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Mayor Swazo Gives Report on Flooding in Southern Belize
NEMO Stann Creek is in full effect monitoring the flood situation in that area. Correspondent Harry Arzu met with representatives and has more on the conditions in the following report.
“NEMO Stann Creek held a meeting today to address the flooding situation here in Dangriga and surrounding communities such as Sarawee Village which is about 4 miles from Dangriga, as well as Hope Creek Village. The floodings are as a result of the heavy torrential rains produce by Tropical Depression #2. Mayor Gilbert Swazo is the Chairman of NEMO Stann Creek, he tells us what transpired from the meeting and gives us his observation on the grounds.”
MAYOR GILBERT SWAZO
“The Stann Creek District Emergency Management team met earlier today to get a current update of the current situation as a consequence of the impact of tropical depression number 2. We also met to confirm the state of readiness of the respective operational subcommittee. The EOC is currently activated and is poised to respond to any serious but credible risks to any of the communities, villages and Dangriga that is within the Stan Creek District. It must be noted that at the present time, two shelters are open; one in Sarawee and the other in Hope Creek. Those two shelters have combined, a total of 59 people in those shelters including the shelter managers. There is one shelter in Dangriga, the Parish Hall which is now being prepared for evacuees from Mullins River; the coast guard is now in Mullins River preparing to evacuate 49 people from Mullins River to Dangriga and as I have indicated earlier, where they will be sheltered in the parish hall.
Police In Southern Belize Awards Young Woman
The Commissioner of Police Do the Right Thing Award for Toledo was presented yesterday to a student of Punta Gorda. Here is Correspondent Paul Mahung with the details.
“On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, the award was presented to recipient Mellissa Rodriguez by Officer in Command of Toledo Police Formation, Superintendent of Police, Simeon Alvarez.”
“Mellissa Rodriguez, student of the Toledo Community College, Punta Gorda Town congratulation on behalf of the Commissioner of Police. You have been selected as the recipient of the Punta Gorda Formation, ‘Do The Right Thing’ in the program award for the month of April 2013. It is my sincere desire that you will continue your education to the highest level and develop life skills that will develop positively toward a better future for yourself and the community in which you live. Being exposed as a young person to people of different character and lifestyle allows you to appreciate yourself and your community more and aspire for your dreams. Remember to always do the right thing not because you can but because you want to make a difference.”
“Felicia Rodriguez was grateful for the award.”
How Is Northern Belize Following TD2?
In Orange Walk the District Emergency Management Organization is also monitoring the weather conditions. Dalila Ical Reports.
“Classes were canceled as the rain poured this morning in Orange Walk Town; DEMO Orange Walk continued to monitor the situation in the district. Suleima Celiz, District Coordinator tells us more about the situation.”
“Orange Walk is normal; I have been calling the different villages and checking the low lying areas and talking to people in the villages. The river levels remain normal; classes have been canceled early this morning by the Ministry of Education and Orange Walk is normal so far. I am waiting for advisory from the headquarters as to the situation with classes. The rains have been off and on here in Orange Walk, nothing to be concerned of here in Orange Walk. Just stay tuned to your radio especially the persons living by the river side and Trial Farm and so forth.”
“In case of emergencies or queries, the number to call at the Orange Walk office is 302 3228 or Mrs. Celiz at 605-5046. The situation in Corozal is also being monitored. We spoke with District Coordinator, Willard Levy.”
“Presently we don’t have any reports from any villages or town; we don’t have any flood threats; we had rains during the course of the night and part of this morning but so far the rains have ceased and we haven’t received any reports from any of the villages, so we do not have any threats at the moment; currently the schools are closed so that’s the position with Corozal.”
Fourth Advisory on TD2 Issued By Emergency Management
This afternoon the National Emergency Management Organization issued their fourth advisory on Tropical Depression Number Two. NEMO informs that at two pm, the depression was located near latitude 18.3 North, Longitude 91.9 West. It is moving towards the West-Northwest at approximately ten miles per hour over the Southern Bay of Campeche and away from Belize with maximum sustained winds at thirty miles per hour with higher gusts. NEMO also advises that flooding is likely to continue in the low-lying communities. One of the most affected areas at this time is the Stann Creek District. A team from Love News headed south today to look at the situation and we’ll have the story for you later on in the newscast. Meanwhile in Belize City, the Coordinator for the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, Phillip Willoughby informed us on the situation in Belize City.
“Let’s establish that we are below sea level; what the engineers and the staff from the Works Department are doing is looking at the entire City doing their initial survey to see where the bottle necks are, the problem areas are and those bottle necks will be looked at and be dealt with to alleviate and facilitate free and smooth flow of water in these hot areas or blocked up areas.”
“Have you visited the flooding areas?”
Reports of Flooding In Western Hospital
The RSV News Center has received reports of a flood at the San Ignacio Hospital. Although the hospital is well situated on a hill, we understand that the flood is being caused by a leak in the building. Reliable sources tell us that the leak has been a problem in the building for a while now. We understand that an entire hallway inside the hospital becomes flooded every time it rains and that although the situation has been reported to the relevant authorities, nothing has been done to fix the problem. We were even informed that a whole section of the ceiling has caved in. Our correspondent in that area today visited the hospital and she was informed that no such thing is happening and says she observed only a small leak, and that whatever problem there was has been addressed. Our sources say however, that the leak is huge and the flooding evident. Unconfirmed reports are that the representatives from the Ministry of Health were at the hospital this afternoon inspecting the problem. Love News spoke with the Deputy Regional Health Manager, Myra Pulido who told us that the reports were untrue and she was not certain who was making the reports since no one is allowed to call the media. Sources however maintain that only yesterday the entire corridor was flooded.
