-old founder of the antivirus software company McAfee, said of the blog. He described the suggestion he was a suspect in the murder as absurd and added: "What earthly motive could I have had?"

Lord Ashcroft in dispute with Belize over control of offshore register
Belizean government has seized control of registers of offshore companies and ships, suggesting schism with Tory peer. Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory party donor, has been drawn into a bitter row with the government of Belize over the control of its offshore register, which has been responsible for the formation of more than 100,000 companies in the tax haven. In a move that suggests a schism between the Tory peer and his adopted country, the Belize government has seized control of the International Business Companies Registry (IBCR) of offshore companies and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (Immarbe), its register of ships. The IBCR is operated by Belize International Services Limited (BISL) which is co-owned by a Panamanian law firm and Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited (WIHL), a British Virgin Islands company in which Ashcroft has a 77% stake. Waterloo says its lawyers have agreements to operate the offshore registry dating back to 1993. A deal to extend the agreement to 2020 was signed with a previous government. But Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Tory party, who came under fire before the last election when it emerged he had been a "non-dom", is now at loggerheads with the government over the arrangement. complex legal case. In addition to effectively renationalising the offshore register, Belize plans to hit BISL with a tax bill for $30m. Waterloo International has expressed its "disappointment and outrage" at the decision and has launched legal action to recover $60m in compensation from the Belize government.

Exploring chocolate at the source: Dandelion Chocolate trip to Belize
Do you find chocolate appearing in your dreams? Do you lay out a box of chocolates by the bed to accompany a good book? Do you carry chocolate in your purse at all times? Then this may be the fantasy trip for you. San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate is leading an eight-day chocolate adventure to Belize in early November. Chocolate 301, which follows Chocolate 101 (Introduction to Chocolate Industry Lecture & Taste Lab) and Chocolate 201 (Small Batch Chocolate Making Lab), will be led by Dandelion’s Greg D’Alesandre, who sources chocolate for Dandelion. The group, limited to 20, will visit cacao farms and “fermentaries” with the object of learning how cacao is grown, specifically in Belize, and getting some practical experience in fermentation and drying and an appreciation for the history of cacao in Belize. But it’s not all toil and study. The trip includes time for horseback riding, diving, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking in this beautiful part of the world. The group will be staying at Cotton Tree Lodge in Southern Belize.

7 Interesting Facts About Invasive Lionfish You Might Not Know
Where do the names “Pterios volitans” and “Pterois miles” come from? Are lionfish known by other names? Pterois volitans, which makes up approximately 93% of the invasive lionfish population, is also commonly called “red lionfish” and Pterois miles is often called the “common lionfish” or “devil firefish.” However, their common names do not match the origins of their scientific names. The genus name, Pterois, pronounced (tare-oh-eese) is defined in modern dictionaries as simply “lionfish,” however the word Pterois comes from the Greek word “pteroeis” meaning “feathered” or “winged” and the Ancient Greek word, “” (pteron), meaning “feather” or “wing.” The species name, volitans, pronounced (vole-ee-tahnz), is Latin for “flying” or “hovering” and the present participle of the Latin word “volit,” which means “to fly” or “to hover.” The species name, miles, pronounced (mee-layz), is Latin for “soldiering” and the present participle of the Latin word “mlit,” which means “to soldier.” No one is quite sure where the name “lionfish” really came from but it would be a logical guess that when both pectoral fins are completely extended and fanned out a head-on view of the lionfish might resemble a male lion’s mane. Others have also suggested that it might be a tip of the hat to the lionfish as a ferocious predator.

The Zombie Ward
The Zombie Ward: The chilling story of how ‘depressed’ women were put to sleep for months in an NHS hospital room – leaving mental scars that remain 40 years on Women with postnatal depression and anorexia passed through Royal Waterloo’s infamous Ward 5 They were drugged and subjected to horrendous levels of ECT Unluckiest were taken to the ‘Narcosis Room’ and put to sleep for weeks There are many horrors that Elizabeth Reed recalls from her time at London’s Royal Waterloo Hospital, but one in particular lingers in her mind. She describes a small, windowless room at the top of the red-brick Edwardian building, just lit by a night lamp on a nurse’s desk.

Texas town runs out of water after using it for fracking
Across the south-west, residents of small communities like Barnhart are confronting the reality that something as basic as running water, as unthinking as turning on a tap, can no longer be taken for granted. Three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry’s outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse. In Texas alone, about 30 communities could run out of water by the end of the year, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Nearly 15 million people are living under some form of water rationing, barred from freely sprinkling their lawns or refilling their swimming pools. In Barnhart’s case, the well appears to have run dry because the water was being extracted for shale gas fracking.

10 Most Unbelievable Places in the World
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August 14, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Where Do You Read: Jaguar Paw Eco Park
America Montejo reads My Beautiful Belize while on a tour at Jaguar Paw with Chukka Jungle Adventures courtesy of Amigos del Mar Jungle Adventures. America enjoyed zip lining through the forests and cave tubing through ancient caves, exploring her beautiful country Belize.

BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp Concludes
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp for 2013 concluded over the past weekend in Toledo. This year’s camp was held at the Julian Cho Technical High School located in the village of Big Falls, and was attended by close to 300 cadets from around the country. The camp ran from Saturday August 3 to Saturday August 10 and covered Drills, Band Practice, Environmental Study, Physical Training, Administration in the Field, First Aid, Knots and Hitches, and Personal Hygiene. There were lecturers from the Police Department, National Drug-Abuse Control Council, HIV/AIDS Commission, Fire Service, Audubon Society and Solid Waste Management.

National AIDS Commission Island Committee “Sweeps the Island”
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee joined forces with Pan American Social Marketing Organization Belize over the Costa Maya weekend to “Sweep the Island”. The activity was carried out over a two day span commencing on Friday August 2nd through the 3rd. The purpose of the activity was to reach one of the more “at risk” population in San Pedro Town, with major focus on FSW – Female Sex Workers. As part of the drive, members of both NAC Island Committee and PASMO took to the streets offering both HIV Education and Free Mobile Testing.

Street Treats: Pizza
San Pedro is home to many great restaurants, but for those who aren’t in the mood for fine dining and cutlery there is no better treat than pizza. Pizza has made its way across every single nation delighting every taste bud alive. It is the perfect combination of all the food groups: you get your veggies, your protein, your dairy and your starch. With so many choices out there, there’s sure to be a pizza to satisfy just about every fetish. For many it’s the classic pepperoni or the good ol’ meat lover’s but don’t be afraid to step out and mix things up a bit. After all when it comes to toppings, almost anything can compliment a perfectly baked crust layered with rich sauce, and hot melted mozzarella, so don’t be afraid to pile ‘em on! For those that dare to experience bliss, make this street treat better, with an ice-cold Lighthouse or Belikin Beer as your beverage of choice! Pizza and beer is a match made in heaven (Of course, this is for those of us 18yrs+).

Ambergris Today

Free Mobile HIV Rapid Testing Conducted In San Pedro
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee joined forces with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization PASMO Belize over the Costa Maya weekend to “Sweep the Island”. The activity was carried out over a two-day span commencing on Friday August 2nd through the 3rd. The purpose of the activity was to reach one of the more “at risk” populations in San Pedro Town, with major focus on FSW – Female Sex Workers. As part of the drive, members of both NAC Island Committee and PASMO took to the streets offering both HIV Education and Free Mobile HIV Rapid Testing. At the end, the team was able to visit four bars and various work sites; with a total of 67 tests performed. The testing done on both days by sex is as follows: Day Male Female Total Friday 15 31 46 Saturday 18 3 21 Total: 33 34 67 This exercise was so successful that Chair of the NAC Island Committee, Dennis Craft is excited to extend the service to other businesses.

Music Camp Inspires for Bigger Things for San Pedro Youth
San Pedro’s got talent; that is for sure. When I heard the students of San Pedro’s first summer camp play during their graduation showcase last week I was blown away. Three weeks was all it took for musical maestro Carlos Perrote to make musicians out of five-year-olds. There were a few teenagers and adults in the mix, but most of the students were very young. Carlos Perrote is a very talented man; hats off to him. In just the first week of camp he had his students playing music, and really good music for that matter. I was very pleasantly surprised at the skill level his students had reached in just the first week of camp. It takes a really good musician/teacher to accomplish such a feat, especially with a group of such young students.

25 Years Ago: A San Pedro You Can Envy
If you would ask me what is one thing I would like to change or fix about San Pedro, I would respond that I would like to see a San Pedro that is free of drugs. My friends I am from the Old School, and I can describe a San Pedro that you could envy. Indeed we do have the same beautiful beaches and the same spectacular crystal clear Caribbean Sea and the same amazing reef. We do have the same friendly people, the hardworking and honest people, and the same wonderful culture to enjoy. But the San Pedro that I am talking about is one that was drug free and for the same reason more peaceful and serene and safe. You might not believe me, and perhaps even laugh, if I tell you that up until I was fifteen years old (1965) nobody ever offered me any kind of non prescribed drugs and I was unaware of their existence in San Pedro. I told you already that I am from the Old School. In my days children of any age could stay late in the streets and parents did not have to worry about some drug pusher attempting to entice them into their evil and pernicious habits. Of course by late I mean seven or eight in the night because the curfew bell rang at that time.

A Music Transformation in San Pedro Starts with Summer Camp
Music indeed came like a sudden revolution to San Pedro. A few weeks ago Carlos Perrote, the renowned Cuban music instructor in Belize, announced the first ever music summer program in San Pedro. It was intended to give the children of San Pedro something interesting, and practical to do during their long and at times boring summer vacations. However, over 60 persons enrolled in the music program and three weeks ago it kicked off with a bang. During the first week of classes at San Pedro High School, Maestro Perrote took these kids and a few adults to a new level of music. It was all about percussions of different kinds and steel pans - the latter taking extreme interest and motivation. Kids did not want to skip one single class. They were punctual and well disciplined. In fact some even skipped their vacation trips to remain in the program. Such was the transformation of the children and indeed their entire families in their attitude about music. It seemed so interesting; it seemed so attainable, so easy.

Misc Belizean Sources

MISSING - chihuahua named Shrimps, north Ambergris Caye- $2000 reward
approx 10 lbs., not wearing a collar, last seen 5 miles north of Mata Grande grocery, 5:45pm Sunday August 11th

Jaguars Win First CONCACAF Game
Congratulations to the Little Jaguars on winning their first game at the CONCACAF U-15 championship, which is taking place in Grand Cayman. They play again on Thursday against the Dominican Republic and on Friday against Jamaica. Best of luck! "Our "Cubs" (Baby Jaguars) got off to an excellent start earlier this evening at The Ed Bush Stadium in Grand Cayman with a 1 - 0 victory over St. Lucia on a goal by Alvin Sifontes."

National Song Competition Highlights
Will Moreno put together a great highlight video of the National Song Competition. Nello Player, who has won the last two years, is in there at around 3:00. Congratulations to all the winners! "The Belize National Song Competition is an event held every year kicking off the mood for the September Celebrations. It is an event planned by NICH (National Institute of Culture and History), September Celebrations Commission and sponsored by Atlantic International Bank. The event gives Belizean artists an opportunity to showcase new lyrics and original material built around the September Celebrations."

King of the Hills Bicycle Race
The King of the Hills cycling race is this Sunday in Cayo. It starts and ends at the Cayo Welcome Center, with the route being a big lap that riders will do 15 times. "The Belize Cycling Association Riders and Weekend Warriors invite one and all to this mega cycling event in San Ignacio! Route: San Ignacio Criterium Race: Welcome Centre to Burns Avenue, Up Benque Viejo Road (Black Hill / Parallel to Cement Hill), around Joselph Andrews Drive (Sacred Heart High School) to Savannah St. (Hodes) and back to Hudson St. (Market Area) Registration: $20 per rider at the event."

26 Youths Represented Belize at Youth Conference
Feelgood news of the day. 26 Belizean youths went to El Salvador to attend a youth conference that focused on contributing to the community. "Twenty-six Belizean Youth Attend Conference in El Salvador to Learn to Contribute to Their Community. Youth from six communities in Belize travelled to El Salvador over this past weekend (2 - 5 August) to attend a Bahá’í Youth Conference. They returned Monday night full of excitement to execute the plans they made for themselves to serve their communities of Corozal, Belmopan, Belize City, San Pedro, San Ignacio, and Dangriga. This Conference was attended by 660 youth ages 15 to 30 from Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It was one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. The purpose of these gatherings is 'to summon today's youth' of all faiths and backgrounds 'to put the needs of others before their own' in order 'to aid the spiritual and social development of those around them, especially ones younger than themselves.'"

Belmopan Summer Chess Camp
The East Cayo Chess Association had their Summer Chess camp. They also posted the winners of the Belmopan Day Chess Tournament. "The summer chess camp was very successful. There were a good group of children that had a chance to not only learn a great deal about chess but got to do other activities like arts and crafts as well. There were many people that contributed to the success of this effort."

Garifuna Collective Returns Home
The Garifuna Collective has returned to Belize after their North American tour, where they impressed audiences all over Canada and the US. They'll be playing around Belize after a break. Welcome back! The LA Times has a great article on them, which highlights their new album, Ayó. "In his native Belize, Andy Palacio is frequently compared to another lion of Afro-Caribbean music, Bob Marley. Like Marley, Palacio was an artistic pioneer and prophet of a musical genre shaped by the cross-currents of colonialism and slavery, yet characterized by the music's spirit of alternately joyous and plaintive resiliency. And, like Marley, Palacio was cut down in his prime, at 47, in 2008, after suffering a series of small strokes. His passing was a harsh blow for Garifuna music, a soulful blend of African percussion and elegant guitar-driven melodies."

Channel 7

From Condemnation To Contrition: Finnegan Apologizes
Last night you heard veteran politician Michael Finnegan "go-off" on his parliamentary colleague Dolores Balderamos Garcia – calling her a "congenital liar," and a lot more. That's after Balderamos Garcia and the PUP Women held a press conference to call for Finnegan's resignation. Well, this morning, bright and early, Finnegan had a sharp change of direction. He called KREM WUB to say he's sorry: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "Some people said that I had gone too far. Thursday after the debate, the leader of my party said to me that he felt I went a little too far with her. I'm inclined to accept the unacceptable and I want to stand and be magnanimous. If the public feels and it is the view of the public that I went too far then first of all I would like to apologize and say sorry to the public and the citizens of Belize. If I disrespected the House that the Speaker's chair - I want to secondly apologize to the Speaker of the House." We note that Finnegan did not apologize directly to Baldermaos Garcia, but to all his colleagues in the house, which, we suppose, does include her. He also calls for her to apologize to the sergeant at arms, Brian Audinett known as Yellowman.

GSU Vs. George’s, Again!
A month ago, 7News told you about 27 year-old Brandon Tillett, AKA, "BT" who the Gang Suppression Unit charged with deportation offences. The GSU says that he is a member of the George Street Gang, and after a confrontation today between him and officers of the Unit, he says that he is being targeted and harassed by the GSU. It all unfolded at Tillett's friend's home on Allenby Street this morning, where the homeowner, Jermaine Ottley, was getting ready to go Magistrate's Court for a case being brought by the GSU. The GSU was conducting an operation, which quickly turned into a confrontation, where both Tillett and Ottley were allegedly brutalized by the officers. 7News caught up with Ottley outside of the KHMH, where the Gang Suppression Unit was holding Tillett under guard so that he could receive medical treatment from injuries they allegedly gave to him. Here's how Ottley explained it in an off-camera interview: Voice of: Jermaine Ottley - Claims Police Brutality "I was at my house getting ready to come out and GSU came and asked me to open the door and I did so, politely. They came in and didn't say anything to us and they just put us on our knees and started to beat us badly. We weren't resisting them any at all because we can't resist them because it was five of them with guns. We were on our knees and they were just beating us. Two of them were beating us up and two others were beating my friend at the corner. When I knelt down, an officer came and beat me up badly and took the stuff out of my own house and broke it on me - took out his service weapon and put it on my forehead and told me he would kill me."

“BT” Bex With GSU
But at the end of the day, it was only Brandon Tillett, who faced criminal charges, those being assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and wounding. The GSU is claiming that Tillett assaulted their officer, Detective Constable Abner Itza, in the scuffle at Ottley's house. He was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano who granted him bail of $2,000, which he was able to meet. This evening, Tillett, his attorney, and his friend Ottley all granted us an interview, where they explain their version of the events: Brandon BT Tillett - Claims Brutality from GSU "I went to my house and tried to get two DVD's to go inside and relax. When I went in there my family was in there dressed to go to court and I heard the man said GSU. The men started to bang on the door and told me to open the door and I did - then as I opened the door the police told me to put my hand up and told me to put it behind my head.

CWU Suspended Indefinitely From NTUCB
Last week, we showed you the stevedores who said that they weren't satisfied with the President of their Union, Antonio Gonzalez. They told us that he wasn't doing a good job negotiating their position with the receivers of the Port of Belize. We showed you Gonzalez's response, who said that he thinks it healthy that he is criticized by the membership of the Christian Workers Union. Well, the Stevedores are going a step further, they want him to retire by the end of the week, because according to them, he hasn't only crippled their negotiations with PBL, he has weakened the CWU during his tenure. So, they're trying to force him, and the Secretary, James McFoy, out with a laundry list of complaints, which they formally presented to them last week, where they supposedly violated the constitution of the CWU. Those complaints are yet to be proven, but one of them is about finances. They say that he hasn't had an audit done on the CWU in years, and more than that, Gonzalez has not met the financial commitments to the Government, and the umbrella union organization, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, NTCUB.

Mexicans Say The Botes Backdoor Being Used By Narcos
A report in the Mexican newspaper El Diario Respuesta de Quintana Roo claims to reveal the drug trafficking routes in Belize along the Rio Hondo. The article cites a recent Mexican Government report from their Ministry of Public Security which has identified 18 drug transshipment routes along the Rio Hondo which forms Belize's northern border with Mexico. The article quotes Public Security Minister, Carlos Bibbiano Villa Castillo saying that the activity in the area between 2006 and 2012 has made Quintana Roo a zone of influence in the national drug trafficking network. Villa Castillo claims that tons of drugs cross over to Mexico annually "primarily from Belize". He described it as, quote, "a reality that cannot be denied." He added that it comes primarily from areas like Botes, and Nuevo Israel. He said they are assigning special forces to bring it to an end.

American Psycho Visited Belize
And tonight a deceased serial killer named Israel Keyes is being investigated for his possible links to Belize and other countries. Keyes killed himself in December, nine months after his arrest for a killing in Alaska, and after admitting to at least seven other slayings, all in the US. Police have posthumously linked him to three more killings in the states, but says that he travelled to Canada, Mexico and Belize between 2001 and 2008. An FBI Sattement says, quote, "Keyes traveled internationally and it is unknown if he committed any homicides while outside of the United States." A timeline provided by the FBI shows that on October 6, 205, he rented form Budget Rent A Car in Belize – that's after he flew from California to El Salvador on October third. The timeline shows that he didn't fly back until October 13th. Our records show that there was one murder in Belize between October 5 and 16th, 2006 – but that one was gang related and it happened on October fifth. Keyes said he robbed banks to finance his travels. The FBI describes Keyes as a kind of murder addict "who hunted victims in remote locations like parks, campgrounds or hiking trails."

