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#521459 - 02/08/17 01:00 AM Today's Belize News: February 8, 2017  
Joined: Oct 1999
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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, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

SPTC’s Co-ed Softball Tournament continues
The San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Co-ed Softball Tournament continued on Sunday, February 5th at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Complex. The second string of games saw Quality Reef, Rusties, San Pedro High School (SPHS), Atlantic Bank, Tuff E Nuff, and Extreme competing against each other. Softball fans represented, cheering and applauding their favorite teams. After three matches, the top teams were Quality Reef, Extreme, and SPHS. The tournament began at 9:30AM with Quality Reef and Rusties playing in the first round. Both teams were off to a good start, but Quality Reef dominated, emerging victorious with a final score of 13-4. In the following game, Extreme faced Atlantic Bank. Extreme wasn’t shy in showing off their skills on the field, and they easily won 13-3 over Atlantic Bank. The last match for the day was between Tuff E Enuff and SPHS. SPHS brought pressure from the start, and unfortunately, Tuff E Nuff didn’t have a comeback, letting SPHS win 12-4.

Charles Worthington is Grand Master of Estel’s 6th Annual BBQ Cook-off Tournament
Estel’s 6th Annual BBQ Cook-off Tournament attracted hundreds to taste the most finger-licking BBQ on the island. Held on Saturday, February 4th, this year’s event featured eight grill masters: Jim Gochenouer, Amy Knox, Charles Worthington, Alli Rush, Chris Aycock, Jennie Staines, Kevin Urbina, and Rick Saager. With more than 200 tickets sold, the crowd eagerly awaited tender ribs and brisket smoked over fires, along with Estel’s famous baked beans, coleslaw and handmade flour tortillas. The tournament also offered beer and drink specials, and guests could vote for their top three favorite ribs in the ‘People’s Choice’ category. After much deliberation, the awards for People’s Choice were announced. Coming in third place was Alli Rush, while Charles Worthington took second place. Jim Gochenour swept first place, gaining the trophy and medal for People’s Choice. The top three prizes for the 2017 Grandmaster (Judge’s Choice) awards followed. Amy Knox took third place, while Jim Gochenour graciously accepted his second award of the day. To the sound of drum roll, MC Barrington announced the 2017 winner: none other than, Charles Worthington Jr. himself!

Tiger Sharks remain undefeated with another win
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks are currently the only undefeated team in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2017 Tournament, after their win over Belmopan Bandits on Saturday, February 4th. With a final score of 81-55, the island team claimed their fourth victory this past weekend, showing their tenacity as they aim for their third championship in the League. Tiger Sharks’ George Williams led the game with 32 points, six assists, and three rebounds. While, Ashton Edwards finished the game with 13 points, and Raul Roaches tallied 11 points and eight rebounds. Rassi Jenkins contributed with eight points and nine rebounds, and, Kurt Burgess ended the game with six points and doing 11 rebounds.

Ambergris Today

$1,500 Donated to Hope Heaven, San Pedro's First Childrens Home
On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, representatives of Ambergris Caye’s first upcoming children’s home were presented with a gift certificate worth $1,500 in order to supply the facility with necessary equipment upon its launch. Brittney O’Daniel of Raise Me Up and San Pedro Lions Club, Kaitlin McWhorter of Raise Me Up and Britney Travis of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) gladly accepted the donation, provided by Banyan Bay Resorts (Banyan Bay Suites & Grand Colony Island Villas). The $1,500 gift certificate was part of a giveaway promotion by The Angelus Press, a retail, printing and publishing store that is geared at providing office and school essentials, located in Belize City. Banyan Bay Suites was the winner of the “Pretty Papers” sweepstakes. Shortly after their winning, news about the ground-breaking work on the shelter was announced, and Raise Me Up board members were promptly contacted by Banyan Bay Suites.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Hon. Edmond Castro Tours Port of Big Creek and Boat Transportation Facilities in Independence Village
Hon. Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Mrs. Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Ms. Jessica Godoy, Hon. Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence. The Minister and his team were then taken on a tour of the Port of Big Creek, led by General Manager Mr. Gustavo Carrillo and Operations Manager Mr. Aldus Forman.

PACT/MCCAP advert - National Fisheries Policy & Strategic Plan

Caye Caulker Humane Society Valentines Dog Wash
Caye Caulker Humane Society Valentines Dog Wash this Saturday on the Beach in front of Caye Reef condos! Doggy shampoo plus monthly flea and tick prevention meds for $5!! Come out and see us and a bunch of cute dogs! NO REGULAR SATURDAY MORNING CLINIC THAT DAY! See you on the beach!

Mixed Martial Arts Seminar
On February 17 & 18, we'll be hosting an MMA Seminar with UFC fighter, Nate "The Great" Marquardt. Nate is a current ranked UFC middlewieght, former strikeforce and pancrase champion. He will be teaching MMA techniques ... so this is a must for anyone interested in MMA. Everyone is welcome.

Driver loses his oranges and his truck
Driver loses his oranges and his truck during the morning mist at mile 63 on the George Price Highway. This is not the first time a truck has crashed with its load of oranges on that highway.

Belize Boledo and Lottery EXPOSED!
By Richard Harrison: Boledo and Lottery are games of chance where the player buys tickets with numbers and get to win multiples of the price of each ticket. Boledo is played daily, while the Lottery is played on Sundays, mostly by poor people hoping to collect gold at the end of the rainbow. These games are owned by the Government of Belize, but they license it out to a private operator, linked to the political party in power. There has been two operators since Independence, and both of them Chinese. The first was there for decades, and was said to be linked to senior persons in the PUP and the second operator was licensed shortly after the UDP came to power in 2008 and is said to be associated with a well-placed political figure of the ruling UDP. The PUP government used to collect $1 million per year for this license and when the UDP government changed the license to its own favorite, they said they were doing this in the best interest of Belize and raised the license to $2 million per year (a whopping 100% increase in benefits for the people of Belize they argued).

UNINOVA is the newest univeristy in Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Attention to all our friends in Corozal! UNINOVA is the newest univeristy in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. We are offering up to 40% discount for early bird registration until April 30th, 2017. Take advanage of our various modules by clicking the following link https://www.universidaduninova.mx Classes will begin on September 4th, 2017 and will run during the week and Saturdays. Please visit our campus at Avenida Constituyentes del 74 con Antigua or call us at 9831642986 and ask us on how to take advantage of our full benefits!

Los Mascarados
Los Mascarados, a key component of Juan Carnaval. The tradition is a group of men in different disguises would march through the streets of the community at night, dragging chains behind them. They were dressed as old men, witches, demons, folklore creatures, as well as a priest and a devil.The devil would go about teasing people, especially little children and only the priest could chase him away. The purpose of this event was to have some good natured fun, usually at the expense of terrified children. Parents often demanded good behavior from their children by threatening them with the Los Mascarados. The purpose of this event was mainly to have some good natured fun, usually at the expense of terrified children. Parents often demanded good behaviour from their children by threatening them with los Mascarados. The past few years Corozal Town has seen a revival of this cultural celebration through the efforts the House of Culture and the community. Witness Los Mascarados and other components of Carnaval at the Corozal House of Culture's 5th anniversary Grand Cultural Presentation, Friday February 24th.

