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The San Pedro Sun

Grace Kennedy and SPTC Traffic Department team up to offer “Back to School” giveaway
The San Pedro Town council has joined forces with Grace Kennedy Belize to offer a “Back to School Giveaway” for single parents in San Pedro. The promotion comes as Grace Kennedy celebrates 30 years of serving Belize and as an effort from the SPTC Traffic Department to do what it can in assisting the education of the kids of La Isla Bonita. Councilor in charge of the Traffic Department, Kenrick Brackett, told The San Pedro Sun that they will be offering gift baskets for no less than 60 single parent families on a first come basis. He is also working to provide as much as 100 or more if possible and would like to invite all single parent families out for their chance to benefit from the giveaway. Each basket will be filled with school supplies and products from Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. Grace Kennedy will also be on hand with free samples and offering taste testing for a wide range of their products as well as new products that they are introducing to the local market. The giveaway will take place on Saturday, September 1st, the weekend before classes resume in schools. It will be held at the Central Park on the far side nearest to the Roman Catholic Church starting at 10:00am and will run throughout the day.

Proposed protected areas get the green light from island residents
The Ambergris Caye Wetland Committee (ACWC) held its last in a series of consultations with islanders and stakeholders on their proposal to have three areas off and on Ambergris Caye declared as national reserves. The areas in question are Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve, Bajos proposed Marine Reserve and Mata/Cayo Frances lagoons. At the last consultation held on Tuesday night, August 21st, the team received no opposition to the proposal and as such, it is a go. The San Pedro Sun reported on this proposal on January 12, 2012 (Vol. 22, Issue #02). The smallest of the three proposed areas is the Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve. This particular area starts north of the Palmero Channel area, runs five miles south to Mata Channel and 1.5 miles wide for a total of 8.75sq miles. The reserve will begin at the coastline sea grass bed area and extend east to where the reef shelf drops off. A “no-take” zone has been designated in the middle of the perimeter, which is currently used for recreational activities. The size of the no take zone is 1.5 square miles (one mile running along the reef and 1.5 miles running east to west from the outer fore-reef). The no take area is positioned so as to provide a 1.5 mile buffer on the north and south sides of the perimeter.

13 year old Belizean girl first Belize scoliosis surgery patient
Dr. Andrew Moulton, a New York based Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, was matter of fact as he described the historic first scoliosis corrective surgical operation performed in at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital two days ago on a 13-year-old Belizean girl. Although his manner appeared professionally detached, it was clear to those in attendance at this morning’s press conference that he was very pleased with nearly all aspects of the complex undertaking, especially the results so far. His colleague, Dr John Williams, an Indiana-based Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, said that by this morning the teen was already able to sit up in a chair less than 72 hours after having the life-altering 6-hour operation. Scoliosis is described as an abnormal curving of the spine in this particular patient’s case, Dr. Williams said that the curvature had grown by 20 degrees between their examination and diagnosis 6 months ago, and the surgery this week. Until Wednesday she faced a life of misery, pain and the vulnerabilities caused by the mal-formation, and the distinct possibility of an early death.

Two Old Town San Pedro landmarks torn down as Sunset Boardwalk constuction begins
Two landmarks of old town San Pedro, the Saca Chispas Football Field and the ‘El Embarcadero’ area, have been torn down to make way for the construction on the new San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk. The dismantling of the areas, seen as the last remaining symbols of San Pedro as a fishing village, started the week following the annual Costa Maya Festival, making way for the multi-million dollar development project that will transform the location into a modern spectacle for tourism. The project will be a state of the art enhancement geared towards improving tourism on the western side of the island. While ground was broken on June 21st, the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk Project has come under fire by local fishermen, tour operators and residents in the area since November of 2009, when planning and consultation started. Some residents opposed the project on the basis that the ‘El Embarcadero’ area is the only place on the island that paints a true picture of how the island used to be when it was a fishing village.

Police Report: August 23rd, 2012
On Saturday 18th of August 2012 at about 10:12AM, Cruz Novelo, 56 year old Belizean Security Guard of Pescador Drive in San Pedro Town reported that between the hours of 5PM on the 17th and 5AM on the 18th of August, someone broke into his house and stole one TCH brand flat screen TV valued at $900 Bze and one DVD player, brand unknown, valued at $200. Police visited and processed the scene whereby the house was observed to be a bungalow concrete house. Entry was suspected to have been gained by breaking out two metal louvers on the northern side of the building. No arrest has been made and police continues their investigation. On Saturday 18th of August 2012 at 9:15AM Francisco Alvarado, 33 year old Belizean Director of Grand Belizean Estates Limited reported that on the 13th of August 2012 at 7:12PM whilst he was at the Train Station Gym working out, his alarm on his phone went off which is connected to his office security system located on Barrier Reef Drive. He quickly made his way to his office where upon arrival he noticed that a flat screen TV valued at $1500, which had been on the wall was in another room on the floor, and two wireless USB were missing valued at $40 each. He called for Police assistance and with the quick response of the police, led to the detention of Ernesto Cacho. A search of Ernesto Cacho by the police led to the discovery of two wireless USBs which had been missing. Entry is suspected to have been made by breaking the glass window on the northern side of the building. Cacho was detained pending further investigation.

