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Today's Belize News: August 14, 2013 #470163
08/14/13 05:51 AM
08/14/13 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,159
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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The San Pedro Sun

Where Do You Read: Jaguar Paw Eco Park
America Montejo reads My Beautiful Belize while on a tour at Jaguar Paw with Chukka Jungle Adventures courtesy of Amigos del Mar Jungle Adventures. America enjoyed zip lining through the forests and cave tubing through ancient caves, exploring her beautiful country Belize.

BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp Concludes
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Annual Summer Camp for 2013 concluded over the past weekend in Toledo. This year’s camp was held at the Julian Cho Technical High School located in the village of Big Falls, and was attended by close to 300 cadets from around the country. The camp ran from Saturday August 3 to Saturday August 10 and covered Drills, Band Practice, Environmental Study, Physical Training, Administration in the Field, First Aid, Knots and Hitches, and Personal Hygiene. There were lecturers from the Police Department, National Drug-Abuse Control Council, HIV/AIDS Commission, Fire Service, Audubon Society and Solid Waste Management.

National AIDS Commission Island Committee “Sweeps the Island”
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee joined forces with Pan American Social Marketing Organization Belize over the Costa Maya weekend to “Sweep the Island”. The activity was carried out over a two day span commencing on Friday August 2nd through the 3rd. The purpose of the activity was to reach one of the more “at risk” population in San Pedro Town, with major focus on FSW – Female Sex Workers. As part of the drive, members of both NAC Island Committee and PASMO took to the streets offering both HIV Education and Free Mobile Testing.

Street Treats: Pizza
San Pedro is home to many great restaurants, but for those who aren’t in the mood for fine dining and cutlery there is no better treat than pizza. Pizza has made its way across every single nation delighting every taste bud alive. It is the perfect combination of all the food groups: you get your veggies, your protein, your dairy and your starch. With so many choices out there, there’s sure to be a pizza to satisfy just about every fetish. For many it’s the classic pepperoni or the good ol’ meat lover’s but don’t be afraid to step out and mix things up a bit. After all when it comes to toppings, almost anything can compliment a perfectly baked crust layered with rich sauce, and hot melted mozzarella, so don’t be afraid to pile ‘em on! For those that dare to experience bliss, make this street treat better, with an ice-cold Lighthouse or Belikin Beer as your beverage of choice! Pizza and beer is a match made in heaven (Of course, this is for those of us 18yrs+).

Ambergris Today

Free Mobile HIV Rapid Testing Conducted In San Pedro
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee joined forces with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization PASMO Belize over the Costa Maya weekend to “Sweep the Island”. The activity was carried out over a two-day span commencing on Friday August 2nd through the 3rd. The purpose of the activity was to reach one of the more “at risk” populations in San Pedro Town, with major focus on FSW – Female Sex Workers. As part of the drive, members of both NAC Island Committee and PASMO took to the streets offering both HIV Education and Free Mobile HIV Rapid Testing. At the end, the team was able to visit four bars and various work sites; with a total of 67 tests performed. The testing done on both days by sex is as follows: Day Male Female Total Friday 15 31 46 Saturday 18 3 21 Total: 33 34 67 This exercise was so successful that Chair of the NAC Island Committee, Dennis Craft is excited to extend the service to other businesses.

Music Camp Inspires for Bigger Things for San Pedro Youth
San Pedro’s got talent; that is for sure. When I heard the students of San Pedro’s first summer camp play during their graduation showcase last week I was blown away. Three weeks was all it took for musical maestro Carlos Perrote to make musicians out of five-year-olds. There were a few teenagers and adults in the mix, but most of the students were very young. Carlos Perrote is a very talented man; hats off to him. In just the first week of camp he had his students playing music, and really good music for that matter. I was very pleasantly surprised at the skill level his students had reached in just the first week of camp. It takes a really good musician/teacher to accomplish such a feat, especially with a group of such young students.

25 Years Ago: A San Pedro You Can Envy
If you would ask me what is one thing I would like to change or fix about San Pedro, I would respond that I would like to see a San Pedro that is free of drugs. My friends I am from the Old School, and I can describe a San Pedro that you could envy. Indeed we do have the same beautiful beaches and the same spectacular crystal clear Caribbean Sea and the same amazing reef. We do have the same friendly people, the hardworking and honest people, and the same wonderful culture to enjoy. But the San Pedro that I am talking about is one that was drug free and for the same reason more peaceful and serene and safe. You might not believe me, and perhaps even laugh, if I tell you that up until I was fifteen years old (1965) nobody ever offered me any kind of non prescribed drugs and I was unaware of their existence in San Pedro. I told you already that I am from the Old School. In my days children of any age could stay late in the streets and parents did not have to worry about some drug pusher attempting to entice them into their evil and pernicious habits. Of course by late I mean seven or eight in the night because the curfew bell rang at that time.

A Music Transformation in San Pedro Starts with Summer Camp
Music indeed came like a sudden revolution to San Pedro. A few weeks ago Carlos Perrote, the renowned Cuban music instructor in Belize, announced the first ever music summer program in San Pedro. It was intended to give the children of San Pedro something interesting, and practical to do during their long and at times boring summer vacations. However, over 60 persons enrolled in the music program and three weeks ago it kicked off with a bang. During the first week of classes at San Pedro High School, Maestro Perrote took these kids and a few adults to a new level of music. It was all about percussions of different kinds and steel pans - the latter taking extreme interest and motivation. Kids did not want to skip one single class. They were punctual and well disciplined. In fact some even skipped their vacation trips to remain in the program. Such was the transformation of the children and indeed their entire families in their attitude about music. It seemed so interesting; it seemed so attainable, so easy.

Misc Belizean Sources

MISSING - chihuahua named Shrimps, north Ambergris Caye- $2000 reward
approx 10 lbs., not wearing a collar, last seen 5 miles north of Mata Grande grocery, 5:45pm Sunday August 11th

Jaguars Win First CONCACAF Game
Congratulations to the Little Jaguars on winning their first game at the CONCACAF U-15 championship, which is taking place in Grand Cayman. They play again on Thursday against the Dominican Republic and on Friday against Jamaica. Best of luck! "Our "Cubs" (Baby Jaguars) got off to an excellent start earlier this evening at The Ed Bush Stadium in Grand Cayman with a 1 - 0 victory over St. Lucia on a goal by Alvin Sifontes."

National Song Competition Highlights
Will Moreno put together a great highlight video of the National Song Competition. Nello Player, who has won the last two years, is in there at around 3:00. Congratulations to all the winners! "The Belize National Song Competition is an event held every year kicking off the mood for the September Celebrations. It is an event planned by NICH (National Institute of Culture and History), September Celebrations Commission and sponsored by Atlantic International Bank. The event gives Belizean artists an opportunity to showcase new lyrics and original material built around the September Celebrations."

King of the Hills Bicycle Race
The King of the Hills cycling race is this Sunday in Cayo. It starts and ends at the Cayo Welcome Center, with the route being a big lap that riders will do 15 times. "The Belize Cycling Association Riders and Weekend Warriors invite one and all to this mega cycling event in San Ignacio! Route: San Ignacio Criterium Race: Welcome Centre to Burns Avenue, Up Benque Viejo Road (Black Hill / Parallel to Cement Hill), around Joselph Andrews Drive (Sacred Heart High School) to Savannah St. (Hodes) and back to Hudson St. (Market Area) Registration: $20 per rider at the event."

26 Youths Represented Belize at Youth Conference
Feelgood news of the day. 26 Belizean youths went to El Salvador to attend a youth conference that focused on contributing to the community. "Twenty-six Belizean Youth Attend Conference in El Salvador to Learn to Contribute to Their Community. Youth from six communities in Belize travelled to El Salvador over this past weekend (2 - 5 August) to attend a Bahá’í Youth Conference. They returned Monday night full of excitement to execute the plans they made for themselves to serve their communities of Corozal, Belmopan, Belize City, San Pedro, San Ignacio, and Dangriga. This Conference was attended by 660 youth ages 15 to 30 from Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It was one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. The purpose of these gatherings is 'to summon today's youth' of all faiths and backgrounds 'to put the needs of others before their own' in order 'to aid the spiritual and social development of those around them, especially ones younger than themselves.'"

