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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Town celebrates the traditional Day of the Dead
Los Finados San Pedro Town-8San Pedro Town celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with two celebrations. The first was with an early mass at the community cemetery on Saturday November 2nd followed by the blessing of the community altar as part of the Hanal Pixan Celebration. The events were coordinated through the San Pedro Cultural Committee and included the collaboration of several volunteers as well as the participation of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church.
But what is the Hanal Pixan? The San Pedro Sun, in an effort to bring a bit of cultural history to its readers as it relates to centuries-old regional celebration, re-prints the History of Hanal Pixan published by the San Pedro House of Culture.
Hanal Pixán in the Mayan language means “food of souls.” This is the name given to Day of the Dead celebrations in the Maya area. In this region, food takes on a special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who are believed to return [to the living world] on this day.
Martin Dawson brings MMA to San Pedro
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a centuries-old full contact combat sport that has evolved into one of the hottest sports of the modern era. It allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, culled from a variety of other combat sports. San Pedro Town is not immune to the draw of the MMA, and with the help of 32-year-old San Pedro resident Martin Dawson, the sport is coming to town. With experience in the disciplines of Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate, Jujitsu, Metcombaint-do, Wushu Kung Fu and MMA, Dawson’s studies could certainly be an exciting new addition to the island sports.
Drama Draws Tears at San Pedro HighDrama Draws Tears at San Pedro High
It is about seven years or so every year that retired Professor Larry Heimgartner, along with his lovely wife Debbie, visits San Pedro and specifically San Pedro High School to present live theatrical drama to the students. It is a program designed by Larry and former principal Angel Nuñez to draw attention to social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, teenage parenthood, bullying, rebellious teens, and rape among others.
Angel Nuñez and Ambergris Today were invited on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, by Debbie and Larry to witness and enjoy the presentation which dealt with keeping hurt feelings silent which is devastating to the human spirit. In the thirty minute presentation visiting students Sarah MacKensie from Strathaven, Scotland and Katie Emma Hughes from Stockport, England narrated in the first person situations when they were raped by a boyfriend who was supposedly a perfect, by a brother who was supposedly a hero, a grandfather and even an uncle. “Break this vicious cycle” uttered the SPHS students.
Letters To The Editor: Where is the Equal Employment Opportunity?
Currently, I am a part time student at the University of Belize pursuing my degree on Business Administration. As I embark on my last semester I feel very excited to soon accomplish my goal of graduating and hence have more time to spend with my family and at work.
Today, I write to bring across strongly an issue to our Government, non-Government institutions and the private sector regarding the unequal employment opportunities for recent graduates. Gratefully to God, I have a full time job however; many of my friends that will be graduating are now wondering what will be their next step. Unfortunately, the majority will not be able to further their studies due to financial constraints but It will soon be time for them to venture into the work force and face the challenges of unequal employment opportunities. As I look back, I am cognizant of the fact that I have friends who graduated years ago and who are still job-hunting. Additionally, we have the group of graduates who luckily got a job but nonetheless the job had nothing to do with their areas of studies but more because of the mere need of income to be able to pay their student loans.
Dorian’s Angels Enjoy Drinking Vero Water at O Restaurant, Las Terrazas
Water is vital for all known forms of life. Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world and O Restaurant at Las Terrazas Resort has taken a huge step in providing its customers with the very best drinking water in the country and region.
O Restaurant has taken the initiative of going green and eco-friendly by having purchased a Vero purification system which removes impurities, chemicals and imperfections and leaving a crisp signature taste. Dorian’s Angels were invited to O Restaurant by Executive Chef Patrick Armitage to check out their state of the art water filtrations system and to sample the refreshing water.
Misc Belizean Sources
Updated information on the United States - Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA)
The U.S. Embassy in Belize has shared the following latest release from the IRS. It is the draft agreement and rules for foreign financial institutions (FFI) to report the necessary FATCA information to the IRS. Please click these links to find out more:
Announcing New Belize Travel Video – ‘Collect Memories Not Things’
Island Expeditions, Belize adventure specialists, launch their 2014 adventure season with a new Belize video ‘Collect Memories Not Things’. The clip captures the essence of this tiny Central American country that blends the rhythm of the Caribbean with the exotic flavors of Central America. Viewers are taken on a sensory journey, first traveling 60 miles out to sea to visit Lighthouse Reef Atoll, then they follow a river to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai, and a small Creole village on the banks of the Crooked Tree lagoon.