C-SEC Results Improving, But Could Be Better
The Caribbean Examinations Council has released the overall results for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), commonly known as the CXC. The good news is the CSEC examination results improved compared to last year. Sixty-five per cent of subject entries achieved acceptable grades – Grades I – III, compared with 62 per cent in 2012. Overall performance improved on 21 of the 35 subjects offered, including English and Math. But we should note that in math performance remained below average with 35 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 33 per cent last year. The Committee noted that more than 13, 000 candidates were unable to measure and state the length of a given line and determine the measure of an angle on one question. And in the CAPE, for the first time in six years, overall performance has reached the 90 per cent mark – meaning 90.15 per cent of the Unit entries achieved Grades I – V.

Family Laments Elias Ku Drowning
It didn't make it into the news last night, but on the weekend an Orange Walk family had to deal with the discovery of their loved one's body in the new river. 32 year old Elias Ku went missing ten days ago after going for a swim in the river. The only trace of him were his shoes and shirt which were left by the riverside. His family reported him missing, but ended up having to do the search themselves when time started to pass with no results. As his sister told CTV3 News in Orange Walk yesterday, on Saturday, that search took them into a small creek where they found his decomposed body: Voice of: Karina Ku - Sister of Deceased "Friday night my father said we have to continue because we have to find my little brother’s body as proof for my mother and the entire family. We went into a creek called Fidelia creek. And no thought that he would be in there when we saw something and my little brother circled it in the canoe to try and see if it was him. They called me and I went to get the police who were not there, they came down to the riverside to confirm that it was really him. Many scold their children when their children go out and get tattoos and my brother got a tattoo when he was very young of a weed leaf on his shoulder. And my aunt always told him..the day we need to find you all we have to do is look for that tattoo."

1 Grand For A Small Amount Of Weed
27 year-old Jermaine Grant got busted with 15.6 grams cannabis, and now he has to pay $1,000 dollars. According to Police Constable Mark Martinez, yesterday evening, he and other officers were conducting a patrol when they spotted Grant. They stopped him and conducted a search, in which they found 17 small parcels of marijuana, to a total of 15.6 grams. As a result, he was arrested and charged with drug possession, and was arraigned today before Magistrate Stuart. She sentenced him to pay a fine of $1,000, 200 of which he had to pay upfront. He couldn't do so, and as a result, he remains in custody, until he can make arrangements. He must pay the entire fine by October 15, 2013, or he will spend 6 months in prison in default.

How to Deal With MedFly Infestations
The US has been helping Belize with a medfly programme since 1976 and they continue to assist right now with the current infestation – which is described as the worse in more than three decades. That's what's being discussed at an annual meeting of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly Program where Guatemala, the United States, Mexico and Belize discus the bug. It is being held in Belize this year and Belize and the Unites States Department of Agriculture signed a Bilateral Cooperative Agreement last night to strengthen the Medfly program. The US Deputy Chief Of Mission explained: Margaret Hawthorne - Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy "Belize is recognized by the USDA as a MedFly free area but it requires careful and continuous monitoring by BAHA and USDA. Belize has an average of 4 outbreaks per year and quick responses by BAHA and USDA to eradicate the MedFly each time it is detected using cutting edge technology have prevented the spread of this pest."

Showing the Power Of Breastfeeding
Last week, was international breast-feeding week, and in An effort to promote breast feeding – on Saturday in Corozal the Ministry of Health teamed up with Art in The Park to host an event – that celebrated the art of breast feeding. Now, there's still some social stigma about breast feeding in public, but the competition hoped to dispel that and encourage this most public act of nurturing. Robyn Daly explained: Robyn Daly - Nutritionist, Ministry of Health "This year we wanted to do something different for World Breastfeeding Week so we got an idea from PAHO Washington - they did a photo contest for World Breastfeeding week so we decided to adapt the same concept and we did one here. We had very good feedback with the contest, with our exhibition that we have out here you can look around - the photos are really excellent. We had good submissions and we want to make it a yearly thing. We had about 35 entries, so hopefully next year as we continue our promotion we will probably get another 50 or 60 and we want to be able use these photos to use in our hospitals and our clinics to showcase that mothers are practicing breastfeeding and it's something to be proud of."

Black Pearl’s Carnival Pageant
Carnival is about a month away, but most carnival bands are still trying to do their last minute fundraising. One band which does an annual carnival pageant is the Black Pearl Junior Band. Tomorrow night 6 contestants will be hitting the stage at the Bliss. Today 7news got a slight glimpse during one of their practice sessions. Gaynor Martinez - Organizer "It's a fundraiser for the Black Pearl Carnival band and I think we have 6 contestants willing and very confident and beautiful young ladies and Miss Dorla is asking as many people to come out and support. It's $5 for children and $10 for adults and there will be entertainment in between. Basically the carnival groups - they do it by themselves, they don't have enough people. I personally spoke to Ms. Vaughn and I just found out today that she does the costumes on her own - she makes these costumes and she has no one sponsoring her. She uses her own free time to help the kids to come out and enjoy themselves. Carnival is just a part of our culture, whether we're Belizean, Trinidadian - it's a cultural thing because guess what? There's hardly anything to do in Belize." The pageant is tomorrow night at the Bliss. Tickets are 5 dollars for children and 10 dollars for adults. The show starts at 7pm sharp.

Channel 5

Finnegan apologizes on radio but not to Dolores
The heat from last week Wednesday’s House meeting continues to permeate the televised newscasts and radio shows. The special sitting of the House was apparently convened to introduce a motion [...]

Yellowman says the pictures don’t tell the full story
Earlier in the newscast, we reported on the dispute between Minister Michael Finnegan and Dolores Balderamos Garcia resulting from comments Garcia made about the Mace Bearer Brian “Yellow Man” Audinette. [...]

Man says he was beaten by five cops
Tonight, there is a new charge of brutality by the Gang Suppression Unit against two men, one not only ended up in the hospital, but also before the courts. Jermaine [...]

Autopsy complete on cop who died after beating
A post mortem examination was conducted on the body of twenty-six year old police constable Roy Robert Fernandez today to ascertain whether the cause of death was the result of [...]

FFB to modernize stadium in Belmopan
The performance of the Jaguars at the recent Gold Cup Games is still the subject of debate. The lack of resources was a rallying cry, but tonight here is some [...]

Will the ex-servicemen league lose its property?
On Friday, members of the Belize Ex-Services League were alarmed when they discovered that the entrance to the building they have been occupying since the establishment of the organization decades [...]

Mayan Leaders insist on land rights to stop drilling
On September nineteenth the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy. The application was filed by SATIIM and leaders of four communities [...]

National Bank of Belize discussed in Senate
The Government of Belize established the National Bank of Belize in April 2013. NBBL was formed primarily to provide concessionary credit to teachers, public officers and needy Belizeans. The state-owned [...]

Since 2009 5 million paid out to private attorneys
A recent decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice ended before the House of Representatives when the government put forward a motion targeting the former prime minister and the then [...]

He hid his stash inside his underwear
A man hid marijuana inside his boxers, but that didn’t stop Police from finding the stash. Belize City resident Jermaine Alex Grant was searched by Police on East Collet Canal [...]

Is marriage an option after a drunken machete incident?
A woman who is engaged to a B.D.F. soldier is having second thoughts about marriage after he allegedly punched her, pulled a machete on her and threatened to kill her [...]

Belize U-15 in competitive football games in Cayman
A team of young football athletes is representing the jewel in the CONCACAF U-fifteen Championship being held in the Cayman Islands. And today in their first match against St. Lucia, [...]

Belize was a pitstop for another serial killer
A Utah born serial killer, linked to eleven murders in the U.S., was in Belize for a month in 2005. Israel Keyes slit his wrists In December 2012 while incarcerated [...]

Superstar performances at the Bliss
It is coming down to the wire… Who will Be the Next Superstar? That’s the question in everyone’s mind and everyone has a favourite. Tonight, it’s down to three safe [...]


Traffic Mishap Leaves Several Injured
A number of people are lucky to have come out unscathed following a road traffic accident this morning. Correspondent Fem Cruz shares the details. FEM CRUZ “A traffic accident involving a bus from Griga Bus Line and a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck has left two persons injured. According to the driver of the bus, 32-year-old, Calbert Williams Jr., a resident of Dangriga Town on Tuesday morning, August 13 sometime around 7 o’clock, he was driving from Dangriga enroute to Belmopan. Travelling along with him were 43 passengers. Upon reaching the village of Armenia on the Hummingbird Highway between miles 48 and 49, a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that was travelling in the same direction tried to overtake him and upon doing so, the bonnet of the pickup truck suddenly flew up into the windshield. Williams says he immediately took a right turn to avoid hitting the truck but instead the driver lost control of the car and ended up hitting the left side of the bus which forced him off the highway into the drain. The driver of the pickup truck, 58-year-old, Jose Orlando Deras, a resident of Armenia Village escaped unhurt while a female passenger who was travelling along with him complained of pain to her right knee and left shoulder. The driver of the bus also escaped unhurt while one of his passengers complained of pain to his shoulder and chest. Police investigation continues. This is Brother Fem Cruz, reporting from the beautiful village of Roaring Creek for Love FM.”

Young Jaguars Travel to Grand Cayman for Under 15 Football Tournament
On Sunday and Monday members of Belize’s National U-15 football team travelled to the Grand Cayman Island to represent Belize in the CONCACAF U-15 Championship. Before joining the team today, President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente spoke to Love News and shared that Belize will be joined by twenty three other teams from across the region which will participate in the competition that will be held at four different venues from August 14th to 25th. RUPERTO VICENTE “It’s the first of its kind tournament by CONCACAF; it’s the first time that CONCACAF is hosting a U15 tournament and that is because CONCACAF is now focusing on youth development as well as our federation. We now have to start focusing on youth development and for this reason the U15 tournament. So, our team is out there; they’re going to be playing today at 3:30 Belize time and we’re hoping to do well in that tournament. The team we sent out is a talented team and the young jaguars are looking good and we have high expectations. In the first instance, we are going to be playing three matches in their first round; so, we’ll be looking at qualifying for the next round and then stay until the 25th of August and be a part of the championship. We believe that this young team is a talented team and they will do welld in this tournament. This team has been in camp since early July this year but they have been together before then but they came into camp in July, right after the A-team, the Jaguars went to the Gold Cup; so, that team has been in camp since then.”

Improvements to FFB Stadium in Belmopan
The Football Federation of Belize and the Canchas Deportivas de Centroamerica from El Savador signed a contract for the improvement of the lighting facilities at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. According to the President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente, the project is being financed by FIFA at a sum of two hundred and ninety eight thousand US dollars. Signing on behalf of the Canchas Deportivas de Centroamerica was its Executive Director, Juan Carlos Sanchez who spoke to Love News about the project. JUAN CARLOS SANCHEZ “Well basically we’re going to be installing the most modern lighting system today, MUSCO Lighting; it’s the same lighting system that is installed in many of the most prestigious venues in the world including the Olympics for the past four consecutive times. So, we’re very excited about contributing to Belize Football Federation and the people of Belize with a very high quality system and most importantly, it’s a very cost saving system because we can save about 40% on energy bill versus conventional lighting systems. MUSCO Lighting System has a warranty for ten years which is more than the average; in the industry, two years is the standard in lightning systems and in the United States, the warranty can be extended to 25 years; so, basically that is a signal of the quality of the lighting system. The lighting system is a metal high light, 1500 watt fixture but it has a visor that allows it to redirect light to the field which is normally lost; about 40% of the light that a fixture produces is normally lost, so, with this technology and the visors we are redirecting the light on the field and basically using 40% less fixtures than traditional systems. So, with 120 light fixtures we’re producing the same amount of light that would be needed with 160 – 180 conventional fixtures.”

Another Alleged Case of Police Abuse in Northern Belize
There are unconfirmed reports surfacing from the Corozal District that a villager of Patchakan was beaten by a police officer. The incident allegedly occurred in the village of Patchakan this past weekend. The victim reportedly visited the home of an official from the Ministry of Natural Resources who resides in the village to sort out some land problems, at the time there was another man present and a confrontation ensued. The villager reportedly left the house however on his way back home he was met on the road by the same man he met previously and a police officer. The two men reportedly kicked the man off his bicycle and proceeded to beat him severely. Further reports are that the police officer was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. The victim was reportedly hospitalized and is scheduled to appear in court. Corozal Police informed us that they cannot comment on the matter since an official report has not been made as yet.

Government Minister Apologizes For Conduct in House of Representatives Meeting
Last Wednesday, Minister of Housing and Area Representative for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, responded to an issue in a manner many believe was disrespectful and out of order. The Minister was responding to an issue brought up by Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Dolores Balderamos Garcia. She made reference to public behavior displayed by the Sergeant of Arms of the House of Representatives, Brian “Yellowman” Audinett, whom she accused of drinking and urinating in public. In his defense of Audinett, Finnegan was at best insensitive of the listenership. In the same vein, on Monday in an interview at his home, he told reporters that he thought that Balderamos Garcia owed Audinett an apology for attacking him in the House when he could not respond to her. But today, while he did not offer Balderamos Garcia a personal apology for his comments, he called Krem’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes as his medium to convey an open apology to the public, the Prime Minister and the elected representatives. Finnegan said that he was offering the apology after having spoken to Prime Minister Dean Barrow following his remarks in the House. We bring you excerpts of Finnegan’s comments today courtesy Krem’s WUB.

Agriculture Cooperation Agreement Between Belize and USA Signed
The Ministry of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture have signed a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement. The agreement was signed during the now ongoing tenth Undersecretary and Vice-ministers of Agriculture meeting which began on Monday and ends tomorrow. Love News spoke with the Medfly Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hernan Zetina who explained that this is the first time Belize is hosting the event and said that the meeting and hence the agreement has to do with maintaining Belize free of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly. HERNAN ZETINA “Every year this meeting is held in either Guatemala, Mexico, the US; this is the first time Belize is hosting. We took the opportunity to sign a bilateral agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture and Belize. This agreement is to formalize existing support between these two entities; we have always had technical assistance, we have always had support from USDA but there has never been a cooperative agreement signed. We did sign an MOU in 1976 and so we are piggy backing on that MOU and signing a formal agreement now for technical assistance.”

Bus Driver May Be Charged After His Bus Runs Over Woman’s Foot
The driver of a D& E bus has been served with a notice of intended prosecution following an traffic incident in Hattieville yesterday morning. According to Police reports, around 10:30 yesterday morning, they visited an area between miles fifteen and sixteen on the George Price Highway within Hattieville where a D& E bus was seen on the right side of the highway. The bus was heading in the direction of Belize City. Their investigations revealed that 41 year old Elias Salazar was driving the bus into Belize City but when he approached the pedestrian ramp one of the passengers, Rachel Burke, headed to the front of the bus. The driver reportedly stopped over the ramp and the door opened but Burke did not come off the bus. Salazar then reportedly released the brakes and began moving the bus again and Burke fell out of the bus. As a result the right front wheel of the bus ran over her right foot. Burke was admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she is in a stable condition and Salazar was served with a notice of intended prosecution.

Charged for Words Uttered; Sentenced For Owing Court As Well
Instead of being the punisher, 51 year old, Henry Smart Gilharry a.k.a. “Punisher” was the one who was punished when he appeared in court today and pled guilty to using threatening words. When Magistrate Dale Cayetano asked Gilharry if he had anything to say before sentence is passed, Gilharry immediately admitted that he owes the court five hundred and he cannot pay and that he is willing to serve the time in default of payment. As a result, Magistrate Cayetano sentenced him to two months for using threatening words and told him that he will serve an additional five months for non- payment of the fine. The incident occurred yesterday. A woman who resides on North Front Street visited the police station and reported that while she was at home, Gilharry entered her yard and asked her what she was looking at him for and threatened to shoot her.


More Funds Means More Assistance
With extra cash deposited into the coffers of the Orange Walk Town Council after a successful Fiesta Rama 2013, Mayor Kevin Bernard and councilors were able to assist 100 students...

SMART Gives Back To The Community
Over the weekend, three teams walked out of the Orange Walk Peoples Stadium with cash, trophies and medals in hand after participating in the Smart Five-a-side marathon. The grand event...

Pueblo Nuevo Ferry To Undergo Repairs
The repair of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District was set to commence today but CTV3 News understands that the date for repairs to commence has been changed...

More Money Raised From Fiesta Rama Than Expected
The last time we spoke to Mayor Kevin Bernard about the funds that were raised for Fiesta Rama 2013, he gave us a profit margin of approximately 20 thousand dollars....

Man Allegedly Brutalized By Police Is Criminally Charged
A fifty acres piece of land located in the Village of Patchakan in Corozal, that has been passed on to the third generation of the Ruiz Family for more than...

PUP Mayors Condemn Attack Against Balderamos Garcia
Attending yesterday’s press conference called by the women of the PUP, were the three PUP Mayors including Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard who today expressed his displeasure in the...

Simplis Barrow Calls For Order Inside Parliament
But if Finnegan thought that his unprofessional behavior and his attack against Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia at the House would be forgotten with an apology, then he better think again. We...

Finnegan Versus Dolores At The House
But where does all the controversy stem from? Reported Irvin Aragon recounts the details. Irvin Aragon- Reporting Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Belize Rural Central Area Representative “I want to say to...

Finnegan Apologizes, But Not Balderamos Garcia
A statement made by the Minister of Housing, the Honorable Michael Finnegan in the House of Representatives has caused much ruction throughout the country, but in particular, in the People’s...


Police officer dead after bad beating
A Police Officer has died after he was attacked by a pair of siblings. The deceased has been identified as 26 year old Roy Robert Fernandez, a police constable of George Town, attached to a Belize City precinct. Information to PlusNews is that last week Sunday, August 4th, Fernandez...

Senator Lisa Shoman in concerned about comments in the House directed at female Member
Last week, in our newscast, we brought you statements from a number of viewers who called in to PlusTV’s morning show Rise and Shine, to express their displeasure with the conduct of certain members of the House of Representatives at Wednesday’s meeting. One back and forth that was particularly...

PUP’s women’s arm wants Finnegan to resign over distasteful comments in the House
Earlier we showed you that the backlash of statements made by Hon. Michael Finnegan to the sole female representative of the House of Representatives at last week’s house meeting have been all over the media airwaves and on other social media such as Facebook. It was brought up in...

PUP Mayors condemn Minister Finnegan for comments to Hon Balderamos Garcia
Three Mayors, all from the People’s Untied Party, have also added their voices condemning Minister Finnegan for his comments to Hon. Balderamos Garcia. The three duly elected Mayors are Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town, Anthony Fuentes of Punta Gorda Town and Gilbert Swaso of Dangriga Town. Via press...

Missing man’s body found in New River
A family’s search for an Orange Walk man came to a tragic end after his body was found floating in the river. 32 year old Elias Ku had been missing since August 3rd socializing with friends. Three days after his disappearance, his family was told that while with his...

Two persons recovering after shooting incident in Belize City
Two persons are recovering after a shooting incident in Belize City. Reports are that 18 year old Wasani Fernandez and 25 year Losandri Gonzalez were inside a house on Holy Emanuel Street in the nation’s old capital, along with two other persons when an unknown male person pushed his...

Tractor crashes into house in Camalote causing extensive damage
Imagine spending what seemed to be an ordinary Saturday afternoon watching television in the family’s living room, when a tractor comes crashing into your home. That’s what one family in Camalote Village experienced this weekend, when a front end loader, property of the Ministry of...

Family ask for help in locating missing son
The parents of Rene Avalos came to Belmopan to continue their relentless search for their son. The family originated from Escuintla, Guatemala. According to the Father, Roberto Avalos Sierra, his son went missing when he was around the age of 18. However, the family recently got word from a...

