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Today's Belize News: May 28, 2014 #491510
05/28/14 05:49 AM
05/28/14 05:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,241
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

SFXCU reach out to high school students
The Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union (SFXCU) Limited has been on Ambergris Caye for over 10 years and it is estimated that ¼ of the island’s population is a member of the organization. And now the credit union is reaching out to a new set of member, the students on the island. On Wednesday May 21st, the staff of the SFXCU visited and met with business and general studies students of the San Pedro High School. According to Lina Martinez, SFXCU San Pedro Branch Manager, the purpose of the visit was to encourage students to save. She explained that from the show of hands, the majority of the students have not learned to save and most of the initiative to save has to come from their parents. As part of SFXCU’s education program, they are reaching out to the student population and showing them some of the benefits that come with being a member. “The main purpose is to teach students to save. It is very important for youth to learn to put aside some of the cash they are receiving and even build up a savings and use their money in the future for their own benefit. SFXCU does have a student’s saving program, and some can even benefit of a student grant,” explained Martinez.

Stingrays – worth more alive than dead!
Stingrays are a common sight in the tropical waters off Ambergris Caye, and they are some of the main attractions for visitors, contributing to the millions of tourism generated dollars for the country’s economy. However, all that was not taken into consideration after a Southern Stingray was fished, dragged on shore, then left to die in the Boca del Rio Area. Marine conservationists found the dead animal on Tuesday May 20th and notified authorities about their finding. One person who has been studying sharks and rays in Belize and in the region and who responded to the call was Dr Rachael Graham, Director of MAR Alliance. According to Dr. Graham, they were notified of the dead ray by Marine Biologists at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. “We found the ray on the sand in the general area near the bridge. The ray was recently killed, perhaps in the night or early in the morning and she had a large J-hook lodged in her mouth with large piece of bait on it. Her spine was not broken and it did not appear that she was beaten or hit. She was just dragged ashore and left to die on the sand,” explained Graham.

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season draws near
The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right around the corner and Drs Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University have predicted a below-average season as compared to activity from 1981 to 2010. The forecast was issued Thursday, April 10th and predicts a relatively quiet hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. According to information gathered, the El Niño effect will most likely develop through Summer and Fall with a moderate strength. Due to the cooler temperatures in the tropical Atlantic over the past few months it is anticipated that there will be below-average probability for major hurricanes to make landfall along the United Sates coastline and the Caribbean. The forecast predicts that the 2014 hurricane season will only see three hurricanes, nine named storms, 35 named storm days, 12 hurricane days, one major hurricane and two major hurricane days.

Making Bollos (Tamales)!
You can’t possibly come to Belize and not try a bollo! That would be like going to the beach and not getting into the water! Bollos or tamales as it is popularly known are a traditional Mestizo dish, enjoyed and adopted by all cultures in Belize. What is it? A bollo is a meal of seasoned meat (chicken or pork) wrapped in soft homemade corn dough (masa), and then steamed in plantain or banana leaves. Bollos can also be vegetarian by substituting the meat with additional veggies! Yum! Wanna try em? Here is a super yummy, easy to follow recipe provided by: Uj Janal Aj Maya a collection of traditional Maya cuisines by Aurora Garcia Saqui. But first, you’ll need to get two banana leaves! (Most international ethnic stores sell them- and once you wrap the bollo once, foil can seal the deal.)

Rum+ Bean at Mahogany Bay Village
Looking for a quick caffeine fix? Check out Rum+ Bean at Mahogany Bay Village.....good coffee, great ambiance -Trust us, it's worth the drive! (7 photos)

Ambergris Today

Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development Appoints New Chairman
The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development(ACCSD) is proud to announce that they have a newly appointed Co-Chairman for their organization. As of May 13, 2014 Mr. Francis ‘Billy’ Leslie has accepted the post and will be working with the ACCSD in his new position. He has been serving as Director for the past four years and has been very fundamental in the establishing of the organization. The ACCSD is pleased that Mr. Leslie has accepted this appointment and know he will represent the organization well and will contribute much to the community.

Two Golf Carts Donated to Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II San Pedro
On Friday, May 23, 2014, two golf carts were handed over to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II that were donated by Ramon's Village Resort through the San Pedro Town Council. On site for the presentation were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Councilor Severo Guerrero, Mr. Ramon Nuñez, Dr. Javier Zuniga, Mr. Owen Vellos and Nurse Maria Jeffrey.

Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 4
But this time the unexpected happened. Wilber had just struck a fine 15-pound grouper and was joyfully surfacing with his catch to put it inside his dory with the other 20 groupers he had already speared early that morning. Suddenly the shark was coming directly at him and he only noticed when it was some 15 feet away. Its mouth was already open and instinct told him the animal was hungry and on the attack mood. Of course as an experienced four-year old skin diver, Wilber knew that the shark was after the grouper and not after him. Instinctively, he placed the spear with the grouper directly in front of him to offer it to his new “guest”. At the precise moment the shark ripped off half of the fish and the spear partly entered its mouth but so did the bamboo of the Hawaiian sling, and Wilber’s left hand. Fortunately for Wilber he was able to pull his arm on the split second. The razor sharp teeth of the animal grazed like sharp knives damaging skin, tendons, and blood vessels. As best as he could Wilber surfaced and hollered, “SHARK”. This immediately caught the attention of one of his companions who came to the rescue. The remainder of the story was a fight against time. It took some time for the crew of Edwardo Brown’s boat, La Perdida, to stop the bleeding. It took time to stop the pain in a boat with no first aid kit. It took many hours of sailing in a calm day to reach Belize City and the hospital. And it took close to a month in the hospital for the injuries to heal properly before Wilber was given the green light. And here is the worst part. How much time did Wilber need to recover from this frightening experience to return to skin diving? It did not take much as there was no other choice. Soon he was back at sea to challenge the forces of nature and to brush aside that slight fear of the shark encounter. Fearless “men of the sea” indeed!

Flashbacks: The Famous Fido's in Ambergris Caye
If there is one place that has left a landmark in San Pedro and that has undergone lots of transformation, it has got to be Fido’s. It started as Fido’s Hotel and was part of the chain of Coral Beach Hotels. The Original Fido Nuñez then transformed it to Fido’s Place with restaurant and bar which became a central point for tourists from all over. Fido’s place seen here was an open place with palm trees, sea grape, and even a tall almond. The small palapa in the background was the entertainment area where Wil Nuñez, son of Fido Nuñez, and Chico Flores entertained with guitars, harmonica and maracas. There was a boardwalk, sand and even some patches of grass. This was the beginning of what was to be transformed into the famous Fido’s Courtyard.

The Art of Listening
Mayor of San Pedro Town, His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero, is perhaps the mayor that has communicated the most with the residents. His medium is the Reef TV Good Morning Show where he entertains questions, complaints, suggestions from the public. And very often he comments that he welcomes suggestions because it is the only way that he can know what the people want. Recently, however, it has been suggested to the Mayor to cut down on unnecessary spending so that the council can have money to invest on security/policing so as to lower crime and vandalism. The area that callers have been suggesting is to cut down on fireworks spending which could amount to up to $80,000 per year. This, the Mayor says, will never happen because his people and tourists deserve colorful celebrations.