Videographer Steve Adams and writer Sean Horlor on tour with Island Expeditions followed the route of the Lighthouse Getaway and then ventured inland to the Maya World to Crooked Tree Wetlands, the New River and the ruins of Lamanai and Altun Ha. The video accompanied a cover story editorial and photo essay which can viewed online here.
10 Green bananas
2 Whole Snappers (or Sliced Fish)(seasoned)
1 Can Coconut Milk
2 tbsp. Consomme
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
¼ tsp. Onion Powder
1 sm. Sweet Pepper (optional)
2 thyme leaves
Salt to taste
Wash, peel and grate Green Bananas. Season bananas with 1 tbsp Consomme, Black Pepper, and Season All. In a pot add Coconut Milk, fill empty can with water two times and add to pot.
Belize Electricity Limited is seeking applicants
To fill the following vacancies:
1. Manager, Internal Audit
2. Senior Transmission & Distribution Operations Engineer
3. Senior Planning & Design Engineer
4. Generation Planner
Working in Belize
If you are interested in working in Belize, there are a couple of things you will need to get in order first. Most important is securing a work visa. Read on to find out how and sign up below for our daily postcards to receive more information on working in Belize and other countries. We’ll also send you a FREE report Belize: The Top English Speaking Retirement Haven in the Caribbean. This special guide covers covers real estate, working opportunities and more in Belize and is yours free when you sign up for our postcards below.
Getting a work visa
If you are not a permanent resident in Belize, you will need a work permit to legally work. Self-employment permits are by far the easiest to obtain, as you will most likely be viewed as someone with a business that will in fact create jobs and employ local Belizeans. General work permits must be applied for by your prospective employer. That employer will have to prove that they have been unable to find a current local resident to fill the position before a permit will be issued.
Ian Yacab Wins Arts and Culture Award
Ian Yacab, who you've probably seen play with the Benque Marimba Academy, won the Arts and Culture award! The Department of Youth Services held the Belize Youth Awards at the Bliss today, honoring the youths that have provided outstanding service to Belize. This is the 4th consecutive year where a Benqueño has received national recognition in the Arts and Culture. Congratulations, Ian, on your well deserved award!
In related news, Ian and the Benque Marimba Academy will be playing at the Benque Festival of Culture on Sunday the 17th.
"Estatic feelings! Our Youth Ian Yacab, is the National Youth Recipient for the Art's & Culture 2013-2014 as the Prime Founder of the Benque Marimba Academy, join us in sending him the best wished and may he continued to promote and preserve his cultural heritage.
We also salute our partners in the Arts & Culture, Caracol YCD Maritza Barrera (Arenal Villagea), for her outstanding contribution and commitment to the development of the Arts in the region. Kudos to our Youths."
SI United vs Verdes
The SI United played the Verdes last weekend in Benque, and while they didn't win, they did get to break in their new uniforms.
"Was A very dramatic derby this weekend. Unfortunately we lost due to two questionable red cards. Its a long season and we have only had 1 home game, so we look to capitalize on our upcoming home games."
Open Mic Night at the GPC
The Department of Youth Services is having an Open Mic Night at the George Price Centre tonight to celebrate National Youth Week. They'll have cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. It goes from 6:00pm until 9:00pm, and entry is free.
Oil in Belize Debates
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is having debates on oil all around Belize over the next 4 months. They'll be in Cayo on November 27th, when Belmopan Comprehensive debates Mopan Tech. They are currently looking for volunteers to help with this and other projects.
In related news, they have released an ad for their upcoming TV show, 'Our Community, Our Oil, Our Shared Future!'
"The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be hosting its 1st National Secondary School Debate on OIL IN BELIZE! Come out and show your support as ten schools from across the country battle it out to be the first winners of what will soon be the best debate of the year! Join the Coalition and students in addressing the subject of Oil in Belize as we start our journey toward a National Discussion on Oil that has never taken place! (See flyer for schedule dates and details)"
CAPPS Reading Competition at Bishop Martin
CAPPS had an elimination round at Bishop O.P. Martin primary school, preparing for the Cayo Reading Competition that will be at the George Price Centre on November 21st. Congratulations, Ronan Stewart, who'll represent zone 2 at the district finals.