CDB Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan debated in Senate
The Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan was debated in Monday’s Senate Meeting. This is a 5 million 200 thousand US dollar loan which is to be used to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pick...

FECTAB say Cruise Ship Operators are out to benefit themselves
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) added to the public discourse on government’s recent decision to sign an MOU with Norwegian Cruise Line. Monday morning, members of FECTAB were guests on Rise and Shine. David Almendarez says that Cruise Ship Operators are out to monopolize the...

Closing Ceremony for Belmopan Summer Camp Sports Program
The final segment of the Summer Camp Sports Program finally came to an end. On Friday, August 10 at the UB Gymnasium, the Camp hosted a closing ceremony, for the three remaining disciplines- chess, volleyball and basketball. The ceremony kicked off in the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Vacancy for Office Assistant at CCVC
Submit Applications and resume to Caye Caulker Village Council before August 30th, 2013

Show your Belizean pride!
Home and Business Patriotic Competition


Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia wants Hon. Michael Finnegan to resign. The Mesop area rep takes heat for defending “Yellow Man” in the House. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a call, via the PUP’s United Women’s Group, for the resignation of the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Mesopotamia area representative – Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan, for “an unprecedented barrage of viciously crude [attacks] and [an] explicitly sexual innuendo” he made in Parliament, directed at the only woman in the House – the PUP’s Belize Rural Central area representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia. The PUP Women’s Group said they “demand a public apology from and the IMMEDIATE resignation of the Member for Mesopotamia.” The controversial comments—which promptly went viral on social media—were made last Wednesday, August 7, at a Special Sitting of Parliament which, paradoxically, had as its highlight a motion to “deprecate” the actions of former PUP leader Said Musa and current PUP leader, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, in giving a secret tax concession to British billionaire Michael Ashcroft.

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has indicated, following a query from Amandala, that the tab for legal services which the Government of Belize has procured to defend claims brought against the Government in disputes with the Ashcroft Alliance, including those over Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), is in the region of $5 million. More specifically, litigation spanning 2009 to 2012 has cost the Government roughly BZ$4.8 million. Among the pending disputes is that over the very nationalization of BTL, for which judgment is due to be handed down by the Court of Appeal. However, there is also foreign arbitration pending over the US$22.5 million loan that the Government compulsorily acquired from British Caribbean Bank when it nationalized BTL. The Caribbean Court of Justice recently ruled that the dispute can proceed to arbitration, notwithstanding pending litigation before local court.

The decayed body of Elias Ku, 32, of Orange Walk Town, was recovered from the New River in Trial Farm village about 10:00 Saturday morning, eight days after he was reported missing. When he was recovered by searchers, not only was Ku’s body in an advanced state of decomposition, but both arms and his left leg were missing. Ku’s face and intestines were also missing, and it is believed that crocodiles may have fed on the body. An autopsy was conducted onsite, but the cause of death was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Immediately after the autopsy, Ku was taken to the Orange Walk Cemetery, where he was buried at about 3:30 that same Saturday evening. Eloy Ku, 56, a taxi driver of Orange Walk, told Amandala that about 10:00 Saturday morning, August 3, his son, Elias, left home and went to an area near the Independence Plaza, in Orange Walk, where he socialized with friends and swam in the river.

More headaches again for Violet Jones; daughter and nephew shot in her home. Violence has once again visited Violet Jones of Holy Emmanuel Street; her daughter, Losandri Gonzalez, 25, and her nephew, Wasani Fernandez, 23, were shot while sleeping in her house on Holy Emmanuel Street at about 3:00 yesterday morning. The victims told police that a gunman pushed his hand through a louvered window and fired at them as they slept. As a result, Lasandri suffered gunshot injuries to her right arm, while Wasani suffered three gunshot wounds to his hand, right upper leg and knee. The bullet broke some bones in his hand, and surgery will be performed on Wednesday on the leg. Losandri was treated and released today. Police say that they recovered (3) .22 expended shells from the scene. Jones, 42, who lives a few lots away from her home, in a house belonging to one of her nephews, said that she has no hate in her heart, nor will she seek revenge. She said that she will return home to Dangriga and will give up her property in the Holy Emmanuel Street area of the city, where she has been residing for the past 17 years.

Humes was charged with the attempted murder of Marco Valle on January 1, 2013. Marco Valle, 48, was shot in his head while riding to his workplace at Princess Hotel and Casino just minutes after the New Year had been ushered in by much fanfare and fireworks. Valle had been riding his bicycle along with another male when someone just rode past them and fired the single shot that hit Valle in his head. Three days later, police already had someone in custody who they believed to be the person who shot Valle in a senseless act. On January 4, 2013, as Valle was on life support and his family and friends prayed for his life, Shakeem Humes, 20, known as “Bap”, was being arraigned for his shooting. Humes was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm, all stemming from Valle’s shooting. No bail was offered to Humes at the time and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance, which was scheduled for February 15.

A policeman has died from injuries he suffered after he was beaten by two men in his village about 12:20 Sunday morning, August 4. Police constable Roy Robert Fernandez, 26, of Georgetown Village, died on Saturday, August 10, at a clinic in Independence. Police are seeking two brothers, of the same village, who they believe can help them with their investigation into the beating. Police reports are that at 5:50 on Saturday evening, August 10, they went to the clinic, located on Happy Avenue, in Independence Village, where they saw the body of Roy Robert Fernandez, a police constable of Georgetown Village, who was attached to Precinct 1 in Belize City. Their investigations revealed that at 12: 20 Saturday morning, August 4, PC Fernandez was walking on an unnamed street in Georgetown Village, along with two females, heading towards one of the females mother’s house when they met her ex-common-law husband, accompanied by his brother.

Police Constable Darrel Gilbert Swazo, 29, attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office in Belize City, and another man, Herbie Edison Moriera, 30, of Ladyville, have been released on bail of $5,000 each and ordered to return to court on September 3 after they were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today on charges of drug trafficking. Swazo was busted with 4 pounds of weed, allegedly found in the trunk of his car at about 2:45 Friday evening at a roadblock operated by San Ignacio police in Santa Elena. Allegedly along with Swazo at the time was Moreira. San Ignacio police said that when they intercepted the car, which was driven at the time by PC Swazo, they searched the trunk of the car and found a black, grey and yellow bag containing about 4 pounds of cannabis. Police immediately arrested the men and charged them jointly with drug trafficking. They were held at the San Ignacio Police Station, and since no magistrate was available at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, the men were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.

The Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms Tournament 2013 continued at Birds Isle over the weekend with 3 games each on Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10, respectively. In game 1 on Friday night, BWSL won, 55-42, over Heritage. Top scorers for BWSL were Karim Thompson 18 pts 5 rebs, Lindbergh Graham 11 pts 7 rebs 5 assts, Jamir Enriquez 11 pts and Charles Armstrong 6 pts 8 rebs; while Heritage was led by Kurt Burgess 13 pts 12 rebs 4 assts, Felix Martinez 13 pts 6 rebs 3 assts, and Devon Defour 10 pts 5 pts 3 stls. Game 2 saw Atlantic Bank with the 71-58 win over Ready Call. Leading Atlantic Bank was Evan Rene 20 pts 8 rebs 5 stls, Dave Apolonio 13 pts 5 rebs, Ervin Orosco 13 pts 4 assts, and Keith James 11 pts 8 rebs; while for Ready Call, Josiah Brown had 13 pts 4 rebs, Hubert Baptist 10 pts 9 rebs, Russell Linares 8 pts 7 rebs, George Smith 8 pts 6 rebs. And in the nightcap, it was Courts, 66-49, over Sprite, behind Tyrone Anthony 22 pts 4 rebs, Delroy Caliz 15 pts 6 rebs, Fidel Blair 13 pts 3 rebs and Leroy Gentle 10 pts 9 rebs; while Sprite was led by Deon Symms 18 pts, Michael Staine 14 pts 9 rebs, Troy Williams 12 pts and Darren Neal 8 rebs.

Reports received yesterday from delegation head Jude Lizama on the Belize Female Softball National Team’s performance at the VIII Pan American Women’s Championship in Puerto Rico indicated that our girls had difficulty in the early innings. Jude reported: “On Saturday, August 10, Belize lost, 5-0, to Venezuela. Belize collected 2 hits during this game, both singles, one by centre fielder Lydia Cacho and the other by designated player Lisa Jones. Venezuela scored their 5 runs on 12 hits, including a solo home run by catcher Milagros Lozada in the top of the 2nd inning, off Belize’s starter and loser Francine Hoare, who gave up all 5 runs. Hoare was relieved in the game by Kenreen Gillett who pitched 3 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.” Belize lost a close one, 3-2, to Peru in our first game on Sunday. “Belize scored 2 runs on 5 hits. The Belize offence was keyed by right fielder Barbara Cadle who collected 2 singles in 3 official at-bats. Belize’s other hits belonged to centre fielder Lydia Cacho, second base Sharette Vernon and Elaine Humes, who pinch hit for Joline Davis, collecting a run producing double in the 6th inning.

NO APOLOGY Editorial
We are fast approaching that time of year when the Creole people of Belize show themselves, so to speak. That’s good: we need that. We make no apology for the music and the motion and the spirits. This is Centenary time, and it is what it is: celebration. Some of our Belizean brethren and sistren of different ethnicities ask, well, what is it exactly that you are celebrating? They argue that Centenary is a colonial celebration, a British Baymen celebration, and that slavery was almost four decades from being abolished when our slave ancestors supposedly fought “shoulder-to-shoulder” with their masters in 1798. They point out, correctly, that 22 years after the Battle of St. George’s Caye there was a major slave revolt in Belize. Well, roots Creole people are not celebrating slavery, and we’re not celebrating colonialism, and for sure we’re not celebrating the British. We’re celebrating us, baby, our Belizean selves. Play di music. Shake up wi body. Since political independence in 1981, the Tenth of September and Independence Day celebrations are basically as one, the days being just 11 days apart. So the first three weeks of September are a jumble of festivities. Any September division amongst the Belizean people is only an intellectual one. The debate, sometimes quarrel, goes: 1798 or 1981, which was more important? Before independence, however, there was a socio-political argument which began around 1958. Around that time, the ruling, nationalist PUP began to say that the Battle of St. George’s Caye was a myth, and the Opposition NIP felt they had to defend the Centenary traditions, and so they did.

I ran the Charger beer football program for about a year and a half. I took it over in September of 1975 and built a completely new team in three weeks. We reached the marathon finals, won third in the regular season, then reached the knockout finals. Stobal Mayen’s Berger 404 won all three titles that 75/76 season. Our big star on Charger was Harry “Straddle” Cadle. Straddle, whom Edison Michael and I used to call “The Big Striker,” migrated to California during the offseason following, but we added several of the stars from the Cinderella Plaza area for the 76/77 season. These included Francis “Rojo” Arnold, Robert “Big Baby” Flowers, Philip “Ripper” Coye, Malcolm “Mimin” Hemmans, and Winston “Caduroy” Denton. Charger was leading the league in the 76/77 mid-season when I gave back management of the team to the Matus brothers – Arturo and Orlando. On my advice, they re-installed Racku Craig as the manager. That’s a story I will tell you another time. Today’s column is not really about football. Tuesday, August 13, is the 44th anniversary of the first publication of this newspaper, and today’s column is about our editor-in-chief, Russell Vellos. Vellos was the left defensive back and sometimes roaming back on the Charger team I told you about in the first two paragraphs. Previous to that, he had played for Mr. Hoy’s Landivar and for myself on Diamond A. After that, he went on to play several years for Charger and also, I think, for Belmopan. Every game we played, you just wrote down his name for that position, and he did his job like a soldier and a warrior. Seventeen years ago, Amandala experienced some instability at the editor-in-chief position, and Russell Vellos, who had been assistant editor for a few years, had to take over. He’s been there ever since.

Minister of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has responded to concerns raised by Corozal Southeast area representative for the People’s United Party, Florencio Marin, Jr., who has called for urgent attention to be given to the villages of Sarteneja and Chunox in Corozal. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Marin said that the villages of Sarteneja and Chunox are urgently in need of a reverse osmosis water system. The case of Chunox was more urgent, he said, because the water there is believed to be poisonous. Marin pointed to a family whose three children cannot walk, which, he said, was partly due to the poisoned water. Hulse said that in five weeks, the Sarteneja problem should be solved. He said that pipes have already been installed in that village and a new reverse osmosis system is on order. The installation of the water system is being done through the Social Investment Fund (SIF).

“The remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than the average 1981-2010…” say Colorado State Univ.’s Klotzbach and Gray. “We estimate that the remainder of 2013 will have about 8 hurricanes (average is 5.5), 14 named storms (average is 10.5), 75 named storm days (average is 58), 35 hurricane days (average is 21.3), 3 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.0) and 7 major hurricane days (average is 3.9).” Philip J. Klotzbach, Research Scientist, and William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science, of the Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, have issued their revised forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, in which they are lowering the predicted weather disturbances—however, Klotzbach and Gray are still forecasting a very active season. “We continue to anticipate an above-average season in 2013, although we have lowered our forecast slightly due to anomalous cooling in the eastern subtropical and tropical Atlantic,” the team said. It added that, “Information obtained through July 2013 indicates that the remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than the average 1981-2010 season.”

— by Raymundo Castellanos, Riversdale Dear Editor, This letter is written to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Hon. Erwin Contreras, Hon. Santiago Castillo, and Hon. Godwin Hulse. As a Belizean concerned about my country, and as someone who has lived in the US Virgin Islands and seen the devastation wreaked on the culture and nature of these islands by cruise ships, I strongly urge you to oppose the expansion of cruise tourism in Belize. Some issues to keep in mind when cruise ships arrive: cultural insensitivity; noise pollution – interferes with marine life and SCUBA diving; sedimentation – coral killed; propeller hits of cetaceans and manatees, especially by tenders going up Belize River, as has been recorded on a number of occasions; shore power not used, smoke stacks polluting constantly; trash – especially hard for Belize; sewage being poured into systems that cannot handle the volume; and little money left on shore by visitors. Please see how the island of Dominica has been affected by cruise “tourism:” Sincerely, Raymundo Castellanos, Riversdale

“Life is about how bad do you want to win.” “My opponents in life consisted of poverty, loneliness, disappointment, jealousy, and lack of equal educational opportunities.” “Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?/Provin’ nature’s laws wrong/ it learned how to walk without havin’ feet/Funny it seems but, by keepin’ its dreams it/ learned to breathe fresh air/Long live the rose that grew from concrete/when no one else even cared/No one else even cared…” Pondering the life story of Derek L. Anderson, 39, former basketball star and multi-millionaire since age 22, author and motivational speaker, one cannot help but think of the imagery painted by Tupac Shakur’s poetic composition: “The Rose that Grew Out of Concrete.” In not so fanciful words, the poet depicted the rise of a successful star, rising out of impossible adversity. That is, indeed, Anderson’s story. After an enjoyable experience in Belize, the Los Angeles-based life speaker, film producer and legacy builder departed over the weekend, after presenting a series of motivational speeches here.