Misc Belizean Sources

Statement from Bowen and Bowen
On improvements, supply, and quality

Attracting investments and growing the Belizean Economy Part IV
Coming back to the general theme of this article, empirical studies have consistently shown that if developing countries (like Belize) are indeed serious about addressing the problem of job and economic growth, we need to shift our focus on those policy hindrances that have been highlighted time and time again. The policy makers and those who put them there ought to raise the bar on the conversation on this matter FAR beyond the political rhetoric that seems to have trivialized this issue. It’s not rocket science. If decades’ worth of data from a myriad of researchers are pointing out that poor quality institutions (bad governance, corruption, red tape, and poor provision of public goods) and low levels of human capital development (reflected in poor education policies) are at the core growth issues that have been widely talked about, then it is relatively conspicuous what needs to be done in this country to achieve the desired growth levels.

Public Service Information Day
The Ministry of Public Service is having their Public Service Information Day in Belmopan this Thursday, May 29th, starting at 9:30am. It'll be taking place at Sir George Brown Field. Learn more about the Belize Public Service.

The Summer of Gold: How the Yellow Cortez tree can change Belize
Not unlike the Cherry Blossom trees that bloom every April/May in Washington DC, Belizean Richard Harrison is hoping that the Yellow Cortez tree will draw tourists to Central America. The Yellow Cortez tree is native to the dry forests native to Central America, and Belize. Like the Cherry blossoms they bloom with the rainy season between Mid April and Mid May. Harrison is behind the Summer of Gold or Verano de Oro project whose goal is to plant 100,000 Yellow Cortez trees throughout Belize, particularly along highways. Mr. Harrison believes that this will create a spectacularly unique man-made wonder of very high value to Belize utilizing a natural forest species. In addition to adding a beautiful tourism draw, Harrison feels the project can foster participation by Belizeans, which may improve quality of life and contribute to the wealth of the area.

Belize residents threatened with imprisonment over corn planting
The office of the attorney general of Belize has filed an interim injunction that threatens imprisonment and other sanctions against members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), if they proceed with an initiative to utilize basic agricultural development in their maintenance of the buffer zone of the Harmonyville Farming Community. The buffer zone is the narrow strip of land that separates the highway and the community. According to the 'National Guidelines for Subdivision and Consolidation of Land in Belize 2010', a 20ft buffer is required between the property and the shoulder of the road for all subdivisions next to a main highway to minimize accidents and obstruction of the traffic flow. In the case of the Harmonyville buffer zone, a 50ft wide buffer was mandated. Some 29 acres have been cleared so far for the project in question. The innovative initiative would not only clean and beautify the buffer zone (something the government had previously indicated was BGYEA’s responsibility) but, was also designed to provide for the development of roads for the Harmonyville Community (something for which the government had previously indicated that no help would be forthcoming), all in a manner that in no way precludes future use of the buffer zone for public purposes.

No Show Biz Revolution!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez Everyone is looking for a showbiz revolution When the real revolution is returning to our agricultural orientation Being able to feed ourselves as a nation Poverty is not Belize’s ailment Poverty is not having the confidence To take opportunities for our own development Why are we waiting for a government? Why do the people like to lament? PUDP is not about development The real similitude of this government Is that of tenant paying rent, but we have as a people have become decadent We’ll allowed this government to renege on our arrangement

Using intellectual property to enhance business
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has launched its latest initiative on the subject of intellectual property (IP): a series of private sector IP clinics that will take place across the region. The first of the sessions took place in Belize from April 29-30 and three more sessions are scheduled to follow over the next two months in the region. The clinics are the second phase of a developmental project which was initiated through an intensive workshop entitled “The Use of Intellectual Property as a Tool for Business/Export Enhancement”, which the Agency hosted in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2013 and where participants recommended that engagement take place at the national level to help tease out issues businesses are facing with regards to protecting their intellectual property assets (i.e. trademarks, brands, trade secrets, etc.). These clinics directly correlate to a critical component of the EU 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The intervention also responds to a specific need in the entertainment industry: the need for knowledge and correct observance of intellectual property rights and procedures.

Belmopan Humane Society Clinic
Animal Lovers please make note that the Belmopan Humane Society will be doing a clinic Sunday, June 1 at the BHS property. If you know of anyone that can benefit from the subsidized spay/neuter program please have them contact Lilly Morison at 602-7947 to work out a price and an appointment time.They can only do 10 animals.

Power interruption 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, June 1: entire San Pedro Town
Power interruption 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, June 1: entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for BEL to replace utility poles and insulators, install voltage regulators and reclosers on the transmission system; and conduct maintenance and upgrades at the San Pedro Substation.

Simm'r a flaverfil soup fer a heertee dinn'r
Soups air always a good meal opshun fer dinn'r. A'followin air a few faves frum T' Amish Cook column ov'r t'yeers. VEGETABLE SOUP 1 pound hamburg'r 1 onion, choppet 2 cups potatoes, dicet 1 cup carrots, dicet 1 pint corn 1 pint peas 1 quart mater juice 1 1 /2 teespoons salt 1 teespoon black pepp'r Direckshuns: Brown hamburg'r an' onion n' a skillet. Put hamburg'r an' onion into a large pot an' add potatoes, carrots, corn peas, mater juice, an' salt an' pepp'r. Cook ov'r medium heat until vegetables air soft. Recipe note: Sumtimes I use a pint o'beef chunks insteed o'hamburg'r. I also leeve t'onion whole an' cook it wit t'res o't' vegetables.

May 18 - May 24 2014 Fishing Report
Ferdy is the only German at the lodge this week. He is a riot. His passion for fly fishing can be described only as bubbling enthusiasm. He said he will let all of Germany know about all the fun here at El Pescador. Walking down the dock, Ferdy told me, “I wear my most lucky shirt today! It is from New Zealand. I always have good luck with this shirt!” When he came back, he had slammed on fly! 500 pictures later and a ton of stories about each day out on the water. We’ll get some of those pictures out soon for everyone to see. For me, I just love it when our anglers come back to fish here. Kevin, George and Bobbi, Dave and Donna, Mark just brought his family and he was here last month… Rob and Donn showed up yesterday well armed… Anyway, our EP family loves it when you return. We like to see you take ownership with your familiar EP life. It makes us feel good!

Channel 7

Man Stabbed To Death In City; Was He Caught Stealing?
The holiday weekend was deadly: one man was shot to death in Belize City, while another was stabbed; and in Caledonia village a teenager was chopped to death. We start in the city where an unidentified man was found dead on the river side in Lake Independence. He had been stabbed to death - but it didn't appear to be the usual type of city based violence - which usually involves guns, gang rivalries or old beefs. None of those seems to have applied here, so why was the mystery man killed. Daniel Ortiz tried to find that out today:... Daniel Ortiz reporting The body of 25 year-old Dangriga resident Ezekiel Hernandez Medina was found on the riverside at the corner of Lavender and Partridge Streets yesterday morning just before 5:30. He was unknown in the area, and not even the police knew who he was. It is believed that he had been killed earlier in the night because his body was already starting to decompose. The police found a tattoo on his arm, and with the help of the media, his family came looking to confirm that it was his body.