Boyfriend Murdered; Girlfriend Injured In Southside Belize City
One man was shot to death and a woman was injured last night. It happened at about 8:50pm on Sibun Street and this time the victim was thirty one year old Delone Vernon, an employee of Youth for the Future who was murdered and thirty two year old Sherna Miller who is currently in a stable condition at the KHMH recuperating from gunshots wounds to her hand and leg. It is believe that Vernon was shot to the chest by a gunman who barged into the house were Vernon was at the time and release a barrage of bullets. Reporter Hipolito Novelo found out the motive on this latest city killing.
HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING
The murder occurred here on Sibun Street inside Miller’s residence. The shooter made his way through the front door, scurried up the stairs, took out a firearm and released a barrage of bullets towards the direction of seven persons.
“Last night about a few minutes before nine o’clock, I was already in my bed, I drank my medication and about a half hour after I was in bed, I heard the dogs barking but I didn’t’ pay it any mind, a few minutes later we heard BANG BANG BANG.”
The bullets found their mark on 31 year old Delone Vernon, an employee of the Department of Youth Services and 32 year old Sherna Miller.
Belize Tourism Association Wants PM To Ensure Charges Are Levied For Destruction of Noh Mul
The Orange Walk Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, has issued an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in connection to the destruction of a temple at Noh Mul in the Orange Walk District. Chairperson of the association, Osmani Salas says they are calling on the Prime Minister to bring those culpable to experience punishment to the whole extent of the law.
“We had expressed our anger and disappointment a month ago and we are still very upset and disappointed that a month later no one has been charged and the investigation seems to still be ongoing. So, we felt it important as a membership organization and as an organization that represents tourism interest in northern Belize specifically, Orange Walk to express our frustration and to ask the Government represented by our Prime Minister to intercede to see how this matter can be concluded and whoever needs to be charged get charged and penalized to the full extent of the law. We feel that if nothing happens with this situation then there will be no deterrent at all for similar incidents to occur not only in Orange Walk but other parts of the country. It is a firm reminder on our part to the authorities to please get to the bottom of this, conclude investigations as completely as possible and press charges as the law provides.”
Salas says he does not believe that the destruction of what was deemed to be the highest temple at the sight will soon be forgotten.
“I don’t’ think it has been forgotten; our letter serves as a strong reminder to the authorities and I have certainly spoken off the record with people in the-know from some of the relevant authorities and I know that a lot of information has been compiled and has been presented to the police department for them to do what they have to do.
Area Representative Has No Charges To Answer To
Love News understands that Lake Independence Representative Mark King appeared before the Magistrates court in Corozal this morning. After hearing the evidence from four prosecution witnesses, the Magistrate declared that there was no evidence to prove any of all the three minor charges. This is in connection to an incident that occurred in February of this year at the Princess Hotel and Casino in the Corozal Free zone. The police press release at the time reported that a uniformed police officer standing outside the casino saw the security guard from the casino escorting a man out. The guards then escorted another man out because he was behaving disorderly. The police learned that the first man was twenty two year old Diego Witz a businessman of Punta Gorda and the other man, who was later alleged by witnesses to be King, attempted to hit one of the security guards. The policeman intervened and Witz reportedly punched him in the face. He was then subdued and later escorted to the police station. At the time the police did not report that King was the next man implicated in the incident.
Ebony Street Resident Remanded to Central Prison
Twenty-one year old Stephon Anderson, a laborer of number 7 Ebony Street charged with firearm and ammunition offences, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today after he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court and pled not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him into custody until August 6. The incident occurred around 7 a.m. on June 16. The police reported that they were on mobile patrol on Lakeview Street when they saw Anderson riding a bicycle and coming towards them. They said that when Anderson saw them he turned his bicycle around and headed for Sibun Street. The police said they pursued Anderson and when they were a few feet behind him they saw him reach into his right pocket and take out an object which he threw into an open lot. The police reported that when they retrieved the object it was a Smith and Wesson brand 9 millimetre pistol with 8 rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Anderson was apprehended and taken to the open lot where the firearm was found. He was shown the firearm and he was unable to produce a license for it so he was taken into custody and charged.
Accused Murderer Set Free
Twenty-eight year old Lincoln Sabido, charged with the murder of Norman Reyes, was acquitted of the charge today in court. After the prosecution closed its case, Sabido’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, submitted that he does not have a case to answer to. Justice Gonzalez upheld the “no case” submission and he directed the jury of 5 men and 7 women to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Sylvestre submitted that the prosecution did not have any evidence against his client because the witness, Dennis Nembhard now deceased, whose statement was admitted as evidence, could not have seen what he said he saw because his view was impeded by a building. Based on what was seen when the court visited the scene of the murder, the submission was upheld. Nembhard in his statement said that he heard an explosion and when he went to the corner of Moya Street and Nutmeg Street he saw Reyes on Nutmeg Street coming towards him. He said Reyes collapsed and then he went to his yard. Nembhard said that he then saw Sabido coming from the same direction with what appeared to be a firearm in his hand. The incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. on January 15, 2008. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, called 4 witnesses.
Meeting With Venezuelan Ambassador Aims At Solidarity
On Saturday the Venezuelan Embassy hosted a meeting with several representatives of Belize’s sector including leaders of the opposition party, Mayors from across the country and other social leaders. Love News was present at the function and we spoke to Venezuela Ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano.
