Monday, December 29, 2008

View from Crooked Tree Village, Belize



Harvesting Coconut in Crooked Tree Village (Dec. 29, 2008)

View from Crooked Tree Village, Belize



Sunset in the Pine Ridge Area of Crooked Tree Village, Belize (Dec. 29, 2008)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Weekend Break-Vintage Americana




New York City in the 1950's. What better way to rediscover New York, see the monuments, things to see and facts you might remember about the Big Apple.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

HAPPY CHRISTMAS


Something funny for the holidays. Dat was funny!  
God bless and Happy Holidays

Independent Water System Coming to Crooked Tree Village


Photo by Jane Crawford, DVM

After years of waiting, the Social Investment Fund, a statutory body of the Ministry of Economic Development, has finally secured and approved funding for an adequate water system for Crooked Tree Village.


Funding for this project will cost approximately BZ$1,449,545.00. Of this sum, $903,000.00 came in the form of a grant to the Government of Belize (GOB) from the European Union. $397,241.00 represents GOB counterpart funding and BZ$149,304.00 by the Crooked Tree Community and the Crooked Tree Village Council in the form of trenching for pipe installations.


The scope of the work includes: construction of a 20,000 gallon elevated concrete tank with a 10 feet by 10 feet pump house complete with fencing, installation of 66,000 feet of transmission and distribution lines, 7,350 feet of piping for house to house service connections, installation of a submersible pump with chlorinator unit, training in management of the system, and administrative expenses incurred by Social Investment Fund staff and equipment during project implementation.


A launch ceremony was held at the project site on October 8, 2008 at 10: a.m. Guest speakers at the event were the Honorable Erwin Contreras (Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection); Honorable Edmond Castro (Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Belize Rural North Area Representative); Dr. Marcelino Avila (Project Director of the Belize Rural Development Program); Ms. Yvonne Hyde (Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection and National Authorizing Officer to the European Union); and Mr. Ian McMillan (Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund). The project was scheduled to be completed by April of 2009. However, the date has been pushed back due to the October flooding. As of now, work will begin only in January of 2009.


Crooked Tree Village, in the Belize District, consists of approximately 800 residents in 245 households that will benefit from the water project. In the village's period of drought, often occurring seasonally, many of the wells in the Village dry up and residents suffer greatly from a lack of water. It's not unusual to see water trucks bringing water to the residents daily.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Man of The Year


This will be a speech to remember long after the Obama presidency. Here you see Obama grappling with the Rev. Wright issue. Much of what Rev. Wright said is repulsive and repugnant, but if you listen closely, some of it is inspiring. Rev. Wright rage against a majority that has, in the not so distant past, given Black America every reason to be angry.

Obama spoke movingly about the need for racially equality and understanding. I admired Barack Obama for his refusal to disowned the Rev. Wright, but also refusing to endorsed some of his messages.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

School Bells Inc Back from Belize

Members of School Bell Inc in Crooked Tree Village:center Former Chairman of Crooked Tree Village, Mr. Rudy Crawford

School Bells Incorporated is back in Tennessee after another successful fifth year of servicing the rural areas of Belize. School Bells' mission is to provide medical services to rural Villages like Crooked Tree, Maskall and Burrell Boom.


For over 5 days, the group of medical professionals-- which included Dentists, Pediatricians, General Practitioners, Pharmacists and Nurses-- traveled to Crooked Tree, Maskall and Burrell Boom Villages and provided much needed medical services. A total of one thousand patients, both adults and children, benefited from their services.


Mrs. Yvonne Bridges, the Director of School Bells Inc had this to say about the organization's impact on Crooked Tree Village:


"Most of the children in Crooked Tree suffered from skin and ear infections. The whole mission is to help Belizeans in the rural areas but we also helped school children in Belize City that we believed could use our support. The medical team travel with us back and forth every year. We also helped the children in the Toledo District schools in 2000 with our medical team. The schools and health centers send us the information of what is needed in the way of medical supplies and we provide the support".

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hatred for Bush



An Iraqi journalist expressing his feelings that many Iraqis have.

Iraqi journalist Muntadhir-al Zaidi with Baghdadiya TV based In Cairo, Egypt launched his size 10 shoes at President Bush this evening. Bush was making his farewell visit to Baghdad in the heavily fortified Green Zone. The shoes, launched one at at time, sailed passed the president's head. Zaidi was heard yelling in Arabic. "This is a farewell, you dog". In the Muslim culture, throwing a shoe at someone or sitting so that the bottom of your shoes faces someone is an insult.

