Today's Belize News: April 12, 2015 - 04/12/15 11:39 AM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Leonardo DiCaprio unveils plans for Blackadore Caye: a Restorative Island
Award winning movie star, Leonardo DiCaprio has revealed plans for a multi-million dollar eco-resort on Blackadore Caye in Belize. DiCaprio, who is a publicized environmentalist, bought Blackadore Caye several years ago. The project, called Blackadore Caye: a Restorative Island, is expected to be the epitone of luxury while promoting sustainable development and improving the local ecosystem. The resort is expected to open in 2018 and is developed by Paul Scialla, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Delos Developments. Located about 7.5 miles west of Ambergris Caye, Blackadore Caye is about 104 acres in size. The resort is expect to feature 68 villas, 48 estate home, a private club house, world-class restaurants, a spa and wellness center, the Deepak Chopra Center for Renewal and Anti-Aging, and several infinity pool among other first class amenities. But the resort won’t be just about luxury, the development will also consist of artificial reefs to protect the island from erosion and shelter juvenile fish, a nursery to grow indigenous marine grass to support a manatee conservation area, and mangrove trees will be replanted to replace invasive species. “The main focus is to do something that will change the world. I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this, if it weren’t for the idea that it could be groundbreaking in the environmental movement,” said DiCaprio an interview with New York Times.
SP Lions Annual Pancake Bunny Brunch a success!
The San Pedro Lions would like to thank Madisco for donating the pancake mix and Running W Meats for donating a portion of the sausage. Other businesses who donated supplies include Paradise Market, Super Buy, Rocks, El Dorado, Amaya’s Store, My Brother’s Store, Caye Value Store, La Divina Providencia, Local Grocery, The Greenhouse, Mark’s Store, San Pedrano Store, Ambergris Store, Save On, Costless, Best Price and Publics Supermarket. A special thanks go to Peace Corps volunteers Diana, Crystal and Jason, and face-painters Melody, Sasha and Sandy. The Lions sincerely thank all who helped with the event and businesses who made the fund raiser a success, together WE SERVE our community!
Guest Editorial: Time flies…
While I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, it’s been fun trying to figure it out so far. April 11th officially marks 10 years at The San Pedro Sun for me, and that number brings about some serious reflection. Being a part of The San Pedro Sun and My Beautiful Belize has given me chances to visit, explore, meet and see new people, places and things. From dining out to rappelling down a waterfall, to staying overnight in fabulous hotels, to road-tripping through the little dirt roads of our country’s villages…I’ve been allowed to enjoy these experiences throughout the years. The best thing about my job has been meeting people from all walks of life. I’ve enjoyed shooting the breeze with people who’ve blown me away with their life stories, their talent, their gifts and their passion for life. I’ve seen people come and go.
Increase in street vendors near the park causes concern
But authorities have been ignoring the issue for years, because relocating the street vendors can affect the local politicians in future elections. But with local elections gone, what are the plans for the park and the street vendors? Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero took the opportunity to address this question for The San Pedro Sun. Once the vendors are relocated to a new location, the SPTC will help to direct tourists into the new area. The SPTC hopes that vendors should be relocated before the next high season.
Misc Belizean Sources
Woman of the Year: Martha Pulido
Congratulations, Martha Pulido, for being awarded a Woman of the Year award from the Ministry of Human Development! She works with Cornerstone, as the head cook. Thanks for all you do.
March 29, 2015 - April 4, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Huge tarpon week with decent weather and some good anglers in house! Jenn and Hackney have come to visit us at least twice a year for many years and although they have caught all species all sizes, in all weather, tarpon were the jewel of this trip with several fish to the boat. Somehow Jenn believes she is not competitive, but let’s just say she is determined! She gets the job done. John finished up his grand slam (over the week) with his biggest tarpon of his career (Are the migratory tarpon arriving early this year?) Rick and Peter had some success, Bob hooked up a bunch but was suffering from the odds – it is usually 1 tarpon landed for every 10 hooked syndrome) Andy Mill has a great scene in the film Chasing Silver when he was in a 0 out of 19 dry spell! Andy and his son will be at El Pescador this summer for the annual tarpon-tagging tournament. Kelly did not suffer from the odds and landed 3 tarpon!! Reed got tarpon on their first attempt and his buddy Denny lost one real close to the boat – what heartbreak!!
