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The San Pedro Sun

Be Green with the Belize Recycling Company
22 Recycling in BelizeDid you ever want to responsibly recycle your metal, paper and plastic scraps in San Pedro? Well now you can with The Belize Recycling Company, as the mainland company has an island agent who will buy your recyclable materials on Ambergris Caye. The company was founded in 2005 and incorporates a waste management method designed to reduce the total use of environmental resources by repurposing materials into new products. The Belize Recycling Company purchases metal, plastic and paper, which are then processed into new goods. Paper is converted into 100% recycled toilet paper, napkins and tissue paper, which are then sold as an environmental friendly product. Metals and plastics are cleaned and sold to larger recycling companies in Mexico and the United States of America to be processed and reused. The reuse of these materials reduces the amount of waste ending up in garbage dumps or, sadly, the sea.

Matachica works with Queen's Health Outreach to educate the Belizean Community
Matachica Resort and Spa has joined the Queen's Health Outreach (QHO) as a corporate donor to educate the Belizean community on physical, mental and sexual health. QHO is a student-run, non-governmental organization dedicated to promote health through peer education initiatives locally and internationally. The NGO is administered by Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. QHO has been working in Belize since 2011 educating and informing Belizean youth about relevant health issues, in particular the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Each year, two separate groups of peer educators conduct health education workshops around the six districts in Belize. The project consists of two phases, the Primary School phase focuses on providing health education to younger children, while the Secondary School phase trains high school students to become peer educators. Some of the key topics addressed by QHO are safe sex practices, puberty, mental health, child abuse, substance abuse and nutrition.

SPTC and Ramon's Village donate golf carts to the PolyClinic
The Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II was the recipient of two golf carts presented on Friday, May 23rd by representatives of Ramon's Village Resort. Receiving the donation were senior staff members of the local public health facility. Ramon's Village Resort Manager Einer Gomez explained the decision of the donation. "Our resort decided to change our fleet of carts and so we approached the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) with the idea to hand over the carts to them, so that they could donate them to organizations within the community that needed the transportation the most. The SPTC decided to hand them over to the Polyclinic since they were in much need of transportation. The carts are refurbished and in very good condition since they are well maintained and serviced at our resort," said Gomez.

San Pedro's talent shines at the Primary School Festival of Arts
On Wednesday May 28th the National Institute of Culture and History, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, hosted the 2014 Primary School Festival of Arts at the Rafael Angel Nunez auditorium. This year's festival was held under the theme "Create! Express! Excite! Educate!" and a saw series of elaborate presentations from students of San Pedro Town. Performance categories included music, dance, drama, and art, and all were judged by a panel of national stakeholders in each category. Judges for the night were: Kevin Campbell, Cheret Periote, Leroy Green and Dion Williams. Vivacious youngsters took to the stage as the show got underway, showing off their skills through dramatic skits, entertaining dance numbers and instrumental talent. The audience certainly was captivated by the little performers who worked so hard to put on a great show. Participating schools included Ambergris Caye Elementary, Holy Cross Anglican, Isla Bonita Elementary, New Horizon SDA, San Pedro RC, Brighter Tomorrow Preschool, Little Angels Preschool and Ambergris Caye Elementary Preschool.

Congratulations to Sheila Chi, winner of the Miss San Pedro High pageant
Congratulations to Sheila Chi, winner of the Miss San Pedro High pageant held May 31st. Sheila also took the title of Miss Popularity and Miss Photogenic. First Runner-Up is Marisha Thompson.

Misc Belizean Sources

Amidst all the swag, excitement, fun and performances, 16 year old student from Ranchito Village, Corozal Morelia Pop, is the new "QUEEN OF LA VOZ KARAOKE 2014". 5 performers made it to the finals last night held at Butchie's Lounge in Orange Walk Town. The coveted title of La Voz Karaoke, sponsored by SMART and L.R. Liquors, of Orange Walk was won by Corozal's own, Morelia Pop who had always displayed an amazing singing voice. The Corozal Daily wholeheartedly congratulates Morelia and wish her all the best and success in her future endeavours. We also wish to congratulate the hosts, organizers and all the other performers of La Voz Karaoke for doing a spectacular job in this event. Morelia received over 13,000 votes and the grand cash prize of $5,000.00. This is quite an achievement for a young and humble lady. Congratulations once again to Morelia and the entire Pop family of Ranchito Village, Corozal.

The Reporter

Brazil's economy slows down prior to 2014 World Cup By Marion V. Ali, Staff Reporter Official figures from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics show that Brazil's economy grew only 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2014. Business investment fell 2.1 percent in the first three months [´┐Ż]

Four manatees killed in just two days
Four endangered Antillean Manatees were killed in just two days this week when boats traversing in their natural habitats ran over them. The rise in manatee deaths has prompted Jamal Galves, manatee researcher with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, to appeal with boaters and the Belize Port Authority to address the issue of speeding in no wake zones. "All of these incidents occurred in no wake zones, where boaters are required by law to reduce their speed. The cases are all just signs of neglect," Galves said, "and they could have been avoided if they had just slowed down." Belize has the largest population of endangered Antillean Manatees in the world; however with the recent deaths, that population is now less than 1000. "Efforts are needed by all Belizeans in order to reduce the amount of injuries and deaths due to collisions. I'm asking boaters to respect the law and the Belize Port Authority to do what they can to enforce it", Galves said.

