Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Isla Bonita Elementary Student is island's top PSE Scorer

Brian Schweigler, flanked by classmates Sophia Miglio and Jasmine Ritchie

Brian Schweigler of La Isla Bonita Elementary School is the island’s best PSE scorer, with 364 points out of a possible 400. The Primary School Examination (PSE) is a two-part exam given to students to assess their achievement of curriculum content and skills in the areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science of the National Primary School Curriculum. In a release by the Ministry of Education, it states that “the examination seeks not to rank students in comparison to other students, but to report what each student has achieved for individual skills.”

Below find a list of the top ten scorers on the island. Kudos to the students for their hard work, and also to the teachers, parents and all those who assisted them in their quest for academic excellence.

Brian Schweigler – La Isla Bonita Elementary School – 364
Andreina Acosta – San Pedro RC School – 360
Odalis Duarte - San Pedro RC School – 356
Mahe Pereira – New Horizon SDA – 356
Sophia Miglio – La Isla Bonita Elementary School - 351
Brandon Ramirez – Ambergris Caye Elementary School – 348
Pedro Ayuso – San Pedro RC School – 346
Pablo Barboza – San Pedro RC School – 343
Raquel Reyes – San Pedro RC School – 341
Jasmine Ritchie – La Isla Bonita Elementary School – 338

RC School's top scorers: (L-R) Pablo Barboza, Pedro Ayuso,
Odalis Duarte and Andreina Acosta (missing is Raquel Perez).

The top scorer in the country is Hummingbird Elementary's Siian Rancharan, with a total of 386. The top scorer will be recognized at a national award ceremony later this month (June). The top scorer will receive the Jane and Michael Nembhard award, which includes a computer and financial assistance to the high school of choice.

Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras devastated by Tropical Storm Agatha

June 1st is the beginning of Hurricane season, but Tropical Storm Agatha hit Central America early, as it has caused devastation and loss of lives in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras over the weekend. Above is an image of a giant sinkhole that was created by the extreme downpour of rain, and swallowed an entire 3-story building.
According to the Associated Press, the European Union has granted euro3 million ($3.65 million) in emergency aid for victims of Tropical Storm Agatha in Central America.
The storm has caused flooding and landslides that killed at least 150 people and made thousands homeless in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
The EU says the aid approved Tuesday will go toward buying food, water, first aid kits, sanitation supplies and emergency shelters for some 100,000 people.
EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva says "We will continue to monitor the situation closely, in case further needs arise."
More than 160,000 people in Central America have been evacuated from their homes.

Ripley the Morelet’s Crocodile Euthanized

Press Release – American Crocodile Education Sanctuary – June 1, 2010 - A bright new bird chirping morning it is in the jungle here in Punta Gorda, but a very sad one too. Ripley, the tortured Morelet’s Crocodile the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) and the Belize Forest Department rescued from Corozal in April, will have to be euthanized today.

The stress Ripley endured, along with the severity of his injuries has caused him to contract septicemia. Ripley is now suffering and death is inevitable. ACES takes condolence in knowing that at least Ripley got to spend his last few weeks swimming around and interacting with other crocs, as opposed to dying chained to a tree in the surf of the Corozal Bay as a spectacle. Although he is very sick, he still kept his individual croc personality. Few got to see him, and those that did felt his anguish and prayed he'd recover. One could look beyond Ripley's 'empty eyes' and actually see the life he so effortlessly tried to cling onto, making one feel the need inside them to be alive.

The question we here at ACES now have to ask ourselves, are we holding onto him for his benefit of survival or for our indefinable reasons of selfishness? It is time to say goodbye to one of Gods dearest creatures and we hope and pray that his strength to survive can teach the people of Belize how fortunate they are to have this magnificent species in their waters and to take pride in all the wildlife that is found here; for each species, however minute or dangerous, plays a vital role in their very existence by keeping Belize's precious environment in balance.

ACES asks that everyone who reads this, no matter what country you live in, take a moment today to stop and take in this amazing World we live in; and how just like Ripley, no matter what bad we do to it as humans, it struggles to survive to keep us alive. And remember, that if we don't start changing our behaviors collectively to treat it with more pride, someday, it too will no longer exist.

As a result, and due to being unequipped to properly tend to the severity of Ripley's injuries, combined with the exhausting search of relatively minimal funding available for crocodiles (which I attribute to their lack of fur), ACES is willing to try to start a modern facility in Punta Gorda to treat wildlife and local pets, a HUMANE Society. ACES owners will give the use of a personally owned concrete building in PG Town toward the cause if we can get enough supports to make this facility come true. If humanity to animals is the lesson of this story, let's start with all the neglected pets due to poverty and lack of availability of assistance and materials. And once such a facility is in place, someday it may also save the life a wild croc, or a wild fox like Foxie.

Thank you, with all our aching hearts at ACES, to all of you who assisted with Ripley's rescue, the rescues of all the crocs here at ACES, and all of you who support and have assisted directly and indirectly with ACES's Croc-Crusade.

Rest in peace our dear friend, Ripley.

For more information about ACES and how you can help please visit their website at: http://www.americancrocodilesanctuary.org

Other stories about Ripley can be found at: