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Today's Belize News: October 4, 2016 #517999
10/04/16 06:10 AM
10/04/16 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,560
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

BNTU proceeds with national strike
Hundreds of students are at home today in San Pedro Town, as the Roman Catholic Primary School and the San Pedro High School officially called off classes due to the industrial action strike planned by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). About 20 teachers from San Pedro Town and around five from Caye Caulker travelled to Belize City this morning, where they joined the thousands of other teachers in a protest against the Government of Belize (GOB). Some of the major demands from the group to GOB include good governance practices, transparency and an adjustment of 3% in their salaries, which according to them, has been delayed for too long. The Union has garnered major support from social partners and concerned Belizeans countrywide. A meeting was held today, Monday, October 3rd in Belize at 1:30PM, where BNTU discussed with its members if the strike will continue for the rest of the week.

Ambergris Today

$2.5Mil Contract Signed for Infrastructural Improvements at Corozal Free Zone
On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Corozal Free Zone signed a contract to invest $2.5 million in infrastructure works. The project was designed by Young’s Engineering Consultancy Ltd. It includes the installation of storm water drain, sidewalks, parking areas, roundabout, pedestrian ramps; complete resurfacing with hotmix of the main thoroughfare known as “Freedom Avenue”, traffic signs and traffic markings. It also includes drains to alleviate the water that settles in front of the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Oceana Announces Belize’s 2016 Ocean Hero Award Winners
On Saturday, October 1st, Oceana formally recognized two Belizeans as the 2016 Ocean Heroes. They are biologist/zoologist Janet Gibson and activist Wil Maheia. In her forty year (and counting) career, biologist and zoologist Janet Gibson has played an influential role in just about every marine conservation strategy or resource management strategy developed in Belize. Gibson was also a driving force in securing reserve status for two marine protected areas: Belize’s first marine reserve, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Glover’s Reef Atoll, one of Belize’s three atolls. She was also a key member of the Belizean team that worked to have seven sites within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System declared World Heritage Sites.

Bronze for Belize at Men’s Volleyball World Championship Qualifications
Belize finished third at the AFECAVOL Men’s FIVB World Championship qualification tournament after winning to Honduras 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-15) at St. Catherine Academy Center of Belize City. Belize finishes with a 16 year drought of not reaching the podium in a major event. A festive crowd packed the SCA Center to watch Belize fire-up against Honduras with an exciting victory. Belize finished the event with 4-2 win-loss record, 18 points and third place. Honduras ended with 1-5, 8 points and sixth position. Belize had and impressive 11-4 blocking margin stopping Honduras intentions in keeping the ball on their side of the court. Belize also held advantage in kills (38-30) and in serves (4-1), they scored on 23 opponent errors and committed 20 of their own.

Vivian Noralez Crowned Miss Petite Teen Earth at Miss Teen Earth Intl.
Eighteen-year-old, Vivian Noralez was chosen as the first representative of Belize for Miss Teen Earth International that took place in Panama City this past weekend, Saturday, October 1, 2016. Four crowns were up for grabs at the Miss Teen Earth of which Vivian nabbed the Miss Petite Teen Earth title. The main title of Miss Teen Earth 2016 was taken by Miss USA, but with all her preparation and dedication, Vivian was able to proudly represent her country. Her work as reigning Miss Teen Earth Belize was focused on water contamination after the hurricane. The pageant’s areas of international competition include reforestation, national costume, interview with judges, opening, swimsuit, evening gown and on-stage question.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: September 25th – October 1st, 2016
The Woodlands, TX Orvis store organizes a trip every fall and this year’s trip was a big success with 12 boats going out every day. Our heartfelt thanks go to Noble and Jose who as hosts of the trip made everyone happy. Somehow they even got the weather to cooperate.

First Friday of October Roadside and Beach Trash Pick Up
Friday, October 7 at 9 AM - 11 AM, Tres Cocos San Pedro. Please join us, along with our friends at Grand Caribe Belize, for our next monthly trash pickup on Friday, October 7th! We meet at the Paradise Theatre, just north of the bridge at 9 am. We provide bags, gloves, trash pickers and water (and even tasty treats and refreshments at the end courtesy of Marbucks Coffee House!) - all that's missing is you!

The presentation of the new Destination Belize
Tuesday October 4, 2016! Radisson Fort George Hotel 10am

Belize's Wonder Women! Senior Pastor Antonette J. Young
It all began with self-determination, values, self-worth and persistent. Mrs. Young knew at a very young age she had a special calling. Migrated to Chicago, Il. at a very young age (17) and resided there for 29 years. During her time in Chicago she was privileged to pursue her career in the medical field as a certified medical assistant and a medical laboratory technologist. She worked at a medical lab as Manager and Clinic Coordinator. In 2000 she moved back to Belize as a Volunteer Missionary to reach people in need. She is the founder and director of Parents Against Drunk Drivers, J & A AIDS a Foundation and Papi's Practical Rehabilitation Program in Orange Walk Town.

Coming Soon: New Exhibition at San Pedro House of Culture
The exhibition entitled “Celebrating the Heritage of Maya Resistance” tells the story of 400 years of Maya resistance to foreign attacks on their culture, lands, and beliefs. When the Spaniards conquered the Yucatan, the Maya fiercely resisted being dominated. In 1847 the Caste War broke out and lasted over 50 years, wiping out close to a third of the population. The Caste War was the largest and most successful of a series of Maya rebellions against oppressive economic, political, and social systems imposed by the Spanish and perpetuated after Mexican independence.

Belize Raptor Center Takes Flight! (San Ignacio)
JOIN the Belize Raptor Center on their adventure as they take their conservation mission to the next level! Together, we can make history with the first ever bird show in the country of Belize and a nature center where Belizean youth can participate in positive environmental activities such as camps, documentary movie nights, birding and art classes. Saturday, October 8 at 6 PM - 9 PM, San Ignacio Resort Hotel

Homecoming Parade in San Pedro for Miss Belize America Latina Michelle Estrella Nunez
Another Homecoming Parade in San Pedro, this time for Miss Belize America Latina Michelle Estrella Nunez who placed Top 5 and won award for Most Original Cultural Costume at the Miss America Latina Pageant held at the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Congratulations Michelle!!!