Customs officer killed in traffic accident
Frank Robinson, 51, a customs officer of Belize City died in a traffic accident shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday between miles two and three on the George Price Highway. Robinson, who was reportedly driving a grey Isuzu D-Max pickup just past the Lord's Ridge Cemetery was making a left turn when a 10 wheel dump-truck traveling immediately behind him slammed into the driver's side of the pickup. According to Martin Burke, 48, the driver of the dump truck, it happened so suddenly that he could do nothing to prevent the accident. Burke said that Robinson turned suddenly and there were passengers on the shoulder of the road, preventing him from swerving. He he has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.

Armed robbery at First Choice Pharmacy
Thieves reportedly held up First Choice Pharmacy on Cemetery Road in Belize City on Saturday night. The Reporter has learned that shots were fired during the robbery shortly after 7 p.m. but we have not been able to confirm any injuries. The thieves, our information suggests, escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker walks for cancer
In what has become an annual tribute to honor those suffering from cancer, and the memory of those who have passed, Caye Caulker walks. At 5 a.m., the walkers gathered at the airstrip. Ms Enelda Rosado gave a beautiful prayer. The crowd of about 30 persons then walked through the village until they ended up at the central park around 6:15 a.m. Once at the park, the crowd broke bread and shared breakfast. The meal consisted of powder bun, bread rolls, sandwiches, and coffee. It is hoped that these walks would bring awareness to this disease which affects so many people The walk is meant to inspire people who are living with cancer, but also to express the hope that a cure will be found.

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The Belize Times

Economy Slumps!!! - Barrow drives Belize to the reef!
Belize's economy under the Barrow Administration contracted in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest data presented by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on Wednesday, May 28th 2014. "We see a slight dip in the economy in the first quarter when compared to the same period of last year of roughly 0.4%," stated Director of SIB Glen Avilez. This deceleration, which follows an entire year (2013) of dismal economic performance, indicates that there has been absolutely no effort by the Government to boost the country's economic state in 2014. SIB's research shows that the economic slump was due to a weak agriculture sector and tumbling oil exports. The agriculture sector is on life support. Production of Bananas, Citrus and Sugar fell by almost 10%. Sugar production dipped the most as a result of a two-month impasse between the new owners of the factory and cane farmers over the sharing of bagasse profits. It is unlikely that sugar production will recover in the 2nd quarter because of the start of the rainy season. Rice, which was always known as a traditional industry, is no longer in the picture as the Barrow Administration has successfully decimated that small sector. The SIB noted that over the agriculture sector suffered a 30% or $26 million loss in the first quarter. The petroleum industry, on which the Barrow Administration has anchored their Budget, has been decelerating fast. Crude oil production has fallen from 221,000 barrels of oil in the first quarter in 2013, to 170,000 barrels in 2014. It also fell by more than half since 2010, when production peaked to 385,000 barrels. "

PUP Statement on Passing of Hon. Marcial Mes
The People's United Party records its profound sadness on the passing of the Hon. Marcial Mes. Hon. Mes served as the duly elected Representative for Toledo West from 1998 to 2008 and served in the administration of Prime Minister Said Musa as Minister of Rural Development and Culture. Marcial Mes was the first full Mayan Belizean to serve in the Cabinet and will be long remembered by our Party and the people of Southern Belize for his dedicated efforts to bring water, electricity, education, and healthcare to many of the most remote rural communities in Belize.

PUP Leader condemns statements of Minister of State Mark King
The People's United Party condemns in the strongest possible terms the ignorant and arrogant comments of Minister of State Hon. Mark King which were reported on last evening's newscasts. These comments describe a patronage system of spoils in which the UDP are ranked 1st, the Belizean people 2nd, and the PUP 3rd. Regrettably, these comments are consistent with the words and actions of the entire UDP Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In 2014, the PUP recognize and understand that there must be a NEW STANDARD which requires that all Belizeans, regardless of political persuasion, be treated fairly, respectfully, and equitably.

Paid in Shillings´┐Żbut Brother B Wants More!
On Tuesday morning Edmond Castro's attorney, Denys Barrow, was paid with almost 10,000 shillings held inside two pillow cases by Belize Rural North constituent Trevor Vernon. The shillings were valued at $2,489.50 and delivered to his lofty Coney Drive law firm by Vernon as payment towards the $5,000 court cost involved in the Supreme Court case against Castro. But it was not enough for Barrow. The attorney/brother of Prime Minister Barrow was apparently irked by Vernon's actions and he applied to the Court for a writ of execution which was granted to him. With this writ, Barrow instructed a Supreme Court bailiff to travel to Burrell Boom and find Trevor Vernon's house on Wednesday. Once there, the bailiff identified Vernon's belongings to be sold off by the Court if he is unable to pay the remaining $2,510.50 within five days.

