Happy Sovereign's Day - also known as Commonwealth Day - on Monday, May 21st., 2012. [The day is actually observed on May 24; but so as not to interrupt the work week, the holiday is being observed on Monday.]


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 May 20th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • San Ignacio Teacher Found Dead Inside Family House
  • Santa Familia Villager Gets 10 Years For Gun And Bullets
  • From Guatemalan University Of Belizean Jail
  • Sacred Heart College - Remembers A Deceased Teacher, Marco Thompson
  • On Their Journey To Explore M.O.R.E
  • Cancer Awareness Week At The San Ignacio Community Hospital
  • BECOL Donates Supplies To Community Policing Unit
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Come Better Or Stay The Hell Out Of Our Town!
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Guest Editorial: Inclusive Education Demands Teacher Training
by: Golda Swift (M.Ed) This week's Theme for Education week is "Together, We Achieve Quality Education for all." This rolls off good on the tongue, but as we know it takes teacher training, accessibility of financing, cooperation among key stakeholders, and acknowledgement of specific needs in certain locations within our country for this to be achieved. While the Belizean government has made education one of its priorities, which no doubt is admirable, there is still is a long way to go however. As we take a more in depth look at our Education system, as it relates to our own La Isla Bonita, there are still more areas that need to be established and some that need to be looked at and restructured. As globalization continues and the demand for quality education increases, San Pedro educators need to be equipped in order to embrace such changes. In this paper, I will seek to touch on a couple educational matters that do need dire attention from those people in key positions. San Pedro has eight primary schools, a mixture of church, state and private, which cater for students between the ages of 5-14 years. While there was an attempt at the Holy Cross Anglican School to meet the needs of Special Education students, at present there is no facility operating on the island to meet the needs of those children who may have moderate to severe disabilities. Developing a Special Education Center for these children attached to one of our primary schools is a realistic way to meet the needs of children who are school aged and have disabilities that may require individualize attention. Carla Valdez, District Education Manager, OW speaks clearly on the topic of Inclusion: "As you know we are in the process of moving toward inclusive education. So, I know that in some of the schools there is that part of sensitization. The special education officers are involved in workshops, in sensitizations, and it's not only confined to education week or the weeks of celebrations but it is an ongoing process. I think that our goal is that someday we will have inclusive education. We are working towards that but of course that can't happen overnight."

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Whale Shark Dive, The Process in Belize
Process, Preparation and Regulations as we head out for Gladden Split with Splash Belize Dive Team

VIDEO: Whale Shark Uprising, Placencia, Belize
Gladden Split, Whale Shark on the surface.

Chess Olympiad 2012 pictures
The BNYCF took a ton of pictures at the Chess Olympiad yesterday. There was definitely some fun going on.

ATM on The Creepiest Places list
Actun Tunichil Muknal got on The Creepiest Places list this time. It's the last entry in the article. "They've found several skeletons in the cave, and most of them are, uh, small. That is, most of the sacrificed were children. They were probably sacrifices to Chaac, the Mayan god of rain, during a particularly severe drought. But don't worry - these kids didn't have their hearts cut out while still alive or anything. No, evidence shows that they were all killed by having their skulls crushed, which is way more genial and to the point. They were dealing with children, after all. Over hundreds of years, the bones became calcified and fused with the cave floor, which is why modern excavators have just left them there without a proper burial (though seriously guys, maybe like throw a tarp over them or something?). The most famous skeleton in the cave is that of a teenage girl, nicknamed the Crystal Maiden because her bones have partially crystallized and now sparkle in the light."