Intermagia International Magic Show coming to San Pedro!!!
Announcing the Intermagia International Magic Show coming to San Pedro for the first time for two shows on October 10th: 2pm & 7pm at Paradise Theater. Join us for an evening of tumbling & magic like you've never seen! Families and children are welcome at 2pm for $10 per person. Adults, please join us at 7pm for $50 a ticket. We also have a LIMITED amount of $100 reserved seating in the front row, which includes food/drink seat service. Each show will open with an opening tumbling act from The Saints. All proceeds will benefit Rotary Club's Wednesday softball night for San Pedro Kids Club. Buy your tickets at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar, Wayo's Beach Bar or Keller Williams San Pedro Belize Team on Front Street before they sell out! Seating is limited to 300 attendees.

Homecoming for Vivian Noralez
Recently crowned Miss Petite Teen Earth 2016 as she arrived on the island; followed by a parade though downtown, San Pedro.

Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Sets the Record Straight The Ministry of Education, Youths, Sports and Culture wishes to set the record straight in light of the letter sent by Mr. Luke Palacio, President of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), on October 1, 2016, to the Chief Education Officer declaring the decision of the BNTU’s Council of Management to effect strike action effective Monday October 3, 2016. The Ministry categorically states that BNTU Proposal #22 was ventilated over many meetings and all parties agreed to bring the matter to a close in the meeting of the Joint Negotiating Team (JNT) of August 12, 2016. The record will show the letter of the BNTU to be a clear attempt to muddy the waters and to shift the goal posts notwithstanding what has transpired in the negotiations so far with respect to the BNTU Special Proposal #22. The BNTU letter states: “BNTU is not in agreement with that statement and GOB’s position and we are demanding that our Proposal #22 be fully and Urgently addressed; especially related to the Employment Status, Service Benefits, and Rights of “Non-teaching Staffs” of our Secondary and Tertiary Levels institutions.” The BNTU’s letter goes on with the demand: “We demand Urgent re-instatement and negotiation/discussion of Proposal #22…”

Poets Corner: BPP Anniversary!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. Today we celebrated our elderly Paying homage to their memory On the day of BPP’s anniversary Showing them gratitude For their years of servitude Connecting with their institutional memories Listening keenly to their stories Belize’s ANC is conscious that for continuity It is a necessity to connect the youth with the elderly With blessings of the elderly And the youth’s energy We’re evolving into a new political consciousness in country People not tied to PUDP People wanting to take back our country From the crutches of tyranny


Caye Caulker Job Vacancies
Vacancy: Available for House Keeper. Experience in cleaning & trustworthy. Must have 1 reference letter. If Interested Please Visit our Office.

Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) - Corozal Division
Today, the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) - Corozal Division meet at the Andres Campos Civic Center in solidarity with their call for good governance, 3% adjustment salary, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, respect and justice for all our people and country. Guest speaker was Mose Hyde, host of the WUB morning Talk Show.

Statement from Belize Teachers' Union - Corozal Town Branch
Update: Prime Minister Barrow and his government have made every effort to intimidate, lie and threaten the teachers, parents and public. Please be guided by facts. 1. The BNTU continues and will continue to fight for the 3% salary adjustment that the GOB had AGREED to pay the teachers. 2. The BNTU DOES NOT HAVE A POLITICAL AGENDA. The 8 points that we have presented and discussed with the Prime Minister are issues that have not only impacted the teachers negatively; but also our country. Because of the existing corruption, our country is in a financial mess and is unable to meet its obligations. Hiding behind Hurricane Earl is inexcusable. 3. Our 8 points not only impact good governance, but also RESPECT FOR THE WORKER. The OSH Bill would have protected our Corozaleño who perished recently at the Central park because of poor safety standards. Many workers, like farmers, are exposed to serious health hazards without any protection. Proposal 22 is also dear to us because of the unjust action of MINISTER FABER who removed it BY THE STROKE OF A PEN from the Education Rules. Removing it means that now Non-teaching staff from grant aided schools be denied the same benefits as the Non-teaching staff from government schools. Equality for all.

Cayo Cancer Walk 2016
The 4th annual Cancer Walk will be on Saturday, October 29th, and will go from Running W to the Social Security Board's office. They have shirts for sale, and they'll have a raffle with 20 prizes. Help out the San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society, and get a chance to win a great prize. "Lets create awareness by joining the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch on its 4th Annual Cancer Walk. This event is also one of its biggest fundraiser to help cancer patients fight this battle."

Independence Day Parade 2016
"The Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Celebrated this year's Independence Day with the rythmic songs and 'Liberation Beats' of Lord Laro and Lord Rhaburn along with Belize's Soca Queen Ernestine Carballo and TR Shine. The streets were lined with eager onlookers from beginning to end of the parade. Mayor Earl Trapp kept his promise to the people of Santa Elena to start the ceremonies and parade from the Loma Luz Blvd. Pictures courtesy of Mr. Art Wager"

The Placencia Breeze October 2016
Pg 3 Placencia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Winners Pg 5 BTIA news Pg 7 Thank You to Placencia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Sponsers Pg 9 Fisherfolk Awards Pg 11 Point of View Pg 13 Beach Clean-Up Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Queen of the Bay 2016 Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 Placencia Humane Society News Pg 24 Rotary News / Marathon Drink Contest / Where in the World is the Breeze Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 In Memory of Terrence Cabral / Tour Guides & Tour Operators Pg 28/29 September Celebrations Photo Gallery Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events

