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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
It’s time to play some Jenga!
If there is one party game I just can’t get enough it’s Jenga! I have been playing that classic block-stacking, stack-crashing game since I was about nine. There is just something fun about stacking little wooden blocks as high as gravity will let you. So imagine taking that classic game and supersizing the blocks? Sound fun right? And at Palapa Bar – just north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge – you can enjoy playing this fun game while enjoying your favorite cocktails or beer.
Letter to the Editor: Camp Starfish says Thanks!
On behalf of the entire Camp Starfish team and the 27 Special Needs individuals who helped with your generosity, we say it again: THANK YOU!
Providing food, drinks, supplies, transportation, and even a float, the following businesses made Camp Starfish an overwhelming success. These corporate citizens exemplify the best of what teamwork can accomplish. So we say: THANK YOU
San Pedro High School is represented at Sagicor Visionary Challenge Launch
On Friday, September 25th Sagicor, a Caribbean Insurance Company, held its official launching for the 2015 Sagicor Visionary challenge. The Visionary Challenge is sponsored by Sagicor in collaboration with the Caribbean Science Foundation and the Caribbean Examinations Council. The challenge is held across the Caribbean and offers secondary students the opportunity to develop scientific solution for common problems. Belize is one of the seven participating countries where national competitions are hosted, with the winners advancing to the regional competition. The other participating countries are Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, Antigua, Guayana and St. Lucia. Present at the launch, representing the San Pedro High School (SPHS), was Head of the Science and Mathematics Department, Ricardo Sedacy. According to Sedacy, this year’s challenge is bigger than previous ones, with more motivational factors which will definitely encourage students to put their best in the challenge. “At the launching there were between 12 and 16 other high schools. The main idea of the launch was to encourage students to participate in this competition, where they will be using the STEM method which stands for Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to come up with a problem and at the same time with a solution. It is not just about winning, but rather learning from the experience of the Sagicor Visionary Challenge. We have already begun working with our students and for this upcoming challenge we want to take up two teams to represent us,” said Sedacy. He mentioned that there will be a change in the prizing of the challenge.
San Pedro athletes place 3rd at Garage Games
Over the weekend of September 26th-27th, a delegation of athletes from Ambergris Caye travelled to Merida, Mexico where they competed at the Garage Games Team Edition September 2015. The athletic event saw a total of 210 competitors, which included 12 athletes from WOD Zone San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, participating. The group of Belizean athletes was separated into four teams, two male teams at the intermediate level, one female intermediate team and one female team at the beginner level. After two days of arduous competition, one of the male teams in the intermediate competition, Brute Brothers, claimed the third place overall.
The two-day event included four work-outs, two for each day, and saw the teams competing in their respective divisions. In order to advance to the final event, teams needed to place in the top ten in their category by the third workout. According to Jody Leslie, one of the members of the Brute Brothers it was challenging, but at the same time, their hard work paid off.
Oceana declares Miguel Alamilla an Ocean Hero
Oceana held its fourth annual Ocean Hero Awards on Saturday, September 26th at the Iguana Reef Resort in Caye Caulker. The occasion was a celebration in honor of the contributions made by Belizean men and women in the area of conservation. This year’s event recognized two Belizeans for their selfless commitment to Belize’s marine environment. The late Captain Romauldo “Romi” Badillo from Caye Caulker and San Pedro’s very own Biologist Miguel Alamilla were officially declared the 2015 Ocean Heroes.
Alamilla has been managing one of Belize’s most popular marine protected areas, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, for the past 18 years. He also leads a monitoring program in order to protect the highly vulnerable marine turtles that live and nest on the shores of Ambergris Caye. According to Oceana in Belize’s Vice President Janelle Chanona, the idea of having this event is to give proper recognition to those unknown heroes that nobody hears about.
It’s a massive undertaking, for quite possibly one of the largest wooden structures in the country. The Great House at Mahogany Bay Village is an impressive 16,000 sq ft, three story building that will become the hub of the resort. A Top Off Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 1, 2015, for the building.
A top off ceremony is traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its erection to celebrate a milestone in a construction process. After topping off, numerous elements of construction remain, including interior finish and most mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
The Great House at Mahogany Bay Village has been designed to be this huge meeting spot with room for conferences, meetings, weddings, special events and host multiple events at the same time. It’s holding capacity is close to 500 people per floor.
Misc Belizean Sources
Corozal BPP candidates
Corozal candidates to partake in the November 4th Belize General Elections under the umbrella of Belize’s newest political party BPP. The new Political party was unveiled just a month away from the General Election. The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) introduced its current candidates yesterday in Belize City including four stewards of change from Corozal.