It's amazing to think that something so tiny will be a little green parrot within a few weeks
These tiny, tiny babies were rescued from a felled tree by a BTL Telcoms engineer in Corozal. He did a truly fabulous job of keeping them warm and safe all the way to his home in Dangriga. His wife Arshellie immediately contacted BBR, and Sarah and Nancy headed down to Dangriga to meet the wonderful family and their precious charges. From a description of birds in the area of fallen nest, they are likely to be yellow loreds. They are only hours old: the smallest weighs 10g. Nancy warmed food and Sarah showed Arshellie and her young daughter how delicate the feeding process is.
Belize’s Chief Justice Impressed Following Visit to Central Prison
The Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin made history today when he visited the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville Village, Belize District. In an interview, Benjamin noted that he views it important for the judiciary to have a clear understanding of what the prison system is like as this is the place where most times they send persons who appear before them. “We are out to see the connection between the criminal justice system and the correctional service because at the end of the day when we sentence in the courts they often end up in the hands of the prison. I’ve always advocated that judicial officers who do sentencing must have some idea as to where they are sentencing the accused defenders to and so it is imperative that we see that the facility is properly ran and that the facilities meet all the constitutional requirements for proper housing of inmates. I have been so impressed by everything that I saw. I sincerely think not what one would expect in the prison facility. If you would allow me, I will give you two examples; I saw a woodwork shop that exists and is comparable to any that one would se ein any part of the world and even the private industry. I saw a radio station that reaches out to the inmates. It is jail based and produces programming that is very appropriate to prison and I suspect that may be one of the only radio station in any prison in the world. Now that I have visited the prison, it is necessary for us to maintain contact and that there be free communication in the criminal justice system with the correctional service to ensure that from both sides of the fence, we are meeting all of the goals that are expected from us by the community.”
Investigators Seek Connection Between Recent City Murders
Belize City police are investigating yet another murder. Last night at around 11 o’clock, officers responded to the sounds of gunshots near Taylor’s Alley. There they found 32-year-old Michael Horace Foreman, known as “Popeye”, lying on the ground. Foreman was sitting on a bucket in the open lot through Taylor’s Alley when a gunman snuck up on him and blasted the single fatal shot. Foreman was shot to the back of the head and died early this morning while receiving treatment. The Commanding Officer of Eastern Division’s Criminal Investigation Branch, Superintendent Hilberto Romero, spoke on what their investigation has revealed so far. “Police personnel visited Taylor’s Alley where a shooting had occurred. They found one Michael Foreman with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head. He was immediately transported to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries around four thirty this morning. Investigations revealed that he was along with two other persons in that alley and sometime after a shot was heard and his body was found. He had entered that alley with two other persons and the information that we have is that he was seated on a bucket and somebody came up to him and shot him. We don’t have an exact motive, we are doing our investigations. ”
Reid Gets Bail in Case of Kidnapping
Forty year old Amir Reid, one of two men who were remanded into custody on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, was released on a bail of $10,000 that was granted to him today by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that he don’t interfere with the complainant either by himself or through a third party or go within 100 yards of the complainant. The charges arose from an incident that occurred on Monday, March 16. The complainant, Abel Lara, reported to the police that he was on Faber’s road when two men grabbed him, tied him up and put him in a van. Lara said they took him to mile 8 on George Price Highway. Lara said he managed to escape by lying to his captors, telling them that he was going to take them where a stash of cannabis was hidden. He said that while he was walking with them to the alleged stash spot a vehicle drove by and his captors fled. He then got a lift fro the driver of the vehicle and he was taken to the nearest police station. The second accused, 24 year old alexander Lopez, is still in prison. Reid was represented by attorney Michael Peyrefitte while the Crown was represented by Crown counsel Linsbert Willis.
