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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
Shark fishing continues; MarAlliance calls for drastic legislation changes
Shark fishing has resumed at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This is according to reports made to MarAlliance, a non-governmental organization based in San Pedro Town. The organization is calling on Central Government to make a drastic change in legislation to protect the shark population in Belize.
According to MarAlliance, this recent report raises grave concerns about unsustainable shark fishing. “We were informed that [the fishermen] hold shark fishing licenses and further hold the special Managed Access fishing licenses meant for long-time users and traditional fishers of Zone 7 / Lighthouse Reef Atoll…The shark fishers have refused to vacate private land that the owner has asked them to vacate through the intermediary of his manager in charge. This sets a dangerous precedent for any landowner in Belize…The parting words of the fishers as they left with the remains of more than a thousand sharks were, ‘We’ll be back next year.’ It is clear that they will continue to come back until there are no more sharks left,” said MarAlliance.
Rehabilitation is possible: Jason Reyes makes major strides at Central Prison
After being found guilty in October of 2015 for the death of island resident Lionel Pinelo, San Pedro resident Jason Reyes has made major rehabilitation strides at the Kolbe Foundation Belize Central Prison. The San Pedro Sun spoke to a prison administrator who was pleased to share the good news of Reyes’ progress. He has gone so far as to work as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) alongside the prison doctor, while undergoing training to be officially certified by the time he gets out. It is expected that if everything goes well, he might be out on parole, and is likely to be hired as an EMT with the Government of Belize. According to Doctor Javier Novelo of the Central Prison, from the moment Reyes was remanded, he showed an interest in the medical field. “After doing health presentations at various sections of the prison, I saw his interest in the field, so I placed him as medic personnel to work with me. His duties were just to distribute medications and getting complaints from those who are sick,” said Novelo. “After observing his dedication, I brought him to the medic department of the prison, where he trained with me for over a year.” Novelo said that as part of their rehabilitation program, he has been able to convince the prison’s administration to allow certain inmates to learn trades, such as paramedic, so that when they return to society, they have a profession to earn a living.
Oil spill in Western Belize; Environmentalist continue campaigning against offshore oil exploration
An oil spill was reported on Wednesday, March 1st at one of the oil wells in the Belize Natural Energy’s (BNE) compound in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. The leak took place at the Michael Usher Number 1 oil well, and took BNE workers around two hours to contain it. Even though BNE indicated that it did not cause any major environmental damage, oil seeped into a small stream.
BNE shared with the media that upon reports of the leak, they observed crude oil on the surface of the ground near the Michael Usher well. Production Engineer Bernard Raymond said they quickly shut off the flow of oil in order to prevent a major spill. “No oil went into the environment, we collected most of the oil after the situation was contain,” said Raymond. According to him that particular area where the spill occurred only produces about 20% of crude, while the remainder is water. He said the spill response team was able to scoop out layers of top soil that were contaminated with oil water, and they did extract the oil that went into the stream.
Dredging taking place in Caye Chapel despite lack of EIA
Reports of dredging activities on Caye Chapel are once again raising concerns. A dredging machine has been spotted in front of the island, and many environmental and tourism organizations are expressing their disapproval over the ‘beach re-creation’ at Caye Chapel. The project has allegedly been given the green light, despite not undergoing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The only response from the Department of Environment (DOE) so far is that the project is a major investment and what is taking place at Caye Chapel is just a pilot project. DOE stated that an EIA will apply to the larger project whenever it begins in the upcoming months.
In a letter dated December 23, 2016 Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria granted Environmental clearance for the pilot project. The letter also indicated that the investors at Caye Chapel have permission to upgrade the utilities on the island and to install five temporary tents during the ‘beach creation’ works. It was also stated in the letter that prior to dredging activities, a permit must be obtained from the Mining Unit, within the Ministry of Natural Resources. A copy of this permit was to be submitted to the DOE.
Record number of manatee deaths caused by boat collisions
Since the beginning of 2017, local manatee conservation programs, Belize Manatee Conservation Program (BMCP) and Manatee Eco Warrior (MEW), have documented 11 manatee deaths so far. With an estimated 1,000 left in our country, it is believed that Belize is the last stronghold for the Antillean manatee population.