The party’s candidates comprise of a cross section of people and community leaders from our Belizean Society which includes, Enda Diaz for Corozal South East, Lucilo Teck for Corozal South West, Roy Rodriguez for Corozal Bay, Hector Palomo for Corozal North, Hipolito Baustista for Orange Walk , Ion Butch for Pickstock, Roberto Lopez for Belize Rural South, Andrew Williams for Cayo South, Patrick Rogers for Collet, Wil Maheia for Toledo East, and Charles Leslie Jr. for Belmopan.
The BPP is expecting to garner more aspirant candidates before nomination day being Friday 16th October, 2015.
Belize Youth Awards 2015
There's one week left to nominate for the Belize Youth Award. If you know any outstanding youths, now is the time to let them know.
Archaeology Day 2015
International Archaeology Day is on October 16th, and the National Institute of Culture and History is having a big event for it. They'll have displays about Ancient Maya Technology. It'll take place in the NICH buildings parking lot in Belmopan.
A SPECIAL MOMENT FOR ME WITH LORD RHABURN!
Meeting Lord Rhaburn for the first time in my life was worth more than a mountain of gold so to speak. It brought me close to a man that appeared to me from my growing up in Belize who was just a music man. But my conversation with him at the Los Angeles Belizean Community Belize Independence Day Celebrations at Hollywood Park & Casino in Inglewood, California while he passed by the BREDAA information booth was a moment of significance for yours truly.
Lord Rhaburn is a Belizean social and political scholar in his own way. We connected right away and immediately. He taught me some many things about Belizean politics that only someone who has journeyed through the realms of time in a country like Belize could break things down so simply and profound. His depth of knowledge is awesome, and he takes you from the politics of the streets of Belize City to the politics of tyranny in Guatemala. The Lord understands diplomacy better than any Belizean politician alive today, and if they would only know, they would take some advice from this Belizean legend and statesman.
Responsible Tour Guiding Seminars 2015.
Seminars are will underway with diveshops and tour guides of San Pedro Town. An important aspect of this year's seminar is the recent expansion of the Marine Reserve, including Mexico Rocks and management implementation date. Ambergirs Diver. Tuff-E-Nuff, ProDivers, Island Divers, Ocean Diver, Action Divers, La Gaviota, Rum Punch, Caribbean Breeze; some of the dive shop that have participated.
Keyren's Bail Decision Postponed Again
For the past 2 weeks, Coast Guard Officer Keyren Tzib, the woman accused of killing her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, has been trying to get bail. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has been weighing whether or not he will grant that bail. Today, she found out that she has to wait another 11 days in prison for that decision.
Last week Friday, the judge had ordered that a trained psychiatrist needed to do an assessment of Tzib's mental health. The results of that would have been have been submitted to the court today, and the judge would have reviewed it to make a more informed decision. Well, the Psychiatrist from the Western Regional Hospital showed up to court today to present that report. But, instead of that happening, the judge announced that he needed to adjourn the case once again. That's because the crown counsel from the DPP's Office wanted time to review the report from the doctor and to choose whether or not they wanted to continue disputing her being granted bail.
Huge Fine For Law Breaking Fishermen
If you're snacking on a bowl of conch ceviche right now - you have all rights to; after all, the season opened up yesterday. But the day before was strictly no go for conch - and tonight 8 Fishermen from the north are paying dearly for it. First to court was the Tun family of Chunox village. They were aboard a vessel named Sianely on the Turneffe Atoll when they were caught with 792 conch. That happened on September 30th and today in court they all pleaded guilty. For their guilty plea, each fishermen were all fined $500 each for the offenses plus $20.00 for each conch found in their possession. That brought the total to $17,850.00 dollars.
While that sounds like a lot, it could have been far more because these four are not first time offenders; they were before the court for the same offence earlier this year.
A Septuagenarian Sexually Assaulted
A 77 year old wheelchair bound woman was sexually assaulted by her 54 year old son in law in northern Belize. The victim - whose name we will not disclose - is a resident of San Joaquin in southeastern Corozal. She told police that on Wednesday at 10:00 am she was in front of her house in her wheelchair when her son in law took her inside and sexually assaulted her. Police have arrested and charged the Guatemalan man for harm and sexual assault.
The Menjivar Family's Lawsuit Against the GSU
It has been 4 years and and 4 months since the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a raid on the Menjivar family home just outside of Belmopan. Viewers will remember that in that operation, police fired over a hundred bullets at the house after the Miguel Mejivar, fired at them first. He has maintained that he did so because he was convinced that heavily armed and organized thieves were trying to breech his family's home. 2 years ago, the state tried him in the Supreme Court for 9 counts of attempted murder, and he was acquitted.