UDP Hegemony
Unfortunately, it is a lesson that seems to have eluded those politicians currently governing Belize. In a statement last Thursday evening, Minister of State Mark King publicly acknowledged that his government is engaged in political favoritism. King proudly proclaimed that whenever he has goods and services to deliver, it is "UDP first, Belizeans second and PUP's last." When it was pointed out to him on facebook that people were taking offense he retorted, "I know what I said, I meant what I said and there will be no retraction". King's comments were endorsed and defended by no less than Godwin Hulse who offered this sentiment, "It can't be that you have a UDP government´┐Żand all the jobs are going to PUP supporters who will reap the benefit - it can't be". According Hulse, "we are in a political climate and that has to be understood". Interestingly enough, Godwin Hulse was at the top of his voice for years, screaming that this very "political climate" had to be changed. Of course, he was not then "a part of the team", or at least he led us to believe that he wasn't. He certainly was not openly reaping the handsome financial gains that come with inclusion to that very powerful and exclusive "team". Hulse went on to explain that "Let us be real here, we are in a real world, in a country, in a real political system - when the PUP people gets the job, if they were to get all the jobs they will give the credit to their representative. Their representatives when they win the government if they do win they will be the one benefiting. Our people have a right to say but Jesus Christ, how come we didn't even know? How nobody didn't fixed it up?"

Heading to the Reef!
"Listen to me, when you see that group together, Esquivel, Net Vasquez and what is the next one?´┐ŻBarrow´┐Żstay away from them. Take my advice. Anytime you see that group together. They have never yet been able to take Belize through a five year period without landing us on the reef. They have never yet been able to take us through a five year period without landing us on the reef and that is exactly where we are heading right now." - Hubert Elrington - September 29, 2009 It is that classic statement by H. Elrington that will always remind us of the danger which the UDP is to Belize. True to his words, during the past six years of the Dean Barrow regime, Belizeans have experienced a terrible deterioration in their way of life and standard of living. Belize has been landed on the reef. Week after week, month after month, the price of food and household items at the grocery shops and supermarkets rose higher and higher. Wages for workers have gone no where. The last time wages went up, was under a PUP Government. This dire situation went from bad to worse. The health of the people was the first victim. NHI was suspended and even the primary care benefits offered during the PUP administration were severely cut back. The UDP finally decided to give life to NHI but now we see what the true purpose was, as reports of the mishandling of funds to the tune of hundreds of thousands are rearing their ugly heads.

Team Digicell 4G won Weekend Warriors' Sand Hill race
Team Digicell 4G's Robert Mariano won the "A" Division, Isaiah Willacey won the "B" Division and Steve Yearwood won the "C" division of the Weekend Warriors Sand Hill race on Sunday, May 25. The A and B division rode 50 miles from Leslie's Imports on the George Price Highway, via the Hattieville to Burrell Boom bypass road to the Philip Goldson Highway to the turning point at Garbutt's farm at mile 25, and back, finishing in front of the Sand Hill community center, while the C division rode the 34 miles directly to Sand Hill.

Ladyville Rising Stars lead SMART Mundialito
The undefeated Ladyville Rising Stars are No. 1 and undefeated in the 2014 SMART Mundialito as they went on to defeat Third World on Saturday. Meanwhile the London Strikers upset the defending champs Brown Bombers 1-0 at the MCC Garden. The Strikers toppled Brown Bombers 1-0 with a goal by 2nd half substitute Jose Castellanos. The City Boys blasted Mundialito rookies, Height FC, 2-0 with goals by Denzel Carr and Maynor Batiz, both in the 1st half.

BES wins Belize District volleyball championships
Belize Elementary School girls and boys are the undisputed 2014 Belize District Volleyball primary school champions. They were undefeated throughout the competition. The female team won over the Holy Redeemer School girls 25-12 and 25-10 on Tuesday, May 27, to secure their 4th district championship. In the boys' final, the BES boys won over Crooked Tree Government School 25-14 and 25-20. BES is now preparing for the nationals which will be held in Belize on Friday, June 6.

Another Pharmacy SCANDAL - George Gough's connection to four (4) Belize Pharmacies
Dean Barrow's hand-picked man for the NHI is George Gough, a former UDP standard bearer. Over the past few weeks the bombshell revelation of widespread corruption in the Ministry of Health has brought the Minister and his CEO under blazing fire and public condemnation. George Gough, a man who collects thousands of dollars to chair the NHI also sits as chair of the pharmaceutical tendering committee. So he decides who gets to bring in all the medical drugs and supplies into Belize. There are four pharmacies that have come under suspicion by the various medical associations (1) Buttonwood Bay Pharmacy, (2) Brown Sugar Pharmacy, (3) Ladyville Pharmacy, and (4) Cross Road (Freetown) Pharmacy. Now, not a single Belizean believes that health CEO Peter Allen would attempt to investigate the connection that George Goff has to these pharmacies.