The August 11th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • First Murder In Benque In Over Two Years:
    Three days after his brutal death, relatives of Pedro Antonio Vasquez are today making final funeral preparations to lay his body to rest in Benque Viejo Town. An arrest is yet to be made as Benque Viejo police say that they are following several leads in what they say is the first murder in the jurisdiction in over two years. The call of the presence a dead body in the municipality was received by Benque Viejo police at around 5:00 am on Sunday, August 4, 2013. Police rushed to the scene where they came upon the still bleeding motionless body, still with a pulse, of a male Hispanic person face downwards in a pool of blood adjacent to the gas station on Churchill Street. The man was rushed to the community hospital in San Ignacio where, on arrival, he was officially pronounced dead by the doctor on duty.
  • Luke Espat – From PUP Financier To PUP Candidate:
    He first busted on the scene in the 90’s as a PUP contractor. Among his first engagement s was the building of houses on the outskirts of Belize City on the Northern Highway. Today over two decades later at least one of the several houses he built, leaning on its side, remains as a permanent testimony of a man who was destined to fail in every venture thereafter. It is like everything he touched thereafter turned to mud. It was in the wake of the leaning Belize City houses that he inherited the name Lucas Eilene. His name at birth is actually Luke Espat. This is the man who this week announced that he is running for the dying opposition PUP in Cayo Central, a constituency to which he is as alien as the Russians landing on our shores, a constituency to which he has absolutely not a single connection.
  • Toledo Alliance for Progress:
    The Toledo Alliance for Progress (TAP) is a grass roots Toledo-based organization, duly registered in January 2013. It comprises of members from the National Kriol Council, National Garifuna Council, East Indian Council and the business community. TAP advocates for the support of developmental activities and programs that assist communities in creating employment, self- reliance and improvement in the quality of lives in the Toledo District. 1. Statistics have shown that Toledo is the poorest district in Belize 2. The government’s stringent budget since the 1960’s can scarcely cope with the district’s call for better education, health & welfare as well as much needed employment and infrastructure.
  • Venezuela Top Court Rejects Capriles' Election Appea:
    Venezuela's highest court has rejected an appeal by opposition leader Henrique Capriles against April's contested presidential election result. The Supreme Court of Justice described the appeal as "inadmissible". After the ruling Mr Capriles tweeted that there was a "lack of justice" in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, won the election by less than 1.5 percentage points - about 200,000 votes. The opposition alleged that the vote had been marred by fraud. In June the Venezuelan National Electoral Commission (CNE) confirmed President Maduro's victory in an audit on millions of votes, but Mr Capriles denounced the audit as "a fake".
  • Twenty-six Belizean Youth Attend Conference in El Salvador to Learn to Contribute to Their Community:
    Youths from six communities in Belize travelled to El Salvador over this past weekend (2 - 5 August) to attend a Bahá’í Youth Conference. They returned Monday night full of excitement to execute the plans they made for themselves to serve their communities of Corozal, Belmopan, Belize City, San Pedro, San Ignacio, and Dangriga. This Conference was attended by 660 youth ages 15 to 30 from Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It was one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. The purpose of these gatherings is “to summon today’s youth” of all faiths and backgrounds “to put the needs of others before their own” in order “to aid the spiritual and social development of those around them, especially ones younger than themselves”. The Universal House of Justice, which is the international governing body of the Bahá’í Faith, called for the Conferences.
  • Letter:
    I carefully read Scott Stirm’s insulting reply to my letter appearing in your Sunday, July 21, 2013 edition. Stirm attempts to insult me personally by saying that I am a homosexual. I am, and I have no more of an apology for that than I do for being right-handed, bald, or having blue eyes. He attempts to insult me by stating that I am married to a man. I was, indeed, legally married to Thomas J. Brady, M.D. five years ago, after having made a life together for the prior 33 years. Our marriage is legal under the laws of California and the United States Government. I have no apology for my married status. It offers us the legal protections, health care rights, tax benefits, financial obligations to one another, and the protection of our estate that traditionally married couples have without asking for it. We have no issue with our marriage not being recognized by various churches, synagogues, and mosques (although it is by some); ours is a civil marriage, not holy matrimony governed by the church. And Stirm attempts to insult me and my home town of San Francisco (the city where the United Nations got its start) by calling it the “epitome of debauchery” and ascribing to me excitement over a fringe festival I never attend.
  • The Situation In Trinidad Could Lead To Change In Electing Prime Minister:
    Most of the countries that were former British colonies have a government that is similar to the one in Great Britain. In this type of government the Prime Minister is the Head of State and they have a Bicameral Legislative Body. The Prime Minister is the Leader of his or her political party who is elected to serve in the House of Parliament to represent his or her constituency. The Leader of the party that wins his or her seat and the majority of seats in the House of Parliament, automatically becomes the Prime Minister of the country. However, if the Leader of the party loses his or her seat, then he or she cannot serve as the Prime Minister of the country. The elected members of the party can then choose from among themselves their leader to become the Prime Minister.
    The Disaster Risk Reduction project entitled “Saving Lives in the Caribbean Through Preparedness” implemented by the Belize Red Cross since July of 2011, and funded by USAID with support from the American Red Cross , is now in its final stage. After two years of working to build resilience in (14) communities in Belize, Community Emergency Response Teams (also known as CERTs), have completed all 14 modules of training in community disaster response. At a ceremony to be held at the Bacab Eco-Park , Burrell Boom , on Saturday August 10th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., these successfully trained community members will be certified. These teams will then be officially introduced to NEMO and CEMO as first responders to strengthen the national response and recovery teams within their communities, before, during and after an event.
  • "Inspirational Corner":
    Contributed by: Juanita Bradley Chap. 1 - Source and Aim of True Education Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. {Ed 13.1} The source of such an education is brought to view in these words of Holy Writ, pointing to the Infinite One: In Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom." Colossians 2:3. "He hath counsel and understanding." Job 12:13. {Ed 13.2}
  • Mayan Sculpture Discovered In Guatemalan Pyramid:
    Archaeologists working in a Mayan pyramid in Guatemala have discovered an "extraordinary" stucco sculpture depicting gods and Mayan leaders. The frieze, which is eight metres long and two metres wide (26ft by six feet), shows three figures decorated with quetzal feathers and jade sitting atop the head of a mountain spirit. It was found at the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Holmul. Site director Francisco Estrada- Belli called it it a once-in-a lifetime find. Snake Lords v Tikal The frieze was found below a 20m-high (65ft) pyramid which was built over it in the 8th Century. "The preservation is wonderful because it was very carefully packed with dirt before they started building over it," Mr Estrada-Belli said. The sculpture is believed to depict the crowning of a new Mayan leader in about AD590.
  • Malaria vaccine shows early promise in clinical trials:
    A malaria vaccine has shown promising results in early stage clinical trials, according to researchers. Researchers found the vaccine, which is being developed in the US, protected 12 out of 15 patients from the disease, when given in high doses. The method is unusual because it involves injecting live but weakened malaria-causing parasites directly into patients to trigger immunity. The research is published in the journal Science. Lead author Dr Robert Seder, from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, in Maryland, said: "We were excited and thrilled by the result, but it is important that we repeat it, extend it and do it in larger numbers."
  • Colombia coca area down by 25% - UN:
    The area of land planted with coca - the raw ingredient for cocaine - in Colombia has fallen by 25%, a UN report has said. The land under coca cultivation is now about a third of that in 2001, says the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). While coca areas fell nationwide, they rose in three provinces plagued by rebels and drug gangs. Colombia is one the world's top three cocaine producers and has made the war on drugs one of its main priorities. Prevention v eradication The annual report by the UN's Integrated Illicit Crops Monitoring System says that the land planted with coca bushes has dropped from 64,000 hectares in 2011 to 48,000 hectares in 2012, the lowest figure since monitoring started in Colombia more than a decade ago.
  • Hon John Saldivar Donates to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School:
    Belmopan Area Representative Donates $3,000 for Computers to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the School. Hon. Saldivar presented the cheque of $3,000 this afternoon to Vice Principal Valentine Diego at the School’s campus on Macal Street in Belmopan City. Accompanying the Minister was Chairman of RECONDEV Rodney Neal and the Corporation’s General Manager Hector Sabido.
  • Honduras Drug Gang Shootout Leaves 17 Dead:
    Seventeen people have been killed in a clash between rival drug gangs in Honduras, chief prosecutor Roberto Ramirez has said. The shootout happened in La Mosquitia, a remote region on Honduras' Atlantic coast. The area is the main transit route for cocaine being transported from South America to the United States. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, much of it blamed on gang violence and drug traffickers. Mr Ramirez said that one of those killed was a gang leader from neighbouring Nicaragua - Victor Centeno, known as "El Muco".
  • Cocoa 'might prevent memory decline':
    Drinking cocoa every day may help older people keep their brains healthy, research suggests. A study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found two cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with. Those participants whose blood flow improved also did better on memory tests at the end of the study, the journal Neurology reported. Experts said more research was needed before conclusions could be drawn. It is not the first time cocoa has been linked with vascular health and researchers believe that this is in part due to it being rich in flavanols, which are thought to have an important role. In the latest study, researchers asked 60 people with an average age of 73 to drink two cups of cocoa a day - one group given high-flavanol cocoa and another a low-flavanol cocoa - and consume no other chocolate.
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  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


My Internet in Belize: One Month with My Smart Mi-Fi
It’s been well publicized that Internet service in Belize is some of the slowest and most expensive in the world. Last November, it was big news that the national phone company, BTL, would cut the price of 128k internet speed in half to make the net more accessible to Belizeans. 128k?! Awesome! Now I can really get busy updating my MySpace page on my Commodore 64 with plenty of time for a few games of Pit Fall before I go to bed (snuggling in my BattleStar Galactica sheets and clutching my Cabbage patch of course). This mint condition Commodore is going for $700USD on Ebay! Do they even sell floppy disks anymore? I use the internet a ton. Somewhat sad but true, I am fiddling around on this machine pretty much all day long and I’m not the only one. So I am often in search of a better and cheaper way to get connected. Just over a month ago when I returned from my hiatus (YES, that is what I am calling it), I purchased the Smart Belize Mi-Fi for $150bzd. I had success with my Smart USB stick in 2012 (and posted about the results here) but wanted more portability and well…Wi-Fi for my IPhone, to try out the newly unblocked magicJack and just to celebrate the fact that it is not 2006. I LOVE the new ability to check in with FourSquare at Hol Chan Marine Reserve…

It’s Never Too Early to prepare for the Belize Holiday Season
Belize is known for many things, not the least of which is having the longest holiday season in the Western Hemisphere. OK, it’s not official or anything, but we challenge anyone to refute this claim. Consider – this party loving nation starts to kick off the end-of-year- festivities early in September when the entire country begins preparing for St George’s Caye Day on September 10. Commemorating the Battle of St George’s Caye when Belize’s early settlers engaged and defeated much larger Spanish invasion force, it marks the emergence of Belize’s national identity and leads up to Belize Independence Day on the 21st of September. If you haven’t experienced Belize Independence Day, put it on your bucket list right now – this is a party not to be missed. Independence, which Belize achieved in 1981, is still fresh in everyone’s minds and it’s celebrated with all the exuberance a young nation deserves. The date also marks the beginning of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, and a month-long birthday party everyone looks forward to. Then it’s on to Pan American Day on the 14th of October this year, Halloween on October 31, Thanksgiving Day on the 28th of November, Garifuna Settlement Day on the 19th of November, and so on to Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s.

Inter-American Investment Corporation Small Business Financing

“The NeverEnding Story” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In bed by 22.15 hours on Sunday so up bright (well it wasn’t bright outside) and early yesterday morning at 03.30 hours for my ‘pick me up’ mug of black coffee on the veranda. Oh and, of course, my daily intake of news via The Times on-line. When I got around to checking my In Box I found that I had received an email from Excess International Movers (the company that we are using to ship the goods we have had in storage since leaving the UK in May of last year) advising that our consignment is on its way and should arrive in Belize City on 8th September. Regular readers of this blog will probably recall that the contract we entered in to with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, envisaged a forty week duration for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Well, the forty weeks was ‘up’ last Saturday. This is not something that surprises us (because we were aware that there would be an over-run some weeks ago) and nor does it disappoint us. We knew that there would be a delay to the competition date when the windows took longer to get here than any of us had anticipated. Having seen them installed we are convinced that they are well worth the wait.

Do you know the power in a father's voice?

International Sources

EXIF Data May Have Revealed Location of Fugitive Software Tycoon John McAfee
If you’ve been following the news, you might have heard that a man John McAfee is on the run from police who want to question him about a murder. Not just any ol’ John McAfee, but the John McAfee, the once-ultra-rich founder of anti-virus software company McAfee. Well, a photograph published to the web today may have revealed the exact location McAfee is was hiding. Just to fill you in a little more on the story, police in the Central American country of Belize are seeking McAfee as a “person of interest” in the death of a man who was McAfee’s neighbor. Although McAfee claims that he is innocent, he is currently in hiding due to his belief that the police will kill him if he is apprehended. VICE magazine published a post today titled “We Are with John Mcafee Right Now, Suckers,” bragging that its editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro and one of its photographers are currently embedded with McAfee as he runs from the law. Included in the post was the above photograph.

VIDEO: Children Of Belize
I was in the Country Belize for a mission trip, and I have never seen happier kids, despite the fact they live in such bad conditions. I hope this video warms your heart as much as it does mine. Keep in mind these kids live in poverty and still choose to be positive and energetic. We can all learn a a valuable lesson here.

August 13, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

HGTV Films Heather Beck’s International House hunt on Ambergris Caye
It’s one of the most popular series on Home and Garden Television (HGTV), and House Hunters International has followed potential homeowners all over the globe as they search for that place to call home. Belize – and Ambergris Caye – has been highlighted a few times on the show, and it was once again time for La Isla Bonita to be featured as HGTV was back on the island. The show will feature long-time visitor and Saga Humane Society Board member Heather Beck as she puts her roots down and buys a home on the island. One of the special highlights of the episode will be Saga’s monthly cook-off. Held at Average Joe’s bar on August 8th, the appetizer cook-off saw an incredible turnout, with tickets selling out within minutes. Of course, everyone was there to support Saga while indulging in delicious appetizers – and if they had a chance to be on TV, well, it was an added bonus.

BTIA says no to proposed cruise port in Southern Belize
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) remains firmly against establishing a major cruise port in southern Belize and the proposed memorandum of understanding between NCL and the Government of Belize. The BTIA had previously made a public statement in relation to this development at Crawl Caye and over the past couple weeks, has taken note of another option for development at Harvest Caye. The BTIA opposes this proposed development in the south of Belize for the following reasons: BTIA has publicly supported the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan and continues to do so as it defines the long-term plan for sustainable tourism in Belize. This plan was recently supported by government and clearly states that “pocket cruise tourism is the only acceptable form of cruise tourism on the south eastern coast of Belize.” The study was emphatic that southern Belize should remain an eco-friendly low impact destination. The BTIA supports this plan and the continued growth of the overnight tourism in this area.

Belize Bird Rescue releases Common Black Hawk on Ambergris Caye
The Belize Bird Rescue, based in Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District since 2004, released a hawk on northern Ambergris Caye. The juvenile Common Black Hawk was removed off Caye Caulker Village after the chick hatched and its mother became over protective when the property owners were around. In the process of being removed, the bird was injured and had to be taken for rehabilitation at the Belize Bird Rescue center. On Wednesday August 7th, the bird was flown to Ambergris Caye on board a Maya Island Air Flight and was eventually taken to northern part of the caye. On Thursday August 8th, the bird was released into the wild. Jonathon Urbina, who released the hawk, spoke of the entire process. “This bird was rescued from Caye Caulker. The parents had built a nest in somebody’s yard and a resident of the island got word that some people wanted to kill the chick. The resident, a lover of wild life, intervened as Common Black Hawk Released-6he thought that the Common Black Hawk is a species worth saving. The hawk was eventually removed, but was injured, and so it was taken to the Belize Bird Rescue Center,” said Jonathan.

The Great Blue Hole currently ranks in the Top 10 for the 8th Wonder of the World competition. In June of this year launched the world-wide contest which features over three hundred natural and man-made landmarks that are hoping to win the title of ‘8th Wonder of the World.’ We encourage all Belizeans and friends of Belize to continue to vote for the Great Blue Hole every day until September 30th, 2013, at Belize stands to gain major PR push and an audience of 2.6 million viewers should the Great Blue Hole win the competition.

Ambergris Today

Belize Bird Rescue Releases Rehabilitated Common Black Hawk in Ambergris Caye
Birds - Can you think of a day that went by without seeing or hearing a bird? According to the Belize Audubon Society there are as many as 587 species of birds recorded in Belize making the country an ideal setting for bird watchers. The tropical forests, savannahs, numerous cayes, wetlands, and coastal plains of Belize offer a myriad of habitat to these birds. Nearly half of our nation's land and adjacent waters are protected under forest reserves, marine reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and other protected area designation. Protection of birds, and endangered animals in general, is a big deal here in Belize. It is with this in mind that in 2004, The Belize Bird Rescue was formed to assist injured parrots in Belize.

San Pedro Sailing Club - Cart Wash & Other News
The young sailors in the San Pedro Sailing Club are holding a cart wash to raise money so that they can go to St George's Caye in September and race in the Battle Regatta. From 9:00 am to 4:00 on Saturday, August 17, the sailors will be washing carts at Caribbean Villas, where advanced tickets are now on sale. The sailors themselves will be around town selling advance tickets for $10.00. Without a ticket, the cost for the wash will be $12.00. Customers with advance tickets will be served one free rum punch at the Catamaran Beach Bar while waiting, and they will receive a free Sailing Club Calendar (2013) signed by the sailors.

Pic of the Week: Sunbathing - A Belizean National Pastime in the Cayes
Maybe we can call this a national pastime here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Like lizards to the sun, most people love to lay out in the sun while they spend a relaxing day on the beach or on the boat out by the reef while on the islands. Here we see Miss Costa Maya 2013 (Miss Belize), Destinee Arnold, sunbathing after her snorkling adventure at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commuters to and from the villages of Progresso, Copper Bank, Chunox, Little Belize, Sarteneja, including developments as Progresso Shores, Progresso Heights, Cerros Sands, Orchid Bay, etc. will be inconvenienced by the closure of the ferry service commencing tomorrow Tuesday, August 13th, 2013. No official notice has been given to the general public by Public Works but operators of the Corozal/Progresso ferry have confirmed to us that they will be commencing repair works on the top of the badly decayed deck. The Corozal Daily has received numerous complaints of the ferry being unsafe to both human and vehicular traffic and people have been reported falling in and getting severely hurt in some of the crevices and holes that exist, especially at night.

The situation in Trinidad could lead to constitutional change in former British colonies
By Wellington C. Ramos Most of the countries that were former British colonies have a government that is similar to the one in Great Britain. In this type of government, the prime minister is the head of government and they have a bicameral legislative body. The prime minister is the leader of his or her political party who is elected to serve in the house of parliament to represent his or her constituency. The leader of the party that wins his or her seat and the majority of seats in the house of parliament automatically becomes the prime minister of the country. However, if the leader of the party loses his or her seat, then he or she cannot serve as the prime minister of the country. The elected members of the party can then choose from among themselves their leader to become the prime minister. In Great Britain, the Queen or King acts as the titular head of state and, as such, he or she swears in the newly elected prime minister. In most of the former British colonies that role is performed by the governor general of the country, who represents the Queen or King of England. Trinidad, Guyana and Dominica are the only three former British colonies in the Caribbean and Latin America that declared themselves republics. They all have a president but the functions of that office are different in each countries. In Trinidad and Dominica, the president’s duties is similar to that of a governor general in all the other Caribbean countries but in Guyana the president is the head of state and is elected by all the people through a direct vote.

On Friday, August 9, The Summer Music Camp given by Music Instructor Carlos Perrote came to an end with a bang! It was really amazing seeing these kids of all ages, and even some adults, being a part of this camp. The concert started with the different groups playing the percussions and ended with a very vibrant session with the steel pans. The Mayor was on site to hand out the certificates to all the participants. Kudos to all the organizers and the sponsors of the Music Camp!

VIDEO: Protect The Manatees
We can all do our part to help protect the manatees in Belize.

Derek Anderson Presents Stamina at UB
Derek Anderson gave a motivational speech entitled 'Stamina' at UB last week. "Former NBA player, Derek Anderson delivered a Motivational Speech on Entrepreneurship to basketball players and members of the surrounding areas of Belmopan on August 8 at the Jaguar Auditorium, University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan. He is one of 13 players who've won an NBA Championship in 2006 with the Miami Heat, and an NCAA Championship. Growing up poor and without parents who had left him to the streets, Derek found his inner self-motivation that led to his success as a producer, philanthropist, inventor and author. His inspirational story is detailed in his book titled 'Stamina.' Derek’s visit to Belize is to reach out and help others who have found themselves in similar situation as he did. He retired from the NBA in 2008."

National Song Competition Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the National Song Competition, and especially Nello Player, who won again! Great photos, Will Moreno! "National Celebrations Commission Announces National Song Competition Winners 2013 The National Song Competition 2013 was held by the National Celebrations Commission in association with Atlantic International Bank on Saturday August 10th at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The competition had three junior entries, ten Belize Song, formerly patriotic seniors, and five carnival senior entries this year. We are proud to present the following winners: Junior Category 1st Place - $1500.00 and a trophy – Jael August 2nd place – $1000.00 and a trophy - Marilyn Vansen Patriotic Senior 1st Place - $6000.00, a Trophy, a music video production and the opportunity to represent Belize at a Regional competition- Winner - Kernelle Parks 'Nello Player' 2nd Place -$3000.00 and a Trophy– Wilson Grinage Carnival Senior 1st Place - $6000.00, a Trophy, a music video production and the opportunity to represent Belize at a Regional competition -winner: -TR Shine 'Kick off the Carnival' 2nd Place -$3000.00 and a Trophy – Ernestine Carballo 'Every day for me is Carnival' A special thanks to all of this year’s entrants, and congratulations to all winners. For more information kindly contact National Celebrations Commission"

Rotaract Bingo Sundays are Back
Rotaract is bringing their Bingo Sundays back. They'll be having the next one this Sunday, at Hode's Place, starting at 6:30pm. Good luck! In related news, they've posted a few pictures from their Rave at the Grave fundraiser. "We're reviving a tradition of the Rotaract Club San Ignacio. Join us for our first Bingo Sunday at Hodes Place in San Ignacio on August 18 at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds from Bingo Sunday will be used for future community service projects like: 1. Adopt a Child Program 2. Mount Carmel Primary School: painting of benches at the Infant Division 3. Halloween Horror House (reviving another Rotaract tradition) 4. Christmas Toy Drive; and many more. Support our fundraising efforts. Bring out the entire family and have fun! "

Belize National Song Competition 2013 Highlights
The Belize National Song Competition is an event held every year kicking off the mood for the September Celebrations. It is an event planned by NICH (National Institute of Culture and History), September Celebrations Commission and sponsored by Atlantic International Bank. The event gives Belizean artists an opportunity to showcase new lyrics and original material built around the September Celebrations. The Belize National Song Competition is broken into 3 different categories, Junior Patriotic Song, Senior Patriotic Song and Carnival Song.

Belize Celebrations
September is a festive time of year in Belize. People all over the country gather at public venues...

Channel 7

Hon. Dolores To Hon. Finnegan: “Resign!”
We’ve shown you a lot from last week’s house meeting – but what we didn’t show you was one exchange that happened near the end of the session. And we will show you tonight because it’s become quite a big deal for the PUP who are calling for a member’s resignation. The back and forth started when Dolores Balderamos Garcia stood up to speak on the adjournment. That’s reserved for matters of public importance, and Balderamos Garcia used the platform to address the decorum, or lack of it, allegedly shown by the mace-bearer Brian Audinett, known as “Yellow-man”. That led to an off colour response from the UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan. For context to tonight’s headline story – we have that exchange from Wednesday – we warn you though, it’s definitely rated PG: Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia - Area Representative, Bze Rural Central "Mr. Speaker, I am extremely concerned. I believe that the Sergeant of Arms that we have now, not only has he been found guilty of harm to a woman back in 2006 and charged $150 but I have personally seen the conduct of him being inebriated in these precincts, of him draining the bottle of Belikin outside of this House and of his behavior and of his conduct out in public, urinating in public and now we have a situation."

The Story Behind The Baby Crushed By Truck Tire
On Friday we told you about the tragic case of an infant – who was crushed by a bus tyre in Buttercup, just outside Burrell Boom. It happened on Thursday evening, and by early Friday morning, the 11 month old was dead. Monica Bodden went looking for some answers today:…. This bus tire mounted on a steel rim fell on an 11 month old infant on Friday evening. It happened just outside of Burrel Boom village around 4pm. The child who was playing outside in the yard was left unattended by his mother for a brief moment when the tragedy occurred. Alan Rhaburn - Grand-Uncle and Neighbor "His mom said that she put him to sit down and they were picking up Craboo under the tree and she left him there but he's just starting to walk so he got up from where he was and he went towards the tire and the only way I could put it is, he might have crept there and held on the tire to stand up and the tire fell over him. The tire had on a rim and it was pumped up because it was to go on the bus the same morning and he forgot it. In a way he says he blames himself, but I told him he can't blame himself."

Constable To Court For Weed
And in an update to another story we ran on Friday, Police Constable Darrell Swazo, the officer assigned to the DPP’s Office who was caught with 2 kilos of marijuana is out of bail tonight, after he was arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today. As we reported, Swazo, who works with the DPP’s Office in the Case Care Unit, left the DPP’s Office on Friday morning to track down a witness, but he was busted with another man in a Mitsubishi Eclipse with the Marijuana at around 3 that afternoon. The officers at a checkpoint in Santa Elena stopped the car and discovered the weed in the back of the car.

Cop Dies From Beat-Up Injuries
A police constable died after he was beaten last week. Over a week ago, at midnight on Sunday, 26 year old constable Roy Robert Fernandez was beaten up in Georgetown Village as he was walking with two females. The man doing the beating was one of the women’s ex common law, and he along with his brother put a beating on Fernandez. Fernandez ended up with a swollen face, a burst bottom lip and complained of pain to his upper body. But, he did not report the incident and refused medical attention. Six days later on Saturday morning, Fernandez started complaining that he was experiencing acute pain and was unable to urinate. By Saturday evening, he was dead at the clinic in Independence Village. Police say they are seeking the two brothers for questioning. Fernandez was attached to precinct one in Belize City.

Espejo Catches Cheque Swindler
22 year-old Michael Usher is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing from his boss, Belize City Councilor Roger Espejo. According to police, Espejo reported that on last week Thursday, he received a call from an employee at JL’s Quick Loan, who informed him that she was holding 2 cheques from his company, Asset Guard Manufacture Insurance Ltd, which she suspected was forged. Espejo went to verify, and confirmed that they belonged to him, but the signatures were forged. The cheques were for a total of $970, and they were made out to Usher, and as a result, police searched him, and they recovered $500 in cash. As a result, he was charged with 2 counts of forgery, 2 counts of obtaining property by deception, 2 counts of uttering upon false document, and 2 counts of claiming upon a false document. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino, who granted him bail of $6,000 which he wasn’t able to meet. He was taken to prison tonight, and he will remain there until he can make bail arrangements.

Stole A Bike At Gunpoint
Tonight, 24 year-old Harry Joseph is at prison tonight joining his alleged accomplice 21-year-old Kyle Chaplin, who according to police, robbed a man at gun point of his bicycle. 34 year-old Rupert Garnett, was riding his beach cruiser, when he was approached by 2 men, one of whom pulled out a firearm and pointed it at him. According to Garnett, the armed man ordered him to get off the bike, and he pistol-whipped him in the head. Garnett got off the bike, and handed it over to his assailants who then rode off. Police charged Joseph and Chaplin robbery and harm; Chaplin was additionally charged with aggravated assault. Chaplain was arraigned and remanded last week, and Joseph was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Song Fest Draws Cheers And Jeers
The National Song Competition was held on Saturday night at Memorial Park. It is seen as the unofficial kickoff of the September Celebrations – and you could have seen it live at the park or her on Channel 7. Daniel Ortiz was front row for all the fun – and he has this report:… Daniel Ortiz reporting The 2013 National Song Competition featured18 artists who provided over 4 hours of entertainment to a Memorial Park crowded with fans who have come to expect a high quality of entertainment from the event. And they got that consistent quality from a variety of performers, some veterans, some newcomers, but in the end, there could only be 3 winners: and those emerged as Ivan 'TR' Burgess, Kernelle 'Nello Player' Parks, and Jael August. Nello Player is now the back to back winner in the Patriotic Song Competition. He’s entry 'Da Belize Eh Deh' captivated the audience with its colorful lyrics about Belize and its culture. After the competition, he told us that he was excited about the win. He said that he didn’t expect to win:

Blowback From Song Competition
As you saw in our interview with Nello Player, he told us that he didn’t think that his performance was the winning piece for the night in Patriotic Song competition. And he’s not the only one who has that opinion; when the winners were announced, there was a large portion of the audience who disagreed, believing that the two best performances came from Wilson Grinage and Reecie Pollard. Pollard spoke to us today and pointed to several issues which she says suggest a clear slant against to the unknown faces in the competition. Wilson Grinage - 2nd Place, Patriotic Song Category "It wasn't fair, honestly. I'm being real here and I'm sorry for whoever might hate me for this but if I had come in second to Reecie Pollard I would have been so happy. But second to someone whose stage performance wasn't up to par as comparisson to Reecie and myself, I'm not hating people - I'm really upset because it's really unfair."

Belize to CONCACAF Championships
Tonight, the Belize U-15 Football Team is in Grand Cayman to compete in the 2013 CONCACAF Championships. They’re set to play their first against St. Lucia tomorrow, and before they left this afternoon, we got a chance to speak with one of the Assistant Coaches. He told us about Team Belize’s Strategy, going into each match: Alex Norales - Assistant Coach, U15 National Team "The entire CONCACAF group - we're going to have representation from teams in the Caribbean. They'll have Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras in different teams. We are in a tight group - we have St. Lucia, we will have Guatemala, Dominican Republic but our first goal is to get over St. Lucia tomorrow as much goals as possible and we believe we can do that and that will give us a moral boost to face the other groups. Jamaica is also in our group as well but Jamaica and El Salvador might be the fourth and last - I might not have it in order but something like that. The group is a good group - we've been working with them, they are disciplined, they listen. We've been working with their flaws and trying to correct those. Our players are fast but not all that technical so what we've been trying to do is trying to identify what they're good at and try to use that at our advantage. We're not going to go and defend, we're going to pressure the team from the beginning, not allow them to play and we are going to do the damage. That's our game plan, what we've been working on - go and pressure them in their field, get the ball, suffocate them so that they cannot come out and then we attack."

The Future Of Car Racing In Belize Begins With Lessons On Safety
Ten days ago we told you about the FIA, the International Federation of Automobiles, which is the governing body for motorsport worldwide – kinda like FIFA for car-racing. Through the Belize Automotive Club they’ve taken an interest in Belize – and on Saturday, their president who is on a regional tour visited Belize. He held a press conference on Saturday at the Radisson and said that Belize must first take baby steps:…. Jean Todt, FIA President "What we want in a small country like Belize is to participate in better education to the development of motor sport at the grassroots level. As I mentioned earlier we should not speak at the moment to have wrong ambitions but you have to start first by educating the champion - so we are at the level of educating Belize to go in Motor Sport."

G-Collective Returns Home From Triumphant Tour
From mid-June to Saturday August 10th, the Garifuna Collective had a triumphant 25 city tour of north America – probably the most ambitious tour any Belizean band has ever embarked on. These musical ambassadors came home on Sunday after playing in front of tens of thousands of fans at concerts and festivals. 7News greeted them at the airport:.. Joshua Aranda, Drummer "There's no show that I can pin point and say that 'this is our best show' because the receiption was always great because every show was different and every show was special." Desiree Diego - Vocalist "We got the people dancing, we talked to them in Garifuna - I got them talking, saying 'hsietibunu' and you feel that connection with the people, for me it was excellent."

Channel 5

Finnegan’s comments in the House that went viral
Comments laden with sexual innuendo which were aimed at member for Belize Rural Central Dolores Balderamos Garcia have resulted in a fiery public outcry outside the House. Mesopotamia’s Michael Finnegan [...]

P.U.P. Women want Finnegan to Resign
The raw comments made in the House of Representatives last Wednesday by Finnegan went viral as soon as they were uttered. This morning, Baldermos-Garcia, flanked by women in the People [...]

Finnegan wants Dolores to apologize
Following the P.U.P. Women’s Press Conference at Independence Hall, News Five headed over to Michael Finnegan’s house. Far from cowering from the pressure of the P.U.P. Women’s Group, Finnegan was [...]

Georgetown Cop beaten and dies
One murder was recorded this weekend and at news time tonight, one of two persons is in detention for the homicide of a cop. Twenty-six year old Roy Robert Fernandez [...]

Commuter run-over by bus
A commuter experienced a frightening ordeal this morning when she exited a D and E passenger bus. Raquel Burke, a resident of Bainsville Area in Hattieville, was injured as she [...]

2 Shot through the window in the Gungulung
A shooting early Sunday morning in the Gungulung area of the Old Capital has left one of two persons hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  Eighteen year old Leroy [...]

Shooting victim Stephen Buckley’s first weekend with cash
After more than three years of begging on the street to feed his family with no assistance from Government, Stephen Buckley received fifty thousand dollars on Friday. The money is [...]

Senate votes on bills to improve quality of life
This morning the Senate met in Belmopan to debate and vote on bills and motions passed through the House this past Wednesday. One of the financial bills up for approval [...]

Senator argues for the PAC
One motion which never made it past the House floor and wasn’t up for debate at the Senate meeting today was on the Public Accounts Committee. The Opposition tabled a [...]

SATIIM refers to US Capital’s alleged neo-colonial arrogance
On August first, SATIIM and the communities of the Sarstoon Temash Region wrote to U.S. Capital Energy asking the company to suspend its operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. [...]

Busted with City Councilor’s cheques
Twenty-two year old Michael Usher, an employee of Asset Guard Manufacture Insurance Ltd., was today charged on eight indictable offenses, including two counts of forgery, two counts of obtaining property [...]

Beach cruiser robbers in jail
Two Belize City men are tonight on lockdown following an armed robbery a few weeks ago. Twenty-four-year-old Harry Joseph appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Clive Lino today where he was read [...]

Expo and the Carnival Road March will be on the same day
The Belize Marketplace Expo and the Carnival Road March are both highly anticipated events in the national celebrations calendar. This year, they are both set for September fourteenth and this [...]

And the winners of the National Song Competition are…
The first event in this year’s national celebrations committee took place on Saturday night at the Memorial Park. Junior and senior artists battled to win the top spot in the [...]

Awesome sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   Let’s head to the Norman Broaster Stadium where Atlantic Bank interdistrict football competition staged the semi-final match between Triple [...]


CDF, Opening A New Road For Sexually Abused Victims
Abuse can come in many forms including physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices and wrongful practice or custom. Statistics show that those most vulnerable to any such form of abuse, are children. The Child development Foundation is a non for profit organization that works towards sensitizing the community on the protection of a child. The restoration of emotional and physical health to victims so that they can fulfill their developmental potentials and live in a community where they are free from re-victimization and where they receive loving, nurturing care and support is the vision with which the organization carries out its functions. Diana Sho, Chairperson, Child Development Foundation “Today we are in Orange Walk doing a community workshop to sensitize community leaders and parents about the issues related to the protection of children. CDF which is the child development foundation that is what we exist to do we are a community base non-profit community organization that works to sensitize people about child protection issues, how to protect children from abuse, what are the indicators of abuse, how to intervene and respond to a situation where a child is victim of abuse and we are also sensitizing people about the new human trafficking prohibition act which was just recently passed in our laws legislator and which also part of the laws of Belize.”

Women of The PUP Want Finnegan and Yellow Man Gone
During last week Wednesday’s House Meeting, representative for Belize Rural Central Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, raised some arguments regarding the conducted of the Mace Bearer and UDP activitist Brian “Yellowman” Audinett. Honorable Garcia was bringing to the attention of the House the behavior and conduct of Audinett as he was caught in January of this year, relieving himself on a Government issued vehicle parked in front of Heritage Bank on Prince Margaret Drive in Belize City. “Yellowman’s” name once against surfaced for behavior unbecoming of a worker for the House of Representatives when he was accused and charged for the beating of Phillip “Fawda” Henry which occurred about a month ago. Henry was purchasing food in front of the Novelo’s Bus Terminal on West Collet Canal when he was allegedly attacked by “Yellowman”. This morning, the United Women’s Group of the People’s United Party held a press conference in efforts of venting out their frustrations and concerns regarding last week’s incident in the House of Representatives. Honourable Dolores Balderamos-Garcia was verbally assaulted by Honorable Michael Finnegan when Finnegan questioned if the Belize Rural Central representative saw the size of Yellowman’s, how can we put it – centipede.

Corozal Cops Accused Of Police Brutality
Tonight, a man from the village of Patchakan is at the Corozal Community Hospital after he was allegedly severely beaten by a Corozal Police Officer. According to information received this morning, the incident stems from the apparent negotiation of fifty acres of land in said village’s area. The Ruiz family has held possession of the fifty acres for over four decades and of recently, the Ministry of Natural Resources has written to the family requesting the negotiation of the land on behalf of Minister Hugo Patt. Reports to our news room indicate that Hector Ruiz, one of the brothers and co-owner of the land, visited the home of the Corozal Commissioner of Lands who resides in Patchakan Village sometime over the weekend. According to Lucas Ruiz, brother of Hector Ruiz, while Hector was at the Commissioner’s house, a confrontation ensued between him and a gentlemen referred to only by his last name, Vallejos. Lucas stated that his brother then proceeded to leave the residence in efforts of avoiding further confrontation.

Head On Collision Leaves Three Severely Injured
A head on collision between a pickup and a van on the Yo Creek to San Lazaro Road here in Orange Walk has left three persons hospitalized and a host of others with many injuries. The traffic mishap occurred on Sunday sometime around 7:30pm when a pick-up truck driven at the time by Raul Ortega of Orange Walk Town, and this grey van, driven at the time by Hermilo Ramirez, coming in the opposite direction, collided head-on causing both vehicles to be extensively damaged. Passengers of both vehicles sustained various degrees of injuries. Raul Ortega sustained a broken ankle which was treated and he was released from the Northern Regional Hospital. While there were other passengers inside of the cab of the pick-up truck, they sustained minor injuries. Three passengers who were seated in the back pan of the pick-up sustained severe injuries to the head and body as they flew out of the pan upon the collision. Fabian Ortega sustained injuries to the back but was treated and released, on the other hand, Nestor and Damian Ortega, suffered injuries to the chest and head respectively.

Was Elias Ku Murdered? His Family Wants To Know
The worst fears of the Ku family here in Orange Walk town were realized when the badly decomposing body of their loved one was found floating in the river. The family was informed that Elias Ku was last seen by the river near the San Estevan Bridge on Tuesday August 6th and that he fell in the river and never resurfaced. The following day, the family made a missing person’s report and immediately launched a search for their loved. Despite all attempts it seemed as if they would never get a chance to say goodbye. However the family never lost hope and kept looking until perseverance paid off. Reporter Irvin Aragon and Cameraman Jesus Melgar have that story. rvin Aragon - Reporting The dark waters of the New River, particularly near Independence Plaza, now holds the mystery of the circumstance leading to the death of thirty-two years old, Elias Ku. The family continued to comb the river hoping to find Elias’ body so as to have a chance to say goodbye and lay him to rest. Elias Ku left home on Tuesday the 6th of August and was last seen wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes, which were found in the area where it is believed he was socializing with at least two other persons.


Family Relieved to Find Body of Missing Brother But Wants Investigation into Death
The body of an Orange Walk man who was reported missing was retrieved from the New River on Saturday. Reporter Dalila Ical filed this story. DALILA ICAL “The body of 32 year old Elias Ku has been recovered by his family members. After almost 4 days of searching, family members found the body in the Fidelia Creek in Trial Farm Village. Since the body was in an advanced state of decomposition the post mortem was conducted on site; however, the cause of death was undetermined. According to a family member the search was headed primarily by the family; his sister Karina told Love News that while they have the consolation of having found his body and can give him a proper burial they’re not at ease and will push for further investigation into Elias’ death. The family strongly believes that Elias may have been beaten and hurt and thrown into the river or creek. Police are investigating.”

Taiwan Grants Scholarships to Belizean Students
Twenty six Belizeans have been given the opportunity to travel to the Republic of China (Taiwan) on full scholarships to study in three major areas. The Belize Taiwan International Collaboration Development Fund Alumni Society Scholarships orientation luncheon was held on Saturday and Love News was there and here is that report. HIPOLITO NOVELO “Twenty six Belizeans who are recent recipients of a full scholarship from the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan gathered at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel with past recipients. According to the Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize David Wu, this year’s scholarship grant is the maximum handed out to Belizeans.” AMBASSADOR DAVID WU “It is the highest number of scholarships awarded to the Belizean students over the past few years. Belizeans students have the highest number to be awarded of the scholarship because we are very close diplomatic allies but also the students from Belize have done very well in Taiwan in the past 7 – 8 years.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “From the twenty six recipients, 15 will be pursuing their Bachelor’s degree while the other will keep their heads in the book if they want to obtain their Master’s and one individual will be pursuing a Doctorate degree.” “In the three major categories, one is agriculture; I think that it will be very useful for them when they come back to Belize to develop the agriculture of this country and management and also high tech because the high tech now in Taiwan is very advanced so, I think they started in three major categories. We have two types of scholarship one is ICDF – international collaboration development fund and this ICDF program will be taught in English, Taiwan scholarship is another type of scholarship it is taught in Mandarin because Mandarin now Is a very popular language; so, they will spend one extra year to learn this language first in Taiwan and then the program now will be taught in Mandarin.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “The scholarships include full tuition, accommodations and allowance.” AMBASSADOR DAVID WU “We hope now after they started, they can come back to contribute their learning to their home country but we also have, since last year, I think two of them have already gotten a job in Taiwan; they are now the teacher, they are now teaching English in Taiwan.” According to Ambassador Wu, over two hundred and thirty scholarships have been granted over the past years.

Graduating Class on Emergency Response Team Now Certified
On Saturday one hundred and six residents from eight different communities across Belize were certified as Community Emergence Response Team (CERT) members on by the Belize Red Cross. The ceremony marked the conclusion of a two year training within a USAID and American Red Cross funded project called ”Saving Lives in the Caribbean Through Preparedness” . The project was a collaboration between the Belize Red Cross and the National Emergency Management Organization, (NEMO). The training covered issues like search and rescue, psychosocial support for communities, emergency care, communications, vector control, and disease prevention, among others. Each team received much needed equipment to assist them in their response valued at some four thousand Belize dollars.