So, since the court has found him innocent, Menjivar and his attorneys have been suing the government for compensation and damages. 4 months ago, his attorney filed the lawsuit against the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police, and Sergeant Santiago Gongora, who was the officer in charge of that pre-dawn raid.
Will City Hall Roll Over Municipal Bond?
Is the Belize City Council considering rolling over a portion of the Municipal Bond? Mayor Darrell Bradley was the first mayor to ever float a bond, which allowed the City to raise 20 million dollars in funds, used to pave over 100 streets.
Last year, the first tranche of the bond matured, where the City repaid bond holders 1.5 million dollars. They had the opportunity to roll over that money, instead of paying it back, which is something they did not do. The media got a tip that the City might be thinking about doing that with a second tranche, and so today, was asked the Mayor about it:
Mike Rudon, Ch5
"The City Council is interested in floating another municipal bond. Could you confirm or deny that for us?"
Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"Well we are not interested in floating another municipal bond. I had indicated you in relation to the structure of the bond program that was launched two year ago, is that it's a revolving fund. What this city council does and this is common for all municipalities that do bonds particularly the municipalities that we look at in terms of samples and models in south Florida, in parts of the United States, in Canada and in other places that they do this.
The Mayor's Debacle; Seeking Higher Office
And while we had the opportunity, we asked Mayor Bradley about what will happen to his post as Mayor of Belize City. He was re-elected to that office 6 months ago, but he's now offering himself as the UDP Candidate for the Caribbean Shores constituency. We'll know the outcome of that election bid in 33 days, but is there a plan in place at City Hall should he be elected to higher office in the General Elections?
He told the press that the City Council had been planning for this for several months now:
Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"I don't want to be too over confident, but in one month I will be an area representative representing the people who I love in Caribbean Shores and I will continue as I have done for the last going on to 4 years serving the people of this city, because of course Caribbean Shores is part of this city and then also serving the people of the country. I have not thought about any other scenario."
Bee Pay Card: A New E-Wallet For Belize
Consumers will have a new way to shop. Many of you use your credit card, debit card or cash to buy at a store or pay bills online but now, developers are planning to launch what is known as a Bee pay Card. It's a cash card or what the entrepreneurs call an e-wallet. You can use it anywhere to do business without the inconvenience of swiping and signing. We met with the Taiwanese team who are trying to launch this new card in Belize. Now, it hasn't been launched yet but we met them during the 1st consultation today at the Biltmore. They explained to us how this card could change your everyday life.
Simon Chang, Planning Specialist
"Beepay, personally I think it's a life changing thing. Because with one card you can use in so many places. You can integrate not only as a company identity card, a student card or you can use in convenient stores, gas stations and a lot of places."
"So based on the discussions, some of the participants were saying that's its not debit or credit card. What really is it?"
Simon Chang, Planning Specialist
"It's an e-wallet. It basically act like a cash card, like a gift card, but a lot more than that. Because a gift card is simple. You just store the values in it. You cannot recharged it again and you cannot use it in so many places. BeePay card, a lot of business they can work with our company, sign a contract and they can become our partners. People who hold a BeePay card they can use it in so many places."
Starting The Fix For Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking
Domestic violence and human trafficking in Belize: How can we combat these issues? Well, that was the main discussion at the media workshop held today at the Biltmore. It is a part of a broader project to prevent violence against women and sexual exploitation of children. Now we have reported on numerous workshops and public forums on these pressing issues, but the violence continues unabated. Today we spoke with the coordinator and she told us it has to start with a social and cultural re-conditioning.
The workshop ends tomorrow.
Foreign Minister Speaks At UN; Draws Criticism
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington addressed the 70th session of the United Nation's General Assembly today. And tonight, critics are saying he didn't say enough about the Belize - Guatemala territorial dispute. We'll get to that; but first, to what he did focus on - and that was climate change. More than half of Elrington;s speech was about the dire effects of climate change - calling it the most pressing threat to global security:..
And while he spoke about climate change for most of the speech - critics of the Foreign Minister say that he glossed over the Belize Guatemala issue. Both COLA and the PUP issued near simultaneous releases today pouncing on Elrington. The PUP criticizes him for mentioning the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala but notes, quote, "at no point during his speech, did Elrington ever say that there must first be referenda in Belize and Guatemala, in order to approve any such submission."