Western Ballaz Host No Limit
The Western Ballaz host the No Limit this Saturday, February 11th. Richard Troyer is returning! Come out to the SHC auditorium and cheer them to victory. "A big thank you to all our fans who traveled with us to Belize City in Friday as we played against Smart Belize Hurricanes. We really appreciate your support and love. Our next game will be at home this Saturday. Come out and support your boys as they go up against No Limit at 9 p.m. Go Ballaz!!!!"

We are Belize! at Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2017
Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the Caribbean's largest and most important marketing event was held in Nassau Bahamas on February 2, and 3, 2017. This renowned event allows two intense days of business meetings, where regional tourism suppliers meet with wholesalers from around the world that sell Caribbean vacation travel or plan to sell the region. The Belize Hotel Association, represented by President Leisa Carr-Caceres and Marketing Director, Tessie Duran Tonaco, networked and liaised with several international travel agents, service providers and media personnel, who were highly interested in promoting Belize as a vacation destination to their clients. During the week preceding the event, the BHA actively participated in the CSHAE , CHTA meetings and roundtable sessions along with other Hotel Association Executives, CHTA, and key players in the tourism industry from all around the Caribbean . These five days of intense discussions focused on trends that were impacting the tourism industry in the region and devising strategies to enhance market visibility for the Caribbean and also to mitigate any threats that may be impacting the region as a whole.

BHA excitement at the New York Times Travel Show
The Belize Hotel Association created a stir of un-Belize-able excitement at the 14th annual New York Times Travel Show last weekend January 27-29, 2017. Board Members Barbara Hall and Board 2nd VP Julie Kee, kept visitors to our BHA booth well informed about our country and its countless attractions and activities. This of course, piqued their interest in planning a vacation to Belize in the very near future. Attendance at the Travel Show reached a new record of 30,099 which is the highest attendance in the Show's history. Attendance included 9,253 travel trade and 20,846 consumer attendees. The number of exhibiting companies also hit a new record with 560 companies representing over 170 countries. The New York Times is the largest consumer Travel and Trade show in North America.

Splashers
Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Whimsical Seahorse".

Discovery of New Shark Species in Belize
The Belize Fisheries Department is pleased to announce the discovery of a new shark species in Belize. The new shark species has not been officially named as yet but it closely resembles the Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) and was discovered in samples taken from a landing site in Belize through an ongoing shark data collection, monitoring and research program and collaboration between the Fisheries Department and Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist of Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Demian Chapman has been conducting research on several shark species in Belize since 2008 with a focus on Hammerhead shark species, whose international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Fisheries Department has implemented a shark data collection and research program since 2013. The objective of the program is to gather scientific data to help develop and implement improved management measures to ensure the sustainability of shark populations in Belize. In this work, the Fisheries Department works closely with shark fishers at landing sites and collaborates with independent shark scientists and conservation organizations.

Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar begins National Tour of Belize Coast Guard; Visits Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye under Construction
Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, the Minister and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they travelled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

Village Life 2017
Here is an event coming near you - Bring your FAMILY and FRIENDS for a day of Sports and FUN activities!! Beeline Internet BZE & Love FM - News and Music Power brings to you Village Life 2017 in San Pablo, OW.

Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX)
TRAVEL TRADE SHOW - Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX) is a two-day centralized trade exhibition at which international tour companies (Buyers) meet with local tourism professionals (Suppliers) to network and experience Belize. BETEX remains as a key marketing initiative of the BTIA – Belize’s leading national private sector tourism association – providing a gateway to the world and an opportunity to partner local and international tourism professionals with the objective of promoting Belize as a great tourist destination. BETEX was first organized in 1996 and takes place every two years, attracting approximately 300 local and international tourism professionals and press representatives. Making new connections with people and nature in different environments is key to traveling. Belize’s sincere commitment to charting a sustainable future is what sets the country apart. The BTIA invites you to be a part of the Belize Tourism Expo 2017 and experience the destination first hand. May 3rd to May 5th, 2017 in Belize City, Belize (Optional post tour May 8th, 2017)

Ambassador of Cuba holds meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize
Lissette Perez, Ambassador of our country, he received at the official residence of Cuba to Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister, with whom he maintained a cordial exchange on the state of bilateral relations and the possibilities To deepen cooperation in the areas of education, culture and sport. Accompanied Faber, the Deputy Minister of culture, Adele catzim and the acting president of the National Institute of culture and history (Nich for its acronym in English), Gregory Vernon. The High Dignitary expressed the willingness of his government to increase collaboration in the area of language teaching and learn more in-depth knowledge of the education system, including Cuban schools of culture and sports. Ambassador recalled the history of cooperation in these sectors, including the one that resulted in the creation of the system of houses of culture in Belize, whose headquarters are preserved in all districts of the country.

The Belize Tourism Board and JG Black Book Presentations in New York
oday's meeting was with Judy Perl Travel which is a Virtuoso member and the production finalist for Virtuoso's "Top Year over Year Percentage Growth."

What a great day full of learning, digging, discovering, and building friendships!
40 students of St. Martin de Porres primary school learned the ABCs of archaeology from an American archaeologist Dr. Jones and were inspired by Dr. Moore and his engaging team of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize about appreciating and protecting Belize's rich cultural heritage. They dug, excavated, analyzed, and recorded like true scientists, faced TV cameras, and, hopefully, came away more curious about the world and ready to keep on learning, discovering, and achieving!

Oral History with Bredda David
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project and NICH (ISCR) collaborating to do some Oral History with bredda David the President of the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association). We hope to cover Liberty Hall, Isiah Morter and Eboe Town in today's interview. Information from this interview will be used for the new Eco-museum to be established in Downtown Belize.

Channel 7

Haulover Creek Won't Be Ready For Ruta Maya?
Every year in March, Belizeans across the Cayo District, down through the Belize River Valley look forward to the annual La Ruta Maya Race. It's a sporting event - which, much like the cross country - has become more than just a race, it's a cultural happening. But, this year, the path to the end of the race is in serious jeopardy because the Haulover Creek - which is the finishing stretch as it enters Belize City - is substantially blocked. We went on the creek today to see what's the problem and find out what's the solution, if any:... Jules Vasquez reporting We're all used to seeing the dramatic finish of the Ruta Maya race on the 9th of March Weekend as the paddlers come thundering down the Haulover Creek. But this year, two miles of the Creek are virtually impassable, dense with overgrowth and fallen trees - and the Canoe Association has asked to city to clean it up.

Judge: Pawnshop Interest Rates "Unconscionable"
Pawnshops are a thriving enterprise in Belize - and their customer base is mostly comprised of the poor and those who can least afford to pay high interest rates. Yet, invariably, high risk credit carries the highest interest rates, and now a Supreme Court Judge has said "enough." Justice Sonya Young issued a judgement yesterday against an Orange Walk based enterprise: Payday Advance and EZ Loans Pawning saying that they had taken advantage of their customer, Janine Vega. Vega made two loans from the company in 2012, the first for $2,500 and the other for a thousand dollars. Security for the lions were Vega's titles to two properties in the Orange Walk District totaling 30.4 acres. Vega only paid back eleven hundred dollars, and failed to make any other payments. So, the owners of the pawn business Laura and Julio Blanco, enforced the security and transferred the land into their names.

No Arrests In Roadside Murder
Last night, we told you about the murder of 44 year-old Gardenia resident John Ortiz, whose body was discovered near mile 19 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police believe he was clubbed in the head, robbed, and left for dead early in the morning. Police canvassed the surrounding area, and picked up a young man who had blood on his heels and on his calf. We are told that so far the investigation shows that Ortiz was lashed out with 2 by 4, after which he was robbed of the $15 which was in his pocket. One person is still detained, but no one has been arrested and charged as yet.

Charge Upgraded For 19 Year Old's Alleged Killer
On Friday we told you that 19 year old Keimar Nicholas had succumbed to his injuries, 11 days after being shot in the neck. The man accused of the shooting, Enfield Fitzgibbon was already charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Today he was brought back to court where his charges were upgraded to murder. He remains remanded at prison.

The Ham And The Judge's Hammer
56 year-old Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz, a Mexican businessman who operates from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, is in danger of losing 150 cases of chilled ham which landed in Belizean territory, without the proper permits. Gomez Diaz, who is the director of Coral's Company Limited, went to the Magistrate's Court today to fight against a forfeiture application made by the Comptroller of Customs. The 150 cases of ham, weighing 3,456 pounds, landed in Belize on November 20 of last year, but he didn't have an import permit for it. So, BAHA wrote him requesting that it be returned to wherever it came from, but he failed to comply. That's when BAHA turned over the case to the Customs Department, which then made an application for forfeiture. Gomez Diaz hired an attorney and he appeared today before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, to try to get the application thrown out. That attorney has since written to the court asking for the opportunity for their side to be heard. He explained that the ham was not destined for Belize, it was to go to Mexico. He also added that this is not the first time he has imported ham to Belize, but this was the first time that it arrived before he got the import license.

Coast Guard Commander Speaks On FOB
Minister of Defence, John Saldivar started his tour of the Belize National Coast Guard facilities this week. Saldivar, accompanied by his CEO Lieutenant Colonel Felix Enriquez and Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral John Borland, visited a site near the Port of Big Creek, where a new headquarters will be built. They also visited Hunting Caye, site of the stillborn forward operating base. Construction on the base came to a halt after public outcry erupted over it being built by a Guatemalan company. That forced the government to take control of the project and put an end to the US funding for it. Admiral Borland gave the media an update on the state of the base, as well as the Minister's country tour... Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: "Presently we are engaged in the tour of the southern sector of the Belize Coast Guard, where the Minister of Defence, Hon. John Saldivar and his CEO and his ministry staff are conducting a tour starting in the south. They will continue with this tour visiting the northern and central sectors. But for now we are in the southern sector."

La Croix Land Lament
Belize City Residents living around the La Croix Boulevard and Holy Emmanuel Street Areas behind the Complex may know Mama Rose Fast Food very well. Rosa Rodriguez and her family have been there for over 6 years selling food on that street corner, but, now, she is being forced to move by a woman who claims that her business place is trespassing on her land. She and her family received a letter from the woman's attorney, Jacqueline Willougby, in late December, which demands that they remove the structure from where it is, or else they will "take legal actions" against them. The problem is that the family believes that they occupying road reserve for La Croix Boulevard, which would make it Government land. They've been paying their trade licenses fees to the Belize City Council, and they are complaining that they're being unfairly removed from that location, which puts their livelihood in jeopardy. Today, we spoke with the head of the family, Jose Cervera, and he told us why he is not moving until a court of law tells him that he is wrong. Here's how he explained it:

Teaching Kids About The Possibilities of Archaeology
Archeology in the Community: it is a 3 year old program developed by the US Embassy. The focus of the program is celebrating and preserving culture. And of course archeology is an integral part of that process. It is that connection that the program coordinators want the standard 4 students at the St. Martin De Porres School to grasp after today's training session. Courtney Weatherburne was at the school today and has more details. For archeologists, the thrill of a discovery is worth every grueling second spent excavating and examining. Then there is the process of uncovering the story behind the find. Now these precious discoveries are usually made at Maya sites, but today the excavation site was the playground at St. Martin De Porres School. The coordinators of the US Embassy's Archeology in the community program want the students to understand and appreciate this field of work and how it can help them define their identity. Dr. Alexandra Jones - Executive Director, Archeology in the Community: "So today what we are doing is teaching the kids about archeology. What archeology is and why it's important to people in the world as well as Belize people and why kids should take an interest in archeology and cultural heritage and understanding how important their heritage is to who they are as young citizens."

Who Will Be Trump's Ambassador?
Now, you would normally see Ambassador Carlos Moreno at these US Embassy events but due to the change of administration, he is no longer the ambassador to Belize - since he was an Obama appointment. So who will President Trump appoint to replace Moreno? Well we don't know as yet but the Charge d ' affaires , who is the acting ambassador told us today that regardless of who it is , the very amicable relationship between the US and Belize will certainly be maintained. Adrienne Galanek - Charge d' Affaires: "The programs will continue as Ambassador Moreno used to like to say is that the programs that were started before him, he was a big part of executing and implementing and then the programs that he carries on and initiates the next ambassador will take on. So it's building the relationship stronger and stronger with each ambassador over time and in the interim until we have a new ambassador, I'll be acting as the charge d' affaires but as of yet we don't have anyone nominated or appointed."

Fisheries Bust Over One Thousand Undersized Conch
Over 1000 undersized conch were confiscated this weekend in a joint patrolling operation between the Fisheries Department and the police. The team patrolled around the Lighthouse reef and Turneffe Atoll, where they caught and arrested a total of 9 fishers, all in possession of undersized conch. We spoke to the Fisheries Department's Hampton Gamboa about the busts, and what will happen to all that conch. Hampton Gamboa - Conservation & Compliance Unit Supervisor: "There was a joint operation that was conducted between the police and fisheries officers at Lighthouse and Turneff Atoll. Basically it was an operation that took place from the second to the fifth of February over last weekend and officers while conducting this operation came across a sail boat out at Lighthouse Reef which 6 people were arrested for possession of undersized conch during that operation on that day and also on another day during the same period, there were 3 more individual on another sail boat that was charged, who was found with under size products."