Manatees are part of Belize’s rich biological diversity, and important in many ways. The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute states that not only are manatees an indicator species of ecosystem health, they also provide diverse opportunities for tourism. The first manatee death this year was recorded on January 11th when an adult was found dead in Bainton Bank. Since then, several mature and juvenile manatees have been found dead. A lifeless manatee was even recently spotted in Ladyville during Belikin’s La Ruta Maya 2017 River Challenge on Monday, March 6th.
Misc Belizean Sources
NSTA Northern Regional Softball Championship
Congratulations to the San Pedro High School (SPHS) Male Softball Team on winning the NSTA Northern Regional Championship! Kudos to the SPHS Female Softball Team for taking third place.
President of the University of Belize pays a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Belize
Professor Clement Sankat, President of the University of Belize, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honorable Dean Barrow. He was accompanied by Mr. Harry Pilgrim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UB at the Prime Minister's Belize City Office.
The University of Belize looks forward to continue working closely with the leaders of this nation to accomplish the shared vision of building a better Belize through quality and relevant education
First Southwest Airlines flight from Denver
We welcome Southwest Airlines new nonstop flight from Denver to Belize!
Seaweed Cultivation Training Course
Jomael Verde and Johnny Flores from the Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Sarteneja Village, Corozal participated in a Seaweed Cultivation Course hosted by the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Ltd (PPCSL) and The Nature Conservancy. The course brought together representatives from various Fisher's Associations in the country interested in the cultivation of seaweed. These two SFA members are now certified to cultivate Seaweed and is a major step towards the realization of Seaweed Cultivation by SFA.
A wonderful week of team work and generosity ends in stellar fashion on The Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center in Patchakan, Corozal as we celebrated the completion of the mentor-ship building erected by the fabulous Manna Organization at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. We celebrated with authentic Mayan cuisine of pork pibil cooked under ground with hot stones covered with palm branches and dirt. A gratitude hand carved plaque is presented to the team. The Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center Turtle Band performed the song "You Raise me up" which expresses the sentiment of our hearts for such great love and support to the cause of bringing sobriety to one brother at a time, one life at a time restored to a new walk in spirituality and families restored.
Rainbow Park Corozal
It is a beautiful place to bring out your family to relax, swim and enjoy.
Belize Bird REscue: Movig termite nest!
In an effort to help Pomona learn to forage on her own, Oscar and I got a small termite mound from the jungle near the pre-release aviary past the tool shed. I thought there would be big mounds as one sees in Aftica, but this was a bit smaller than a soccer ball. There were loads of small brown termites.
We wedged the termite mound in the intersection of two large branches of a tree somewhat close to the aviary where she sleeps. On both of my last two days at the rescue I brought Pomona to the termite mound and banged on it with a stick to get the termites to come out. Pomona wasn't immediately interested, but repeated efforts may produce the desired outcome.
SouthWest- Denver to Belize Inaugural Flight
A Tribute to Carl - March 11th, 2017
Grief is an overwhelming emotion that takes over our being when we lose someone so close to us as Dr. Carl Meggs was. Many strong wise and able people tell us that we should not grieve but that we should instead celebrate the life of this extraordinary gentleman, this outstanding Belizean, this extremely loyal friend. But I will tell you right now that it is hard. How can we not grieve the sudden loss of Carl Meggs when he meant so very much to so many of us? How can we not fight to hold back an avalanche of tears when we realize that our friend is lost to us, so unexpectedly taken away on the twilight of a dream?
Yes, we WILL and we MUST celebrate the life of Carl Meggs, the wise man, the doctor, the thinker, the father, the husband, the friend, the soldier, the unwavering Belizean nationalist, because our memories of him are good ones. We will always keep those pleasant memories etched in our hearts and our actions.
Ministry of Agriculture gets new CEO
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer to its Ministry.
Dr. Percival Cho has been appointed to the post and will work sprcifically with Minister Omar Figueroa.
Cho will have oversight of the Fisheries and Forestry departments, as well as the environment, sustainable development, climate change and the Solid Waste Management Authority.
A press release from the Government’s Press Office quotes that with his knowledge and expertise in science at national and international levels, the Ministry warmly welcomes Cho to his post.
