Friday, September 30, 2011

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE RT. HON GEORGE CADLE PRICE IN LOS ANGELES


OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR MAYA WOMEN OF SOUTHERN BELIZE


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SHANA TOVA UMETUKA! A GOOD AND SWEET YEAR

Shana Tova!

Rosh Hashana is one of the most important days in the Jewish calendar. On this day, we welcome the New Year and wish for a good, happy and fruitful year. A New Year makes us more optimistic, as we feel that a door is opened, a door that welcomes new opportunities, new directions, new hopes. We can walk through this door and move forward in a new way, a hopeful way, and a fearless way. During the previous month named Elul we examined our deeds throughout the year that had passed, and now we are ready for a better, more promising year.

The name Rosh Hashana  (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה) is composed of two words: Rosh  (רֹאשׁ) which means “head” and Shana (שָׁנָה) which means year. Hence, Rosh Hashana means the beginning or the head of the year. The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not mentioned in the Bible - it refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teru'ah (the day of the sounding of the shofar - a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet).
 
"בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁיִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן--זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָהמִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ." וַיִּקְרָא כ"ג, פסוק כ"ד
“In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation.” Leviticus 23:24
 
Rosh Hashana falls on the first and second days of the month of Tishrey. In the secular year of 2011 it begins on September 28 at sundown and ends on September 30 at nightfall. It is a custom to wish “Shana Tova” (שָׁנָה טוֹבָה, Good year) in the days before Rosh Hashana. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to wish you a wonderful year, a year of health and happiness, a year of achieving your goals and creating new ones. 

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה!
Shana tova umetuka!
Good and Sweet Year!


CONSORTIUM FOR BELIZEAN DEVELOPMENT, INC-DONATES TO CROOKED TREE SCHOOL

Children at Crooked Tree Government School were the recipients of a generous donation from a back-to-school drive from members of The Consortium For Belizean Development Inc., San Diego Chapter. 
The supplies consisted of back packs, notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, and other miscellaneous school items and has an estimated value of US$750.00
This fundraising drive was spearheaded by Ambassador to Crooked Tree Government School Miss Mia Tillett.

The Consortium extends thanks and appreciation to all those who donated supplies and 
cash towards the “Back to School Drive” in Los Angeles and San Diego. We hereby acknowledge Mr. Douglas Griffith, the Association of the Justice of the Peace, California Chapter and the Belize Association of Michigan for their generous contributions.


BELIZEAN COMPOSER FRANCIS RENEAU'S SYMPHONIC HYMN TO BELIZE

Belize’s musical phenomenon, Francis Reneau, has produced a symphonic Hymn to Belize, which was performed for the first time to thunderous applause to honour the 30th anniversary of Belize’s independence.

As the tribute ended with breathtaking crescendo of drum, brass, string, and wind instruments and an ensemble of 96 massed voices drawn from every corner of Belize.
The singers came from the Belize Choral Society, the St. John’s Cathedral Choir, the Wesley Choir, reinforced with and singing groups from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize City and Dangriga.
The captivated audience rose to its feet with one accord, cheered and clapped for a full minute.
“I believe it is my best work to date”, Francis later told The Reporter. “I feel truly proud of it”.

And proud he should be, because everybody else who heard the inspired music and the powerful lyrics was captivated beyond words.

The miracle is that such a work could be performed in Belize in the first place. The string section, bolstered by the violins and cellos of the Pallotti String Orchestra, performed magnificently, taking the melody and celebrating with it.

The brass section, which was challenging because of some of the high notes and counterpoint rhythm, proved magnificent.
The drums and cymbals, including a prominent steel band bass, put on quite a show, and the massed choir gave such a spectacular performance it reminded many of Handel’s Messiah, not in melody but in rhythm and the powerful blend of voices and instruments. Later Frankie confessed that he had been moved to tears while composing the words and music.
“I knew what I had, but I did not know how it was going to turn out,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure I would find the talent in Belize to produce it.”