A New Shark Species in Belize
And while undersized conch harvesting threatens population of that species, a new species of shark has been discovered in Belize. FIU's Dr. Demian Chapman and the Fisheries Department were collecting data on the Belizean shark population, and took a sample of what they thought was a bonnethead shark. But, after looking at the shark's DNA, they realized that it was a completely different and as yet undiscovered species. It closely resembles the Bonnethead shark which is a part of the Hammerhead shark species.

BWS Worker Remanded For Gun
Last night, we showed you the .38 special that police found a BWSL employee with. tonight we can confirm that 28 year-old Rafael Reyes, is at the Belize Central Prison because of it. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on the charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He pleaded not guilty to both offenses, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Police were on mobile patrols yesterday on Dolphin Street, and that's when they searched 2 men, one of whom was Reyes. Inside Reyes's bag they found a black .38 revolver with 6 live rounds of ammunition. He couldn't produce a gun license, so he was criminally charged.

Got Off Thirteen Turtles Charge
In June of last year, we told you how the Fisheries Department made a major bust of 17 Hicatee turtles which they allegedly confiscated from from Goldburn Seguro, and his nephew Hilberto. The Fisheries Department accused them of illegally fishing them, and but when it came to actually proving that allegation, they failed to do so. As we told you, the Fisheries Department claimed that they caught both men at the Lords Bank Junction on June 7. They searched a vehicle that they were in, and found 3 of the turtles, so, the Department then allegedly took the pair to Hilberto Seguro's Biscayne Home. That's when they found the other 13 more, and according to the Fisheries Department, they were able to conduct this sting operation because they had been monitoring the duo for about a week. Hicatee turtles are endangered, and they have a strict season and permits for harvesting. So, this supposed to have been an open and shut case right? Well, it turned out that it wasn't because the Fisheries Department did not follow the Magistrates Court's criminal procedure rules. That's because Magistrate Carlon Mendoza ordered that the case had to start today.

Seniors Step Up
The National Council on Ageing is celebrating its 14th anniversary. The council has organized a few activities for this week, starting with an early morning flash mob at the Belmopan Market Square today where the Senior Steppers along with a few students and other council partners were showing off their moves. One of the organizers of the event told us that's it's more than just dancing, it's about educating the public about the older generation.

Factoring In The Elderly
Apart from today's flash mob, another important element of this observance is their first ever Anniversary review. The council members will meet this week to discuss what they have accomplished and what other programs they will develop going forward. Sure, a program like the senior steppers is the perfect option for many older persons but it might not be a good fit for others. Poot discussed the importance of designing new and more diverse programs to cater to the needs of older persons. The anniversary review will be held on Thursday evening at the Radisson in Belize City .

Ashcroft Alliance Gets Clearance
Last night we told you why the government of Belize believes that a ruling from the Washington DC District Court yesterday doesn't pose any real threat to government's assets or the Central Bank reserves. Well, there's a very different take on that same judgement. An article appearing in an online law journal named "Law 360" says that the federal judge on Monday "authorized the enforcement of a…$27.4 million US dollar arbitral award issued to BCB Holdings Ltd.". It adds, quote, "U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly signed off on BCB's motion for an order authorizing enforcement of the judgment against the Belizean government, despite an order issued by the Belizean Supreme Court on Friday prohibiting BCB - now known as Caribbean Investment Holdings Ltd. - from enforcing the award and subjecting company representatives to potential contempt in Belize if they try." end quote.

Channel 5

Arbitration War Continues; U.S. Court Puts Own Restrictions on Government
We can confirm tonight that Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, formerly BCB Holdings, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. on Monday. The companies [...]

P.S.U. Re-Assures Immigration Officers on Promotions
Officers of the Immigration Department countrywide were serious enough about the issue of promotion in the ranks that they were reportedly willing to stage a go-slow at their offices on [...]

Senate Inquiry is Not Reflection of Current Immigration Department, Say Unionists
Even with the promotion matter now cooled down, there is context – the ongoing public hearings of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration. While only current and former senior [...]

Police Seek 3 in Gas Station Robbery
Police are investigating a robbery reported this morning at the Belchina UNO gas station on Youth for the Future Drive, right across from the United Democratic Party headquarters. Approximately fifteen [...]

Judge Hits Orange Walk Pawn Shop for Taking Over Customer’s Land
Moneylenders Laura and Julio Blanco of Pay Day and EZY Loans Pawning, located in Orange Walk Town, have been ordered by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young to surrender a thirty-acre [...]

Defense Minister & C.E.O. to Hunting Caye
Minister of Defense John Saldivar and his C.E.O. Felix Enriquez today commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard. The visit started in the south with [...]

Wait Continues for New U.S. Ambassador to Belize
Just last month, Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the USA and since that day, Carlos Moreno’s tenure as US Ambassador to Belize came to an end. [...]

No Shift in U.S.’s LGBT Stance, Deputy Chief Reports
Since taking office, President Trump has looked to fulfill some of his campaign promises by using executive orders. One of those executive orders is to ban federal money going to [...]

Mexican Importer Faces Charges Over Ham
One hundred and fifty cases of ham imported into Belize since December 2016 remain in a container at the Port of the Belize. The importer is Mexican business, Manuel Pastor [...]

Re-Registration Now, Demands Belize Progressive Party
Last week the People’s United Party complained of Government’s plans to postpone re-registration once again, this time to after the 2018 municipal elections. However, there are plans to proceed with [...]

The Next Generation of Archaeologists at St. Martin De Porres
Primary School students are learning about Archaeology in the classroom through a project between the US Embassy and NICH. The programme, which started some three years ago, has seen the [...]

Don’t Believe Government ‘Spin’ on Arbitration, B.P.P. Warns
When we caught up with the Progressive Party chairman Paco Smith today, he also weighed in on Belize’s current troubles with the various arbitration awards under dispute here and in [...]

Senate Inquiry Must Not Be ‘Exercise in Futility’
Wednesday’s meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee will feature appearances from Edgar Cano, senior immigration officer; ex-C.E.O. in the Ministry of Immigration Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, and one other person. And [...]

Celebrating Healthy Ageing with the Macarena
In the nation’s capital this morning, senior citizens showed that age ought not to get in the way of being healthy and active; in it is just a number. They [...]

National Council on Ageing Marks 14 Years
While the National Council of Ageing is plowing along, there is much more to do to ensure that the rights of the elderly population are protected. Executive Director of the [...]

Training for Senior Citizen Caregivers
One area that the country has made progress in is the standardization of the care-giving for the elderly. The Council has partnered with BTEC in the past to train caregivers [...]

Welcome Rebecca! I.C.A. Plans Motorcade and Press Conference for Miss Belize
Rebecca Rath returns to Belize on Friday from the Philippines where she competed in the Miss Universe pageant. Rath picked up support from Belizeans from all walks of life. And [...]

