The February 23rd, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Victory in the Air! UDP Launches Manifesto - Throws Gigantic Rally
  • Patriotism versus Politics
  • Elections and Boundaries Department - Public Service Announcement
  • Great Things Achieved - Greater Things Coming: PM Dean Barrow’s Speech at Orange Walk East Rally
  • PHOTOS: The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Orange Walk East Sunday February 19
  • World Day of Social Justice: Message by Secretary General of United Nations, Mr. Ban-Ki-Moon
  • Manifesto Launch - Public Rally
  • Faith Lift: Roll Out The Justice, Please!

The San Pedro Sun

Wild Productions films ACES for Animal Planet Series
UK based Wild Productions Limited arrived in San Pedro on February 7th for a two-week filming session with Vince Rose and Cherie Chenot-Rose of American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES). The footage will be used for an episode on Wildlife SOS a Discovery Channel series that is now in its 15th year and 10th series. The popular series focuses on capturing the most challenging situations that wildlife rehabbers face around the world, including animal cruelty, illegal captivity, habitat destruction, and the illegal poaching and sale of protected animals and their parts. The renowned program is regarded as one of the longest-running animal rescue TV series. Wildlife SOS founder, host, writer and managing director Simon Cowell, MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) has been filming wildlife for the past 30 years, with an emphasis on education and getting people to care about animals. “When they grow to care about the animal, they then have a reason to conserve,” stated Cowell in an interview with The San Pedro Sun. Cowell, who sports a mischievous grin, also founded The Wildlife Aid Foundation and emanates an infectious passion for wildlife. The foundation’s Wild Aid Hospital, located in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK cares for thousands of rescued wild animals each year; where they are treated, rehabilitated and more often than not returned to the wild.


What Is All Over our Beaches?
You may have noticed a serious amount of seaweed covering the beach and even the shallow water for the past month. It is worse than I have seen since I've been here. What's going on? Where is it coming from? Why does it smell so bad in the morning? A neighbor gave me an excellent tip to find out more...

Guatemala cruise Day 2, Part 1: Placencia, Belize to Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Because of the length of this day and the large number of photos, it is split it into two parts. Part 1 documents our midnight departure from Placencia and cruise down the Rio Dulce, prior to arriving at Abelle's boatyard in Guatemala, near Fronteras on the map below (near the bottom). Part 2 will document the afternoon and evening hours spent on land after arriving at the dock.

Posing as Guinea Pigs in an Experiment of Human Behavior - Ambergris Caye, Belize
Relaxing on a lounge chair, my Kindle in hand, my children splash and play in the pool which overlooks the turquoise ocean touching the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. A small smile curls my lips, contented with the peaceful way in which my children are getting along. There are a few disagreements here and there, but for the most part, their play is happy and under control. I’m aware of the older couples lounging at one end of the pool, but certain that the splashing and noise level are within reason for pool time play in mid-day, I return to my reading. Atlas is toddling around the pool side, and Greg follows him close by to catch him should he topple in. Ahhhh. All is right in my world. I serenely read the words of Charlotte Mason, who says, “the more [the children] run, and shout, and toss their arms, the more healthful is their play,” when out of the corner of my eye I notice one of the women from the far end of the pool walking in our direction. Without looking up from my reading, I hear her say to Greg, in a voice of feigned tolerance, “You know, we don’t have a problem with the kids, but the noise level… really. Can’t you control your kids?” I’m the first to admit that there have been times when my kids have been pretty wild and rowdy, disobedient, defiant, and downright loud. But this is not one of those times. They are, however, being children.