Not only did he find the talent, he discovered new ones in the person of Mr. Felix Hernandez, a music teacher at Pallotti, who produced a tenor voice of such clarity and resonance that he shone like a leading man. His companion, Mrs. Claudia Henderson, a housewife from Belmopan, rose to the occasion as leading lady.

The lyrics, composed by Frankie Reneau, powerful in themselves, provided a new dimension when combined with the massed choir and the symphony of sounds.
Frankie spoke of the possibility of producing a CD, maybe even a DVD, but there are no immediate plans for this.



A Hymn to Belize
by Francis Reneau
Arise ye Sons of the Baymen
Put on your armour
To God we offer thanks & praise
With heart and soul and voice we sing.
Arise, arise you sons and daughters
Arise and sing, Children of Belize
In celebration let us sing
Sing with gladness to celebrate
this day
This day we thank our nation
and our people
Long live Belize!
In acclamation we are gathered
Here to honour you
Honour with our songs of thanks
and praise.
Give thanks to God for all
His blessings
His many blessings,
Thanks be to God
Give thanks for all his children here
We give thanks that the future generations shall inherit.
That future generations shall inherit
That future generations shall this land inherit.
I pledge to thee my country
My love and loyalty I give Land of my birth, my home
Deep in my heart you live.
Forward from strength to strength you go
Your many blessings here I do proclaim
With heads held high
and hearts aglow
We proudly sing your name.
Belize, beloved country We freely give ourselves to you
In deep humility
We stand before you
Belize my home, my country
O land from which all blessings flow
United all we stand
Together, hand in hand
We greet the dawning
of a better day
Throughout this land!
Land of peace
Land so beautiful
God’s blessings on this nation
And its people
That we may all united be!
Jaguera libre laru barana!
Land of the free by the Carib Sea
Tierra de la libertad!
One in strength!
One in pride in our heritage
And diversity
We shall never be divided
As we build our nation
Strong and free.
The people call your name
We celebrate and sing today.
Da fi you
Da fi me
D fi me
Da fi you
Da fu we!
Da fu you, da di me,
The people call your name, Belize.

Photos from Karen Vernon's FB page.

MANDATORY REGISTRATION OF CELLULAR PHONES IN BELIZE

Ministry of Police and Public Safety

Press Release

Dated: 27 September 2011

Mandatory Registration of Cellular Phones Begins October 11th 2011

The Ministry of Police and Public Safety hereby advises the general public that in the interest of National Security under the Telecommunications Act edition 2002 section 44 (5) , Belize Telemedia Limited and Speednet telephone companies will begin the mandatory registration of all existing pre-paid cellular numbers effective Tuesday October 11th 2011. The public is further advised that at the end of the 6 month registration period, all unregistered phones will automatically be disconnected by the respective telephone company. New cellular phones purchased after October 2011 will have to register at the point of sale.

The measure is part of the Government of Belize's anti-crime efforts and is expected to, among other things, allow for the recovery of cellular numbers, eliminate cellular phone theft, and assist law enforcement in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting crimes that involve the use of cellular phones.

Registration is free of cost.

Please contact your telephone company for further information on how to register your cellular phone.

Raphael Martinez

Public Relations Officer

Ministry of Police and Public Safety

227- 2222 ext 306


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TRIBUTE TO RT. HON. GEORGE CADLE PRICE BY PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE


Address by Hon. Dean O. Barrow
Prime Minister of Belize,
HONORING Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, Father of the Nation
State Funeral Service, Belmopan
September 26, 2011

I look out at this great crowd of mourners today. I think of all those that have filed past the casket, signed the tribute books, lined the streets, and thronged the Cathedral on Saturday. And I know this is exactly the way it should be. Thousands of grateful Belizeans saying goodbye to the avatar of the nation! It is destiny fulfilled. What Mr Price strove for all his life, he has been able to produce in his death. We are now a country totally united. United in homage to our National Hero, and his creed of one Belize.