Man Accused of Carnal Knowledge Gets Bail with Conditions
Sixty year old Santos Gonzalez Dubon, a Guatemalan national with permanent resident status in Belize who has a charge of carnal knowledge of a child under the age of 14, was offered a bail of $10,000 with one surety for the same amount today by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that the surety is a Belizean, that the petitioner don’t interfere with the complainant either by himself or through a third party and that he reports to Bella Vista Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dubon was arraigned on March 11 in Independence Magistrate’s Court. He was remanded into custody until June 11.
Accused Conspirators in Murder Case Get Bail of 10K
Two men who were charged with conspiracy to commit murder were released on bails of $10,000 that were offered to them today by Justice Herbert Lord. They are 23 year old Ronald Michael and 30 year old Alrick Smith. Michael was also charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. They were offered bail on the condition that they do not interfere or communicate with the complainant either by themselves or through a third party and that they are not to go within 100 yards of the virtual complainant. The charges arose from an incident that occurred on March 16 in Ladyville. The complainant, 29 year old Kenroy Arnold when a vehicle pulled up with 2 men inside and one of them exited the vehicle and opened fire. Arnold was shot in the back and right hand. Michael and Smith were represented by attorney Cynthia Pitts Robateau while the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis.
Family of Burnt Victim in Boat Explosion Holds Fundraisers
It has been just over a week since boat captain, Romaldo Badillo was injured in a boat explosion in the Hangar area right after he and three other men launched the vessel to set sail for the Easter weekend. Of the four men, Badillo was most severely injured and had to be flown out of the country for medical attention as he had received third degree burns to about fifty percent of his body. While he is hospitalized in Guatemala, family members and friends are here in Belize trying to raise monies to cover his medical expenses. As part of the fundraising efforts, an account was opened on the website, www.gofundme.com. Up to news time tonight, that fund raising venture had garnered just over sixteen thousand dollars.
Father of Coast Guard Seaman Speaks on His Son’s Murder
Yesterday we told you of an appeal by the Belize Police Department for the public’s assistance in identifying the body of a man who passed away at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City on April 8. After we ran the story we were informed that the man, who was found unconscious at the Welcome Centre in San Ignacio on Saturday, August 4, was identified as member of the Belize Coast Guard. The man was identified as Seaman Apprentice 1202, 23-year-old, Aurelio Montero Junior of Bullet Tree Falls Village, Cayo District. Love News met up with his father, Aurelio Montero Senior who spoke to us on the last known whereabouts of his son. “The last time I saw my son was on Thursday. He was at home on leave. He told us that he was going to report to work the Friday and he spent most of the day with us, Thursday but he went out Thursday night; you know how boys go out and have fun. But we were expecting him to go to work the Friday and so, we never bothered about him again to know where he was because we know that he was about to go to work on Friday. That’s what happened.”
Cervical Cancer awareness drive hits BTL Park
The Belize Cancer Society of California, held a cervical cancer awareness drive entitled, “Not Clear – Get Checked”. The drive was to inform women of all ages on the symptoms of cervical cancer and the risks associated with not detecting it early. The event had several unique features, including the giving away of free bras and panties as a symbol of reaching out to women, the “I am my sister’s keeper” pledge and the distribution of leather wrist bands. Arlette Pilgrim, president and founder of the Belize Cancer Society of California explained that she felt the event was necessary because getting the information out to women can save their lives. “It’s serious because younger women are dying of cancer, and I can see them suffering in the process, and I just don’t want to see another woman get diagnosed with cancer and have to sit at home to die,” Pilgrim said.
Fundraiser for injured boat captain draws major public support
The events to raise funds for the injured boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, 59, drew major public support on Saturday at the Hour Bar parking lot in Belize City. Nydia Riverol, Badillo’s sister-in-law and one of the organizers of the event, says that through their supporters they managed to sell over 1,500 barbecue tickets. The family also held a telethon which was still ongoing at the time of Riverol’s interview. “The public support has really been tremendous,” she explained. “We have had corporate sponsors, like Bowen and Bowen and BTL, but the best support came from his family and friends.” She added that all the updates the family has received on Badillo’s condition have been positive, and that they remain hopeful that he will survive the ordeal.
