Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Pain or pleasure-who knows what, put him roaming on the streets. He is part of the human landscape. No one likes to look at pain. No need for details-we want to move on-get to the fun part. Out of fear it might be you, you toss the coin into his palm, you can move on now.
Some people live with pain all their lives. Others chose to end life hoping for a better place. Living with pain is not easy. Some days are better than others they say. But as they come to accept it, pain becomes a friend that comes and goes teaching when to stand strong and when to let go. Life is filled with opposites but as we step back blurring our vision we transcend the detail and see the whole beauty of the complete picture. Pain is the complement of a joyous life. As we stay strong in the face of suffering, joy eventually becomes the background of all there is. Through time it prepares us for a door we may pass through. After all we can’t take the human landscape where we are going.
Books by Christopher Emmanuel can be purchased at his Art Gallery in The Sunbreeze Hotel, Art of Touch, Pages Book Store, Black orchid Spa and Sol Spa.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
There is need for comprehensive revision of the entire Petroleum Act Chapter 225 Laws of Belize but there are sections that need to be amended immediately. Section 13 of the Petroleum Act has been abused by both government administrations, so much so that all, except one, petroleum contract have been and continues to be given out behind closed doors at Cabinet.
Section 13 provides for open competitive bidding, but also has proviso three which removes this layer to transparency and accountability and allows the Minister “with the approval of the Cabinet, [to] select contractors other than through competitive bidding procedures in the following cases-
(a) where the technical or economic circumstances make it advisable; or
(b) where he determines that the circumstances so require.”
The recent revelation in the 2010 Petroleum contract Maps obtained by Oceana from the Department of Petroleum & Geology is a clear indication that companies such as Paradise Energy, with no Petroleum experience in violation of Section 11, will continue to obtain oil leases unknown to the Belize people, who are the true owner of oil rights in this country.
“The government only holds these rights on trust Belizeans”, explained Oceana VP Audrey Matura-shepherd. “We must continue to demand accountability and transparency, but sadly every government has sought to ignore subsections 1 and 2 of Section 13 of the law because it suits their purpose, which is not to be transparent and not to be accountable to the people of Belize when entering these deals”
Section 13 Petroleum Act says that “selection of contracts should be carried out through public competitive bidding or such other competitive procedure as may be determined by the Minister”. It also states that the minister “shall publish in the Gazzette a description of the areas for which bids are to be solicited along with the procedures and rules relating to the submission of such bids”.
Matura-Shepherd explains that “this is never done because the open competitive bidding process is completely circumvented and the Minister applies the exception which is to go behind closed doors in Cabinet unknown to the unsuspecting Belizean people and using Section 13 (3) it appears that the Minister always seems to “determine that the circumstances require” secret issuing of contracts…. this cannot continue!”
Oceana is concerned that the now relinquished OPIC block vacant since October 2010 can secretly be given out again using the provisions of the law, which must not stand.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
For years Liz Ross has been trying to get someone to help her with her crocodile problem on Caye Caulker. Liz owns and operates the only fuel station on the island. Finally, on Sunday, January 23rd, she received some help.ACES/American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, now located on Ambergris Caye, loaded up the ‘Croc Runner’ and headed to Caye Caulker early Sunday morning. Having never navigated these waters, the 15 minute boat trip took quite a bit longer and cost Cherie (ACES biologist and First Mate) some more fingernails. Somewhere between the two cayes, all of a sudden, coral heads surrounded the ‘Croc Runner’. With Cherie sitting on the bow and pointing the way between the treacherous obstacles, Vince (ACES animal behaviorist and Captain) was able to safely get the boat to the cut. Channel markers sure would have been nice!
The ‘Big Guy’ is about 10’ in length and eluded the ACES team all day. “We had spotted him when we first arrived and then we never saw him again,” stated Vince. ACES will need to set a net trap and spend a night or two to catch this smart croc. Without sufficient funding, they are not sure when they’ll be able to return to Caye Caulker.
Anyone wishing to help, ACES is in need of: a digital camera/video, two nights lodging on Caye Caulker, meals for those three days on Caye Caulker, electric tape, duct tape, ropes, and chicken for bait. Donors for the Caye Caulker capture can contact Liz Ross or ACES at firstname.lastname@example.org or 666-3871. Your help will take a bite out of extinction!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The three finalists who get the most online votes by February 2nd will each earn USD $5000 for their project. Log on with your vote today at www.changemakers.com/coasts.Ocean Academy was founded in 2008 as the first non-profit community high school on Caye Caulker (www.cayecaulkerschool.com). In addition to the Form I-IV standard curriculum, Ocean Academy offers many specialized and site-based programs. Aquatic Careers in Tourism (ACT P.E.) classes include scuba certification, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and swimming. In the World of Work (WOW) Apprenticeship Program students can shadow a variety of career options, such as assisting marine biologists with a mangrove restoration project, coral reef surveys and beach cleanups. Other popular elective choices include Tour Guide Training, and Graphic Design. Science students research practical solutions to waste management on a small island. Instruction is hands-on, interactive, and relevant to real-life issues.
Ocean Academy’s school motto is “Protecting our Heritage, Creating our Future”. Environmental education and sustainable tourism are important studies to fulfilling that vision. Nationally, a Caye Caulker Ocean Academy student was honoured in 2009 with Youth for the Future’s Environmental Award. Locally, the Caye Caulker Village Council granted funds in 2010 for the school’s composting project and small business venture of culinary herb sales. The international panel of judges for Geotourism 2010 is very impressed with Ocean Academy’s innovative approach to education and commitment to youth engagement in Belize. They also like the school’s inclusion of the skill sets offered by voluntourists (tourists who travel to a destination specifically to volunteer).
As this information became known to the San Pedro Police Department, officers worked diligently in following up on the situation, leading to the quick apprehension of one Aurelio Chi 35yrs Belizean Laborer of San Pedrito Area. Mr Chi was arrested in the Boca Del Rio area and charged with 4 counts of obtaining Property by Deception. Chi was additionally charged for Mischievous Act as a result of mischievously giving his name as Jose Cowo when his true identity is Aurelio Chi.
Pet Photo Contest, presented by Zazzle?
The Spay Day Pet Photo Contest to benefit SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY
is now OPEN - GIVE US YOUR BEST PHOTO!
To Enter Now, GO TO hsi.org/photocontest
When you enter, please choose Saga Humane Society to benefit from your pet’s photo. After your entry is complete, help save animals’ lives by asking friends and family to vote for your pet. Each vote is just a $1 USD donation, and every vote your pet receives will help us spay or neuter even more pets after Spay Day (February 22nd, 2011) is over -- AND increase your chances of winning!
More than 600 entrants whose photos have received the most votes will win stellar prizes. And even without votes, you'll be in the running to win big -- the panel of judges will award prizes to their favorite 36 entries.
Saga HS will also be sponsoring a Spay Day 2011 Event in San Pedro Town during the month of February, details to be announced soon.
Thanks for your support!
SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY, SAN PEDRO TOWN, BELIZE
P.S. Don’t want to enter your pet’s photo (or don’t have a pet)? Please vote for one of the pets benefitting our organization! Visit hsi.org/photocontest and then:
*Click on the “Search Pets” tab
*Click on “Filter by: Local Organization”
*Click on SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY. A vote for any of the pet photos shown in this view benefits Saga!
NOTE: Funds designated for organizations that fail to meet the requirements listed at http://www.hsi.org/issues/spayday/factsheets/spayday_eligibility.html will be added to the general fund and divided among spay/neuter programs of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International and all eligible organizations.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
On Monday, January 24, BEL employees reporting to work at the Buena Vista Substation discovered that ground wires for equipment at the substation had been disconnected and removed from the compound.
The stolen copper wires provided grounding for transformers, equipment and communication towers.