Channel 7

Tyre Fire On Belcan Triggers Tension, Fizzles Fast
Teachers across the country went on strike today - shutting down most schools, and more of the same is planned for tomorrow. We'll tell you about that shortly, but first to the hottest news of the day - and that's the tyre fire that was set on the Belcan Bridge. It happened just after 4:00 this afternoon We have not be been able to find exactly who is responsible for the fire, but what we do know is that a heap of tires were quickly assembled on the Belcan bridge right at the beginning of rush hour traffic. It was lit, blocking the bridge on both sides. Fortunately, the Fire Department's Cleghorn Street station is very close to the bridge, and before it could get out of hand, they put the fires out. Police swarmed the area, stopping persons from crossing over for about half hour or so, and when the fire had been doused, 2 persons were hauled away. Those men are Belize City Residents, Fitz Howard, Perry "Stix" Smith, who you may recognize as the organizer of Days of Healing initiative. We were there when the police hauled them away in the back of a police mobile, and their fellow community activist, Jose Luis Espat, told us that police took away the wrong men. Here's how that went:

No School Tomorrow; Teachers Strike Goes Into Second Day
And while that fire was raging on Belcan Bridge, the BNTU members were celebrating at their headquarters off Coney Drive. As their songs crescendoed, the blackened clouds of smoke tainted the afternoon sky. Now the fire starters have their own agenda and wanted to cause some trouble in the name of the teachers by blocking the bridge with burning tires. But, undaunted, the BNTU have their own plans - they are continuing their strike action tomorrow. President Luke Palacio gave the announcing and made it clear that they are not with any group who wants to cause destruction and dilute their message. Luke Palacio, National President - BNTU: "So my friends, brothers and sisters we can see that the intimidation tactics have not work and because the intimidation tactics have not worked, tomorrow we continue the strike."

Teachers Call Police Protection Intimidation
And so the strike continues tomorrow - and it will be interesting to see if it was as successful as it was today. Reports received from various parts of the country say that the school shutdown was effective and widespread. It certainly was that way in the largest schooling center, which is Belize City. Now, we stress: not all schools were closed and we found that government managed schools were more likely to be opened. Here's what we saw on our morning circle of shuttered schools: Schools across the city were closed today - if they had shutters you would think it's a hurricane coming at this Catholic school, schoolyards, as barren as deserts, Queen Square Anglican seemed to have some activity but instead of opening doors, we saw them being closed most schools, though, looked like they hadn't been opened all day doors were closed too at St. John's Vianney.

BNTU Claims Strike Success
So while that is the report from Belize City, what was the overall picture for Day 1 of the teachers strike? Executive Secretary Kesha Young Flowers gave us the run down based on branches and BNTU are very pleased with the results. Kesha Young Flowers, Executive Secretary - BNTU: "We have gotten our first report from day 1 of BNTU strike. In Corozal Town Branch: 8 schools were fully closed, 5 were opened. But most of them were giving partial service. They had maybe 2 classrooms or a classroom open. Give Corozal Town branch a hand." Kesha Young Flowers, Executive Secretary - BNTU: "Corozal Rural branch: all schools were fully closed. One teacher showed up to work at San Narciso. So that's almost 100% support from Corozal Rural branch."

It is About "the Three"?
And while the Teachers Union is hoping to increase the pressure on the government by entering its second day of strike action, the dynamic in the dispute now seems to be changing and that's because of a letter that the Teachers Union sent to the Chief Education Office on Friday. The letter starts off as a formal notice of strike action - and explains that the industrial action is, quote, "to express our dissatisfaction with the long and the slow and inadequate pace of our current round of collective bargaining negotiations," end quote. The letter ends by demanding two things: payment of the three percent salary adjustment, and urgent negotiation of what is known as Proposal #22 - which relates to service benefits of non-teaching staff. So then is it all about the "three percent" after all? We say that because for weeks, we've been hearing only about the 8 governance proposals. President Palacio says it's always been about the 3:... Luke Palacio, President - BNTU

Unions Pledge Verbal Support
A number of unions have sent out statements of solidarity with the BNTU. They include the Christian Workers Union and the Belize Workers Union from BSI. The Christian Workers has called on its members to wear green ribbons throughout this work week. The Belize Workers Union says, quote, "The BQWU stands in solidarity to move the cause to the next level." Neither union has committed its members to industrial action.

Police Patrols Stymie Port Troublemakers
But stevedore Raymond Rivers kind of sent out his own informal release last week when he said that the port would be shut down. And this weekend a little bird told the media that we should be out on Caesar Ridge Road at the entrance to the Port at 5:00 am for some direct industrial action. All the major media houses showed up to see….nothing much. It was just business as usual at the port - with quite a few police patrols in rotation. Today, the Southside commander told us that they have to be on guard against opportunists trying to use the teachers' cause to start trouble:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "There are other who might be opportunist. Are you all also concern about those people trying to use the teachers cause to start trouble?"

Matthew Gets Ready To Maul Haiti and Jamaica
And we turn now from the political storm brewing in Belize, to a real storm, a bad one that's bearing down on Haiti and Jamaica tonight. Hurricane Matthew, is a dangerous Category 4 storm which is expected to have a devastating impact on those island nations. Matthew is expected to dump as much as 40 inches of rain in some areas of Haiti, and around 20 inches in most of Jamaica. Thousands have already been evacuated in both countries over the weekend. Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall late tonight and move up into Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida by the end of the week.