FFB will allow Rawell Pelayo to resign
The Football Federation of Belize will allow former Vice President, Rawell Pelayo, to resign rather than be expelled, FFb president of the FFB Ruperto Vicente announced on Saturday. Vicente, speaking after the eighth regular congress of the FFB held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, said that the FFB would grant Pelayo the courtesy out of respect. “We wanted to give him the opportunity to submit his resignation, which he has indicated he will do,” Vicente said. “Mr. Pelayo is a member of our football family, and we want to treat all our family members with respect.” He added that it is a part of the FFB guidelines that no member being charged criminally, be it nationally or internationally, can serve on the executive of the FFB. The federation had released an agenda prior to the congress, which had Pelayo’s expulsion as one of the orders of business for the day; however that agenda was revised and the motion removed.
Breaking: Murder in Roaring Creek Village
Belmopan police are investigating a shooting incident that has left one man dead and another clinging for his life in that municipality. According to authorities, around 1:15am this morning, 24 year old Allen Garbutt and Jermaine Welcome were among a crowd of men socializing at a yard in the Hattieville area of Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District when a lone gun man approached the crowd and open fire in their direction. The volley of bullets hit Jermaine Welcome to the lower back and Allen Garbutt sustained gunshot wounds to his body. Both men were transported to the Community Hospital where Welcome succumbed to his injuries and Garbutt is listed in critical condition. Police have no suspects at the time or have confirmed a motive but their investigation continues.
BREAKING NEWS: Murder in Belize City
Belize Media Group has been informed about a murder that just happened a few minutes ago in Belize City. Our sources are indicating that Edward Usher also known as “Ghost” has been shot on Mayflower Street in Ghost Town. This is a developing story and we will be updating it shortly.
BREAKING: FFB contemplates fate of Executive, Rawell Pelayo
Days after being deported back into Belizean territory, the fate of Rawell Pelayo, Vice Chairman of the Football Federation of Belize hangs in the balance in the football world. Reports are that the Federation plans to expel Pelayo today during its 8th Ordinary Congress which is scheduled in Belize City. The expulsion is under the grounds that Pelayo lied to gain eligibility to run for office in the FFB and having a criminal record prior to his detention in the US, two years ago.
Thankfully there was no tipsy taco
Belize adventure tours – Stand Up Paddleboarding. For those of you that have not done it but are interested and want to know more, think of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) as a cross between kayaking and surfing, minus the big waves, plus a paddle. Many people are daunted by this sport and should not be because anyone can do it. If you are reasonably steady on a bike or can walk a thin line, you can paddle board. A little balance, a great teacher to correct your form and you will be gliding across the water in no time. This tour is an excellent way for beginners to see how they like paddleboarding and the boards at the sailing school are specifically geared towards easy learning. For expert level paddleboarders the location is tranquil and serene, plus you can set your own pace and make it a more challenging work out. The tour leaves from Belize Sailing School at Caribbean Villas Hotel and takes place north inline with Grand Caribe Resort and Captain Morgans (we could see them in the distance) on the west lagoon.
Chocolate Festival of Belize: A Festival to Attend Before You Die
The ninth annual Chocolate Festival of Belize and Toledo will take place on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th May 2015. The event kicks off with the Gala event, Wine and Chocolate on the Friday night from 7pm to 11:30pm. The event is being held for the second year at Garbutt’s gorgeous marina on Joe Taylor Creek. Surrounded by both the lagoon and the ocean this night brings you nothing but good times, good friends and live music from the Caribbean Roots Band all the way from Corozal, an array of delectable hors d’oeuvres including deep fried lion fish and shrimp and, of course, how could we forget – Chocolate from Belizean chocolatiers! The Taste of Toledo Street Fair is held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town, from the Uno gas station all the way down to the Punta Gorda library. The pedestrian-only street fair features cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo’s five main ethnic groups: Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and East Indian. Each area displays art, food and music from their culture. It is like passing from a Maya town to a Garifuna town in just a few steps. Barbecued food, chocolate making, kayak trips, chocolate farm trips, there’s something for everyone. Live local music will play in the fair, on stage as well in the streets. Taste exciting new chocolate flavours, watch local dance groups, buy local food, crafts, and relax with a cold beer while enjoying live music on stage outside the court building. Cacao for Kids will be at the Punta Gorda Methodist School grounds, where there will be tons of fun for the kids.