Belmopan Summer Chess Camp
The East Cayo Chess Association had their Summer Chess camp. They also posted the winners of the Belmopan Day Chess Tournament. "The summer chess camp was very successful. There were a good group of children that had a chance to not only learn a great deal about chess but got to do other activities like arts and crafts as well. There were many people that contributed to the success of this effort."

Garifuna Collective Returns Home
The Garifuna Collective has returned to Belize after their North American tour, where they impressed audiences all over Canada and the US. They'll be playing around Belize after a break. Welcome back! The LA Times has a great article on them, which highlights their new album, Ayó. "In his native Belize, Andy Palacio is frequently compared to another lion of Afro-Caribbean music, Bob Marley. Like Marley, Palacio was an artistic pioneer and prophet of a musical genre shaped by the cross-currents of colonialism and slavery, yet characterized by the music's spirit of alternately joyous and plaintive resiliency. And, like Marley, Palacio was cut down in his prime, at 47, in 2008, after suffering a series of small strokes. His passing was a harsh blow for Garifuna music, a soulful blend of African percussion and elegant guitar-driven melodies."

Channel 7

From Condemnation To Contrition: Finnegan Apologizes
Last night you heard veteran politician Michael Finnegan "go-off" on his parliamentary colleague Dolores Balderamos Garcia – calling her a "congenital liar," and a lot more. That's after Balderamos Garcia and the PUP Women held a press conference to call for Finnegan's resignation. Well, this morning, bright and early, Finnegan had a sharp change of direction. He called KREM WUB to say he's sorry: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "Some people said that I had gone too far. Thursday after the debate, the leader of my party said to me that he felt I went a little too far with her. I'm inclined to accept the unacceptable and I want to stand and be magnanimous. If the public feels and it is the view of the public that I went too far then first of all I would like to apologize and say sorry to the public and the citizens of Belize. If I disrespected the House that the Speaker's chair - I want to secondly apologize to the Speaker of the House." We note that Finnegan did not apologize directly to Baldermaos Garcia, but to all his colleagues in the house, which, we suppose, does include her. He also calls for her to apologize to the sergeant at arms, Brian Audinett known as Yellowman.

GSU Vs. George’s, Again!
A month ago, 7News told you about 27 year-old Brandon Tillett, AKA, "BT" who the Gang Suppression Unit charged with deportation offences. The GSU says that he is a member of the George Street Gang, and after a confrontation today between him and officers of the Unit, he says that he is being targeted and harassed by the GSU. It all unfolded at Tillett's friend's home on Allenby Street this morning, where the homeowner, Jermaine Ottley, was getting ready to go Magistrate's Court for a case being brought by the GSU. The GSU was conducting an operation, which quickly turned into a confrontation, where both Tillett and Ottley were allegedly brutalized by the officers. 7News caught up with Ottley outside of the KHMH, where the Gang Suppression Unit was holding Tillett under guard so that he could receive medical treatment from injuries they allegedly gave to him. Here's how Ottley explained it in an off-camera interview: Voice of: Jermaine Ottley - Claims Police Brutality "I was at my house getting ready to come out and GSU came and asked me to open the door and I did so, politely. They came in and didn't say anything to us and they just put us on our knees and started to beat us badly. We weren't resisting them any at all because we can't resist them because it was five of them with guns. We were on our knees and they were just beating us. Two of them were beating us up and two others were beating my friend at the corner. When I knelt down, an officer came and beat me up badly and took the stuff out of my own house and broke it on me - took out his service weapon and put it on my forehead and told me he would kill me."

“BT” Bex With GSU
But at the end of the day, it was only Brandon Tillett, who faced criminal charges, those being assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and wounding. The GSU is claiming that Tillett assaulted their officer, Detective Constable Abner Itza, in the scuffle at Ottley's house. He was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano who granted him bail of $2,000, which he was able to meet. This evening, Tillett, his attorney, and his friend Ottley all granted us an interview, where they explain their version of the events: Brandon BT Tillett - Claims Brutality from GSU "I went to my house and tried to get two DVD's to go inside and relax. When I went in there my family was in there dressed to go to court and I heard the man said GSU. The men started to bang on the door and told me to open the door and I did - then as I opened the door the police told me to put my hand up and told me to put it behind my head.

CWU Suspended Indefinitely From NTUCB
Last week, we showed you the stevedores who said that they weren't satisfied with the President of their Union, Antonio Gonzalez. They told us that he wasn't doing a good job negotiating their position with the receivers of the Port of Belize. We showed you Gonzalez's response, who said that he thinks it healthy that he is criticized by the membership of the Christian Workers Union. Well, the Stevedores are going a step further, they want him to retire by the end of the week, because according to them, he hasn't only crippled their negotiations with PBL, he has weakened the CWU during his tenure. So, they're trying to force him, and the Secretary, James McFoy, out with a laundry list of complaints, which they formally presented to them last week, where they supposedly violated the constitution of the CWU. Those complaints are yet to be proven, but one of them is about finances. They say that he hasn't had an audit done on the CWU in years, and more than that, Gonzalez has not met the financial commitments to the Government, and the umbrella union organization, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, NTCUB.

Mexicans Say The Botes Backdoor Being Used By Narcos
A report in the Mexican newspaper El Diario Respuesta de Quintana Roo claims to reveal the drug trafficking routes in Belize along the Rio Hondo. The article cites a recent Mexican Government report from their Ministry of Public Security which has identified 18 drug transshipment routes along the Rio Hondo which forms Belize's northern border with Mexico. The article quotes Public Security Minister, Carlos Bibbiano Villa Castillo saying that the activity in the area between 2006 and 2012 has made Quintana Roo a zone of influence in the national drug trafficking network. Villa Castillo claims that tons of drugs cross over to Mexico annually "primarily from Belize". He described it as, quote, "a reality that cannot be denied." He added that it comes primarily from areas like Botes, and Nuevo Israel. He said they are assigning special forces to bring it to an end.

American Psycho Visited Belize
And tonight a deceased serial killer named Israel Keyes is being investigated for his possible links to Belize and other countries. Keyes killed himself in December, nine months after his arrest for a killing in Alaska, and after admitting to at least seven other slayings, all in the US. Police have posthumously linked him to three more killings in the states, but says that he travelled to Canada, Mexico and Belize between 2001 and 2008. An FBI Sattement says, quote, "Keyes traveled internationally and it is unknown if he committed any homicides while outside of the United States." A timeline provided by the FBI shows that on October 6, 205, he rented form Budget Rent A Car in Belize – that's after he flew from California to El Salvador on October third. The timeline shows that he didn't fly back until October 13th. Our records show that there was one murder in Belize between October 5 and 16th, 2006 – but that one was gang related and it happened on October fifth. Keyes said he robbed banks to finance his travels. The FBI describes Keyes as a kind of murder addict "who hunted victims in remote locations like parks, campgrounds or hiking trails."

C-SEC Results Improving, But Could Be Better
The Caribbean Examinations Council has released the overall results for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), commonly known as the CXC. The good news is the CSEC examination results improved compared to last year. Sixty-five per cent of subject entries achieved acceptable grades – Grades I – III, compared with 62 per cent in 2012. Overall performance improved on 21 of the 35 subjects offered, including English and Math. But we should note that in math performance remained below average with 35 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 33 per cent last year. The Committee noted that more than 13, 000 candidates were unable to measure and state the length of a given line and determine the measure of an angle on one question. And in the CAPE, for the first time in six years, overall performance has reached the 90 per cent mark – meaning 90.15 per cent of the Unit entries achieved Grades I – V.