Love Triangle Leads To Murder In OW
There was a broad daylight murder in Orange Walk Town yesterday afternoon. It happened after midday in the Louisiana area. 30 year-old Bladis Gonzalez was stabbed to death at of his home, which is located at the corner of Zericote Street and Palmar Road. He was inside his house with his brother-in-law when his attacker came looking for him. They got into a confrontation which quickly escalated into an altercation. Gonzalez tried to escape, but the knife wielding man hunted him down and stabbed him to death. The man reportedly came to question Gonzalez about a relationship he'd had with the attacker's wife. Our colleagues from CTV3 News spoke to Orange Walk Police Inspector Jose Mendez, and he shared a few of the details that the investigators have managed to unearth so far:

Morning Shooting In San Pedro Laves Man Critical
There was also a shooting this morning on San Pedro Town. The victim is 38 year-old Wayne Allen. The police investigation is that at around 12:40 a.m., he was at home with his common-law wife. They heard a knock at the door, and when Allen opened it, someone immediately opened fire on him. He was injured twice in the face, and tonight, he is in a critical condition at the KHMH. Police say that it is too early in their investigation is to say what leads they will be looking into, especially because Allen is unable to assist them. They did tell us that he was someone known to San Pedro police.

Pirates force Fishers To Jump In Sea, Man Disappears
A fisherman is missing at sea after his group was held up by pirates. Last Friday, returning from full day of fishing, three men were attacked by pirates who were after their catch. This reportedly happened in the waters off Dangriga. The three men immediately jumped into the water in an attempt to escape. Two of the three men were later found, but as Hampton Gamboa from the Fisheries Department told us, the third man is unaccounted for: Hampton Gamboa - Conservation and Compliance Unit Supervisor, Fisheries Department: "In the whole altercation it was believed that there were three fishers and only two of them, so far, we have communicated. Those two have indicated to us that they have no idea what happened to the third person that was with them." The Coast Guard is leading the investigation but we could not get a comment form them.

Mexican Navy Proves Its Partnership
Welcome back...picking up where we left off, we were telling you about the Mexican Naval Vessel, called the "Independencia", which was docked in Belize City as part of the celebration for Belize's and Mexico's 35th year of diplomatic relations. But before the celebrations started, the Mexican Navy showed their commitment to the relationship by saving a Belizean man who was drowning off the coast. According to the report, the crew of the "Independencia" spotted a person in the water making distress signals. Rescue swimmers immediately went to his aid and hauled him on board where he was given emergency medical treatment. The Belizean man's small boat had apparently capsized, throwing him overboard. He was later handed safely over to the Coast Guard.

GSU Gets Gun After Shooting
On Saturday the GSU was called to the Antelope Street Extension area where shots had allegedly been fired. According to reports, two men fired shots, but no one was injured. The GSU then searched the surrounding area and found a loaded 9mm Glock 17 pistol in a nearby drain. There were no suspects nearby, and the firearm was labeled as "found property".

Getting A Jump On Conch Season Proves Costly
Every year, Belizean consumers wait patiently for conch season to arrive, and so do the fishermen. While the majority of the men and women who make their living through fishing respect the conch season, some try to get an illegal head start. Last Friday, the day before the season started, the Fisheries Department and Coast Guard confiscated 455 individual conchs from three fishermen near the Lighthouse Reef. We spoke with Supervisor of the Conservation and Compliance Unit about this practice of pinching conch before the season starts. Hampton Gamboa - Conservation and Compliance Unit Supervisor, Fisheries Department: "Joint patrol between the Belize Audubon Society, out at lighthouse reef, Fisheries department and the BZ Coast Guard, vetted this catch, came across this catch, about 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock there about, at lighthouse reef on the 30th of September. The day before, conch opened..."

More Guats In Chiquibul
Belizean law enforcement officers caught 3 more Guatemalans illegally farming inside the Chiquibul on Belizean territory. They were discovered by a joint patrol, which consisted of personnel from the BDF, the police, and rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development. The officers visited an area known as Caballo Camp half a kilometer east of the Belize/Guatemala border. That's where they found 1 man chopping, while two others were fumigating with hand pumps. They were identified as 54 year-old Felipe Ramirez Diaz, 20 year-old Mario Arturo Ramirez, and a 17 year-old minor, who are all from the village of La Cebada, which is in Melchor. While searching the men, the Belizean law enforcement team found a .45 automatic handgun, with a magazine containing 7 live rounds.

WhatsApp With Those Cops?
Our next story is about community policing, but not the kind we usually see on the news. This one is about making police more responsive to and engaged with the community. Police in Belize Rural have found arresting ways to use Whatsapp for more than just idle chatter. Daniel Ortiz found out more:... So, since they are so much into technology, would rural police consider wearing body cameras? That's the kind used by police in developed countries where everything the officer does is caught on camera. The Rural Police Commander told us that he would see it as a progressive step to police transparency:

A Singular Victory For Volleyball
The FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship Qualification Tournament came to a close last Friday at the SCA Multi-Purpose Center. In its final match, Team Belize faced off against Honduras, but in this game the stakes were high. If Belize lost, they would have only earned enough points to place fourth in the tournament, but a win meant that a Belizean team would take to the podium for the medal ceremony for the first time in sixteen years. Alex Courtenay reporting Coming off a day of rest, Belize started off its match against Honduras strong. With a commanding offense, the home team managed to gain an early lead and stay there. From the start, Team Belize showed its intensity, never missing an opportunity to send powerful spikes down at their opponents. Though they put up a fight, Team Belize managed to break through the Honduran defense and take the first set.

Chamber Chides Church Senator
In Friday's news, we had extensive coverage of the Senate Meeting where all sides hammered out the terms for Senate Select Committee to investigate the Auditor General's Reports on the Immigration Department. But, just because it reached a conclusion, that doesn't mean everyone's happy about it. On Friday evening, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry released a statement to voice its discontent. That statement says, quote, "We will review our options in light of the terms and composition of the Special Select Committee further to the motion passed today... Any special select committee which is shackled by terms such as those in the motion passed today or with the limitations indicated by the terms of reference is unacceptable, and extremely concerning. The PUP has also sent out a press release scolding the Government for using their majority to get the Church Senator's motion to pass.