Police News
A man and a woman were hospitalized with gunshot wounds following a shooting incident of Sunday morning. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital around 3:10 yesterday morning and saw eighteen year old Wasani Fernandez, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to the arm and leg and twenty five year old Losandri Gonzalez of Dangriga suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to her left arm. Investigations revealed that Gonzalez and Fernandez were inside a house on Holy Emmanuel Street along with two other persons, when an unknown dark complexioned man pushed his hand through an open louver in a window and fired several shots, injuring them. Both Gonzalez and Fernandez were transported to the KHMH where Fernandez was admitted in a stable condition and Gonzalez was treated and released. Police recovered three, point twenty two expended shells from the scene and they continue to investigate. A motorcycle was stolen in Belmopan over the weekend. According to reports, the curator of the Belize Zoo, a resident of Belmopan, reported to police that between 7:00 a.m on Saturday and 6:00 p.m on Sunday, his yellow and black 2002 Suzuki motor cycle was stolen while parked at his residence. Police are investigating the theft. Five persons were arrested and charged by police for firearm offences in Belmopan. On Friday, while police were on mobile patrol around 2:45 p.m on Orchid Garden Street, they conducted a search on a black two door pick-up truck. During the search they discovered a sixteen gauge shotgun for which none of the occupants could produce a license. As a result all of them were arrested and charged with Kept Firearm without a Gun License. They are 41 year old Martin Pop, 19 year old Brian Zuniga, from Maya Mopan, 51 year old Leonard Jacobs of the Salvapan area and a 15 year old.

Brothers Wanted in Policeman’s Death
Police in Southern Belize are seeking the two brothers who they believe can assist in their investigations into the death of 26 year old Police Constable Roy Robert Fernandez of George Town Village. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Police from Independence Village are looking for two brothers who allegedly beat up a police officer in Georgetown Village in the Stann Creek District. The incident reportedly happened on Sunday, August 4 about 12 midnight. Police reported to Love News that the deceased, 26-year-old, PC Roy Robert Fernandez were in the company of two females escorting them home when Frederick Castillo, ex-boyfriend of one of the females approached him along with his brother, Ivan Castillo and began insulting the officer along with his girlfriend. Reports are that after the officer safely took his female friend home, he was shortly attacked about 400 yards from his friend’s house by the Castillo brothers. He was brutally beaten and sustained a burst lip and was observed with a swollen face and complained of a pain in his upper body. According to reports, PC Fernandez did not seek medical attention right away nor made a formal report. According to the officer’s mother he refused medical help and she observed that his health was slowly deteriorating and that he continued to complain of pain. After a week of the brutal attack, he was taken to a private clinic in Independence Village; on Saturday, August 10 at about 5:30 pm, PC Fernandez passed away. What he died from will be determined by a post mortem examination; his body is now at the Southern Regional Hospital as the police continue to investigate this strange incident. Reporting for Love News, Harry Arzu in Dangriga.” PC Fernandez was attached to Precinct 1 in Belize City

Senior Police Officer Updates Media on Recent Deaths and Shooting of Minors in Belize District
Last Thursday evening a toddler was crushed to death in the Buttercup area just outside of Burrell Boom Village when a bus tire fell on top of him. The 11-month old had apparently stepped away from his mother sometime around 5:30 that evening and then crawled into a yard, where the tire was. It is reported that he started to play with the tire, which fell on top of him. Although surgery was performed on the baby, he did not survive the injury and died early on Friday morning. Today Officer Commanding the Ladyville Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent Chris Noble, briefed reporters on what the police have thus far. ASP Chris Noble, O.C., Ladyville “We have established that the child resided in the Burrell Boom area and was with the mother. There may have been some difficulty with the mother looking out for the child or the mother looking at the child. The information we have is that an object may have fallen upon the child; he was taken to the hospital and eventually succumbed; that child was very young and we are looking at putting everything together and taking it over to the DPP. It’s not whether we have eyewitnesses account or not, we are just collecting information and we do have a tire which has been identified by the persons.” With respect to baby Kaylee Burgess who was choked to death and then placed in a bucket at her family home in Ladyville almost a year ago, Noble said that there’s nothing more officially that police have established into that case. ASP Chris Noble, O.C., Ladyville “There is no indication to us, at this stage, as to what may have or that we do have inroads otherwise than what the investigation file has; we are only going by what that is and expecting the instructions in so far as what we will be able to do in charging or not charging as such.” However, information that we have picked up otherwise is that the person responsible for baby Kaylee’s death may already be dead. The most substantial details that the police have gathered are the eyewitness account of a three-year old boy who was around in Baby Kaylee’s final moments. Meanwhile, we also asked Noble for an update on the shooting, in late July, of ten year-old Deon Samuels Junior, who police reports allege was shot by his 14 year old cousin who lives in the same yard. ASP Chris Noble, O.C., Ladyville “After consultation with the DPP, the minor was charged and that matter is before the court. Our investigation into the matter is on-going and we will be looking at whatever else because we will be taking the file to the DPP as soon as we have completed it; the child was charged with firearm offences.” REPORTER “Can you say where that gun came from or who it belonged to?” ASP Chris Noble, O.C., Ladyville “No, I cannot say, that is a part of the investigation but I can confirm that it is a licensed weapon.” Love News understands that the 14 year-old boy has been remanded into custody pending the outcome of his case. Meanwhile, ASP Noble cautions parents and guardians to be alert and to know your children’s whereabouts.

Women in Opposition Party Want Apology from Government Minister
On Friday Love News sat down with Belize Rural Central Representative, and the only woman member of the House of Representatives, Dolores Balderamos Garcia. Balderamos Garcia expressed her discontent with the way she was treated at last Wednesday’s House meeting after she raised concerns about the behavior of the Sergeant at Arms in the House of Representatives. Today, the women from the People’s United Party hosted a press briefing. Reporter Natalie Novelo and cameraman were there. NATALIE NOVELO REPORTING This afternoon, the PUP women came together to publicly express their concern and to condemn the behavior of the United Democratic Party members at the House of Representatives. The number one item on their agenda was the verbal assault of the Member for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan against the Member for Belize Rural Central, Dolores Balderamos Garcia. At the head table sat Balderamos, along with PUP Secretary General, Myrtle Palacio, President of the United Women’s Group, Wendy Castillo and Former Speaker of the House, Senator and Representative for Dangriga, Sylvia Flores. Palacio emphasized that the behavior by Representatives in the House has questionable for some time. MYRTLE PALACIO, Secretary General, PUP “Chapter six of the Constitution of Belize charges the National Assembly of Belize for making laws for peace, order and good governance of the country of Belize. The Speaker of the House of Representatives presides over the sitting of the House; it is the Speaker’s role to ensure that there is order and decorum during the sitting. The unbecoming behavior of members mainly from the UDP in the House has not gone unnoticed as during the PUP’s consultation with the social partners in March was raised as a major concern particularly, by our church leaders, who vowed at that time to communicate this to those responsible before the next house meeting. The abuse of power by this UDP government has extended from chastising and criticizing judges’ decisions to flouting or ignoring the law and now, using the House of Representatives to make threats and crude innuendos against members of the House and members of the community who disagree with the Government.” Palacio also informed the media that Senators Lisa Shoman and Karen Bodden addressed the issue at today’s senate meeting. Wendy Castillo read the official Statement from the PUP women, which above all, condemns what she referred to as the “vile verbal assault” against Balderamos, and calls for a public apology and immediate resignation of the Member for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan. WENDY CASTILLO, President, UWG “The member for Mesopotamia unleashed an unprecedented barrage of viciously crude and explicitly sexual innuendos on the floor of the National Assembly during a special sitting against the Honorable Dolores, who is the only female member in the House of Representatives; to add injury to his insult, Finnegan also hurled a repugnant threat directed at the honorable member and her husband. We note, in particular, that the Speaker of the House failed utterly in his responsibility to curb or even address the scandalous, personal attack – this we should not tolerate from any speaker of the House. That this occurred without rebuke is unconscionable and a matter of public disgrace and at the obscene display of disrespect during the house sitting; it signals a new low in our national discourse and we must not allow it; it stops here and it stops today. We insist on being treated with respect, civility and with regard to our human dignity; therefore, PUP women demand a public apology from and the immediate resignation of the member for Mesopotamia.” As former speaker of the House of Representatives, Sylvia Flores said what happened on Wednesday was not only an assault on Balderamos Garcia Sylvia Flores, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives “It was also an assault on the integrity and the sanctity of the House of Representatives because there are rules, what we refer to as standing orders, that govern the sitting of the House of Representatives and such assault that took place ought not to have taken place; there are rules as to how the Speaker of the House should behave and I felt that was an occasion when the Honorable Speaker should have ruled against the member for Mesopotamia because what he said, what he did in the house was unbecoming and I wonder whether this is the kind of legacy that we are going to leave for our children. When we see the assaults in different parliaments all over the world and we wonder how this could happen from the so-called elected representatives of the people, aren’t we supposed to be on our best when we go to that honorable house, aren’t we supposed to be there as examples for the entire nation?” Flores also said that such behavior in the House should not be tolerated. Sylvia Flores, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives “So, we must make that effort to send a message to our elected representative and especially so to the honorable member of Mesopotamia for the kind of behavior that took place in the house last Wednesday. Ladies and gentlemen, we do not need to tolerate this; there is a better way to behave and we must make sure that our representatives behave in a manner that makes us proud not a behavior that makes us bow our heads in shame.” Finally it was time for Balderamos Garcia to speak and although she said she was hurt by the verbal assault toward her, it proved the point she was raising DOLORES BALDERAMOS-GARCIA, Area Rep., Belize Rural Central “On Wednesday, the UDP side including Boots and the Prime Minister and in particular, Finnegan proved the point that I was trying to make better than I could ever have done so myself. I don’t care about ever saying anything again about that misogynist; I don’t care to do that but I do care that we must raise the level of discourse because there are too many problems in this country that needs to be addressed and I fi can lend my voice to being in the house, to speak up for the country that we should be making and for the problems that we need to address, then I will continue my job.” NATALIE NOVELO Balderamos Garcia says she needs some time to think and she will take the advice of the strong women in the PUP as to what her next step will be. Castillo said that they extended an invitation to stakeholders in women’s issues but there was no representation from the organizations which include, the Women’s Department, the Women’s Commission and the Special Envoy for Women and Children. Reporting for Love News, I am Natalie Novelo. The women say this is the first move to protest the action. The Mesopotamia area representative’s actions have also been condemned by Women’s Inspired for Change as well as PUP Mayors.

Con Artist Preys on Residents on Northern Belize
Residents of Progresso Village are looking for a man following reports that he swindled a number of villagers. Reporter Dalila Ical has the details. DALILA ICAL “Residents of Progresso Village are calling out a con artist after he allegedly took money from them with the promise of delivering on electrical and air conditioning work. One of the first persons who lost money to the individual was the proprietor of Fantasy Point in Progresso Village.” OWNER OF FANTASY POINT “We paid him, the first day, forty dollars to go get parts and he came back and so, we thought he can be trusted. The next day he came back and he told us all the things that we needed and I gave him one hundred and fifty dollars and I had him sign a paper that he received it and that was the last we have seen of him.” DALILA ICAL “According to the complainants, the man identified himself as Mario Lopez of the Cayo District and while in Progresso Village, he approached others who hired him. He was last seen in the village about two Fridays ago. While those who were conned have not made a formal report to the police, they are warning the public to be on the lookout for one, Mario Lopez who poses as an air conditioning technician.” RESIDENT “He is about five feet, two to four inches; he is a short, stocky man; he walks around with an undershirt without the sleeve and every time I saw him, he had this white undershirt. He was neat and clean and well-spoken.”

Soldier Sent to Prison Following Aggravated Assault on Spouse
A 25 year old BDF soldier who allegedly committed an aggravated assault on his common-law wife, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he was unable to pay an outstanding court fine of eight hundred dollars and meet a bail of five thousand dollars. He is Michael Zuniga, a Public Affairs Officer who resides at Bella Vista and Price Barracks. Zuniga was also charged with harm and using threatening words. He pled not guilty to the charges. According to the allegation, he committed the aggravated assault with a machete and he threatened to kill his common-law wife and her family.

Vendor Remanded Following Armed Robbery
Twenty-four year old Michael Joseph, a vendor of Courtenay Crescent, was charged with robbery and harm when he appeared in court today. Joseph pled not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Clive Lino explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the robbery was committed with a firearm. Joseph was remanded into custody until September 25. The incident occurred on July 8. The complainant, 34 year old Rupert Garnett, reported to the police that he was riding his black beach cruiser bicycle on Sittee Street when Joseph and another man approached him and held him up with a firearm and stole his bicycle. Garnett told police that he was also beaten. Last week Kyle Chaplin was charged with the same offences. Chaplin was also charged with aggravated assault.

Belize City Resident Arraigned for Forged Cheques
Twenty-three year old Michael Usher, a resident of Pinks Alley who allegedly forged two Heritage Bank cheques, was charged with eight offences when he appeared today before Magistrate Lino. The charges were two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering a false document, two counts of claiming upon a false document and two counts of obtaining property by deception. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Usher was offered a bail of six thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until October 8. Usher was unable to meet bail so he was taken to Belize Central Prison. Usher allegedly forged two cheques that were charged to the account of Roger Espejo of Asset Guard management and Insurance Limited.

The Reporter

Time to clean House
Is it possible that we Belizeans who actually believe that our area representatives go to parliament to take care of the People’s Business are probably the most naïve and unrealistic dreamers within this country?

Humane Society helps control pet population
The Belize Humane Society and its various branches across the country have come up with a generous method of helping Belizeans control their pet population.

First live symphony in Belize raises the roof of the Bliss
It was an unforgettable experience–a first full length live symphony performance in Belize, by the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and the triumphant coming out of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize, under the direction of Mr. Colville Young Jr..

Guatemalan man 1st murder victim in two years in Benque
Benque Viejo Police have not been able to establish a motive or identify suspect for the savage killing of a Guatemalan man last Saturday, August 5.

Computer technician facing indecent assault and theft charges
A Belize City man who offered a ride to a woman he picked up at a bus stop on Friday was arraigned on aggravated assault of a sexual nature and theft charges, in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Con man told Magistrate he needs jail time to reform
A San Pedro man with an burgeoning rap sheet and a string of pending cases involving dishonesty, admitted that he needs help and begged a Belize City Magistrate to send him to jail, on Monday.

Former Prime Minister Said Musa deserves the tongue-lashing he received this week from the judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice for his role in undermining the rule of law in Belize in order to appease his good friend, British billionaire Mr. Michael Ashcroft and his companies, BCB Holdings [...]

PAC dead on arrival
The motion to reconfigure the Public Accounts Committee was struck down in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Dean Hon. Barrow pointed out several procedural errors. However, PAC chairman, Hon. Julius Espat, says he will not give up.

Eavesdropping law amended
At its meeting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the government introduced an amendment to the Interception of Communications Act to include the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit.

National Bank to offer 6.5% housing loans
“Of the People, for the People” is the motto of the new state-owned National Bank of Belize, which will offer housing loans at 6.5 per cent annual interest on the reducing balance with $20 million in start-up capital.

GOB writes-off more than $160,000
This week the House of Representatives wrote off a total of $161,154.37, with at least one of those losses emanating from a public officer’s misappropriation of funds.

Norwegian exclusive could block Belizean developers: Espat
Toledo East representative Mike Espat said Wednesday that the 25-year exclusive deal that the Government of Belize is considering with Norwegian Cruise Lines will hamper a Belizean Developer from being part of tourism in the south.


Mobile Clinic
Saga Humane Society would like to announce a Mobile Clinic to San Mateo Tuesday August 12 to vaccinate another 100 dogs . During the Saga HS Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to San Mateo, Saga HS vaccinated 51 the area dogs and distributed antibiotics to affected dogs. Many more dogs must be vaccinated to prevent the spread of Canine distemper virus. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Please help Saga spread the word about the upcoming Mobile Clinic.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek: My Personal Paradise Found – Part Two
Earlier in the week, I posted about my amazing two night stay at The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize’s Cayo District. I gushed about the grounds, the pool, the cottage, their philosophy and the staff. THE STAFF. Best staff I’ve ever encountered. We packed a ton of activities and relaxation and delicious food into just two days…and would have LOVED to stay a week/forever. So let me continue… Just about an hour after arrival, we climbed the hill to the Blue Morpho Butterfly farm. You can get a guided tour every hour on the hour and I definitely recommend it. We met up with Selwyn who brought us into the enclosure and showed us the real live insect at every single stage of its life. It was so interesting, I hardly took any pictures.

Workshop on Internalization & Promotion of Caribbean SME Consortiums
Caribbean Export in cooperation with the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) held the “Workshop on Internalization and Promotion of Caribbean SMEs Consortiums” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 8-9 July. This activity was also co-organized with the Small Business Association of Barbados (SBA) and the Center for Exports and Investments of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD). The objective of this event was the promotion of strategies for productive development, the creation of export consortium’s and the internationalization of SMEs for their foray into regional and international markets. The workshop also aimed the stimulation of exchange of goods and services among Latin American and Caribbean countries in order to strengthen the productive integration of the region and promote the participation of SMEs in trade fairs and business events.

“Where Are You Now” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Wasn’t up until 06.30 hours yesterday morning. The price I paid for having a few too many Belikins with Frank (I collected him and his dog Ziggy when they arrived on the 17.30 hours Belize Water Taxi service from Belize City on Friday evening) who is over for the weekend from the BATSUB base in Ladyville. Around 09.15 hours (feeling slightly better after three mugs of black coffee and something to eat) I went to collect our friend Dave (whose time serving on the BATSUB base comes to an end next weekend when he returns to the UK) who had caught the 08.30 hours water taxi. After dropping Dave off at Pedro’s Hotel I returned to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and took prime position on the sofa and ‘gorged’ on the sport on TV. First I watched Liverpool lose to Celtic (unfortunately I had missed the second half of Arsenal’s win against Manchester City when collecting Dave) and then switched channels (and sports) to watch Sydney Rabbitohs lose against the Melbourne Storm.

August 4, 2013 - August 10, 2013 Fishing Report
GRAND SLAMS: Yes that’s plural! Congratulations to Marco who was able to land a nice tarpon a huge permit and a tiny bonefish… for some reason the bonefish took 3 hours to get, they were sweating bullets as it got later. Same thing happened to our Australian friend Barney, got the tarpon and permit and spent 2 hours for the bonefish!!! I think it is the hot calm weather so the afternoon fishing has been slower! Captain Emir was the leader of both of these slams that were on a combination of light tackle and fly rod.

International Sources

Interview With Kim Barrow, First Lady of Belize
After winning her battle with breast cancer, Belize First Lady Kim Barrow is on a mission to improve the welfare of women and young people in her country. Barrow, the wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, is the country’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, and spearheading several projects aimed at improving the lives of women and children and those with special needs. To learn more, Caribbean Journal talked with Barrow about her latest work, her call for a new cancer centre and the future of healthcare in Belize.

Altoona natives recover from ambush in Belize
Gunmen cause missionaries' truck to crash in creek ravine. When two men tried to stop Dan and Vicki Weaver in their truck after dark, the missionary couple followed the same rule that’s helped them survive 11 years in Belize. “Whatever you see on that jungle road, you don’t stop,” Dan Weaver said, repeating the phrase he tells every visitor who travels the treacherous 10-mile stretch to his home in Valley of Peace. But on June 28, that rule was no deterrent to two armed men standing near a roadside bridge, Dan told The Altoona Herald last week via telephone from a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That Friday night, a man fired two bullets through the windshield of the Weaver’s Toyota Tacoma truck, narrowly missing Dan’s head, as the couple returned from a routine trip to the city of Belmopan. Dan, 57, cranked the steering wheel to the right, sending the truck over rocks and down a ravine. It came to a violent stop in the creek below.