Family Laments Elias Ku Drowning
It didn't make it into the news last night, but on the weekend an Orange Walk family had to deal with the discovery of their loved one's body in the new river. 32 year old Elias Ku went missing ten days ago after going for a swim in the river. The only trace of him were his shoes and shirt which were left by the riverside. His family reported him missing, but ended up having to do the search themselves when time started to pass with no results. As his sister told CTV3 News in Orange Walk yesterday, on Saturday, that search took them into a small creek where they found his decomposed body: Voice of: Karina Ku - Sister of Deceased "Friday night my father said we have to continue because we have to find my little brother’s body as proof for my mother and the entire family. We went into a creek called Fidelia creek. And no thought that he would be in there when we saw something and my little brother circled it in the canoe to try and see if it was him. They called me and I went to get the police who were not there, they came down to the riverside to confirm that it was really him. Many scold their children when their children go out and get tattoos and my brother got a tattoo when he was very young of a weed leaf on his shoulder. And my aunt always told him..the day we need to find you all we have to do is look for that tattoo."

1 Grand For A Small Amount Of Weed
27 year-old Jermaine Grant got busted with 15.6 grams cannabis, and now he has to pay $1,000 dollars. According to Police Constable Mark Martinez, yesterday evening, he and other officers were conducting a patrol when they spotted Grant. They stopped him and conducted a search, in which they found 17 small parcels of marijuana, to a total of 15.6 grams. As a result, he was arrested and charged with drug possession, and was arraigned today before Magistrate Stuart. She sentenced him to pay a fine of $1,000, 200 of which he had to pay upfront. He couldn't do so, and as a result, he remains in custody, until he can make arrangements. He must pay the entire fine by October 15, 2013, or he will spend 6 months in prison in default.

How to Deal With MedFly Infestations
The US has been helping Belize with a medfly programme since 1976 and they continue to assist right now with the current infestation – which is described as the worse in more than three decades. That's what's being discussed at an annual meeting of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly Program where Guatemala, the United States, Mexico and Belize discus the bug. It is being held in Belize this year and Belize and the Unites States Department of Agriculture signed a Bilateral Cooperative Agreement last night to strengthen the Medfly program. The US Deputy Chief Of Mission explained: Margaret Hawthorne - Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy "Belize is recognized by the USDA as a MedFly free area but it requires careful and continuous monitoring by BAHA and USDA. Belize has an average of 4 outbreaks per year and quick responses by BAHA and USDA to eradicate the MedFly each time it is detected using cutting edge technology have prevented the spread of this pest."

Showing the Power Of Breastfeeding
Last week, was international breast-feeding week, and in An effort to promote breast feeding – on Saturday in Corozal the Ministry of Health teamed up with Art in The Park to host an event – that celebrated the art of breast feeding. Now, there's still some social stigma about breast feeding in public, but the competition hoped to dispel that and encourage this most public act of nurturing. Robyn Daly explained: Robyn Daly - Nutritionist, Ministry of Health "This year we wanted to do something different for World Breastfeeding Week so we got an idea from PAHO Washington - they did a photo contest for World Breastfeeding week so we decided to adapt the same concept and we did one here. We had very good feedback with the contest, with our exhibition that we have out here you can look around - the photos are really excellent. We had good submissions and we want to make it a yearly thing. We had about 35 entries, so hopefully next year as we continue our promotion we will probably get another 50 or 60 and we want to be able use these photos to use in our hospitals and our clinics to showcase that mothers are practicing breastfeeding and it's something to be proud of."

Black Pearl’s Carnival Pageant
Carnival is about a month away, but most carnival bands are still trying to do their last minute fundraising. One band which does an annual carnival pageant is the Black Pearl Junior Band. Tomorrow night 6 contestants will be hitting the stage at the Bliss. Today 7news got a slight glimpse during one of their practice sessions. Gaynor Martinez - Organizer "It's a fundraiser for the Black Pearl Carnival band and I think we have 6 contestants willing and very confident and beautiful young ladies and Miss Dorla is asking as many people to come out and support. It's $5 for children and $10 for adults and there will be entertainment in between. Basically the carnival groups - they do it by themselves, they don't have enough people. I personally spoke to Ms. Vaughn and I just found out today that she does the costumes on her own - she makes these costumes and she has no one sponsoring her. She uses her own free time to help the kids to come out and enjoy themselves. Carnival is just a part of our culture, whether we're Belizean, Trinidadian - it's a cultural thing because guess what? There's hardly anything to do in Belize." The pageant is tomorrow night at the Bliss. Tickets are 5 dollars for children and 10 dollars for adults. The show starts at 7pm sharp.

Channel 5

Finnegan apologizes on radio but not to Dolores
The heat from last week Wednesday’s House meeting continues to permeate the televised newscasts and radio shows. The special sitting of the House was apparently convened to introduce a motion [...]

Yellowman says the pictures don’t tell the full story
Earlier in the newscast, we reported on the dispute between Minister Michael Finnegan and Dolores Balderamos Garcia resulting from comments Garcia made about the Mace Bearer Brian “Yellow Man” Audinette. [...]

Man says he was beaten by five cops
Tonight, there is a new charge of brutality by the Gang Suppression Unit against two men, one not only ended up in the hospital, but also before the courts. Jermaine [...]

Autopsy complete on cop who died after beating
A post mortem examination was conducted on the body of twenty-six year old police constable Roy Robert Fernandez today to ascertain whether the cause of death was the result of [...]

FFB to modernize stadium in Belmopan
The performance of the Jaguars at the recent Gold Cup Games is still the subject of debate. The lack of resources was a rallying cry, but tonight here is some [...]

Will the ex-servicemen league lose its property?
On Friday, members of the Belize Ex-Services League were alarmed when they discovered that the entrance to the building they have been occupying since the establishment of the organization decades [...]

Mayan Leaders insist on land rights to stop drilling
On September nineteenth the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy. The application was filed by SATIIM and leaders of four communities [...]

National Bank of Belize discussed in Senate
The Government of Belize established the National Bank of Belize in April 2013. NBBL was formed primarily to provide concessionary credit to teachers, public officers and needy Belizeans. The state-owned [...]

Since 2009 5 million paid out to private attorneys
A recent decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice ended before the House of Representatives when the government put forward a motion targeting the former prime minister and the then [...]

He hid his stash inside his underwear
A man hid marijuana inside his boxers, but that didn’t stop Police from finding the stash. Belize City resident Jermaine Alex Grant was searched by Police on East Collet Canal [...]

Is marriage an option after a drunken machete incident?
A woman who is engaged to a B.D.F. soldier is having second thoughts about marriage after he allegedly punched her, pulled a machete on her and threatened to kill her [...]

Belize U-15 in competitive football games in Cayman
A team of young football athletes is representing the jewel in the CONCACAF U-fifteen Championship being held in the Cayman Islands. And today in their first match against St. Lucia, [...]

Belize was a pitstop for another serial killer
A Utah born serial killer, linked to eleven murders in the U.S., was in Belize for a month in 2005. Israel Keyes slit his wrists In December 2012 while incarcerated [...]

Superstar performances at the Bliss
It is coming down to the wire… Who will Be the Next Superstar? That’s the question in everyone’s mind and everyone has a favourite. Tonight, it’s down to three safe [...]


Traffic Mishap Leaves Several Injured
A number of people are lucky to have come out unscathed following a road traffic accident this morning. Correspondent Fem Cruz shares the details. FEM CRUZ “A traffic accident involving a bus from Griga Bus Line and a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck has left two persons injured. According to the driver of the bus, 32-year-old, Calbert Williams Jr., a resident of Dangriga Town on Tuesday morning, August 13 sometime around 7 o’clock, he was driving from Dangriga enroute to Belmopan. Travelling along with him were 43 passengers. Upon reaching the village of Armenia on the Hummingbird Highway between miles 48 and 49, a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that was travelling in the same direction tried to overtake him and upon doing so, the bonnet of the pickup truck suddenly flew up into the windshield. Williams says he immediately took a right turn to avoid hitting the truck but instead the driver lost control of the car and ended up hitting the left side of the bus which forced him off the highway into the drain. The driver of the pickup truck, 58-year-old, Jose Orlando Deras, a resident of Armenia Village escaped unhurt while a female passenger who was travelling along with him complained of pain to her right knee and left shoulder. The driver of the bus also escaped unhurt while one of his passengers complained of pain to his shoulder and chest. Police investigation continues. This is Brother Fem Cruz, reporting from the beautiful village of Roaring Creek for Love FM.”