Taxi-Man Murder In City
That was the long weekend's second murder; the first happened on Saturday morning around 1:30 when another taxi man was killed. 56 year old Stanley Thompson was ambushed on Logwood Street - which is off Vernon Street. We say "ambush" because as his common law explains, Thompson was at home when he got a call to make a taxi run - presumably a call from someone he knows. His family believes that was a setup for murder:.. Sharette Willoughby, Common-Law Wife of Deceased "The information I have gotten was from the police telling me that he was shot. They didn't say whether or not it was in the car or how it exactly happen. They just said he had two shots to the back and it seem to have been a robbery. However I don't feel that way. I believe that it was an ambush - someone set him up because he only work on calls, he doesn't come out for anybody and he has to scrutinize you thoroughly before he comes out to get you. However they did not take any money, the wallet was intact, but they took only the phone and that was all I got from the police."

Family Dispute Spawns Machete Killing In Caledonia
And to round out the stories of long weekend violence, a 26 year old was chopped to death in Caledonia Village in the Corozal District - and three brothers are in jail for it tonight. On Sunday night at 9:00 Eder Alcoser was attacked as he stood in front of a Chinese store in the village. He was attacked by three of the Rosales brothers, David, Elias and Perfecto Jr. They chopped him numerously and repeatedly - until his family rushed to his defence - and that's when his father in law also got chopped. Eyewitnesses say it was a terrible, bloody scene where onlookers didn't want to help to take the injured to the hospital. Alcoser was still alive, but died on the way to the hospital. All three Rosales brothers were immediately detained and they were charged for murder today.

Marcial Mes Crashes And Dies
Former PUP Minister and two-term PUP Toledo West Area Representative Marcial Mes died yesterday in a traffic accident. It happened at about 1:15 am in Yemeri Grove village, about 7 miles outside of Punta Gorda town. According to Patrick Mes was behind the wheel of his Toyota RAV 4 early on Monday morning when the vehicle ran off the road, plunged into a ditch and crashed into a cement culvert. He died on the spot while his passenger was injured. He was reportedly driving to his home in San Marcos village. The 64 year old Mes has an unfortunate history of traffic accidents. He knocked down two children in Forest Home Village in 2007 - which resulted in criminal charges bring brought while he was a member of the House of Representatives and Cabinet. He would later get off those charges. And in 2008, after he left politics, he was charged for drunk driving when he crashed into the back of a police mobile.

Nickel and Coming A Senior Counsel?
A week ago, we told you about Minister of State Edmond Castro, the Area Rep for Belize Rural North, who had to face a court challenge brought by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon. He believed that Castro had violated the Cabinet code of conduct. Castro's attorney, Denys Barrow, managed to get the case thrown out on the technicality that Vernon made an error when he started a public law claim instead of going the private law route. Vernon was slapped with a $5,000 cost of court which Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered that he pay to Castro for legal fees. That basically meant that Vernon had to pay Denys Barrow for defending Castro. So today, Vernon showed up to Barrow's law office on Coney Drive with two pillow cases filled with what he says is half the money. You might suspect that he was taking this matter "mek papishow" because he was forcing the persons receiving the money to count out $2,500 in small change. He told us today that it was nothing like that; this it was a contribution from people in Belize Rural North who supported that he was challenging Castro's actions as a sitting Minister. Here's how he explained it:

Arthur Tells Rodwell, It's All About Change
Another attorney who got paid today in shillings and dollar coins was Rodwell Williams. As we told you last week Friday, the Supreme Court granted Prime Minister Dean Barrow the biggest award ever for defamation - and the man doing the defaming was attorney Arthur Saldivar. He called in on the WUB in 2011 and wrongfully accused Prime Minister Dean Barrow of being corrupt. He now has to pay $60,000 to the Prime Minister for the defamatory remarks, and an additional $9,500 to his attorney Rodwell Williams for his costs in defending the prime minister. And to hear his story - it's just like Vernon's: he says the people of Belize Rural North chipped in to pay. So, if you follow this fanciful narrative, then you'd have to believe that Saldivar's Rural North supporters were in an especially giving mood this weekend because in addition to the $2,500 they supposedly raised for his committee member Trevor Vernon, they then raised another $2,000 for Saldivar to pay up. Saldivar invited the media to view the two pans of coins before it was delivered to Rodwell William's law office this evening. Here's what he had to say about Rural North's supposed generosity:

Belize Council Of Churches Stands Up For Professor Bain
The public pressure in Jamaica continues to build against the University of the West Indies for its decision to terminate Professor Brendan Bain, for what was taken as an "anti-gay" affidavit in Belize's UNIBAM case. Today, the Belize Council of Churches - for whom he made the affidavit - joined in the condemnation of that decision in a letter to the University of the West Indies. The letter says they wish to quote, "express our disappointment and outrage at the…termination." They characterize it as quote, "an act of extreme cowardice carried out at the behest of an ungrateful and unreasonable minority." The statements concludes angrily, "we and the over two billion Christians in this world will not be silenced by this terrible injustice....carried out at the behest of the LBGT community." And while the council of Churches is producing strident declarations in Belize, the press in Jamaica is reporting that an online petition demanding that Professor E. Nigel Harris, the Vice Chancellor of UWI, must apologize for unjustly terminating Professor Bain, has already gotten over 1,900 votes. A protest was staged yesterday in front of the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica, and reporters from Jamaica Observer Newspaper, spoke to a few of the demonstrators about its importance. Here's what they had to say:

Police Shot A 19 Year Old
Tonight a 19 year resident of Unitedville is at the KHMH recovering from a surgery to remove multiple gunshot pellets from his back. Early on Monday morning, Elston Arnold was shot in the back by police - and his family says it is for no reason at all. Arnold and two friends were coming from a wake and a church bus had dropped them on the highway about half a mile from their home. A police mobile pulled up and searched them. One of Arnold's cousins had words with the police, and the police started to beat him. Arnold's family says that Elston Arbnold started to leave, when one of the police officers shot him in the back with a pump action shotgun. Worse than that, they say the officers then left him there - and a justice of the peace had to rush him to the Western Regional Hospital. He later had to be transferred to the KHMH - which is where he had surgery today to remove multiple shotgun pellets.

Albert Reid Remanded To Jail
Last week, we told you about 24 year-old Albert "Cat" Reid, who was charged for the murder of 57 year-old Maurice Young. Well tonight he's at the Belize Central Prison. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, and due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded to prison until July 15. As we told you, Young was found in a bushy area behind his house in the quiet village along the old Northern Highway. He was chopped to death, and it is suspected that the assailant was trying to rob him.

Cousins To Court On Gun Charge
Cousins 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby and 26 year old Nuri Polanco are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were taken to court for threatening a man with a gun. The complainant, 23 year old Jason Lamb, reported to the police that on Sunday evening, he was attending a dinner function on antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Willoughby. Lamb said Willoughby pulled out a firearm from the waist of his pants and pointed it at him. Lamb said he tried to move away, but he was blocked by Polanco who approached him. Lamb said he began to fear for his life so he jumped into his car and drove off.

Playing with Fire At Club Elite
Club Elite is the latest incarnation of the Princess Ramada Hotel's clubbing scene inside the hotel, but on last Friday, patrons got a bit more than they bargained for when a pyrotechnic stunt got out of control. Persons who were there told us that one of the bartenders ran liquor along the length of the bar, and lit it on fire. Might sound scary, but they do that all the time when the club is hyped up - and, if you've had a few - it's usually quite a show to see the trail of fire race from one end of the bar to the next. On Friday, however, the bartender reportedly wanted to keep the fire going a little longer than usual and he poured more liquor on the bar. But, the fire spread from the bar to liquor bottle causing it to explode. One of the patrons who was nearby caught the brunt of the explosion and reportedly suffered significant burns because of it. Another nearby patron got a little bit of the rum on fire on his clothes which caught on fire. We're told that in their panic to try to put out the blazing liquid on them, then scared a large number of the club goers who dashed for the exit.

MIT Makes Weed Busts
A joint law enforcement patrol made a good sized marijuana bust yesterday. At 10:00 in the morning, the team comprising the Mobile Interdiction Team, the K9 Unit, the Anti Drug Unit and Customs searched an abandoned lot on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena where k9 TOONJE picked up the scent of illegal narcotics. Well, he smelt right through the ground, because the team had to dig to find a white bucket buried with a large garbage bag inside. It contained 4.9 kilos - or almost 11 pounds of cannabis. No one was in the area and it was Labeled as Found Property. And this morning at 5:00 am, a joint team conducted a Vehicle Check Point in Roaring Creek on the Western Highway in front of West Star Gas station. A search was conducted on a J & J bus was searched and it led to the discovery of a red / black and white bag. That contained 2 small buckets with 3 packages wrapped in gray duct tape containing 2 kilos, or four and a half pounds of cannabis. No one claimed the bag so it was labeled a Found Property.

Central Region Kept Ipad Purchase Secret
The Auditor General's damning report on the Central Health Region. We told you about portions of it last Thursday and Friday, and we continue tonight, as we unearth the full details of those two ipads purchased under dubious circumstances:... Jules Vasquez reporting The auditors found that Regional Manager Melinda Guerra authorized the preparation and approval of twelve (12) payments totaling $16,997.99, which misrepresented the service or item ordered, received and paid for by the CHR. The auditor laments, "We were particularly concerned about the apparent intentional disguising and misrepresentation of key information on official payment documents and records for it creates an environment that is susceptible to fraud, waste and abuse." And that's just what seemed to have happened in the case of three thousand dollars paid for two Ipad minis. These were recorded as "payments for 2 hard drives" - but when the auditors looked into the records, they found that, quote, "the 2 hard drives that were requested via requisition…ordered on purchase orders …was a fiction and were not received. The accounts section was provided with the tax invoice which was also a misrepresentation of what the transaction was about.

KHMH Looking Into Acquisition Of Pair Of Vans
In other news concerning irregularities in the public health sector, two vans acquired by the KHMH are under scrutiny tonight. 7News has obtained a leaked copy of the findings of an internal investigation done into the acquisition of the pair of 2012, twelve passenger vans. It notes that the Certificate of Registration for both vans state that they are 15 seating capacity. But an inspection of the vans shows them both as 12 seating capacity. The report notes that the report from the Hospital's Stores Department does not match with the Bill of Sales from a dealership named Matthew Currie where the vans were finally purchased from. It notes also that the mileage on the Carfax report does not match with the details on the Bill of Sales from the dealership. It notes as well that the wire transfer payment for the vehicle was made to a dealer named OFF LEASE, but it was eventually purchased from another dealer named MATTHEW CURRIE.

The Art of Walking Away From Cyclical Violence
Over our years in news, we can hardly count the number of times we've been called out to Sibun Street to cover crime news. It was the base of Back-A-Town gang, and embedded between two rival factions. So, violence, sustained violence was inevitable - and, to us, it seemed to have culminated in June of 2013, when someone walked into the house and just shot and killed one of the residents. It's the kind of thing that usually spawns a cycle of violence and endless retaliations. But, last week Monica Bodden found out how the gang broke the cycle by just moving away and turning the backs on violence:... Monica Bodden reporting Once known as Becka Town, the family property located on the canal side on Sibun Street was purchased in 1983 by Miss Becka Samuels - where it became the home for her next generation. That name would later change to Back-A-Town - an alleged gang territory for one of Belize's crip gangs. Sitting in an area surrounded by two of their rival gangs - Ghost Town and Raiders, Back-A-Town became a gang war zone. For many years, numerous ongoing shootouts targeted the poverty stricken neighborhood -some of which resulted in murders. Take for example 17 year old Shenelle Reyes - the 4thrd form student of Sadie Vernon High - who resided in one of the housing units. Her life was cut short months before her high school graduation when she was shot in the chest by a sawed off shotgun inside her living quarters that had no electricity at the time.

OW Police Looking For Hit And Run Driver
Orange Walk police are seeking the help of the public to investigate who knocked down and killed 68 year-old Santiago Cocom. ON SATURDAY NIGHT, The trial farm resident was on Queen Victoria Avenue, and was trying to cross the street when a vehicle ran him over and dragged him a few yards away from the point of impact. Instead of stopping and rending aid, the driver of the vehicle sped off, and Cocom was left to die. Police say that they have a description of a vehicle and a license plate that they are currently trying to track down.

G. Collective Headed Out On Major European Tour
The Garifuna Collective is going on a 6 week European Tour. They leave tomorrow for Germany, and then head to France, go back to Germany and then travel to Switzerland, Brussels, and the Netherlands. It's one of their most ambitious tours yet where they'll be playing at festivals on back to back days. Today, they told us they are excited and even a little nervous:.. On the days when they aren't performing, the collective will be collaborating with other artists - and working on a new album.

BES Bests Volleyball
Belize Elementary School boys and girls are the Belize district volleyball champions. The District Finals were held today the Bird's Isle where in the female category championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Holy Redeemer School. 25-12, 25-10, while in the male section, Belize Elementary School defeated Crooked Tree Gov't School. 25-14, 25-20. For the girls, this is their fourth year winning the district in a row. They will represent the Belize District at the National Primary School Volleyball Championship on Friday 6th June.

Re: Today's Belize News: May 28, 2014 [Re: Marty] #491511
05/28/14 05:50 AM
05/28/14 05:50 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,241
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

56 year old taxi operator executed on Bank Street
Two men lost their lives violently in separate incidents in Belize City over the weekend while a third was viciously chopped to death up north. The bloodshed started in the [...]

Dangriga resident murdered in Belize City; alleged killer detained
Norman Thompson’s execution was followed by the stabbing murder of twenty-five year old Ezekiel Medina in the city. His body was found early on Monday morning and it took hours [...]

Caledonia man is chopped to death
Up north in the village of Caledonia, an ex-boyfriend was viciously chopped to death on the abdomen while at a Chinese store in the village. Three brothers have been charged [...]

Former P.U.P. Minister Marcial Mes killed in traffic accident
In the early hours of Monday morning, former P.U.P. Minister and Toledo West Area Representative sixty-five year old Marcial Mes died in a road traffic accident. Mes was driving his [...]

Francis Fonseca remembers the political life of Marcial Mes
Leader of the People’s United Party Fonseca told us he got the news early Monday morning. Marcial Mes served as the P.U.P. Area Representative for Toledo West from 1998 to [...]

Do you support the termination of Professor Brendan Bain from the CHART?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the termination of Professor Brendan Bain from the CHART program at UWI? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Trevor Vernon and his pillowcases filled with shillings
On May nineteenth, a case brought against Minister of State Edmond Castro was thrown out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The case had been filed by Belize Rural North resident, [...]

PM Barrow cashes out in coins
On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a defamation suit brought against opinionated attorney Arthur Saldivar for disparaging remarks he reportedly made in [...]

Arthur Saldivar explains why he was a no-show in court
The lump sum was to have been settled on Monday; however, Saldivar has indicated that he will appeal the judgment.  When asked why he did not appear in court to [...]

Internal Audit conducted at K.H.M.H. on purchase of 2 vans
News Five has reported extensively on two comprehensive audits which point to large-scale financial irregularities and misuse of public funds – one for the Southern Regional Hospital and the other [...]

P.U.P. Leader does not support reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich
The proposed reappointment of Court of Appeal Justice Samuel Awich by the Prime Minister is facing opposition. The Justice’s contract ended on May fifteenth, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has [...]

Elvin Penner goes back to court this week, but where is the evidence
Disgraced former Minister of State Elvin Penner will be back in court on Thursday, the defendant in a private prosecution brought by COLA. But Penner’s appearance before Lady Justice may [...]

P.U.P. Leader demanding apology from PM Barrow
Last Thursday, Minister of State Mark King told the media that his government looks after U.D.P. first, Belizeans second and P.U.P. last. While those words are likely true, in this [...]

UWI Vice Chancellor says it’s not about Freedom of Speech
In the aftermath of the termination of Dr. Brendan Bain’s contract, as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Program at the University of the West Indies, there has been [...]

P.U.P. Leader takes position on ‘homosexuality’ issue
The Bain discussion continues to rage, with almost frenzied submissions from both sides of the argument. Today, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca told News Five that the ‘homosexuality’ issue, for lack [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd fiery comments on Bain’s dismissal
While Fonseca advises respect and rational discussion, activist Audrey Matura-Shepherd is more direct. The outspoken attorney was a guest on OYE this morning and condemned the move to oust Professor [...]

The weekend sporting highlights
Good evening folks, I am Duane Moody and welcome to this episode of Sports Tuesday. James Adderley is taking some time off, so I am sitting in for him.   [...]


Chief Magistrate Remands Duo After Aggravated Assault
Twenty-one year old Kenroy Willoughby, the brother of Julian Willoughby who was shot and killed about three weeks ago, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Willoughby’s uncle, 26 year old Nuri Polanco, was charged jointly with him. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were remanded into custody until July 14. The complainant, 23 year old Jason Lamb, a resident of Pelican Street Extension, reported to the police that he was attending a family dinner on Antelope Street Extension when he and Willoughby got into an argument. Lamb said Willoughby, who was with Polanco, took out a pistol from the waist of his pants and pointed it at him. Lamb said he feared for his life so he got into his car and drove off.

Laborer Faces Murder Charge
Twenty-four year old Albert Reid, a.k.a. “Cat”, a laborer of Pine Street in Belize city, was charged with the murder of 57 year old Maurice Young when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Reid was remanded into custody until July 15. Around 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, Ladyville Police, acting on information received, went to Santana Village and visited Young’s residence where they found his body in an advanced state of decomposition in a bushy area about 100 feet from his house. According to reports, there was a chop wound to the back of his neck. The following day, Wednesday, May 21, police detained Reid and charged him.


Dangriga Man Found Stabbed to Death in Belize City
A Dangriga man spent about 24 hours as a “John Doe,” but he has now been identified as 25 year old Ezekiel Hernandez of the Rivas Estate area. Police visited the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets next to the Haulover Creek around 5:23 Monday morning and observed Hernandez’s body...

Taxi Man Ambushed and Killed
The other murder in Belize City over the weekend took place early on Sunday morning. 56 year old Norman Thompson, a taxi operator of West Street, was driving his car in an alley joining Banak Street to Logwood Street next to La Popular Bakery. He was headed toward Banak...

Hit and Run Accident in North Claims one Life
A hit and run incident claimed the life of one man on Saturday night at Orange Walk Town. The victim has since been identified as Santiago Cocom. Initial reports say that the vehicle that hit Cocom dragged him about 100 yards from the point of impact and did not...

Machete Fight in Corozal Leaves One Dead
A machete fight in Caledonia Village, Corozal District has left a young man dead and his father hospitalized while three men are in police custody. According to reports, 26 year old Eder Alcoser, labourer of Caledonia village, visited a local Chinese store at around 9:00 pm on Sunday, May...

Jamaicans Protest Over Professor Bain’s Dismissal
This past Friday, Plus News reported on the protest held at Battlefield Park in Belize City where some 100 Belizeans gathered to condemn the firing of Professor Brendan Bain. The protest saw individuals from a cross-section of the Belizean society standing in solidarity with the Professor who was dismissed as...

Jamaican Bar Association Speaks out Over Bain’s Firing
In related news, The Jamaican Bar Association (Jambar) late Friday called on Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Professor Nigel Harris to give due process to Professor Brendan Bain. In a lengthy press release the group, which is the latest and largest to give its support to Dr...

Man Shot in Belmopan
There was a shooting incident that occurred in Belmopan during the weekend. According to police reports, on Sunday May 25th, at around 8:15 pm Belmopan Police responded to a shooting incident in the area of Las Flores, Belmopan. There in front of the community centre they found 24 year...

Murder Suspect Charged
24 year old Albert “Cat” Reid is remanded after being formally arraigned for the murder of Santana Village resident Maurice Young. Young suffered a chop wound to the back of the neck and his decomposing body was found 100 yards from his house by police from Ladyville around 6:10 in the...

Decomposed Body Found in Indianville, PG
Punta Gorda police have retrieved the decomposed body of a man from the Indianville area of the town. The body was discovered on Monday and according to police reports, they are still trying to identify him. In the meantime, police are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine...

Three Persons Apprehended Over Spree of Robberies
Corozal Police Formation have apprehended three individuals in connection with a spree of robberies that occurred over the past few weeks. According to Officer Commanding Corozal Police Station ASP Daniel Arzu, the trio was apprehended due to the relentless efforts on the part of Corozal Police. ASP Daniel Arzu- ...

Former Minister Marcial Mess Dies in Traffic Accident
Former PUP Area Representative for Toledo West and Minister Marcial Mes, was killed in an early morning traffic accident in the Toledo District on Sunday. Mes was headed from Punta Gorda Town to his home in San Marcos Village when he crashed into a culvert and died. The accident...

Two Charged for Aggravated Assault with Firearm
A family gathering in Belize City over the holiday weekend threatened to become violent when relatives introduced a firearm into the discussion. 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby and 26 year old Nuri Polanco now have to spend their time behind bars after being charged for aggravated assault with a...

Trevor Vernon Pays Court Cost to Edmund Castro in Shillings
Ever seen $2,500 – in “shillings?” We did today, as former litigant Trevor Vernon went to pay his court costs to his opponent Edmond Castro’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow. Vernon and assistant Peter Carter logged in two large knapsacks containing 5,000 25-cent pieces amounting to $1,250 each for a...

