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The San Pedro Sun
Rekindle the past at Old Belize!
Visiting the old capital, Belize City, always brings about such a sense of nostalgia. Growing up I spent a lot of time in there, attracted to the more historical aspects of the fast-modernizing city. From colonial style homes to the old pieces of metal work displayed in the round-about on the Northern Highway, Belize has a transcending “Old” feel. There’s no wonder why I always find myself gravitating to Old Belize! I have so much great memories of Old Belize- I have been there a few times, but I’m still eager to visit again. Located five miles on the George Price Highway (a 15-20 minute drive from the city, depending on the traffic), Old Belize provides a crash course on Belizean History to anyone looking to play and learn at the same time. It’s a fun place to get away with family, or in my case, my better half Samii. Old Belize is a museum, beach, marina, gift shop, restaurant and BAR all in one! Sound like a place you want to go, doesn’t it?
SPTC celebrates island mothers with Mother’s Day Extravaganza
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with a host of volunteers and sponsors, treated hundreds of island Mommies to a fun evening of food, entertainment and much laughter at the annual Mother’s Day Extravaganza. The gates opened at 7PM and by 8:30PM, the show began with a loving tribute dance performance by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Volunteers bustled about serving delicious turkey dinners to the mothers, taking drink orders and keeping all the mothers happy and comfortable for the night. Host Eiden Salazar was affable as always, and he kept the show flowing smoothly throughout the evening.
Of course, no Mother’s Day Extravaganza would be complete without some fun games. Mothers readily volunteered to step on stage, facing the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ which decided what antics they’d have to get up to. From moonwalking to modeling, dancing and telling jokes, mothers tried their best to one-up the other for some amazing prizes. There were interactive games like musical chairs and even a fun Mother’s Day version of ‘bowling’. Winners of the games and performances took home some pretty amazing prizes: dinners for two at the luxurious Victoria House, 24-hour golf cart rentals, grocery certificates, cash and more. In fact, each participant received a small gift for braving the stage.
Letter to the Editor: Don’t let the San Pedro Animal Hospital close down
Dear Government of Belize Administrators,
I am writing to urge you NOT to force the San Pedro Animal Hospital to shut down. I have used SPAH for several of my pets and always received excellent service. My personal opinion is that any animal hospital on Ambergris Caye is better than no animal hospital on the island. No one forces people to go to this establishment. They go willingly. If anyone believes the service is sub-par, they do not have to go there. With a lack of animal care facilities on this island, closing this facility would be an injustice to the people and their pets living on the island. This would hurt tourism as fewer people would like to come without their pets. It would also be prohibitively expensive for local folks to take their pets to Belize City for help. The ultimate result of closing the SPAH would be unnecessary pain and suffering for animals and pets. Unless the GOB can and will provide a replacement, how can you justify closing an animal care facility? Closing the San Pedro Animal Hospital serves no purpose than to causes greater suffering for the beloved pets of San Pedro, and thereby their owners as well.
Belizean- born player drafted into the US National Football League
We now have a Belizean in the National Football League (NFL). The Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive tackle Rakeem Nuñez-Roches of Southern Mississippi in the 2015 NFL Draft’s sixth round on Saturday May 2nd and the fact that he is in the United States ready to play in the NFL is incredible. Nuñez-Roches was born in Dangriga, Stann Creek District, Belize. In a Chiefs interview with Nuñez-Roches, he described his life prior to his arrival to the United States. “Really when I got here, I was excited,” he said. “Everything amazed me, from the little things – running water to electricity. Because that’s not what I’m used to, that wasn’t what I was accustomed to.”
Nunez-Roches’ mother remarks that she wanted him playing a sport to avoid getting into trouble, however football wasn’t his main sport. “It really wasn’t just football, my number one sport was baseball,” Nunez-Roches said. “It went baseball, football and then basketball and track.” Nunez-Roches described himself as a “phenomenal” baseball player playing first, third and pitcher.
“I like the physicality and the competition and the camaraderie of football. That’s what made me stick to it.”
Before converting to the defensive line at his Alabama high school, he was a quarterback.
How safe is our bottled water?
The average person needs around eight glasses of potable water a day. In San Pedro, like on many other islands, the best way to obtain this vital liquid in a safe manner for consumption is by buying bottled water. One of the main suppliers of bottled drinking water on the island is Bowen & Bowen, which distributes Cystal water. Consumers depend on water companies to provide clean and safe drinking water; hence the discovery of particles in several bottles is cause for concern.
It came to The San Pedro Sun’s attention that a local establishment had discovered what appeared to be black viscous matter floating in the 16oz containers of Crystal water. The company regularly purchases bottles of water by the case, as many as 10 cases a month, and they informed us they had discovered as many as 30 contaminated bottles. Two samples were shown to our reporters, and it was hard not to notice the floating particles. One particular bottle that was frozen showed a visible core of dirt in the frozen water.
San Pedro Animal Hospital announces its possible closure
The San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) has announced to all its customers that they will officially be closing down at the end of 2015. The announcement was made through a mass email that stated that their closure was due to the difficulties in obtaining permits and licenses needed to operate legally. SPAH has been the island’s only private veterinary clinic since 2009, but as of early 2015 they have been at odds with Belize Veterinary Association, Veterinary Surgeons Board and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA).
In the Thursday, March 26th issue of The San Pedro Sun (V.25#12) an article was published in regards to the issue (Authorities and San Pedro Animal Hospital at Odds). In the story, Doctor Miguel DePaz- Chief Veterinary Officer, Director of Animal Health at BAHA and Chairman of the Veterinary Surgeons Board highlighted the reasons as to why SPAH’s licenses and permits were not being renewed. “We have not re-registered Droke because the board has issues with her. The re-registration is not automatic, and if we have complaints about the business, we have to consider whether we will continue to allow them to operate.
Flashbacks - A Look Back at Renowned Businessman Sererino Paz
Anybody that knows the history of San Pedro from the 1950’s to the 80’s is bound to know this charismatic, noble and hard working businessman who contributed much to the development of San Pedro.
Seferino Paz commenced his working life as a businessman who exported fish to Honduras in Central America and then brought back bananas for resale to the local market. He then went on to open one of the finest stores in San Pedro, Helen’s Store, named after one of his daughters.
This same store expanded to offer San Pedro’s first bakery and soon afterwards the first ice cream parlor. With the commencement of tourism, Seferino joined forces with six other hoteliers and formed the hotel chain of Coral Beach Hotels, and owned his own named Sea Breeze Hotel which comprised gift shop, restaurant and travel agency.
You would think Seferino would settle for this, but no, he went on to build another hotel, Sun Breeze Hotel. Still not satisfied, this courageous entrepreneur went on to purchase and develop one of the first hotels up north, The Belizean, which was extremely successful for as long as it lasted before changing hands into a religious retreat spot.
25 Years Ago - The Dangers of Old Fashioned Irons in the Village
Earlier I wrote about the solid metal irons that required heating over a hot plate or on charcoal. Those were pretty rudimentary but you can bet your sweet lip that, just like today, man does not sit back and remain in the old fashion. Soon someone came up with the idea of a gasoline-powered iron that saved time and could be used indoors. Actually it was pretty cool when someone invented the Coleman Gasoline Iron. It was made between 1929 and 1948 in blue, turquoise, and green enamel and included a stand, fuel can, pump and extra generator. The pump was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank.
This spectacular iron arrived in San Pedro in the early 1950’s and was a grand innovation and everyone wanted one. Here is how it worked. A match was lit underneath it to make a flame inside the iron. Fuel irons were an improvement over earlier irons that had to be heated on the stove or heated by charcoal. Fuel irons were lighter in weight and their temperature more even, but they made ironing a potentially dangerous job. Gasoline, alcohol, or kerosene, and other fuels could cause a fire or explode.
Island Resident Asking for Unity in CommUNITY
Dear Ambergris Today,
Please allow me a space in your invaluable news source to give my opinion and hopefully others may have the same thoughts and proceed to have a positive thought towards the benefit of our "paradise island" - a title we are rapidly losing.