Young Jaguars Travel to Grand Cayman for Under 15 Football Tournament
On Sunday and Monday members of Belize’s National U-15 football team travelled to the Grand Cayman Island to represent Belize in the CONCACAF U-15 Championship. Before joining the team today, President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente spoke to Love News and shared that Belize will be joined by twenty three other teams from across the region which will participate in the competition that will be held at four different venues from August 14th to 25th. RUPERTO VICENTE “It’s the first of its kind tournament by CONCACAF; it’s the first time that CONCACAF is hosting a U15 tournament and that is because CONCACAF is now focusing on youth development as well as our federation. We now have to start focusing on youth development and for this reason the U15 tournament. So, our team is out there; they’re going to be playing today at 3:30 Belize time and we’re hoping to do well in that tournament. The team we sent out is a talented team and the young jaguars are looking good and we have high expectations. In the first instance, we are going to be playing three matches in their first round; so, we’ll be looking at qualifying for the next round and then stay until the 25th of August and be a part of the championship. We believe that this young team is a talented team and they will do welld in this tournament. This team has been in camp since early July this year but they have been together before then but they came into camp in July, right after the A-team, the Jaguars went to the Gold Cup; so, that team has been in camp since then.”

Improvements to FFB Stadium in Belmopan
The Football Federation of Belize and the Canchas Deportivas de Centroamerica from El Savador signed a contract for the improvement of the lighting facilities at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. According to the President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente, the project is being financed by FIFA at a sum of two hundred and ninety eight thousand US dollars. Signing on behalf of the Canchas Deportivas de Centroamerica was its Executive Director, Juan Carlos Sanchez who spoke to Love News about the project. JUAN CARLOS SANCHEZ “Well basically we’re going to be installing the most modern lighting system today, MUSCO Lighting; it’s the same lighting system that is installed in many of the most prestigious venues in the world including the Olympics for the past four consecutive times. So, we’re very excited about contributing to Belize Football Federation and the people of Belize with a very high quality system and most importantly, it’s a very cost saving system because we can save about 40% on energy bill versus conventional lighting systems. MUSCO Lighting System has a warranty for ten years which is more than the average; in the industry, two years is the standard in lightning systems and in the United States, the warranty can be extended to 25 years; so, basically that is a signal of the quality of the lighting system. The lighting system is a metal high light, 1500 watt fixture but it has a visor that allows it to redirect light to the field which is normally lost; about 40% of the light that a fixture produces is normally lost, so, with this technology and the visors we are redirecting the light on the field and basically using 40% less fixtures than traditional systems. So, with 120 light fixtures we’re producing the same amount of light that would be needed with 160 – 180 conventional fixtures.”

Another Alleged Case of Police Abuse in Northern Belize
There are unconfirmed reports surfacing from the Corozal District that a villager of Patchakan was beaten by a police officer. The incident allegedly occurred in the village of Patchakan this past weekend. The victim reportedly visited the home of an official from the Ministry of Natural Resources who resides in the village to sort out some land problems, at the time there was another man present and a confrontation ensued. The villager reportedly left the house however on his way back home he was met on the road by the same man he met previously and a police officer. The two men reportedly kicked the man off his bicycle and proceeded to beat him severely. Further reports are that the police officer was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. The victim was reportedly hospitalized and is scheduled to appear in court. Corozal Police informed us that they cannot comment on the matter since an official report has not been made as yet.

Government Minister Apologizes For Conduct in House of Representatives Meeting
Last Wednesday, Minister of Housing and Area Representative for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, responded to an issue in a manner many believe was disrespectful and out of order. The Minister was responding to an issue brought up by Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Dolores Balderamos Garcia. She made reference to public behavior displayed by the Sergeant of Arms of the House of Representatives, Brian “Yellowman” Audinett, whom she accused of drinking and urinating in public. In his defense of Audinett, Finnegan was at best insensitive of the listenership. In the same vein, on Monday in an interview at his home, he told reporters that he thought that Balderamos Garcia owed Audinett an apology for attacking him in the House when he could not respond to her. But today, while he did not offer Balderamos Garcia a personal apology for his comments, he called Krem’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes as his medium to convey an open apology to the public, the Prime Minister and the elected representatives. Finnegan said that he was offering the apology after having spoken to Prime Minister Dean Barrow following his remarks in the House. We bring you excerpts of Finnegan’s comments today courtesy Krem’s WUB.

Agriculture Cooperation Agreement Between Belize and USA Signed
The Ministry of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture have signed a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement. The agreement was signed during the now ongoing tenth Undersecretary and Vice-ministers of Agriculture meeting which began on Monday and ends tomorrow. Love News spoke with the Medfly Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hernan Zetina who explained that this is the first time Belize is hosting the event and said that the meeting and hence the agreement has to do with maintaining Belize free of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly. HERNAN ZETINA “Every year this meeting is held in either Guatemala, Mexico, the US; this is the first time Belize is hosting. We took the opportunity to sign a bilateral agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture and Belize. This agreement is to formalize existing support between these two entities; we have always had technical assistance, we have always had support from USDA but there has never been a cooperative agreement signed. We did sign an MOU in 1976 and so we are piggy backing on that MOU and signing a formal agreement now for technical assistance.”

Bus Driver May Be Charged After His Bus Runs Over Woman’s Foot
The driver of a D& E bus has been served with a notice of intended prosecution following an traffic incident in Hattieville yesterday morning. According to Police reports, around 10:30 yesterday morning, they visited an area between miles fifteen and sixteen on the George Price Highway within Hattieville where a D& E bus was seen on the right side of the highway. The bus was heading in the direction of Belize City. Their investigations revealed that 41 year old Elias Salazar was driving the bus into Belize City but when he approached the pedestrian ramp one of the passengers, Rachel Burke, headed to the front of the bus. The driver reportedly stopped over the ramp and the door opened but Burke did not come off the bus. Salazar then reportedly released the brakes and began moving the bus again and Burke fell out of the bus. As a result the right front wheel of the bus ran over her right foot. Burke was admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she is in a stable condition and Salazar was served with a notice of intended prosecution.

Charged for Words Uttered; Sentenced For Owing Court As Well
Instead of being the punisher, 51 year old, Henry Smart Gilharry a.k.a. “Punisher” was the one who was punished when he appeared in court today and pled guilty to using threatening words. When Magistrate Dale Cayetano asked Gilharry if he had anything to say before sentence is passed, Gilharry immediately admitted that he owes the court five hundred and he cannot pay and that he is willing to serve the time in default of payment. As a result, Magistrate Cayetano sentenced him to two months for using threatening words and told him that he will serve an additional five months for non- payment of the fine. The incident occurred yesterday. A woman who resides on North Front Street visited the police station and reported that while she was at home, Gilharry entered her yard and asked her what she was looking at him for and threatened to shoot her.


More Funds Means More Assistance
With extra cash deposited into the coffers of the Orange Walk Town Council after a successful Fiesta Rama 2013, Mayor Kevin Bernard and councilors were able to assist 100 students...

SMART Gives Back To The Community
Over the weekend, three teams walked out of the Orange Walk Peoples Stadium with cash, trophies and medals in hand after participating in the Smart Five-a-side marathon. The grand event...

Pueblo Nuevo Ferry To Undergo Repairs
The repair of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District was set to commence today but CTV3 News understands that the date for repairs to commence has been changed...

More Money Raised From Fiesta Rama Than Expected
The last time we spoke to Mayor Kevin Bernard about the funds that were raised for Fiesta Rama 2013, he gave us a profit margin of approximately 20 thousand dollars....

Man Allegedly Brutalized By Police Is Criminally Charged
A fifty acres piece of land located in the Village of Patchakan in Corozal, that has been passed on to the third generation of the Ruiz Family for more than...