"CAPPS Zone 2 held its reading elimination competition at Bishop Martin RC School. Zone 2 reader now moves on to the District elimination at Belmopan City on November 21st 2013. Representing Zone 2 at the district finals is no other than from Arms of Love School. Best of Luck Ronan at the District Finals :)"
Five Days Out Of Jail, Michael Coye Passes, Jailed Daughter Gets Bail
Last night, a mere 5 days after he got bail, convicted money launderer Michael Coye, who was waiting for his Appeal hearing, passed away from a heart attack while receiving emergency medical treatment.
The family and their attorney has voiced very loudly that he had a diabetic condition, which couldn’t be properly managed at the Belize Central Prison.
The rest of his family is devastated, and their loss is great, but it has resulted in the granting of bail for his daughter, Melonie Coye, who was also convicted of money laundering.
7News was there for the hearing which finished an hour and half ago, and we have the comments of their attorney on the result. Here’s what he told us:
Opposition Motion Does Not Pass Senate In Controversial Vote
This afternoon at 2:00 in Belmopan, the Senate met as usual to consider bills brought forward from Friday’s House Meeting. But while that was the business as usual, the media gallery was full because of a motion introduced by PUP Senator Lisa Shoman. She wants the senate to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the issuance of passports, visas and nationality certificates at the Immigration Department. Today she presented the motion at the senate and it was enthusiastically supported by the three social partner senators for business, labour and the churches. The meeting finished at 6:00 pm and ou team is on the way back with highlights of the session, but we can tell you that the motion did not succeed. Now, there’s some dispute as to whether it was defeated or whether there was a 6 – 6 ties, but for sure, it did not pass. It was put to a vote and the six senators for the government voted no, while the 6 opposition and the social partners voted yes. The president sought to break the 6 – 6 tie with his casting vote, but the PUP Senator Lisa Shoman told him that the constitution bars him from using his casting vote on such a motion. He seemed confused, and then the leader of Government business moved for the adjournment and the meeting ended on that desultory note. Senator Shoman insists it ended in a tie. Whatever the case, as we said, it still did not pass. We’ll have all that for you a little later in the news as our team is coming back from Belmopan at this hour.
Corruption Sickness At Health?
For weeks we’ve been reporting on the missing money – hundreds of thousands of dollars fleeced from the Southern Regional Hospital. But, there are also credible reports of irregularities at the Dangriga Polyclinic, the Central Region and the Punta Gorda polyclinic. Indeed, a tidy chunk the 103 million dollar budget of the Ministry of Health is, it appears, lost to graft. Today we asked the CEO about the panorama of dishonesty confronting the ministry:…
"Monies were put into a fund for every child born, and those monies should have been used to bolster the hospital's resources. Those monies were not used for that. The money - hundreds of thousands, from what we've heard - were fleeced. What is the status with the person who stands accused from the auditor general review/audit?"
Dr. Peter Allen - CEO, Ministry of Health
"I haven't spoken to the individual, but the individual, Ms. Sommerville, is still on suspension. The investigation by the Auditor General's Department continues. The investigation by the police continues. I understand from indirect sources that Ms. Sommerville says that she is innocent. She is not guilty of the accusations that have been leveled against here. And in the absence of firm evidence, I really can't add more than that, except to say that the investigations do continue."
Mayor Not Happy With Chang, But Can’t Kick Him Out Of Council
Last week, 7News told you about Mayor Darrell Bradley’s failed attempts to try to contact missing city councillor Eric Chang, who has been stripped his portfolios and his responsibility has deputy mayor. The extended period of time, plus the radio silence has brought public pressure on City Hall to disqualify him has an elected city councillor, but the Mayor says that it’s not that simple.
We caught up to him at an business mixer between the council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce, and he told us that his administration cannot expedite Chang’s complete departure just because the public may be calling for it. Here’s his frank comments on it:
Geovanni Brackett - Plus TV
"Why would you drag it on?"
Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"No no, it's not a situation of dragging it on. The strength of a company has to do with its people and every single person. So that, we have certain procedures that we follow at City Council. We have certain policies that we have put in place. We have a certain modus that we run the city, and we are continuing to do that. Councillor Chang is absent from this jurisdiction. I have indicated that that absence is unacceptable. We have taken certain consequences against him. We will take more serious consequences as it goes on We're monitoring this situation very seriously, but there is not challenge to the city.
Grandmaster Grand Forger?