Belizean Artists on the Rise
Making a United Stand for a Better Cultural & Entertainment Industry in Belize We hereby invite all Belizean Entertainers, artists, djs, studio owners, producers, promoters and the general public to a peaceful demonstration to be held on Friday, the 30th of May, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at Battlefield Park in Downtown Belize City. From Battlefield Park our demonstration will move down Albert Street, then unto Regent and King Street, ending at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. This demonstration offers us, as artists, the opportunity to vocally express our concerns over the neglect, the disrespect, the inequity and the injustice faced in an industry that should be managed, promoted and enhanced by us, the artists. Through this protest, we will first demand the removal of our current musical ambassador who has, by all accounts, failed to properly represent our industry both locally and internationally.

Celebrating Our Bright Minds! - Featuring: St. Catherine's Academy, Belize High, Canaan SDA High and Ladyville Technical High
St. Catherine's Academy will have their graduation on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City. According to Principal Ms. Salome Tillett, 121 out of 127 students will take that march down those isles. The Valedictorian is 17-year-old Ms. Lina Huang (with a grade average of 98. 1%), the Salutatorian is 15-year-old Ms. Anita Wu (with a Grade Average of 97.2%), and the 3rd place will be 16-year-old Ms. Maria J. Martinez (with a Grade Average of 95.6%). The BELIZE TIMES managed, in the harried midst of their preparations for Graduation, to secure an interview with the top three at the Hudson Street campus on Wednesday. The trio, all representing the class of 4SG (Science/General) are young by age, but certainly mature by spirit. They have not only navigated the 4-year 'rollercoaster' called high school, but also survived and even thrived and exceeded the highest of heights to stand where they are today.

Maslow's Needs, Philanthropy, and Status Symbols
Abraham Harold Maslow, in 1954, theorized that there are five interdependent levels of basic human needs (or motivators). The first, most pressing, and lowest needs on the list are the physiological needs to stay alive with food and water, to reproduce, and to feel safe and secure. No other need is important if these basic needs are not met. They are followed by social needs for love, belonging, self-esteem, to feel worthy, respected, and to have status in society. At the highest level are self-actualization needs of self-fulfilment and achievement. Belize's socialites, led by "First Lady" Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow provide a good case study at the level of Maslow's social needs for love, belonging, self-esteem, the need to feel respected and to have social and celebrity status. Modern socialites have an insatiable need for status, and philanthropy is the new status symbol. According to The New York Times, socialites spend between $98,000 (U.S. dollars) and $455,000 U.S. per year to maintain their roles. Just the evening wardrobe of an individual regularly attending society functions can cost $100,000 annually. Most times these designer clothes and handbags are made in sweatshops overseas, by women and children, denied living wages.

If the unadulterated trash that came out of the mouth of UDP representative Mark King was not such a serious and callous statement, we would consider it another episode of his usual crude comedy. But the truth is that his "UDPs first, Belizeans second, PUPs last" comment hit a nerve in all right-thinking Belizeans who thought they had seen and heard the worst of the UDP with the likes of Gaspar "Not Normal" Vega, Pablo "KHMH Babies" Marin and Elvin "Passport" Penner. The truth is, also, that King was speaking first as a UDP area representative and then on behalf of his Leader - reiterating a position that Dean Barrow had already publicly declared at the start of his term in 2008 when he stated that "to the victor goes the spoils", later followed by his defense of the mass firings in the Ministry of Education and his warning that there will be cases of "collateral damage" because "it is our turn".

Every week, almost every day, we are hearing of more and more instances of corruption and the abuse of public trust and misuse of public funds. It is quite dismaying, and often it is difficult to seek and to find good things that are happening in our communities. Last week I received an invitation from Ladyville Technical High School to attend a Luncheon that was held to celebrate the school's first place finish in the Innovation Challenge that took place recently. I was happy to RSVP right away, as I have visited the school, its Principal, faculty and students and the campus as a whole. I have been very impressed. At around midday on Thursday, May 22nd in the school's dining hall a sumptuous meal was served to the successful students, faculty, a few parents and the other invited guests. The cooks and servers were all staff and students of the catering and hospitality programs. Also in attendance was chairman of Ladyville Tech's Board of Directors, Mr. Mariano Williams. We greatly enjoyed an appetizer, full meal, dessert and an original natural fruit juice created by the students themselves, and we were welcomed by Principal Diane Wesby. Thereafter, teacher Louis Underwood described the waste management project that the winning students had put together and presented as their winning entry. The participating students, whose names I am very proud to mention, are Ryan Staine, Malachi Everett, Gina Barnett, Sarkis Flowers and Kevaughn Vasquez. They also spoke about the project and how they created it with the guidance of Mr. Underwood. All those in attendance congratulated the students themselves and their mentors, as well as Principal Wesby, Vice Principal Ardeth Rudon and the staff on a job well done.

