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Today's Belize News: July 23, 2013 #468825
07/23/13 06:13 AM
07/23/13 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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 July 21st, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

International Costa Maya Festival®: Unity, Beauty and Entertainment
The first weekend of August brings to life one of the most highly anticipated festivals of the year. For over 20 years, the International Costa Maya Festival® has been bringing to San Pedro artists, dancers, artisans, and musicians to one stage to entertain and thrill an eager crowd. Traditionally held at the old football field, the festival brings together Latin American bands of many genres, soloists, dance groups and performers who inspire crowds to their feet, dancing, singing along and generally enjoying a great show. The carnival-like festival also brings in games for the kids, rides and treats, and the bar provides the icy refreshments that keep everyone cool on the hot island summer nights. The highlight of the festival for many is the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant®. Representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama will compete onstage for the coveted crown. Thursday night will be a show of exotic costumes, elegant gowns and stunning swimwear, and a panel of judges will deem one of the eight the winner of the crown, and the representative of The Costa Maya®. Throughout the night, the Belize Dance Company will be performing, and after the winner is announced, a great party will follow with local band Rompe Raja. Mexican dance group Ballet de Quintana Roo will also grace the stage with their traditional folkloric ballets, complete with colorful costumes and drama.

SP Town Library ends first week of reading camp with face painting
The San Pedro Town Library concluded their first summer reading camp and are preparing for the second one. The camp for children ages 5 to 7, ended on Friday July 19th with a face painting event where the students were also given small gifts as a token of participation. 20 excited and energetic children took part in the first week of reading camp. According to Iracela Acosta, Senior Assistant Librarian at the San Pedro Town Library, the first camp was a great success. “The theme for this year’s camp is Extinct and Endangered Animals. We emphasized the animals through arts and craft, paintings, storytelling, reading, puzzles, games and even a nature walk. We took the children to the beach and collected shells for our craft session as well. All in all it was a great week,” explained Acosta. At the end of the reading camp, the participants were given a small snack and a gift package which consisted of school supplies.

Students in need receive education subsidies
40 students received financial education subsidies from the Area Representative Hon. Manulel Heredia Jr. and the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero. The students are the first of two groups who have been selected as part of the education assistance program given to every constituency as part of the Government of Belize’s commitment to education. A total of 100 students from Belize Rural South will benefit from the assistance; 21 students from Caye Caulker Village and 79 from San Pedro Town. “This financial assistance is given to my area for students at the high school level. The Government of Belize gives each constituent certain amount of assistance and for my area a total of 100 students will benefit. I will also be giving out 150 more assistance to students from my area through the Belize Tourism Board,” explained Heredia Jr. The financial assistance granted ranges from between $300 to $400 for 1st and 2nd form students, $500 to $600 for 3rd and 4th form students, $800 up to $1,000 for six form students and up to maximum of $1500 for university students. 25 more students studying abroad are also receiving assistance in excess of $2500.

Costa Maya Festival® presents El Salvador!
Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Magandi is the latest beauty representative to be announced for the Reina de la Costa Maya® pageant. 21-year-old Fatima represents El Salvador with pride, and she is excited to experience the wonders that Belize has, especially the Barrier Reef. The 4th year communications major at Jose Matias Delgado stands at 5’ 7”, measures 35-26-35. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. Fatima enjoys painting, swimming and spending time with family. We wish her the best in the competition as she faces Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), Artemisa (Mexico), Ariadna (Nicaragua) and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama) on stage, Thursday August 1st.

Caribbean Community Maps Out Renewable Energy Plan
The Worldwatch Institute is assisting the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in developing a Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) to provide a more strategic approach to implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in the region. The overall goals are to address the inadequate energy security of most CARICOM member states and to establish them as climate-compatible economies through greater diversification of the energy supply away from heavy dependence on imported petroleum products and toward smarter, more-sustainable energy technologies. On Thursday, CARICOM hosted the C-SERMS Resource Mobilisation Forum, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Germany, in Christ Church, Barbados. The aim of the forum, which included key participation from Worldwatch, was to share information among various energy-sector stakeholders and to garner funding support, technical assistance, and commitments toward further development and implementation of identified initiatives, programs, and projects.