I see the members of Mr. Price's family. I see the sisters, and the nieces and the nephews, and the grand-nieces and the grand-nephews, and it is to them I speak first. I am reminded that this clan of which Mr Price was the foremost exemplar, is a very distinguished one. As political and national leader, no one could surpass Mr Price. But other members of this family, in their own right, are and have been fine contributors to our country, successes in their various professions and callings, similar to Mr Price in his. The point I am trying to make is that he must have been just as proud of you as you were of him. My heartfelt condolences to all of you!

Then I recognize the presence of the foreign dignitaries, the Ministers and Ambassadors come to pay their respects. I also contemplate the many messages of sympathy and solidarity sent by Heads of State, Heads of Government and Heads of International Institutions. These include President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala; President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua; President Raul Castro of Cuba; President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana; Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of the Bahamas; Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica; ex-President Jimmy Carter of the US; former Prime Minister PJ Patterson of Jamaica; and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. And all of this causes me to recollect that Mr. Price was as much global as he was local. The leaders in Central America, in the Caribbean, in the Commonwealth, in the Non-Aligned, in the Group of 77-they all knew and respected and admired George Price. If the struggle for independence locally defined George Price for us, that same struggle internationally identified him for the world. At home and abroad, then, this was THE outstanding Belizean.

In trying to reflect on the man that he was, I had recourse to a sketch of British Honduras titled "The Ultimate Colony", and written in 1969 by Nobel Laureate VS Naipaul. Among Naipaul's barbs, inevitable from that acid pen, lie wonderful little nuggets- vignettes and insights into the style, personality and vision of then Premier Price. Naipaul accompanies Mr, Price on one of his weekly, early morning tours in his trademark Land Rover, and describes the Premier's interaction with the people: his lilting greetings to everyone, calling them by name. I certainly remember him on Kut Avenue when I was growing up: "hello, Mr. Jimmy; mawning, Miss Leonie". He walked my, and every, neighbourhood, had a phenomenal memory, fantastic powers of concentration. In Naipaul's recounting, we get a clear sense of his iron discipline, of Mr. Price's huge efforts of will at making himself one with his people. It was the intensest kind of leadership, personal in the extreme and designed to make each Belizean feel individually cared for and looked after by their Premier. He was determined to be the emerging nation's staff and guide and shepherd and comforter. That is what resulted in his legendary attention to the smallest of details, including the potholes in the road that needed to be filled and the broken down PWD trucks that needed to be fixed. That is what resulted in his descending upon households, enfolding all in his benediction, insisting on visiting the kitchen and partaking of whatever the family meal was, the humbler the better.

Also, there was the Spartan nature of his personal life and his remarkable unity of activism and contemplation. "He says his prayers before going to bed", Naipaul tells us. "He is up at five and goes to mass at 5.30. He does not worry through to political decisions; they come to him after a night of prayer and rest; and he is in his office punctually at eight".
Even his enemies, according to Naipaul, admitted that neither age nor power changed George Price. He was not interested in money; he was known to give away money. And, of course, he was ceaselessly touring the country in that Land Rover, always greeting, always checking.

Is it any wonder that he came to be called the Father of the Nation?
Visionary that he was, George Price himself tells us that he fixed his mind on independence from the time in 1949 when the Governor used his Reserve Power to devalue the British Honduras dollar. To understand just how much of a seer this made him, we have to recollect that this was well before decolonization came into vogue; well before the seminal 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He was way ahead of his time and it was only the security obstacles thrown up by the Guatemalan claim that prevented him from early realizing his dream; and prevented Belize from becoming part of that first great wave that swept so many new nations into being in the 60s and 70s. But the arch-nationalist in George Price never let go of the struggle for freedom. When finally we won independence, it was after a hard-fought internationalization campaign and in circumstances that were peculiar in the post-colonial world. I speak, of course, of the defense guarantee that Mr. Price succeeded in wresting, against all odds, from the British.

