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The San Pedro Sun

Marco Gonzalez Maya Site receives grant
The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site AC Ltd, on March 3rd, received grant monies to the tune of US $7,000 from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. The funds were secured by Mr. Matt Fowler, formerly of Mr. Joe’s Grocery who is a member of the Board of Directors for both the MGMSACL and the Upton Foundation.According to Jan Brown, Chairman of the Board of the Marco Project, “This time, the grant money was also earmarked to help two other local organizations. On Monday, March 12th, funds were distributed to the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch to allow us to become a member and receive the continued security they have been providing for the past 2 years. Money also went to the SAGA Society, which will provide volunteers for much needed grounds maintenance at the site.”

The Reporter

Cabinet named
Four newly appointed Senators are among the 15 Cabinet Ministers whom Prime Minister Dean Barrow named when he announced his new Cabinet at a press conference at the NEMO Conference Room in Belmopan last Tuesday, March 13. The former Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust, Senator Liselle Alamilla, will head the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous people.

Another financial scandal at City Hall
There are reports of another financial scandal at the Belize City Council. But this time, it does not involve any of the elected City Councillors. Prior to the March 7 Municipal Elections, The Reporter learned that there were some serious concerns at City Hall involving a money scam in the Council’s payroll department. But no one at City Hall would go on record to confirm that there is another problem with the management of City Council funds. On Thursday, March 15, the City Administrator, Candice Burk confirmed to The Reporter that the Council’s payroll clerk, Sherlene Sabal has been suspended and placed on half pay.

First trial without jury ends in guilty verdict
Akeem Thurton, the first accused person to stand trail without a jury was found guilty of attempted murder in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Thursday morning, March 15. Thurton was tried for the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams, S.C., the law partner of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was shot as he left his law office on Albert Street on May 31, 2010. CJ Benjamin, after more than one hour of summarizing the evidence that was presented during the trial, declared: “I do not believe the statement by the accused that he did not shoot Mr, Williams.” He added, “the Crown has proven its case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.” Thurton will be sentenced on March 30, and the court will do an investigation of his character to determine his sentence.

Machete fighters get bail while gunman goes to jail!
Three residents of the eight mile community of Sunset Park, on the Western Highway involved in a fight were brought to court charged with causing harm to one another. Zuner Hernandez, 33, a Nicaraguan immigrant, was accused of using deadly harm and attempted murder against Angel Dorado. He was remanded into custody until his next court appearance on April 24. Angel Dorado, who was hospitalized with chop wounds to his head and hands, was charged with grievous harm to Roger Hernandez.

Chris Reimer, 23, dies in ultra-light crash
The Mennonite community of Blue Creek in the Orange Walk district is mourning the tragic loss of Christopher Reimer, 23, who died when his ultra-light aircraft crashed near the Blue Creek airstrip around 8:00 Sunday morning, March 11. Two of his friends on the ground said they witnessed how the wing of his aircraft collapsed in mid-air 100 feet up, and he plummeted to the ground. He suffered severe body injuries and did not survive, even though he was rushed to hospital. His ultra-light aircraft was of the type that rather resembled a hang-glider with an engine suspended beneath the wing, which turned a pusher propeller behind the pilot’s seat.

Belize tops among best Beaches
Three of Belize’s best known beach locations in San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker have been rated the 7th, 8th and 9th best beaches in Central America, the Belize Tourism Board announced on Tuesday, March 13. Visitors loving their experiences in Belize wrote enthusiastic reviews online and shared them with the world. One of the reviews on San Pedro’s beaches read: “I loved everything about San Pedro, especially its beaches. The clarity of the water and the water’s temperature made my vacation extra special.” A plus is that the barrier reef keeps the ocean waters calm. It was perfect!” Trip Advisor grades countries based on the reviews their receive from satisfied tourists.

Radio host riding for the Kids
Wave Radio host, Alfrain Supal is training to ride his first ever Holy Saturday cross-country cycling classic to raise funds for the Dorothy Menzies Children’s Home and the Stella Maris School for special needs children. Supal admits that he has never ridden in a competition before, but has been training since November, when he got his new racer bike, for the gruelling 144-mile ride from Belize City to San Ignacio and back.

Maya leaders unhappy over new Ministry. “Disrespectful and disappointing!” they say
The Maya Leaders Alliance of Toledo and the Toledo Alcaldes Association have reacted with resentment to Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s appointment of Senator Liselle Alamilla as Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples, on Tuesday, March 13. This was despite Alamilla’s advocacy on many issues affecting indigenous peoples when she headed the Ya’axche Conservation Trust. The statement expressed “surprise and consternation” that “the new ministry was created without any consultation with any Indigenous peoples”. “Neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through theToledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance was advised or consulted,” the Maya leaders complained.

Belize is drug transit route – reports U.S. State Dept.
Belize is a transshipment point for marijuana, cocaine, and precursor chemicals for methamphetamines. This was the verdict of the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released this month. The report recognizes that Belizean financial institutions do not engage in currency transactions involving large amounts of United States’ currency related to the international drug trade, illegal sales or which in other way would significantly affect the U.S., but it indicates that Belize’s offshore financial activities are vulnerable to money laundering.

Ladyville Tech girls win Belize City softball championships
The girls of Ladyville Technical High School upset the defending national softball champions, the girls of Nazarene High School, 9-8 to win the championship finals of the Belize City high schools softball competition at the Roger’s Stadium on Monday evening, March 13. Kristen Fuentes and Sherrie Gillett had scored for Ladyville in the top of the first inning, but the Nazarene girls soon opened up a 6-2 lead when Elma Wade, Ashley Rudon, pitcher Ashley Lucas, Tromeisha Tillett, Elisa Thompson and catcher Georgia Williams scored in the bottom of the first. The Ladyville girls recovered to tie the score at 6-6 when Fuentes, Gillett, Rebecca and Mardy Nicholson scored in the top of the third, only to see the Nazarene girls extend their lead to 8-6 when Tromeisha and Elusa Thompson scored in the bottom of the third.