Ambergris Today

Belize Expanding on Tilapia Farming
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture in collaboration with the Taiwan Technical Mission hosted a ground breaking ceremony for the building of a Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central Farm on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. This event is in regards of the Aquaculture Project that is being implemented in the development of the tilapia industry. Present at the event was the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, H.E David Wu Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize and other invited guess. This Aquaculture Project is estimated to have a cost of two and a half million US dollars (US$2,500,000.00) and duration of five (5) years which initiated from February 2012 and is to culminate on February 2017.

Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force Engages in Annual Battle Camp
On Friday, July 19, 2013, The Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar visited and addressed members of the Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force who are currently engaged in their Annual Battle Camp. Battle Camp 2013, which is being held at Camp Belizario, located at Central Farm in the Cayo District, focuses mainly on operations conducted in what the BDF calls the Western Tactical Area of Responsibility. This includes internal security; assisting and supporting agencies such as Immigration, Customs, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) and the Police; inland and border patrols; and manning observation/conservation posts.

25 Years Ago: The Incredible Coconut Tree
The culture of San Pedro is such that it calls for a siesta or a short nap time just after midday lunch or by mid afternoon. This goes back to 1898 when the coconut farmers (miler) simply laid down to rest under the shade of a coconut tree. This of course happened after long hours of collecting coconuts and peeling the nuts out of the thick husk. The trend was then followed by the fishermen who easily and conveniently assimilated the San Pedro tradition. Women and children then acquired this custom ‘in their genes’ for everyone in San Pedro automatically takes a well deserved siesta. It became such an inherent custom that the folks of San Pedro tied their hammock between any two poles or posts or even two adjacent coconut trees where the shade and coolness of the day made the siesta even more attractive or even a luxury. Some coconut trees seem to bend or lean forward to make the tying of the hammock an easier process.

Pic of the Week: Underwater Fun with Stingrays in San Pedro, Belize
Have you ever wanted to fly? Well it is pretty easy when you are underwater. Stingrays "FLY" throughout the beautiful aquamarine waters of Belize. Here in Ambergris Caye, stingrays have their very own park which they share with sharks called Shark and Sting Ray Alley located at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Many have gotten the chance to fly, or should i say swim, with these amazing creatures. Tour guide Loidy Gonzalez entertained his customers by swimming and posing for pictures with his stingray friend; earning him a spot on this weeks pick of the week.

Flashbacks: Siesta Time in San Pedro was Gene Inherited
The culture of San Pedro is such that it calls for a siesta or a short nap time just after midday lunch or by mid afternoon. This goes back to 1898 when the coconut farmers (milperos) simply laid down to rest under the shade of a coconut tree. This of course happened after long hours of collecting coconuts and peeling the nuts out of the thick husk. The trend was then followed by the fishermen who easily and conveniently assimilated the San Pedro tradition. Women and children then acquired this custom ‘in their genes’ for everyone in San Pedro automatically takes a well deserved siesta. It became such an inherent custom that the folks of San Pedro tied their hammock between any two poles or posts or even two adjacent coconut trees where the shade and coolness of the day made the siesta even more attractive or even a luxury. Just be careful you don’t stand too long at one particular place just after midday or someone might tie a hammock unto your legs.

Misc Belizean Sources

Strategic Marketing Training
Beltraide is having an all day seminar on Strategic Marketing for export related businesses tomorrow, July 23rd, at the George Price Centre. The facilitator will be Christophe Jecquemin.

YWAM Recycle Camp
The Youth With a Mission Recycle Camp starts today in Belmopan. That's a different kind of Summer camp. "Dance, Visual & Performing Arts camp at YWAM Belmopan July 22nd-25th. Only $10 per student! Register by emailing [email protected] with names, and ages of students interested. Final schedule to be emailed out next week! Don't miss out!"

SHC Summer Upgrades
Sacred Heart College has a lot going on this Summer. Not only is the new bus stop being built along with the refurbishing of Joseph Andrews drive, but they've laid fiberoptics for their computer network, phase 3 of the auditorium is proceeding nicely, and they've got a few new murals too. "A lot is happening at Sacred Heart. They have laid fiberoptics. Phase 3 of the auditorium is looking good. They are also getting some new murals courtesy of Jose Guerra-Awe and his wife."

