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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

Police Report
On Tuesday, February 21st at around 2:30PM, acting on special branch intelligence, a joint team of Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Branch personnel detained 37-year-old Brionne Swift for being in the possession go 941 grams of cannabis. Swift was subsequently charged for the crime of ‘Drug Trafficking”.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Bicycle Shop
“A friend of mine persuaded me to go,” Ron said. “He came by one evening and said he was catching a ride on a truck to Matamoros, Mexico in half an hour. When he got there he planned to wetback it to the States. I was a twenty year-old kid up for any kind of adventure so I went along.” Ron was a promising young bass player back then and he frequently accompanied me at a little bar called The Last Resort. I ran into him at the airport and he invited me to his home. “I’m glad it worked out for you,” I said. “The best thing that happened was joining the U.S. Army,” he said. “Two weeks ago I retired with twenty years in service so I came home to Belize City. The only thing I have from the old days is this trunk my mama packed all my things in.” “That trunk seems full of interesting things,” I told him.

Letter to the Editor: Bad Roads
Dear Editor, My wife and I retired here to San Pedro June 26, 2016. We observed our final home (Condo) being built North of the bridge at The Residence at Barrier Reef. I retired from San Diego as a Clinical Psychologist working with troubled children and testifying as an “expert” witness in the Superior Courts. It was very difficult to leave the children but at age 70, my wife felt we needed to spend more quality time on this beautiful Island. Now my concern. I flew with the USAF during Vietnam and our Fighter Bomber inflicted much damage on the enemy, especially roads and air strips. The aftermath is brought back to me (PTSD) after traveling the road between Las Terrazas and my condo which is the next exit road north. We are violently tossed back and forth maneuvering through the craters on this road also causing discomfort to my body. This road also broke a shock absorber already on my cart. Around Christmas, [the Town Council] posted pictures of the progress on the repair of the road on social media. Let’s be honest here, I do understand the issue of a correct repair and the costs involved but a grader to flatten out the hundreds of craters and then place a layer of sand and small rocks to be rolled out would be a nice start. If the city wants to expand more into North County and develop land and resources, more people would be happy to take the trip through this war zone.

Doctor Love: Not Social
Dear Doctor Love, I am dating a girl who puts everything on her social media page. I like her very much, and I enjoy doing things for her, but I am a private person. A photo of me in a towel right out of the shower might be sexy to her, but I was teased by my friends and it embarrassed my mother, who now knows that we live together. My girl posts about our fights, our intimate moments, gifts I buy for her, and things I do around the house, like cook dinner or wash the clothes. She even solicits comments from friends and family to try to win in a disagreement. I feel like our relationship is an open book for all to read, plus photos of the contents of my house is an invitation to every thief in the neighborhood. How do I get her to keep it private? /s/ Not Social

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

First Friday Tres Cocos Cleanup for March 2017
Friday, March 3 at 8 AM - 10 AM, Paradise Theater, North of the Bridge, San Pedro. Can you believe it? In a few days it will be First Friday! And YOU know what that means: We get to show some #islandlove to Tres Cocos neighborhood. And, wow, does it need it. There is no shortage of opportunity to beautify this part of Ambergris Caye. So, one more time, let us gather in front of the Paradise Theater at 8 a.m. and clean up our one and only road -- and the beach! Join us for one hour or two. Every bit will help! We'll end up at the wonderful Marbucks coffeeshop! Meanwhile, share this invite with yur Facebook friends and neighbors so we can spread the word! We need help to keep this island beautiful!

Lost dog on Caye Caulker
Please help find Comanche. He lives at Loraines. He ran off Saturday and we have not seen him seen him since. He is about 45 lbs, black and brown, neutered male. He is just a plain dog wearing a blue collar with a US rabies tag. If you see him please contact Celvin@6341798, or Sandy@6102030. He is the dog on the left in the picture.