Tending To Bartending
Most adults know the basics of mixing a drink like rum and coke or a screwdriver. But, there is so much more to mixing drinks than you probably know and that is what owner of Belize Institute of Mixology Luis Velasquez is trying to teach aspiring bartenders through his hands on courses. The training was split in two: the beginners session which was held for 3 days and then there was the 7 week advanced bartender training which concluded today at Spoonaz. We dropped by to see what fancy drinks they were serving up. There were 15 participants in the advanced training. As you heard Velasquez also helps these participants get a job after the training.

Hail The Heroes
OCEANA's Ocean Hero award celebrates the accomplishments of individuals involved in ocean conservation, advocacy and education. Today, two Belizeans, Janet Gibson, and Wil Maheia, were named the 2016 Ocean Heroes. Gibson, a marine biologist, has spent the last forty years revolutionizing Belize's marine conservation and resource management strategies. She played a large part in getting the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Glover's Reef Atoll recognized as protected areas. Wil Maheia is the founder of the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment. He and his organization advocate against the use of hazardous fishing equipment like gill nets and promote alternate livelihoods like fly fishing. Gibson and Maheia join six other Belizean activists as Ocean Heroes.

CFZ Gets Upgrade
The Corozal Free Zone is a popular shopping destination for many Belizeans and Mexicans. But, it still has to compete with the mall, Sam's Club and Walmart in Chetumal, which is why a money has been pledged to spruce it up a bit. Today the Corozal Free Zone signed a contract to invest $2.5 million in the renovation of its infrastructure. The project, designed by Young's Engineering Consultancy Ltd, will add sidewalks, roundabouts, storm drains, pedestrian ramps and other important traffic structures to the area. Belize Roadway Construction Limited is making the renovations. The project's funds were acquired from the Government, the Corozal Free Zone administration and other investors. Work is expected to last six months.

Re: Today's Belize News: October 4, 2016 [Re: Marty] #518000
10/04/16 06:10 AM
10/04/16 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,560
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

Who Set Tires on Fire on BelCan Bridge?
This evening, a scene eerily reminiscent of the worst of the 2005 riots greeted rush hour drivers. Perhaps the most important traffic route in all of Belize City, the BelCan [...]

Teachers Announce Second Day of Strike Action
But the big announcement came this afternoon from B.N.T.U. National President Luke Palacio after a meeting at the union headquarters. Across the country, the B.N.T.U. teachers stayed away from the [...]

City’s Schools Are Ghost Towns on First Day of Strike
As we said, a majority of Belize’s teachers were out of school today, in support of the strike by their union. It is a result of the Belize National Teachers’ [...]

B.N.T.U. Claims Massive Success with Strike
During today’s meeting in Belize City, B.N.T.U. executive secretary Keisha Young read out the details of how many absences and school closures there were – and there were a lot [...]

U.D.P. Minister Faults Teachers for Stepping Out of Boundaries after Executive Meeting
The ruling United Democratic Party’s National Party Council met Saturday in a regular session at the party’s headquarters at Youth for the Future Drive in Belize City. This quarterly meeting [...]

Police Move to Protect B.N.T.U. Leaders – But They Thought It Was Intimidation
Our first interview with B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio took place this morning, just before nine a.m., as he and B.N.T.U. executive secretary Keisha Young left from an appearance on the [...]

Love Triangle in Orange Walk Claims Life
In Orange Walk Town, tragedy struck a family when one of their own was fatally stabbed on the abdomen and chest on Sunday. Thirty-year-old Bladis Gonzalez who had just moved [...]

Belmopan Educators Stay Out of School in Big Numbers
B.N.T.U. Belmopan Branch says today’s strike was a success. The teachers who didn’t go to school converged in the Capital where the eight demands by the union were ventilated by [...]

Orange Walk’s Students Join Their Teachers to Protest
Regional branches of the B.N.T.U. met simultaneously to discuss the way forward which resulted in an endorsement of day-two of strike action. In the north, where the B.N.T.U. is strong [...]

Catholic Confusion is Really Intimidation, says B.N.T.U.
But the strike action has not been without its hurdles. The Catholic Public Schools suffered an apparent communication breakdown last week. It started after infirm Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright, at [...]

Teachers Welcome Chamber of Commerce Support
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has issued a statement of support for the B.N.T.U. following a meeting between their respective leaderships on Friday. The Chamber reiterated its support [...]

P.U.P. Still Insists on Balanced Senate Special Select Committee
A Senate Select Committee was established last Friday; it includes only one member from the People’s United Party. Today, the Opposition called for a reconstitution of the Committee and advanced [...]

Junior Finance Minister Dr. Carla Barnett Maintains Belize’s Economy Will Recover
Minister of State for Finance; former Financial Secretary, and former vice-president at the Caribbean Development Bank, Doctor Carla Barnett, addressed reporters on Friday on the current state of the economy. [...]

Instead of Raising Taxes, Government Wants to Collect More Money
Speaking more specifically on raising taxes, Doctor Barnett reiterated that the Government’s efforts are presently aimed at increasing the level of outstanding taxes it collects and closing loopholes in the [...]

Rural Eastern Division police establish non-emergency phone service
Turning to the fight against crime…the Rural Eastern Division launched a non-emergency number for the public in that division. The police hope that the number will make it easier for [...]

Corozal Fishermen Busted for Catching Conch Out of Season
The conch season officially opened on Saturday, but even before then, on Friday, a joint patrol of Belize Audubon Society, Fisheries Department and the Belize National Coast Guard officers out [...]

OCEANA Questions Department of Environment Over Petroleum Work
Last Wednesday, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum sent out a release stating that along with the Geology Department, it will be conducting a multi-beam and sea seep survey [...]

Football, Volleyball and Softball News on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Undefeated FC Belize took on a surging BDF team yesterday as the Premier League of Belize season heats up. [...]