Experience The Best Of Belize Through Nature And Outdoor Adventures

Channel 7

Norwegian MOU Surfaces, Causes Cruise Consternation
Concern is mounting on the Placencia Peninsula over the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding that’s being tabled by a Cruise Developer called Belize Island Holding Limited, which is the local incarnation of Norwegian Cruise Line. They want to build a cruise port on Harvest Caye, south of the Peninsula Peninsula, after the proposal for Crawl Caye fell through. In the agreement, Norwegian agrees to invest $50Million US dollars and employ no more than 25% foreign staff. In exchange Government will make the usual giveaways, a 25-year concession, duty exemptions and duty free status, even business tax exemptions. But the best part for Norwegian is, under the terms of the MOU, they get to keep more than half of the 7 US dollar head tax they collect. The BTB would get one dollar sixty cents US, PACT one dollar and forty cents US and Norwegian would get the rest, 4 USD per person. But out of PACT and BTB’s minority take, they would have to apportion - in the BTB’s case - 50 cents per person to a tourism development fund, to be used on southern Belize – thus developing product for the Port owners.

Southern Man Chopped To Death In His Sleep
56 year old Guatemalan Banana Worker Isaac Gutierrez died early this morning after he chopped in his own home yesterday evening. Independence Police arrived at his house at 6:30 last night to find Gutierrez lying down in the center of the floor bleeding profusely from a large cut wound to his neck. Police learned that earlier on, one Jose Soto arrived at Gutierrez’s house on a motorcycle, stormed in and started kicking him. Guttirrez was sleeping off a drinking session, and couldn’t wake up. Soto then pulled out a machete from his waist and chopped the sleeping Isaac to his neck. Soto then rode off. Gutierrez was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in a critical condition where died at 12:10 am. Soto is being sought by police.

Ten Year Old Drowns After Canoe Capsizes
Tonight, the family of 10 year-old Johan Schmitt, a resident of Shipyard Village in the Orange Walk District, is making preparations for his burial after he drowned yesterday. His friends told our colleagues at CTV3 News that he was at a pond, seen here, where they always go on Sundays. Schmitt always accompanies his friends to this pond, but because he can’t swim, he always watches them while remaining on the pier. According to his friends yesterday, he decided, without their knowledge or consent, to get into a small skiff at the side of the pier and he was paddling out to them, when suddenly they couldn’t see him any longer. He went under and never surfaced, and 4 hours later, his body was found by police officers who responded to the family’s call for help.

Children Abducted, Father Points At Their Grandfather
Tonight, a family from Cow Pen Village in Stann Creek continues to worry about 2 of their children who went missing last week. It hasn’t been reported by the Police Press Office as yet, but 7News understands that 9 year-old Fanny Romero, and her little brother 8 year-old Jairo went missing on Wednesday. Our colleagues from KREM News spoke to the children’s father, Felix Romero, who told them that the children went to watch television at a neighbor’s house while their mother was cooking breakfast for them. They went over to that neighbor’s house, but they never returned home, and all the information reaching the family is that they were possibly abducted and taken to an estranged family member. He’s the children’s grandfather, Juan Jovel, a Honduran Laborer, who was deported from the US, and according to Felix Romero, he fears that Jovel may take the children abroad.

Cop Cleared After 3 Years On Interdiction For Murder
Police Constable Lazaro Cach walked out of Supreme Court a free man today after more than 3 years on interdiction after he was charged abetment to commit manslaughter for the shooting death of Jamaican O’Neil Jones. Viewers may remember that on February 12, 2010, Jones was shot in the back as he exited a bar, and eyewitnesses pointed to the police officers who responded to a report of a fight. As a result, Cach was charged 3 months later in relation to this incident, and while those eyewitnesses were sure, 3 years later the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions could not provide any evidence which linked Cach to the shooting. His attorney, Darrell Bradley, made a no-case submission to Justice Troadio Gonzalez today after the prosecution closed their case.

Female Fight Leaves Five Hospitalized With Stab Wounds
Tonight, police have 5 females detained, who they are waiting to take to the Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned on charges for a multiple stabbing incident. It all started at a party at this property owned by the Moody’s on Iguana Street Extension on Saturday night. According to Police, Kendra Smith and Lyvette Brown crashed the party. This caused a big fight at the party, and the other females got involved to try to part them, but they got injured in the scuffle. Brown allegedly stabbed 18 year old Sasha Moody in the midsection while Kendra sliced her on the thumb. When police went to the hospital, they found 21 year-old Kendra with a cut wound to the left wrist; Sasha Moody with a cut to her right thumb and 2 stab wounds to the left side of the stomach; a 16 year-old with a stab to the left breast, left shoulder the right side of the head, and right side of the leg; 19 year-old Lyvette with a stab wound to the right side of her face; and 30 year-old Darlene Adolphus with a cut wound to left shoulder.