I go online daily, hourly, and all I read is negativity on social media, news sources and message boards. Our beautiful island and people keep getting bombarded with negativity. Citizens bombarding hate against each other in our small community without remorse, with the guts to walk past each other with hate and no shame of it.
Thing is, these parties do not have an idea of who is affected. They simply might not care or are oblivious to reality. It is a sad reality the community is going through. Many that are affected by crime in this community, in my opinion, are the better citizens - the citizens who do for the community, those who care, some who have fought for education, health, safety, food and fundraising events for whoever needs it. Some of you who are reading this have benefited from these good Samaritans’ deeds. Good Samaritans who have lost a loved one through selfishness of others.
San Pedro Selects New Mother Of The Year 2015
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, has a new Mother of The Year 2015! Ms. Graciela Vasques was crowned Mother of The Year at this year's annual Mother's Day event hosted by the San Pedro Town Council on Saturday, May 9, 2015. The program, catered to only mothers, had an evening prepared full of games, prizes and entertainment by the San Pedro Dance Academy to romantic balads of their favorite artists such as Jennie Rivera, Selena and Rosy War presented by entertainer Lala Chacon Menjivar. The highlight of the night was the comedic show by Hector Herrara Jr. from Merida Yucatan who had the mothers laughing the night away.
Residents March for Peace as Authorities Promise Island’s Safety
Both Area Representative, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero promised to work harder to reduce crime in the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, as residents held a “Walk for Peace” on Thursday, May 7, 2015, to express their concerns over crime on the island and bring community leaders together to listen to them.
As the families of both murdered taxi drivers mourned the death of their loved ones, the members of the various taxi associations asked the organization Footprints for Peace to organize a “Walk for Peace” event. It gave members of the community the opportunity to share their concerns over the safety of their families and show support for one another, especially to those who are still grieving the loss of their loved ones lost to crime.
Misc Belizean Sources
Hyperbaric Chamber Project Inauguration
We are very pleased to inform you that after very hard work and dedication we have made a long time Dream become a reality.
We are proud to introduce our New Hyperbaric Chamber Facility Located here in San Pedro Town at the Ambergris Hopes Clinic.
We will be working with a team of very Dedicated Professional Individuals at our new facility we have Dr. Daniel Gonzales who will be directing the Facility as the Hyperbaric Physician with his knowledge, Education and Experience followed by his staff of Certified Hyperbaric Chamber Operators and Hyperbaric Chamber Tenders.
We come to you to offer you the best services and benefits and our dedication to Hyperbaric Recompression Chamber Treatment we ask you to support our Hyperbaric Chamber Facility.
One of our biggest benefit that we will be offering is to join our Program free of cost, you will no longer need to charge your guests any monies to be part of the program or pay directly from your Pocket a monthly fee.
We cordially invite you to be witness of this great event as it involves a very good evolution in Hyperbaric Recompression Treatment for Diving Accidents in general and for the whole country of Belize.
Our Inauguration date is set for Friday May 15, 2015 4:00 pm at the Ambergris Hopes Clinic.
The Made in Belize Catalogue
Belize Outsourcing Service Provider Directory
Power Interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm, Tuesday, May 12, Stann Creek
Silk Grass, Hopkins, Sittee River, Maya Center & Riversdale. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines, install inline poles & replace lightning arresters along Southern Highway & Sittie River Rd.
Belize Sailing Association News: BZSA LAUNCHES A NEW LOGO AND PUTS BELIZE SAILORS INTO THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
There is a dawn of a new day for recreational sailing in Belize and hence the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) new board of directors decided to adopt a logo to embody this excitement of momentum; hence the sunrise coaxing the craft on its voyage forward.
This new logo reflects the fact that BzSA is creating international opportunities for our top school-age sailors. In the history of Belize, that is a first. Selection regattas decided which sailors BzSA will send this summer to international events, one for Optimist dinghies and the other for Olympic class Lasers.
THE NEW LASER PROGRAMME:
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is to sailing what FIFA is to futbol. This year, ISAF invited and will provide subsidies for Belize and other countries to attend its inaugural Youth Worlds Emerging Nations Programme (YW ENP).