Well-known dub poet Leroy “Grandmaster” Young, a resident of 10 Pinks Alley, was charged with forgery when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Young was also charged with uttering a false document and possession of a false document.
According to the allegation, on October 25, Young attempted to cash a Belize Bank cheque for $100 at Wellworth Store, but the cheque was forged.
Police reports are that the cheque was stolen from a cheque book belonging to Carlos Walker that stolen from Walker’s apartment during a burglary. At the time Walker resided in Pinks Alley.
He was offered a bail of $500 and his case was adjourned until December 18.
City Hall And Chamber Meet To Find Common Ground
Belize City property taxes and trade licenses – it’s a thorny issue, because on one hand, the revenue earned from their collection, allows the council the ability to run the city, and meet certain debt obligations.
But, the private sector city says that the criteria in which their businesses are assess is unfair and in drastic need of a revisit.
Weeks ago, Bradley told the media that he was open to a discussion on the criteria review, but the responsibility rested in the hands of the chamber. Today, both sides met for a frank discussion on the way forward, and 7News attended.
Here’s what the president of the BCCI told us about the current system and its weaknesses:
Kay Menzies - President, BCCI
"In the past we've had our differences with City Hall. Today's event represents the building of a new partnership. We have been working with the City for the last couple months, trying to find an answer to the replace the trade license regime, which we had a little bit of an uproar last year. In that process, I think we've realized and come to an understanding that it takes everybody working together to develop this City to its full potential."
Teenage Girl Charged Along With Repeat Offender
27 year old Darrington Lauriano and a 15 year old girl, have been charged with burglary in a case in which items and money amounting to over $80,000 were stolen. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano.
The burglary occurred between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on October 31. The complainant, 57 year old retired businessman Stanley Moody, reported to the police that his apartment, located at 13 King Street, was burglarized. He said that the items that were stolen were his licensed .38 revolver, his gold wristwatch valued at $60,000, his Seiko wristwatch, valued at $4,000, 20 thousand dollars and some Mexican pesos.
No plea was taken because it has not been decided if the case will be tried on indictment. They were each offered a bail of $10,000, but so far none of them have met bail. They are to return to court on January 13, 2014.
Souring Relations In Sugar Industry
As we’ve reported, there are rumblings of discontent in the sugar industry where the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is demanding a dialogue on the Bagasse, the by product of the sugar production process which is now used a bio-fuel by Belcogen. The cane farmers have been calling on BSI to meet with them since September 25th – but BSI has not set a date for that meeting. Now, with less than three weeks to go before the start of the Cane season, the Cane Farmers Association has given BSI a deadline
With only twenty days before the start of the new proposed Sugar Cane Crop Season, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has yet to get word from the executives of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI, on a way forward as it pertains to the by-product Bagasse. Fred Ortega, who ends his one year contract as Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management tomorrow, stopped by our studious today and told us that the Association is giving BSI a deadline to come to the negotiating table. While that plays out on a tense deadline, the issue made it to the House Meeting on Friday where Orange Walk Representatives on both sides of the House spoke on the volatile issue with the opposition pressing the government to intervene:
The Problem And Plague Of Teenage Pregnancy
This morning a report was released along with the launching of an educational and informative video on adolescent pregnancy. It is one way in which UNFPA is promoting a holistic approach to tackling the challenge of adolescent pregnancy – which does not dwell on changing the behavior of the girl, but rather on changing the attitudes and actions of the society she lives in. According to the State of World Population 2013 which was released globally in October last month – it mentioned that motherhood in children is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries where every year, 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth. Today we found out how this issue is affecting our young girls.
The report was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Youth Enhancement Services.
Senate Blowback: Motion Was Defeated, Dispute Persists
Our team is just back from Belmopan with video of the Senate meeting. The meeting lasted four hours and it’s too late to edit it all together, but suffice to say that the Motion to set up a special select committee to investigate the Immigration Department did not pass. Earlier we told you that there was some doubt as to whether the motion was defeated or if it ended in a tie – which still would not have granted its passage. But, during the course of the news, the clerk of the National Assembly confirmed that it was defeated by the judgment of the president who ruled that the no’s have it – meaning 6 government members plus the President’s casting vote. But when the voting was done, before he could rule PUP Senator Lisa Shoman advised him that the constitution bars him from voting on such a motion. Here’s how that exchange went and her comments after the meeting finished at 6:00 pm:
"Senator, the meeting ended on an inconclusive note, it appears because -"
Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator
"No, six senators voted in favor - the three social partner senators and the three senators from the opposition - and all six senators for the government voted against. In this matter, the constitution is clear: the president does not have a casting vote. When it comes to any matter relating to section sixty-one (A) (D), which is exactly what we were dealing with today."