For its part, COLA criticizes Elrington for spending just a minute and nine seconds of his eighteen minute address speaking about the ongoing Belize-Guatemala dispute. They also criticize him for, quote, "fail(ing) to…properly internationalize the dispute."
The Importance of Belize's Water Shed
There are major, active threats to Belize's Water Shed. Today stakeholders held a one-day workshop to identify those threats and, ultimately, to come up with a strategic plan to safeguard Belize's waters. The coordinators at the event explained to us why it's important to protect and manage this precious resource.
Nadia Bood, Belize World Wildlife Fund
"We feel that this initiative is very important because the water sheds in Belize are very important to society. We depend on it for our water, for depend on it for food from the fisheries sector; water to drink, water for agriculture manufacturing and so it's very important and we are also seeing increase impact to the water shed, based on multiple land use practices, which is affecting the water sheds ability to effectively do the function that they are supposed to be doing. The ultimate deliverable from this workshop is a strategy, an action plan that we can then put in place to work on the ground to address some of the key challenges that we are facing."
Inter-Magia: The Sleight Of Hand
The Sunrise Rotary Club is organizing a pair of magic shows this weekend at the Bliss Center. The international magicians are part of a travelling troupe called "Inter-Magia" featuring magicians from Mexico, Guatemala, Spain and Venezuela. We got a taste of their magic today:...
The shows are at the Bliss tomorrow and Sunday. Tickets can be gotten from members of the SUNRISE ROTARIAN Club.
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington Addresses UN General Assembly
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington was among the speakers this morning to address the United Nations Seventieth General Assembly. Nineteen minutes long, his statement covered hot topic issues such as climate [...]
…Speech Incites Instant Objections from Opposition and COLA
The Belize delegation also included two other ministers—Godwin Hulse and Joy Grant—as well as UN Ambassadors, Lois Young and Janiene Sylvester and Elrington’s wife, among others. While they applauded the [...]
La Cabana Proprietor Back In Court 4 Years After GSU Raided His Home
In May 2011, the home of Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar was literally riddled with bullets during a surprise raid. Although the raid unearthed nothing illegal by way of drugs or [...]
Keyren Tzib Bail Hearing Adjourned Yet Again
Today, Keyren Tzib appeared in the Supreme Court for the third time since her arrest on July twentieth on a single count of manslaughter. The Coast Guard officer is seeking [...]
Elderly Woman Sexually Assaulted by Her Son-in-law in Corozal District
Police have arrested the brother of an alleged Guatemalan rape victim as well as their cousin for the rape of the under aged victim. The young girl says her cousin [...]
Mayor Bradley on Possible Transition to Central Government
In thirty-two days candidates from two mass parties and one new entry will vie for thirty-one seats up for grabs in general elections. One of those candidates believes he is [...]
Darrell Bradley Confident in Caribbean Shores Victory
And since he’s so fixated on what happens when he wins, the Mayor didn’t even want to entertain any question about losing. He says that he doesn’t get into any [...]
Belize City Mayor Refutes Rumors of Another Municipal Bond
News Five also asked Bradley about persistent reports that on the eve of general elections, there is talk in City Hall about floating another municipal bond. He refutes that report, [...]
…Advises Future Successor to Look Favorably on Bond Program
Bradley says that while he doesn’t plan to be there after general elections, he would definitely advise whoever is in the Council to look favorably on the bond program. [...]
GSU Commander on New Policing Strategy
The Gang Suppression Unit was today seen giving back to the elderly in celebration of International Day of Older Persons….we’ll have that later in the newscast. But even before that [...]
Why Aren’t There Any Candidates from N.T.U.C.B. on BPP Slate?
A new third party has emerged on the political scene as more of a labor movement than a liberal organization. The Belize Progressive Party is closely tied to the trade [...]
Party Leader on Convention to Elect BPP Executives
While the party has been months in the making, fine-tuning its leadership seems a bit hurried. Admittedly, Rogers told the media during the press conference that they initially agreed on [...]
World Archaeological Congress Writes P.M. Barrow
The World Archaeological Congress, a consortium of renowned archaeologists representing eighty countries and territories, has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The Congress is especially concerned with issues of human [...]
8 Fishermen Busted With Conch Before Season Opened
A group of fishermen harvested a lot of conch earlier in the week, but the conch season had not yet opened and so they were nabbed by the Fisheries Department. [...]
Belmopan Police Take on Community Outreach
Community outreach are often services provided by social workers and missionaries alike. It isn’t an initiative that is synonymous with policing. Nonetheless, one branch of law enforcement, particularly the Belmopan [...]