Presentation Thursday: Coral Nurseries in Belize: 8 Years of Coral Restoration at Laughing Bird Caye
10th Reef Week 2015 invites you to a public presentation titled: Coral Nurseries in Belize: 8 Years of Coral Restoration at Laughing Bird Caye 6pm on thursday May 14th, at the Hol Chan Office
INTRODUCTION TO BARTENDING
Introduction to Bartending & Advanced Bartending are being held again in Cayo for 4 days each. The Introduction is May7th-10th & the Advanced course will be May 12th-15th 2015. Introduction is geared to those with 0-3 years bartending experience. Advanced course is for those with 3 years and up in experience. If a participant wants to take the Advanced course then the requirement is either 3 years experience or take the Introduction.
Clinical Nutrition Consultancy Now Available in San Pedro - CALL NOW!
MEXICAN SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
The Secretariat of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) presents its compliments to the Honourable Ministries, Secretariats and other Dependencies of Foreign Affairs of ACS Member States and Associate Members of the Association and has the honour to refer to the Mexican Government’s Scholarship programme for Foreign Students for the year 2016.
In this regard, the Secretariat wishes to inform that further information related to the above Call, will be available until August 31st, 2015 on the website: http://amexcid.mx/index.php/oferta-de-becas-para-extranjeros, as well as, general information related to applications for these scholarships.
Scholarships for the course:
“Seguridad de la Información y Normas ISO 27001 y 27002”
The OAS Department of Human Development and Education the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (OAS/CITEL), and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Capacitación en Telecomunicaciones de la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (INICTEL-UNI, Perú); are offering scholarships for the course:
“Seguridad de la Información y Normas ISO 27001 y 27002” This is an online course and will be delivered in Spanish.
The course will be delivered through the online platform of INICTEL-VIRTUAL (http://www.inictel-virtual.pe); from July 20th, to August 21st, 2015. Scholarships recipients will be selected from among applications submitted to the OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Culture through the National Liaison Office (ONE) in each Member State.
ZIP-LINING IN BELIZE
Over the past few months, the Department of the Environment (DOE) has observed an increase in zip-lining project proposals being undertaken throughout Belize. Whilst the DOE supports projects with activities that boosts the Belizean economy, developers must be made aware of the permitting procedures that are to be followed prior to commencing development.
In recent years, many outdoor activities such as zip-lining have been taking place in remote areas without Environmental Clearance. Such activities can cause a disruption of the natural habitat and can lead to other environmental issues such as displacement of wildlife species.
In this regard, the DOE would like to advise developers that applications for development projects, inclusive of zip-lining activities, must be sent to the DOE for environmental screening, and Environmental Clearance must be obtained prior to commencing any construction and operations in relation to these activities.
It is important that all developers adhere to this message in order to maintain a rich, healthy, and sustainable environment.
Prime Minister Barrow Departs for Miami, Florida
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow departs the country for Miami, Florida, today 11th May, 2015.
The Prime Minister continues to meet with cruise lines executives to discuss ways forward regarding the Stake Bank Cruise ship Port.
The Prime Minister is expected to return to the country on Thursday, 14th May, 2015. In his absence, Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister from today until 12th May, 2015. Thereafter, the Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security will act as Prime Minister until the return of the Prime Minister on Thursday, 14th May, 2015.
OAS SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
The OAS Department of Human Development and Education and the Centro del Agua del Trópico Húmedo para América Latina y el Caribe - CATHALAC, Panamá; are offering scholarships for the course: “Diplomado CATHALAC en Aguas Subterráneas para América Latina y el Caribe”. The course will be delivered online and will be taught in Spanish.
The course will be delivered through the Distance Educational Platform of CATHALAC and will take place from July 6th, to October 30th, 2015. Scholarships recipients will be selected from among applications submitted to the OAS Department of Human Development and Education through the National Liaison Office (ONE) in each Member State.
The admissions office of KDI School of Public Policy and Management is pleased to inform you that full and partial scholarship opportunities are available for outstanding potential candidates in your country for Fall 2015 Admissions. As a KDIS alumnus/a, you may generously share your experience at KDI School and the exceptional scholarship information with your colleagues and friends.
