Monday, June 13, 2011

Island Icon Mike Gvara AKA "Island Dog" Passes Away

The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that long time island resident and artist Mike Gvara, fondly known as "Island Dog" was found deceased in his San Pedro home this evening.

According to friends, Mr. Gvara has been suffering from ill health and was last seen Saturday afternoon letting his dogs in. No foul play is suspected at this time.

For years The San Pedro Sun printed his amusing cartoons depicting the island life he had grown to love. He will be terribly missed and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Other articles about Island Dog can be read at:

Man Found Deceased in DFC Area

Tonight word has reached The San Pedro Sun that the body of a man has been found in his home located in the DFC area. Although his identity has been confirmed, his name will not be released until family has been notified and the police investigate the scene. Foul play is not suspected at this time. The SPSUN will release the name of the deceased once all is clear with the officials.

Patty Arceo is new PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South

Congratulations to Ana Patricia Arceo (also known as Patty Arceo) on her victory on Sunday, June 12, 2011. Patty garnered 950 votes total over opponents Ramon Reyes Jr. (258 votes) and Baldemar Graniel (187).

In an interview with Ms. Arceo during her campaign to get elected, she stated the following:

"There are many issues that are affecting our island as all areas have been neglected. Our Tourism is down, unemployment has risen, there are no plans for economic recovery, unfair cancellations of Lots to residents, escalation of crime and not being safe in the streets or homes, inadequate Health system that is burdensome to the medical staff, lack of Educational facilities like computer labs, library and overcrowded small classrooms, destruction of our mangroves and environment, neglect of street infrastructure, lack of proper lighting in our neighborhoods, which are just a few of the many issues that are affecting our everyday livelihood on both islands. Our current Area Rep has left many issues unattended and they are now mounting, making every issue a priority...

...As a proven fighter I want to share a Spanish proverb which expresses my belief; “quien no mira hacia adelante; atras se quedara”, saying “he who does not look forward to the future, remains in our past.” It is with resolute courage and with the help of God together we shall tackle each issue and we shall rescue our islands."
Once more, congratulations Patty Arceo.

Patty Arceo is now the candidate for the People's United Party (PUP) in the upcoming 2013 general elections. She will be vying for the title of Area Representative for Belize Rural South, a title that she has held before.

Government of Belize Announces Intent to Acquire Control of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)

The Government of Belize (the “Government”) issued a media release on Friday, June 10, 2011 announcing the Government’s interest, “ purchasing majority shares in BEL so as to assume control of the company.” No purchase proposal has been received by Fortis Inc. (“Fortis” or the “Corporation”) (TSX:FTS).

Fortis holds an approximate 70% ownership interest in BEL, an integrated electric utility and the principal distributor in Belize, Central America, following investment at the invitation of the Government in 1999. In addition to its investment in BEL, Fortis owns Belize Electric Company Limited (“BECOL”), a non-regulated hydroelectric generation business that operates three hydroelectric generating facilities in Belize.

In June 2008 the Public Utilities Commission of Belize (“PUC”) issued a rate order that has had a significant negative impact on the financial condition and operations of BEL. The order effectively disallowed the recovery of previously incurred fuel and purchased power costs in customer rates and set customer rates at a level that does not allow BEL to earn a fair and reasonable return. BEL appealed the PUC rate order to the Supreme Court of Belize.

On March 15, 2011, the court rendered its judgment dismissing BEL’s application and finding that, among other things, the generally accepted concept of Good Utility Practice is not applicable in Belize. BEL has appealed this judgment to the Court of Appeal of Belize; however, a hearing is not expected until the first quarter of 2012. On May 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Belize granted BEL’s application to enjoin the PUC from engaging in any rate making proceedings or taking any enforcement or penal actions against BEL pending the appeal of its judgment. BEL has been in default of covenants under its long-term lending agreements since 2008 and has had no access to credit during this period.

As at March 31, 2011, the assets of BEL represented less than 2% of the total assets of Fortis; the combined assets of BEL and BECOL represented approximately 3% of the total assets of Fortis.

Fortis is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, with total assets of approximately $13 billion and fiscal 2010 revenue totalling approximately $3.7 billion. The Corporation serves approximately 2,100,000 gas and electricity customers. Its regulated holdings include electric distribution utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries and a natural gas utility in British Columbia, Canada. Fortis owns and operates non-regulated generation assets across Canada and in Belize and Upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial office and retail space primarily in Atlantic Canada. Fortis shares re listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or

Fortis includes forward-looking information in this material within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada (“forward-looking information”). The purpose of the forward-looking information is to provide management’s expectations regarding the Corporation’s future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, and it may not be appropriate for other purposes. All forward-looking information is given pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “anticipates”, “believes”, “budgets”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “may”, “might”, “plans”, “projects”, “schedule”, “should”, “will”, “would” and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words.
The forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on assumptions developed using information currently available to the Corporation’s management. Although Fortis believes that the forward-looking statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties. For additional information on risk factors that have the potential to affect the Corporation, reference should be made to the Corporation’s continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and to the heading “Business Risk Management” in the Corporation’s annual and quarterly Management Discussion and Analysis and the “Risk Factors” section of the Annual Information Form. Except as required by law, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking information as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date hereof.

Stephanie Chi wins Be Kind Belize Speech Contest at Holy Cross

Be Kind Belize hosted a speech competition at Holy Cross Anglican School on Friday, June 10th.
Students from Standard II and III (Grade 4 & 5) filled the cafeteria hall to capacity and were on hand to witness the performance of four students. Each student had prepared a speech based on kindness, defining it, using examples of kindness, asking their peers what kind acts they’ve done, and as well, suggesting kind acts that the community can adapt as part of its daily routine.

Students sat and behaved marvelously while the speech contest was going on.

Lion Judges Enes Ramirez-Anderson, Miguel Perez and Tamara Sniffin

After two invited guests spoke to the gathered students (Barracuda Bikini's Celeste Pederson and Mary Gonzalez [Tia Chocolate]), was time for the prepared speeches. A very brave Jaaphet Castillo was called up first. After explaining the meaning of kindness, he pointed out the various examples of kindness as defined in the Bible, and while he stumbled a little, he remained calm and finished his speech to rousing applause. Following him was Aaliyah Roches, who recited a very sweet definition of kindness. Similarly, Rodell Mendez expounded on the issue of discrimination, threading his essay with a few touches of a poem on kindness.

Jaaphet Castillo
Aaliyah Roches
Rodell Mendez

However, it was Stephanie Chi who took the prize, as she gave an electric performance, asking her peers to be kind, giving examples and simply blowing the judges (Lion Members) away with her impassioned speech. After a few moments of deliberation, she was declared the winner of the grand prize: a brand new bicycle! Jaaphat, Aaliyah and Rodell did not go back to class empty-handed however, as they also each took $25 gift certificates. The bicycle was donated by a very generous Janice Feldman, while the gift certificates were donated by Marty Casado of

Stephanie Chi

Congratulations to the students, and a big thank you to Colette Kase of Be Kind Belize, Janice Feldman and Marty Casado.