Teachers Will Go Second Day Of Strike
As scheduled the Belize National Teachers Union, (BNTU), undertook strike action across the country of Belize in their demand for better governance in our nation. Even before today’s industrial action the BNTU were urging parents to stand in solidarity with them and to refrain from sending their children to school. So, did parents adhere to BNTU’s plea? What we can tell you is that here in Orange Walk over 90 percent of the school population were closed as over four hundred teachers partook in today’s strike. San Francisco Primary School was closed, La Imaculada Primary School closed, Saint Peters Anglican School closed, Muffles High School closed, Orange Walk Technical High School had the presence of 11 teachers, New Hope High School had a low staff and student body, Louisiana Government School remained opened but the student body was low. Of the six primary schools in town only one remained open today and of the four high schools only two remained open but had a minimal population of teachers and students present.

Widespread Support for BNTU Strike
A majority of schools closed their gates and classroom doors today as teachers participated in a national strike called by the Belize National Teachers Union today. We visited various primary and high schools today and only found a few operational. In Corozal Town, the gates at Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School were padlocked and no one was present. There was no activity at St. Francis Xavier Primary. Corozal Methodist Primary was open, but classrooms were locked up. Mary Hill RC was closed and while the office at Church of Christ Primary School was open, classrooms weren’t. The high schools were not so different. Corozal Community College and Corozal Junior College had no activity as classrooms remained closed. Outside the town, we found Belize Adventist College in Calcutta Village fully operational. Next door, at Calcutta Primary School, the school children were required to attend despite the national strike. The message was received loud and clear at Xaibe Village where the school building were closed. We found Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico open. We understood some students arrived for school, but there were just a handful of teachers in attendance, so the student were kept inside their conference hall.

Teachers Not Backing Down Despite Intimidation
Even as the Belize National Teachers Union remains firm in their plan for industrial action, some may consider the announcement made by the Deputy Prime Minster last week, concerning the singing of a Statutory Instrument in order to replace teachers that are on strike continues to play an important role in GOB’s intimidation tactics against the teachers. During an interview today with National President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, he dispelled such presumptions and reiterated BNTU’s plan to remain steadfast in their demands. Luke Palacio – President Belize National Teachers Union: “The SI would not less the effectiveness of the BNTU strike because we are resolved in what we are doing we need to start to understand and get this nation to get it clear that let us stop having a government that can decide when and how Belizeans will behave simply with the stroke of a pen...”

O/W Mayor Offers Motivational Speech For Students In Support Of Teachers
Immediately following their protest at the MJC school grounds a number of the students made their way to the Orange Walk Central Park where they continued their peaceful protest in solidarity of the teachers. Showing his support for the students this morning was Mayor of Orange Walk, Kevin Bernard who offered a few words of encouragement for the students. Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council: “You are all right thinking people, look at things openly, objectively not politically but look at things objectively and you make your decision on what you believe is wrong and what is right. You are the future of our country..”

CWU In Support For Teachers
The Belize Workers Union, The Belize Chamber of Commerce, COLA and even the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association these are just some of the unions and entities that are in support of the Belize National Teachers Union movement for good governance. But while the teachers are on the move, so is government doing everything in their power to keep schools open. To do this they are relying on the singing of a Statutory Instrument in order to replace teachers that are on strike and there are also reports of intimidation and in some cases pay offs.


Belcan Barricaded with Burning Tires
That is what came out of the branch meetings that were held across the country today. We’ll get to that in just a few but first we go to the chaos that ensued on Belcan Bridge in Belize City. Tires were set on fire across the bridge causing traffic to be blocked. Fire fighters responded […]

BNTU Extends Industrial Action for Another Day
National President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, announced this afternoon that teachers will strike again tomorrow. The decision was made after teachers met with their respective branch members today. The BNTU is placing a massive amount of pressure on the Government as they reiterate their eight demands in regards to good governance. […]

Division Inside the Catholic Diocese
When we spoke to the President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, we asked him about what seems to be a division within the Roman Catholic Diocese when it came to the issue. As you may recall a press release issued out of the Office of the Roman Catholic Bishop expressed solidarity with […]

PUP Wants Reconstitution of Special Select Committee
The main opposition party, People’s United Party is now calling for an independent and impartial committee to launch an investigation into the illegalities reported in the Auditor General’s Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department for the period 2011- 2013. The Senate inquiry is to conduct this investigation but the PUP is now asking […]

Government Undergoes Process to Sign UN Convention on Anti-Corruption
One of the eight demands being made by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is the signing onto the United Nations Convention on Anti-corruption. Love News spoke with Dr Carla Barnett who is also a supporter of the convention. Dr Barnett is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; she spoke of the […]

Labor Union’s Playing Belize’s Savior, Says FM
The United Democratic Party held its National Party Council meeting this past Saturday to discuss its party matters as well as issues of national importance. The impasse between the Government and the Belize National Teachers’ Union was discussed as Prime Minister’s explained the situation to his UDP Ministers. One of those ministers who formed part […]

Robert Locke on the Lam Following Weekend Murder
Orange Walk Police are on the lookout for a man described to be of Creole descent and goes by the name, Robert Locke of a Chula Vista address in Corozal Town. Locke is wanted for the Sunday murder of Bladis Gonzalez which occurred on Zericote Street on Sunday around midday. The victim reportedly bore eight […]

Search Is On for Local Fisherman Following Robbery at Sea
A robbery carried out by pirates has left three fishermen in shock following the incident on Friday evening in the area of Columbus Caye, just off the coast of Dangriga. The fishermen were approached by an unknown vessel and were beaten and robbed of all their marine produce they had amassed. It has been reported […]

Busted with Conch Hours Before Season Starts
Three fishermen from Copper Bank Village, Corozal District were intercepted with illegal conch one day before opening of the season. The fishermen were caught north of the Blue Hole around Lighthouse Reef. Conservation Compliance Unit Supervisor at the Fisheries Department, Hampton Gamboa spoke on the incident. HAMPTON GAMBOA “Joint patrol between the Belize Audubon Society […]

