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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
Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas sing for Mama Vilma’s Family Home
On Saturday, May 4th the melodious voices of Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas, also known as the Midtown Violets, drew a crowd on Wet Willy’s deck. The concert started at 8PM to benefit Mama Vilma’s Family Home. This is the second concert Karen has performed to benefit the Mama Vilma’s Family home and the first for Ashlee. Both artist are based in Tennessee, USA and are currently in their “Spring in the South” tour. Singing several of their original songs, as well as covers of popular songs requested by those in attendance, Karen and Ashlee brought the house down indeed. With songs like “Whiskey Straight”, “Save Paris for me”, “Down by the Bayou” by Karen and “Fine me” and “Pull the trigger” by Ashlee, there was good music for everyone in attendance.
Spelling Bee – the Belize District finals
On Tuesday, April 30, students from The Island Academy showed their strong support of two peers at the 19th Annual Coco-Cola National Spelling Bee District Final in Belize City. The Belize Elementary School auditorium full of kids waved off oscitancy (excessive yawning) and hoped forapotheosis (powerful glory) or thaumaturgy (a miracle), as Standard 6 competitor Kaylee Kumul and Standard 5 contestant Zulema Ayala demonstrated their manageability of a miasmic (of fog-like density) collection of words. Unfortunately, even after BEEing encouraged by that gigantic insect, the ever-dancing A-Zee Bee, both San Pedro students were eliminated by the fourth round. Victorious spellers, First Place Nikki Sanches, from Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic School, and Second Place Danielle Mohammed-Ali, of Burrell Boom Methodist, will advance to the national finals in June. The Island Academy claque (a favorable audience) checked their aglets(plastic tip on a shoelace) and congratulated the girls on their effervescent (bubbling energy) participation. Interested protégées (apprentices) can begin studying any time for the perennial(occurring each year) contest.P1020059
San Pedro team sets new record in Mahahual at annual “Copa Gobernador” fishing tournament
A group of fishermen set a new record at the annual Governor’s Fishing Tournament in state of Quintana Roo, Mexico held on May 4th and 5th. The 22nd annual fishing tournament called “Copa Gobernador” is the largest fishing tournament in the state of Quintana Roo and takes place in the tourism community of Mahahual. Four teams from San Pedro Town participated and for the first time, a Belizean team captured the first place. The team consisting of Captain Enrique “Ricky” Marín, Josué Reyes, Kevin Kelly, Alby Godoy, and Kim Kelly also set a new record after catching a blue marlin weighing 314.5 pounds on the first day of the tournament. Team Hook Line+Sinker managed to secured 9435 points far ahead of the other fishing teams. Three other teams from San Pedro Town also participated in the intense competition. The Cuarto Poder Newspaper is reporting that one of the Belize team’s catch was disqualified, causing “controversy” and gaining major attention in the state’s press.
It’s Raining Cats in San Pedro, SAGA Reports Overpopulation on Island
Cat overpopulation in San Pedro is bad news for people and cats. Right now there are hundreds of stray and abandoned cats hiding in bodegas, alleys and only coming out at night to hunt, scavenge and reproduce. These cats rarely live longer than two years as they succumb to injuries and disease. They cause a nuisance by ripping open garbage, fighting and making noise as well as spreading infectious diseases. They have no one to love them or care for them and that is the fault of the people who allowed them to breed and continue to breed. Unfortunately, their irresponsibility has now become the responsibility of the community and SAGA Humane Society.
Action Planning for Central Belize Corridor (Forest and Maya Mountains)
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable and the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute will initiate Management Action Planning for the Central Belize Corridor through a launch event from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Thursday May 9, 2013.
Strategic partners in this initiative will include the Panthera Foundation, the German cooperation though GIZ, the Forest Department, the Fisheries Department, Department of the Environment, the Belize Zoo, Belize Audubon Society, Community Baboon Sanctuary, the Nature Conservancy and the Rancho Dolores Environmental Group as well as all private landowners and communities in the area.
The Central Belize Corridor is a critical segment of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and connects the northern block of protected forests in Belize, including the Rio Bravo, with the southern block, the Maya Mountains.
Mama Vilma’s presents “Señora, Reina de Reinas” Pageant
Mama Vilma’s Home in an effort to raise more fund for their cause will be having their first “Señora, Reina de Reinas” Pageant.
Persons over 35-years of age are invited to participate. Interested persons can make contact at 627-2681 or 629-2233 or visit Mar’s Boutique for more information or contact Mrs. Shelly at El Bistro Mestizo Restaurant.
Did Students Get Married at San Pedro High School?
On May 9, 2013, I was cordially invited by the junior students at San Pedro High School to witness two wedding ceremonies. Trust me, when I was asked to attend the weddings, I was as confused as when you read the headline to my blog post. Don’t worry, the weddings were only a reenactment as part of a project of their Christian Life Choices class.
Up to this day, I still remember my fun sessions of Christian Life Choices with my Principal Mr. Angel Nuñez. It was one of those classes that my peers and I looked forward to every day. Mr. Nuñez thought us many paths that we will face in life as we got more mature. Marriage was one of the topics that we came across and believe me it raised a lot of questions. The most important question was “What is Marriage?”
Misc Belizean Sources
Mama Vilma's 3rd Annual Fashion Show May 10th
San Pedro Fitness Club, 7pm
VIDEO: Ocean Academy’s Fly Fishing Class
Belizean high school students are learning the art of fly fishing and guiding in their P.E. elective at Ocean Academy Non-Profit High School on the island of Caye Caulker. Going beyond paper and pencil to fly rod and line, I share my passion with students who had never touched a fly rod before. Like us on Facebook and watch the evolution. We are always in need of equipment and scholarships. www.cayecaulkerschool.com/flyfishing. Thanks and enjoy!
Youth Artist Award Nominations
The National Institute of Culture and History is accepting nominations for the Youth Artist Award. The winner will receive a $1000 grant to be used towards education. Nominees must be between 10 and 24, and be engaged in an artisitc discipline. NICH's Institute of Creative Arts is getting ready for the Festival of Arts.
SIPL Appreciation Video
The San Ignacio Public Library has released a wonderful feelgood video that goes from inception, showing it being built, and painted with some help from the Rotary Club members, to the events they've recently done, and the schools they've hosted there for storytelling and plays. Who can forget their great rendition of 'Green Eggs and Ham?" Well done, and worth the time to watch.
"The San Ignacio Public Library wishes to extend sincere gratitude to all its library patrons for their continued support to the library."
BumBastic Party Pictures
The Bumsquad had their Agric parties between the Wing Stop and Barrio Fino. News Exchange Magazine sponsored some wild nights, and Danny Chung was there capturing the festivities. DJ Alvin Duke came over from Bumsquad Ireland to have a little mixing time too. Well done!
Little Bean Update
Feelgood news of the day. Little Bean, the rescued howler monkey that's at the Primate Rehabilitation Centre, is doing great, and getting bigger. Thanks, Wildtracks!
"Wildtracks Update: Now, almost a month into the Primate Rehabilitation Centre Nursery Unit appeal, we catch up with Little Bean to see how she is doing..."
Beltraide at AGRIC
Beltraide got some good pictures of the business booths at Agric.
Make-Belize Films News
Make-Belize Films, which made Kurse a di Xtabai here in Cayo, has upgraded their website, and they are listing their upcoming movies and productions. They are planning on producing 50 short movies that will focus on culture around Belize.
Hamel-Smith Says Church Doctrine Not Universally Against Decriminalization
Last night we showed you the beginning of the case between Caleb Orozco and the Government of Belize. Orozco is challenging Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code claiming that it violates his constitutional rights to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man living in this country.
Well, it seems that the rhetoric from both sides is being dialed down somewhat now that it is before the courts.
The matter coming to the forefront now is that on one side, Orozco claims that the law needs to be declared unconstitutional because it violates his sexual freedom. And on the other side, those who support it say that it’s there to protect against male on male rape and child molestation.
This morning, Orozco’s lead attorney, Chris Hamel-Smith spoke to the media outside of court where he briefly discussed an argument he presented before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.
According to Hamel-Smith, contrary to the public perception, the different churches around the world are not uniformly against the decriminalization of homosexuality. Here’s how he explained it.
Staffer Embezzled Major Money from SATIIM
Tonight, Greg Choq’s organization, the PG-based Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management known as SATIIM, is going over its books, after a staffer reportedly embezzled as much as one hundred thousand dollars from the organization.
7news has confirmed that police have questioned the staffer about 100 thousand dollars allegedly embezzled between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. Information so far suggests that he made out cheques to himself and would cash them while documentation in office showed they were made out to businesses he had supposedly purchased from. The staffer was released yesterday evening, possibly pending charges as police work on their investigation which is also getting input from SATIIM’s bank. Reports say charges could be brought as early as next week. We cannot release his name at this time since no charges have been brought.
Executive Director Greg Ch’oc told us that he could not comment on a matter that is before the courts.
Post Mortem Says Baby Bucket Drowning Was not Foul Play
On Monday, police said they suspected foul play in the death of one-year-old Kyle Leslie who was found dead in a bucket last Friday. But tonight the news is that after a post mortem showed no signs of foul play, the investigation has been closed, and it is being treated as an accidental death. Officer commanding for the Precinct two in Belize City, Superintendent Alford Grinage told us that the Police Forensic Pathologist found that the baby died by asphyxia due to drowning. His 19 year old mother Tanya is now proceeding with the funeral for her youngest child. She told police that she stepped out of the house briefly on Friday afternoon and when she came back inside, Kyle was face down in the bucket.
Fire Dept Confirms House Was Torched
Last night we told you about the fire that destroyed Messelina Usher’s home in Hattieville. The Fire Department has confirmed what Usher told us yesterday: Orin Smith of the Fire Department concluded that it seemed to be a case of arson.
Police note that the home did not have any electricity at the time of the fire. They say the value of all the items destroyed amounted to a total value of $4,168 dollars.
Police say they are seeking a man named Lloyd Banks Usher whom they believe can assist in the investigation.
Controversial Corporal Charged
31 year-old Corporal Darrell “Tutsi Usher, is out of bail tonight after he was taken to court today for allegedly beating up a school teacher. According to the teacher, at around 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, she was at a wake for Mark McKoy, one of the men who died in that terrible Western Highway accident along with Emmerson Jones and Pastor Godwin Flowers.
The teacher reported to police that without warning, Usher approached her chair. He allegedly punched her in the left temple area, and kicked her in the stomach. According to her, Usher apparently was misinformed that she had insulted him earlier that day. She sought medical attention, and the doctor classified her injuries as wounding. After 2 weeks of investigation, Police arrested and charged Usher.
He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who granted him bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet.
He is due back in court on July 8, 2013.
7 years for $13 Stolen Biscuits
31 year-old Mark Faber, a resident of Biscayne Village, is spending the first night of a 7 and a half-year prison sentence after he was convicted of burglary in Magistrate’s Court. 2 police officers testified in his trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith that at around midnight on January 21, 2013, they caught Faber in the act of burglarizing Burritos Place, while they were on mobile patrol at the Burrell Boom Junction.
The officers told the court that they saw him pushing his hand into one of the wooden windows of the shop, so they detained him. They searched him and discovered 13 dollars’ worth of snacks, belonging to the establishment, and they charged him with burglary and handling stolen goods.
When he was given a chance, he could not provide an adequate defence, and he even put himself at the scene on the night in question.
After considering the evidence presented before her, Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that the prosecution provided adequate evidence which proved Faber’s guilt.
The Aftermath of December Shooting Is Paralysis For City Man
We report on many shootings that don’t result in fatalities, and sometimes we say, “fortunately, so-and-so survived”, or that the “injuries were not life threatening.” And that’s usually the end of it, the media moves unto the next event, in the expectation and hope that shooting victim recovers. But there is no happily ever after for one victim, whose shooting was not even reported. It happened on a night of terror at BTL park, December 15, 2012 when a concert featuring local artists erupted into public terror after a gang brawl broke out and three salvos of shots were fired. Hundreds of terrified concert goers made a desperate dash for safety: four persons were stabbed and one shot. Tonight, one of those victims is in the fight of his life. 22 year old Gregory Jones who claims that he was socializing with his girlfriend has been left paralyzed from his chest down and is suffering from a terrible, consuming case of bedsores which is causing him to nasty infections. His family told 7news today that they are trying to get better medical assistance for him across the border.
PUP Re-making The Village Council Rules
Village Council elections start this weekend – and both major mass parties are gearing up for battle. Now, the elections shouldn’t be partisan, but they are – and often-times viciously so. But not for the PUP, not this time; they say they want to play the game right. Now, we know in Belize’s poisoned political culture – the word “right” doesn’t sit too well with either red or blue, and when it comes to election time conduct, all bets on good behavior are off! But, this time around the PUP say they want public officers who administer the elections, including police, to change a culture that their own party played a large part in creating. At a press conference this afternoon, Deputy Leader Julius Espat explained.
Hon Julius Espat - PUP Deputy Leader
"We are therefore calling on public officers who are assigned to supervise Village Council elections - to ensure non-political intereferance and allow the people in these communities to elect their own leaders. We are also calling the CEO's and Heads of Department to remind their staff that they must not take part in electioneering and vehicles in their care should not be used for transportation of UDP supporters. We are calling on the general public also to be vigilant and ensure and that they document by use of their telephones and cameras, any government vehicles that are on the ground. My message to the government of the day 'we the Belizean people will be watching you but this time it will not only be watching, we will be documenting you and we will be putting you on every media we possibly can."
Australia And Belize Come Up With Best Practices For Reef Management
What do Australia and Belize have in common? Not much except for having the two of the largest reef systems in the world. And that’s why this week managers of both reef systems are teaming up in a 3 day workshop to share ideas and devise best practices. Dr. Paul Marshall, from Australia explained common challenges both reef systems face.
Dr. Paul Marshall - Change Program Manager, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
"Even though Australia and Belize are so far apart - our reefs share many of the same challenges. In Australia one of our biggest issues is pollution from the land, mostly fertilizers that are coming off farms and this actually can really undermine the ability of coral reefs to deal with other pressures like climate change. You have big challenges from coral bleaching which we also have. Coral reefs are much more susceptible to Coral bleaching if they are under stress from pollution. So understanding that there are linkages is very crucial because it helps us to identify things we can do as people who live along the coast and people who care about reefs. It's such a fascinating and important challenge for people to grapple with the vulnerability of these systems that seem so large and so permanent but they're not. Coral reefs are built by living organisms and they are very fragile and very vulnerable."
OCEANA Says GOB Should Stop Treaty Energy
And staying with the marine matters, OCEANA also held a press conference today. We gather it’s to respond to the prime minister’s response to OCEANA’s response to the Supreme Court judgment about offshore drilling. Yes, that is a lot of responding, but today OCEANA still wanted one more bite at the already much bitten cherry. For Audrey Matura – Shepherd, that last word is that companies which want to continue drilling – and are not directly injuncted against doing so - should be stopped by the government.
Audrey Matura Shepherd - OCEANA Vice President
"I think that that's the quagmire we are in - where we have a government which should be a law abiding government, a government that should operate within the rule of law it is that government would then have to police. But if you give a statement that 'we will allow and have the concession holders decide how we will proceed next' - what you have done is relinquish your responsibility as the government of this country and handing it over to a set of companies that the law has said don't even qualify under the law to even have a contract. But until they violate we will not move the court and so we would call on all Belizean - everyone, even public officers need to know that the government cannot tell them 'give them the permit'."
The Cruel Killing Of A Crocodile
Tonight, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary and the Forestry Department are gathering information to detain 4 minors in connection with the brutal killing of a crocodile on San Pedro.
According to ACES, they received a call on Saturday that 4 twelve year-old boys were dragging a tied up crocodile along a dirt roads near the airstrip in the San Pedrita Area. One of the boys reportedly jammed a PVC pipe down the crocodile’s throat. ACES personnel immediately responded and they found the battered and beaten crocodile in a bushy area. They did everything that they could for the crocodile, but it was beyond help, and it died later that day.
The Forestry Department has indicated that they will bring charges against the perpetrators of this crocodile’s death. It belongs to the American Crocodile Species, which is protected around the world.
CITCO sand SIF Reach Agreement After Stop Order
A few weeks ago on April 22nd we told you about the Buttonwood Bay drainage project launched by area representative Santino Castillo. But one day later the City Council led by his future opponent at a UDP convention Mayor Darrell Bradley put a stop order on those works because the project did not provide for the repairing of streets after BWSL dug it up. So that was the impasse for over two weeks, but today a release form the City Council says that the Social Investment fund has agreed to expand the scope of works to REPAIR Pike Crescent, E Street and Park Avenue – the council will then concrete Buttonwood Bay Boulevard. With that agreed the stop order has been lifted.
BEL Says OK to PUC Plan
Last week Friday, 7News showed you the press conference in which PUC Chairman John Avery explained the slight rate reduction to the Social Class of customers from 29 cents to 26 cents per kilowatt hour.
Well tonight, BEL is reporting that they are still in the process of going over the Annual Rate Review, but they find this decision from the PUC favorable.
BEL had originally asked the PUC to reduce the average electricity rate by about one cent per kilowatt-hour. The PUC proposed a reduction of even less than that, about one quarter of one cent per kilowatt hour.
Major Works Released By Belizean Author
You may know Doctor Corinth Morter-Lewis as an educator, but she’s really a writer and a poet – and today she launched two major works. They compile stories, poems and plays from 55 years of writing, a staggering total of 76 poems, two short stories and one play. The collection divided into two volumes is called “Moments In Time” and it was launched today to well-deserved bouquets of praise from life long fans. They spoke at the event, which was held at the Leo Bradley Library.
Adele Ramos - Reviewer - Moments In Time
"Moments in Time reflect our unique Belizean experience. There have been books published, tons of books but to be quite honest I have never seen a production where you can turn the pages and you keep seeing yourself and your experience and who we were, where we were, things we used to say, enjoy, things we still enjoy."
Jose Sanchez - Reviewer - Moments In Time
"There's a poem about the intricacies of 'Pepitos' and another called 'Ecstasy' and surely the mango that she wrote about was not meant for the ears of children. The poem, short stories and the play are all living testimonials of a gradual shift same as the tectonic plate shift sometimes slowly beneath the ocean, sometimes violently - but it's a craft that shifts along the history of Belize. Feel free to paddle in your leisure on the river of Moments in Time Volume 1."
The Gift Of A House
Today the Rotary Club of Belize alongside Hand in Hand Ministries handed over a brand-new two bedroom house to a much needed family in Belize City. As a part of their humanitarian agenda – this is not the first home that has been built to assist struggling families. With annual fundraising activities, the group manages to build at least one house per year. The Rotary President told us more.
Maria Coye - President, Rotary Club of Belize
"Well we just blessed a house that the Rotary Club built for the Avilas and we did it in collaboration with the Hand in Hand Ministry. One of the things that we do as a Rotary Club we do a lot of humanitarian work in Belize and internationally and the Rotary Club of Belize - we do build houses. This is just another house that we built so we do fundraising. We select certain projects for the year and one of those projects is that on an annual basis we build a house for a needy family."
Closing arguments for UNIBAM in Caleb Orozco versus Attorney General
Day two of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney-General of Belize wrapped up after four this afternoon before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of the section fifty-three of the Criminal Code. Lead counsel for Orozco, Christopher Hamel Smith closed arguments while Lord Peter Goldsmith, made submissions on behalf of three foreign interested [...]
Holy See and Anglican Church views on homosexuality in court
And while that was the case submitted by Orozco’s lead counsel in a nutshell, Christopher Hamel-Smith spent quite a bit of time dealing with the fourth to sixth interested parties in the trial, the Churches. He spoke on the diversity of views allowed and supported by the Constitution of Belize, and likened that to the [...]
UNIBAMer feels threatened because he’s gay
In a release from the Belize Council of Churches issued on May sixth, they reiterate their intention to stand against, “Any and all changes in the Constitution of Belize that will not promote the sanctity of human sexual relations as established by God.” But in that same release, the churches condemn any act of violence, [...]
The faithful and the gay fight over poll
And while taking issue with homosexuals who want to have their cake and eat it too, Pastor Louis Wade took issue with our online poll which is an unscientific measure of public opinion. The question this week was ‘Do you support the decriminalization of sodomy,’ and the response has been overwhelming; at news time over [...]
National issues to be discussed at O.A.S. Gen. Assembly in June
There is another issue of national importance that is brewing…that is the referendum on taking the territorial dispute to the ICJ this year. News from Washington is that Guatemala has agreed to hold one in the not too distant future. Foreign Ministers, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Fernando Carrera of Guatemala met this morning along with [...]
Who’s got the purse strings? P.U.P. has new agenda
The People’s United Party has launched its Village Council election agenda entitled True Development. The brief ceremony took place today at Independence Hall and featured addresses from P.U.P. leaders from the North, South, East and West of the country. But while the development agenda was on the table, the discussion was all about reality, and [...]
OCEANA may seek injunction against Treaty Energy for continued drilling
On Tuesday, Louisiana-based energy company Treaty Energy Corporation announced its plan for Treaty Belize Energy to resume drilling operations at its San Juan three well in the Stann Creek District. The decision succeeds advice from their attorneys and Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s public opposition to a recent Supreme Court decision rendered by Justice Oswell Legall. [...]
OCEANA tells P.M. to take criticism to court
Matura-Shepherd also commented on the prime minister’s open objection to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Oceana during his quarterly press conference last week. P.M. Barrow described the judgment handed down by Justice Oswell Legall as both egregious and aberrant. According to Matura-Shepherd, as a matter of ethics, the prime minister’s protest should have [...]
Burglar shot dead; mom says cop murdered him
This Friday will make three weeks since twenty-one year old Ryan Lozano of Ladyville was shot and killed by a cop. That officer, believed to be a high ranking officer attached to the Ladyville Police Sub-formation, is said to have fatally wounded Lozano following a burglary in the Los Lagos Community. An internal police investigation [...]
Governors of Central Bank from the CARICOM region
Financial experts from the region are in Belize for the fourth bi-annual meeting of Governors of Central Bank from the CARICOM region. Aside from the governors, other participants are from the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance, the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, the International Monetary Fund and the Caribbean Financial Action [...]
Educator Corinth Lewis pens Moments in Time, Volumes 1 & 2
Academic and scholar, doctor Corinth Morter Lewis released two not one, publications this morning. Lewis’ books will be enjoyed by both children and adults. Combined they are a compilation of short stories, plays and poetry. At the launch this morning, the Governor General introduced Lewis as the Renaissance woman who was interested in the likes [...]
Cop arraigned for wounding woman
A cop was arraigned in courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this morning for Wounding a teacher. The incident happened in Hattieville on April twenty fifth when family and friends were holding a repast for the late Mark McKoy, one of three men who were fatally injured in a traffic accident at Mile Six [...]
Stealing from cookie jar; 7 years for cookie burglary
Thirty-one year old Mark Faber, an unemployed resident of Biscayne Village, was today sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after being found guilty of Burglary for stealing from the cookie jar. On the night of January second, Faber was caught red-handed by a pair of officers as he was stealing from inside [...]
3 new cases of carnal knowledge; one is pregnant
There are three cases of carnal knowledge to report tonight. The latest allegation is against twenty-six year old Edwin Coye. On Tuesday afternoon, Coye was surprised by police in an abandoned house in the Belama Phase four area with a fourteen year old student. Both were taken to the police station where the student reported [...]
Settling the score with a bake-off competition
Four Belize City high schools competed this afternoon in a bake off. The students pulled out their aprons and cooking utensils but they had one secret ingredient to incorporate in their recipes. The aroma of freshly baked pastry permeated the YWCA compound, but in the end there could be only one recipe that swayed the [...]