Zaidi was quickly apprehended and dragged away still yelling "Dog,dog!"

Later, President Bush joked and said "that was a size 10, it's one way of getting attention".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Belize and Guatemala signed Historic Agreement


Wilfred P. Elrington, Attorney General & Minister of Foreign Affairs

For more than 50 years Belize has been negotiating with Guatemala for them to drop their claim on Belize’s territorial integrity. Belize became self-governing in 1964, and from 1975 successive UN resolutions endorsed Belize’s right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity. In 1981 Belize became an independent state recognized by all the UN member states except Guatemala. Over many years all efforts have failed and so the only choice is to settle the matter in the International Court of Justice.

An agreement was signed on December 08, 2008 between Belize and Guatemala at the Organization of American States (OAS) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The OAS has played a major role in facilitating this agreement and will create and administer a fund to contribute to the legal costs both countries will incur to prepare for this case.
Bringing this matter to the ICJ will cost the Government of Belize BZ$20 million. The government is depending on various sources including the OAS. The UK Foreign Minister, Gillian Merron announced that the United Kingdom will contribute 200,000 pounds towards this fund.

This agreement is the necessary first step for both countries to agree to take the Guatemalan claims on Belize’s territory to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands if the people in both countries agree by the way of a referendum. The referendum will be held in Belize and Guatemala simultaneously and will ask the people if they agree that any legal claim to Guatemala against Belize relating to land and territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. The ICJ (World Court) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. The main function of the ICJ is to settle legal disputes submitted to it by member states.

Present at the signing were the Foreign Ministers from both countries and addresses were delivered in the presence of the president of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza and other delegates.
The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Belize’s Foreign Minister signed the agreement on behalf of Belize.

Elrington said after the signing, “The signing of this special agreement is a manifestation of the deep commitment on the part of the Government of Belize to put this claim behind us. While we in Government have agreed that the matter should go to the ICJ, our Governments, the Government of Belize and Guatemala have determined and agreed that it is the right of our people to make the final decision on this matter. Therefore it is our responsibility to put the question to them by way of referendum, to set the date for that to be held and for us to provide them with as much information as possible, so that they can make an intelligent decision when the time comes for them to do the signing. This is the process which we are now contemplating and embarking upon immediately after the signing of these two historic documents”.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Minister Castro Threatened with Shotgun

Minister Edmond Castro


Chairman of Lucky Strike Village, Belize, Oscar Pollard was today charged with two counts of aggravated assault and use of threatening words after he pulled a shotgun on Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro and his driver.

Mr. Castro told Village View Post that he had gone to the Lucky Strike Community Center to inspect some piping and was denied access to the building by Pollard. Pollard then pulled out a shotgun and threatened to kill Castro and his driver.

This is not the first time that Pollard threatened Minister Castro, earlier this year he reportedly threatened Castro after he criticized some work Pollard did on the Maskall Health Center in Maskall Village.

Mr. Castro told Village View Post that Pollard threatened to kill him before Christmas Eve. Mr. Castro also said that he has everything documented for the courts. Pollard will appear in Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Dec. 11th, 2008 to answer to the charges.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Natural Born Citizen


It seems that there are people in the United States that will do anything in their power not to accept the elector’s choice, Barack Obama, president elect of the United States.


The Supreme Court today has rejected the appeal of a New Jersey lawyer, Leo Donofrio who questioned whether Barack Obama can become president of the United States.
Mr. Donofrio claims that Barack’s father, born in Kenya was a British subject and that makes President Elect Barack Obama not a natural born citizen of the United States.


The Constitution of the United States requires that the president be a natural born citizen. President Elect Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. His mother was a natural born citizen. The law in the United States is, if you are born here, you are a natural born citizen.


Mr. Leo Donofrio, why don’t you use your time and energy to make a positive change in society? Enough with these conspiracy theories! He is a natural born citizen of the United States and is going to make an amazing president.


CASE CLOSED!

Planned Attack on Iran



The Jerusalem Post reported on Dec. 5th, 2008 exclusively that the Israeli military is drawing up plans for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear plant without coordination with the United States. The report was based on comments by an unnamed Defense Ministry Official. Previous plans have included American help to fly through Iraqi airspace that is under U.S. control.
United States President, George W. Bush reportedly has refused to give the go-ahead for an Israeli strike on Iran, although outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has denied that Israel is depending on American advice.

