Friday, January 30, 2009

CRICKET IN THE BELIZE DISTRICT


Elihue Bonner, President Belize District Cricket Association


Is cricket losing its appeal? I never believed people when they say soccer would push cricket on the back burner. When you look at the crowd that supports soccer games in Belmopan, Belize it’s fascinating. But cricket still has its diehard fans. The people who love cricket are passionate about it and will follow the teams all over the Belize Rural North District to support and promote their teams.


The Belize District Cricket Association is the governing body for Cricket in the Belize District, the former President was Mr. Gilroy Middleton; He is now a City Councilor for Belize City. Elections were called in late March 2008, a new executive body was elected and Mr. Elihue Bonner was voted in as the new president for the association for 2008 /2010. 


The executive body consists of seven (7) Members. 
President: Mr. Elihue Bonner (Lemonal)
Vice-President: Mr. Gliksten Bennett (Lemonal)
Secretary: Mr. Linden Tillett (Crooked Tree)
Assistant Secretary: Mr. Alpheus Gillett (Biscayne)
Treasurer: Mr. Leonard Russell (Bermudian Landing)
Assistant Treasurer: Mr. Heckland Adolphus (Crooked Tree)
Councilor: Mr. Mark Pollard (Burrell Boom)


The regular competition is the Harrison Parks Competition which usually starts mid-February or first Saturday in March. The duration of this Competition is three to four months and would consist of Teams from the Belize Rural North. There are thirteen teams registered for 2008/2009 season, the highest number in the last ten years.


The 2008 competition was delayed due to heavy rains and the death of two icons, Mr. Sailos of St. Pauls Bank and Vallan Hendy of Flowers Bank who was one of the most senior Cricket Umpire in the Belize District Association. The scheduled games were played throughout the year up until the semi- finals; a decision was made to finish the 2008, competition in early January 2009 because of severe floodings in the Belize River Valley. Teams that reach the semi-finals were Surprise of (Lemonal), Brilliant of (Crooked Tree), Excellence of (Double Head) and Wicked Eleven of (Flowers Bank). These games were played on the home field of some of the teams with the best of three and are govern by eleven BY-Laws, for the semi-finals and finals. The registered teams were split in two zones; Zone one and Zone two, and in the semi finals; Zone one first place Verses Zone two second place, and Zone two first place verses Zone one second place, four teams participated in the semi-finals.


The competition is now in its final leg with Brilliant of Crooked Tree from Zone One, verses Excellence of Double Head Cabbage for the Championship and Sub-Championship games. There will be lots to look forward to in what promises to be a fascinating best of three series, scheduled for Saturday, January 31, 2009 at Lords Bank Cricket Field and February 7 & 14, 2009.  

This will be another chance for Brilliant to take the Championship Trophy home to Crooked Tree Village the third year in a row.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

WATER SYSTEM FOR PATCHAKAN VILLAGE-BELIZE

A new water system was inaugurated on Jan 28, 2009 in Patchakan Village in the Corozal District. The system was implemented by the Social Investment Fund, a statutory body under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Over 1,600 residents will now have access to potable water. Patchakan is a Village of about 248 families and was in dire need of adequate water supply. The Village had endured yearly water problems and in the dry season most of the wells would run dry. Cases of hepatitis, diarrhea and other water related diseases have been reported in the village.

The new water system includes a 20,000 gallon water tank with piping and fittings, a chlorination unit, a pump house and a distribution network connected to 248 household.

The estimated cost of this project is BZ$520,242.15. Of this amount, $448,539.65 was a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, $61,164.50 from the Government of Belize and the community contributed $10,538.00 in labor and materials.

The Social Investment Fund was established in 1996 to respond to the basic needs of the poor in Belize in an efficient and transparent manner utilizing an approach that is participatory, collaborative and demand driven. Since its inception, SIF has implemented about 415 projects worth approximately BZ$50 million. Of these projects, 44 are new water systems, which have been built throughout the country.

Guest speakers during the inauguration ceremony were the Hon. Gasper Vega, Deputy Prime Minister; Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health; Hon. Gabriel Martinez, Minister of Rural Development; Hon. Nemencio Acosta, Area Representative for Corozal North and Mr. Ian McMillan, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

YES WE DID

Thanks to HighSnobette for images


It's been a long time coming, but tonight... change has come to America"
-Barak Obama, 44th and current President of the United States of America.