For the record, I want to rehearse some of the historical high points of this unparalleled career. George Price was the country's only First Minister (1961-1963); the country's only Premier (1964-1981). He entered politics in 1944, and lost his first election. But he'd been bitten by the bug. And as he put it, at that point even if a Doctor had told him he needed to give up politics for his health, he wouldn't have done so. He won six terms to the Belize Town Council after that first defeat. Together with Johnny Smith, Leigh Richardson and our other National Hero Philip Goldson, he formed the People's United Party on 29th September, 1950. He was leader from 1956 to 1996. Of course, he was our first Prime Minister from 1981 to 1984, and again from 1989 to 1993. He built this Capital City of Belmopan, and he established Social Security in Belize. After Mr. Price retired from electoral politics, he became Vice-Chairman of the Council of Democratic Leaders of the Americas, headquartered at the Carter center in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to the Order of the National Hero of Belize, Mr Price was awarded national honours of Mexico, Venezuela, and Honduras; and the Order of the Caribbean Community.

My closest encounter with George Price was when we were together on a bi-partisan delegation. We had travelled to Roatan to meet with Guatemala as part of the effort to negotiate an end to the territorial claim, and I remember being struck by two things. First, the trouble he took to engage the staff at the hotel we were staying. He would greet all the front desk people each morning, shake hands with the bell captains and waiters, and actually enquire after their families. Now he was running for no office in Honduras, and these people could mean nothing to him politically. That's when I realized that George Price was, above all, the most compassionate of men, interested in people for their own sake, invested in humanity everywhere.

The second thing I took away from that trip was how complex and canny he was as a leader. He was disarmingly simple in his exchanges with the Guatemalan President- I think it was Vinicio Cerezo. But his charm belied a steel trap mind that absorbed every detail of what the Guatemalans were saying. He would immediately catch them up if they displayed the slightest inconsistency in their positions. He was also immovable on any point of contention that he thought did not favour Belize.

I have already suggested that Mr. Price was able to combine immersion in the daily business of running a country and shaping a nation, with an unceasing intellectual curiosity. And his search for new knowledge and new ideas, was never limited to the purely political. Actually, he was something of a renaissance man. He wrote poetry, played the piano, loved classical music and the arts, and read widely in the sciences, theology, philosophy and literature. The PUP will never have another leader like George Price. But then the country will never have another Prime Minister like George Price.

I cannot end this short reflection on Mr. Price without some comment on his complete faith in God. While he didn't wear his piety on his sleeve, his belief was  absolute. Graham Greene was, as I understand it, one of his favourite authors and an acquaintance and perhaps even occasional correspondent. But the tortured questionings and falls from grace of Greene's whiskey priest, were not for Mr. Price. He had no doubt of the need to always do right, and of the omniscience and omnipotence of his eternal Creator.

Naipaul closes that 1969 piece with a story from Mr Price. "I have this recurring dream. I am in church. Someone is saying mass-Turton, my old employer, or Pinks, one of his managers-and I wonder why I, who would so much like to be up there, am not, and that old sinner is"

Well, let no one doubt that Mr. Price is up there now, united at long last and saying mass with his Almighty God. 


Friday, September 23, 2011

STATE FUNERAL FOR THE RT. HON GEORGE CADLE PRICE

RIGHT HON. GEORGE CADLE PRICE

Preparations continue to be made for the State Funeral of the former Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. George Price. 

 According to coordinators of the event, a decision has been made to move up the time of the departure of Mr. Price’s body from the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The plan now is for the procession to move off from the KHMH Morgue at seven o’clock tomorrow morning. The route of the procession remains the same. The body will Lie in State just inside the entrance of the Bliss Centre . For those wishing to pay their last respects, the viewing will begin at eight o’clock tomorrow morning. A tent will be set up in the parking lot in front of the Albert Cattouse Building where members of the public are being asked to gather in the queue to pass in single file past the casket. It will be a closed casket. At three o’clock tomorrow afternoon, the body will be taken over to the Holy Redeemer Cathedral for a private Mass. Upon leaving the Cathedral tomorrow evening, the body will be taken by motorcade to Belmopan. The government of Belize has requested that all church bells toll at six thirty on Monday morning, the time when Mr. Price died on Monday of last week. 