YOEL DEL VALLE PEREZ MARCANO
“The meeting today forms part of the Bolivarian Republic and solidarity. We invited the social movement in Belize to support in solidarity the Bolivian revolution. We have gotten a lot of people here from different organizations and cultures of Belize. They have expressed that the country of Belize stands in full solidarity with the country of Venezuela. And this support the 14 years of revolution of President Hugo Chavez Frias and at the same time represents the unity of Central America and the Caribbean I nits fight for solidarity and against the pressure of the government of the United States of America. We like to have a committee formed in every country for the solidarity of Venezuela. Each community responsible will then meet with the community in Venezuela to file reports. In the event that they try to attack the revolution then the committee will be responsible to react. We want democracy and peace; we don’t want any other interference in our county. So we call on all the people of the Caribbean and Central America to support the solidarity in Venezuela.”
Guest speaker was Ambassador for Foreign Trade and Head of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adalbert Tucker who said Belize should take advantage of the relationship with Venezuela.
“It is a meeting called by the embassy to share the solidarity of the Belizean people with the Bolivarian Revolution and to give encouragement to Venezuela to continue the good work that it is doing for democracy, for progress, for development of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Trouble Brews At University of Belize
While the country slowly floods because of a passing tropical depression, the University of Belize also slowly floods with controversy and in the center of it is UB Lecturer, Patrick Menzies, or in this case, former lecturer, since he says he headed to UB’s Central Campus in Belmopan to teach one of his summer classes, and to his surprise there was someone else to substitute him.
“I was scheduled to teach to a class at 2 o’clock. I have all the e-mails to show that I was to teach a class on June 1, they moved it to the 17th of June to the 19th of July. I accepted it and I postponed my trip to the US which I do every year to see my kids. What happened is that I came to teach my class and there is another man walking around trying to find the key to the class; so, I asked him what is he doing; we both went down to the office to get the same key. I asked him what class are you teaching, he said MIS, I said that’s my class. So, finally after that the Secretary called, they basically said that it wasn’t my class that this guy was teaching; I waited in Belize to teach this particular class I was asked to teach the class.”
We contacted UB to find out what was happening and Head of the Office of Public Information, Selwyn King says Menzies is an adjunct teacher, but is not officially on the adjunct list.
“Adjunct professors/lecturers – once there is an opening, a vacuum that we need extra to teach courses, we hire from my understanding; Mr. Menzies name is not on the official list of adjunct. Within the last couple of weeks the new Information Communication Technology Director has come on board and as head of that department he has been tasked as an adjunct for an IT class.”
Tropical Depression Two crosses country
It will be another few days before Belize is dry as a result of the rain from Tropical Depression #2, which is still crossing the country. Schools in the entire northern half of the country including Belize City have been closed per order of the Ministry of Education as...
Mass flooding has forced evacuations in the South
In the South, mass flooding has forced evacuations in a number of areas. Our Dangriga Harry Arzu visited Chairperson in the National Emergency Management Organization, Mayor Gilbert Swaso and filed this report. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: Flood-waterscontinue to affect residents here in this municipality and other surrounding communities...
Delone Vernon murdered in Belize City
A social night out playing cards for residents of the Sibun Street area on Monday night turned deadly. 31 year old Delone Vernon, an office assistant with Youth for the Future, was assaulted while with a female friend identified as 32 year old Sherna Miller at her home. Both...
Police identify body found on Monday morning in Western Paradise
Police have identified the body found on Monday morning in the Western Paradise area as 24 year old Elias Santos of the Stann Creek District. Santos’ body was found in a house under construction in the Western Pines division. The body had a large cut wound to the fore...
Anthony Sabido acquitted of murder
28 year old Anthony Sabido spent five years on remand for a murder case but tonight he is a free man. Sabido was today acquitted of the January 15, 2008 murder of 31-year-old Norman Reyes, also known as “Mimi”. The 31 year old victim was fatally shot once to...
Selwyn King explains Patrick Menzies status with UB
They shot the whistle-blower. That’s Patrick Menzies’ claim for why he is no longer serving as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Belize. According to Menzies, who we spoke with yesterday, when he showed up to teach his Management Information Systems class, he found out that another lecturer...
BTIA Toledo and Placencia Chapters reject large-scale cruse tourism
Earlier this month, it was announced that Cabinet rejected a proposal made by the Norwegian Cruise Line for the development of a cruise terminal at Crawl Caye. When the offer was tabled to GOB, there was a string of negative response coming from various sectors including the Belize Tourism...
Randy Wagner Jones sentenced to 5 years for firearm offenses
25 year-old Randy Wagner Jones was sentenced to 5 years in prison after he was convicted of firearm and ammunition offenses. Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found Jones guilty on the charge of keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition. This follows an incident which occurred in...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Roots in the Sea Website
Roots In The Sea has now published their website and is asking for donations in order for them to cover the expenses for the trip to Belize. The goal of $3,000 will fund a return trip to Belize for a crew of two. Funds will cover transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Check out their website for more information on the contributions http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/roots-in-the-sea
They have also been selected in the Short Documentary category for the Belize International Film Festival which starts on July 11th to July 15th 2013.
Roots In The Sea
A long form documentary examining the history and culture of a small fishing village in Belize. The story is told by long time residents of Caye Caulker.
TD 2 – WILD WIND AND WATER!
Bringing heavy rains and 35-mile-per hour winds, Tropical Depression Two, which formed from a tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Nicaragua/Honduras border earlier today, trekked ashore Belize near Monkey River, Stann Creek, mid-afternoon today, rendering portions of southern Belize impassable.
Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advised that, “Persons living in flood-prone areas across the country are advised to be on the alert for possible flooding in your areas as the system moves across Belize. Motorists are also advised to exercise extreme caution when driving on the highways and secondary roads.”
Concerned about the latest developments, the Ministry of Education called off classes for certain portions of Belize, deemed to be under threat of flooding, to ensure that students would be able to get home safely.
“The primary concern with this system is heavy rainfall which could cause significant flooding over portions of Central America and eastern Mexico,” said forecasters at the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.
They add that the center will move over Belize and northern Guatemala tonight and early Tuesday, and over eastern Mexico later on Tuesday. The depression could emerge into the southern Bay of Campeche by early Wednesday, and become the second named storm of this very active hurricane season.
CONSTRUCTION WORKER MURDERED ON HIS WORKSITE
Police say that Elias Santos, 24, a tile layer of Orange Walk, was chopped to death at his worksite in the Western Pines area off Mile 8 ½ on the George Price Highway. Santos’ body was found in one of the houses under construction at about 9:00 this morning by co-workers who went to work.
According to police, Santos had been chopped in his head and body, and he was declared dead on the scene. He was taken to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where a post mortem was conducted to certify the cause of his death.
Police believe that Santos was laying tiles in the house when the killer or killers attacked him.
So far, no one has been detained, and the motive for the murder is unknown.
MAN, 64, FOUND BEATEN AND SODOMIZED IN ARMENIA
A 64-year-old man of Armenia Village is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Ward after he was robbed, badly beaten and sodomized.
He was found nude in an unconscious state at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, in bushes beside the road in Armenia Village. His clothes were found torn up a short distance away from him.
Witnesses told police that the man became intoxicated after socializing at a bar in the village on Tuesday night. He left the bar to go home, but fell asleep beside the road.
People in the area who saw him said that about 2:00 a.m. he awoke and again began to walk home, but he did not arrive at his house.
A man told police that he was travelling on the Hummingbird Highway, through Armenia, towards Cave Branch, when he saw a naked man lying on the roadside. When he stopped, another driver who was travelling in his vehicle in the opposite direction towards Belmopan from Dangriga stopped also, and they called police, who came to the scene. The elderly man was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was stabilized before being rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
THE US AND EUROPEAN UNION SEEK “LANDMARK TRADE DEAL”
The deal could add £85 billion to the rest of world’s economies; protestors, however, rallied against “ruthless capitalism.”
Two of Belize’s most important trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the United States, today announced the launch of major trade negotiations at the start of the 2013 G8 Summit being held at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland from Monday, June 17, to Tuesday, June 18, even as protestors rallied against what they decry as ruthless capitalism.
According to official reports from the UK Government, the G8 2013 Summit began with an announcement to launch negotiations on what it describes as “a landmark trade deal” between the EU and the USA.
US President Barack Obama said at a press conference held to announce the talks that the US-EU trading relationship is the largest in the world, accounting for about a half of global GDP.
He announced that the US would host the first meeting to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (T-TIP) in Washington next month (the week of July 8).
Obama also said that he believes the US and the EU can forge an economic alliance as strong as they have in the areas of diplomacy and security – alliances which he said are the most powerful in history.
LEROY GOMEZ HAS APPEAL FOR RAPE AND ROBBERY CONVICTIONS DISMISSED
Today, the Court of Appeal dismissed Leroy Gomez’s rape and robbery conviction appeal after a panel of Justices heard arguments from his lawyer, Hubert Elrington, on Tuesday, June 11.
Gomez was sentenced to 15 years concurrently for each offense on August 8, 2012, after a jury found him guilty of the crimes on July 31, 2012. The victim of the rape and robbery appeared in court and gave her testimony. She said that she was walking on Administration Drive heading toward her boyfriend’s house when she noticed someone riding toward her on a bike. Her attention was drawn to the person because he looked like a friend of hers who had passed away.
She testified that she kept on walking and when she looked back, she noticed that the same person was still riding toward her in the direction she was going, but this time, he was wearing a handkerchief tied around his nose and mouth, allowing only his eyes to be visible.
3 SHOT IN THE CITY IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS
Three men are lucky to be alive after they were shot in two separate shooting incidents in the city. One man was shot multiple times in his house by two masked men, while the other two men were shot while walking on Pine Street.
The shooting victims are Arturo Varela of Antelope Street Extension, Rafael Francisco Aguet of Pine Street, Belize City, and Cecil Gill, also of Pine Street. The shootings both occurred in Belize City on Tuesday, June 11.
Varela told police that about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, as he was about to exit his yard, he saw two men putting masks on their faces inside his mother-in-law’s yard (she lives next door to him). He quickly ran back into his house, but the masked men ran after him, and as he shut the door, they kicked it open and one of them opened fire and the he was hit by gunshots several times.
TWO MEN ACCUSED OF ROBBERY WITH KNIFE
Jaime Villanueva and Wardworth Clark were both charged with robbery today, Friday, and granted bail of $5,000 each.
Villanueva, 28, a barber, and Clark, 18, a construction worker, pleaded not guilty to their charge. They are to reappear in court on July 24, 2013.
Both men were charged with robbery after being accused of holding a man at knifepoint earlier today and robbing him of a backpack, a Belize passport, a wallet, a Nokia cell phone, and a hat. All the items are valued at over $200.
The two men have previous convictions, but the court did not deem them flight risks and granted them bail on the condition that they stay away from the complainant and witnesses. They are also to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Wednesday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
GENTLE TOUCH OF CAYO TAKES EARLY LEAD IN ATLANTIC BANK WOMEN INTER-DISTRICT FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
The FFB’s Atlantic Bank Women Inter-district Football Tournament 2013 got under way over the weekend with Week 1 games on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. Garnering 3 points from the only victory over the weekend was perennial Cayo champions Gentle Touch who have taken the early lead in this competition.