How to Be Safe From Terror in A Hotel


Cheverny Hotel Paris- 7 Villa Berthier Paris, France (small and cozy)


With an increasingly unsafe world, it seems as if though people are getting weary about travel and staying in large hotels.

According to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, there are a number of precautions you can take when travelling and staying in a hotel to stay alive. Here are six ways to minimize your chances of dying in a hotel besieged by terrorists.

1. Avoid big hotels- Terrorists tend not to waste time on small targets.

2. Order room service whenever possible- The lobby is the most dangerous place in a hotel because they are entirely unsecure.

3. Reserve a room on the first to the fifth floor- Try to be high enough to escape whatever chaos might occur on the ground floor. It’s not a bad idea to stay on a floor close enough to the ground that a jump will leave you with just a broken leg.

4. Make two plans the moment you arrive in your room- Figure out how you will escape and how you are going to survive a siege. If escape isn’t an option, figure out how to fortify your room. Fill your bathtub with water (if there’s one) with water; it may come in handy if there’s a fire outside your door. Always travel with a small flashlight, small utility knife (if you can sneak pass TSA) matches and a few energy bars. Know where your shoes, passport and money are at all times.

5. Set up signs- Before you leave your room for the day, place certain items discreetly so you can know if someone has tampered with them.

6. If you have to stay in a large hotel, stay in one that has already been bombed or attacked by terrorists, they are more security conscious.

We cannot let humanity be defeated by terror, but if you are nervous about vacationing in Europe, Asia or the Middle East, you can always spend your vacation in Belize.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

View From Crooked Tree Village

Photo by Jane Crawford, DVM


Bridge out of troubled waters; across causeway: Dec. 7th, 2008

Scuba Diver Found Dead in Belize’s Blue Hole

Photograph by David Doubilet

Divers working on a Polish Television Documentary in the Blue Hole found the remains of a scuba diver that was missing since 2001.

San Pedro Police said the remains are believed to be of a missing American doctor from Miami who came to Belize to dive in 2001. The body was identified from a camera retrieved from the remains that was rented from a local dive shop.

The divers who found the body at a depth of three hundred and fifty five feet said the head and parts of one arm and leg are missing. The dive team said that they could not retrieve the body because they were not properly equipped to remove a body.

The San Pedro Police also said that the case is being turned over to the Superintendent of Police, David Henderson at the Eastern Division.

Officials said the body will be difficult to recover due to the depth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Break

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Roller Blades and bottles tuned to Mozart's Symphony No.40 in G minor

Justice at Last



Today, a Las Vegas judge sentenced the “Juice” O.J. Simpson to 15 years in prison for being the leader of an armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino involving sports memorabilia and personal family items.


Simpson could become eligible for parole in nine years. He was led from the courtroom in shackles.


Judge Jackie Glass told Simpson he was arrogant and ignorant. She stressed that his sentencing was not payback for his acquittal 13 years ago in the murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.


Simpson, looking emotional and with a shaking voice, stood up to apologized in court to the people of Nevada. He insisted he was just trying to recover property that was stolen from him, adding that some of the items he tried to recover were a wedding ring for his daughter and family photos for his son. “I just wanted my personal things” “I was stupid”. “I am sorry”


The Brown family expressed sadness over how Simpson’s imprisonment will leave his children Justin and Sydney Simpson of yet another parent absent in their lives.


Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman, told reporters after the hearing; “This monster is where he belongs—behind bars”.


Information via CNN live

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Former Prime Minister of Belize Arrested for Theft

The former Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa was arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today, Dec. 4th, 2008 on a charge of theft US$20 million of public funds. This money was a grant to the people of Belize by the Venezuelan Government for low income housing.

Mr. Musa appeared in court at 9:00 a.m. with his Senior Counsel, Edwin Flowers and six other members of his legal team. Bail was set at Bz$100 thousand dollars and a surety of the same amount. He is scheduled to re-appear in court on Jan. 9th, 2009.

The Director of Public Prosecution’s office said additional charges will be leveled against Mr. Musa later this month for dereliction of duty.