Leela
Leela Vernon had passion. Her music, her ideas, and her voice communicated force and fire. Like the other Punta Gorda great Paul Nabor, Leela had credibility and integrity that transcended race, gender and class. Leela Vernon was a great thinker. She had the mind of an anthropologist, curious and concerned for people. Last week on the Krem WUB morning show Lord Rhaburn said that Leela’s work was a multicultural project that sought to educate, ignite and unify Belize. Leela Vernon was an activist who constantly fought for the rights of artists and cultural workers. Last year I sat in her garden and listened to her critique of our cultural work. She touched on the importance of artists and musicians being the torch of society, “those responsible to teach the children, to show the people who they are…”

WOODPECKER RESCUE
Near Christmas 2016 the rescue got a call from Belize City. A man had cut down a tree on his property and discovered a baby woodpecker. A baby woodpecker at Christmas? Yes - it seems they're opportunistic breeders and conditions were good until the tree was chopped down. The baby was about a week from fledging and was brought to the rescue. (S)he seemed to developed slowly, but became fully feathered and learned to cling and fly. But (s)he knew nothing about being a woodpecker. Upon fledging, woodpecker chicks (as well as other birds) spend a year with their parents learning what to eat, where to find it, when to find it, etc. as well as how to detect and avoid danger, etc. We hope(s)he will meet other woodpeckers here and learn from them.

The Reporter

Factors of fishing operations in the Caribbean to be discussed
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will hold a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Barbados this week to review the findings of a study completed in Belize last week. The assembly will chart a necessary course of action to mitigate the rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean. CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton is expected to present a general overview of the project and explain what the forum should achieve. Several factors, such as capital, labour, maintenance and energy costs were considered during the study, which included select CRFM member states. Participants at this week’s meeting will finalize the formal report on the findings of the study, and propose workable policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the fisheries sector. The end goal is to improve competitiveness and profitability at the local, regional and international levels.

The Belize Times

BELIZEAN CHEATERS!
As of today, we are told, tens of thousands of Belizeans have joined as eager spectators on social media pages launched over the weekend, entitled Belizean Cheaters, or Belizean Cheaters Uncut. The pages include nude pictures and videos, as well as scandalous and apparently unsubstantiated posts alleging all kinds of sexual activity/promiscuity/cheating. There is much lewd interest in those sites currently, and much less on the real cheaters who have betrayed the Belizean people by cheating us of many millions of dollars through any combination of mismanagement, abuse, greed, blatant nepotism and outright corruption. These UDP Ministers have cheated on us. While those on the lurid sites have cost hurt feelings, these political cheaters have taken the nation to the brink of devaluation and insolvency. Even now, the Prime Minister is very cagey in revealing his scandalous relationship with Lord Ashcroft, a relationship which has yielded him and his family members millions of dollars. Talk about friends with benefits. Gaspar Vega is one of the worst…a ‘not normal’ cheater.

Godwin Says….Jail Them!
Incredibly GODwin has called for public servants to be jailed over the most riveting and widespread immigration scandal to rock this country…a scandal that occurred on the watch of Dean O. Barrow—the self professed saint: the Machete Man who just happened to have lost his machete at precisely the time when the “whiff” of corruption reared its ugly head! Don’t worry about “which minister gave which permit” says GODwin; go after the public officers instead. This is his solution to the “culture of corruption” so vividly described by Teresita Castellanos, the former Finance Officer at GODwin’s ministry. Can you believe the audacity of this now exposed hypocrite? Wasn’t he the one who stalled the Penner investigation? Wasn’t he the one who took months to have the Kim passport returned to Belize? Wasn’t he the one who was at the helm of the Immigration Department at the time that Citizen Kim got his passport whilst sitting in a jail cell halfway around the world? Who does GODwin really think he is fooling by pretending that he is serious about corruption when he sees nothing wrong with Ministers writing “recommendations” for Asian nationals whom they had never met?

DEFAULT
Belize has defaulted on its payment to the bondholders, as of midnight on Monday, February 20th. Pay no attention to the worthless rhetoric of the shady Prime Minister who speaks about a 30-day grace period. The country has defaulted on its payment to bondholders, the group of persons to whom Belize owes the largest amount of loan monies. It is the amount of nearly all the debts owed by Belize. It is a billion dollars plus. To default on such a huge public debt is a major situation…a major crisis. The bad name that the country of Belize has just received is incalculable. A country does not recover from such a bad reputation for decades. This situation will really hurt Belize. Really hurt. And it is not the first time for this Barrow administration. In 2012 Mr. Barrow defaulted on the bond payment as well, which led to the Super-bond 2.0. The leader back then spoke of the restructured bond as ‘nirvana.’ And still he could not pay. He is a real MALPAGO.