Today the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development received an award from the regional Food and Agriculture Organization representative.
It’s a medal named after Dr. Margarita Saucedo Lizárraga, a Senior FAO Fishery Liaison Officer who promoted Responsible Fisheries. Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla says Belize is doing the same.
Specifically, the award recognizes the work that the Ministry has done in the implementation of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Integration Policy.
Redemption Songs At Prison
You may or may not know about “Songs of Redemption”; it is a documentary shot inside the Tower Street Correctional Facility in Kingston, Jamaica.
The film features prison inmates on their road to rehabilitation in a program which uses music as an outreach mechanism.
Today, the documentary, which had won three major awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Toronto and Trinidad, was shown to select inmates at the Belize Central Prison. 7News attended, and we spoke to the EU Ambassador to Belize, who told us about how it has been used all throughout Jamaica as a teaching tool:
The administration at the Belize Central Prison has pledged to adopt parts of the rehab program from Tower Street.
Good Feeling For Fantasy Five Winner
Tonight an Orange Walk woman is the lucky Fantasy 5 winner. Solangel Carbajal travelled to Belize City today with her family to collect her winning cheque of two hundred and ninety three thousand, five hundred dollars. It was an unexpected win and a unique set of numbers. Here’s her story.
Carbajal winning numbers were 09, 10, 12, 19, 21, a list of dates on the Belize’s holiday calendar. After taxes was deducted, she took home two hundred and forty nine thousand, four hundred and seventy five dollars.
Opposition tables motion for a senate-led investigation on the passport and visa hustle
A highly anticipated senate meeting in Belmopan started at two this afternoon and concluded before six this evening. The main agenda item was the tabling of a motion by opposition [...]
Days after he was released on bail, businessman Michael Coye dies
And now, we turn to the sad story of a Belize City businessman who has been in the news now for years. Sixty-seven year old Michael Coye spent eighteen months [...]
Social partners rise to support, but the government casts the deciding vote
As we said earlier in the newscast, the motion for a senate-select committee did not pass in the senate this evening. That’s because the opposition questioned the casting vote by [...]
Senator Shoman says President does not have a casting vote
Senator for the Opposition, Lisa Shoman explains. Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator “Six senators voted in favor—the three social partner senators and the three senators from the opposition—and all six [...]
Well-known poet and entertainer charged for forgery
A report on today’s senate meeting is coming up shortly, but we go to the courts. Well-known poet and entertainer, Leroy “The Grand Master” Young, a resident of Pinks Alley [...]
Woman charged for stabbing another outside a club
A woman was stabbed outside a club on Monday night and police believe they have been able to crack the case. Today, twenty-nine year old Denay Gillett, a resident and [...]
City Council and Chamber of Commerce hold mixer to strengthen relations
Relations between the Belize City Council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry have not always been cozy. But an initiative by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley will hopefully [...]
Still no word of communication from Eric Chang
It’s been two weeks since former deputy mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang, was stripped of his title and portfolios with the City Council. It comes on the heels of [...]
The 11th annual OCCUR International Conference
The Organization of Caribbean Utilities Regulators is hosting its Eleventh Annual International Conference in Belize. This year’s theme, ‘Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies’ sees the convergence of over [...]
Outstanding youths awarded by the Ministry of Education
A number of outstanding youths were honored this morning by the Ministry of Education. They came from all over the country and are from all walks of life but the [...]
Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry awarded by the Food & Agriculture Organization
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development was today awarded with a commemorative medal by the Food and Agriculture Organization in recognition of work that has been done to [...]
E.U. Ambassador debuts Redemption Song at the Belize Central Prison.
Songs of Redemption is a documentary that has won awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Toronto and Trinidad. This morning it was viewed by a captive audience of inmates [...]
EU Ambassador meets with stakeholders to discuss 2014-2020 bilateral programs
Ambassador Amadei has been in Belize since Monday and will leave the country on Friday. Aside from her work with the Kolbe Foundation, she is having discussions on the European [...]