Standard Must Be Adhered to with Rewards
In the weeks leading up to and during the preliminaries of the pageant in Manila, Philippines; Belizeans thrust their full support behind Rath. Thousands participated in online voting on various [...]


#521460 - 02/08/17 01:01 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 8, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
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DC Federal Judge Authorizes Enforcement of Award to BCB Holdings Ltd
The fifty million dollar arbitration award against the Government of Belize has been the subject of a back and forth both in the local and US courts and according to a New York article, the latest on the issue came yesterday when a DC Federal Judge authorized the enforcement of the award to the BCB […]

Canon Leroy Flowers Says Senate Inquiry Is a Farce
The Senate Special Select Committee inquiry into the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration and nationality department will continue tomorrow. So far four persons have been questioned by the Committee. They are the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, former acting Immigration Director, Maria Marin, Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan and Senior Immigration Officer, Gordon Wade. Several […]

Ministry Says Bids are Welcomed for Management of Solid Waste Transfer Stations
On January 10, 2017 the Government of Belize issued a notice of the withdrawal of PASSA as the contractors managing the solid waste transfer stations. Six days later we explained that reports reaching our newsroom had indicated that their decision to give up their contract had to do with internal troubles that the Mexican group […]

Family Appeals for Closure Following Death of Dain Dawson
Virginia Escalante is the mother 33-year-old, Dain Dawson whose body was found in the river near Manatee Lookout in Ladyville Village, Belize District on Thursday, January 19. The family was unable to plan a proper burial for Dawson since the authorities had done so due to the body’s state of decomposition. Fast forward three weeks […]

Five Fined for 1000+ Undersized Conch
The Fisheries Department made a bust of just over one thousand undersized conch last week and subsequently had five persons charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Hampton Gamboa is the Superivisor for the Compliance Unit at the Fisheries Department. According to him the operation was a joint effort between his unit and the Belize […]

Robbers Target UNO Service Station in Broad Daylight
Police are investigating a robbery of the UNO gas station located at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge just before nine o’clock this morning. Reports reaching Love News indicate that an estimated fifteen thousand dollars was taken in the robbery. Love News understands that two men entered and relieved one of the workers of a […]

Defence Minister Engages with Belize Coast Guard
Minister of National Security John Saldivar is on a nationwide tour of the coast guard facilities. Minister Saldivar’s tour began with a visit to Hunting Caye. Coast Guard Commander, Admiral John Borland, spoke about the Minister’s tour. JOHN BORLAND “Well presently we are engaged in the tour of the southern sector of the Belize Coast […]

Transport Minister Goes South to Assess Ports and Water Transport
Defence Minister, John Saldivar is not the only one on tour in the country as his Cabinet colleague, Edmond Castro was recently in the south taking stock of the country’s port and boat transportation facilities. Minister Castro is the substantive minister for Transport with responsibility for the ports. We spoke with the Minister today to […]

Businessman Contests Forfeiture of Ham by Customs
Fifty-six year old Mexican businessman Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz, the Director Coral’s Company Limited, an enterprise located at Central Plaza Commercial Free Zone, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser to contest an application made by the Comptroller of Customs for the forfeiture of a container containing 150 cases of chilled ham, weighing 3,465 pounds. […]

BWS Employee on Remand for Unlicensed Firearm
A resident of a Welch Street address in Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was found with an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. 28-year-old, Rafael Reyes was stopped and searched yesterday at around four thirty on Dolphin Street by police officers who were on mobile patrol. In a black bag […]

Amandala

Not another dollar of tax, says BCCI prez
Officials in the Ministry of Finance are due to meet this week with organizations representing the private sector as well as the unions, for consultations on the upcoming budget cycle, as curiosity lingers over what austerity measures will be implemented to stem the hemorrhaging of public finances, partly due to unmanageable debt, amid an ongoing recession. Amandala is reliably informed that consultative meetings are planned with the private sector—the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau—on Thursday, and with the unions under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize on Friday. At those meetings, Government officials will make presentations to the social partners, which are expected to also have their recommendations and/or positions to put on the table. Mr. Nikita Usher, president of the BCCI, has confirmed that the private sector is due to meet with Government officials on Thursday, but in advance of that meeting, the BCCI will hold a meeting with its membership tomorrow.

For Black History Month, artist Pen Cayetano honors Kremandala’s Evan X Hyde
The afternoon rains could not deter those who headed to Pen Cayetano’s Studio Gallery in Dangriga Town for a celebration of Black History Month, which featured a ceremony in which the versatile, dynamic artist Pen Cayetano honored Kremandala chairman Evan X Hyde for his stellar contribution to the development of black consciousness in Belize. In the back-water colonial society of British Honduras, young Evan Anthony Hyde returned from his studies in the United States and became Evan X Hyde, a black activist and freedom fighter who dared to speak out against the injustices of the colonial society through the United Black Association for Development (UDAD) a black consciousness movement that he helped to form and later led. If there is one word that can summarize Evan X Hyde over the almost five decades that he has been on the scene stripping away the various layers of hypocrisy in Belizean society, that word is consistent. Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Pen Cayetano began making periodic checks at the gate of his studio compound, after he told the waiting audience that, “the great Evan X Hyde should be arriving any minute now.”

Joyjah!
An absolutely stunning Punta Gorda woman with freckled face and natural curly hair named Joyjah Estrada has made Belize very proud. She made it to the cover of the United Kingdom’s bi-annual Love magazine from among 111,000 other competitors who squared off in a social media challenge. Her photo was taken by Kendall Jenner, who is one of the personalities on the reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. The twenty-two-year old, who studied at the University of Belize and previously at the Toledo Community College, posted to Facebook on Sunday, “This entire experience has been more than amazing from the day I posted my application for #loveme17 to now. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing hearts across the globe supporting me and my big dreams; my Belizean family was especially a huge part of this journey.”

“Between the devil and the deep blue sea”
A succession of litigation wars between the unrelenting Michael Ashcroft Alliance and the Government of Belize, spanning a decade and a half, enters a new round this week, with an announcement from Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), formerly BCB Holdings, that it will mount a constitutional challenge to two pieces of legislation recently signed into law, in what Government says is an effort to stop Belize’s foreign reserves from being siphoned to pay $100 million in arbitration awards to the Ashcroft group. At the same time, the Government of Belize is seeking an anti-enforcement injunction in Belizean courts against the Belize Bank and CIHL to stop them from going after the Central Bank’s foreign reserves in the United States and/or elsewhere. We understand that a filing may be made sometime tomorrow, after the Caribbean Court of Justice pointed counsel for the Government of Belize back to the Belize Supreme Court. The pending court filing is further to the introduction of laws recently approved by Parliament to confirm the international immunity of the foreign reserves of the Central Bank of Belize from being seized to satisfy the foreign arbitration awards. Last Monday, the Ashcroft group filed for an enforcement order in the US—an action which was followed by the passage of new legislation in Belize to not only protect the foreign reserves but also to criminalize with a fine of $250,000 and/or jail time of 2 years any attempt by any party to go after the foreign reserves of the Central Bank.