Minister’s ‘Special’ Son Escapes Criminal Charges
As we go to press, the Belize Times has been unable to verify why the son of Minister Godwin Hulse, Kenzle Hulse, has not been charged after a report was made to Police that he assaulted a customer at his business establishment and hit him with his pistol. The incident occurred exactly one month ago, and the Crimes Investigation Branch in Belmopan seems unwilling or unable to move against the Minister’s son, though we are told that they have attempted to do so twice. When Minister Godwin Hulse was asked about the incident, he lost his cool, claiming that his son was defending himself when he assaulted the customer. According to a frazzled Hulse, the man went towards his vehicle and “now my son doesn’t know what the hell is coming out of the vehicle and so my son grabbed him. That is my understanding from everybody there, and pulled out his weapon. While he did that, the wife came and whap him in his back with something. Now please explain to me if you should stand there to make some foreigner or some Guatemalan or whoever he is kill you backside and then run across the border and the case done. I say hell no.”

Naked & Shameless
Dean Oliver Barrow must really think that the Belizean people are a bunch of asses glued to his every word and mesmerized by his rehearsed prose and tired lyrics. His performance for the media and the nation, for performance it certainly was, revealed much more than an Emperor shod in imagined finery. He was naked…and shameless in his rhetoric and outright lies and spin. Somebody needs to put him out to pasture, and fast, because except for those who suck at his shrivelled teat for sustenance, absolutely nobody believes the words that are coming out his mouth. Mr. Barrow tried to spin the hell out of the fact that his law firm still represents and makes money off Lord Ashcroft’s interests in Belize. He, this man who pontificates and fashions himself as a white knight charging off to slay the villain, has gotten wealthy off the villain and continues to enjoy the villain’s largesse. He was shameless as he stated that he is not sure if his law firm is a major investor in Lord Ashcroft’s vast network of companies. He told the media that they would have to ask his law partner. What an absolute clown this man is. What a sick joke. Except it is no joke.

San Pedro High girls win 1st NSSSA football championship
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) girls remained undefeated to win their 1st ever National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) football championship, hosted by SPHS at the newly refurbished Ambergris Stadium with artificial turf over the weekend. In Game 1 Friday, the Southern zone champs, the Julian Cho High School from Big Falls, Toledo upset the defending national champs from the Western Zone, the Belmopan Comprehensive School (BCS) girls: 2-0. Regulation time ended in a nil-zip 0-0 draw, sending the game into overtime, in which Normalee Gomez scored JCTHS’ 1st goal: 1-0 in the 42nd minute, and Sylvia Pan scored the 2nd goal in the 49th minute. In Game 2 Friday night, the SPHS girls won 2-0 over the Central Zone champs, the St. Catherine Academy (SCA) girls, when Ada Cordoba scored a penalty in the 2nd minute: 1-0. Princess Bailey scored a 2nd goal in the 38th minute: 2-0 In consolation Game 3 for 3rd place on Saturday morning, the Compre girls bombed SCA: 2-0 in overtime, after regulation time ended in a nil zip draw. In the 1st overtime, Jayda Brown scored a header: 1-0, and in the 2nd overtime, Ashley Rodriguez scored a 2nd goal.

BES Boys Win 2 in Futures U-13 Football
The Belize Elementary School boys are leading the Futures Football Club Under-13 football competition with 2 wins at the ITVET compound last Saturday. The BES boys gunned down the Survivors: 3-2 with goals by Maddox Heusner, Hector Flores and Jared Mena. Kiwan Pantin and Isani Napata scored for Survivors. The BES boys posted their 1st win in Week 1 of the tournament: 4-0 against Jane Usher Blvd, with goals by Aiden Arnold, Maddox Huesner, Brandon Bouloy and John Paul Jaramillo.

Annlyn Apolonio & Clayton Greenidge Win SPIEZ Muscle Mania
It was wall to wall muscle at the SPIEZ Muscle Mania hosted by the Belize Body Building Federation at the Bliss Institute last Saturday night, with Clayton Greenidge, Annlyn Apolonio and Aurel Lewis taking top honours in their respective categories. Open Men’s Physique: 1st Aurel Lewis from Neal & Gordon’s Gym. 2nd Erick Vasquez from Neal & Gordon’s Gym. Open Bikini-fitness competition: 1st Annlyn Apolonio from Neal & Gordon’s Gym. 2nd Fiona Malic from Body 2000. 3rd Wendy Lizarraga from Spartan Gym, Corozal. 4th Fran Malic – Body 2000. Open Men’s Bodybuilding Competition: 1st Clayton Greenidge – Body 2000. 2nd Mwafrica Hinds – Camp Fit Ladyville. 3rd David Requena – Body 2000.