Works to replace the damaged infrastructure required a 3-hour power outage for the entire Orange Walk and Corozal Districts this afternoon.
BEL advises persons involved in these criminal activities that they are putting themselves at risk of being seriously injured or electrocuted. The damage to these essential equipment can also result in electrical damage to customers’ equipment and puts into jeopardy the safety of employees who have to work at the site.
The perpetrators should also be aware that under the Electricity Act, any person who unlawfully enters an electric substation or maliciously cuts or injures any electric line or work can be liable to a fine of up to three thousand dollars and/or to a term of imprisonment of up to three years.
Anyone with information on these criminal and unsafe activities is asked to contact the Police Department or call BEL at 0-800-235-2273 or 0-800-BEL-CARE or call Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.
The Government of Belize thanks Justice Barrow for the services he rendered to the Court and the Country during his tenure, and wishes him well in his return to the private Bar.
A statement from Justice Barrow is below:
By letter dated 24th January 2011 I conveyed to His Excellency the Governor General my decision to return to private practice as an attorney at law. The resignation is to take effect from 28th February.
The decision stems from the refusal of the Government of St Lucia to pay pension benefits due to me upon my retirement, two years ago, as a Court of Appeal judge in the Eastern Caribbean. Matters reached the point where I was forced to file a claim on 14th January 2011 against the Government of St Lucia which has been simply ignoring the claim, latterly refusing to even acknowledge receipt of letters of inquiry.
Having returned at the end of 2008 to Belize and to private practice, I later decided I could afford to leave private practice and become a judge in Belize because I treated the expected pension benefits as part of my financial resources. That expectation having been removed, I must now adjust. Hence, my decision to return to practice.
I express my gratitude to the Government of Belize for the honour conferred on me by the appointment. I am especially grateful for the confidence and support members of the public, on both sides of the political divide, expressed on my appointment and during my tenure. It took courage for the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, to appoint his brother to the judiciary and no less courage for the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceno, to support that appointment. I salute them.
I am confident that the Court of Appeal under its new President, the Honourable Manuel Sosa, with the support of its new member, the Honourable Sir Brian Alleyne, and its newly re-appointed member, the Honourable Dennis Morrison, will continue to provide satisfaction to the nation in delivering justice.
Mrs. Dirnback has been active in San Pedro, having (often single-handedly) raised funds for projects, especially at San Pedro Roman Catholic School. Mrs. Shelley of course, is known for her participation in community events, providing delicious food from her catering company, as well as offering support whenever necessary. With the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, and bearing in mind one of San Pedro’s most beloved women, Mrs. Vilma Arceo, the volunteers are ready to work to build “Mama Vilma’s Family Home”. It is not just a home for women and children; there are single fathers who need help too.
Taking into account the legacy of love that Mama Vilma had for the children in her community, being herself a battered woman, the group decided that the home would be dedicated to her memory. The first fundraising effort will be a Fashion Show, to be held at the Coco Locos Bar on February 19th, from 4pm- 8pm. Local models (Recycled Teenagers) will be modeling clothing from various local boutiques and great food and entertainment will be provided. It will be a night of fun and fashion, and one that will help jumpstart a worthy cause. Everyone is invited to attend and all are asked to give their support to the project which will help those in our community that are most in need. An official meeting will be held on January 30th, 2011, at a location to be announced later.
To pledge your support, or to find out how you can be of assistance with this project, call 623-9962 or 651-3533. Help a worthy cause and let us all have a hand in stopping the abuse.
Monday, January 24, 2011
The new service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline’s stated commitment to the people of Belmopan, Cayo and Southern Belize.