On Saturday afternoon at the FFB Field, Triple-B of Belmopan drew, 1-1, with visiting Toledo Scorpions, giving both teams a point each. Jenisha Scott shook the net for Triple-B, while Shireen Paulino hit the target for the Scorpions.
Then on Sunday at the Ladyville Field, visiting Gentle Touch of Cayo defeated the home team, Ladyville Jaguars of the Belize District, by a 3-1 score. Gentle Touch got goals from Ethleen Gentle, Eden Gentle and Abby Halliday (by penalty); while the Jaguars’ only goal was by Kara Kisling.
Seeing their first action this coming weekend will be Sugar City Girls or Orange Walk and Dangriga Pumas of the Stann Creek District. Resting will be Triple-B of Belmopan and Gentle Touch of Cayo.
TWO-WAY CRICKET SHOWDOWN
Excellence vs Berlan
and Brilliant vs Sunrise.
Cricket fans are poised for a real treat, with both best-of-3 semifinal series coming down to a final third game, as this past Saturday, June 15, saw both Game 1 losers avenging their loss in Game 2, knotting up both series at 1-1. The decisive Game 3 will determine the two finalists in the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition.
At the Bermudian Landing cricket field on Saturday, Zone 1 #1 seed, defending champions Excellence of Double Head Cabbage rebounded from their Game 1 loss by defeating the Zone 2 #2 seed Berlan of Bermudian Landing. Berlan batted first, garnering 103 runs, but Excellence eclipsed that total with 104 runs, with 4 wickets to spare, forcing a decisive Game 3. For Berlan, Jerry Casasola scored 34 runs and took 2 wickets; while for Excellence, Keenan Flowers batted 39 runs, and Orson Flowers took 5 wickets.
Meanwhile, at the field in Crooked Tree Village on Saturday, it was Zone 1 #2 seed Sunrise of Lords Bank exacting their revenge against Zone 2 #1 seed Brilliant of Crooked Tree, who had won Game 1 of their semifinal series the previous week. Sunrise went to bat first, and they put up the formidable total of 197 runs, with Barbadian born Michael Sobers leading the scoring with 66 runs. Brilliant was unable to match that total, their last wicket falling at 151 runs, despite 22 runs each from Shane Westby and J. Smith. For the victorious Sunrise, Dwayne Hendy, Justin Sanchez and Edison Parks took 2 wickets each; while for Brilliant, Lawrence Banner and Brandon Lewis took 3 wickets apiece.
THE PUZZLE THAT IS THE JEWEL Editorial
There are certain individuals in Belize who have proven themselves to be the most rank of villains in different spheres of our Belizean society, but these individuals move around in our society with absolute impunity. Why is this so? It is because these individuals are protected by powerful institutions and forces, and, because they are so protected, the disapproval, or even condemnation, of the Belizean people is of no account. Such is Belize.
Belize is a free market capitalist society which has produced some wealthy families and individuals. When one points fingers and calls names, then these families and individuals raise a hue and a cry, on the grounds that exposure of their wealth will endanger them. Since Belize’s criminals appear not to have yet developed any expertise in blackmail and kidnapping, one wonders if such danger would have to originate from across our borders. It is the poor who are in danger in Belize, we think, not the rich.
In a football tournament in Costa Rica in January this year, Belize’s footballers overachieved and qualified for the so-called Gold Cup tournament in the United States next month. We say “overachieved,” because Belize’s football programs are generally haphazard and poorly financed. The Central American teams against which the Belize selection competed have very well-organized and highly financed football programs. Plus, Belizean football had only last year managed to escape from the selfish, suffocating, and suspicious rule of one Dr. Bertie Chimilio.
The Belizean people, at home and abroad, were quite thrilled by our boys’ success in Costa Rica, but the new executive of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) did not move quickly enough to exploit the Costa Rica success in financial terms.
When they finally managed to stage a fund-raising telethon last Saturday, the FFB’s approach to the telethon was a kind of socialist one. Their executive spokesman explained that the FFB’s goal was a half million dollars, and he reasoned that, it being the case that Belize had 300,000 people, if each person gave a dollar, then they would be more than halfway there.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
It’s a distinct handicap in business here to be a person of roots ancestry, as opposed to being of immigrant background. If you are in any kind of business, our Belizean people expect you to be always in possession of liquid cash, and they have developed a habit, which has become almost obsessive, of asking for money. Our people do not ask the immigrant business people for money because they know they will not receive any. But, when they see a native business person, the request has become almost automatic, and sometimes it is practically demanding.
In competitive businesses which require various kinds of machines and equipment, like ours on Partridge Street, you are always seeking to accumulate capital so as to update your machinery and equipment. The more modern your machines are, the higher the quality of the product you can deliver to your customers, and the more competitive your business will be. The more competitive your business is, the more you will be able to expand, which means the more jobs you can create.
In between charity and outright extortion, however, native businesses in poor neighborhoods suffer an amount of capital hemorrhaging on a daily and weekly basis which makes capital formation more difficult to achieve. It is impossible to explain this to the individual supplicant, because he or she considers his/her situation to be critical, and the supplicant really does not want to hear you are trying to buy a machine which will make your newspaper look better or your radio station sound cleaner. No, no, no. Gimme money, right now!