THE WONDERER AND BELIZEAN HAZARDOUS WASTE!
I’ve been wandering around the countries’ dumpsites. Most towns are still in bad shape but all villages are in very bad shape. Take the back street of any village and follow it and you will come to the village dumpsites and notice many of them very near or on top of creeks and streams. Have you visited the Corozal Consejo road dump site? It’s awful, it stinks…it is dangerous. Have you ever wondered what happens to all the hazardous waste of Mother Nature’s best kept secret? Yes, Belizeans us! It seems we don’t produce HAZARDOUS WASTE! Because when I wondered around the Mile 23 solid waste landfill which has the only hazardous waste landfill in the country it was still totally empty after some 5 years since it was inaugurated. According to DOE regulations, “hazardous waste” means any material or substance characterized as being toxic, corrosive, flammable, reactive, explosive, infectious, or pathogenic that may pose a threat to the environment and human health, and if you go to the DOE webpage (Table 1 and 2 of the schedule) it includes many, many waste materials that is common to us but we don’t pay attention. Table 1 gives a list of discarded goods, containers and listed waste streams. Table 2 gives a whole list of discarded mixtures and solutions. Interestingly there is a list in annex 1 according to the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste. This convention is basically to make sure you dispose of your hazardous waste within your own country in an environmentally sound and efficient manner. Also if transboundary movement is to occur this should be permitted only when conducted under conditions that do not endanger human health and the environment. Some of these hazardous wastes leaving our country are like batteries and used oil, etc.

THE MINISTERIAL IMMIGRATION SCANDAL: WILL THE SENATE INQUIRY UNRAVEL?
TWO major and politically connected players involved in the nasty ministerial immigration scandal have recently ducked an invitation from the Senate Special Select Committee inquiring into this sordid affair, to give sworn testimony about how deeply they were involved in this mess. This begs the question: Will the inquiry, under the chairmanship of a government-appointed Senator, unravel, or be allowed to? The two invitees, a former Deputy Mayor of the Belize City Council and a Finance Officer employed by the City Council, who appears to have been moonlighting in the illegal Passport and Visa business, are believed to be deep in the facilitation of Chinese and Taiwanese citizens seeking warmer climes and with some allegedly involved in the business of human trafficking.

A Pact With the Devil
Our present government, as the days go by, continually finds itself in a political quandary. As the days go by, the sins of yesterday are slowly being revealed and the picture we see is nothing that can justify their 2015 slogan ‘the best is yet to come.’ Instead it seems that we have been immersed in a tragic play with the plot being inspired by the German writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In Gothe’s novel ‘Faust,’ Heinrich Faust is a scholar who craves additional knowledge and makes a pact with Mephistopheles, an agent of the devil. In return for unlimited knowledge, Faust signs away the right to his soul (in another variation, the soul is that of his son). As he receives the unlimited knowledge he so much desires, it comes with certain effects. His actions causes the death of a young woman and his son. In our government, we can clearly see a similar scenario being played out. On one hand, we see certain politicians’ names being mentioned continuously whenever any scandal is exposed, and also at the same time, their immediate families’ fortunes begin growing at an alarming rate. For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffers the loss of his soul? In this case it will only lead to the downfall of the present government and a big loss to our treasury.

Who Killed the Alleged Killer?
Police are investigating a possible connection between the murder of 23 year-old Alvaro Aldana and 22 year old Chester Theus, both of whom were shot and killed within hours of each other. Up until Tuesday, February 21, Police did not know Theus’ identity. They discovered his body on Monday, February 20, at around 6 a.m. That was only 5 hours after the murder of Alvaro Aldana, and Police say that he was dressed in attire matching the description of Aldana’s shooter. The cops found him on lying in the middle of 1st street, in San Ignacio Town, with a bullet wound to the head. There were no eyewitnesses forthcoming, and nobody to offer any insight to the cops about what happened to him.

Aldana Executed by Belize City Assassin?
The common-law wife of 23 year-old Alvaro Aldana, a resident of San Ignacio, is left with the horror of hearing him gunned down and killed by some unknown assailant. Police have reason to suspect that a man who was killed shortly afterwards may have been his assailant, acting as some sort of assassin. The incident happened on Sunday, February 19, at around 12:58 p.m., when Aldana and his common-law, Shelee Lemus, were attempting to get to the hospital. She told the media that she was feeling ill, and they were about to catch a taxi to get to the hospital. He reportedly stopped off at a relative’s house while she went ahead. Aldana walked into the park area behind PK restaurant, where it is believed that a gunman snuck up on him from the darkness.