Casa Picasso: A Vietnamese Feast And Some Very Tasty Cocktails
Last night, Casa Picasso restaurant closed for a special event. Tien, the chef, was preparing a fixed 3 course menu of tasty Vietnamese plates by reservation only. Casa Picasso's menu always has a touch of an Asian flair ...from Malaysian Chicken Satay to Shrimp Fritters with Spicy Peanut sauce...but there is tons more. Like Crab Mac & Cheese, Belizean Stewed Chicken Sliders and Molten Chocolate. Sophisticated eclectic? World fusion? I'm sure there is some fancy term...but to me? The food is just good. Plus, I LOVE VIETNAMESE FOOD. And prepared by a Vietnamese chef? I signed up...and arrived early. The martinis called me from my home. I wasn't the only one early. As the crowd rolled in, everyone ordered a cocktail at the very cool bar in the front of the restaurant. The cocktail (part of the prix fixe) was a lime-aid or watermelon martini. (I tried one of each...it is research after all.) Everyone was seated. The chef presented the menu and, since he is Vietnamese, spoke of how the food is very dear to his heart...

International Sources

Widower Blames Carnival Cruises for Wife's Death
"Defendant Bulajic stated that Victoria had to be immediately taken ashore to the hospital in Belize, where the ship was anchored, for emergency treatment to prevent serious complications. "The doctor represented that the hospital in Belize was 'a good hospital to which they sent sick crew members for medical care when sickbay couldn't handle the problem.' "Contrary to the doctor's representations, and as later confirmed by the United States State Department, and known to Carnival and Bulajic, the availability of advanced medical treatment in Belize is limited, even in Belize City," the complaint states. Victoria was "taken via a launch from the ship to the dock, and transported by ambulance to the Belize Medical Center," Showers says. He says a doctor there confirmed Victoria's bowel obstruction but the hospital could not perform the emergency care she needed. "Plaintiff was required to make arrangements for emergency Medevac through Mondile Assistance to provide for a special air evacuation flight from Belize City to Miami on November 3, 2010," according to the complaint. Showers says Victoria was admitted early the next morning to Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami, where emergency surgery found that "peritoneal contamination of her abdomen gave Victoria virtually no chance of survival. Medical treatment at that time could only prolong her dying process."

Born To Explore: A Really Stupid Way To Die (PHOTOS)
A few years later, on a canoe race through the tangled jungles of Belize, I found out. I was competing in the La Ruta Maya, a grueling four-day, 175-mile race that cuts across the country west to east along the Macal and Belize Rivers. The longest race of its kind in Central America, it's a serious challenge of both canoeing skills and physical endurance. Around 100 boats were competing, each one with a team of three paddlers. In mine: my old friend Bo Parfet and a new acquaintance, Leebs. It was Day Two, the longest leg of the race, covering 65 miles of Class II rapids and strong currents. When it happened we were somewhere in the middle of the pack. The river had narrowed and was choked with racers, so we hung back to avoid collision. At the head of some particularly gnarly rapids I made the executive decision (not based on long experience as a canoeist) to pull over to a huge tree lying in the river and wait for the knot of boats to clear. But we hadn't counted on the undertow. As soon as we pulled alongside the mammoth trunk our canoe was sucked underneath it and enmeshed in its submerged branches. Canoeists call this a "strainer" because the bits get stuck and the water pours through. Bo, Leebs and I were the bits, six feet under the surface, wrestling with branches, pushing at a boat weighed down by the force of the oncoming current and desperately struggling to get away from the darkness and into the light. Here it was, the moment I had always dreaded, when life suddenly flips from something you've always had, and therefore always taken for granted, to a precious gift that is being snatched away. I'm sorry to report there was no calm resignation, no transcendent thoughts. Perhaps it was the surge of adrenaline, but all I felt was furious at myself for getting into this situation. "This," I thought "is a really, really stupid way to die."