GUAT XATEROS CAUGHT IN CHIQUIBUL FOREST
Two Guatemala nationals, Adelmo Mancia, 24, and Rolando Ramirez, 35, were arrested on Friday, June 14, 2013 in the Chiquibul Forest.
The Joint Forces Team for the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) were on patrol in the Chiquibul Forest near the Tapir Camp, where they saw two Hispanic men moving towards the Caracol Road. The men were caught around 7:30 p.m. in the area.
Mancia was armed with a .38 revolver with five cartridges while Ramirez was armed with a 16-gauge shotgun with three .38 revolver ammunition. The men also had in their possession 64.6 grams of cannabis.
The men were about five miles away from the Western Border and were moving further into the interior of the forest. They were apparently seeking xate leaves and hunting game species, both of which are illegal activities in the area.
Both men were detained and taken to the San Ignacio Police Station, where they were formally charged for keeping a firearm without a gun license, keeping ammunition without a license and drug trafficking.
OCEANA AND GOB EXCHANGE BLOWS AS THEY AWAIT CJ’S RULING
Prime Minister Dean Barrow reasserted his Government’s position last week that until they can come up with “firm metrics” on which zones offshore of Belize will be excluded from petroleum exploration, it will hold off on the issuance of any new petroleum concessions.
Meanwhile, the most recently released map showing the petroleum contracts indicates that two petroleum concessions, those issued to Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy, continue to be included – a bone of contention between the Government and Oceana, which obtained a favorable ruling from Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall in April declaring six offshore contracts to be “unlawful, null and void.”
Oceana says that the inclusion of the two concessions on the latest map, dated May 2013, is “outright disregard” for the Legall ruling.
Treaty Energy Corporation, the joint venture partner of Princess, paused petroleum exploration works shortly after the Legall ruling, but announced shortly after that it was resuming works based on the advice of its attorneys and public statements from the Government of Belize.
Government’s attorney, Denys Barrow, SC, has argued in court that the contracts were not quashed by Legall, but that the Government is fettered from conducting any oversight of Treaty’s activities. However, Oceana contends that Treaty ought not to be doing any works under the petroleum contracts.
DANGRIGA TOWN BEHIND IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Market renovation delay is causing vendors to lose revenue.
Dangriga Town is the only municipality that has not seen completion of phase one of the two-part Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) under the Social Investment Fund.
We were told that last Wednesday a team from the World Bank and Social Investment Fund (SIF) visited the Town Council to take a mid-term review for the BMDP and to check the project’s progress, challenges and lessons learned, among other things.
The Dangriga Market Extension and Renovation Project is a $1.3 million dollar project and is the largest project under phase one of the BMDP. However, Dangriga’s market project is the only phase one project in the country that has not been completed as yet. Dangriga Town Mayor Gilbert Swaso said it is all due to poor management and financing.
“The Dangriga Market Extension and Renovation is significantly delayed,” he said. “As a matter of fact, since the signing of the contract it was expected that that project should have been completed end of July, which is the one-year period since the signing of the contract. However, because of several factors which include from a SIF perspective, poor management and poor financing of the contractor, that market is significantly delayed.”
VENEZUELA AND BELIZE STRENGTHEN TIES
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize held an “Act of Friendship and Solidarity” activity today, Saturday, in the city of Belmopan.
The purpose of the gathering, which was held at the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (IVCC), was for the people of Belize to be reassured that Venezuela will continue to build their political and economic relationship.
His Excellency Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize, said in his address that the economic, political, and military sectors of his country are being threatened by Venezuelan and Latin American opposition groups. He went on to add that those in opposition are seeking support from the United States government in overthrowing the democratic government of President Nicolas Maduro.
He said that overthrowing President Maduro would lead to an end of policies of cooperation, integration and solidarity that the country has already formed with Latin American and Caribbean sister nations. For that reason, the Venezuelan government is seeking to further strengthen their ties with those nations without foreign interference.
Adalbert Tucker, Ambassador For Foreign Trade and Head International Cooperation for the Government of Belize, told us that the day’s activity was an opportunity, not only for Venezuela to show their solidarity but also for the Belizean people to offer their encouragement to Venezuela as the country pushes for increased solidarity.
MINISTRY OF FINANCE DENIES VETTING THE IBC AND SHIPPING REGISTRIES TERM EXTENSION LETTER
The Ministry of Finance has categorically denied a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition that the letter of March 24, 2005, signed by him and the then Prime Minister, which purported to extend the term of the Management Services Agreement for the International Business Companies Registry and the Shipping Registry for another seven years from 2013 to 2020, had been vetted by officials of the Ministry of Finance.
Gian Gandhi, who has been legal advisor in the Ministry of Finance for the last 13 years, says that at no time was his advice sought on the validity of this letter and that the first time he saw it was last month when it was produced by Belize International Services Limited in response to a letter from the Financial Secretary.
Gandhi also says that he has carefully looked through the Cabinet Briefing Notes for the period January 1, 2003 to March 31, 2005, prepared by the then Cabinet Secretary, Robert Leslie, and that he found absolutely no mention of extension of term of the Management Services Agreement for the IBC and Shipping Registries.
This contradicts the Leader of Opposition’s claim that the extension letter had been approved by Cabinet.
VIDEO: Friday night boxing San Pedro Style
This Video shows how action packed Belize boxing matches are. Great people watching, excellent boxing and prizes too.
Lobster Fest in Belize
Belize is a country filled with diverse cultures, and an array of different terrains. Every year the country hosts many events. One very popular and rapidly growing island celebration, held for the last 17 years in June and July, is the Belize Lobster festival, better known as Lobster Fest. This festival marks the opening of the lobster season and the closing of the conch season. Lobster fest features Belizean music, live entertainment, water activities and a variety of contests that are fun for everyone but most importantly it features manydifferent Lobster dishes. Lobster fest is celebrated in three different locations; Caye Caulker, Placencia and San Pedro. These celebrations include activities and entertainment for locals and visitors.