Rising Sea Levels?: Municipal Airstrip Floods In July
For the past five years or so, we’ve gotten used to going out to the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City – where high tides force the temporary closure of the runway, which is right against the sea. But that usually happens in September when the Spring Tides come in. But, call it climate change, rising sea levels, or full moon, but the tides over the weekend were unusually high – and it forced an unprecedented July closure of the airstrip. It had to be closed yesterday, today and the same is expected for tomorrow. We discussed the strange tides with the General Manager of the Belize airport Authority Kenworth Tillett:… "We are having an unusual high tide and of course when we have extra ordinary high tides - the runway gets flooded. So we had to close the runway and we're on the process to try and clean up now and hope that we get the airport open in an hour or so."

Taiwan Send Youth Ambassadors
For the fourth year, The Taiwanese Embassy in Belize has organized to send an “International Youth Ambassador” Delegation from Taiwan to visit Belize. The 7 students are from the National Taipei University of Science and Technology and will be here from July 21 to August 3,. A Ceremony to mark their arrival was held today and we found out more. "The significance of this programme lies in the opportunity of students from Belize and from Taiwan to increase their knowledge, acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and artistic perspectives whilst having fun through exponential learning. For the next two weeks our Belizean youth will be partaking in a activities such as martial arts, Taiwanese Opera, aboriginal dancing and other elements of the Taiwanse culture. The youth ambassadors will also get to experience Belize's culture, visit native landmarks, experience Belize's traditions and food among other things."

Mayans File Major Law Suit Against Oil Company
Tomorrow morning at 3:00 am, Mayan Communities in the Toledo District will stir as early as 3:00 am, to get ready to head to Belize city for a major press conference. That’s where the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will outline a law suit the Mayan communities are bringing against US Capital Energy and presumably the Government of Belize. The suit was filed today by SATIIM’s Attorney Eamon Courtenay. The details of it will be outlined tomorrow.

Central Lab To Be Renovated
It is forever etched in the history of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital that 12 premature babies died in their neonatal intensive care unit in May of this year. There is still no one who has been held responsible for the deaths, even in the face of a damning report by PAHO who investigated the cause. The incident, however, has sparked some serious changes at the hospital in their effort to upgrade according to the recommendations by PAHO. One of those upgrades, though not directly tied to the hospital, finally started last Friday in Belmopan when the Ministry of Health signed a contract with Gutierrez and Associate Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Viewers may remember that Minister of Health Pablo Marin announced a month ago that his ministry would provide $300,000 for this much needed renovation. Well that money has been contracted, and the company in charge of the works will use it to fix the floor structure, the exterior walls, and interior works, as well as plumbing and electrical work on the Chemistry, Hematology, and Serology Units.

Tourism For The Media
If you’re not in the tourism business then you probably won’t know what the term “fam” trip means. “Fam” is short for familiarization, and it’s a trip where a property owner or, in this case the BTB takes media or travel agent on a visit to tourism destination to familiarize them with it – so that they can promote it or sell it. Foreign media do “fam” trips in Belize all the time – and every five years or so, the BTB remembers little ‘ole us, the local media. A “fam” trip was organized from last week up to yesterday – and here are some highlights. Daniel Ortiz reporting The media travelled to the picturesque, beach front Laru Beya resort in Placencia. Rene Nunez - General Manager, Laru Beya "Laru Beya is a Belizean property - that is very clear to anybody who takes a look at Laru Beya. Our developer is Belizean, our staff is Belizean and we are a part of the community. The thing I hear the most and the feedback I get the most from our guest is that Laru Beya is a peaceful, quiet property."