Injunction Sought in Belmopan Wooden Building Case
Abner Valladares and his wife have still not been able to place their wooden building fitted for a boutique on their Belmopan property. We had reported to you that Valladarez went through all the necessary procedures to get approval for the building, or at least he thought so, but...

Patrick Jones

Murder suspect charged
24 year old Albert “Cat” Reid is remanded after being formally arraigned for the murder of Santana Village resident Maurice Young. Young suffered a chop wound to the back of the neck and his decomposing body was found 100 yards from his house by police from Ladyville around 6:10 in the evening of May 20. Police arrested Reid the following day and today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith who remanded him to prison until his next court appearance on July 29.

Two charged for aggravated assault with firearm
A family gathering in Belize City over the holiday weekend threatened to become violent when relatives introduced a firearm into the discussion. Now carpenter 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby of Antelope Street and 26 year old Nuri Polanco of Antelope Street Extension are behind bars after being charged for aggravated assault with a firearm following an incident on Sunday evening. Around 5:45 p.m., 23 year old Jason Lamb of Pelican Street Extension was attending a family dinner on Antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Willoughby, who took out a black pistol he was carrying and pointed it at Lamb. A frightened Lamb retreated to his vehicle but was pursued by Willoughby and Polanco.

Dangriga man found dead in Belize City
A Dangriga man who spent about 24 hours as a “John Doe,” has now been identified as 25 year old Ezekiel Hernandez of the Rivas Estate area. Police visited the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets next to the Haulover Creek around 5:23 am on Monday and observed Hernandez’s body with three stab wounds to the upper right side of the back. A post mortem examination is scheduled as police investigation continues.

City taxi man ambushed, says family
Early on Sunday morning, 56 year old Norman Thompson, a taxi operator of West Street, was driving his car in an alley joining Banak Street to Logwood Street next to La Popular Bakery. He was headed toward Banak Street when unknown gunmen fired twice at him, hitting him to the right upper shoulder and right upper back. As a result his green 4-door Geo Prism, license plates D-7487, crashed into the back fence of Habet and Habet Limited which is on Banak Street. Family say that only a cellular phone was taken from him; his wallet was ignored, which leave them to believe that robbery was not the intended motive. They also believe that he was known to his killer or killers.

Apparent suicide in Belize City
A Belize City man apparently killed himself by hanging over the weekend. Police have released no details but 57 year old Maurice Tingling, aka “Pappy Bal”, was known to residents of the Majestic/Pinks Alley area and alarm rose when he was not seen around after Friday night. One person who spoke on condition of anonymity says they made a shocking discovery on Sunday night after noticing a strange smell in the neighborhood. Police were called in and they found Tingling’s lifeless and decomposing body hanging from a rafter in the run-down concrete house where he resided. The body showed no other signs of violence. Tingling lived alone although he has family members in the U.S., residents were still trying to understand what caused him to take his own life. The body was removed this morning after a weekend-long delay.

Trevor Vernon presses on with court case
Have you ever seen $2,500 – in “shillings?” We did today, as former litigant Trevor Vernon went to pay his court costs to his opponent Edmond Castro’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow. Vernon and assistant Peter Carter logged in two large knapsacks containing 5,000 25-cent pieces amounting to $1,250 each for a total of $2,500, half the court costs owed, which is $5,000. Last week we reported on the striking out of an application by Vernon against his area representative whom he wants to answer for the thousands collected on behalf of him and others from the Belize Airports Authority and tried to bring a suit through the Supreme Court alleging violations of the Code of Conduct in the Constitution.

Brothers charged in chopping murder in Corozal
Three men, all brothers, have been charged following a brutal murder in Caledonia village in the Corozal district on Sunday night. 26 year old Eder Alcoser was viciously chopped to death around 9 o’clock on Sunday night as he bought dog food at the Mei Mei store. According to reports, when Alcoser arrived at the store he came face to face with his ex-wife and her companion Elias Rosales who both began attacking him verbally. That verbal attack escalated and when it was all over, Alcoser had been hacked to death. It is a brutal murder that has left Alcoser’s family in shock and demanding justice for their loved one.

Orange Walk man takes his own life
An Orange Walk family is mourning the death of a loved one who is believed to have taken his own life. The body of 32 year old Filberto Lopez was found on Sunday evening in San Estevan village. Lopez was pronounced dead on arrival at the Orange Walk hospital. It is not clear why Lopez may have taken his life and it is believed that he may have ingested a herbicide.

Police officer detained for allegedly pulling gun on civilians
The Belize Police Department has another alleged case of an officer behaving unruly to deal with. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reports are that on Sunday, a police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Command in Independence village was detained for allegedly pulling a gun on some civilians without justification. The alleged incident is reported to have happened at a football competition sponsored by the Stann Creek West area representative Rodwell Ferguson that was being held on Sunday in the village of Red Bank. The officer, whose name cannot be revealed at this time, is reported to be in detention pending a directive from the office of the Commissioner of Police.

Belize Land Holding and Development
The Belize Police Department has another alleged case of an officer behaving unruly to deal with. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reports are that on Sunday, a police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Command in Independence village was detained for allegedly pulling a gun on some civilians without justification. The alleged incident is reported to have happened at a football competition sponsored by the Stann Creek West area representative Rodwell Ferguson that was being held on Sunday in the village of Red Bank. The officer, whose name cannot be revealed at this time, is reported to be in detention pending a directive from the office of the Commissioner of Police. Of 841,234 hectares that is privately held…it is estimated that less than 1% of the population (approx. 3,500 persons) own over 80%, in terms of acreage. In many cases, these same persons exercise significant influence over large tracts of the 1,434,119 hectares owned by government, by virtue of their influence over strategic “non-governmental” interests such as Belize Audubon Society- BAS (whose website claims they manage 192,000 acres), Friends for Conservation and Development – FCD (264,000 acres), Programme for Belize – PfB (259,210 acres) among a slew of others like Toledo Institute for Development and Environment – TIDE (145,650 acres), Southern Environmental Association – SEA (74,690 acres), Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (180,510 acres)…..among many others. They convinced our various governments to assign to their various “non-governmental” enterprises control over these large tracts of land under what are called “co-management agreements”….which they get at practically no cost to them.


Belize Chocolate Festival 2014: The Street Festival’s Food, Culture, Music & More
We headed into town for the start of the street festival and kicked the day off with some chocolate seaweed from a guy on a bicycle cart. A spiced (almost like eggnog with cinnamon and nutmug) drink thickened and healthified with local seaweed. This one was flavored with cocoa powder for the occasion. You want to drink these iced cold and quickly. Delicious. Booths representing many local cultures from East Indian (I had a good amount of curry) to Mestizo, Garifuna to Maya. It’s one of the most amazing things about this part of the country. Beautiful Punta Gorda. I just loved this street fair…simple and beautiful. Not just chocolate but culture and music. All about the diversity of the local people. And the view along the Front Street of Punta Gorda is so stunning. Many parts seem unchanged for decades. Scenes that could be from 100 years ago…

The Magic of Xunantunich Maya City in western Belize
What is it about Xunantunich? Well, lots, actually, but we were still surprised to see our favourite ancient Maya site splashed across North American media from Canada down to sunny California this week in late May. Yes, we stumbled across this wonderful ancient Maya site in the Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada) online edition, and then two days later; there it was again in the Sioux City Journal (Iowa), and again in the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California). We shouldn’t be surprised, as Xunantunich is such an amazing find anywhere, and even stands out in the Maya heartland of Belize, but three times over the course of a few days? Anyway, seeing it brought back so many memories of great times there that we felt the need to mention it again. Mayan for “Stone maiden” Xunantunich is definitely one of Belize’s prettiest Maya archaeological sites, renowned for exquisite architecture, beautiful frescos and stelae, as well as its park-like atmosphere and stunning views from the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid temple.