Alaska serial killer Israel Keyes tied to 11 deaths; feds look overseas
Did an Alaska serial killer commit murder in Belize? Interesting article carried by Cable News Network (CNN). Here is the story:

August 12, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Head Nurse
Dick is in hospital with an oxygen mask on - so of course, his speech is a bit garbled, especially when he asks his nurse an important question.

San Pedro AIDS Commission says THANK YOU!
On behalf of the San Pedro AIDS Commission it gives me great pleasure to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who in one way or another helped make El Show de las Estrellas 3 a successful fundraising event. I applaud the members who worked hard to ensure the success of this affair and salute the “friends” of the AIDS Commission who lent a helping hand. Great job guys! You know who you are! Special mention must be made of our generous sponsors who were instrumental and supportive towards this fundraiser – our respect and admiration for: Mata Chica Resort, Tropic Air, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Castillo’s Hardware, Cuello’s Distillery, San Pedro Holiday Hotel, Ellos Exclusively for Him, Romantic Travel Belize, Councilor Wally Nuñez, Councilor Gaby Nuñez, Island Torch Bar & Grill, Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, Grand Belizean Estates, Captain Shark’s Marine Center, Pete’s Enterprises, San Pedro Belize Express, The San Pedro Sun, Reef Radio, Ambergris Today, Reef TV, San Pedro Town Council and Domosa Decorations (Chetumal, Quintana Roo). We also say kudos to the ever-jovial Rompe Raja for providing the lively music and to David Marin for his DJ skills used during the show and Mr. Chris Nuñez and Mr. Silva for helping out with the electrical work.

Doctor Love: New Business Owner
Owning a business on the island can be challenge. A new business owner needs advice...

Misc Belizean Sources

La Puerta Negra by BMA
Musical interlude teaser. The Benque Marimba Academy has been playing a lot lately. Here's them doing La Puerta Negra. Thanks to the Benque House of Culture for the videos. Keep up the great work, guys. "Benque Marimba Academy 'La Puerta Negra' teaser."


Belize Celebrates International Youth Day
On Monday August 12th, 2013 Belize will join the rest of the world in celebrating International Youth Day under the theme, “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”. This year’s observance of International Youth Day focuses on the issue of youth migration. Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 percent, yet too little is known about their struggles and experiences. According to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, poverty, crowded and unsanitary living conditions and the challenges of finding decent employment are regular features of the migrant experience. These challenges are exacerbated by the current global economic and financial crisis. Migrants are also often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of discrimination. In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability.

Corozaleno Ask The General Public For Assistance
In six months a 36 year old man form the Corozal District has lost 100 lbs but is not because he is on diet. Eliazar Coc, a resident of San Narciso Village in the Corozal District, is suffering from an unidentified sickness which is causing him pain extreme pain and making him lose weight rapidly. The Court Translator is in dire need of medical attention and his intentions are to fly out to Guatemala City. But Coc is in dire need of financial assistance to make it to Guatemala. With that in mind, his family joined hands with a local radio station from the Corozal District to carry out a radiothon and raise funds. According to Coc’s brother, Alexander, Eliazar began complaining of abdominal pain some six months ago. Thinking that he was simply suffering from an upset stomach, Eliazar ignored the pain.

Belize Receives Cultural Grant From IDB
Since 1994, the Cultural Development Program of the IDB Cultural Center has co-sponsored cultural projects in the 26 countries of the hemisphere. These projects include: training communities surrounding archaeological sites to help them preserve and manage their cultural patrimony; restoration of historical sites for educational and economic purposes; docent and youth educational development through the arts; implementation of literature, poetry, theater craft making and dance performances workshops in areas never reached by development projects before. This year seven Caribbean Community countries, including Belize, are benefiting from the Cultural Development Program. Humana People to People, an organization in southern Belize is one of 45 regional partner institutions that will receive financing and technical assistance to assist in cultural development projects. With the assistance of IDB, the organization will facilitate the promotion of traditional Garifuna drumming and dancing in Barranco village. The IDB grants were awarded based on the project evaluation which relied heavily on their viability, educational scope and the effective use of resources.

Belize's Under Fifteen National Football Team Heads Out To Cayman Island
Just a few weeks ago the Jaguars made a historic presentation in the Gold Cup and tonight the good news is that Belize will once again be represented internationally in the sport of football. This time though, it will be by the National under-fifteen male selection who will take part in the CONCACAF under-fifteen Championship tournament. Eighteen under-fifteen youths from all parts of the country, will leave on Monday August 12th, to the Grand Cayman Islands to participate in the tournament. We are proud to announce that two of the eighteen players are from Orange Walk, Marlon Garcia and Randy Serrano. These two are well-known for their participation in previous under fifteen tournaments representing Belize. Accompanying the team is the technical staff, which comprises of the head coach, Renan Arturo Escobeda, Assistant Coach, Alex Jason Noralez, Physical Trainer, Dennis Dale Serrano, and Equipment Manager, Herbert Trapp Jr.

Search For Elias Ku Continues..
The dark waters of the New River, particularly the area near the Independence Plaza, here in Orange Walk, now holds the mystery of the whereabouts of 32 year old, Elias Ku. Ku’s family continues to comb the river in hope of finding his body and give him a proper burial. The 32 year old left home on Tuesday the 3rd of August and was last seen wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes, those were found in the area where it is believed he was socializing with at least two more persons. And this is where it gets a little bit confusing. It was not unusual for Ku to stay away from home for days. On Tuesday night his family was informed that during the course of morning, while socializing with two of his friends, Ku fell in the New River. Immediately a search was launched for Ku’s body and the same can be said for the two individuals who were last seen with him. But similar to Ku, they are nowhere to be found. While Police continue to investigate the circumstances leading to Ku’s disappearance and possible demise, his family continues to guard the river should his body emerge.

Samer Akil Rada is a genuine and legitimate investor at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, who came to Belize over a decade ago in order to, by his honest labour, dedication and business savy, grow and develop his legitimately obtained capital or investments in Belize. That is how Rada is characterized in a joint press release issued today by two of his companies, Grupo Sol Oxcel located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. Rada’s picture was plastered all over the local and international media after his name was linked to the seizure of close to one thousand pounds of cocaine destined for the Corozal Free Zone and tonight he is looking to clear his name from a number of falsifications and distortions of the facts being created by various irresponsible members of the media both local and international. The release states that Venezuelan-born businessman Samer Akil Rada is not a shady businessman operating out of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone and connected with any drug cartel and/or terrorist organization. Rada, according to the release has never been knowingly involved in any illegitimate or illegal business transactions involving the trafficking in narcotics, arms/weapons trafficking, or human trafficking, the laundering or facilitation of drugs or terrorist derived or destined monies, nor the promotion or facilitation of any other criminal organizations, terrorist organization, or other criminal groups – and neither plans or desires to ever be a part of such illegal businesses or criminal organizations at any time in the future.


Mexico to Belize: Our First Border Crossing
It is hard to believe but Sarah and I have already been back in Mexico for 6 months. And because tourist visas here only last for 6 months, this means we had to leave the country and come back in to get another 6 months. The perfect excuse to take our new car for a proper road test. Farewell Mexico, hello Belize. *At the end I do a run down of crossing the borders with a car, click here to go straight there. I had heard a lot of things about Belize, and not much of it good. Sure everyone talks about the islands and how great they are for diving, but Belize itself gets a pretty bad rap. I like to think that I have the ability to appreciate the small things when it comes to new cultures and countries, and often Sarah and I manage to wander around a new environment appreciative of the nuances which make it a new environment. And this is how it started in Belize. The first thing I noticed and which took me by surprise is just how different Belize is from Mexico. I mean the two of them are separated by an imaginary line, so surely they would be almost identical, especially near the border? This could not be further from the truth. Aside form the sudden use of English over Spanish as the primary language, Belize has a true Caribbean feel which is not as readily noticeable in Mexico.

Cockscomb Basin Hike – Hopkins, Belize
While in Hopkins we heard or some hiking close to the village we wanted to checkout. Most of the tours were pretty pricy, especially for just two of us, and all they are is pretty much a ride to the park. So we decided to get a car a drive ourselves. Plus we like the freedoms of doing a few things in the area. First off a four wheel drive vehicle is a must, the entrance is only about 3 miles from the highway outside Hopkins, but before you get the park check in you have about 10 miles of roads that a determined to break your vehicle’s suspension. We were excited when we hopped out of our rental, the village is very chill, and probably even more so in low season when we were there so we needed a little excitement, so of course we signed ourselves up for a 2 km “Strenuous” hike, the tiger fern trail.

Village Life – Hopkins, Belize
Unless you have traveled through this area you probably haven’t heard about the Garifuna people. Along the coast of Belize you can find communities of Afro-Carib people known as the Garifuna, Hopkins is where we first got a chance to see and taste their culture. Rhythm One of the most entertaining ways experience the culture is to go an see a drumming show. Just about every night of the week you can find a group drumming at a bar or hangout spot. The drumming is accompanied by signing in their language, even though you can’t understand the words there is something very catchy about it. Definitely worth checking out while in Hopkins. Food Most villages are fishing or agriculture based, so seafood is common to find on the menus. Influences come from all over the world that shaped this part of the country and culture. The dishes are a mash up African, Spanish, Mayan favorites. One of the best we sampled while in the village was Hudutu: red snapper in a coconut broth, with mashed plantains and cassava.

Exploring Belize’s Underworld Actun Tunichil Muknal
Trekking through Actun Tunichil Muknal (“ATM”), also known as Xibalba and the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, is one of the more memorable experiences we have had while traveling. Belize has a wealth of ancient Mayan sites as well as adventure activities. Belize’s ATM cave tour is a combination of both! The caves can only be visited with specially licensed tour companies. We chose Mayawalk Tours, the first company ever to lead tours through the ATM caves. Tour groups are small, consisting of six to eight people. This adventure involves hiking, swimming, and caving. We were picked up at our hotel in San Ignacio in the morning and driven to the Tapir Mountain Reserve. The drive included some off-roading in the small school bus. The adventure started with a long hike through the jungle which included fording the river four times. We then arrived at the cave entrance. There is a deep pool of water at the entrance which we had to swim across to enter the cave.

Getting There: Travel Days in Belize and Guatemala
We call them Travel Days, even though you might think all our days are traveling days. On our Travel Days, we are not visiting a place, but actually on the road (or in the air) moving from point A to point B. There is nothing to be done. We have clipped and zipped our bags and everything we have is on wheels or on our backs. We expect no communication with the other world, we embrace uncertainty, and throw ourselves at the mercy of the people and schedules around us. Travel through Belize and into Guatemala was especially free-form, depending on taxis and buses and tidbits of information. After a short stay on the Belize River in central Belize, we were headed to San Ignacio in the west. Despite some discouraging words from the Black Orchid Hotel manager, who’d rather have sold us a tour, we caught a taxi to Hattieville in order to catch a bus to San Ignacio. It was Sunday, Mother’s Day, and no two people had the same information about how often the buses might run.

International Sources

Readers recommend: songs about the Caribbean – results
Whether you want rumba rhythms or Bahamian beats, check out this week's Caribbean-flavoured playlist, picked by Fintan2. Ah, the Caribbean. Blue waters, blue skies and white beaches. Someone to fetch your drink. Hey, let's jump a plane and go. That's what Bobby Bloom is all about in the jaunty Montego Bay. Just what you need to fill your dreams during those cold winters back home. Less likely to comfort you would be a trip to meet Exuma, the Obeah Man. Obeah is practised on many of the islands, and what Bahamian Tony McKay (aka Exhuma) is conjuring might not be suitable for tourists. At the other end of the island, there is no one to serve your drink in Trenchtown, but plenty of love, companionship and the promise of a better future to go around. So, as Bob Marley says, No Woman, No Cry. Carousing the Caribbean ports is certainly nothing new. We're still singing the exploits of the Sloop John B, a real ship that, perhaps to no one's surprise, was sunk in Governor's Harbour in the Bahamas, in about 1900. The Beach Boys tell the tale. Care to dance? Your feet may have no choice when zouk (Guadeloupe carnival music) grabs hold. Kassav's Zouk La Sé Sèl Médikaman Nou Ni will do nicely. Let's stay on the dancefloor for Arrow's Rhumba Again, 'cause in Caracas one is never enough.

Traits Of Genuine Medical Center Belize City Investors
Up to date, people have not understood how to define a hospital. To some they are bad and to others, they are fair enough. As for medical Center Belize City investors, the answer should be based on the quality of service received since a hospital is just a structural building. One of the traits defining them is a friendly nature. This is the manner in which they manage to woe clients. For those with kids, there are no second thoughts once they identify people who can relate with the young ones. This is one of the easiest ways to gain the confidence of patients. While hiring the workers, make a point of selecting those who show some dedication and commitment. If everyone was to play their role accordingly, chances of experiencing queues would be less. The idea of waiting for long hours while experiencing pain is not pleasant. After all, those with appointments expect to be attended to with immediate effect. The experts should not laze around or take long breaks in between.

August 11, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Hit the road Don…
Kindly afford me an opportunity in your prestigious newspaper to voice my thoughts and opinions on the current state of affairs of Premier Football League of Belize. The purpose of my writing this article is based solely on my desire to see better come to Semi-pro Football. None of the topics and issues discussed is meant as an attack on anyone and is solely meant to stimulate discussion by looking at the facts so as to bring about a better solution for football in Belize. Firstly let me respectfully state that any owner, manager, player, or fan who seriously thought that better was to come or will come under the present leadership of the Premier League either don’t know the history of semi-pro football in Belize or are plain ol’ naïve like my three year old son to the reality of the current leadership of the League. It is often echoed that ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different results each time. In my dictionary that is stupidity. The current Commissioner of the league, aka Don Maito Perdomo, has been involved in football for many years and to a limited degree his presence over the years should be commended, even if reluctantly. When analyzing his leadership however one must ask certain questions: What has he accomplished during his almost fifteen or so years at the helm of the League? What has the League accomplished under his leadership? How has the League grown under his leadership? And finally, can we seriously depend on this kind of leadership to move the League forward?

Sailing Club News: Cart Wash!!
The young sailors in the San Pedro Sailing Club are holding a cart wash to raise money so that they can go to St George’s Caye in September and race in the Battle Regatta. From 9:00 am to 4:00 on Saturday, August 17, the sailors will be washing carts at Caribbean Villas, where advanced tickets are now on sale. The sailors themselves will be around town selling advance tickets for $10,00. Without a ticket, the cost for the wash will be $12.00. Customers with advance tickets will be served one free rum punch at the Catamaran Beach Bar while waiting, and they will receive a free Sailing Club Calendar (2013) signed by the sailors.

Introducing Amigos Jungle Tours
Since 1987 Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop has been providing premier dive and snorkeling services to the discerning traveler. What started as a small family venture soon grew to be the largest dive shop in Belize. Their knowledgeable and well trained tour guides, mostly born and raised in San Pedro, and all Belizeans, aim to give the best experience Belize has to offer. Whether it is snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley or diving the Great Blue Hole, fun is guaranteed. But recently the company has expanded an added a new section that will offer an addition to their aquatic tours. Owner Jose “Changa” Paz, always wanted to show more of Belize than just its coastal beauty, and that’s how Amigos Jungle Tours came to existence. Amigos Jungle Tours is a unique experience that takes you on trips away from the sea and into the lush Belizean forest, where secrets lay hidden and ready to be uncovered. From the aquamarine waters and reef systems to the ancient Maya Ruins and rainforest panorama, you can have a fun filled day without hassle, and you never lose the comfort of the modern world.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Historical Videos
STANN CREEK RAILWAY : Passenger service in the 1920's Stops Stann Creek Melinda Middlesex LOGGING RAILWAY operated 1880's to 1930's Gallon Jug I have heard those single-lane bridges on the Hummingbird are remainders of the Stann Creek Railway.

Steel Pan & Percussion concert featuring more than 60 students of the First San Pedro Music Summer Camp: Friday, August 9

VIDEO: San Pedro Youth Scuba -Kids In Action Program
SPTGA- San Pedro Tour Guide Association's Summer Scuba Camp in participation with PADI, DAN, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and local PADI Instructors. In the episode local youth experience Nurse Sharks on PADI Certification dives.

Picture this: a family in their living room, enjoying a quiet Saturday afternoon. All of a sudden, a government tractor comes crashing into the master bedroom. It happened on Saturday afternoon when a front end loader assigned to the Ministry of Public Works crashed into a house in Camalote village. No one was injured in the incident, but the house belonging to Gertrude Palacio sustained major damage. The tractor was quickly removed from the scene of the incident and the family says they were given a verbal assurance that the Ministry of Works will be making amends and repairing the damage.


Grocer Breaks Down Before Magistrate
Forty-eight year old Idolly Summerville, a shopkeeper of Hattieville, broke down in tears today after Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart found her guilty of using threatening words and fined her one hundred dollars. On February 25, 2013, Summerville, armed with a machete, went to the yard of her neighbor, Brenda Ferguson, and told her that she will chop her up. Summerville said she had no intention of chopping Ferguson. She said she had just closed her shop and she went to the yard with the machete when she found out that her teenage daughter was not at home. But despite the fact that she lost the case, Summerville said that she is confident that she will win the second case for which the charge is aggravated burglary. According to the allegation, on the same date Summerville entered the house of Ferguson as a trespasser whilst armed with a machete.

Oceana Exposes Children to Belize’s Marine Patrimony
Last Friday August 2, Oceana Belize hosted seventy eight Belize City children on an excursion to Goff’s Caye. The trip was hosted under Oceana’s “I Love My Reef” campaign and it happened on the last day of the Belize City Council’s 2013 Summer Camp. Most of the children on the trip according to a press release from Oceana, had never been on a boat before. The group of children was joined by 8 chaperones, 3 licensed tour guides, a ranger from the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) and the captain and crew of the Splash Wave Tour vessel chartered for the day outing. The release also relates that the older and more adventurous children got an opportunity to snorkel and those who opted not to, got an up-close and personal experience with Belize’s marine patrimony on display at the Caye. Other than the various games they participated in, the participants also got pointers on coral reef systems in Belize, fishing laws, mangrove systems, their purpose and protection on how to preserve and protect the marine environment and caught glimpses of manatees and dolphins too. The trip also took the participants to the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, an area where manatees congregate. Vice President of Oceana in Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd says, “Last Friday’s Goff’s Caye outing is the second consecutive year Oceana has partnered with the Belize City Council to introduce our world famous marine patrimony to inner city dwellers that might otherwise not get such an opportunity”. The CZMAI contributed by waiving the usual Goff’s Caye entrance fees and providing a Ranger to accompany the excursion.

El Salvador Hosts Belizean Youths for Conference
Over the past weekend twenty six young Belizeans attended a conference in El Salvador to learn how to contribute to their community. The youths who are from six communities in Belize traveled to El Salvador to take part in the Bahá’í Youth Conference. The group returned to Belize on Monday night in order to execute the plans they made to serve their communities. The Conference in El Salvador was attended by six hundred and sixty youth ages fifteen to thirty from different countries in Latin America. It was one of one hundred and fourteen similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe and on all continents. According to the press release issued out by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’ís of Belize, several topics were discussed including characteristics that distinguish the period of youth, the importance of fostering an environment of encouragement, and the contribution youth can make for the betterment of society.