MY PERSPECTIVE – DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM
I have been focusing lately on the issue of violence against women and girls and domestic violence. There are thousands of cases and examples of this pernicious reality at home and abroad. I will be talking about cases in Belize, in Trinidad and Tobago and in the United States. Let me begin by quoting a journalist in Trinidad named Sophia Chote. She just wrote an opinion piece about comments Prime Minister Keith Rowley made when there was yet another vicious killing of a young woman in the twin island republic. “Domestic violence is a human rights violation. It is NEVER acceptable, excusable or tolerable,” she said. I no doubt agree wholeheartedly, and I want to comment as well. The Trinidadian PM made an off-the-cuff remark about the murder of the young woman and is quoted as saying that women must be careful about who they invite into their bedroom. This careless comment, obviously well meaning on his part, has sparked much discussion. Intimate partner violence is a very troubling matter, and men do not go around with a sign saying “Abuser”

William “Danny” Mason Will Stand Trial
Accused murderer William “Danny” Mason who was found to have been closely linked with many UDP politicians and in particular former Police Minister, Hon. John Saldivar, has been committed, along with four others, to stand trial in the Supreme Court on June 20, 2017. The five face charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping for the July 15, 2016 kidnapping and cold blooded murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping of David Dodd. On Tuesday February 21st, at the Preliminary Inquiry (PI), ACP Chester Williams, lead prosecutor in the matter listed before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith all the evidence (over 100 documents, exhibits, pictures, surveillance footage and others) had in the case minus the DNA and ballistic evidence.

Will Nanes Scandal Finally Be Investigated?
On November 3, 2015, a man by the name of David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer was caught on San Pedro with the help of Interpol and US Marshalls. His detention was ordered in 2011 following an investigation started in 2009 into the Mexican arm of the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme which he headed. Hundreds of investors were defrauded of millions of dollars under the scheme. However, by 2011 Nanes was long gone. He was located in Texas in 2012 but again gave authorities the slip. On San Pedro, he was busted with two fake driver’s licenses in the names of David Banes and David Nanes and that is all he was prosecuted for: uttering upon a forged document. Subsequently, it would be revealed that he had been facilitated with a Belizean Nationality and a passport both of which were later revoked. But there was never a police investigation, and a Senate investigation proposed by the then lead Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman was blocked by none other than Immigration Minister and Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse. Shoman had asked for him to recuse himself citing conflict of interest given that he had signed the nationality certificate, but Hulse went ahead and voted down the motion.

Barrow Deliberately Deceitful About Stolen Elections
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has dodged the question of the nationality and voter fraud which happened just before the 2012 General Elections. He says no such thing happened, and answered a question that wasn’t asked with a ridiculous answer that had nothing to do with the question. Readers are aware that Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan has conceded in the Senate Hearings on Immigration that in the rush before those elections, nationalities were expedited and that the vetting process was compromised. Gordon Wade, the former officer commanding the Nationality Section, told the Senate that Meighan and the then Minister interpreted the Nationality Act in a way which allowed for illegal immigrants not living in Belize for the required time to get nationality. He said that he did not agree, but they were his superiors and they could make the final decision.

Barrow Screws Up Big Time
Not even two years removed from the 2015 general elections, in which the best was promised to come, Belize is staring default and possible devaluation and total economic meltdown dead in the face. On Sunday Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his financial team of advisors returned to Belize following last ditch efforts in New York to persuade bondholders to accept the government’s ridiculous consent solicitation offer. GOB has proposed that bondholders lower the interest rate on the bond from 5 to 4 percent and that amortization payments be pushed back way until 2036 when GOB proposes it will start making three annual payments upwards of $100 Million each.

BNTU Victorious! Teachers Will Be Paid
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) has won over the Ministry of Education in the case of whether teachers who engaged in 11 days of strike in October 2016 ought to be paid. The Ministry insisted that the teachers – who fought for good governance – should only be paid for time worked but the Union countered that they were willing to make up the time lost. If they would not be paid, then the teachers would not make up the time. On Tuesday February 21st, after a couple adjournments the nation finally learned the outcome of the January 16th session with mediator George Swift. Chief Justice Hon. Kenneth Benjamin gave both parties 45 days to arrive at an agreement and when they reported back, BNTU president Luke Palacio called it a win-win for both sides. Ultimately though, it was a complete win for the BNTU as the Ministry had to accept the Union’s position. Palacio referred to the ruling of former Chief Justice Adbulai Conteh that it is not the prerogative of the Ministry to deduct teachers’ salaries but rather, that of the school managements. “We just trust that based on what we have experienced that both parties would have learned something from the matter,” affirmed Palacio.