“White Wedding” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Sitting out in the veranda -the western (lagoon facing) one) last Saturday morning with the obligatory ((obviously it’s not obligatory but if if I didn’t have it I dread (Rose probably more than me) what I would be like for the rest of the day)) mug of black coffee and my iPad searching for a thought that would provide the impetus to write an edition. I sat there marvelling at how powerful a ‘tool’ the brain is ((before anyone feels compelled (and you know who you are) to fire off an email pointing out that I don’t have one) I have to stress that I’m using the word in a generic sense and not about the one that I was ‘given’)). It gives you the ability to go where you want, be who you want to be virtually instantaneously. The only shackle being how vivid your imagination is. Oh, and how much time you have to daydream. Well since retiring and moving to Ambergris Caye I’ve got lots of time. In fact if it were a currency I’d be in the millionaire class. Might even be a billionaire. True, I’ve got stuff I either need or want to do but, within reason, it’s entirely up to me when I do it. And Rose is very good in this respect. She knows that I had a working lifetime of ‘things to be done by a certain time’. So now I ‘go with the flow’. Where (and when) the mood takes me.

12 Reasons Why Belize Is A Great Honeymoon Destination
You might think that Belize is a country made for people who are into diving, caving, hiking, and the like. But aside from the adventurous, Belize is also a great place for honeymooners. You might not know it but it is teeming with romantic places and activities, perfect for couples. Here are 12 reasons why this country is a great place to spend quality time with your partner. 1. Belize travel is easy – Travelling to Belize is a smooth joy. The country has invested thought and effort into its tourist industry. It has clean signs and plenty of travel guidance online. 2. Belizean people are great – Everyone you will interact with is kind, knowledgeable and eager to help. The people in Belize are also fun and friendly; they even greet each other on the street. 3. Belize is quite safe – Among the countries in Latin America, Belize is one of the safest. In Belize, you can really relax, and there are hardly any street vendors or tourist hustlers.

Overlan' Travel – “Aucshun” Mennonite style n' Belize
Mennonite aucshun ahed! We had heerd tell about un aucshun goin un thishere pas Saturdee un t'Hummingbird highway, mile mark'r 31. We lef Bocawina zipline roun 7 am, nuff o'time ta make t'8:30 am aucshun. As we pullt up, my heert droppet (er my stumick as it may)! T' aucshun wuz n' t'field diereckly beside one o'my favert stops, T' Kuntry Barn ice creem. Wuz thay sellin out an' closin up t'doers too? Nooo! Thar wuz sevrul large tants set up. T' largest coverd minny a items, like han' tools, pow'r tools, an' household goods alike. Thar wuz beds, dressers, tables, chunsaw, refrigeraters, an' eve a pertabull A/C unit. Outside wuz t'larg'r ekwipment, tracters, vehicles, an' a motorsickle. A lil bit o'everthang seemt promisyun' fer a good aucshun find. Anoth'r tent wuz whar t'food wuz bein servet. Cinnamon rolls, whoopee cakes, an' oatmeel creem pies, all made frum skratch, wuz bein offerd wit coffee er orange juice. I settlet un t'juicy cinnamon rolls an' coffee. A'lookin roun, I wuz remindet o't' Amish auctyuns I have attendet n' Michigun. T' menfolk wore thar tradityunal clothyun' wit straw hats, an' t'wimmen long flowyun' dresses. T' youngns run roun playyun' tag, er hangin un thar parnts laigs as thay lookt ov'r t'sale items. I am a self-proclaimet aucshun ‘junkie”, so it wuz quite a treet ta find thishere sale goin un n' Belize.

The Beginning of a Journey
Back in February one of my best friends who lives thousands of miles away in my second favorite state, Montana (Maine is obviously my favorite, duh), posted on Facebook that she just purchased a plane ticket to Belize. I’m not one to believe in fate, but I do believe in serendipity, or perhaps I just like it because it’s my favorite word. Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about my trip to Belize and Guatemala. So be on the lookout for vacation recaps, travel tips, and a boat load of photos! I was bitten by the travel bug back in my early college days. Unfortunately, like most Americans I thought travel was expensive and non-conducive to my intended life decisions, i.e. medical school. I wasn’t able to study abroad in school because it would have messed up class schedule as a biochemistry major. In retrospect I absolutely could have studied abroad and it is something I regret not experiencing in college. However, I did attend a two-week English course in Italy over winter break one year. Yes, English in Italy is kind of ironic I know.

International Sources

Dr. Oz On What To Keep In Your Fridge -- And What To Toss
Jicama: While this sweet root vegetable isn't a household name yet, it should be. High in potassium, jicama is also a rich source of inulin, which acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good gut bacteria that may help lower your risk of developing colon cancer. With an applelike texture, it adds a nice crunch to any salad, or you can slice it into sticks to use as dippers for hummus.

Adventures on land and sea in Belize
We took a trip to Belize for our honeymoon and it had all of the elements we enjoy, both relaxation, and a good dose of adventure and history. All of this without having to worry about understanding or speaking a foreign language because it's an English speaking country nestled among many other Spanish speaking ones. In addition, it's a small country size wise, so quite easy to visit most of its attractions in a week or two. Belize is located in Central America, just at the southern tip of Mexico. It is part of the ancient Mayan Empire, so it has several Mayan pyramids that are quite impressive. You can walk to the tops of these and enjoy the views above the jungle. We enjoyed the nice cool hike through the jungle to get to it, although where it was cleared - where the buildings stood - it tended to be quite hot.

Agri-tourism eco-lodge in Belize feels like Jurassic Park
Oversized hummingbirds and a pair of toucans flit about a tangle of jungle that is 50 shades of moist green. A hefty iguana flicks his tongue at me as troops of treetop howler monkeys unleash a choir of otherworldly rasps and gasps that sound more like aggravated dinosaurs - I feel like I'm on the set of Jurassic Park and I haven't even got out of the shower yet. Belcampo Belize is an agri-tourism eco-lodge that is all about saturating its guests in locally farmed organic food, Mayan culture and tropical nature and that includes a giant, fullfrontal picture window facing the virgin jungle in every suite's spa-like bathroom. An English-speaking country wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize's sparsely populated southernmost province of Toledo is a remote frontier lucky to have retained about 75 per cent of its rainforest. I fly into Toledo's Caribbean-paced main town of Punta Gorda (pop: 6,000) with its funky mix of dreadlocks, expats and rickety seaside watering holes and am picked up for the 20-minute shuttle to the hilltop perch of Toledo's only luxury lodge overlooking 23,000 acres of largely untrammelled jungle.