Every year, KDI School admits about 300 outstanding students and more than 50% of them are international students from 70 different countries. Currently, all international students are on scholarship and 95% of them receive full tuition and monthly stipend (app. $1000/mon.).
BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, May 11, 2015: 30
Corozal House of Culture: Unveiling of a Santiago Ricalde bust
The Corozal House of Culture invites you to join us as we celebrate International Museum on Monday May 18, 2015. The highlight of the day will be the unveiling of a Santiago Ricalde bust donated by Corozal sculptress Mrs. Vilma Romero. The bust will be on permanent exhibit here at the House of Culture honouring Corozal Town’s first Mayor. Kindly join us for the opening ceremony which will begin at 9 a.m.
BEL Comments on PUC’s Initial Decision on Annual Review Proceeding
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has reviewed and submitted its written comment to the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Initial Decision on the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
BEL, in its submission to the PUC on April 1, requested an average reduction of 10.4% in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) from 41.29 cents to 37 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), primarily due to the savings achieved in the cost of power purchased from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The PUC, in its Initial Decision delivered on April 30, approved a MER of 35 cents per kWh, representing an average reduction of 15.24% for all customer classifications.
BEL is pleased that the PUC has approved a reduction in rates and has no objections to the PUC’s Initial Decision. However, the Initial Decision can only be sustainable if the variables used in computing the decision are achieved. While BEL’s submission was based on rate stability, the PUC made its Initial Decision in accordance with the prescribed Rate Setting Methodology (RSM). However, BEL is of the belief that the strict application of the RSM, specifically the immediate and full correction in the last year of this Full Tariff Review Period (FTRP), may result in an increase in rates at the next FTRP commencing July 2016.
Primary Schools art skills training
Since Government of Taiwan and Embassy of Taiwan to Belize continued to support our PSAST Project, we can now proceed to the second phase of the project that includes
• Amplify the number of Primary School Teachers that are able to deliver arts and craft training to primary school children
• Make available training materials for use in future school art and craft classes
• Continue to stimulate an appreciation for and interest in the arts and craft among primary school children in the middle and upper divisions (Std. II to Std.VI ).
We deeply appreciated Government of Taiwan, Embassy of Taiwan to Belize, NICH and Department of Youth Services. We will give all of our efforts into achieving our goal, and popularize art skill teaching in Belize.
Manslaughter For Mango
A 60 year old man was killed in Ladyville on Saturday morning - and it was because he was caught stealing mangoes. Tonight the police have charged the property owner who used a pellet gun to shoot Daniel Trapp out of a mango tree. Trapp, who is a drug addict well known in Ladyville for petty hustling - made it out of the tree, but not much further. We found out more today:..
Courtney Weatherburne Reporting
Mango season is coming in all over Ladyville and on Saturday hanging fruit like these meant murder for Daniel Trapp - a 60 year old with a substance abuse problem:
Alicia Trapp, Sister of deceased
"The boy walk with a limp, the boy behind is thin. Every time I see him he is getting thinner and I told him that he has to take care of yourself. In no way they should have knocked that man. In no way they should have shot that man. They could have beaten him, lash him with something and tell him not to come back in the yard, but to pull a gun and shoot him is unexplainable. I don't understand how human beings could live like that and treat other human beings like that."
Teenager Murdered In Roaring Creek
And while a 60 year old was the victim in Ladyville - in Roaring Creek, the victim was only 16! The teenager's body was found on Friday night around 7:00 on a feeder road - 3 miles off the George Price Highway. A farmer who was in the area apparently found his body and called the police. Now why would someone want this young man dead? That's what we tried to find out today.
Menelva Baiza, Mother
"He came the night and brought a pack of cornflakes for my little girl and he told her to tell mom 'I'm coming back right now, I'm going to buy some groceries for her'. And that was it, I never saw my son and I stayed up all night about 2am in the morning. I checked in his room, no Glasford. I stayed up all day watching TV and waited all day for him Friday morning, he didn't come. Until the police came and told me that they found a body."
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
That body was identified as her son, 16 year old Glasford Thomas. His body was found among these bushes, about a quarter mile in - on the Golf Course road.