Oil and Water Summer Program Begins
Today twenty one boys and girls began participating in a five day Oil and Water Summer Program organized by the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and the Belize Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, BELPO. Today’s session dealt with the importance of water. Administrative Officer for BELPO, Amelita Knowles, shared more about the summer program. AMELITA KNOWLES “We started off with the presentation this morning with the kids; actually the water cycle so they know where water comes from. We also shared with them why water is important, about water sheds and also some threats to our rivers and water sheds and as well as some water saving tips. We have about 21 kids right now; this morning when we started off, we interacted well with them; we were getting good feedback so we’re happy about that and they’re doing an activity which now they are doing a water cycle wheel. We also have other activities until 12 o’clock this afternoon. Like I mentioned, that we went through the presentation with them about the water cycle, where water comes from, we did on rivers we went through the biggest water shed, the amount of water shed in Belize because of the age range we keep it very simple but most of them got the water cycle wheel so, it is refreshing their memory as well as they go back to school.” On Friday the participating children will be treated to a field trip to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

Belize Bird Rescue Begins Release of Injured Hawk
In 2004, the Belize Bird Rescue was formed for injured parrots in need of assistance. After eight years, the initiative has grown and to date it assists several other species of birds. The latest bird that the organization is assisting is a female Common Black Hawk which was rescued and treated. This morning the hawk was transported to Ambergris Caye where it will be released into its natural habitat. Sarah Mon and Jonathan Urbina, of Belize Bird Rescue, were the hawk’s crucial guardians in its road to recovery and this morning the duo shared how they plan to release the hawk back into the wild JONATHON URBINA “This individual came from a nest from Caye Caulker; its parents decided to build the nest within a yard and then the parents became very protective and they would attack people coming around. So, the chick was removed and was sent to the Belize Bird Rescue which is located in Roaring Creek. In the process of it being moved it broke several bones and this was a part of the rehabilitation center. Sarah, she was a part of the one who fed them and they had to do several bandages; through some flight training, it’s at the level where it is now ready and good to go; it’s able to hunt on its own, even though we had been its parents, to a certain extent and now she’s ready to go. We are thankful to Maya Island Air who flew us over to San Pedro and released it there.”

Former Prime Minister Explains Settlement Deed
13 bills were introduced in the House of Representatives at today’s sitting, one of which went through all three readings. But the main focus was on two of the four motions that were presented. The first was the implications of the Caribbean Court of Justice on the public policy of Belize motion 2013. This had as its basis the decision delivered by the Caribbean Court of Justice on July 26 in which it ruled that the settlement deed signed by former Prime Minister Said Musa with Carlisle Holdings Limited on March 22, 2005 was illegal, void and contrary to public policy. Prime Minister Dean Barrow hailed the court’s decision. RT. HON DEAN BARROW “It was not possible to put in the motion all that the CCJ had to say and it was not possible to give the entire background to what has now become a transaction that will live on in infamy but let me try to supplant the language of the motion in a short a time as I possibly can. Mr. Speaker, the CCJ said that the actions of the Leader of the Opposition and the current member for Fort George were repugnant; these two were and their actions were described as malignant tumors on our democracy which no court could allow to go. It was said that what they did, if allowed to stand, would set back the democracy of Belize by some three hundred years. It was said, Mr. Speaker, that this was a classic case, if you will, of an outrageous attempt at prime ministerial governance and constituted as well, over-weaning arrogance on the part of the Executive and particularly, the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Fort George.”

Prime Minister Says Motion for Public Accounts Committee is Misconceived
For months the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat has been lamenting the fact that the Committee has been unable to get any work done. According to Espat, the biggest obstacle is the composition of the Committee since majority of the members are from the governing party. Espat has taken his fight to change the composition of the Committee public. Today he presented his motion to the House and it was met with less than a warm welcome. HON. JULIUS ESPAT “Whereas standing order 72 of the House of Representatives provides for the selection of standing committees and such other standing committees as may be necessary for the consideration of bills and other business committed or referred to a standing committee and whereas standing order 74/111 provides for a Public Accounts Committee which shall have the duty to examine, consider and report on (a) the account showing the appropriation of the sum granted by the National Assembly to meet the public expenditure of the country; (b) such other accounts as may be referred to the committee by the house or under any law (c) and the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts and whereas the present composition of the Public Accounts Committee as provided for by standing order 73/1 and 75/2 has rendered the committee moribund and thus unable to fulfill its lawful mandate and whereas standing order 72 of the Senate and standing order 78 of the House of Representatives both speak of the formation of a joint select...

5-Year Sentence for Stealing Butane Gas Tank
Fifty-three year old Stephen Slusher, a construction worker of Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to five years today by Magistrate Clive Lino when he pled guilty to burglary. Slusher was also charged with handling stolen goods but that charge was withdrawn after his guilty plea was accepted. The incident occurred on Wednesday, August 7. The complainant, Maria Manzanero, reported to the police that her residence, located at 3191 Central American Boulevard, was burglarized and her grey 25 pound gas tank, valued at 115 dollars was stolen. The police investigated and their investigation led to the recovery of the tank and the detention of Slusher. Slusher told Magistrate Lino that he did not break into the house. He said that the door was wide open. Magistrate Lino explained to him that he did not have to break into the house to commit burglary. Magistrate Lino said once he entered as a trespasser the crime was burglary.

The Belize Times

Barrow Rejects Reform – UDP chooses POWER over GOOD GOVERNANCE
Wednesday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives turned out to be a sad disappointment for Belizeans. An opportunity to deal soberly with the real business of the people got flushed down by Prime Minister Dean Barrow who opted for political grandstanding, personal attacks and creating smoke and mirrors over a recent Caribbean Court of Justice ruling. The special sitting was of particular interest to Belizeans because it presented an opportunity to introduce an important reform mechanism through a motion for the establishment of a Joint Public Accounts Committee that would fix a broken section of our system democracy. Currently, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) plays a key role as an oversight body, monitoring an examining Government’s use of public funds. In paper, the Committee looks like a promising layer of check and balance, but in practice it is a different story. The ruling party in Government has majority members with four Ministers holding seats, over two Opposition members. This political control has stymied the work of PAC and handicapped its oversight role, reducing its impact to that of just another rubber stamp body with no powers at all.

Exploitation Averted – Steven Buckley outsmarts UDP’s diabolical plan
Even after suffering through the pain of being disfigured, disabled, incapacitated and forced to beg on the street sides of Belize City for the last three ...

A Tale of 2 PMs
Aside from the fact that it was the same old UDP circus equipped with animals and clowns alike that rolled in for Wednesday’s House Meeting, the occasion offered the public an opportunity to draw a comparison between the current and former Prime Minister of Belize. Unlike the arrogant, disrespectful, vile and hateful behavior of Dean Barrow, Said Musa appeared statesmanlike, humble, honorable and respectful despite the molestation from Dean’s pets on the other side. Dean grandstands. He loves the limelight and cannot help but look up at the camera each time he is about the spew off a slew of mumbo jumbo that no one else can understand. His inability to speak in layman’s terms makes him feel superior intellectually, but more importantly, it shows that he lacks the common touch, a trait fully embodied by Said Musa. Barrow is indeed all about personality. ...

$US11.5m cocaine hidden in pigtail buckets, destined to Belize – Drug Container busted in El Salvador was for Free Zone Company
Samer Akil Rada, a former Director/Businessman in the Corozal Free Zone, is being sought for questioning by the Police after a container truck transporting goods for his free zone business, CargoYo, was intercepted in El Salvador ...

New Rules
By G. Michael Reid “If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.” - Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment The general ...

Amandala & UDP Propaganda
Dean Barrow is the Minister of Finance. He does as he pleases with the taxpayers monies. He has personally approved millions of dollars from Government funds to his ex-wife Lois Young Barrow. Millions have been paid to Lois Young Barrow’s law firm where Dean Barrow’s daughter also worked. Most of ...

Belikin Western Spirit sweeps Belmopan Criterium
Belikin Western Spirits’ Choto brothers Jose, Peter and Rafael won 1st, 3rd and 5th places respectively in the final sprint to the finish line after completing 20 laps on the Ring Road from Belmopan Methodist High School ...

Telemedia & Belize Bank win Interoffice volleyball playoffs
Belize Telemedia’s Digicel 4G team won over Simon Quan Co. Ltd in 3 sets in the playoffs at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium last Thursday, August 1. Victor Hernandez, Eros Dawson, Otis Clother ...

San Martin wins Cayo 1st Division football champs
The San Martin Aguilas won the Cayo 1st Division football championship at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday afternoon, bombing Roaring Cree: 2-0 in the 2nd half. The best efforts of San Martin’s strikers, Giovanni Lopez and ...

Foul mouth Finnegan!
Member from Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan should face tough disciplinary action for his most unparliamentary conduct at Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives. Finnegan, who is known for being disrespectful and rude every ...

PM Plays Passam – Barrow claims he “doesn’t know” about Rosewood fiasco, Fresh Pond land hustling, nor Buckley’s woes
Prime Minister Dean Barrow played “passam” when he dodged tough questions from the media over the numerous scandals facing the UDP Government. When asked about the latest Rosewood fiasco and the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla’s scandalous ...

AMAZING GRACE – Political Maturity
While attending a house meeting this Sunday, the topic was brought up by the speaker of the house, concerning a king who had a birthday party. He had a beautiful young lady who danced so well that he offered her anything she wanted, up to half of his kingdom. A ...

Marshalls President hold successful meeting in Western Zone
National President of the PUP Marshalls Corps Stephen Latchman organized one of his most successful meetings. A ...

Hon. Jose Mai supports Guinea Grass village council
On Sunday 4th August, the Hon Jose Mai joined the Guinea Grass village council in hosting a football tournament. Seven teams participated and the winner was Atlantic Insurance in Belize City. Second place was won by ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Cruise Ship industry challenge
By Richard Harrison Those who are against the NCL proposal to create large-scale cruise tourism near Placencia in the south claim that they are defending the greater national interest and not merely reacting to what they see as a potential threat to their own self-interest (which they have all rights to ...

Intuition: Sensory Perception of the Soul
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways: It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart” - Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence What is intuition and how do we ...

BTIA stands firmly against Major Cruise Port in Southern Belize & Proposed NCL/GOB MOU
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) remains firmly against establishing a major cruise port in southern Belize and the proposed memorandum of understanding between NCL and the Government of Belize. The BTIA had previously made a public statement in relation to this development at Crawl ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Majority Rules!
by anthony sylvestre “Majority Rules!” he says in response to the clamour for reform and accountability. And in the same breath he tries to condemn the former Prime Minister for the exercise of “overweening executive” power. I wonder if he really listens to what he says and looks in the mirror- this ...

Venezuela doubles Petrocaribe interest – Can Belize afford it?
The Barrow Administration has squandered every opportunity to implement a sound and meaningful socially uplifting program with the millions of dollars it has been able to save through Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan initiative which has provided the ...

Will EU decision dent Belize sugar exports?
Neither the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Sugar Industry Control Board nor Belize Sugar Industries have reacted officially to a decision by the European Union Parliament to bring to an end the sugar quota free arrangement ...

The Amandala/Barrow Affair – Barrow Rejects Amandala’s “Noisy Nationalism”
By now most Belizeans have realized that there is a special relationship between the Amandala newspaper and the Barrow Administration. The government of Dean Barrow fills up the Amandala with dozens of paid ads every week, and in return the Amandala glorifies the leadership of Prime Minister ...

Proof that you are being SPIED ON!
In previous editions the BELIZE TIMES had warned Belizeans about the UDP’s suspicious excitement over the US Personal ...

By Francis W. Fonseca The People’s United Party of 2013 is deeply committed to Reform. We recognize fully that the Belizean people are demanding that Belize is governed in a more accountable and responsible manner. The Belizean people do not expect their political leaders to be perfect but they do expect us ...

UDP Ignores Warning Signs – Mass Cruise Tourism dangerous for Southern Belize
THE Prime Minister of Belize likes to play Brer Anansi by pretending to know nothing about anything. This way, he assumes, ...

Stop living in the past PM Barrow
Dear Editor, I used to have a lot of admiration for the UDP in the House when they discussed the people’s problems and tried to help the poor people. But after listening to the last House meeting I am ashamed of the Prime Minister and the whole of the government side of ...

Should we drill for Oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park?
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views. Belizeans have heard the pros and cons of drilling for oil. Firstly, we know that Oil is “Money”. Secondly, given the dire economic stance of our country, most if not all “eyes” are on how we can make ...

Mark King is a joke
Dear Editor, It was a bitter surprise to see Mark King back in the news after his King Gone Wild episode in the Corozal Casino where he went ballistic and assaulted a police officer. I saw the video Mr. Editor, my eyes don’t lie to me. This politician is truly a King ...

Dear Editor, Now that Government of Belize owns Belize Electricity Limited, it has been a spit on the face of us the consumers. Reason: for the month of May my electricity bill soared incredibly to $161.12. For April it was $73.40, for March $65.07, for February $64. 07. Isn’t there an ...

Barrow was forced to compensate Buckley!
Dear Editor, I repeat, it’s a downright shame and disgrace what this UDP Administration is doing to Steven Buckley. The Prime Minister is the leader of this shame and disgrace, and he showed it again in his response to Buckley’s three years of suffering. How in the world can the Prime Minister claim ...

33 year old Elon Gongora is in a critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was viciously attacked by a group of machete wielding men two weeks ago in the village of Unitedville, Cayo District. Gongora’s mother Josephine Gongora and aunt, Martha Jones-Andrews were livid when they visited the BELIZE TIMES last week to explain why they blame UDP Chairman Mike Juan for the brutal attack. According to the victim’s mother, the UDP Chairman encourages idleness in the community and it has influenced the young male residents in the most negative of ways. ...


One More for the Birds
Unabashed nature lovers that we are, and fortunate enough to live in one of the best birding locations in the world, with over 300 avian species recorded at Chaa Creek alone and more than 500 throughout Belize, we were happy to hear that one of our fine feathered friends and one of Belize’s real beauties – the common black hawk, is on its way to Ambergris Caye after being rescued and treated by the good folks of Belize Bird Rescue. Apparently, the little hawk found itself in strife when its parents built their nest in someone’s yard on Caye Caulker and the protective parents began attacking people after the chick was born. Perfectly natural behaviour, but not very neighbourly for the humans. Even in the land of “no shoes, no shirts, no worries” bombarding hawks can cause concern. The only solution was to remove the chick, but it was injured in the process, and taken to Belize Bird Rescue’s Roaring Creek rehab centre, where since then it has been cared for by BBR staff, including Sarah Mon, who looked after the bird’s bandages, feeding it and even helping with some flight training. According to BBR’s Jonathon Urbina, “it’s at the level where it is now ready and good to go; it’s able to hunt on its own, even though we had been its parents…”

Flying High on Caye Caulker!!
For over 6 months now Caye Caulker and our surrounding waters have been aware of Belize’s first ultra light plane as on calm afternoons we cannot but help notice it buzzing around our island, seemingly just above our heads!! The plane is amphibious ie can move on water and in the air (oh very James Bond I hear you cry) and indeed it has become quite a spectacle for us locals. The plane’s owner and Captain is Walter Martin, a resident here in Caye Caulker, who moved here with his wife Christine (both of Bavarian decent) from Canada. Walter, a self proclaimed Bush Man, found his small heaven here in Caye Caulker where the warmth of the sun and the simplicity of life can be combined in one sweet spot – Caye Caulker. Walter has been flying for over 7 years has been through loop holes in order to obtain the correct licenses/ insurances in order to make his flying here very much above board, at this stage is merely enjoying his hobby/ passion at a ‘Go Slow’ pace.

“A Boy Named Sue” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 04.00 hours yesterday and my day started with the normal routine which, as regular readers of this blog will know, consists of a mug of black coffee on the veranda with my iPad. It’s the ‘just for me time’ of the day. No one around (well apart from the occasional person walking the beach either going to work, taking the dog for a walk or just finishing the night before) and its so tranquil. Just the lapping of the waves and the breeze rustling through the palm fronds. When it got to around 07.00 hours I decided it was time for work. Time to get the ironing done. Now a few years ago in my chauvinistic days (its OK female readers, I saw the light) I wouldn’t have done the ironing let alone tell the world that I do it. Wouldn’t have dreamt of anyone being inclined to call me a boy named Sue (phew, got the headline in) ! It’s a matter of personal choice of course but I have never been able to put a ‘T’ shirt or polo shirt on unless it has been ironed. I know that there are plenty of people that can and do but it’s not for me. I’ll probably get a comment or two about this (I recall that someone did express surprise that I ironed the sheets in an edition some time ago). Just don’t like wrinkles in things. I can’t do anything about my face but a ‘T’ shirt is a completely different matter!

International Sources

Doncaster Rovers: Belize tycoon behind takeover bid
A tycoon based in the Central American tax haven Belize is the heavyweight behind the Sequentia Capital bid to buy Rovers outright. Kevin Phelan – an official representative of the consortium – told the Irish Mail on Sunday he is working on behalf of the mystery tycoon to ‘acquire 100 per cent of the company which owns the club.’ Phelan also claimed the rival bid to that of Sequentia has come from a London hedge fund. He said: “I am the person putting the deal together and a binding agreement was signed on June 26, 2013, to acquire 100 per cent of the company which owns the club. “It appears another offer has been tabled but our binding offer remains. “I represent an investor from Belize. “The other consortium is a London hedge fund.” A statement from Sequentia Capital issued last week claimed Phelan was approached by Rovers chairman John Ryan in June about new investment in the club.

Designing Shark Sanctuaries in Belize on the World's Second-Largest Barrier Reef
Many shark populations in the Atlantic Ocean are collapsing as a result of unsustainable fishing, and there are grave concerns that Caribbean sharks face a similar fate. The demise of these beautiful and ancient animals would be not only an inherent loss, but would also disrupt the balance of undersea food webs, hasten the widespread decline of coral reef health, and jeopardize the eco-tourism industry. On the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (MABR) in Belize, which is more than 600 miles long and is second in size only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the government is actively establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) spread across 600,000 acres and designed to protect the reef ecosystem. While MPAs are a potentially effective management tool for fish that have sedentary lifestyles, there has been very little scientific research on how well they can protect highly mobile sharks that could move outside of MPA boundaries on a regular basis. The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science shark research team has since 2000 studied the sharks of the MABR, with a special focus at Glover’s Reef atoll. Glover’s Reef is one of only four atolls in the Western Hemisphere and is one of the largest MPAs in the Caribbean. The team has discovered through careful observation and tracking that populations of large apex predatory sharks – such as Caribbean reef sharks and nurse sharks -- have remained robust at this offshore atoll even while populations in neighboring waters continue to decline. Our long-term studies are proving that the sharks’ success here is directly related to the unique design of the Glover’s Reef MPA. We are now expanding our shark monitoring to the entire MABR, using remote video surveying technology. As we gain greater knowledge about shark population trends throughout this ecosystem, we will help the Belizean government expand their shark conservation success at Glover’s Reef to the entire MPA network.

The Mound – Belize II
If you missed my last blog post I have just returned from my summer vacation. The first two weeks of my trip was spent in Central America, in the country of Belize, formerly known as British Honduras and shares its borders with Guatemala and Mexico. A colleague of mine was an archeologist and used to work on a site there before a career change and joining the league of International Teachers. My colleague’s friend has been running an archeological like camp, (AFAR), for highly selected High School Students in Belize for several summers and extended the invitation to our staff and students. I have always been fascinated with the ancient civilizations and I thought this would be a great opportunity to travel to a new country, experience a new culture and learn about the Maya.

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