GSU Celebrate International Day of Older Persons
October first was celebrated as international day of older persons under the theme, “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment.” Since the beginning of the week, several activities for [...]
Village Arts & Craft Expo at B.T.L. Park
On Saturday, the B.T.L. Park on Newtown Barracks in Belize City will be transformed into an arts and craft market where intricate artworks from one hundred and twenty-five artisans from [...]
Sunrise Rotary Club Hosts International Magic Show at the Bliss
Later in the evening, five magicians from several countries will be performing magic at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. While it is the Eleventh Edition of INTERMAGIA, it [...]
Son-In-Law Sexually Assaults Elderly Woman
Tonight, there is a disturbing report coming out of the north involving a senior citizen. Police have issued a report saying that on Wednesday, September 30, a 77-year-old woman was on her veranda relaxing when her son-in-law, 54-year-old, Rubio Marcelo Castro approached her, took her inside her house and sexually assaulted her. The woman, who […]
The Future of GSU
You may recall some time ago when the former Prime Minister Said Musa was addressing a gathering in the Lake Independence area when their standard bearer Cordel Hyde was being endorsed. One of the assurances made to the Belizean public during that event was that upon the PUP taking office, the Gang Suppression Unit would […]
Four Years and Three Adjournments Later, GSU and La Cabana case still unresolved
Mike Menjivar, owner of La Cabana Restaurant and Bar in Belmopan, Cayo District returned to court today as a follow up to an incident back in May 2011 where the Gang Suppression Unit riddled their home with one hundred and fifty six bullets while Menjivar and his family were inside. Today, Mike, his wife and […]
PUP Questions Statements Made By Foreign Minister at the UN
The People’s United Party sent out a release this evening regarding statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, at the United Nations General Assembly. That release, stated, in part, quote, “In his speech, Foreign Minister Elrington said that Belize had “signed a Protocol to the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s […]
Belize’s Barrier Reef In Danger
An online publication has stated that Belize’s Barrier Reef is in danger of being destroyed due to the extraction of resources. The article did not focus on only Belize’s Reef but rather on all World Heritage Sites which it says are being threatened through mining and oil exploration. It went on to state that, quote, […]
Belize Scolded Over Reported Treatment of the Mayans
Love News has received a copy of a letter that The Executive Committee and Council of the World Archaeological Congress reportedly sent to Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. The letter has expressed concerns surrounding the treatment of Maya citizens of Belize in their struggle to protect their material and cultural heritage and exercise their legally […]
Belize Progressive Party challenges PUP, UDP!
With 34 more days to go before Belizeans go to the polls to elect a new national government in general elections, three organizations have amalgamated to form a new political party, providing an alternative to the entrenched two-party system of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s United Party (PUP).
The People’s National Party (PNP), Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), and We the People Movement (WPM) have come together to form the Belize Progressive Party (BPP).
At its first press conference this morning at its unveiling, the BPP described itself as Belize’s first labor party, which has chosen Patrick Rogers, formerly of the VIP, as its leader, and Wil Maheia, formerly of the PNP, as its deputy leader.
The BPP, which also described itself as a political movement “that is here to stay,” so far has eleven candidates ready to contest the November 4 general elections. Rogers, however, told Amandala that his party is reaching out to fill more of the 31 seats necessary to cover all constituencies in the country. The goal is 31, Rogers insisted.
Rough times for Maya King!
At least 600 workers from the Maya King Banana Farm, the largest banana farm in Belize, are at risk of losing their jobs because of a combination of extreme weather and their boss’ bad reputation on the international scene.
Maya King is located in South Stann Creek and is owned by Myrtle Sherran, 88, but is managed by her son, John Zabaneh, 60, and hires close to 2 thousand employees in the high season of the banana industry.
But, right now, the company is struggling because of the drought that has affected the entire agricultural sector of the country. And even though the rains seem to have started, according to Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez, “It would not have made a difference with banana if the rain, in the first instance, was not sufficient to bring the crop to fullness for the international market standard.”
But even under these unusual circumstances, normally, in such a situation, the company would have been able to weather the crisis and keep all its employees paid by means of an overdraft facility.
UK to invest over US$600 mn in Caribbean, including Belize
During a visit to the Caribbean, Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, accompanied by International Development Secretary Justine Greening, announced a quadrupling of UK support to the region.
Speaking to the joint Houses of Parliament in Jamaica this week, Cameron announced a package of over £360m (over US$600m) of bilateral aid, featuring vital new infrastructure in the Caribbean, including Belize, such as roads, bridges and ports to help drive economic growth and development across the region.