New World Oil & Gas hails year of progress‎
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) posted a 2011 loss of about £2.6 million as it closed the doors on what it described as a year of "outstanding progress". Five prospects were identified in the Blue Creek project in north-west Belize, with aggregated unrisked prospective P50 gross resources of 294 million barrels (mmbbls) of oil. The company was currently in the process of acquiring additional seismic. "We feel that the potential of Blue Creek may be significant, in that it lies in close proximity to and displays structural similarity to the recently discovered and producing Spanish Lookout and Never Delay Fields, each with reported reserves of approximately 25 mmbbls," said the company. New World has completed the first phase of seismic acquisition the Danica Jutland Licences in Denmark, "to better define hydrocarbon resources and upside value potential". The Danica Jutland Licences cover 1.015 million acres, and contain two identified Triassic leads and eight Zechstein leads. Additionally, towards the end of 2011, the company identified a third project in Denmark. The Danica Resources project included the Als prospect, described as "close to drillable", with an estimated P50 gross resources unrisked recoverable volume of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 97 mmbbls of recoverable oil. A farm-out agreement has already been signed, naming a subsidiary of New World as operator. Upon the completion of a mutually agreed seismic and drilling programme, the company will have the opportunity of earning in to an 80% participating interest. In December, New World opened a virtual data room in response to multiple approaches from oil and gas companies interested in potentially farming in to the company's projects. Encouraged by the display of interest, the company embarked on a capital raising post-period end, with $13.4 million (c. £8.5 million) being poured in from institutional investors.

Mundo Maya with 20 Tourist Destinations Expects 50 Million Visitors Over Next 10 Years
The five countries that make up the Mundo Maya region expect to welcome 50 million tourists over the next 10 years, thanks to big marketing campaigns this year and expanded cooperation, Salvadoran Tourism Minister Jose Napoleon Duarte told Efe. The Mundo Maya project, which was started with slightly more than $200,000 in seed money, will draw at least $2.5 million in investment over the next three years, Duarte, who serves as president of the Mundo Maya organization, said. "Tourism leads to important things and this alliance among the five countries that make up the Mundo Maya is yielding results. The good practices are reflected in the results for each of our countries," Duarte said. Joint marketing efforts started last year, focusing on tourism fairs in London, Spain and Germany, the Salvadoran tourism minister said. The marketing campaigns have increased the flow of tourists from Europe, the United States, Canada and other parts of Latin America, Duarte said. "It is a renewed effort that has been hard. The Mundo Maya organization had already been created, but it was a little sleepy, and now we have managed to establish strategic alliances," Duarte said.

Now on Sale: WildJunket Magazine Summer Special Issue (Jun/Jul2012)
Contributing Editor Candace Rose Rardon has just returned from walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Northern Spain and she shares with us a long and personal account of her experience in this issue. Our new editorial assistant, Erin Ridley, reveals an endearing side to former Soviet Union nation, Georgia, in our Under the Radar section. From a recent trip to Belize, Gear Editor Lenore Greiner uncovers a very different side to the Caribbean country - tracing back to its Mayan roots and what's remaining of it today. One of my favorite stories in this issue is from Travelbite's editor Sarah Gibbons, who takes us on an adrenaline-charged journey mountain-biking the 'Death Road' in Bolivia. Also in this issue: Our Feast section brings us to the hypnotizing souks of Marrakech, Morocco, where we get lost in a whirlpool of spices and smells. Our Travel Rant columnist Mike Sowden explains, in his usual humor, why it's wise to 'crappify' your valuables to avoid falling victim to crime when traveling. Over at our Travel Thoughts section, Candace talks about the "return visit dilemma".

Ten Coconut Recipes
You may have noticed that I went a little coconut crazy recently. I know I've mentioned this somewhere before, but I hate it as a child (I think it was a texture thing), so now I'm making up for lost time :) I recently posted a list of 10 coconut recipes on Willow Bird Baking and thought I'd share here, too. 1. Buttery Coconut & Almond Morning Buns (It's hard to pick a favorite because all the recipes are SO different, but I wish I had some more of these hot coconut almond morning buns with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top right this second.) 2. Banana Coconut Cream Cakes 3. Banana Coconut Cream Cupcakes 4. Pumpkin Oat Snack Cake with Broiled Coconut Icing 5. Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Coconut Cake & Coconut Whipped Cream 6. Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake 7. Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle 8. Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Icing 9. Nanaimo Bars 10. Coconut Cream Tart

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:08 AM.