Jamaican man, 20, accused of raping Belizean woman, 25
A twenty-five-year-old woman was raped on Friday night in Ladyville and police have arrested and charged a Jamaican man who appeared to be suffering from some form of mental illness. Andre Knight, 20, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who read a single charge to him. In court, the prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, asked the court to first allow a psychiatric evaluation to be done on Knight, who stared blankly at the Chief Magistrate when she asked him if he understood what she had just read to him. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the prosecutor and remanded Knight to prison, and ordered that he be evaluated by a mental health specialist who will determine if he is of sound mind to understand the court proceedings and if the matter could proceed any further.

Belize Musicians Past and Present celebrates 22nd anniversary
The longest running talk show in the nation, hosted on KREM Radio, the Belize Musicians Past and Present show, is celebrating its 22nd anniversary on Thursday, February 9. The show is produced to promote Belizean artists nationally and internationally by affording artists a platform on the show to tell their story, and get media exposure. The show was launched on February 2, 1995, and is produced by Tony Wright, assisted by JC Arzu, both of KREM Radio. Wright said that the show will continue, and he wants to see more artists come on the show. He estimated that so far, over 1,000 artists have been guests on the show. In an interview with Amandala, Wright said that previously, there was no other show, or outlet, where the artists could go and tell their stories, and demonstrate their art.

CSSSA high school football semifinals completed; finals begin today at MCC
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football best-of-two games semifinals were held between Wednesday and Saturday of last week at the MCC Grounds. Female semifinals games 1 were held on Wednesday. In the opener, SCA blanked Maude Williams high, 3-0, with goals from Jodi Pott, Jennifer Estrada and Gabriela Mendoza. And in the nightcap, Ladyville Tech won, 2-1, over Gwen Liz. Lorraine Stephens and Mary Davis hit the target for Ladyville Tech, while Kevon Ricketts tallied for Gwen Liz. On Thursday, it was games 1 for the boys. The opener saw SJC take the 2-nil win over ACC on goals by Carlos Guerra and Dion Cacho. And in the nightcap, arch-rivals Wesley and Gwen Liz played to a 1-1 stalemate. Jalen Babb rocked the net for Wesley, while Orlando Velasquez hit the target for Gwen Liz. We are still awaiting the official details on games 2 on Friday and Saturday. Our unofficial reports, which seem confirmed by appearances at today’s finals games 1, are as follows:

BDF, 2-0, over Placencia Assassins in sole PLB Week 2 game
Three Week 2 games in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season were rained out over the weekend. Only Belize City’s MCC Grounds was playable on Sunday, as games were cancelled at the Norman Broaster in Cayo, Carl Ramos in Stann Creek and Victor Sanchez Union Field in Toledo due to rain. In the only Week 2 game played on Sunday, it was scoreless at the intermission; but home standing BDF FC got late goals from Brian Martinez (81’) and Raymond Ramos (87’), to clinch the 2-nil win over visiting Placencia Assassins FC. A PLB release today said the Police United FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC, Freedom Fighters FC vs Verdes FC, and Wagiya FC vs FC Belize games will be re-scheduled to a later date to be announced.

NEBL “In the Paint”
It must have felt like forever for the defending champs Hurricanes to finally secure their first win of the season; and understandably so, given the fact that during last year’s championship run, they were essentially immune to losing streaks, never once suffering back to back losses, while coasting to a league best 16 wins 3 loss campaign, inclusive of post season play. So it was a sort of enigma for team management and coaching staff to see their team be immersed in early season mediocrity at (0-2), albeit very early in the campaign. In any event, whatever it was, whether it be the home cooking, or simply the atmosphere which the new SCA auditorium provided, the Hurricanes, with their play, undoubtedly demonstrated that you should never underestimate the heart of a champion.

SCA girls and Gwen Liz boys take game 1 in CSSSA finals
We must confess, we haven’t watched many of the high school football games, played in a whirl-wind CSSSA (Central Secondary Schools Sports Association) tournament over the past three weeks at the MCC Grounds; but the playoffs are always exciting, especially when it is “win, or go home.” For the girls, with 6 high schools participating, they each played 5 games in their regular season, and then it was on to the best-of-two games semifinals. For the boys, with 11 high schools involved, Group 1 had 6 teams and Group 2 had 5 teams. So, their regular season for Group 1 was 5 games, and for Group 2, they only played 4 games total in their 2016-2017 CSSSA regular season. Then the top 4 from each group were matched in one-game knockout quarterfinals. The surviving 4 male teams were then paired in the best-of-two games semifinals.

Editorial: Uncomfortable truths
At the risk of sounding trite, they say the days of the fat dog are behind us. After some years of living large off the Petrocaribe dollars, reality has started to set in. We still see the mammoth City Centre project going up in the old capital, there is the expansion of the Philip Goldson Highway between the PGIA and the Haulover Bridge, and some work is being done to resurface the Hummingbird Highway after the BNE trucks left it pretty ramshackle. But the furious government spending of recent years is no more. See, no one told the people that there are no free lunches. No one told the people that the UDP were doing exactly what the PUP did in their 1998-2004 heyday: spend all those borrowed millions on projects that were not going to create national wealth or provide any permanent employment or result in any increased revenue to help pay back the loans. In fact, the people were made to believe in the November 2015 campaign that the good times would continue to roll. But now in 2017, the bills have come due. Recently, we’ve seen government had to borrow an additional $50 million from the Republic of China on Taiwan for so-called “general budgetary support,” that some claim were really borrowed from a commercial bank in Taiwan. Simply put, we cannot say whether the money is for salaries or to pay utility bills or exactly what it is for. Government has refused to say.

US judge grants Ashcroft order in bid to collect BZ$100 mil from GOB
Despite a favorable ruling in the Belize Supreme Court on Friday, granting the Government of Belize (GOB) an injunction against the enforcement of an arbitral award in favor of the Michael Ashcroft group of companies overseas, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly today handed down an order authorizing the enforcement of the judgment against Belize. Law360, a premier source of online law news, announced the development this evening, saying that it represents “a blow to the government of Belize as it continues its fight to avoid payment.” Belize’s Parliament recently rushed to approve two bills to stop Lord Michael Ashcroft from going after Belize’s foreign reserves, one of them going further to criminalize, through fines and jail time, any attempt to go after Belize’s assets overseas to satisfy the foreign arbitration awards. In all, the awards total BZ$100 million.