PUP Mayors Condemn Attack Against Balderamos Garcia
Attending yesterday’s press conference called by the women of the PUP, were the three PUP Mayors including Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard who today expressed his displeasure in the...

Simplis Barrow Calls For Order Inside Parliament
But if Finnegan thought that his unprofessional behavior and his attack against Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia at the House would be forgotten with an apology, then he better think again. We...

Finnegan Versus Dolores At The House
But where does all the controversy stem from? Reported Irvin Aragon recounts the details. Irvin Aragon- Reporting Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Belize Rural Central Area Representative “I want to say to...

Finnegan Apologizes, But Not Balderamos Garcia
A statement made by the Minister of Housing, the Honorable Michael Finnegan in the House of Representatives has caused much ruction throughout the country, but in particular, in the People’s...

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Police officer dead after bad beating
A Police Officer has died after he was attacked by a pair of siblings. The deceased has been identified as 26 year old Roy Robert Fernandez, a police constable of George Town, attached to a Belize City precinct. Information to PlusNews is that last week Sunday, August 4th, Fernandez...

Senator Lisa Shoman in concerned about comments in the House directed at female Member
Last week, in our newscast, we brought you statements from a number of viewers who called in to PlusTV’s morning show Rise and Shine, to express their displeasure with the conduct of certain members of the House of Representatives at Wednesday’s meeting. One back and forth that was particularly...

PUP’s women’s arm wants Finnegan to resign over distasteful comments in the House
Earlier we showed you that the backlash of statements made by Hon. Michael Finnegan to the sole female representative of the House of Representatives at last week’s house meeting have been all over the media airwaves and on other social media such as Facebook. It was brought up in...

PUP Mayors condemn Minister Finnegan for comments to Hon Balderamos Garcia
Three Mayors, all from the People’s Untied Party, have also added their voices condemning Minister Finnegan for his comments to Hon. Balderamos Garcia. The three duly elected Mayors are Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town, Anthony Fuentes of Punta Gorda Town and Gilbert Swaso of Dangriga Town. Via press...

Missing man’s body found in New River
A family’s search for an Orange Walk man came to a tragic end after his body was found floating in the river. 32 year old Elias Ku had been missing since August 3rd socializing with friends. Three days after his disappearance, his family was told that while with his...

Two persons recovering after shooting incident in Belize City
Two persons are recovering after a shooting incident in Belize City. Reports are that 18 year old Wasani Fernandez and 25 year Losandri Gonzalez were inside a house on Holy Emanuel Street in the nation’s old capital, along with two other persons when an unknown male person pushed his...

Tractor crashes into house in Camalote causing extensive damage
Imagine spending what seemed to be an ordinary Saturday afternoon watching television in the family’s living room, when a tractor comes crashing into your home. That’s what one family in Camalote Village experienced this weekend, when a front end loader, property of the Ministry of...

Family ask for help in locating missing son
The parents of Rene Avalos came to Belmopan to continue their relentless search for their son. The family originated from Escuintla, Guatemala. According to the Father, Roberto Avalos Sierra, his son went missing when he was around the age of 18. However, the family recently got word from a...

CDB Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan debated in Senate
The Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan was debated in Monday’s Senate Meeting. This is a 5 million 200 thousand US dollar loan which is to be used to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pick...

FECTAB say Cruise Ship Operators are out to benefit themselves
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) added to the public discourse on government’s recent decision to sign an MOU with Norwegian Cruise Line. Monday morning, members of FECTAB were guests on Rise and Shine. David Almendarez says that Cruise Ship Operators are out to monopolize the...

Closing Ceremony for Belmopan Summer Camp Sports Program
The final segment of the Summer Camp Sports Program finally came to an end. On Friday, August 10 at the UB Gymnasium, the Camp hosted a closing ceremony, for the three remaining disciplines- chess, volleyball and basketball. The ceremony kicked off in the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Vacancy for Office Assistant at CCVC
Submit Applications and resume to Caye Caulker Village Council before August 30th, 2013

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Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia wants Hon. Michael Finnegan to resign. The Mesop area rep takes heat for defending “Yellow Man” in the House. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a call, via the PUP’s United Women’s Group, for the resignation of the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Mesopotamia area representative – Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan, for “an unprecedented barrage of viciously crude [attacks] and [an] explicitly sexual innuendo” he made in Parliament, directed at the only woman in the House – the PUP’s Belize Rural Central area representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia. The PUP Women’s Group said they “demand a public apology from and the IMMEDIATE resignation of the Member for Mesopotamia.” The controversial comments—which promptly went viral on social media—were made last Wednesday, August 7, at a Special Sitting of Parliament which, paradoxically, had as its highlight a motion to “deprecate” the actions of former PUP leader Said Musa and current PUP leader, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, in giving a secret tax concession to British billionaire Michael Ashcroft.

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has indicated, following a query from Amandala, that the tab for legal services which the Government of Belize has procured to defend claims brought against the Government in disputes with the Ashcroft Alliance, including those over Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), is in the region of $5 million. More specifically, litigation spanning 2009 to 2012 has cost the Government roughly BZ$4.8 million. Among the pending disputes is that over the very nationalization of BTL, for which judgment is due to be handed down by the Court of Appeal. However, there is also foreign arbitration pending over the US$22.5 million loan that the Government compulsorily acquired from British Caribbean Bank when it nationalized BTL. The Caribbean Court of Justice recently ruled that the dispute can proceed to arbitration, notwithstanding pending litigation before local court.

The decayed body of Elias Ku, 32, of Orange Walk Town, was recovered from the New River in Trial Farm village about 10:00 Saturday morning, eight days after he was reported missing. When he was recovered by searchers, not only was Ku’s body in an advanced state of decomposition, but both arms and his left leg were missing. Ku’s face and intestines were also missing, and it is believed that crocodiles may have fed on the body. An autopsy was conducted onsite, but the cause of death was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Immediately after the autopsy, Ku was taken to the Orange Walk Cemetery, where he was buried at about 3:30 that same Saturday evening. Eloy Ku, 56, a taxi driver of Orange Walk, told Amandala that about 10:00 Saturday morning, August 3, his son, Elias, left home and went to an area near the Independence Plaza, in Orange Walk, where he socialized with friends and swam in the river.

More headaches again for Violet Jones; daughter and nephew shot in her home. Violence has once again visited Violet Jones of Holy Emmanuel Street; her daughter, Losandri Gonzalez, 25, and her nephew, Wasani Fernandez, 23, were shot while sleeping in her house on Holy Emmanuel Street at about 3:00 yesterday morning. The victims told police that a gunman pushed his hand through a louvered window and fired at them as they slept. As a result, Lasandri suffered gunshot injuries to her right arm, while Wasani suffered three gunshot wounds to his hand, right upper leg and knee. The bullet broke some bones in his hand, and surgery will be performed on Wednesday on the leg. Losandri was treated and released today. Police say that they recovered (3) .22 expended shells from the scene. Jones, 42, who lives a few lots away from her home, in a house belonging to one of her nephews, said that she has no hate in her heart, nor will she seek revenge. She said that she will return home to Dangriga and will give up her property in the Holy Emmanuel Street area of the city, where she has been residing for the past 17 years.

Humes was charged with the attempted murder of Marco Valle on January 1, 2013. Marco Valle, 48, was shot in his head while riding to his workplace at Princess Hotel and Casino just minutes after the New Year had been ushered in by much fanfare and fireworks. Valle had been riding his bicycle along with another male when someone just rode past them and fired the single shot that hit Valle in his head. Three days later, police already had someone in custody who they believed to be the person who shot Valle in a senseless act. On January 4, 2013, as Valle was on life support and his family and friends prayed for his life, Shakeem Humes, 20, known as “Bap”, was being arraigned for his shooting. Humes was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm, all stemming from Valle’s shooting. No bail was offered to Humes at the time and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance, which was scheduled for February 15.