Cho is said to have 17 years experience in the public service in the forestry department. He is a forestry expert and natural resource scientist with a a PhD in Environmental Biology, and a Masters degree in Forestry.
Belize City taxi driver missing
Belize City police are investigating the suspicious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a taxi driver, after he was reported missing on Friday morning by his daughter.
Twenty-nine-year-old Karen Gillett told police that on Thursday March 9, at around 11:00 p.m., her father 66-year-old Elbert Gillett, left their home at on Signa York Street en route to work.
The daughter says that since then, she has not heard anything from her father and is worried. On Friday morning Gillett’s car was discovered in the city completely destroyed by fire, however there was no sign of him.
More worrying evidence turned up when a man visited the Caribbean Shores police stationed and handed over Gillett’s drivers license, which he claims to have found somewhere in Ladyville.
Belize represented at Ministerial Council meeting in Cuba
Belize was present at the 22nd session of the Ordinary Meeting of Ministerial Council, held in Havana, Cuba on March 10, 2017.
The meeting was held by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and highlighted the works that the Secretariat has undertaken, with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and rebranding the ACS, specifically for the protection of the Caribbean Sea, a release from the Government’s Press Office states.
At the meeting, the members expressed their concern over the isolation of members states by non-regional partners, as well as the loss of correspondent banking in the Caribbean.
Members from the 15 member states of CARICOM, Latin America and countries that share the Caribbean sea attended the event.
Belize was represented by Her Excellency, Annie Lu Burns, Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba and His Excellency, Daniel Gutierez, Belize’s Ambassador to CARICOM.
Breaking Belize News
Southwest Airlines and BTB celebrate inaugural flight from Denver to Belize
Yesterday, Southwest Airlines along with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) inaugurated the new non-stop flight from Denver International Airport to Belize City, Belize.
As part of the inauguration, customers heard remarks in the gate area at the Denver International Airport from Southwest and BTB officials and Belize’s Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia.
A band and samba dancers also performed at the event.
Bullet Tree Residents complain after a mature Guanacaste tree is cut down by the Village Council
Villagers in Bullet Tree Falls in Cayo District are terribly upset because the Village Council decided to remove a Guanacaste tree that had been in existence for decades.
The tree was a top attraction in an area of the village where a few small resorts are located. But what would make the village council go so berserk and remove a landmark tree?
Well information to our newsroom is that the Village Council attempted to remove some bees using fire and the tree was set ablaze as a result.
This afternoon, the Village Council decided to cut down the tree in its entirety.
Horse race controversy in Cayo – Politics at the center
There is an ongoing feud between current Cayo Central Area Representative, Rene Montero, and the Twin Towns’ Jockey Club Horse Racing Association with UDP/PUP politics at the center of the controversy.
A long standing member of the Twin Town Jockey Club contacted BBN because the Club is concerned that the horse race organized for tomorrow at the Peter August race track in Santa Elena, Cayo, is in jeopardy.
Montero had recently formed his own committee to organize horse racing events in Cayo as a number of the executive members of the Twin Towns Jockey Club are known supporters of his opponent Daniel Silva and the PUP. However, the Twin Town Jockey Club claims that it is a legally registered association whose committee was elected by horse owners from across Belize and they claim that Montero is sabotaging their race for tomorrow.
Belize to hold national consultations on new trade policy
Belize is seeking to develop a national trade policy and now the country is preparing to host a series of public consultations with various stakeholders.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce said at the core of the consultations, “is the contribution it would have on attaining Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development strategy objective of a better quality of life for all Belizeans.”
The Ministry also stated that the consultations will provide a forum for engagement in the process of creating a responsive national policy to stimulate trade, enable investments and facilitate Belize’s integration into the regional and multilateral trading system.
Taxi man missing; vehicle found but “burnt”
Elbert Gillett, 66, a senior citizen of Belize City has been reported missing and his family now suspects the worst after his vehicle was found completely destroyed by fire.
Yesterday evening a man also went to the Caribbean Shores Police Station and handed over Gillett’s driver’s license. The man told police that he found it somewhere in Ladyville.
Gillett left home on Tuesday night at 11:00 and has not been seen since.