PAULINE FISK: On Writing the Gap Year Novel
'The gap year novel has arrived, hot from Belize and Pauline Fisk's capable pen.' The Irish Times I was going to write about heroes this time, in particular Hans Christian Andersen, who influenced me much as a child. But after last month’s post I was left with the strongest sense of a story only half told, so I’m leaving Hans Christian Andersen for next time and heading back to Belize. As some of you may know, in 2008 I went on a research trip to Belize. My son, Idris, had returned from that country several years before, utterly changed by the experience of gap year volunteering. I’d waved goodbye to a white-faced youth incapable of even locating his vaccinations certificate, let alone surviving in the jungle and upon return had greeted a great hulking man who inhabited the same body as if landing from another planet. I’m an author, so I know a story when I see one. Did gap year volunteering make as much difference to other people as it had done to Idris? And, if so, how? And how important were the projects these young people worked on? According to the press, gap years were the province of privileged young people working on cosmetic projects sandwiched together by beach-partying. But how true was that?

Fun Nerdy Stuff

Behind the Google Goggles, Virtual Reality
Later this year, Google is expected to start selling eyeglasses that will project information, entertainment and, this being a Google product, advertisements onto the lenses. The glasses are not being designed to be worn constantly — although Google engineers expect some users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed, with the lenses serving as a kind of see-through computer monitor. “It will look very strange to onlookers when people are wearing these glasses,” said William Brinkman, graduate director of the computer science and software engineering department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. “You obviously won’t see what they can from the behind the glasses. As a result, you will see bizarre body language as people duck or dodge around virtual things.” Mr. Brinkman, whose work focuses on augmented reality or the projection of a layer of information over physical objects, said his students had experimented on their own with virtual games and obstacle courses. “It looks really weird to outsiders when you watch people navigate these spaces,” he said.

Windows on the iPad, and Speedy
You’re probably paying something like $60 a month for high-speed Internet. I’m paying $5 a month, and my connection is 1,000 times faster. Your iPad can’t play Flash videos on the Web. Mine can. Your copy of Windows needs constant updating and patching and protection against viruses and spyware. Mine is always clean and always up-to-date. No, I’m not some kind of smug techno-elitist; you can have all of that, too. All you have to do is sign up for a radical iPad service called OnLive Desktop Plus. It’s a tiny app — about 5 megabytes. When you open it, you see a standard Windows 7 desktop, right there on your iPad. The full, latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader are set up and ready to use — no installation, no serial numbers, no pop-up balloons nagging you to update this or that. It may be the least annoying version of Windows you’ve ever used.

The Reporter

Ricky Valencia executed
Ricky Valencia, 28, the man accused of trying to kill the Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, in 2010, was shot dead near the Wilton Cumberbatch Park in the Yarborough area of Belize City on Wednesday night, February 22. Neighbors heard between four and five gun shots shortly before 9:00 p.m, and the police arrived to find Valencia seated in a pool of blood behind the steering wheel of his white Toyota Corolla. The front passenger door was open, and Valencia had gunshot wounds to his right and left temple areas, and his right and left shoulders.

GG’s ex-driver charged with theft
Police Constable #564 Rayond Martinez, a former driver of the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, is out on $10,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of theft before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, February 21. Martinez has been interdicted from the Police Department, and was arrested and charged after Belize’s First Lady, Norma Young, reported to the Belmopan Police that there had been 12 unauthorized withdrawals from her Scotiabank account using her Automated Teller Machine card. The transactions totaling $7,450.00 had occurred between August 12 and December 2, 2011.

HRCB launches Education Outreach
Not all Belizeans are fully aware of what are their civil rights under Belizean and international conventions, a fact the Human Rights Commission of Belize recognized when it launched its new education outreach program at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Founding member attorney Simeon Sampson explained that a grant from the Oak Foundation is helping to finance the education campaign, which seeks to educate Belizeans about their human rights and responsibilities, and to galvanize them to promote and defend human rights in their communities around the country.

UB student held for two marijuana fields
Jason Gilharry, 20, a second year student of the University of Belize, was released on $8,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to two charges of drug trafficking before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in the Belize City Magistrate’s court on Monday, Febraury 20 Members of the Orange Walk Police Anti-Drug Unit arrested Gilharry when they found him near two fields of marijuana plants in Corozalito Village on the old Northern Highway on Sunday, February 19. The plants were six feet tall, mature and ready for harvesting, and many measured in excess of eight feet. In court, it was said that 2,000 plants were found in one lot and 300 in the other.