“When we inaugurated Belmopan in April 2010, we promised the people of Cayo to increase our service levels in the coming years. Belmopan is an integral part of the growth strategy for Tropic Air and as such we feel it important that we link the expanding areas of the south with our nation’s capital” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Tropic Air is continuously seeking new and innovative routes that promote tourism, business, domestic travel and cargo within Belize”
The flight schedule for the new route is as follows:
Flt# DEPARTS TIME ARRIVES TIME
900 Belmopan (BMP) 08:30AM Placencia (PLJ) 09:00AM
350 Placencia (PLJ) 12:00PM Belmopan (BMP) 12:30PM
DAILY (Effective January 31, 2010)
An introductory fare of BZ$99 each way will be offered on the new route through February 28, 2010 and is bookable via the web at www.tropicair.com, via e-mail at email@example.com, by phone at 226-2012 or by contacting any of our stations.
Tropic Air operates a fleet of 11 aircraft (including the lastest generation, G1000 “glass cockpit”, air conditioned Cessna Caravans) to 11 destinations in Belize and Guatemala. With over 250 employees, Tropic Air carried 200,000 passengers in 2010.
For more information on the new service, please contact Dora Gonzalez DoraGonzalez@tropicair.com or Julie Kee JulieKee@tropicair.com.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Geovannie Brackett
Chair, Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage
Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage Supports SATIIM’s Opposition to Oil Exploration in the Sarstoon-Temash National Park
Belize City, Belize, January 19, 2011 - - The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage supports SATIIM in its opposition to oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park, a protected area, by US Capital Energy. The Coalition also firmly rejects the Prime Minister’s publicly stated position that oil exploration and exploitation should be allowed in protected areas.
Protected areas in Belize have been designated as such to safeguard ecosystem services such as the provision of clean water, clean air and food, and to maintain biodiversity. In addition, both marine and terrestrial protected areas are the primary tourist visitation sites in the country. Countries such as Ecuador have allowed oil companies to exploit oil from ecologically sensitive areas with devastating effects. Over three decades after fourteen thousand barrel of oil spilled in the Ecuador Amazon, the effects on people’s health and lives continue.
The minimal economic benefits that the people of Belize are receiving from tax revenues from oil exploitation do not outweigh the high risk of an oil spill in ecologically sensitive areas during the exploratory or exploitation phase.
We call on the Government of Belize to rescind its policy of allowing oil exploration and exploitation in protected areas and in our marine waters through the cancellation of leases issued within these areas, and protect the livelihoods and health of all Belizeans.
Join the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage in its fight. Contact us at 223-7962 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage protects our natural heritage by serving as a channel for the voice of the people through advocacy, education, research and actions, which promote the best interest of Belize and its people.
Friday, January 21, 2011
The target group is children 0 to 15 years of age with congenital heart disease.
The Ministry of Health of Belize has designated the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Bernard Bulwer, and Dr. Giovanni Solórzano, both from KHMH, as Focal Points for Belize. They will have the responsibility to follow up on the cases selected and will act as liaison officers between the Embassy of Venezuela and the Ministry of Health of Belize.
The Children’s Cardiology Hospital in Venezuela provides service for the following diseases:
* Inter atrium communication
* Inter ventricular communication
* Tetralogy of Fallot
* Persistent Ductus Arteriosus
* Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
* Aortic Valve Stenosis
Requirements for acceptance of patients:
1. A letter addressed to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, justifying the clinical and socio-economic status of the patient.
2. A medical report that indicates the clinical condition of the child.
3. A CD with an Echocardiogram recorded.
4. Identification documents of the child and his/her mother, father or legal guardian.
After selecting the patient, s/he must travel to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on a commercial flight accompanied but the mother, preferably, who will remain the country for a reasonable time as determined but the attending physicians.
The costs of the round trip plane ticket, lodging, meals, medical treatment and surgery in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will be paid by the Venezuelan Government.
All potential clients must be referred to the Pediatrician of the Regional Hospitals for assessment. Once these comply with the criteria they will then be referred to Dr. Bulwer or Dr. Solórzano at KHMH. In turn they will liaise directly with the Embassy of Venezuela in Belmopan.
Any concern or doubt, feel free to contact the Venezuelan Embassy or the designated Focal Points.