If Dah Noh Soh…
Mein wat a ting wat a ting! I swear we Belizean pipple know how fuh frig up every ting. An look pon all dih cruffy weh hurry fuh gawn join fuh fass pon people C & P business. Unnu try stap it. Dah ting wah cause pipple fuh get hurt. None ah unnu dah saint and none ah unnu private parts any cuter dan dih ones unnu deh blast. Try fuh mih. Unnu behave like we noh gat much biggah tings fuh worry bout. I swear sometimes I wonder why we’re such an ass-backwards country. William Mason was found with a man’s head in the back of his vehicle in July 2016. It’s now 7 months after that…February 2017 and we still can’t get back the frigging results of the DNA/forensics tests. Seriously! You know what? I bet you anything Mason and his whole crew are going to walk free. It’s 2017 for Christ’s sake. We have Ministers who drive $200,000 vehicles with heated seats for their asses. We have Ministers who travel first class all over the world and have stolen millions from the public coffers. We have a PM who is a multi-millionaire and lives a life of opulence. And we can’t do the DNA ting. That shit isn’t funny. You know how many murderers have walked because of a lack of DNA evidence tying them to the crimes? Shit. I just noh undahstand!

Questions to Ministers
Would the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Finance please say exactly how much are in the country’s foreign reserve holdings at this specific time? Could he further say how close we are to a devaluation of the Belizean dollar? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please state whether he lied when he said publicly that shares in the utilities would only be sold to the SSB? Could he confirm or deny reports that at least one financial institution in the country has already purchased $20M worth of shares in one or more of the utilities? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say how much Mark Espat is being paid for this new attempt to restructure the bond? Could he further say how much Mark Espat is being paid for going around selling shares in the country’s utilities? Would the unelected Senator and disgraceful Minister of Immigration please say whether he was the one who called the Police to order them not to charge his son? Could he further say whether he signed the nationality documents for the Guatemalan who was pistol-whipped by his son?

Musical Legend Passes
Critically acclaimed Brukdown Queen, dancer, musician and Creole activist, Leela Vernon, has passed away. Her heart suddenly and unexpectedly stopped beating in a hospital bed at around 9 a.m. last Sunday. Since last Thursday she had been hospitalized for kidney related challenges. However, this prominent Punta Gorda woman did not seek medical attention abroad or even at our local high tech facilities. She humbly placed her life in the hands of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, the only place which half our country’s poverty stricken population is able to afford. Though her heart has stopped beating, the rhythm in her soul will beat on forevermore. Leela will never be forgotten. She was genuine. She was gifted. She cared about the state of the nation. When many said the Creole culture was a myth or lacked authenticity, she audaciously said otherwise as she belted out the words of her classic, “A wah know who seh Creole nuh got no culture.”

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Six-year-old girl killed in accident on Faber’s Road
Reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a fatal road traffic accident on Faber’s Road in Belize City earlier tonight. A six-year-old girl was walking with her mom when she was reportedly knocked down by a car. She died on the spot. Police are on the scene.

Funeral for Bishop Martin to be held tomorrow
Bishop Osmond Peter Martin, the nation’s first native Bishop will be buried tomorrow. His body will be available for viewing at 2:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan. At 3:00 p.m. the funeral and mass of thanksgiving will be held. Interment will follow on the grounds of the co-cathedral. Bishop Martin, a footballer turned Christian faithful passed away on February 16 of natural causes.

CWU gets new President
Long standing trade unionist, Dale Trujeque, was elected the new President of the Christian Workers Union (CWU) at its annual general meeting held on Saturday. He was named President after defeating his opponent Wilmont Staine by 112 votes.The meeting was a very turbulent one in which stevedore, Raymond Rivers, was overly critical of outgoing President, Audrey Matura. In the end Ella Waight emerged as treasurer while Deon Pitter, Philluipa McDonald and Brian Duncan were voted as Trustees.

Mr. Belize set to participate in Arnold Schwarzenegger body building competition
Rigo Vellos, five time Mr. Belize Champion, is gearing up to represent the country at an international body building event from March 2-5, 2017. He is set to compete in the Arnold Sports Festival, Arnold Classic, in Columbus, Ohio, organized by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician. Vellos will be joined by two other Belizeans – Oyinkro Akpobodor and Aurel Lewis who will be participating in separate categories.