GOB gets urgent injunction to protect foreign reserves from Ashcroft
This afternoon, government attorney Denys Barrow, SC, rushed to the Supreme Court of Justice Michelle Arana to present arguments for why the court should grant the government an urgent injunction against two Ashcroft alliance companies that had secured an arbitration award in US courts against the government for US$50 million. Following Barrow’s presentation, which lasted almost two hours, Justice Arana granted the injunction, preventing the Caribbean Investment Holding Limited (CIHL), formerly BCB Holdings, and the Belize Bank from going after the Belize Central Bank’s reserves that are deposited in banks in the United States. In an effort to insulate the country’s foreign reserves (reportedly around US $377 million) from the predatory maneuvers of Lord Michael Ashcroft, the government recently rushed legislation through parliament in the form of two new laws, “The Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Act and the Crown Proceedings Amendment Act.” The constitutionality of the new laws, however, are said to be up for challenge from Ashcroft which will likely trigger a new round of litigation against the state by the relentless British billionaire.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Edmond Castro tours Port of Big Creek and boat transportation facilities in Independence Village
Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Jessica Godoy, Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence.

Defense Minister begins national tour of Belize Coast Guard
Minister of Defense John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defense Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, Saldivar and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they traveled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

Biscayne man killed for $15
John Ortiz, 44, a Biscayne resident was found dead yesterday in the Sandhill area between miles 19 and 20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to police reports, he was found with a cut wound to the right side of his chin, one to […]

Omar Figueroa attends meetings of Central American environment ministers
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Omar Figueroa, attended the meeting of the Ministers of Environment for Central America, held in Costa Rica from February 2-3. The objectives of the CCAD Ministers meeting were: […]

Man found dead on highway believed to be robbery victim
According to information from police, a body was found yesterday morning between miles 19-20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. The person has been identified as John Ortis, 44, of Biscayne Village. Police have detained one person pending investigation. Police believe that the motive was […]

The Boledo and Lottery Bonanza
Boledo and Lottery are games of chance where the player buys tickets with numbers…and get to win multiples of the price of each ticket. Boledo is played daily, while the Lottery is played on Sundays….mostly by poor people hoping to collect gold at the […]

CCJ declines Belize injunction application
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in an order issued this morning, declined to hear an inter-party application for an anti-enforcement injunction, which was brought by Belize’s Attorney General in relation to a US $50 Million arbitral award owed to elements of the Ashcroft Alliance.The […]

New amendments impose stiffer penalties for forest offenses
Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outdated sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offenses. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest […]

Blogs

The newest adventure: Zip lining across the Belize River!
I recently had the opportunity to try out one of the newest zip lines in Belize, and dang was it fun! Seven lines of pure adrenaline, awesome views and one hell of an adventure! This zip line is located at the new ecotourism attraction in northern Belize – the Rainforest Adventure Zone, or RAZ for short. While there are several zip lines across the country, most are found in the Cayo or Stann Creek Districts. RAZ’s zip line is found in the Belize District and the scenery you get to see from up above is a bit different. The most unique aspect of the zip line is that you go over the Belize River. The green hues the river reflects are different than the clear fresh mountain water which you typical go over on zip lines in Cayo.

7 + Reasons to Visit Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize
Composed of three coral atolls, the region of Glover’s Reef in southeastern Belize are world-famous for their transparent conditions and profusion of colorful marine life. Glover’s Reef gained its name in the early days of Belize when an English pirate named John Glover used the sheltered waters of the reef as a base of operations for attacking Spanish merchant ships. Today, the thriving marine biosphere and postcard-perfect tropical island and lagoon of the reef make it one of Belize’s most popular destinations for kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Glover’s Reef Atoll, commonly referred to simply as “Glover’s Reef”, lies in the extreme southeastern part of the country. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover’s Reef is the home of a permanent scientific station that studies the incredible diversity of wildlife found in the area. Perhaps the most unique diving and snorkeling opportunities available on Glover’s Reef is interacting with migrating whale sharks during their annual visit to the waters of Belize each spring. Rising from the depths on the occasion of the full moon, whale sharks are drawn to Glover’s Reef because of the enormous numbers of fish spawn and eggs that provide the whale sharks with nourishment. Despite their enormous size, with some specimens measuring up to 45 feet (14 meters) long, whale sharks pose little danger to humans.

Hockey in Belize? Why not? Go Buccaneers!
Ball hockey has been an island pursuit since 2010 and most every Thursday you can find as many as 20 folks with sticks in hand whacking that red ball up and down a tennis court near the Grand Bayman complex just south of town. Shouldn’t be surprising. Canadians are well represented in the local expat population and their passion for this game rivals that of New England Patriot fans, Golden Gate Warrior fans, Chicago Cubs fans — to name a few. There are Belizeans and Americans in the local mix too! And two of the toughest goalies you will find are Niki Lamporelli and Dee Regis. Ball hockey is equal opportunity. If you can swing a stick, run the distance and endure the pain — welcome, brothers and sisters. On Saturday the Tropical Knights came straight off the plane to play back-to-back games against the San Pedro Buccaneers which split into two teams, Squad 1 and Squad 2, for logistical reasons.

Cell phone use around RC school
I was monitoring the RC School this morning and was shocked by the number of people who were using their cell phones instead of concentrating on driving, I saw parents dropping off their children while texting. People please, use good judgment while driving. The safety of the children is your responsibility.

Finger Licking Good, Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook Off
It all started with a group of four friend sitting around having a few beers and grilling some ribs. Of course the talk of who prepares the BEST finger-licking ribs was always the debate. With Charles Worthington from Estel’s Dine by the Sea preparing some of the best BBQ ribs and meat on the island, a friendly cook off got started where friends were invited to be the judge. Come six years later, the cook off has grown into an international competition with eight grill masters preparing over 1,000 ribs to feed hundreds at Estel’s who can’t get enough bbq ribs. I have been a judge for a few years now; it’s not an easy task (think of all those delicious ribs) but always a great time. Seeing the cook off grow into a much anticipated event on the island is awesome. This year iTravel Belize invited a long-time visitor to the island, great friend Erik Winning from Indianapolis, IN, USA, to hold our spot as guest judge for the 6th Annual Cook off. Needless to say, he had as much of an amazing time as we do year after year.

How to enjoy Corozal with a great experience
Many people have different ways to enjoy the entertainment in Corozal. Corozal is being enjoyed many ways by people. Hears by lovely experience and how to get around Corozal. Very unusual mornings, I enjoy watching the sunrise in the morning. Hearing the Sugar Barge on a quiet morning I could hear the motor roaring. Usually, I walk in the mornings I see Many things. Some mornings are very cool; foggy mornings. The first thing I hear is the car spraying for mosquito's going around town spraying that acid spray. That strong bug spray I inhale burns through my nose as I wake up and in the silent morning in Corozal. From the distance I hear the loud birds chirping from the distances waking up the neighborhoods. Those birds hang around the Central Park. As they nest on the trees above they made their home their. Ding! Ding! Ding! the loud clock from the distances the clock for the Central Park is telling the time. That, loud ring from the Central Parks clock goes on every 15 minutes. But, some mornings I enjoy this silent morning. Very peaceful to hear a silent morning as I am waking up. Usually, walking the beach on cool weather, I can see the ducks swimming on the water. Slowly, as the sunrise coming up I can see the ducks and other objects reflection. Even when the people are exercising. And, the color of the sky slowly changing. Corozal has some beautiful mornings and you can't imagine. Some mornings are too foggy I can't see anything from the distance. White mist touching my skin. I can feel that humid wet morning.