Amandala attempted to get a comment from Prime Minister Dean Barrow on what aid Belize could expect, and when, but we were told by his CEO, Audrey Wallace, that he is on a very tight schedule and could not comment before we went to press.
Scurvy brother, 21, handed over sister, 13, to be raped by cousin, 26
A 21-year-old man and his 26-year-old cousin are in police custody pending charges of rape and abetment to rape in respect of a 13-year-old Guatemalan girl, say police.
According to information given to police by the child and her mother, her brother, 21, took her to their cousin, 26, for sexual purposes on two separate occasions.
Police took the child to a doctor, who conducted an examination that revealed that she had been carnally known. Police immediately arrested her brother and her cousin for the offenses.
The incidents allegedly occurred on September 4 and 5 at the child’s home.
According to a police sitrep of Wednesday, September 30, 2015, the child reported that on September 3, at about 6:00 p.m., she was approached by her brother and told to have sex with their cousin, who lives in the same house.
11th hour breakthrough averts BEL’s threatened strike
On Tuesday afternoon, the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) called the media to a briefing at the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) corporate headquarters at Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, to announce that the union would initiate industrial action against the power company’s management if an agreement was not met for a salary increase for its members.
By afternoon, however, the BEWU sent out a text message advising the media that they had sought the intervention of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow. The union and government sides met in Belmopan at the Ministry of Labor, where a marathon negotiation session took place until the wee hours of this morning, when Minister of Labor Godwin Hulse brokered a negotiated settlement between the union and the BEL management.
This afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., members of the BEWU met with a management team from BEL at the Labor Department office on Albert Street, where they finally hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement.
Domestic exports take a hit in August
Domestic exports fell by almost half last year’s figure – by a whopping 55.4%, down from roughly $76 million last August to a mere $33.9 million this August, according to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
“Sugar sales accounted for the largest share of this decline, as exports fell from $34 million to $1 million. This steep drop in comparison to last August reflected a shift in the timing of sugar shipments, such that only bagged sugar was exported in August 2015, while a large bulk sugar shipment is expected in September,” the SIB said.
It added that earnings from crude petroleum dropped sharply by $8 million (a decline of 66.7%), from $12 million during August 2014 to $4 million in August 2015, largely due to lower world market prices.
BECOL basketball scores
On Friday night, Cayo Interstellars defeated SHC, 17-3, in the female division. Anna Acosta was the top scorer for Cayo Interstellars with 8 points, while Sherlene Dawson finished with 4 points. In a losing effort, Lucia Tesecum had 2 pts for SHC. In game 2, Roaring Creek Special Effects defeated Belmopan in the Over-35 category by the score of 49-29. Roaring Creek’s top scorer was Artan Tucker, who had the game high of 17 pts, while Eddy Rowland scored 13 pts, and Karon “Civic” Neal finished with 12 pts. Belmopan was led by Carlisle Barrow with 10 pts, and Robert “Sample” Allen with 8 pts. In the nightcap, Panthers defeated Flames, 56-48, in the senior division. Panthers was led by Garret Bermudez with 14 pts, while Johan “Cutto” Bermudez scored 12 pts, Vandell Fuller had 10 pts, and Zamir “Gramox” Usher finished with 8 pts. The top scorers for Flames were Mark Wagner with 14 pts, Dorian “Cheezy” Jones with 13 pts, Rhetton Belisle with 10 pts, and Stephen “Muerte” Williams with 8 pts.
Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Belize’s best in his day – Part 2
We chatted with Canalete outside his home on Curassow Street, and gleaned a few insights into his rise to football stardom in Belize.
Rupert “Canalete” Anderson was born in Belize City on December 12, 1946, to Ms. Caserine Bennett and Mr. Mansfield “Tarri” Anderson, both deceased.
Rupert said he spent his early years growing up in Hattieville, and started playing as goalkeeper with a junior team named Rapona Shell. After that, it was straight to senior with the Hattieville team that participated in the Belize City competition. Neither team was outstanding, but the tall youngster in goal for Hattieville apparently caught the eye of scouts in Belize City. (to be continued in our next issue)
Of course, on reflection, Rupert did not actually “grow up” in Hattieville, which only came into existence following the October 31, 1961, hurricane of that name; but he did grow into young adulthood in Hattieville after his family moved there. His early years were in Belize City; then in Hattieville, after playing as goalkeeper with the junior team, Rapona Shell, he moved up to mind goal with the senior Hattieville team in the Belize City football competition.
U-12 and Female games, and upcoming football elections in O.W.