The comments made by UDP Minister of State Mark King last week declaring that UDP's come first, Belizeans second, and PUP's last are not shocking to anyone who has seen and heard king during his brief and insignificant time in public life. He is loud, arrogant, brutish, and mainly just ignorant. Nevertheless, we should not simply dismiss these comments because they came from king. No, the truth is that king's comments reflect the thinking of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the entire UDP Cabinet. From the beginning of his tenure as PM, Barrow essentially declared "to the victor the spoils" and has largely supported the view that it is "UDP time fu eat". This is the mindset of the present UDP administration. Politics above all else. Only UDP's must benefit. Only UDP's are good enough to get a job, to own land, to get scholarships, to get a boost. Only UDP mothers matter on Mother's Day.

UDP scavengers land on NCL deal - Godwin Hulse says UDPS must get jobs
Sources have told the BELIZE TIMES that Norwegian Cruise Line officials are angry at the Barrow Government for sending an official team of UDP scavengers to demand that only UDPs should be getting jobs from their project. The head scavenger has turned out to be no other than sanctimonious Godwin Hulse who leads the UDP Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment. Hulse was instructed by the UDP National Party Council to summon NCL officials to a meeting with all UDP standard bearers from the South. Those standard bearers have been complaining that NCL was not treating them properly and their people "were not eating". Using their authority of being in Government, the UDP have demanded that NCL officials inform UDP Standard Bearers first of any vacancies and that once their people they apply - those applications must be given priority. This is how scavengers are. Mark King has done everything possible to get a deal for his private security company. Another Minister wants to build all the fences. One UDP bigwig, whose family already benefitted from the deal, wants his dredging company involved. When asked whether the UDP was practising favouritism, Hulse disagreed saying this is how things work in the "real political system".

Slavery and Homosexuality, No Comparison!
Dear Editor, In trying to make their case for the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle, some advocates have been equating the "circumstances" of homosexuals to that of the enslavement of Black people and the subsequent post-slavery discrimination. This is perhaps one of the greatest insults to Black people everywhere-heterosexual, homosexual or otherwise! The enslavement of Black people is the single greatest crime against humanity and one for which Europe is yet to make recompense. To hear advocates of the homosexual agenda trivialize it, as they have been doing as of late, must outrage every Black person in Belize and indeed the world. Black people and homosexuals are not similarly circumstanced! Homosexuals have never been captured, chained and transported thousands of miles away from their homeland and enslaved for centuries! They have never been sold like chattels. They have never been deprived of their culture: their language, their food, their religion. They have never been made to work like beasts of burden for meager rations and without proper compensation. They have never been beaten and killed at the whims of their masters, and with impunity. They have never had their women raped and impregnated-their race diluted.

Welcome Uncle Sam´┐Ż but!
America has morphed from super hero of liberation and freedom to colonizing bully. Friday after next, 6th June, will mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. On 6th June, 1944, youthful Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, to free Europe from the clutches of German Nazi terror and tyranny. Glorious young warriors waded, landed defying death, conquered, rebuilt and then left. I was only 6 years old and could not then comprehend the full meaning of what America was doing and did for humanity. As an adult I have prayed that what America had done would last forever as the most powerful monument of man's everlasting hunger for freedom. A half decade or so passed, and much of my time was consumed watching cowboy movies. I became enchanted by the unselfish heroism portrayed in such movies as Shane. This is the story of a converted gun-fighter who stops by and decides to stay to work on a family farm. Their security is threatened by a big farmer bent on devouring all the small farmers, with the help of bullying gunslingers. Shane changes back to his farmer ways of settling conflicts by violence to preserve this wholesome family of father, mother, and son. The story ends with him riding off into the sunset after a gunfight in which he dispatches all the gunslingers. But he was wounded, and you don't know if he will survive.

Peter Allen Must Go!
Dear Editor, It is past time for Dr. Peter Allen to clear his desk and resign. But he must not take the cabinet and computer files and desk notes nor shred them. There has been scandal after scandal and Allen has been in the thick of it. Just imagine´┐Ż 13 babies dead at KHMH, damning Auditor General's reports, financial wrongdoing, political manipulation of the health system, and more. As a layman, I feel that there is too much conspiracy, deception and outright dishonesty from those at the top of the Ministry of Health. Clearly, the health of our people is not their priority. I believe many heads should roll along with Dr. Peter Allen's. Incompetence has taken over the Ministry. They mask it with propaganda and by keeping things 'hush hush'. There is another such case. Within the last two months two young male breadwinners have had both their legs amputated because of negligence. The first guy was taken to KHMH for injuries to his leg from an accident. He was later transferred to a private hospital and had his leg amputated because of poor medical attention and care. In the other case, the young man had surgery done on his leg at the KHMH. He later returned to KHMH because his leg's condition worsened.