THE GAZA OFFENSIVE


Map image source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 15, 2009
Day 20 of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead”. On the ground, the fighting continues, and so do the rocket attacks into Southern Israel.


The bombing today of the UN facility was a terrible and tragic mistake, and will do nothing to help move the peace process forward. The entire situation: the deaths of Palestinians civilians, the international outrage, all the negative results of the Gaza offensive, are sad and unfortunate.


Ultimately though, this is the bottom-line question: What would you have Israel do? Hamas simply will never be a reasonable player in the move toward a two-state solution. Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its stated attitudes are: there is no need for a long-term truce, because it won’t be long before Israel is no more.
No other country on earth would be asked to stand still while its neighbor, bent on its destruction, continuously fires rockets and terrorizes one sixth of its population on a daily basis.


Removing Hamas from power is going to be ugly, and will cause tremendous damage, but it’s an absolute pre-requisite for any hope of a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.


The aftershock of Israel’s war against Hamas will be deep and lasting and will have an enormous impact. A whole new Palestinian intifada is being created—sacrifice, struggle and resistance. You can’t kill 1000 people and not have an enormous backlash, even if most of them are Hamas’ fighters.


How will President Obama handle this situation? The question is: Does the President believe the Arab-Israeli conflict is a national priority? If the answer is “yes,” then a lot will have to change, starting with the US, being an “honest broker”. Obama will have to push for a truce or cease-fire that will benefit both sides.


For Israel: an end to Hamas’ rocket attacks, a system of dismantling, monitoring and halting the tunnels that smuggle weapons.


For Gaza: an end to the economic blockade, opening of the crossing points, namely Erez (pedestrians and vehicular traffic), Nahal Oz (fuel depot), Karni (conveyor belt) and Kerem Shalom (humanitarian goods). It will take months, but the pattern of killings has got to come to an end.


On February 10, 2009 Israelis will go to the polls to elect the next prime minister. All indications are that Benyamin Netanyahu will be the next prime minister. Obama should demand from the next Israeli Prime Minister a transparent account of what they are doing. If nothing changes, then Obama should ask Israel about its commitment to peace and the goals that they have set in order to achieve a lasting land for peace agreement.


Eight years of strong support from President Clinton and eight years from President Bush has not brought Israel any closer to peace. One cannot help from wondering if a tougher approach would not have been better.


The fear in Israel is the demographic threat from the forty one years of occupation. The Arab population is fast approaching the Jewish population and it is widely seen as a danger for the existence of Israel to remain a Jewish state.

Israel claims that America is its true friend and one of the best things a true friend can do for you are to criticize you when you must be criticized.

Friday, January 16, 2009

REMEMBERING ANDY PALACIO

Andy P. "New Years Day 2008"



Christmas Eve 2006 was a night to remember. I was sitting in a small bar in Barranco Village, Belize, when none other than Andy Palacio walked in. Andy, Belize's most famous musician on the international scene was in town to celebrate the holidays with his mother. That's the kind of guy Andy was. Sadly, it was the last time I saw him alive. One year ago, on January 19th 2008, Andy Palacio passed away.
Growing up as a member of the Garifuna community, Andy began to witness the noble heritage of his culture slipping away. The Garifuna are the result of the fusion of West African slaves that were shipwrecked on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in the 1600's and the indigenous Carib/Arawak Indians who at that time inhabited the islands of the Eastern Caribbean. After resisting colonial domination, the Garifuna were eventually forcibly removed from St. Vincent by the British, and transported to the island of Roatan off the coast of Central America where they dispersed, settling in Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala. Andy was proud of his heritage, and was committed to preserving his culture through music.
In 2007, Andy's album "Watina" was released to international acclaim. The album, in the Garifuna language, was performed with a group of local musicians called "The Garifuna Collective" and the "Umalali Singers". The album was eventually shortlisted for the BBC3 Awards for World Music. Tragically, Andy died just one year ago and was posthumously given the award.
"Music being the thing that I love most, I decided to use music as a medium for cultural presentation." That was Andy's essence.
A belorio will take place in Barranco Village, Belize on Saturday, the 24th of January, 2009. The belorio consists of prayers intended to assist the spirit of the departed on its way to Seiri, the Garifuna after life, as well as to allow family and friends who are left behind to go on in the world of the living.
Garifuna Song
My name has been raining, my child,
The thunder has rolled, the world has rumbled
With my name, my child.
She who has no sister is poor,
She who had no mother is poor,
Death is responsible,
Death took my male ancestor from me;
(Otherwise), I would not be crying.