Lion Fish Street Project vandalized; perpetrators caught on Camera
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is offering a $500 reward for anyone who can help them identify the persons responsible for defacing the freshly placed concrete slabs placed along Lion Street. The defacing of the concrete occurred during a short period of time, between 9:30PM and 9:45PM, on Tuesday August 21st right in front of Maya Island Air. The entire incident was caught on surveillance camera. The concrete slabs had been recently set down on Lion Street as part of the street rehabilitation project conducted by Medina’s Construction. At least six of the slabs were defaced, four of which will need to be fixed or replaced. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun as he inspected the project Mayor Daniel Guerrero said, “It is unacceptable for people to destroy something that will benefit the entire island. Honestly I don’t think the island needs these kinds of people that are in the business of destroying our infrastructure.” The Mayor also took the opportunity to review the footage from a surveillance camera at Captain Shark’s that captured three males defacing the concrete by carving all sort of messages, leaving a “bad taste” to visitors and residents alike. The surveillance, in which one of the brave men stared at the camera, captured the young men moving from slab to slab while at least ten people passed by and even observed the men defacing the pavement.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Tourism Industry Association's first Marketing Summit a success
As social media continues to heavily influence how travelers choose their vacation destinations and specific booking options, the country of Belize is quick to recognize that perhaps they are not maximizing online marketing opportunities. On August 23, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) hosted its first marketing and tourism summit in Belize City with marketing strategist and best-selling author David Meerman Scott. Mr. Scott is a professional speaker who travels the globe helping educate a variety of businesses and organizations on the importance of online marketing and public relations. He has written eight books, including three international bestsellers, with The New Rules of Marketing and PR landing six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and translated into 26 languages. Scott facilitated three 90 minute sessions focusing on content marketing, real-time marketing and PR, and the effective use of social media. At the conclusion of each session, industry stakeholders conducted panel discussions to provide additional insight on each of the main subject matters.

Galen University is Growing
Congratulations to Galen University for growing their student base. And a big congratulations to the 71 recent graduates. Good luck, and have a great semester. "Galen University’s student enrollment has grown by leaps and bounds from 285 students at the beginning of the 2009 academic year in September 2009, to 340 in 2010, to 404 last September and to 460 this year with the enrollment of 110 new students for whom orientation exercises were held on Thursday, August 23. Seventy-one graduates received degrees when the University held its sixth annual commencement exercises at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Sunday, August 19."


Fudge Vendor Imprisoned for Drug Trafficking
Fifty-four year old fudge vendor Godfrey Rowland , charged with drug trafficking for 26.3 pounds of cannabis, was sentenced to five years by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. It was his fourth conviction for drug trafficking. Row...

Six Charged For Firearm Offences
Four men and two women were charged with firearm and ammunition offences and handling stolen goods when they appeared in court yesterday. They are 23 year old Aaron Bailey, 21 year old Inmar Welch, 22 year old Jeffrey Mcdougal, 27 year old Jareth Gault, 47 year old Carol Vivas and her ...

Murder in Belize City
A man was murdered last night in Belize City. The victim has been identified as twenty year old Miraldo Alvarez an unemployed resident of number 236 Guzman Crescent. According to Police reports, C.I.B personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where th...


Cottage weather
Today’s island weather reminds me of waking up at the cottage, and that fall is coming fast. The birds are singing and there is very peaceful energy. I remember those fun days as a kid and later in our adult years in Muskoka at my cousins cottage, we had so many good times up there. I hope it gets hot like Indian summer later, doing a small dinner party tonight and it would be nice have the air a bit warmer. I am not up for the polar bear pool thing. I almost find it hard to believe that I jumped in Lake Muskoka in March one year. I forget how cold it was but lets just say beyond freezing covers it – what a rush. It is cooling of a lot now and I can hear thunder rumbling in the background. If the Maya weather god is listening better to get rain out of the way now versus later please.

It's Turtle Season: But Hatchlings on the Beach At Royal Palms?
Royal Palms, the condo community where I reside, is about one mile south of town. Not really an untouched area anymore, there are other condos, hotels, and homes all around us. But yesterday, my friend Jamie (who incredibly sadly is leaving Monday after 7 weeks visiting) found a baby turtle making his way up the pathway at Royal Palms. Broad daylight and he was about 20 feet from the beach heading in the wrong direction. Flapping away on the sidewalk. Not his native environment. You may have seen the pictures I posted last week (on my Facebook page) of Jamie releasing baby turtles in Cancun. But those Mexican turtles had been cordoned off as soon as their mothers laid the eggs and very carefully protected. There were tons of nests at Royal Sands, Cancun... And each participant was handed a baby turtle or three (out of 421!) to send into the Caribbean waters...and to watch to make sure she swam off rather than to the shore. But a baby turtle at Royal Palms? This narrow beach with all day foot traffic where half of it is surrounded by sea wall?

International Sources

Beyond the Luster Of Mahogany. Mahogany for 18th-century furniture was harvested under appalling conditions across the Caribbean. Slaves branded with owners’ monograms lived in thatched huts and scouted for trees. They had to drag and roll felled mahogany trunks to riverfronts and then float the logs, which were chained together, to ships waiting in bays full of sharks and coral reefs. There were only a few upsides to the task. “Enslaved woodcutters had the option of wielding their machetes against a despised authority or just slipping away into the surrounding forest,” the historian Jennifer L. Anderson writes in a new book, “Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America” (Harvard University Press). In a recent interview Ms. Anderson emphasized that she did not want readers to begin recoiling in horror from mahogany antiques, despite the material’s origins in cruelty. Her goal, she said, was to reveal the human dramas and real estate battles behind the objects.

New study shows tectonic interactions formed arc of Caribbean
A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience indicates that the movement of Earth's viscous mantle against South America has pushed the Caribbean islands east over the last 50 million years. In announcing the study, the University of Southern California (USC) said the findings upend previous hypotheses of the seismic activity beneath the Caribbean Sea and provide an important new look at the unique tectonic interactions that are causing the Caribbean plate to tear away from South America. According to researchers, the Caribbean plate is being pushed eastward due to a thick section of the South American plate called a "cratonic keel." This section of crust is three times thicker than its surroundings. Part of the South American plate is meanwhile being pushed beneath the Caribbean plate, a process called subduction. Intense heat and pressure gradually force water-containing magma to rise into the Earth's mantle and fuel the many active volcanoes in the region.

Belize based ISP blocking 25 website domains for counterfeit products
AltusHost, an ISP based in Belize, has to take 25 domains offline that are used to sell and promote counterfeit fashion goods, a court in The Hague ruled Tuesday. AltusHost has to block the websites,, and among others within three days, judge E.F. Brinkman ruled in a summary judgment in the Civil Court in The Hague. If AltusHost does not comply, it has to pay a penalty of US$3,112 per day with a maximum penalty $100,000 the judge ruled. Eleven companies, including Breitling, Chanel, Christian Dior and Omega, filed suit against AltusHost to protect their trademarks. The organization REACT, which calls itself the European Anti-Counterfeiting network, prepared the lawsuit on behalf of the organizations. After the summary judgment, the trademark holders cut a deal with AltusHost, which agreed that it will block websites in the future that are reported to it by REACT and others if the websites are clearly promoting counterfeit goods, said solicitor Marc van Rijswijk of Griph Advocaten, who represented the ISP (Internet service provider), in an email. “AltusHost has agreed to indeed shut down the relevant website if such is the case,” he wrote.

Creditors dig in for battle of Belize
The restructuring of Belize’s 2029 “superbond” may become a drawn-out battle, as creditors keep the country waiting for a formal response to proposals that could see them take a haircut of up to 80 per cent on the net present value of their holdings. “We are working through our analysis and expect to share our views with the government within two to three weeks,” said Mike Gerrard, managing director of BroadSpan Capital, which is advising a committee of creditors that claims to have a majority interest in the US$544m instrument. A US$23m coupon payment was missed last Monday, days after Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the country “simply cannot afford “. That comment suggested the sum will not be honoured during the grace period, which expires on September 19. It is also unlikely an acceptable offer will be put to creditors by that date. “We still have hopes it will be a 2012 restructuring, but that will need accommodation from each side,” said Sebastian Espinosa, managing director of White Oak Advisory, which is advising the government. At the moment, the two sides appear to be far apart. The situation is exacerbated by additional liabilities, estimated by the government at US$300M, in the form of compensation due to former shareholders of Belize’s national electricity and telecoms companies, which were compulsorily nationalised between 2009 and 2011. No settlement has yet been reached with these claimants, and the government wants to roll their claims into a wider debt restructuring. Some progress had been made with Fortis, which used to own 70 per cent of Belize Electricity. However, negotiations with former shareholders of Belize Telemedia, mostly connected to Michael Ashcroft, are more drawn-out. Ashcroft is a former deputy chairman of the British Conservative party and one of Belize’s richest residents. The former Belize Telemedia shareholders, who are being advised by New State, say they should be paid up to US$300m, while the government has valued the business at Bz$72.3m (US$36.2m).

Rap Genius: Top 5 rap lyrics of the week — Shyne disses Diddy
There is nothing that the rap world loves more than artists sniping at each other. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Shyne would try to get back in the public eye by dissing his former mentor, Diddy, who somehow emerged unscathed after the two went on trial for a December 1999 shooting incident. Shyne reasonably enough seems to have a chip on his shoulder about the ten years in jail he served, and makes abundantly clear in this song what he thinks was responsible for the differing outcomes in court.