Patrick Jones

Annual Cancer Walk raises awareness and funds
The annual Cancer Walk concluded in Belize City this morning after thousands of Belizeans ran, rode, and marched from Celina's in Ladyville to the Cancer Society's Office on Mercy Lane to promote cancer awareness. Over 2,000 men and women, some cancer survivors, others friends and family of cancer patients or even those who simply wanted to be part, left at 5:00 a.m. and the first finishers entered the City about an hour to an hour and a half later. Many of those we spoke to said they are making efforts to increase their own awareness about diet and lifestyle issues which may be factors in controlling cancer. The Society raised funds through its sale of t-shirts and advertising to commercial sponsors. Two persons were recognized for individual contributions, including Belizean-American Monica Tucker, who singlehandedly raised US$10,000 for the Society.

Flowers Bank hosts Creole Festival
On June 1, 1797, a vote that changed the course of Belizean history took place. An assembly of settlers was asked to vote on whether to evacuate the settlement against the advancing Spanish fleet sailing from Mexico, or stay and fight to preserve it. The vote was 65 to 51 in favour of staying, the deciders being a group of 12 free black men and 2 whites living at what is now Flowers Bank Village. A monument in their honor was dedicated some time ago and their courageous decision is annually memorialized at the Flowers Bank Creole Festival, which kicked off today. Highlights include a reenactment of the final decision in Belize Town performed by the Veranda Tales Theater Group managed by Joseph Stamp Romero. Speakers included former area representative and historian Fred Hunter and current representative Edmond Castro; Kriol activist and archivist Myrna Manzanares and visiting Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize Yoel Perez Marcano. All spoke of the need to keep the distinctive cultures of Belize and the accomplishments of our ancestors constant in the memory.

Man murdered in San Pedro early this morning
A shooting incident early this morning in San Pedro town has claimed the life of one person. The victim has been identified as 49 year old Alfred Kelvin. The shooting happened around 2 am in the San Juan area of San Pedro town. Kelvin, according to reports, was walking on Seaweed Street around 2 am when someone fired a single gunshot, fatally wounding Kelvin in the right eye. A police source says there is so far no leads and no motive for the fatal early morning murder and authorities are appealing to the general public for assistance in solving this crime. Police investigations continue.

Rainy weather for the weekend
Moist and unstable conditions are dominant factors in our weather this weekend. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for mostly cloudy skies. Showers and thunderstorms now occurring inland will move to the coast tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds are easterly to southeasterly at ten to twenty knots, with occasional higher gusts. The sea state is choppy to moderate, becoming rough at times. Operators of small craft should exercise caution in rough seas. High temperature this afternoon will range from the mid-eighties along the coast to the upper-eighties inland. It will be a comfortable seventy eight degrees Fahrenheit up in the hills.

Belize Economy at a Glance for First Quarter 2014
Historically, the first quarter for Belize has been the most important´┐Ż.principally because it is the peak period for our largest income earner tourism. First quarter imports in 2013 were $580 million´┐Ż..just over 31% of total imports for that year of $1.856 billion. First quarter exports in 2013 were $249.1 million´┐Ż.just over 39% of total domestic exports of $627.5 million. Therefore, when the first quarter goes well´┐Ż is good news for the economy. First quarter imports for 2014 were reported at $602 million´┐Ż.an increase of 3.8% over 2013. Exports for the same period were reported at $204.6 million´┐Ż.a decrease of around 18%. We had better make hay while the sun shines´┐Ż..and grow tourism by leaps and bounds to make up for this growing visible trade gap.


San Pedro, Belize to Cancun Airport: You've Got Options, Almost Too Many
About a month or so ago, I booked a trip to the states for a visit. After the Chocolate Festival in Punta Gorda, before the three lobster festivals in Belize (Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia), the first few weeks of June were the perfect time slot. And, as usual, the flights departing from Cancun were SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than those out of Belize International Airport. $300US vs. $800US cheaper. It was an easy choice. And I'd done it quite a few times before´┐Ż I've taken the easiest direct route - the beautiful Tropic Air flight from Cancun Airport to Belize City. Bliss but definitely more pricey. I swore to myself I would NEVER get on that overnight bus from Belize City again. So a friend suggested a way to mix things up. A way to break things up that sounded much more appealing. Here is how I left San Pedro at 3pm Thursday and arrived in Providence, Rhode Island at 10pm Friday. Just that time span probably just gave many of you goosebumps (or in Belize - da cold seed) but it wasn't that bad. REALLY. 1. 3pm. The Thunderbolt Water Taxi from San Pedro to Corozal, Belize. 2hrs. $50bzd. Daily service. Departs from the lagoon side of the caye, just south of the new Water Taxi Terminals. 2. Corozal Bus to the Belize Mexico Border. $2bzd. The local bus comes every 30 minutes and drives you to the Belize Immigrations and Customs building at the border. You really can't beat the price. The exit fee for non-Belize citizens and residents is $37.50bzd. 3. Walk Across the Border to Mexico (about a 10-15 minute walk over the Rio Hondo Bridge) You can grab a Mexican taxi about halfway into your walk´┐Żas soon as you are technically in no man's land. I just walked on through. Throughout this trip, I was glad that I packed lightly. 4. Grab a border taxi to The Chetumal Mall - Las Americas $70 peso (about $6US/$12bzd) The bus to Cancun leaves about every hour. But I'm taking the midnight bus so I can sleep and arrive in Cancun at dawn. I've got about 5 hours to fill so´┐Żto the mall! 5. ADO Bus from Chetumal to Cancun, Midnight, 5.5 hours, $360 pesos ($30US/$60BZD) Adios Chicken buses, adios Chetumal bus station Mary, ADO has proper HUGE buses with comfy seats and CRAZY COLD air conditioning. Why so cold ADO? Why? 6. 8am. ADO Aeropuerto Bus from Cancun Downtown Bus Station to Airport $60 pesos ($5US/$10bzd) 45 minute bus trip to my airport terminal. Check in with United. Pay no exit fees since I just arrived in Mexico the evening before. No additional fees since I am all carry-on.

Sunday June 1 power outtage on Ambergris Caye cancelled
Postponed until further notice: power interruption previously scheduled for entire San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 7:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, June 1.

Horseback riding at the Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich, Belize
As I approached the horse stable, the first thing that came to my attention was the majestic Mayan ruins of Xunantunich as they overlooked me from above. "Be prepared for the journey of a lifetime", my British guide said. Little I knew back then that the road less traveled is often the most dangerous one. The Mayan ruins of Xunantunich are the highlight of the Cayo region of Belize and are easily reachable from the town of San Ignacio (or as a vary long day trip from Belize's Caribbean side). Once you're at San Ignacio, you can either take a taxi or a horse to the ferry crossing before reaching the Mayan ruins. I guess you can already guess which option I chose. You can either book your horse ride via your hotel/hostel or do so directly at the stables found a few minutes away from San Ignacio. The price is almost the same (70 USD) but you can use your bargaining skills to get a killer deal during low season. Tours often start early in the morning and during mid-day.

International Sources

14 Google Search Tricks That Make Life A Whole Lot Easier
Learn to be a googling monkey. You think you know how to Google? You don't know how to Google. Even the most seasoned Googler might not know every tip and trick available with just a few extra keystrokes in the search bar. Consider this your instructions manual for the world's most popular search engine. Search For Related Words The Scenario: You want to search for "alternative energy." But you know that phrase has a number of synonyms, like "renewable energy," and you want to search for all of them. The Solution: Put the worm-like tilde (~) in front of the search term for which you would like related results. Exclude Certain Words The Scenario: You want bread recipes that don't list "yeast" as an ingredient. The Solution: After you enter your desired search terms, add a minus sign (-) followed by the words you want excluded.

"The Savage Line"
Belize and Belize's very own head archaeologist Dr. Jaime Awe and his team highlighted on the latest National Geographic Channel's new series "The Savage Line:" National Geographic Channel's new series "The Savage Line" examines the hazardous jobs of individuals who navigate nature's most unpredictable landscapes and protect humans whose interests lie within grasp of dangerous elements of the natural world. Their trade takes them deep into the wild to protect livelihoods that depend on keeping dangerous animals out - archeologists at a snake-infested dig site, wild life photographers attempting to get close to wild bison. In order to make these things happen, these men must become non-lethal hunters and observers, tracking animals in different ways to keep their subjects safe. Although techniques and methods change depending on species, weather, and time of day, certain skills are vital. It's key to understand what you're tracking, which is more difficult than it sounds, particularly in complex ecosystems. Size, shape, and spacing between tracks can help do this. For example, one can tell a dog from a bobcat by ensuring that the print has nail marks and toes, signature parts of the dog trail mark largely absent from the bobcat trail. The gait, or how the animal walks, allows a professional tracker to predict where an animal is headed. This is extremely important, as not each track will be visible, and it's sometimes necessary to imagine where the animal may have gone, and it will be easier to pick up the trail.

'At the Point of a Cutlass' by Gregory N. Flemming
Philip Ashton was a real-life Robinson Crusoe. A Marblehead fisherman who sailed on schooners out of his hometown in search of cod, Ashton was captured in the early 1720s by Edward Low, one of the nastiest pirates who ever sailed the seas - he was known to roast the hearts of his victims over an open fire when he wasn't forcing victims to consume their own charred ears. Ashton made a daring escape and survived, alone, on a desert island for nearly two years. Shirtless and shoeless, Ashton had neither knife nor gun nor way to build a fire. Utterly alone, he scraped by largely on fruit until he learned how to fish and cook some of his food. Circumstance forced Ashton to adjust. He wandered the island, scavenging for fruit. Working from Ashton's recollections, Flemming reconstructs what must have been an excruciatingly solitary existence. But it was better than being in Low's hands. "This wilderness," Ashton recalled, "I looked upon as hospitable, and this loneliness as good company, compared with the state and society I was now happily delivered from." Ashton spent his days on a small cay, cooled by ocean breezes, staring out to sea. His day-to-day routine was monotonous, but he was alive and free. A stranger briefly appeared in a canoe, then disappeared. Some 16 months passed before Ashton was back in the company of people. Rugged woodcutters, who harvested timber from Belize for British markets, found the frail, wizened escapee. He lived with these so-called "Baymen" - rough and tumble fellows though marginally less dangerous than pirates - for a time until he encountered a group of British ships, blown off course by a storm, and secured a passage home.

Eastern Pacific May Yield Gulf of Mexico Tropical Concerns
Tropical troubles brewing in the eastern Pacific may lead to concerns in the Gulf and far northwestern Caribbean soon after the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season. meteorologists are monitoring an area south of Mexico, in the eastern Pacific, for a new tropical storm to take shape over the next few days. It is possible that the system's energy could then slowly fuel tropical development in the Atlantic Basin in the days that follow. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin officially commences on June 1. After bringing the threat of flooding rain to southern Mexico and neighboring Central America, energy from the system is likely to reach the southern Gulf of Mexico or the far northwestern Caribbean during the latter part of next week. "The environment that we are seeing unfolding across the Gulf of Mexico and far northwestern Caribbean for next week would cause any tropical feature to move slowly and support possible slow development," stated Meteorologist Rob Miller.

UWI Buggered Bain Case
Jamaicans are being fed a steady diet of mealy-mouthed commentary on Brendan Bain's misfortune thinly disguised as 'balance'. Only Jeff Cobham put the episode in correct perspective. Even he fumbled the ball on the goal line, thus wasting excellent reasoning. At least he didn't obfuscate. In his May 26, 2014 letter to the editor, Jeff included all contexts and nuances. It deserves repeating as fulsomely as The Gleaner's oppressive word count police allow: "1. Since the launch of USAID's HIV/AIDS programme ... , the agency has been on the forefront of the global AIDS crisis. 2. That agency's position is ... as ... expressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009: "Shine the full light of human rights on HIV. I urge all countries to remove punitive laws, policies, and practices that hamper the AIDS response. In many countries, legal frameworks institutionalise discrimination against groups most at risk. Yet, discrimination ... only fuels the epidemic and prevents cost-effective interventions. We must ensure that AIDS responses are based on evidence, not ideology ... ."


Video: Belize Youth Support Network (BYSN) visits Liberty Children's Home, 3.5min.
Belize Youth Support Network (BYSN) making connections and visiting Liberty Children's Home, Belize. Meeting and greeting staff and learning about the good work of the home.

Video: Garifuna Collective: ´┐ŻWelcome to Belize when you're ready" (Interview auf Englisch), 6min.
Garifuna Collective weckt die Reiselust nach Belize. In dem kleinen mittelamerikanischen Land leben neben zahlreichen anderen Volksgruppen auch die Garifuna, die stolz auf ihre afrikanischen Wurzeln sind. Ihre Kultur, Sprache und musikalische Traditionen aber sind bedroht. Die Band hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, die Garifuna-Kultur in Belize zu bewahren und sie in der ganzen Welt bekannt zu machen. Sie sieht sich aber auch als Vorbote der anderen Kulturen des kleinen mittelamerikanischen Landes: Garifuna Collective ist die erste international erfolgreiche Band aus Belize und will, dass ihre gesammelten Erfahrungen eines Tages anderen Musikern aus ihrer Heimat erm´┐Żglichen, ebenfalls den Sprung auf die internationalen B´┐Żhnen zu schaffen.

Sharks and sting rays everywhere! Sometimes words just aren't enough! Amazing scuba and snorkeling in Belize off of Caye Caulker, Feb. 2014.

Video: Once Upon an Island: Secret Caribbean, Pt.1 - Preview, 6min.
Hosted by famous French sailor and filmmaker, Antoine, this is Part 1 of a 2-part grand tour of the Caribbean Sea that covers 30 cruising destinations that lie off the beaten track. In Part 1, voyage from Guadeloupe's outer islands, north through the southern French Antilles, then on to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Roatan, the Bay Islands of Honduras, the secluded atolls of Belize concluding with a dramatic fly-over outer atolls of extensive reefs where lies the Blue Hole, a major geological wonder of the Caribbean. Purchase Part Two (52-minutes) and continue with Antoine on his grand tour of the Caribbean Sea.

Video: Bryan and Lisa's honeymoon videos, 31min.
Belize honeymoon pictures

Video: Lisa and Bryan's honeymoon in Belize, 19min.
Bryan and Lisa Guidry's honeymoon in Belize in May, 2014.

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