Here are the weekend schedules for U-12 and Female football games, all being played at the Orange Walk Technical Field.
Saturday, October 3
1:30 p.m. – Juventus vs Vibes Alive
2:30 p.m. – Black Water of Trial Farm vs Banja Tillett Young School
3:30 p.m. – Belize of Louisiana Area vs Ben Ramos Centaur Minions
Female 9-A-Side football
Sunday, October 4
2:00 p.m. – Chan Pine Ridge vs Carmelita
3:00 p.m. – Guinea Grass vs Yo Creek Gladiators
4:00 p.m. – Orange Walk vs Atlantic Bank
The same teams will play in back matches scheduled for the following week.
Editorial: Our democracy
Hon. Prime Minister, Dean O. Barrow, called the 2012 general election in March of that year, four years and a month into his five-year term of office. He is calling this November 4, 2015 general election just three years and six plus months into his five-year term. Mr. Barrow, Leader of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), has apparently come to the personal conclusion that the four-year term of office is the ideal. In fact, the five-year term remains the constitutional prerogative of the party which wins the majority of seats in Belize’s general elections.
This is a simple thing, the fact that the Prime Minister has chosen as he did in 2012 and 2015 with respect to ending his elected term of office, but it is illustrative of the immense power which is placed in the hands of the Prime Minister when his party wins a general election. With respect to our democracy, it is as the Prime Minister wishes. His power is practically monarchical.
In fact, the so-called democracy of Belize is actually, ultimately, monarchical, because the Prime Minister has to be sworn in by Queen Elizabeth II’s Governor-General, and all the elected area representatives have to swear allegiance, in front of the said Governor-General, to “Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors.”
From the Publisher
When my Holy Redeemer Boys’ classmates and I used to go to the old Parish Hall to watch CYO basketball in the late 1950s, there was no age limit for the junior competition. You could play junior as long as you wanted if you felt you were not ready for senior, or you weren’t being recruited by a senior team. At some point, probably late 60s, early 70s, the bureaucrats decided you had to be 19 or younger to play junior.
I always enjoyed junior games, because it is always interesting to watch kids growing up, how they interact and how they socialize. In addition, the tension and excitement would be building while you were watching the junior game as you waited for your favorite senior team to take the court in the big game.
In the 1991 amateur basketball season before semi-pro basketball began in 1992, two junior teams met in the finals, as they had so met the year before in 1990. The Amandala team, which won both competitions, was led by Maurice Williams and coached by Marshall Nunez. The Falcons team which Amandala defeated in both finals, was sponsored at least one of those seasons by Santino Castillo. The team was led by Evan “Duck” Garnett was and coached by Mark Usher and Evan “Mose” Hyde, my oldest son. Cordel Hyde, my second son, played on the Falcons team.
World Archaeological Congress writes Belize PM
The attached letter was sent to the Honorable Dean Barrow on August 30, 2015. He has not responded. The letter has been approved and signed by members of the Council of the World Archaeological Congress representing some 80 countries and territories across the world. The Congress is particularly concerned with the issues of human rights associated with cultural heritage. We consider the treatment of Maya citizens of Belize, especially concerning their rights to their traditional lands and land use practices to be of singular importance for the future of archaeology and its relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
We understand that United Nations Development Program and the Equator Initiative have awarded the Equator Prize for 2015 to the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA). We offer our hearty congratulations to Belize and all its Indigenous Peoples.
The letter is intended to be shared publicly with all interested parties; feel free to disseminate it further.
No love yet from area rep; family continues to face hardship
Despite the plea of the Smith family to the Lake I area representative Mark King for assistance to help them to rebuild a house to replace their house that was destroyed after it collapsed on Friday morning, no assistance has yet been given, and the family of four continue to face hardship.
The house of the Smith family, of Electric Avenue, a one-flat elevated lumber house, fell to the ground, causing massive structural damages to the house, and destroying the furnishings it contained.
Joanie Smith, the mother of the family, told Amandala that everything in the house, with the exception of their clothing, was damaged as a result of the collapse. She is unemployed and needs public assistance in trying to re-construct their home, and also for immediate living expenses, she said.
Science in a Kit
A two-day workshop on micro-science was held for teachers from high schools in Belize. This was the final workshop in a series of workshops held in Guyana, St. Lucia and Belize, said Dr. Rudolph Anthony, Secretary General, UNESCO, Belize. Guyana was introduced to this new way of learning three years ago and since then it has made a vast difference in the CXC results of their students, said Anthony.