Michael Finnegan stepping down; Shyne Barrow to succeed him
Career politician, Michael Finnegan, who has represented the Mesopotamia constituency in Belize City since time immemorial told 7news yesterday that he will not seek re-election.
According to Finnegan, he may serve out the remainder of his term scheduled to end in 2020 or if necessary he may vacate office earlier.
His nephew Shyne Barrow who is the eldest son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed interest in succeeding him.
Former GSU Commander needs your help
Former commander of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), Mark Flowers, needs your help. Flowers suffered a stroke in late 2016 and has been recuperating since.
Today, a BBQ is being held at his residence in Santa Elena town to collect funds to continue paying for his treatment.
Flowers served as GSU Commander from August 2014 to June 2016 when he was replaced.
SIB gets $60,000 worth of new equipment
Yesterday at a ceremony held at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Omar Figueroa handed over 25 computer systems to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
The donation is valued at over $60,000 and was made possible through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning Management of Natural Resources in Belize Project (CD2).
Young’s law firm closes its doors
Young’s Law Firm has officially closed its office in Belize.
Readers will recall that the firm was owned by Attorney at Law, Michael Young, who committed suicide last year.
Belize Represented at the 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Ministerial Council
The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held its 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council today, March 10th, in Havana, Cuba, according to a Government of Belize press release.
The session brought together 25 nations of the Caribbean region which include the 15 member states of CARICOM, as well as Latin American Member States such as Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South American countries that share the Caribbean Sea.
According to the release, the meeting underscored the work that the secretariat has undertaken with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and ultimately rebranding the ACS.
My Eight Craziest Adventure Tours In Belize Plus One
Belize is full of adventure. Such a small country, you can be at the 2nd largest reef in the world on one day and then deep within an inland cave the next. It was my trip to the “Black Hole” that got me thinking about this list so I’ll start with that. Adventure? Me? Yes indeed.
1. Rappelling The “Black Hole” Drop
2. Night Snorkeling
3. Natural Watersliding At Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve
4. Ziplining Belize’s Longest Zip Line and Waterfall Rappelling at Bocawina Park
5. Climbing to The Top of The Tallest Building at Lamanai and then Coming Down
6. The Belize Zoo
7. Diving or Snorkeling the Great Blue Hole
Belize to hold national consultations on new trade policy
Belize will host a series of public consultations with various stakeholders as it seeks to develop a national trade policy.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce said at the core of the consultations on March 14-15 “is the contribution it would have on attaining Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development strategy objective of a better quality of life for all Belizeans.
“These consultations will provide a forum for engagement in the process of creating a responsive national policy to stimulate trade, enable investments and facilitate Belize’s integration into the regional and multilateral trading system.”
The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) launched the Trade Policy Framework in July 2016 that provides government’s commitment and policy guidance for formulating Belize’s first comprehensive National Trade Policy aimed at stimulating and expanding trade for the domestic and international markets.
Inaugural Southwest flight from Denver arriving in Belize, 1/2min.
Breathtaking Belize, 2min. "As it was our first time in Belize we wanted to see a little bit of everything. We decided to split our trip between the verdant jungles near San Ignacio and the dive haven of San Pedro, a small town on Ambergris Caye. While one week was not nearly enough to explore the dozens of islands, cayes, or ancient ruins, I do feel we got a nicely balanced taste of what makes this country such a joy to visit."
Caye Caulker | Mexico - Belize Trip | Gopro & Phantom | Part3, 6min. Belize / Caye Caulker - Third part of our Mexico/Belize Trip Our Stops: Playa del Carmen
TheSilverAdventurer, 15min. The Machaca Hill resort in Belize was an exciting end to our Belize adventure, and an extraordinary location for river trips, canoing, kayaking, hiking, birding, .
Lamanai, Belize, 3.5min. Our shore excursion that took us on a speed boat through the Belize jungle to Lamanai.
TOURING IN DANGRIGA TOWN, BELIZE, 17min.
Zip lining Belize, 3min.
KITESURFING on a breezy day in BELIZE!!! Kiteboarding Ambergris Caye, 3min. Kiteboarding inside of the reef on a breezy day in Belize.The island of Ambergris Caye offers amazing views, crystal clear water, and nice breezes.