A policeman has died from injuries he suffered after he was beaten by two men in his village about 12:20 Sunday morning, August 4. Police constable Roy Robert Fernandez, 26, of Georgetown Village, died on Saturday, August 10, at a clinic in Independence. Police are seeking two brothers, of the same village, who they believe can help them with their investigation into the beating. Police reports are that at 5:50 on Saturday evening, August 10, they went to the clinic, located on Happy Avenue, in Independence Village, where they saw the body of Roy Robert Fernandez, a police constable of Georgetown Village, who was attached to Precinct 1 in Belize City. Their investigations revealed that at 12: 20 Saturday morning, August 4, PC Fernandez was walking on an unnamed street in Georgetown Village, along with two females, heading towards one of the females mother’s house when they met her ex-common-law husband, accompanied by his brother.

Police Constable Darrel Gilbert Swazo, 29, attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office in Belize City, and another man, Herbie Edison Moriera, 30, of Ladyville, have been released on bail of $5,000 each and ordered to return to court on September 3 after they were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today on charges of drug trafficking. Swazo was busted with 4 pounds of weed, allegedly found in the trunk of his car at about 2:45 Friday evening at a roadblock operated by San Ignacio police in Santa Elena. Allegedly along with Swazo at the time was Moreira. San Ignacio police said that when they intercepted the car, which was driven at the time by PC Swazo, they searched the trunk of the car and found a black, grey and yellow bag containing about 4 pounds of cannabis. Police immediately arrested the men and charged them jointly with drug trafficking. They were held at the San Ignacio Police Station, and since no magistrate was available at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, the men were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.

The Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms Tournament 2013 continued at Birds Isle over the weekend with 3 games each on Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10, respectively. In game 1 on Friday night, BWSL won, 55-42, over Heritage. Top scorers for BWSL were Karim Thompson 18 pts 5 rebs, Lindbergh Graham 11 pts 7 rebs 5 assts, Jamir Enriquez 11 pts and Charles Armstrong 6 pts 8 rebs; while Heritage was led by Kurt Burgess 13 pts 12 rebs 4 assts, Felix Martinez 13 pts 6 rebs 3 assts, and Devon Defour 10 pts 5 pts 3 stls. Game 2 saw Atlantic Bank with the 71-58 win over Ready Call. Leading Atlantic Bank was Evan Rene 20 pts 8 rebs 5 stls, Dave Apolonio 13 pts 5 rebs, Ervin Orosco 13 pts 4 assts, and Keith James 11 pts 8 rebs; while for Ready Call, Josiah Brown had 13 pts 4 rebs, Hubert Baptist 10 pts 9 rebs, Russell Linares 8 pts 7 rebs, George Smith 8 pts 6 rebs. And in the nightcap, it was Courts, 66-49, over Sprite, behind Tyrone Anthony 22 pts 4 rebs, Delroy Caliz 15 pts 6 rebs, Fidel Blair 13 pts 3 rebs and Leroy Gentle 10 pts 9 rebs; while Sprite was led by Deon Symms 18 pts, Michael Staine 14 pts 9 rebs, Troy Williams 12 pts and Darren Neal 8 rebs.

Reports received yesterday from delegation head Jude Lizama on the Belize Female Softball National Team’s performance at the VIII Pan American Women’s Championship in Puerto Rico indicated that our girls had difficulty in the early innings. Jude reported: “On Saturday, August 10, Belize lost, 5-0, to Venezuela. Belize collected 2 hits during this game, both singles, one by centre fielder Lydia Cacho and the other by designated player Lisa Jones. Venezuela scored their 5 runs on 12 hits, including a solo home run by catcher Milagros Lozada in the top of the 2nd inning, off Belize’s starter and loser Francine Hoare, who gave up all 5 runs. Hoare was relieved in the game by Kenreen Gillett who pitched 3 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.” Belize lost a close one, 3-2, to Peru in our first game on Sunday. “Belize scored 2 runs on 5 hits. The Belize offence was keyed by right fielder Barbara Cadle who collected 2 singles in 3 official at-bats. Belize’s other hits belonged to centre fielder Lydia Cacho, second base Sharette Vernon and Elaine Humes, who pinch hit for Joline Davis, collecting a run producing double in the 6th inning.

NO APOLOGY Editorial
We are fast approaching that time of year when the Creole people of Belize show themselves, so to speak. That’s good: we need that. We make no apology for the music and the motion and the spirits. This is Centenary time, and it is what it is: celebration. Some of our Belizean brethren and sistren of different ethnicities ask, well, what is it exactly that you are celebrating? They argue that Centenary is a colonial celebration, a British Baymen celebration, and that slavery was almost four decades from being abolished when our slave ancestors supposedly fought “shoulder-to-shoulder” with their masters in 1798. They point out, correctly, that 22 years after the Battle of St. George’s Caye there was a major slave revolt in Belize. Well, roots Creole people are not celebrating slavery, and we’re not celebrating colonialism, and for sure we’re not celebrating the British. We’re celebrating us, baby, our Belizean selves. Play di music. Shake up wi body. Since political independence in 1981, the Tenth of September and Independence Day celebrations are basically as one, the days being just 11 days apart. So the first three weeks of September are a jumble of festivities. Any September division amongst the Belizean people is only an intellectual one. The debate, sometimes quarrel, goes: 1798 or 1981, which was more important? Before independence, however, there was a socio-political argument which began around 1958. Around that time, the ruling, nationalist PUP began to say that the Battle of St. George’s Caye was a myth, and the Opposition NIP felt they had to defend the Centenary traditions, and so they did.

I ran the Charger beer football program for about a year and a half. I took it over in September of 1975 and built a completely new team in three weeks. We reached the marathon finals, won third in the regular season, then reached the knockout finals. Stobal Mayen’s Berger 404 won all three titles that 75/76 season. Our big star on Charger was Harry “Straddle” Cadle. Straddle, whom Edison Michael and I used to call “The Big Striker,” migrated to California during the offseason following, but we added several of the stars from the Cinderella Plaza area for the 76/77 season. These included Francis “Rojo” Arnold, Robert “Big Baby” Flowers, Philip “Ripper” Coye, Malcolm “Mimin” Hemmans, and Winston “Caduroy” Denton. Charger was leading the league in the 76/77 mid-season when I gave back management of the team to the Matus brothers – Arturo and Orlando. On my advice, they re-installed Racku Craig as the manager. That’s a story I will tell you another time. Today’s column is not really about football. Tuesday, August 13, is the 44th anniversary of the first publication of this newspaper, and today’s column is about our editor-in-chief, Russell Vellos. Vellos was the left defensive back and sometimes roaming back on the Charger team I told you about in the first two paragraphs. Previous to that, he had played for Mr. Hoy’s Landivar and for myself on Diamond A. After that, he went on to play several years for Charger and also, I think, for Belmopan. Every game we played, you just wrote down his name for that position, and he did his job like a soldier and a warrior. Seventeen years ago, Amandala experienced some instability at the editor-in-chief position, and Russell Vellos, who had been assistant editor for a few years, had to take over. He’s been there ever since.

Minister of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has responded to concerns raised by Corozal Southeast area representative for the People’s United Party, Florencio Marin, Jr., who has called for urgent attention to be given to the villages of Sarteneja and Chunox in Corozal. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Marin said that the villages of Sarteneja and Chunox are urgently in need of a reverse osmosis water system. The case of Chunox was more urgent, he said, because the water there is believed to be poisonous. Marin pointed to a family whose three children cannot walk, which, he said, was partly due to the poisoned water. Hulse said that in five weeks, the Sarteneja problem should be solved. He said that pipes have already been installed in that village and a new reverse osmosis system is on order. The installation of the water system is being done through the Social Investment Fund (SIF).