A sub-regional project amongst Belize, St. Lucia and Guyana was approved by UNESCO, which allotted US$35,000.00 for workshops to be held in all three countries to train science teachers at the high school level, particularly high schools without resources or only a limited amount of laboratory resources. Representatives from Belize and St. Lucia travelled to Guyana to participate in a workshop there, prior to having these workshops in their own countries, Anthony explained.
Belize Fire Service receives donation from US Embassy
The Belize Fire Service has received firefighting and rescue equipment totaling over BZ $1.5 million in value from the U.S. Embassy.
The donation was handed over to the Belize Fire Service by His Excellency Carlos Moreno, Ambassador of the United States to Belize, on Friday.
The donation included 200 personal firemen suits complete with boots; 80 breathing apparatus replacement cylinders; 12 heavy duty rescue saws, called ‘jaws of life’; 14 combustible gas detectors; 6 vehicle stabilization kits; 4 transportable pumps, and 40 handheld radios specifically designed for firefighters, generators and hydraulic pumps.
The Ambassador said that the donation was a part of its humanitarian assistance program for Belize.
Belize Fire Service Operations Officer Ben Matura said that the equipment will greatly assist them.
Man acquitted of 2012 murder due to faulty evidence
Lincoln Hemsley, Jr., 24, was acquitted of the March 2012 murder of David Hernandez, 21, in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, who heard the case without a jury and accepted a no-case-to- answer submission from Hemsley’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, today, after the prosecution had closed its case.
Shortly before Sylvestre made the no-case submission, Justice Lucas had ruled not to accept the result of a group police identification parade in which Hemsley was purportedly identified as the man who shot and killed Hernandez.
In deciding not to accept the police identification parade result, Justice Lucas noted that when a person has a right to refrain from doing something, he should not be forced to do it to provide evidence against, himself.
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) formulated for stevedores
The Christian Workers Union (CWU) today held a press briefing at their Secretariat, 107B Cemetery Road, Belize City.
At that meeting, president of the Christian Workers Union, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, informed the media that with the stevedores’ input, they have formulated a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the stevedores.
Shepherd added, “We now have a very good negotiating team whose members are comprised of three stevedores: Alrin Fuller, Guy Neal, and Sean Middleton, also, Cynthia Pitts, Carolyn YaYa Marin Coleman, vice president Basil Brannon, general secretary Floyd Neal, and myself as the president.”
Shepherd said now they are ready to go back to the negotiating table with the Port Authority’s negotiation team. She went on to say that the stevedores have been operating without a CBA for 11 years.
PUP Leader calls for “Election Observers”
Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow’s announcement on Monday that he has advised the Governor General to dissolve the National Assembly and has set Wednesday, November 4, as the date for the general elections, has enormous implications for the recently concluded voter registration exercise, says the Opposition PUP.
In a letter dated Monday, September 28, People’s United Party (PUP) Leader Francis Fonseca has written to Prime Minister Barrow asking him to invite Election Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS), CARICOM or the Commonwealth.
The PUP Leader said the decision to call elections comes weeks after the close of the annual transfer period of electors, and “The election date of November 4, 2015 will not allow for the electoral list to be revised for 2015, which is vital to an already bloated list.”
“Good Samaritan” critical after beating in OW
A Good Samaritan of Orange Walk is presently in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was severely beaten by two men after he intervened to stop the beating of his friend.
The incident occurred Monday night near the fire station in Orange Walk Town. Carlos “Paraquat” Griffith, 28, told police that he and his friend were talking by the Orange Walk Fire Station when two men came up and attacked his friend.
Griffith intervened to stop the beating of his friend, but the men turned on him and began to beat him instead. As a result Griffith suffered injuries to his head, face and body, and the men, believed to be from Belize City, escaped from the area, leaving him, beaten and bloody, on the roadside.
Southern consumers see price hikes even as inflation eases nationally
Consumer prices were down substantially for the first 8 months of 2015, according to the latest report released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), which reports an inflation rate of negative 0.9%, contrasting with the hike in inflation of 1.4% for the first 8 months of 2014.
Last August recorded an inflation rate of 0.9%, but the SIB says that during the month of August 2015, prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were, on average, 0.6 percent lower than in August 2014.
This, it said, was attributable to decreases in the cost of fuel at the pumps and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which offset increases in the cost of some food items and home rentals.
“All three types of fuel saw a considerable drop in prices compared to August 2014, with premium and regular gasoline down by about 19 percent and 22 percent, respectively, while diesel prices fell sharply by 28 percent. The decline in fuel prices was the major contributing factor to a 6.3 percent decrease in the ‘Transport’ index,” the SIB explained.