Lobster fest begun in Caye Caulker as a local tradition 17 years ago. Since then its popularity has increased attracting not only locals but many tourists to the island to enjoy the different seafood delicacies. Each year this lobster fest develops into a larger and more productive event as the public demand and business participation increases. Caye Caulker, the original Lobster Fest locale, has gone from a local fest to an international festival gaining recognition from both locals and tourists world wide.
Placencia was the second destination to host the Lobster fest in 1998 in an effort, by the Belize Tourism Industry Association, to attract and increase visitors to the Peninsula during the slow summer months. Placencia attracts many to its sandy beaches and turquoise waters. If you are in Placencia in the month of June make sure to stop by to enjoy the lobster delicacies, the fun family activities and most importantly indulge in the Belizean Culture.
What to do with rain in Belize
Sometimes you just cannot help bad weather when traveling. I have seen a few weather posts on forums recently about people wanting to know what to do with themselves when it rains. Unless you are the type that melts when wet like the wicked witch of the west, going out in the rain can be lots of fun. Just make sure you are well water proofed if you do.
This morning Dick and I had a few errands to run so we checked out the back roads to see just how bad they were getting from all the rain. We saw lots of big puddles and a few peoples yards were under water. I took lots of video and will start editing it tomorrow and see what I got.
After coming home I was planning to finish a #TravelTuesday post but I got sidetracked with a great rainy day project instead. AVG scanning, organizing and backing up all my pictures. With 36,716 thousand of them, it has taken me a good 9 h to load them between two 16 GB flash drives and my 300 GB Samsung external hard drive. When was the last time you backed up all your important files? This was a perfect excuse to watch TV in bed while I worked
Making Waves in Belize
On twitter, there’s a big chat every week that you can follow with the hashtag #FriFotos or by tuning in to the @FriFotos account. Participants share photos and stories around a certain subject which is usually chosen early in the week by a committee and then announced through the FriFotos account and by co-hosts of the chat. This week’s theme is: waves.
Immediately I thought back to Belize which was my last destination right before returning to NYC for the summer. One of our days involved being out in a boat and there are few things I love more than cutting through the water, making waves, on a bright and sunny day. Particularly when it’s the Caribbean. Just look at the color of that water!! I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you will join in the photo-sharing fun on your own blog or over on twitter. I look forward to seeing your images.
Belizean Beef Panuchos
Panuchos are a Spanish dishes of Central America. It is cooked only in certain districts in Belize and is not as popular as garnaches, enchilader or panades. This dish is similar to the Belizean Salbutes, but with the twist of adding the main ingredient of Belizean Tamales. The cheese that is added on top and allowed to melt makes this dish irresistible.
Grow your business through better cash management
“When it comes to your small business one of the biggest challenges can be having the cash to grow. There are a number of “cash management” tools offered by banks that can help your business pick up surprising amounts of cash flow without increasing traditional borrowing levels.
As simple as it may seem, before you can identify tools to improve cash flow you must understand your company’s cash cycle. The cash cycle consists of:
How you get paid.
What you do with the cash you have on hand.
How you pay it out.
“Wasting My Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Another rainy morning yesterday created no great desire on my part to do much at all. Even attempts to sit in the fresh air on the veranda didn’t last too long before the rain swirled in and I retreated for cover in to the condo. Boy did I get through some pages of the latest book that I am reading though (The Covenant by James A. Michener). Fairly raced through the pages!
As the day progressed the weather started to improve. The downpours became less frequent and slightly lighter and the sun made attempts at showing itself so Rose and I decided to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to look at progress. With our raincoats with us and the windscreen on our golf cart it didn’t matter if it rained, did it?
Well that is where we were wrong. Why? Well, when we got to the golf cart-parked just outside the condo we are renting- we found it minus the windscreen. Some b@&#*^d had stolen it. We briefly (for all of two minutes) contemplated reporting it to the police but concluded that it would be a pointless exercise and I really didn’t see the sense in wasting my time! Nothing about our windscreen that discerns it from the hundreds and hundreds on the island anyway.
So, feeling well and truly pissed off (angry/irritated for non UK readers) we set off on our journey north and got to our lot shortly after 3 pm (much of the water on the road north of the bridge had gone).
June 9, 2013 - June 15, 2013 Fishing Report
What a fun week. Thanks everyone for expressing your fishing passion and fun with us here at El Pescador. It’s always heart felt to see our returning guests, thank you. What can we say? We have been “sold out,” for weeks! All of our guides are working full time and they keep exploring. We are so proud of our guide team: Without you, new angers would never know how it feels to land a bonefish on fly. Without you, our “Grand Slam” plaque is now filled, and now we need to have the guys make a new frame. Wow. YOU GUYS ROCK!
What Follows Low Proficiency Scores?
According to the recently released results of the 2013 PSE (Public School Examinations) proficiency exams, more than half of all exiting Primary school students throughout Belize ranked poorly in English and Math. The results that were released to the media show that 53% of the 7359 students who took the exams were assessed as not proficient. The median score in English was 58% while in Math it remained steady at around 54% as the previous year. These low proficiency scores indicate loudly that our students in Primary schools are not learning as they should. Readers who follow my Guidance Counseling columns know that, for years now, I strongly advocate and assert that Education, especially at early levels, needs to be focused on successful “learning”. Low PSE results this year show, without a doubt, that there continues to be large disparities between teaching and learning in our Primary schools.