“The remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than the average 1981-2010…” say Colorado State Univ.’s Klotzbach and Gray. “We estimate that the remainder of 2013 will have about 8 hurricanes (average is 5.5), 14 named storms (average is 10.5), 75 named storm days (average is 58), 35 hurricane days (average is 21.3), 3 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.0) and 7 major hurricane days (average is 3.9).” Philip J. Klotzbach, Research Scientist, and William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science, of the Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, have issued their revised forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, in which they are lowering the predicted weather disturbances—however, Klotzbach and Gray are still forecasting a very active season. “We continue to anticipate an above-average season in 2013, although we have lowered our forecast slightly due to anomalous cooling in the eastern subtropical and tropical Atlantic,” the team said. It added that, “Information obtained through July 2013 indicates that the remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than the average 1981-2010 season.”

— by Raymundo Castellanos, Riversdale Dear Editor, This letter is written to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Hon. Erwin Contreras, Hon. Santiago Castillo, and Hon. Godwin Hulse. As a Belizean concerned about my country, and as someone who has lived in the US Virgin Islands and seen the devastation wreaked on the culture and nature of these islands by cruise ships, I strongly urge you to oppose the expansion of cruise tourism in Belize. Some issues to keep in mind when cruise ships arrive: cultural insensitivity; noise pollution – interferes with marine life and SCUBA diving; sedimentation – coral killed; propeller hits of cetaceans and manatees, especially by tenders going up Belize River, as has been recorded on a number of occasions; shore power not used, smoke stacks polluting constantly; trash – especially hard for Belize; sewage being poured into systems that cannot handle the volume; and little money left on shore by visitors. Please see how the island of Dominica has been affected by cruise “tourism:” Sincerely, Raymundo Castellanos, Riversdale

“Life is about how bad do you want to win.” “My opponents in life consisted of poverty, loneliness, disappointment, jealousy, and lack of equal educational opportunities.” “Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?/Provin’ nature’s laws wrong/ it learned how to walk without havin’ feet/Funny it seems but, by keepin’ its dreams it/ learned to breathe fresh air/Long live the rose that grew from concrete/when no one else even cared/No one else even cared…” Pondering the life story of Derek L. Anderson, 39, former basketball star and multi-millionaire since age 22, author and motivational speaker, one cannot help but think of the imagery painted by Tupac Shakur’s poetic composition: “The Rose that Grew Out of Concrete.” In not so fanciful words, the poet depicted the rise of a successful star, rising out of impossible adversity. That is, indeed, Anderson’s story. After an enjoyable experience in Belize, the Los Angeles-based life speaker, film producer and legacy builder departed over the weekend, after presenting a series of motivational speeches here.

The August 11th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • First Murder In Benque In Over Two Years:
    Three days after his brutal death, relatives of Pedro Antonio Vasquez are today making final funeral preparations to lay his body to rest in Benque Viejo Town. An arrest is yet to be made as Benque Viejo police say that they are following several leads in what they say is the first murder in the jurisdiction in over two years. The call of the presence a dead body in the municipality was received by Benque Viejo police at around 5:00 am on Sunday, August 4, 2013. Police rushed to the scene where they came upon the still bleeding motionless body, still with a pulse, of a male Hispanic person face downwards in a pool of blood adjacent to the gas station on Churchill Street. The man was rushed to the community hospital in San Ignacio where, on arrival, he was officially pronounced dead by the doctor on duty.
  • Luke Espat – From PUP Financier To PUP Candidate:
    He first busted on the scene in the 90’s as a PUP contractor. Among his first engagement s was the building of houses on the outskirts of Belize City on the Northern Highway. Today over two decades later at least one of the several houses he built, leaning on its side, remains as a permanent testimony of a man who was destined to fail in every venture thereafter. It is like everything he touched thereafter turned to mud. It was in the wake of the leaning Belize City houses that he inherited the name Lucas Eilene. His name at birth is actually Luke Espat. This is the man who this week announced that he is running for the dying opposition PUP in Cayo Central, a constituency to which he is as alien as the Russians landing on our shores, a constituency to which he has absolutely not a single connection.
  • Toledo Alliance for Progress:
    The Toledo Alliance for Progress (TAP) is a grass roots Toledo-based organization, duly registered in January 2013. It comprises of members from the National Kriol Council, National Garifuna Council, East Indian Council and the business community. TAP advocates for the support of developmental activities and programs that assist communities in creating employment, self- reliance and improvement in the quality of lives in the Toledo District. 1. Statistics have shown that Toledo is the poorest district in Belize 2. The government’s stringent budget since the 1960’s can scarcely cope with the district’s call for better education, health & welfare as well as much needed employment and infrastructure.
  • Venezuela Top Court Rejects Capriles' Election Appea:
    Venezuela's highest court has rejected an appeal by opposition leader Henrique Capriles against April's contested presidential election result. The Supreme Court of Justice described the appeal as "inadmissible". After the ruling Mr Capriles tweeted that there was a "lack of justice" in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, won the election by less than 1.5 percentage points - about 200,000 votes. The opposition alleged that the vote had been marred by fraud. In June the Venezuelan National Electoral Commission (CNE) confirmed President Maduro's victory in an audit on millions of votes, but Mr Capriles denounced the audit as "a fake".
  • Twenty-six Belizean Youth Attend Conference in El Salvador to Learn to Contribute to Their Community:
    Youths from six communities in Belize travelled to El Salvador over this past weekend (2 - 5 August) to attend a Bahá’í Youth Conference. They returned Monday night full of excitement to execute the plans they made for themselves to serve their communities of Corozal, Belmopan, Belize City, San Pedro, San Ignacio, and Dangriga. This Conference was attended by 660 youth ages 15 to 30 from Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It was one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. The purpose of these gatherings is “to summon today’s youth” of all faiths and backgrounds “to put the needs of others before their own” in order “to aid the spiritual and social development of those around them, especially ones younger than themselves”. The Universal House of Justice, which is the international governing body of the Bahá’í Faith, called for the Conferences.
  • Letter:
    I carefully read Scott Stirm’s insulting reply to my letter appearing in your Sunday, July 21, 2013 edition. Stirm attempts to insult me personally by saying that I am a homosexual. I am, and I have no more of an apology for that than I do for being right-handed, bald, or having blue eyes. He attempts to insult me by stating that I am married to a man. I was, indeed, legally married to Thomas J. Brady, M.D. five years ago, after having made a life together for the prior 33 years. Our marriage is legal under the laws of California and the United States Government. I have no apology for my married status. It offers us the legal protections, health care rights, tax benefits, financial obligations to one another, and the protection of our estate that traditionally married couples have without asking for it. We have no issue with our marriage not being recognized by various churches, synagogues, and mosques (although it is by some); ours is a civil marriage, not holy matrimony governed by the church. And Stirm attempts to insult me and my home town of San Francisco (the city where the United Nations got its start) by calling it the “epitome of debauchery” and ascribing to me excitement over a fringe festival I never attend.
  • The Situation In Trinidad Could Lead To Change In Electing Prime Minister:
    Most of the countries that were former British colonies have a government that is similar to the one in Great Britain. In this type of government the Prime Minister is the Head of State and they have a Bicameral Legislative Body. The Prime Minister is the Leader of his or her political party who is elected to serve in the House of Parliament to represent his or her constituency. The Leader of the party that wins his or her seat and the majority of seats in the House of Parliament, automatically becomes the Prime Minister of the country. However, if the Leader of the party loses his or her seat, then he or she cannot serve as the Prime Minister of the country. The elected members of the party can then choose from among themselves their leader to become the Prime Minister.
    The Disaster Risk Reduction project entitled “Saving Lives in the Caribbean Through Preparedness” implemented by the Belize Red Cross since July of 2011, and funded by USAID with support from the American Red Cross , is now in its final stage. After two years of working to build resilience in (14) communities in Belize, Community Emergency Response Teams (also known as CERTs), have completed all 14 modules of training in community disaster response. At a ceremony to be held at the Bacab Eco-Park , Burrell Boom , on Saturday August 10th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., these successfully trained community members will be certified. These teams will then be officially introduced to NEMO and CEMO as first responders to strengthen the national response and recovery teams within their communities, before, during and after an event.
  • "Inspirational Corner":
    Contributed by: Juanita Bradley Chap. 1 - Source and Aim of True Education Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. {Ed 13.1} The source of such an education is brought to view in these words of Holy Writ, pointing to the Infinite One: In Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom." Colossians 2:3. "He hath counsel and understanding." Job 12:13. {Ed 13.2}
  • Mayan Sculpture Discovered In Guatemalan Pyramid:
    Archaeologists working in a Mayan pyramid in Guatemala have discovered an "extraordinary" stucco sculpture depicting gods and Mayan leaders. The frieze, which is eight metres long and two metres wide (26ft by six feet), shows three figures decorated with quetzal feathers and jade sitting atop the head of a mountain spirit. It was found at the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Holmul. Site director Francisco Estrada- Belli called it it a once-in-a lifetime find. Snake Lords v Tikal The frieze was found below a 20m-high (65ft) pyramid which was built over it in the 8th Century. "The preservation is wonderful because it was very carefully packed with dirt before they started building over it," Mr Estrada-Belli said. The sculpture is believed to depict the crowning of a new Mayan leader in about AD590.
  • Malaria vaccine shows early promise in clinical trials:
    A malaria vaccine has shown promising results in early stage clinical trials, according to researchers. Researchers found the vaccine, which is being developed in the US, protected 12 out of 15 patients from the disease, when given in high doses. The method is unusual because it involves injecting live but weakened malaria-causing parasites directly into patients to trigger immunity. The research is published in the journal Science. Lead author Dr Robert Seder, from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, in Maryland, said: "We were excited and thrilled by the result, but it is important that we repeat it, extend it and do it in larger numbers."
  • Colombia coca area down by 25% - UN:
    The area of land planted with coca - the raw ingredient for cocaine - in Colombia has fallen by 25%, a UN report has said. The land under coca cultivation is now about a third of that in 2001, says the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). While coca areas fell nationwide, they rose in three provinces plagued by rebels and drug gangs. Colombia is one the world's top three cocaine producers and has made the war on drugs one of its main priorities. Prevention v eradication The annual report by the UN's Integrated Illicit Crops Monitoring System says that the land planted with coca bushes has dropped from 64,000 hectares in 2011 to 48,000 hectares in 2012, the lowest figure since monitoring started in Colombia more than a decade ago.
  • Hon John Saldivar Donates to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School:
    Belmopan Area Representative Donates $3,000 for Computers to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the School. Hon. Saldivar presented the cheque of $3,000 this afternoon to Vice Principal Valentine Diego at the School’s campus on Macal Street in Belmopan City. Accompanying the Minister was Chairman of RECONDEV Rodney Neal and the Corporation’s General Manager Hector Sabido.
  • Honduras Drug Gang Shootout Leaves 17 Dead:
    Seventeen people have been killed in a clash between rival drug gangs in Honduras, chief prosecutor Roberto Ramirez has said. The shootout happened in La Mosquitia, a remote region on Honduras' Atlantic coast. The area is the main transit route for cocaine being transported from South America to the United States. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, much of it blamed on gang violence and drug traffickers. Mr Ramirez said that one of those killed was a gang leader from neighbouring Nicaragua - Victor Centeno, known as "El Muco".
  • Cocoa 'might prevent memory decline':
    Drinking cocoa every day may help older people keep their brains healthy, research suggests. A study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found two cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with. Those participants whose blood flow improved also did better on memory tests at the end of the study, the journal Neurology reported. Experts said more research was needed before conclusions could be drawn. It is not the first time cocoa has been linked with vascular health and researchers believe that this is in part due to it being rich in flavanols, which are thought to have an important role. In the latest study, researchers asked 60 people with an average age of 73 to drink two cups of cocoa a day - one group given high-flavanol cocoa and another a low-flavanol cocoa - and consume no other chocolate.
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My Internet in Belize: One Month with My Smart Mi-Fi
It’s been well publicized that Internet service in Belize is some of the slowest and most expensive in the world. Last November, it was big news that the national phone company, BTL, would cut the price of 128k internet speed in half to make the net more accessible to Belizeans. 128k?! Awesome! Now I can really get busy updating my MySpace page on my Commodore 64 with plenty of time for a few games of Pit Fall before I go to bed (snuggling in my BattleStar Galactica sheets and clutching my Cabbage patch of course). This mint condition Commodore is going for $700USD on Ebay! Do they even sell floppy disks anymore? I use the internet a ton. Somewhat sad but true, I am fiddling around on this machine pretty much all day long and I’m not the only one. So I am often in search of a better and cheaper way to get connected. Just over a month ago when I returned from my hiatus (YES, that is what I am calling it), I purchased the Smart Belize Mi-Fi for $150bzd. I had success with my Smart USB stick in 2012 (and posted about the results here) but wanted more portability and well…Wi-Fi for my IPhone, to try out the newly unblocked magicJack and just to celebrate the fact that it is not 2006. I LOVE the new ability to check in with FourSquare at Hol Chan Marine Reserve…