Ten Awesome Belizean Fruits and Vegetables
If you have eaten with me on even one occasion, you know that I am a complete vegetable geek. I love all things veggie and I especially enjoy experimenting with new ones. And that’s not even to mention foreign fruit! One of my favorite things about living in Belize has been having a whole new suite of produce to try. These are my ten favorite Belizean fruits and vegetables: Jippi Jappa is a woody palm-like plant that is most famously used to make baskets and hats. I have tried my damnedest and cannot find any real information about jippi jappa as a food online. I’m not sure whether this is because I don’t know the English word for the plant or because there isn’t a culture that both eats jippi jappa and also actively posts about food on the internet.

International Sourcesizz

Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream
When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes. That project now looks like a minnow compared with the whales that sprawl for miles across the seas of Northern Europe. Off this venerable British port city, a Danish company, Dong Energy, is installing 32 turbines that stretch 600 feet high. Each turbine produces more power than that first facility. Offshore wind, once a fringe investment, with limited scope and reliant on government subsidies, is moving into the mainstream. Europe, too, looks all the more attractive, as the United States under President Trump rethinks its stance on renewables.

Six hiking trips you can do in the Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula straddles three states (Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan) in Mexico, including the neighboring countries of Belize and Guatemala. Once a seabed, its topography consists mainly of limestone. The peninsula is dotted with white sandy beaches, cenotes or sinkholes and has a prolific wildlife. A perfect destination for nature and culture lovers, there are many places to explore including its numerous biosphere reserves, historic archeological sites and the second largest barrier reef in the world. In short, it is a great place to do outdoor activities such as hiking. Here are a few trips that both amateur and experienced hikers can do. The Mayan Route will take a bit of your time as it is a trip that needs to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Allow anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete hiking tours. One of the best trips you can organize is a tour of the ancient Mayan civilization that covers Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico as well as Bonampak, Campeche, Uxmal, Merida and Chichen Itza. For beach lovers, explore the Mayan coast with Tulum, Bacalar, Cayes in Belize and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam products
St. Vincent and the Grenadines will as of May 1, 2017 ban the importation of Styrofoam products. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement in Parliament on Monday as he delivered the Budget Address. Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, also announced the removal of Value Added Taxes on biodegradable packaging and food containers. “This measure is intended to lower the costs of these environmentally positive substitutes for plastics, including Styrofoam, and reduce the adverse effects that plastics have on our environment,” he said. Over 100 U.S., Canadian, European, and Asian cities, have banned the use of Styrofoam containers The Story of Stuff Projects explains some of the problems with Styrofoam, including the fact that it does not biodegrade. “It may break into small pieces, even minuscule pieces. But the smaller EPS gets, the harder it is to clean up.” Styrofoam is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, which may leach if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food.

Building Political Power in the Caribbean Youth
We need to encourage young political leaders to fight hegemonic, ageist powers within the state while not marginalizing non-political youth groups. Youth membership in nongovernmental organizations is unfathomably low and throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, there is no vibrant youth “movement” as seen during the 1960s and 1990s. There is a general lack of confidence of youth in the National Youth Councils in advancing their cause. Most significantly, the critical distance among wide sections of young people have from the political process – a mix of disenfranchisement and downplaying the significance of the state – undermines their citizenship and agency in the development process. More than ever, as one of the most organized youth institutions in the region, political youth arms need to challenge the party leadership internally to empower youth in the decision-making process and build consultative and caucusing mechanisms with activist youth organizations in order to translate the voices of youth into state policy.

Videos

  • Pepsi Maaga Season BASH 2017 - UBAFU Entertainment Belize, 7.5min. A resounding "Thank You" to Pepsi Belize for making the Maaga Season BASH in Dangriga possible. I also want to take the time out to thank the Dangriga Town Council, Dangriga Police, Shannon Castillo, and all who contributed to make this event a success!

  • Belize & Guatemala 2017, 6.5min. Trip to Belize and Guatemala, 2017.

  • Las Terrazas Belize amazing wedding, 10min. June 2016 Las Terrazas wedding where all the guests end up in the pool! Island Films created this awesome video capturing the special day and all the fun.

  • BELIZE 2017, 55min.

  • Taiwan Embassy & GOB Collaborate on Agricultural Project, 27min.

  • Belize Telemedia Limited Feel The Love Campaign, 18min.

  • FECTAB on Cruise Tourism Industry Issues, 28min.

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Sustainable Development: UNDP Bio Dive, 26min.

  • Belizean Black History, 40min.

  • Belize Protectors Associationin Baker to Vegas Relay, 7min. For a second time, the Belize Protectors Association will take on the annual Baker to Vegas Relay in the United States. Jeanelle Mencias joined the team at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex to see how they’ve been preparing. Here’s more …

  • GOODBYE 2016!! How to celebrate the ending of 2016... In the Caribbean!, 2.5min. Real life video about Corozal sent to us recently by "Ellie Beth Shipley"

  • Chicken Drop San Pedro, Belize, 1.5min. We were told the Chicken Drop at Wahoo is a must do here in San Pedro, Belize. Check it out for yourself! Let us know what you think. Let's just say it was a night to remember and by far not something you experience everyday. haha

  • Scuba School And Family Diver Center Belize, 1.5min.

  • ORANGE WALK’S SEPELLING BEE TOP SPELLERS FEBRUARY 7TH, 2017, 6.5min.

  • VEHICLE DRIVEN BY AMERICAN TOURISTS ERRUPTS IN FLAMES WHILE PASSING THROUGH COROZAL, 2min.

  • Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, 20min.

  • Estel's 6th Annual International BBQ Cook Off, 3min. Close to 1,000 ribs are prepared to feed the masses that gather every year to sample finger licking good BBQ ribs at Estel’s annual Cookoff and that is nearly not enough to supply the demand of the hundreds that attend the event. The cookoff is gaining momentum and people are looking forward to the lively event that takes place at the popular island eatery that has established itself as one of the best on Ambergris Caye. Here's the roundup for 2017 6th Annual Cook Off

  • The Gasoline Lollipops@DiveBar, 4min. Dive Bar granted us a new experience by bringing the awesome band The Gasoline Lollipops to San Pedro, Belize. Watch everyone dance the night away and enjoy the live band! It's for sure a good laugh.

  • Mating Bottlenose Dolphins Belize Ocean Animals Creature Feature, 3min.

  • The Beauty of Belize © The Placencia Belize, 5min.

  • Oral History Interview with bredda David going on right now at House of Culture., 10min.


  • Links
    Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!

    Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


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    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
    Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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