Sudden death for Schakon candidacy! Brother Martin will now run in her place
A ruling by Justice, Oswell Legall in the Supreme Court last Friday afternoon, February 17 brought finality, and tears to the eyes of Yolanda Shackron, PUP standard bearer for Lake Independence constituency. Schakron was disqualified from the nomination process by the Returning Officer, Mrs. Fairweather because of her American citizenship. Justice Legal ruled to uphold the authority and decision of the Returning Officer who rejected Schakron’s credentials. On Thursday, February 16, the Government Press Office, issued an advisory saying that a registered voter in the Lake Independence constituency had registered an objection with the Returning Officer, against the candidacy of Yolanda Schakron.

Taiwan builds Horticultural Training Hub and donates it to agriculture in Belize
Agriculture students from Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo and Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School in Santa Elena are assured of excellent technical support from the Ministry of Agriculture when they leave the classroom to work in the fields, thanks to a spanking new Horticulture Training Center at Central Farm financed and built by the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Carlos Diaz joins the fray in Lake I. Predicts "smooth sailing" as indy
Mr. Carlos Diaz, a former PUP minister of government and Lake Independence area representative, has registered himself as an independent candidate for the Lake I. Constituency. Diaz has not departed from his PUP credentials and said he only re-entered the race because he wants to see democracy prevail in the area.

Ziprider wins Boom-to-Belize City canoe race
Defending Ruta Maya champions, the Ziprider team of Jerry Rhaburn, Efrain and Felix Cruz, paddled across the finish line by the Riverside Tavern in Belize City in two hours 36 minutes and two seconds to win the Burrell Boom to Belize City canoe race organized by the Belize Canoe Association and sponsored by Guinness Stout on Saturday, February 18. The Ziprider team took home a $300 first prize and a trophy. Their perennial rivals, the Belize Bank team of Daniel, Erwin and Amado Cruz were five seconds behind to win the $100 second prize and a trophy.

University of Belize men win ATLIB basketball championship.
The University of Belize Black Jaguars men’s basketball team won the National Basketball Championships organized by the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) and hosted by Galen University at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio on Saturday, February 18. Farron Louriano hit a 3-pointer as he led the UB men with 15 pts to a 66-38 victory over the men of Wesley Junior College in the championship finals. Alfred Bainton had scored UB’s first basket and also hit a 3-pointer as he added nine points. Winston Pratt added 12 pts, and UB men led 31-22 at intermission. Oliver Solis hit two 3-pointers as he responded for the Wesley men with 14 pts, while Jaleel Arnold also drained in two long 3-pointers to add 8pts. Paul Swasey added eight points, while Stafford Young and Kenyon Tillett each hit a 3-pointer. Dwayen Saldano added a basket.

University of Belize girls win ATLIB Basketball Championship.
The UB Black Jaguar girls basketball team of the University of Belize won the National Basketball Championship organized by the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) and hosted by Galen University at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio on Saturday, February 18. Most Valuable Player Glenda Torres scored nine points as she led the UB girls to a 15-8 lead over the girls of Ecumenical Junior College at intermission in the championship finals. Torres would add another seven points in the second half to finish with a game high of 16 pts.

There are not many legal barriers to prevent a Belizean from running for public office. He or she must be 18 years or older, and reside in Belize for at least twelve months. He or she must be of sound mind. He or she cannot be serving a prison sentence at the time of his/ her candidacy. He or she must not be a declared bankrupt. He or she must not owe allegiance to a foreign country. Those who aspire to public office should be aware of these qualifications, but if they are not, the party supporting their candidacy should know and should vet each candidate before putting him/ her forward for voter approval. Mrs. Yolanda Shackron should have known that her US citizenship would have caused her candidacy to be disallowed. But the bigger blame must be laid at the feet of the leaders of the PUP who sponsored her candidacy. Surely they must know the rules!

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:54 AM.