Mr. Musa said he is innocent of these charges or any other charges they threatened to bring against him. His Budget Minister, Ralph Fonseca is scheduled to appear in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court tomorrow in connection with the same incident.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Funeral in Israel

Image credit- Menham Kahana/AFP/Getty

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men attend the funeral on December 2, 2008 of Arieh Levish Teitelbaum, of one of the six Israeli victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. The funeral was held in Jerusalem’s religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Wailing and chanting psalms, thousands of people bid a final farewell today to the Jews killed in last week's bloody Mumbai attacks. Their bodies, along with the survivors,the Indian babysitter and 2 year old Moshe, the son of the Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, killed in the attacks, were flown to Israel on an Israeli Air Force plane for burial. Doctors from the hospital in India said the victims from the Chabad House were brutally and unspeakably tortured.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Terror in Mumbai


Photo: David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

Nov. 29, 2008

The world watched in horror as Islamist terrorists attacked the Indian city of Mumbai. The 3 days of rampage in the financial hub, killed almost 200 hundred people and injured more than 300. The dead included 22 foreign nationals.

The terrorists, who are said to have arrived on boats and dinghies, attacked the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Trident Oberoi Hotel, the Nariman Chabad House, a train station, and other targets, killing people indiscriminately. Police shot dead nine of the terrorists and arrested one.

The Mumbai police chief, Hassan Gafoor told reporters that the 10 heavily armed young men were all trained by former army officers in Pakistan. The one surviving terrorist told authorities he was from Pakistan, and they had traveled by sea on a three-day journey from Karachi.

As the investigation moved forward, there were questions as to whether authorities could have anticipated the attacks, especially after reports surfaced that Indian was warned just 8 days before of an impending attack from the sea.
The terrorists never issued any demands, and it seemed clear, from dozens of reports on CNN-IBN, that they intended to fight to the last.

America’s Car Industry

Ford Motor Co.CEO Alan Mulally


The bailout of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler looks like they will have to give Congress a plan today to re-invent the auto industry.
The US produce thousands of cars, trucks, and SUV’s per year, employing over 400,000 Americans with an average yearly salary of $64,000 on the vehicle assembly line and about 1.5 million more workers down the supply chain.

It also produces some of the best vehicles in the world; Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.
President elect Barack Obama says saving Detroit is necessary to protect the US manufacturing base. Should the taxpayers prop up an inefficient, failing auto industry? What is happening in Detroit?

Let me hear from you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

WEIRD



First it was the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu designing his Web-site for re-election, in the same format as Barack Obama's campaign Web-site, now you have the French President Nicolas Sarkozy using the same slogan, "Yes we can" How weird!!

NBC “TODAY” live in Belize



Nov. 21, 2008

NBC “Today” morning magazine show, seen by millions of people in the US and around the world is in Belize for two days this week, Nov. 17th and 18th. They are in Belize as a part of their “Ends of the Earth” series to highlight the effects of pollution, overcrowding and Global Warming on sensitive eco-systems from four corners of our planet. Four reporters broadcast live from these ecologically sensitive areas to show us the war being fought by researchers and governments against global warming.

NBC dispatched Matt Lauer to The Blue Hole and the barrier reef in Belize, Ann Curry to the melting snows of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in Africa, Al Roker to Iceland, and Meredith Viera to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Global warming has been attributed to greenhouse gases being released into the Earth’s atmosphere. Researchers in these sensitive areas hope their work will educate the public to change their lifestyle by protecting the reefs and rainforest around the world.

Belize’s Barrier Reef, the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, is vital to Belize in protecting the costal and low-lying areas from hurricanes, as well as bringing in much needed tourism dollars. The reef is also home to millions of marine life and is in danger of being damaged by the warming of the Ocean’s temperature. Mr. Lauer also broadcasted live form the Blue Hole, an atoll in Lighthouse Reef. The Blue Hole is a circular limestone sinkhole with a system of unique underwater caves plummeting over four hundred feet, with stalactites and rock formation that is usually seen only on dry land. In the late 1960’s the great oceanographer, ecologist and explorer, Jacques Cousteau, explored the caves with his mini-sub and was the subject of a television documentary. Mr. Cousteau called the Blue Hole “one of the four “MUST-DIVES” on our planet.

This is a positive look at Belize that the government hopes will help show the country in a different light, instead of the gang infested place portrayed by British documentary film maker Ross Kemp.