The results of these standardized exams deem that half of all students who complete Primary school throughout the country this month are “not ready” to enter high school. How valid is this statistic? At the outset, I submit that it does not mean that our children and schools are deficient. Moreover, no amount of finger-pointing or vocal public accusations against schools/ teachers will even out any disparities between teaching and learning, or improve student performance. Politicization of these results merely focuses on blaming, and adds to the trauma that students and schools may be suffering now. Let us, especially after this unfavorable assessment, respect and uphold the dignity of our schools and teachers, and students. To remove the stigma of failure, policymakers who manage Belize’s Education Systems can focus on designing and providing multiple resources for schools and educators to use to help young students learn to develop their inquiry and reflection skills. Rote learning and memorization of fragmented academic subjects, which we continue to emphasize in Primary schools, are not learning methods. Teamwork, experimentation, and problem-solving are preferable.
Standards 6 Teachers Can’t Pass The PSE Either
As a follow up to our last article about the high failure on the PSE in Belize. Well it turns out that the teachers can’t pass the exam either. This tells us that something is still seriously wrong and actually makes the argument stronger. Either the teachers are so under educated or the system is so broken. I go with the last one, there is no way on this rock we call home that we have that high failure rate in our Educators base. This latest finding actually proves my point even more that we DESPERATELY need to do something about the current state of our education system but we need each and everyone of you to join hands and do your part no matter how small.
Here is the article as per 7News
As we’ve reported, failure rates in the PSE continued last year and with examinations coming up in May, most educators concede that it won’t get much better. And today, new information released by the Ministry of Education tells us why that may be the case. Late last year, teachers took the test and the results were alarming. Those were released to mixed reaction at a Ministry of Education press conference this morning. We were there.
VIDEO: Cavern Diving safety message
Cavern Diving with a certified Cavern guide is a safe and enjoyable experience however many unscrupulous "guides" risk unsuspecting open water clients lives on a daily basis to make an extra buck or because they simply do not care. Please watch this brief video that explains the cavern diving safety guidelines.
The new “Most expensive expat cites” list is out, with the usual misleading data
The fine folks at ECA International, which is evidently a global human resources consultancy firm, has released its 2013 list of the most expensive cities for expats, and most outlets seem to reprint it without evaluation. I’ve actually mentioned this in the past, but this year the list is even more skewed than before, so I can’t help but discuss it again.
On top of the list of most expensive cities is Oslo, which is actually a justifiable champion because it’s the most expensive city in an expensive country where nothing is cheap. There’s another more obscure Norwegian city on the list, as well as Zurich, Geneva, Bern, and Basel, which are also solid choices for similar reasons in Switzerland. Tokyo also deserves its place, even if it has fallen down the list this year due to a weakening Yen.
The cities that don’t really belong
Where I begin to take issue with the list is that Luanda, Angola comes in #2, Juba, South Sudan is #4, and Moscow is #5. The average incomes of locals in these three cities are only a fraction of the incomes of the others on the list, so this “expat” list only really applies to executives at multi-national companies and oil engineers.
Angela Amos to study overseas
A Colcord woman has been selected to participate in summer 2013 global graduate studies in the Central American country of Belize.
Beginning in mid-July, Siloam Springs High School staff member Angela Amos of Colcord, will study conservation and marine ecology in the Central American country of Belize.
“I’ve struggled a bit for several years with the increasing throwaway mentality that seems to have taken over our world. This led me to studying more about conservation efforts both locally and internationally. I’m especially interested in purchasing local goods and seeing local farms and businesses thrive, and I try to make purchasing decisions with that in mind. Last fall my principal sent a flyer about a program that seemed tailor-made for me, focusing on conservation and ecology methods. The first year I will be able to study in Belize, but in the three years it takes to finish the program, I’ll be able to travel to three different international locales to research differing conservation methods (both animal, marine, and community-based conservation efforts),” said Amos.
New chair of CRFM Ministerial Council urges implementation of Castries Declaration on IUU fishing and CARICOM Common Fisheries Policy
The recently appointed chairman of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, has urged fellow Caribbean ministers to place special emphasis on the implementation of policies and recommendations coming out of the 7th Ministerial Council of the CRFM, held at the end of May in Barbados. An area where focus is definitely needed is the implementation of policies and recommendations in a much more timely manner. We have seen tardiness to this end in the implementation of policy decisions from the Ministerial Council. One such policy that readily comes to mind is the Castries Declaration in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated [IUU] fishing and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy,” said Estwick.
Best Places To Retire 2013: 21 Cities Around The World Are Named
Where's the best place in the world to retire? Is it Abruzzo, Italy or maybe Cayo, Belize? The truth? Only you can decide. But to help anyone who might be contemplating a move abroad, Live and Invest Overseas has compiled its First Annual Retire Overseas Index.
After considering 12 factors -- things like taxes, safety, climate, health care and real estate -- Live and Invest Overseas came up with 21 destinations it believes offer the greatest potential for the would-be retiree in 2013.
Note that none of the destinations are countries -- but cities.
"Naming countries as top places to retire is silly. It doesn’t make any sense. Because even very small countries can offer dramatically different standards of living, lifestyle options, costs of living, climates, etc.," said Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas and Huff/Post50 blogger.
"Belize is maybe the best example. It’s a tiny country with all of 350,000 people, yet it offers both Caribbean beach living and back-to-basics country living on the mainland in the Cayo district," she added.
There's also no ranking. According to Peddicord, all the destinations should be considered.