The best of Nature's disssssguises you'll ever see: The caterpillar that looks and even acts like a snake to scare off predators
Some predatory spiders pose as ladybirds and even tree stumps to look as unthreatening as possible. But this caterpillar takes the opposite approach by masquerading as a snake in an attempt to scare away predators. The vivid green 'snake caterpillar' creates the illusion of looking like a dangerous reptile by retracting its legs and expanding the end of its body, which have markings that look like eyes. The snake-like caterpillar grows into the moth Hemeroplanes triptolemus. Its chest and wings are covered in scales and the moth feeds on nectar. The sizeable creatures only live for between 10 and 30 days and can be found in Costa Rica, Belize Mexico and Guatemala. In larval form, the species looks like a snake and even mimics its behaviour as it can harmlessly strike at potential predators.

Clarke Wants Regional Consensus On Sugar
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says the impending changes in the European Union (EU) sugar regime, which are poised to unfold in 2017, are set to create significant challenges for small sugar-producing states. He is of the view that a regional consensus is crucial for countries like Jamaica. "The changes in the EU sugar regime in two years' time are going to pose tremendous challenges for sugar-producing nations like Jamaica," Clarke told The Gleaner yesterday on Day One of the three-day 45th Council Session of the International Sugar Organization, which is taking place at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St James. "As a region, we have agreed that a CARICOM consensus is crucial to confront this new era, and secondly, how we trade among ourselves because we do import a substantial amount of sugar," Clarke added.

HIV in the Caribbean: science, rights and justice
Recently, the discussion on HIV has been a mix of the selective review of scientific evidence, comments on an administrative procedure at the regional university, and perceptions on the existence of agendas that seek either to change or hold back Caribbean societies. Lost in this debate is a Caribbean reality. At the end of 2012, UNAIDS estimated that there were 260,000 people living with HIV in the region. In many countries, approximately one in three new cases is among men who have sex with men. How do we deal with this as we work to end the epidemic in the Caribbean? First we must recognise that HIV is a virus, not a crime. Laws that criminalise being HIV positive, sexual behaviours such as anal sex or sexual orientation, make it difficult to mount an effective HIV response. Persons who know their sexual behaviour or orientations are illegal are less likely either to go to health services or to speak openly about their sexual behaviour while there, thus limiting their treatment options and prevention efforts. A soon-to-be released UNAIDS Internet survey of more than 3,500 men who have sex with men across the Caribbean, the CARIMIS study, shows that about two in three men who got a negative HIV test result from the private or public health sector, did not talk to their doctors about their sex with men. Our laws should help create an environment in which there is no impediment to delivering targeted prevention and treatment services to a population particularly affected by HIV.

Belize ranked 21st in cell phone use in the Caribbean
St. Kitts and Nevis is ranked second in cell phone use among 22 Caribbean nations. According to Caribbean Journal, St. Kitts and Nevis had 157 subscriptions for every 100 people in the federation. Number 1 is the Cayman Islands with 172 mobile subscriptions for every 100 persons. Third was Dominica, 152; fourth, Venezuela, 148; fifth, Antigua and Barbuda, 143; sixth, Trinidad and Tobago, 141; seventh, Aruba, 132; eighth, St. Lucia, 126; 9th, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 124; 10th, Barbados, 123; 11th, Grenada, 121; 12th, Costa Rica, 112; 13th Suriname, 106; 14th Colombia, 103; 15th Jamaica, 96; 16th Dominican Republic, 87; 17th, Puerto Rico; 18th, Bahamas, 81; 19th, Guyana, 69; 20th, Haiti, 60; 21st, Belize, 53 and Cuba in at 22nd with 15. The data did not include Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Curacao, St. Maarten, the United States Virgin Islands and the French departments. The information comes from the most recent edition of the World Bank’s World Development Indicators report, which has data on a number of specific business and economic indicators in the region, including the number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 people.


Video: Main Street with Phil Blazer: Consul General of Belize in California, 17min.
This is a link to an interview with the Consul General of Belize, Hon. Roland Yorke. Please enjoy and pass on to your families and friends.

Video: Boost To Belize Shrimp Farms, 4min.
Through its Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund (EICF), Compete Caribbean recently granted a Belize based cluster, the Belize Shrimp Growers' Association, USD500,000 dollars to prepare for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) international certification and to improve its global competitive edge.

Video: Belize it or not - 2014 Vacation Part 4, 6min.
The fam goes to an island off the coast of Belize! Vacation

Video: Chaya Garden Ashram - Nirvikalpa Waterfall Meditation - Yoga in Belize, 5min.
Look into the place of voidness. Locate it and lose yourself in it. Releasing all thoughts, emotions, and feelings, go beyond all that arises within you to locate the powerful darkness, the space in between, the interval. Allow yourself to yield to this precious space.

Video: Jessie Ziplines and screams in Belize, 4min.
Ziplining in Belize at Calico Jack's

Video: Landing in Placencia Village, Belize., 2min.

Video: Fly Fishing in Belize & a Drone, 4min.
Fun in Belize with a drone, a tarpon on a fly and some dolphins. We are slowly learning Final Cut pro. I highly recommend El Pescador on San Pedro Island.

Video: Cutting a New Road in Steep Ground on the Homestead | Belize Family Living, 7min.
We really needed a new road to connect two parts of our property so we could access it with a truck so we rented a Komatsu bulldozer and cut the road in. It was a bit steep, but not nearly so bad as some jobs I have done while building logging roads and helicopter landings in the woods. I had considered whether to use the excavator for the road which was my first choice, but considering the other work that I had to do, I opted for the Komatsu.

Video: 6 Year Old Boy Drives Bulldozer - Komatsu Tractor | Belize Family Living, 4min.
The boy loves to run equipment and drive the tractor. That is - tractors of any kind. He loves to run the excavator when we have one around. In this case he was just driving the Komatsu down the driveway to the main road so the rental company could pick it up. We had rented the dozer to cut in a new road and build the berm of our pond up a bit. The boy is not allowed to run any equipment without papa right there.

Video: Kids Cooking Lunch on Rocket Stove in the Afternoon | Belize Family Living, 8min.
The Belize Family Living kids were cooking lunch on rocket stove in the afternoon today in our outdoor kitchen. It may not have been restaurant quality nor would it win any awards on the food network, but the girls did a great job. As small children, the girls often played cooking games, but now that they are older, they are cooking for real. It is interesting here in Belize: there is a whole different take on fast food. Mostly the fast food here is cooked quickly when you order it - not before. Often it maybe Chinese food which is popular here in Belize also. Well, the stove isn't really a rocket stove - more like an improvised stove. Here in Central America, the quality of almost everything is poor - including cinder block. There is no guarantee of reliable electricity, water nor butane (the common gas available in Belize and most of Central America which most people use to cook with) so whether we want to or not (which we do), it is good practice to cook on improvised stoves of one kind or another. A large number of people here in Belize cook solely on wood fires or a fireplace. Often just an open fire in their kitchen which results in increased soot and carbon in the air they breathe. It is good to try to use some form of high efficiency stove for cooking. There are far more efficient stoves stoves than what we threw together here. One day, we build one. Overall, living here in Belize, Central America is very enjoyable and the people are amazingly friendly in general. Belize has a good coffee growing region also.

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