SJC boys win Belize City softball championships
The defending city softball champions, the boys of St John’s College, won the championship finals of the Belize City high schools softball competition, posting their eighth victory by mercy rule: 17-3 over the boys of Gwen Lizarraga High School at the Roger’s Stadium on Monday evening, March 13. The St John’s boys seized an overwhelming 9-1 lead when only Gwen Liz shortstop Shaquille Moody scored in the top of the first inning, while Kenton Young, Nick Chang and Harold Nava each rounded the bases twice, while first base Taryn Thompson, pitcher Myric Marin and third base Javier Williams each scored in the first inning. Myric Marin allowed the Gwen Liz boys no runs in the top of the second inning, and the St John’s lead ballooned to 17-1 when Young, Chang, Thompson, Marin, Philip Codd and Kristian Majarrez scored in the bottom of the second.

Belize Bank wins 15th Ruta Maya River Challenge
Defending Ruta Maya champions Jerry Rhaburn, Efrain and Felix Crux of the Ziprider team, sponsored by Discovery Expeditions, won the third and fourth stages of the 15th annual Ruta Maya River Challenge, even though they capsized at the finish in front of the Bel-Can Bridge in Belize City on Monday, March 12. Their arch-rivals, Belize Bank Bulldogs, comprising Ervin, Amado and Daniel Cruz, bumped into their canoe causing them to capsize. The Ziprider canoe won the fourth stage in two hours 33 minutes and 29 seconds, but the Belize Bank team, running a close second, set a new record with the best overall time of 16 hours 36 minutes and three seconds to win the $2,000 grand prize and the Kinich Ahau jade head trophy for the fifth time.


Hand Wash Hand: Fundraiser for Rob & Dana
the honeymoon couple who were injured after being hit by a local water taxi.

Birding, brunch, a goodbye, and good food
We started this morning as we usually do on Sunday, with a bird walk. We saw many of the usual suspects, but we did manage to add a new hummingbird to our life lists -- a female Green-Breasted Mango. The distinctive stripe down her throat, breast, and belly made her easy to identify with the help of our Birds of Belize book. We also caught sight of this Snowy Egret and a Greater Yellowlegs hunting for breakfast in a swampy area near the roadside. After birding, we strolled down to Ak'Bol for breakfast. Unfortunately, it seemed like just about every tourist staying north of the bridge had the same idea, so we had a long wait for our food, and our breakfast turned into brunch.

THE HOTEL on Ambergris Caye: I am Seriously Impressed
I'll admit. I was skeptical (I usually am). A New York style deli? An Irish pub? In Belize? I visited The Hotel yesterday for a St. Patrick's Day bash and honestly? I could not have been more impressed. So much more than I thought it would be. I am going to try to temper the gushing. As usual, let's back up a bit. San Pedro was decked out in green for the holiday. And lots of bars were having specials and hosting parties. In fact, revellers were cruising through town on golf carts, dressed in green and pub hopping. But Molly Malone's at the new hotel just north of the bridge was the place to be. Perfect time to see it. The hotel part of The Hotel (I'm still struggling with the name) is still in the process of opening...they are estimating another 6-8 weeks. But on the first floor, the New York style deli, the wine bar and the Irish pub are up and going. The lobby for the Hotel is gorgeous. And a wine bar (that I think opens in the evenings) is tucked in the corner. The rooms are looking amazing too. This is the first one done.

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize
Our guide, Gonzo, drives us deep into the tropical forest. At the end of the road he parks his 4 x 4, grabs his massive flashlight and tells us from here we have to hike. We, my husband Rob and two daughters 10 and 12, are in Belize and dressed in our worse clothes for a three-hour tour of the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve close to San Ignacio. It’s famous for it’s Mayan sacrificial chambers. Rob and I know we are about to see broken pottery and some human remains deep in the cave and that we have to swim to enter the cave but know nothing else and we have kept it a surprise from the children. All they know at this point is that they are hiking into the tropical forest.

PHOTOS: West Cayo Chess Club in Action
BNYCF has been having chess at Hode's on Saturdays. Great way to learn strategy and sportsmanship.

Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy La Ruta Maya pictures
There were some cool signs there. Well done. No Litta di Riva! Protect it!

Sunday Slideshow: Best Bird Photos From Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge
Those are some beautiful shots that they've gotten at Lower Dover.

PHOTOS: Flying over Cayo
Some great pictures of Cayo from above. Succotz, Maya Flats, Bullet Tree Falls.

Belizean Chicken Escabeche
Escabeche is a type of chicken soup made with onions as the main part of the body. The one ingredient that makes this soup so special is distilled white vinegar added to the soup to make it tart. Allowing the onions to steep for just the right amount of time gives the soup a sweet and sour taste.

International Sources

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES 2011 BIRD CONSERVATION AWARDS The 2011 Partners in Flight Award recipients are: Award for Investigations Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) Avian Monitoring Program in southern Belize. In 2006, BFREE and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington established an avian monitoring program onsite at BFREE in Belize. Now in its sixth year of a planned ten-year monitoring program, it is the first long-term bird study conducted in Belize. The program goals are to create and enhance links between protected areas and surrounding communities, provide baseline data on Neotropical migrant and resident birds, and determine the status of wild harpy eagles in the Bladen Nature Reserve and the greater Maya Mountains Massif. In November of 2011, BFREE technicians further identified the first known active harpy nest ever found in Belize.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:48 AM.