Heroes of the Ocean Named for 2016
Over the past six years, Oceana in Belize has been recognizing several Belizeans for their contributions to the sustainable management and protection of our marine environment. On Saturday night, at a ceremony held at the Mexican Institute in Belize City, Oceana recognized two Belizeans as Ocean Heroes 2016 for their selfless commitment to Belize’s marine […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fisherman missing at sea; Coast Guard searching for him
BBN has received reports that a fisherman is missing at sea. According to reports, three fishermen were returning home on Friday, September 30, 2016 after a full day of fishing at sea when they were attacked by pirates who were in an unknown vessel. […]

Ministry of Education sets the record straight
Today, the Ministry of Education sent out a release to ‘set the record straight’. The two page document explains a timeline of meetings with the BNTU and government regarding their demands to the government.’ It begins by stating “The Ministry categorically states that BNTU Proposal […]

Cayo District Youth Council stand in solidarity with BNTU
The Cayo District youth council sent out a release expressing its support for the Belize National Teachers Union. The release states that they recognize that teachers play a major role in educating the youth of a nation. They listed out the many challenges teachers […]

Teachers to extend strike by another day
About 150 teachers gathered at the Octavia Waight Center for today’s meeting of striking teachers from the BNTU San Ignacio branch. Guest speakers for the occasion included Hector Silva and Louis Wade. Teachers from the San Ignacio jurisdiction voted ‘en masse’ for the strike […]

Fire on Belcan Bridge in Belize City
Reports reaching our newsroom are that there is a fire on the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. According to reports, a bunch of tires were assembled and lit on the bridge right at the beginning of rush hour blocking the bridge on both sides. […]

Why 2016 is not 2005?
While there are some who for selfish reasons would like history to repeat itself, the mood that existed in 2005 cannot be replicated in 2016, and the reasons are simple. First of all, Dean Barrow is NOT Said Musa, and the UDP is […]

Mayor of Orange Walk supports BNTU
The Mayor of Orange Walk town has issued a press release today expressing continued support for the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). The mayor says that “these courageous men and women have taken up a noble fight against corruption, demanding good governance – a stance […]

Chester Williams responds to Police deployment on Patridge Street
Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams posted on social media that the police are not hindering the teachers from exercising their rights. He says that the police officers posted at the different locations including those at Patridge street are there to ensure the […]

Police deployed to Kremandala building to remove BTNU officers
It is being reported that police officers were deployed to Kremandala building on Partridge Street to remove BNTU officers and supporters from the WUB Morning Show. Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream Talk Show host Mose Hyde has said that GOB’s action is cynical […]


Huge News Trader Joes in San Pedro
You can imagine my excitement when my friend Leisa was taking her husband Cowboy Doug and I to lunch and she happened to mention that our mutual friend and local business owner, Shawn Keating had opened up a new store called Island Depot and they were selling Trader Joes products. When I got to the store Nita (Shawn’s Wife) happened to be there and she was happy to tell me more. Shawn (owns well known Mechanic Shop on the island) will occasionally be going back to the states and they will be doing custom orders for Trader Joes. His next trip will be closer to Christmas. In addition to Trader Joes, Island Depot also sells some other good stuff. There are 3 different producers of met that I have enjoyed beef from in Belize and Reinland meats is one of them. All their products are great and I was happy to see such a large selection in the freezer.

Banana Cream Pie

A spook-tacular Halloween experience in Ambergris Caye!
October and Halloween are like peanut butter and jelly – you can’t think about one without the other. We welcome October with open arms. The red white and blue September Celebrations décor has come down, and are now replaced with ghoulish accessories – at least here on Ambergris Caye they are! This island takes Halloween seriously, celebrating the day of All Hallows Eve with some of the best parties in Belize. Every year, the parties thrown for Halloween grow more and more extravagant, with none more than The Holiday Hotel Halloween Party. Every year, hundreds of islanders sport their best costumes in hopes of winning over the judges and ultimately scoring cash prizes, cool give always and best of all – BRAGGING RIGHTS! The parties are not limited to just the adults – pets and children can have fun too; Saga Humane Society hosts an annual Halloween Costume Competition for pets, while several organizations hold Trick or Treat parties for the kids in various neighborhoods around town.

Belize launches Caribbean’s latest Internet Exchange Point
The Belize Public Utilities Commission announced that Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City on April 27 at the campus of the University of Belize. The launch was the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between Belizean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the highly competitive local telecommunication sector. The Belize Public Utilities Commission, the national regulator, facilitated the process, with support from regional and international agencies. An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure through which ISPs exchange traffic between their networks. Many ISPs in the Caribbean pass the data through faraway networks in the United States or Europe, before rerouting to their consumers in their own country.

What a typical Friday night out looks like in Placencia, Belize!
We got a bit of a later start Friday night due to our construction, but the typical place many people start their night out at is at Yoli's. Yoli's is kind of tough to find, but well worth it once you do! It is a quintessential Palapa Bar over the water, and they have a live fun Jimmy Buffett-style band called the Lost Reefers there, starting at 3 or 4 on Fridays. We got there about 7 and had some quick fun: Then we walked over to Mojo's, just a quick walk. Again we missed "happy hour and a half" which is 5-6:30. They also had fun live music on their little balcony, which is great for people watching..... Next we went to Pickled Parrot. Eugene and Lynn can always be found having a good time, and their bar is as fun Caribbean as it gets....

Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for September 2016
September definitely lived up to all the hype that it garnered throughout the beginning of 2016, with various activities and festivities being celebrated across the country of Belize all month long. Travelers and locals alike, made their way to various destinations across the country to not only dine, imbibe, and socialize, but to also be a part of the Belize Celebrations experience. Whether you were attending the Queen of the Bay or Ms. Belize Universe Pageant, the Flag Raising Ceremony, the Fire Engine Parade, J’ouvert or Carnival Road March just to name a few, there was sure to be an event that captured your interest and enthusiasm. With so many spectacular travel related posts on Instagram featuring Belize this past month, it was definitely no easy task choosing our favourites. From the thousands of travel photos and videos that were taken, we have chosen several that we believe truly highlight spending September in Belize! Here's our list of the Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for September 2016:

International Sourcesizz

Eyeglasses no longer allowed in US passport, visa photos
THE UNITED STATES Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) advises that, effective November 1, 2016, applicants for US passports and visas must remove their eyeglasses for US passport and visa photos. The US Department of State is implementing this policy to enhance the security of the application process and improve officers’ ability to quickly verify the identity of applicants. Applicants may wear eyeglasses for US passport and US visa photos if they have a medical issue, such as a recent surgery, and require eyeglasses to protect their eyes. If applicants must wear eyeglasses for medical reasons, they will need to submit a signed statement with their application from a medical professional or health practitioner, such as a surgeon or ophthalmologist.

Punta Gorda, Toledo District, Belize
"As soon as you enter the lush leafy gardens of BlueBelize, you feel you’re in another world. Smiling staff, Caribbean sea views and colourful birds fluttering among the tropical trees and shrubs give this laidback Punta Gorda guesthouse a feeling of calm and tranquillity." On a quiet seafront road, BlueBelize is a 10-minute walk into Punta Gorda or PG, the southernmost town in Belize’s remote Toledo district, with several locally run restaurants, bars and craft shops. On the highest coastal land in Belize overlooking the Caribbean Sea and westwards to Guatemala, it’s a six-hour drive from Belize City along the scenic Hummingbird Highway. Attractions include the cayes and reefs off the coast, Eladio Pop’s cocoa farm, and inland Mayan sites of Lubaantun, Nim Li Punit and Uxbenká, 40 minutes to an hour away.

Junior Finance Minister Dr. Carla Barnett Maintains Belize’s Economy Will Recover
Oct 3, 2016 Minister of State for Finance; former Financial Secretary, and former vice-president at the Caribbean Development Bank, Doctor Carla Barnett, addressed reporters on Friday on the current state of the economy. The country has just completed its Article IV consultation with the International Monetary Fund , which continues to call for cuts to the wage bill, increases in taxes and other measures. The Dean Barrow administration has refused to follow the prescriptions of the I.M.F., and while Doctor Barnett explicitly said she would not commit to any specific measures, she did insist the Government has the ability and competency to correct the economy’s current course. That includes a “halftime report” on the state of the budget, which was read in March. Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State, Finance “I am not at all committing myself to any specific fiscal measure at this time.

John McAfee's strange tale gets darker in documentary
The last time I saw John McAfee, in early 2015, he was crawling on the pavement of a motel parking lot in Birmingham, Ala., at 6 a.m., straining in vain to show me where a suspicious device had been affixed to his SUV. The reasoning: the Central American hit squad he was convinced was plotting to assassinate him had resorted to a bomb after failing to gun him down the previous year. An increasingly agitated McAfee explained — again — the turn of events that led to his pavement-crawling pose. "Yes, I believe the device was an explosive meant to do me great harm," he said then. Strange? Yes. Riveting? No question. McAfee's fantastical stories, which separate truth from illusion by a razor's edge, is part of his carnival barker-like appeal. But relatively speaking, this was a benign version of McAfee, cultivated by him the past few years as he's started a business incubator and given talks at tech conferences. A new Showtime Documentary Film, which premiered Sept. 24, offers a much-darker vision, with bombshell charges of murders, rape and gang violence.

ECLAC delivers 'strong answer' to budgeting process needs of Caribbean public administrations
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has provided a “strong answer” to what senior public officials across the Caribbean have been searching for in order to improve the budgeting process of public administrations, according to the participants of a week-long regional training workshop that provided officials with robust tools and techniques necessary for more effective management of public finances. Held at ECLAC Caribbean’s sub regional headquarters in Port of Spain, from 19 to 23 September, the workshop focused on forecasting and fiscal transparency in the conduct of public expenditure reviews (PERs). PERs are intended to align public sector expenditure with the priorities of national governments.

The Mexican Ministry of the Navy reports that on the morning of the date above, naval personnel aboard the ship ARM "BICENTENNIAL OF THE INDEPENDENCE" (PO-163) rescued a male individual who was at risk drowning on the coast of Belize. This action took place when personnel of the Mexican Navy (watchmen on duty on deck), sailing off coast of Belize, spotted an individual floating on the water and making distress signals, which was thus followed by the "man overboard" notice and the order for rescue swimmers to safeguard the life of the aforementioned person. Once the person was retrieved from the water, medical personnel aboard the PO-163 provided assistance to the individual who said he was a Belizean national and that his boat had capsized before sinking.


  • The quickest way to get to Arenal from Guatemala City, 1.5min. Take the flight of the city of Guatemala and continue their journey for more than 100 km by car, minibus or bus

  • Arrival of our Newly Crowned Queen, Vivian Noralez, Miss Petite Teen Earth!, 9min.

  • Belize Hurricane 2016, 4min.

  • Ocean Hero 2016 - Janet Gibson, 11min.

  • Michelle Nunez returns from 2016 Miss America Latina Del Mundo Pageant., 1min. This is how San Pedranos received Michelle Nunez who represented Belize at the 2016 Miss America Latina Del Mundo Pageant. During the pageant she took the title of Most Original Costume as well as fourth runner up to the 2016 Miss America Latina Del Mundo Title! Congrats Michelle on a job well done!

  • Belize underwater shark, 1.5min.

  • Nuri Muhammad & Belize Islamic History!, 40min.

  • Two Water Spouts at Sea` San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, 1min. Water Spout....a rotating column of water and spray formed by a whirlwind occurring over the sea or other body of water. TWO WATER SPOUTS together today on our way to the Blue Hole...and a third formed at the Blue Hole while on our dive.....Crazy Weather Day at sea.

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