Menelva Baiza, Mother
"My son was home all day Thursday- the entire week he was home all week, until in the evening like around 2:30 - 3."
"What day was that? Was that Friday? Or?"
Menelva Baiza, Mother
"That was Thursday in the afternoon when Kenrick Neal came to pick him up to go and do a job - A guy picked him up to go do some construction work. So he didn't come home until the night."
Kijel Killed On Partridge
There was a third killing which happened over the weekend, and this time, the victim was 19 year-old Kjiel Young, a resident of Partridge Street Extension.
It happened at about 9:30 on Saturday night at a number #45 Vernon Street, and not at Cox Tire Shop as was rumored this weekend. Young was sitting in a yard when he was approached an unknown gunman who shot him from behind. He suffered multiple injuries, and was pronounced dead on arrival. Today, the Commander of Police Precinct 2, told the press that investigators don't have much at this early stage:
Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson - OC, Police Precinct 2
"On Saturday 9th May, sometime around 9:30PM, police responded to a shooting on Vernon Street. Upon their arrival at #45 Vernon Street, they learned that one Kajiel Young, 19 years old was shot at that location. While he was seated in the yard, he was approached from behind by a lone gunman who fired several shots at him, which led to his passing away. At this time we do not really have a motive. The investigators are still on the ground at this time trying to establish a motive and at the same time in search h of a suspect."
Spray of Gunfire on Gill Street
Tonight Belize city's southside remains volatile after a wild shooting spree this afternoon, which left two men injured - one of them critically. Monica Bodden found out more:..
Monica Bodden reporting
Around 2 this afternoon police responded to a shooting scene on Gill Street- where neighbors heard as many as 30 gunshots ring out in one of the city's known gang turf. Our news team arrived just minutes after, by then things were relatively calm again - while a handful of police officers conducted their investigation.
Up the street - in another gang territory - police conducted searches on random vehicles in the area looking for the 3 alleged gunmen.
Ran From Cops To His Death
We usually hear of culprits either being caught or simply escaping but a man died trying to get away from Belmopan police yesterday morning at 2:00. 32 year old Zach Leonard August was dashing off on a bicycle when he rammed into one of the cement pillars behind the Magistrate's Court in Belmopan. He was trying to escape police after attempting to break into the La Immaculada Credit Union. We spoke with Supt. Howell Gillet today and he told us how it all went down.
Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, - Belmopan Police
"Just before 2am on Sunday morning the 10th of May, we received information of a burglary in progress at the La Immaculada Credit Union here in Belmopan. Our police immediately responded by foot. The person was seen coming towards the side of the ring road. Upon seeing the police, the person diverted to somewhere behind the magistrate's court here in Belmopan. When police combed the area, we discovered a lifeless, not the lifeless, he was still alive upon arrival, of Mr. Zack Leonard August. He's 32 years old and he's a resident of number 3 Power Lane here in Belmopan. He was immediately taken to the Western Regional Hospital to seek medical attention.
US Sex Offender Was Playing For Time In Placencia
An American fugitive was caught on the Placencia Peninsula and he will now have to face sex crimes in Texas.
43 year-old William Elmer Pettijohn has been wanted in Jones County, Texas for the offences child sexual assault and human trafficking. Police information was that he flew to Belize on April 15 along with a female companion. He was hiding out on Placencia, but due to accurate police intelligence, he was caught last Thursday and handed over to US authorities on the strength of an international arrest warrant.
It is alleged that he and another man had a sexual relationship with a teenaged minor. He has been indicted on the charges of trafficking a Person, two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child, and two counts of Indecency with a Child.
PM To Miami For RCCL Meeting
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize for cruise meetings in Miami today. He is expected to meet with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the part owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village. According to an official release, the meetings will focus on, quote, "ways forward regarding the Stake Bank Cruise ship Port."
The Prime Minister returns on Thursday, and Deputy PM, Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister until tomorrow, when he also departs the country and hands over to Police Minister, John Saldivar.
Barrow Says Elections Will Roll After Petrocaribe Rolls Rural
And while The Prime Minister wears his hat as head of government for those high level meetings which may decide Belize's cruise tourism future, on Friday night in Belize City - he wore his red hat for a party political event.