2007 - THE YEAR OF ANDY PALACIO
World Music Charts Europe* - #1 Album of the Year
World Music Expo - WOMEX 2007 Award
National Public Radio- Banning Eyre (USA) *- Top 10 World Music Album of 2007
Global Rhythm (USA) - #1 Album of the Year
Best of 2007 *National Geographic Music (USA)* - #1 Album of the Year
Froots BBC Radio 3 Critic’s poll (UK) *- #2 Album of the Year
The Belize Times – Man of the Year 2007
Afro pop Worldwide (USA) - Top Ten Albums of 2007
Amazon.com (USA) - #1 International Album of 2007
Voir (Canada) - Top 10 World Music Album of 2007
The Boston Globe (USA) - Top 10 of 2007
WNYC Sound check New York, NY (USA) - Best World Music Album of 2007
KMUW Global Village Wichita, KS (USA) - #1 Album of 2007

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Environmental Poster Competition for Primary School in Belize

    Wetlands, important part of Belize's environment

The Department of the Environment, within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, is having a poster competition for high school students. Individual students are invited to participate by being creative in using their knowledge of environmental issues. The theme for the poster competition is centered around “wetlands”, with the objective of increasing awareness on the importance of wetlands, their current status in Belize, why and how they are being impacted. The winning posters will then be used to publish an educational poster that will be used in future public education activities by the Department of the Environment. The collection of submitted posters will also be exhibited. The intent is to give students the opportunity to learn about their environment and think about current environmental issues while encouraging the development of their artistic abilities. Prizes for winning posters include a laptop computer and a desktop computer. Deadline for submissions is January 30, 2008



Environmental Project Competition for Primary School in Belize


The Department of the Environment, within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, is having a competition on environmental projects for primary schools. Primary schools are invited to submit a proposal on a project that is environmentally-based and that they want to implement for their school. They will be required to submit a proposal detailing what the project is all about, how the school came up with the idea, what the students are required to do, what are the environmental (and otherwise) benefits of the project, the timeframe of the project, and its budget. The competition is geared towards providing students the opportunity to learn about their environment, be actively involved in its conservation and protection, and experience team work. It can also stimulate an interest in environmental issues affecting them and facilitate continuity of the benefits derived from the project. The Department of the Environment is interested in finding out what schools are presently doing to improve their environment, what environmental issues they are interested in, and would like to work with schools across the country to help educate our youth about their environment. Prizes for winning project proposals include partial funding of the project, desktop computer and an encyclopedia set. Deadline for submissions is January 30, 2009.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

VIEW FROM CROOKED TREE VILLAGE



Crooked Tree Village Lagoon: Jan 10, 2009 (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Weekend Break



Artist Daito Manabe uses electric stimulus to dance his face to the beat of a song.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

INCOME AND BUSINESS TAX AMMENDMENT FOR BELIZE: JANUARY 1, 2009


THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


The House of Representatives in Belmopan, Belize has approved in its second and third readings a number of amendments to the Income and Business Tax Amendment Bill. The Bill was ratified by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor General Sir Colville Young. On January 1, 2009 this Act came into effect; it will affect Real Estate transactions, Banking, Casinos and the Telecommunications sectors.
According to the government, the amended bill will:

•Increase the tax for financial institution which falls within a “PIC Group” (public investment companies) as defined in the International Business Company Act, the rate shall be 12% from 8%

•Increase the rate of business tax on companies providing telecommunication services to 24.5% from 19%.

•Gross earnings of casinos or licensed gaming premises or premises with more than 50 machines at 15%.

•Retain the rate of business tax for all non-commission earning categories of the real estate industry at 15%

•Gross earnings from real estate business as follows:

a)Real estate brokers and agents, earning commissions 15%
b)Real estate sales, developers, condominium owners and fractional interest 2.5%
c)Long Term Leases 3%
d)Time Share Operators 4%

Friday, January 2, 2009

FOUR BELIZEANS HONORED: ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE


The MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE is a British order of chivalry established on June 4, 1917 by King George V. The order includes five classes in civil and military division; in decreasing order of seniority, these are:
Knight Grand Cross (GBE) or Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
Knight Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE)
Commander (CBE)
Officer (OBE)
Member (MBE)
Only the two highest ranks entail admission into knighthood, an honor allowing the recipient to use the title “SIR” (male) or “DAME (female) before their first name. Honorary knighthoods, given to individual who are not nationals of a realm where Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, permit usage of the honor as a post-nominal but not as a title before their name. These recipients are classified as honorary members of the Order they receive, and do not contribute to the numbers restricted to that Order as full members do.