DiCaprio Just the Latest Celebrity to Join the Hotel Business
The actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently announced his plans to build an eco-resort on private Blackadore Caye in Belize, a property expected to open in 2018. But he’s far from the first celebrity to enter the hospitality game. He joins a cadre of fellow actors, musicians and athletes, including the 11 below, who have broadened their portfolios (and their brands) with properties around the world. Francis Ford Coppola: Belize, it seems, is a relative hot spot for celebrity hoteliers. The film director Francis Ford Coppola has two properties in the Central American nation, including Turtle Inn on the beach in the sleepy south coast town of Placencia. Andy Murray: The Scottish tennis star Andy Murray branched into the hotel business last year with Cromlix, a 19th-century estate near Dunblane, just over 40 miles northeast of Edinburgh, which he renovated and turned into a 34-acre luxury resort. Richard Gere: Richard Gere, the actor, is behind the Bedford Post Inn in Westchester County, N.Y. The dormered property dates back to the 1780s and now hosts eight guest rooms, most with fireplaces and marble bathrooms, some with terraces.
Billionaire pollster Lord Ashcroft upsets Tory high command
Lord Ashcroft has a favourite parlour game for those occasions when a select group of Conservative MPs come to his grand townhouse in Westminster for an evening of fine dining and gossiping. The peer and pollster likes to play word association, presenting the adjectives and descriptions that spring into the minds of voters when they see pictures of Britain’s political leaders. One attendee says: “He shows David Cameron first and it is quite damning: ‘Cameron’s out of touch, he’s not one of us’. Ashcroft doesn’t write the script, he is reporting what he finds, but he does delight in tweaking the tail a bit.” His sardonic ribbing of the prime minister is typical of the self-made billionaire, who was once firmly inside Mr Cameron’s political tent and is now most certainly not. “He does it all in a straight-faced way,” another Conservative says.
Garifuna celebrates heritage at Boro Hall
From 2010 on, the New York State (NYS) Assembly and later the NYS Senate began to recognize through proclamations the Garifuna community in the metro-New York area. The Bronx and Brooklyn have the greatest concentration of Garifuna outside of Central America (Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua). State Senator Eric Adams (representing Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Sunset Park and Prospect Heights) promised that when elected borough president of Brooklyn he would recognize the Garifuna community. “He kept his promise,” said culture activist Jose Franciso Avila as he began his keynote speech at the Garifuna Heritage Celebration at Brooklyn Borough Hall on April 7. “Brooklyn is the head of the (next generation) Garifuna resurgence,” he said, citing the community organization Mujeres Garinagu en Marcha (MUGAMA).
Gays want the right to move freely within CARICOM
Jamaican attorney and gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is urging the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to force the Trinidad and Tobago government and Belize to scrap immigration laws which prevents gay people from entering both countries. According to Tomlinson, the relative provisions in the laws of both countries are against the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which provides for free movement of CARICOM nationals within the region. “As long as they remain on the statue books there is the continued threat of denial of entry and prosecution,” Tomlinson attorney, Trinidadian Douglas Mendes SC submitted at the start of a two-day hearing of Jamaican’s legal challenge, at the CCJ in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison
At 84, she sits comfortably as one of the greatest authors in American history, even as her uncompromising dream for black literature seems farther away than ever. Not too long ago, Toni Morrison sat in the small kitchen attached to the studio where she was recording the audiobook for her newest novel, “God Help the Child,” telling a roomful of strangers stories that I will never forget. The studio, a small, refurbished barn in Katonah, N.Y., was more than a hundred years old, but only a few rustic touches remained, like a sliding barn door and knotty pine floors. A solid kitchen table had been laid with fresh fruits, muffins and tins of jam. Beams of sunlight reflected off the blindingly white snow outside the glass window. A young woman from Random House kept mentioning her sunglasses, how it was bright enough to wear them inside. Everyone giggled at her nervous chatter, but they seemed to be mostly laughing at her brave attempt to make small talk in the presence of Toni Morrison.