Orange Walk man killed by friend
At around 8:30 last night, Marcelino Chan, 54, was stabbed to death by his own friends. They were all socializing in Orange Walk when an altercation erupted and he was stabbed 4 times; twice to the left rib cage, once behind the ear, and once to the left side of the chest. He was pronounced dead by the time he was taken to the Orange Walk hospital.

Broad day shooting leaves one man hospitalized
Twenty-four-year-old Deon Brackett was shot at around 11:30 a.m. on the south side of Belize City yesterday. Brackett was reportedly near the corner of Trinity Street when a gunman emerged firing shots in broad day light. Brackett ran for cover but was struck to the lower back.

Blogs

CAT OF CAYE CAULKER
Georgie, who works at Red Flower Gallery along with Angelle, thinks he can see me but I can’t see him.

Public Property Auction in San Pedro: Questions Answered, New Questions Formed
When a sign went up at a intriguing property just south of me, I NEEDED to put it on my calendar. I noticed the sign about a week and a half before the auction… …and took a walk down there. This whole area – Miles 6 to 7, North Ambergris Caye – has one of the prettiest stretches of ocean. The Mexico Rocks Marine Reserve. And I did ask some of the auctioneer and the representative from the bank when they arrived. Both very nice helpful guys. And easy to ID. It’s not often, away from the Mormons, that you see someone in a tie in San Pedro. The advertising for a property of some value is just a poster and a listing in the newspapers? Answer: Yes. Apparently it is a system that has been used for a while and works well. I can’t imagine that it would hurt to have nice photos taken and a website of the auctions? Some nice real-estate-y phrases “turn-key operation!” or “rustic project for DIYer!”. Maybe “lush native greenery!” The property was open, the doors were open and I took a quick look around. Why was this property of not insignificant value being sold this way? I asked the representative of the bank – and this was a loan that was left unpaid. It was now owned by the bank.

How to Make Belize Rice and Beans
One of the all-time classic Caribbean dishes, rice and beans hold a special place in every Belizean’s heart. Simple enough for everyday fare, beans and rice are the perfect accompaniment to a rainbow of other flavors both sweet and hot, making it the perfect introduction to Belizean cuisine. Most Belizeans would agree that you can’t properly say you’ve been to their country without sampling the rice and beans. The flavors change and shift in both subtle and dramatic ways as you cross the country, each of the ethnic groups in the country adding their own twist to this staple dish. Whether it’s the stick-to-your-ribs classic Creole version, curried East Indian varieties, Maya caldo, or fiery hot Caribbean style, there’s a rice and beans dish for every palate. Rice and beans are sure to be on the menu of every mom and pop restaurant as well as the fanciest dining establishments in Belize. Most people in Belize eat beans and rice for lunch but visitors spending the day on tour can enjoy rice and beans as part of a delicious dinner. And many people enjoy beans and rice for breakfast too!

International Sourcesizz

Local man survives Discovery's "Naked and Afraid"
Jason Gassaway of Palo Cedro participated in the Discovery Channel's hit TV show, "Naked and Afraid." Gassaway's episode will air as the season 7 premiere on Sunday, March 5 at 10 p.m. The show selects one man and one woman to be partners and survive together in a remote location in nature. They have only 21 days to reach a designated end point where they are "rescued" and taken back home. Gassaway said he applied to be on the show on a whim and was selected to move forward in the process a few days after he submitted his application. He was selected to participate in June and left for Belize the end of July. Gassaway said he only had three weeks to prepare for the challenges he would face in the jungle, whereas his partner, Lacey, had six months. He added that he had to completely change his diet and fitness routine in order to get ready.

Meeting to examine rising fishing costs
The Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says a landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded. The CRFM said that it will convene a two-day validation workshop in Barbados from today to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action. The workshop is being held in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation. CRFM executive director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, an economic consultant. The study, carried out in select CRFM member states, focused on factors such as capital, labour, maintenance and energy costs.

Belize v Turks & Caicos
Football Federation of Belize - FFB 9 - 4 Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association

Poetry: Cultivation
Belizeans will never have no revolution They do not own land They have no control over the means of production Every effort being made is for their gentrification Every effort being made is for their mis education Every effort being made is for their marginalization The leader of the land Said lands department is a hot bed of corruption Every Belizean can get 1.5 acres of land That will still leave some for the future generation We with our western education Have never been taught the value of the land That monies grow on tree that why our ancestor had farm land Land give man that spiritual connect Land cultivation builds man’s imagination Land cultivation gives stamina to a man No tek my word for it ask the Mayans

The New Neotropical Companion
Ladies and Gents, this updated book rocks...just rocks! Tons of new info and photos. If you have the old version, time to update. The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region's ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

Videos

  • TALK AH DI TOWN FEBRUARY 23, 2017, 20min. PGTV

  • Day 1 of the great carnival of San Pedro, 1.5min. San Pedro Aids commission supernumeraries. Come out and enjoy the creative and traditional "Supers" (dance groups), dancing through the streets of downtown San Pedro. Long live the tradition and live the carnival!

  • Dona Flora and Jaguar Girls Carnaval Comparsas!, 1.5min.

  • Jaguar girls or best known as the barbies comparsas carnival group!, 2min. Long live the carnival! Long live the tradition!

  • We LOVE Youth Voices of Belize!!, 3min. A core belief of Y4WC is that the world should ‘Listen to young voices’ not simply because youth are underrepresented in conservation and international conventions, but because we are already making positive impacts in our communities and may have new solutions and perspectives on conservation matters. As official partners for World Wildlife Day 2017, we have created a short film to celebrate Young Voices.

  • Daniela Novelo performing her original rap at La Isla Carinosa Academy extravaganza, 2min.

  • Last night's 'Carnaval' tribute to Felix Ayuso by the San Pedro Town Council, 7min. This video clip was played during the presentation. RIP Felix.

  • Los Barbies Carnaval Group, 9min.

  • Carnaval Comparsas San Pedro AIDS Commission, 9min.

  • Carnaval Comparsa Day 1 Doña Flora & Jaguars Girls, 20min.

  • Carnaval Fiesta!, 53min. A tribute to Felix Ayuso!

  • Leela's Legacy, 7.5min. Tribute by The Hon. Patrick Faber, The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and The National Institute of Culture and History

  • Wanderlust Belize Nature & Wildlife, 2.5min.

  • BELIZE SNORKEL FEBRUARY 2017, 2.5min.

  • Conch Graveyard - Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize, 5min. Seabed is entirely conch shells. Big sea turtle swimming around.

  • Belize zipline & cavetubing, 10min. day 2- travelled 1 1/2 hours to enjoy 5 zip lines then a break for lunch. We gathered life jacket, helmet and inner tube and began our 25 minute walk/ hike to the opening of the cave. The water system is the Sibun River. It was an incredible day...full of excitement, anxiety and thrills!

  • Birds of Belize - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, 2.5min. Status in Belize: Common resident most of Cayo, including Belmopan and Mountain Pine Ridge. Absent in coastal areas.

  • K & N Belize, 6.5min. Honeymoon to Coco Plum Caye in Dangriga, Belize.

  • Belize Snorkel, 9min. Snorkel trip in Belize with sharks and stingrays.

  • Belize City to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - Tropic Air, 2.5min.

  • Belize Waterfall Cave, 4min. This tour can only be done with Ian Anderson's Cave Branch since it's on their property. It's a must do if in Belize in my opinion...the video does NOT do it justice.

  • BSC 2017: Belize vs Turks & Caicos Highlights, 3min.

  • Belize Hol Chan Scuba/Snorkel, 4min.

  • Earth Day 2012 - University of Belize, 9min. Earth Day celebration and activities for 2012, University of Belize - Project Management class, Natural Resources Program.

  • Belize Drive 2017, 6min.

  • Spearfishing Barracuda, San Pedro Belize, 2.5min. Shot this 9lb Barracuda at roughly 40 feet on the North end of the island Feb 25th 2017.

  • Belize Vlog: Part 1, 15min.

  • Belize Bullet Tree 2017, 5min.

  • Dangriga Belize Airport, 1.5min. Taking off from Dangriga Airport Belize January 2017.

  • The woodpecker is a juvenile female pale-billed woodpecker, 10sec. The black feathers at the front of her face tell us she's a female. Wherever Carlos and I went today, she followed us. At one point she flew to me and clung to me as if I was a tree. She's pecking at tree bark as she's supposed to do, but she softly vocalizes almost non-stop: peep, peep, peep. These are begging sounds she makes to get her parents to feed her. Play the video with your speakers on - behind the raucous parrots you can hear her. We remain optimistic that she'll figure out how to feed herself (or make a friend who'll help her learn) and revert to being fully wild.

  • Todo sobre México, 3min. This is one of the most beautiful videos I've seen of the Mexican culture, and it makes it more beautiful being narrated by the children of Mexico... God bless the children of all Mexicans, are a culture that has survived in spite of all the currents that have come to this beautiful land.

  • Street Art Festival Stann Creek House of Culture, 10min.