 Love FM and Love Television will have extensive coverage of the State Funeral, starting tomorrow morning at six o’clock. The Love FM/Love Television broadcast team will be anchored by veteran broadcaster Patrick Jones and will include Ava Diaz Sosa, Julia Carrillo and Armin Arana.


By Patrick E. Jones

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY BELIZE!!!



You are 30 years old and for most countries, this is only a shrug of the shoulders, but for Belize, this is a cause for celebration and admiration.


Belize, you gave us quite a story; the only English speaking country in Central America, but you still manage to fool them all, because you are really in the heart of the Caribbean basin. I know it drives them bonkers by having the second longest Barrier Reef in the world, and all you want in return from your citizens and visitors is to protect and take care of your reef. And try as they might, no one can match your rivers and protected areas. Your Blue Hole Belize is simply awesome!!! And your ancient Maya Ruin, born and rooted deep into your land. Imagine your atolls Belize, you have three of them: Lighthouse Reef, Glover's Reef, and the Turneffe Island, then again, no one in the Caribbean can come close. In fact, nothing else in the Western Hemisphere resembles a true Coral Reef, well maybe, perhaps the Chinchorro Reefs, off Mexico's southern Yucatan Peninsula. I know you have malice towards none!


No Belize, of course, you are not perfect, you do have a problem with crime, cronyism and corruption. But like other Democratic society, you are a work in progress. And despite the threats from your neighbor, your citizens have embraced life to the fullest and have embraced a national spirit that is hard to match anywhere else in the world. As you told me Belize, your work is unfinished and the challenges are many.


Nonetheless, your birthday provides an occasion to pause, take a deep breath, and marvel at how far you have come since September 21, 1981. You will rise to the sky; you are mature Belize....I LOVE you, I MISS you and I'll see you soon.


Happy 30th Birthday Belize.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

BELIZE MOURNS PASSING OF FATHER OF THE NATION: RT. HON. GEORGE CADLE PRICE

Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price working at his desk
Today, the entire nation of Belize is mourning the passing of the first prime minister and national hero, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Former Prime Minister George Cadle Price, died today after being hospitalized for nearly a week following emergency surgery. He was 92 years old.

On September 14th, Mr. Price fell at his home in Belize City and suffered an injury to his head. The Father of the Nation was rushed to the Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot. Unfortunately, he did not recover from his injuries.

Mr. Price led the nation of Belize to its independence from Great Britain on September 21st, 1981. He served two terms as prime minister from 1981-84 and 1989-1993. He is considered a national hero to the 350,000 people of Belize.


Sunrise:January 15, 1919
Sunset: September 19, 2011
Belize National Anthem sung by Rt. Hon. George Price. 
Prime Minister Dean Barrow declared a week of mourning until Sept. 26.


Photo from Yasser Musa at The Image Factory  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MIDDLE EAST WRAP: THE CLOCK IS TICKING-TICK TOCK

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) walks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel (L) and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on September 1, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC.

Palestinians hold flags and posters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a protest against Washington's veto of a UN resolution in the West Bank city of Ramallah 

Palestinian schoolboys hold a poster depicting Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally at Gaza Seaport calling on Erdogan to visit the 



Weekly round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East

The headlines in the Israeli newspapers on Friday, September 16, 2011 were dominated by the Palestinian statehood bid. With the clock ticking down, the papers have dedicated a great deal of time to the matter.

Yedioth Ahronoth even leads its Wednesday edition with what it is referring to as the “September Alert”.

According to the  lead headline, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering addressing the General Assembly himself, instead of asking President Shimon Peres to go in his place. The report also said that the prime minister has started to entertain the possibility of attending in person because of the intense negotiations being conducted by the United States, the European Union and Quartet envoy Tony Blair to find a compromise solution.