It’s Never Too Early to prepare for the Belize Holiday Season
Belize is known for many things, not the least of which is having the longest holiday season in the Western Hemisphere. OK, it’s not official or anything, but we challenge anyone to refute this claim. Consider – this party loving nation starts to kick off the end-of-year- festivities early in September when the entire country begins preparing for St George’s Caye Day on September 10. Commemorating the Battle of St George’s Caye when Belize’s early settlers engaged and defeated much larger Spanish invasion force, it marks the emergence of Belize’s national identity and leads up to Belize Independence Day on the 21st of September. If you haven’t experienced Belize Independence Day, put it on your bucket list right now – this is a party not to be missed. Independence, which Belize achieved in 1981, is still fresh in everyone’s minds and it’s celebrated with all the exuberance a young nation deserves. The date also marks the beginning of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, and a month-long birthday party everyone looks forward to. Then it’s on to Pan American Day on the 14th of October this year, Halloween on October 31, Thanksgiving Day on the 28th of November, Garifuna Settlement Day on the 19th of November, and so on to Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s.

Inter-American Investment Corporation Small Business Financing

“The NeverEnding Story” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In bed by 22.15 hours on Sunday so up bright (well it wasn’t bright outside) and early yesterday morning at 03.30 hours for my ‘pick me up’ mug of black coffee on the veranda. Oh and, of course, my daily intake of news via The Times on-line. When I got around to checking my In Box I found that I had received an email from Excess International Movers (the company that we are using to ship the goods we have had in storage since leaving the UK in May of last year) advising that our consignment is on its way and should arrive in Belize City on 8th September. Regular readers of this blog will probably recall that the contract we entered in to with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, envisaged a forty week duration for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Well, the forty weeks was ‘up’ last Saturday. This is not something that surprises us (because we were aware that there would be an over-run some weeks ago) and nor does it disappoint us. We knew that there would be a delay to the competition date when the windows took longer to get here than any of us had anticipated. Having seen them installed we are convinced that they are well worth the wait.

Do you know the power in a father's voice?

International Sources

EXIF Data May Have Revealed Location of Fugitive Software Tycoon John McAfee
If you’ve been following the news, you might have heard that a man John McAfee is on the run from police who want to question him about a murder. Not just any ol’ John McAfee, but the John McAfee, the once-ultra-rich founder of anti-virus software company McAfee. Well, a photograph published to the web today may have revealed the exact location McAfee is was hiding. Just to fill you in a little more on the story, police in the Central American country of Belize are seeking McAfee as a “person of interest” in the death of a man who was McAfee’s neighbor. Although McAfee claims that he is innocent, he is currently in hiding due to his belief that the police will kill him if he is apprehended. VICE magazine published a post today titled “We Are with John Mcafee Right Now, Suckers,” bragging that its editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro and one of its photographers are currently embedded with McAfee as he runs from the law. Included in the post was the above photograph.

VIDEO: Children Of Belize
I was in the Country Belize for a mission trip, and I have never seen happier kids, despite the fact they live in such bad conditions. I hope this video warms your heart as much as it does mine. Keep in mind these kids live in poverty and still choose to be positive and energetic. We can all learn a a valuable lesson here.

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First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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