He was the keynote speaker at the endorsement convention held to install Tracy Taegar-Panton as the UDP standard bearer for the Albert Division. He focused a large portion of his speech on what he called "the frenzied activity by the opposition."
He's referring to the recent sense of urgency in PUP affairs: they held two press conferences last week and reports say insiders are trying to shake up some politically dubious divisions.
And their recent activity has caught the attention of Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. He said that until his government finishes rolling Petrocaribe out to all the rural areas of the country, his government has nowhere to go:
PM Says PUP Leader Should step Down Like Cameron
The Prime Minister also had a few choice words for Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, and his party's decision that he must not resign after the decisive defeat at the March Municipal Elections.
He referenced last Thursday's General Elections in Britain where the incumbent's Conservative Party confounded pollsters and held on to the Government majority. In the wake of that election, the leaders of the 3 major parties, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, and the Labour Party, have all resigned. Last week Friday, the Prime Minister suggested that Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca ought to follow their example if he wants to regain any credibility with the voters who rejected his party in last 2 elections:
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister"
"Because, because all three of those opposition parties Liberal Democrats, UKIP, and the Labour Party lost those general elections. Each leader of those three parties resigned his position as party leader.
BEL Says OK To PUC Rate Cut
BEL asked for a 10% rate cut in your light bill - the Public Utilities Commission pushed it higher, to 15%. Tonight the news is that BEL has said, go right ahead. The power company responded to the PUC saying it has no objections to the proposed 15% rate cut.
But, in a press release today, the power company did have a cautionary statement. It says the PUC rate might not be sustainable and the way the PUC worked its calculations, may result in an increase in rates at the next FTRP commencing July 2016.
BEL looks forward to continuing the open dialogue with the PUC as it prepares to make its Final Decision regarding BEL's 2015/16 ARP submission and prepare for the 2016 FTRP.
Teen Charged For Agric Stabbing Murder
A 16 year old has been arrested and charged for the murder of 24 year old Dernell Brown on May 2nd at the Agriculture and Trade Show. The police version of events is that Brown was hanging out with a group of friends near the Heineken tent when another group of men apparently disrespected a female Brown was with. Brown then approached the group and a fight started. That was when Brown was stabbed to the head. Today police told us that there has been an arrest:
Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, - Belmopan Police
"One person has since been arrested for that. I think if, by memory serve me right, the person, there is a Tyler Cruz of Roaring Creek. I don't have the other particulars at this time but he has been arrested and charged for murder and he's now at KOLBE awaiting a trial date."
The 16 year old has been remanded at the Wagner's Facility until August 17th, 2015.
Lloyd Jones Calls Out Political Mischief
On Friday, we told you about the unsigned email sent by some anonymous individual who claimed to speak on behalf of PUP voters in Belize Rural North that are opposed to Major Lloyd Jones replacing Arthur Saldivar as the PUP Standard Bearer in that constituency. Well, Jones has responded, saying that it's "pure political mischief". He refutes the criticism that he doesn't live in the area and so cannot represent it by pointing to three previous representatives, who served Rural North while not living there.
Jones goes on to acknowledge the rights of the authors of the email to avoid going out to vote on Election Day. He points out, however, that they wouldn't be punishing him because while he wants to win, winning by any means necessary is not his intention.
DPP Explains Why Woman Was Remanded For 4 Years
On Friday's newscast, we told you about 52 year-old Lucilla Bartley who was acquitted of murder after she stabbed and killed her ex, Osborne Gordon.
She was tried and acquitted before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in a trial without jury. Evidence emerged that Bartley fought with the man who threatened her with a knife, and that Gordon had been abusive to her in the course of their relationship.
On Friday, her attorney, Dickie Bradley criticized the state for taking criminal action against Bartley and holding her on remand for 4 years while she awaited trial. Well, this evening, DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal said that the decision to charge and prosecute Bartley was justified.
She explained that there was written evidence which provided an alternate account refuting bare self-defence. The issues which needed to go before a fact finding tribunal was whether or not she was provoked, whether she lost her self-control, and reacted reasonably, or whether she was justified in causing Gordon some harm, but acted in excess.
QRT in Placencia
This morning in Placencia, the peninsula police's Quick Response Team conducted a search at the residence of 22 year-old Akeem Tejeda in Placencia Village where they discovered 111 grams - or 3.9 ounces - of suspected cannabis. 19 year-old Stephon Andrews who was in the company of Tejeda during the search were jointly charged for Drug Trafficking.
Also, last week Monday, Placencia Police conducted a search on 39 year-old Devon Logan who was carrying an infant on the sidewalk in the village. That search resulted in the discovery of 14 grams of crack cocaine on his person. That's 0.49 ounces, and anything over 1 gram is considered drug trafficking, and that's what he was charged with.
Training For Cruise Tourism Service Providers
One of the constant criticisms of the cruise visitor experience in Belize is the commercial battleground outside the Fort Street Tourism Village. That's where tour operators, taxi drivers, hair braiders and other service providers are scrapping for cruise dollars. For years, the Belize Tourism Board has been trying to change the experience, but it's not that simple and now they have enlisted the support of BELTRAIDE's Belize Training and Employment Center, known as BTEC. They are holding a four day training to assist service providers with marketing and business practices. We found out more today:…
The course started on Thursday at the BTEC building in the ITVET compound - and it finishes tomorrow.
Tracy Takes Off...
Tracy Taegar Panton was ushered in as the new UDP Standard Bearer in the Albert Division with much fanfare on Friday night. In just a few weeks, the political newcomer has enjoyed an unimpeded ascent to national mass party prominence - and on Friday night at Panton's endorsement convention, a buffet of senior UDP ministers and standard bearers gave glowing recommendations on her behalf. Here's an excerpt of her fellow UDP colleague, Mayor Darrell Bradley, where he boldly asserts that both he and Taegar-Panton will be elected to the House of Representatives:
Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Standard Bearer - Albert
"I Tracy Taegar-Panton do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute my duties as standard bearer of United Democratic Party for the Albert Constituency."
Darell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City
"It is an honor and a privilege for me to stand here tonight to give my resounding support, my endorsement, my fellowship to the next representative for the Albert Division, the Honorable Tracy Taegar-Panton. Someone who I will be privilege to serve with in the National Assembly."
Bradley Didn't Roll IT For Mother's Day But Still Seemed to Be Rolling In It
Yesterday was also Mother's Day, and the UDP standard bearers and Area Representatives threw parties for the mothers over the 2 day weekend.
The funding for the Area Reps was allotted through the Mother's Day Cheer program, which ultimately comes from Petrocaribe.
One Standard Bearer who says he didn't get any funding from the Mother's Day Petrocaribe fund is Mayor Darrell Bradley. Still, he threw a party for the mothers in Caribbean Shores and invited the media to stop by. We asked him to explain where the funding came from if not petro:
The Why of Zip Lining
Zip-lining: it was once an exotic get away activity which you could only experience at Jaguar Paw or Cave's Branch among others destinations. But these days, you can zip-line at almost any outdoor event or fair. In fact, that was one of the main attractions at this year's Agriculture and Trade Show. While this is convenient for those who can't make it to Jaguar Paw, it can be detrimental to the environment whether it is set up at a park or in remote forest areas. The Department of Environment sent out a press release today stating that "many outdoor activities such as zip-lining have been taking place in remote areas without Environmental clearance. Such activities can cause a disruption of the natural habitat and can lead to other environmental issues such as displacement of wildlife species." It continues by advising developers that application for development projects inclusive of zip-linning activities must be sent to the DOE for environmental screening and environmental clearance must be given before construction or operations begin. Interestingly they make no mention of zip lines which have now been installed in caves such as in the Dark Knight Jaguar Cave Zipline tour.
Santa Ana Will Get Water
Santa Ana village on the road to Barranco in the Toledo District will have an expanded and upgraded Rudimentary Water System. The ground breaking was held on Friday and the water broad chairman said it sure took long enough:...
The water project is being financed by the Government of Belize for just over three quarter million dollars through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The water project targets 89 households, the village health post, churches and schools.