There is also a related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are not members of the Order, but who are nonetheless affiliated with the Order. The British Empire Medal has not been used in the United Kingdom or its dependencies since 1993, but is still used by the Cook Islands and by some other Commonwealth nations.

The Order’s motto is “For God and the Empire”. It is the most junior of the British orders of chivalry and has more members than any other.

As part of the Queen’s New Year’s honors for 2009, four Belizeans have been honored this year.

Attorney Rodwell Williams: Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for public and community service.

Floridalba Contreras: Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her service to education and the community.

June Huesner: Member of the British Empire (MBE) for service to the public, community and commerce.

Celi McCorkle: Member of the British Empire (MBE) for service to the public, community and commerce.

Honorees were appointed on the recommendations of the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. The presentation of the insignias will be held later at the Belize House in Belize City.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Israel Defends its Citizens from Hamas Missiles



Range of missiles fired from Gaza


As Hamas and other Iran-backed Palestinians terrorists group in Gaza continue to kill and wound Israeli civilians by launching katyusha rockets daily, Israel took action on Saturday, December 27, 2008 to defend its citizens.
The Israeli strikes come eight days after Israel’s ceasefire with Iran-backed Hamas ended Friday, December 19th, 2008. During this time, Palestinians terrorists in Gaza have fired hundreds of missiles, rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians, killing and wounding residents in the southern Negev city of Netivot.

Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group claimed responsibility for all the attacks. Katyusha missiles can now hit the Negev town of Kiryat Gat for the first time, demonstrating that Hamas terrorists are capable of firing rockets more than 12 miles inside Israel proper.

Responding to the terrorists, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a televised interview to Gaza’s citizens December 25, 2008 on the Arabic TV network al-Arabiya. “You the citizens of Gaza, you can stop it. I know how much you want to get up in the morning to quiet, to take your children to kindergarten or school, the way we do, the way they want to in Sderot and Netivot (Israeli towns). We want to live as good neighbors with Gaza. We do not want to harm you. We will not allow a humanitarian crisis and that you should suffer from a lack of food or medicines. We do not want to fight the Palestinian people, but we will not allow Hamas to strike our children”

On Friday December 26, 2008 Israel transferred more than 90 truckloads of vital goods to Gaza residents, despite the ongoing rocket and missile attacks. In 2008 more than 13,000 Palestinians patients and their families have been allowed into Israel for medical treatment.
During the past year, Iran-backed terrorist groups in Gaza have fired more than 3,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians in the southern Negev area, killing four people and wounding more than 300.

Israel gave up all of Gaza in 2005, relinquishing homes, farms, places of business and worship, since then, terrorists have launched more than 6,300 rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza. The attacks have killed 10 civilians, wounded more than 780 and traumatized thousands. The only Israeli remaining in Gaza is Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit who was abducted from Israel on June 25, 2006 by Hamas in a bloody cross-border raid in which the terrorists killed two IDF soldiers and wounded four others.

President elect, Barack Obama visited the southern Israeli city of Sderot five months ago, and defended Israel’s right to protect itself from such attacks. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same” Obama also said during the visit, “A nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat, and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Iran, one of the chief sponsors of Palestinian terrorism, provides approximately $30 million to Hamas annually, and also trains Hamas operatives in Iran and Syria. Hamas terrorists have been trained in building rockets and bombs, tactical warfare, weapons operation, and sniper tactics by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a special division of Iran’s armed forces.

Palestinian factional fighting during the past two years, have killed 616 Palestinian from the time Hamas won Palestinian elections in January 2006 through May 2007. In June 2007, when Hamas seized control of Gaza in a bloody coup against Palestinian Authority President, Mahmood Abbas, 161 Palestinians were killed and at least 700 wounded.

Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “Iran considered supporting the Palestinians it’s religious and national duty, and would stay beside the Palestinian nation until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime, Israel.

Iran’s top leaders continue to threaten the West, particularly the United States.

Sources: Haaretz.com, ynetnews.com, telegraph.co.uk/news, reuters.com, terrorism-info.org.il and timesonline.co.uk/world
Humanitarian assistance to Gaza (June 19-Dec 18, 2008)