Re: Today's Belize News: July 23, 2013 [Re: Marty] #468826
07/23/13 06:13 AM
07/23/13 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

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New hope from the Global Climate Change Summit held In Belize
Cayo, Belize is more than just the home of The Lodge at Chaa Creek; the once sleepy little town of San Ignacio is now a place where all kinds of things happen. For example… Climate experts from all over the world met there this week (18 July 2013) to discuss one of those environmental issues of burning interest to all of us here – the very real problem of climate change. (Those of you who do not believe in human-created climate change can feel free to stop here and go back to inventing the wheel or decorating your caves. For the rest, read on…) Yes, Belize had the honour of hosting the first ever Intra-African Caribbean Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Programme. While the name may be almost as challenging as the problem, the goal is straightforward and the objectives are clear. There is no longer any doubt that the time has come for governments, business and NGOs around the world to work towards mitigating the effects of climate change as much as possible while working out long-term solutions.

My top ten weekend pictures and new moving sale pricing
My Sunday Errand was heading south to see the Kumar’s and pick up a phone. While there I could not help but do some shopping. It was like being in a really fine consignment store and everything looked like new, they take beyond good care of their stuff. What got me going was 4 clear Trevis glasses with spades card design. For how new they looked, I could have been shopping at Trevis Tumblers only I felt much luckier. Not only did I not have mall head or feel overwhelmed by choice, when I looked out the open veranda doors, there was no strip mall, gas station or Starbucks. I had a fabulous 3rd story view of the Barrier Reef, what an awesome shopping experience. Being a waterproofing junkie, I could not resist the clear red plastic waterproof tablet case, still new in package from Amazon. I also got a router to look into and see if I can get it going and hopefully knock a few dollars off our btl bill by turning ours in.

“Steamy Windows” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Just got to (actually I haven’t got to, but I do want to – and I can because this is my blog!) start off today’s edition by saying how good the fish cakes were. Could have eaten (at least) another one. Probably two at a stretch (of my stomach that is). When Rose and I were at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday we spent some time re -measuring the widths of the areas for where the vanity units for the five bathrooms will be fitted. Armed with this information I was able on Friday to send an email to Fabro’s Glass Limited (based in Victoria Street, Belize City) detailing what we want. I now await a response advising what the cost will be and how long it will take to produce them. Hopefully they will be able to get them to us in just over a week. With that out of the way I took the golf cart to Captain Shark’s. The reason for this return visit is that since collecting it after its service last week there have been creaking/groaning noises emanating from the front (note my obviously mechanically knowledgable description (sic)) whenever turning the steering wheel. At times it has sounded as if the axel was going to snap. After dropping off the cart I took a leisurely walk along the beach back to the condo we are renting -sure beats taking the car for a service in the UK- and got there shortly after 10.30 hours when I grabbed my book and headed with it to the beach for some ‘quality time’.

10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize
From since I started blogging about Belize, one of the most frequently asked questions has been: why Belize? Why should someone choose to travel to Belize opposed to another place? For me, the reasons are pretty simple. A Belize vacation is relaxing and soothing. It’s also physically and mentally stimulating. Many visitors love it so much that they later choose to retire in Belize. Let’s see if I can convince you. 10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize 1. The key to having good conversations is having interesting stories. How about adding scuba diving with whale sharks to your recent activities? They are gentle and docile creatures but something about having the words whale and shark next to each other makes it sound intimidating. Or maybe that’s just me?

International Sources

Retirement investment programme attracting expats to Belize
The Caribbean English speaking country of Belize is seeing an increasing expat population as retired people are moving there from Europe to benefit from an incentive programme, it is claimed. Only a few years ago the number of foreign retirees living in Belize amounted to a few dozen but now there is an expanding community of expats attracted by the Retired Persons Incentive Programme. They are also attracted by the location and lifestyle which includes the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest, nature and water sports. The country is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the west and south by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean and the country considers itself to be both Caribbean and Central American. According to Luke Smith, managing director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate, the Retired Persons Incentive Programme permits people to live tax free. To qualify the individual can come from any country, must have a minimum age of 45 and should have a qualifying non-Belizean based income of a minimum US$2,000 US per month.

London nurses welcome visitor from Belize
Last month the first lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow, was given a tour of the Evelina Children’s Hospital during a diplomatic visit to the UK. Ms Barrow was welcomed by staff at the hospital, run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, including surgery specialist nurse Jacqui Mitchell, matron Lorraine Arnavout, and head of nursing Polly Hodgson. The visit formed part of Ms Barrow’s efforts to raise money to construct a children’s intensive care facility at the Central American country’s National Referral Hospital. She is hoping to improve support for children and families in the former British colony, which has a population of around 330,000.

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