 Maariv also leads with the UN vote, reporting that Jerusalem is preparing for a wave of International Criminal Court lawsuits against Israel as soon as the Palestinians’ UN status is upgraded. According to the report, a secret Foreign Ministry cable to embassies across the world is warning of a deluge of such cases in the ICC. The cable also outlines Israel’s plan of action for rebuffing the claims that the Palestinians are expected to make during the UN debate.

The Jerusalem Post did not lead with the UN vote, but had extensive coverage inside the pages. It has reported that the president of the UN General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, says he has received no request to date from the Palestinian representation at the UN on whether they plan to seek statehood status in the world body. Al-Nasser told a news conference that he still did not receive any request about the issue. ‘There are two ways and everybody knows, Security Council or General Assembly,’ Al-Nasser said. ‘We'll wait and see what's going to happen.’ He noted that the Palestinian leadership is still engaged in discussions in Egypt about the statehood bid.

Israel Radio adds that according to a senior official from the UN legal department, the Palestinians cannot receive full membership in the organization without a recommendation from the Security Council. The U.S. has indicated that it would use its veto power in the Security Council to block a Palestinian statehood bid.

 Haaretz covers U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Tuesday that the path to a two-state solution runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not the UN. Speaking in Washington, Clinton repeated the U.S. view that the Palestinians should not seek full membership in the UN later this month and instead should resume direct talks with the Israelis. She added that she has sent two US envoys – David Hale and Dennis Ross – back to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to try to find a way to revive talks.
Ynet reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas said Wednesday that the efforts to win UN recognition for a Palestinian state are “irreversible” and have wide international support, but they do not mean the end of negotiations with Israel. Abbas was speaking to newspaper editors in Cairo following a meeting with Arab foreign ministers, who discussed the Palestinian UN initiative.

Hamas, meanwhile, has come out against the statehood bid. The organization’s spokesman, Salah Bardawil, said that the bid was ‘perilous for the resistance movement.’ According to Bardawil, ‘September's plan does not stem from reasonable principles and is part of the negotiation process. If it works, it will cement the Palestinians' recognition of Israel's right to exist.’

The last word on the Palestinian issue belongs, almost inevitably, to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said Wednesday that all the concessions made by various Israeli governments over the years to the Palestinians have been taken for granted and were not viewed as goodwill gestures. Lieberman vowed that if the Palestinians go ahead with a unilateral move at the United Nations for membership as a state, and are successful in passing such a resolution, there will be “serious implications”.

Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom, also lead with Turkey. Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post have almost identical headlines, quoting from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments in Cairo on Tuesday, where he said that Israel has isolated itself and must pay the price after refusing to apologize to Turkey for the commando raid on a Gaza bound aid flotilla.

Speaking to Arab League foreign ministers, Erdogan charged Israel with irresponsibility and smashing human dignity and international law by carrying out assaults on international convoys. The Turkish leader said such assaults threaten the Israeli nation. He added that the Israeli people have become a besieged nation. He also voiced his support for the Palestinian initiative to win recognition of statehood from the United Nations and said this is not an option but an obligation. Erdogan said it is time to raise the Palestinian flag at the UN. The lead headline in Israel Hayom quotes Muslim Brotherhood members who greeted Erdogan like a hero in Cairo, calling him “the new Saladin”.

Netanyahu responded to Erdogan's remarks during a tour along the border with Egypt by saying that one should not take every statement so seriously. He said in the end common sense would triumph on both sides.

And finally, in related news, a panel of human rights experts said on Tuesday that Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, disputing a conclusion reached by a separate UN probe into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship. The Palmer Report on the Mavi Marmara raid of May 2010 that killed nine Turkish activists said earlier this month that Israel had used unreasonable force in last year's raid, but its naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled strip was legal. However, a panel of five independent UN rights experts reporting to the UN Human Rights Council rejected that conclusion, saying the blockade had subjected Gazans to collective punishment in ‘flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law’.

Photo #1 by: 
 Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images


Photo #2 by: Reuters, February 20, 2011

Photo #3 by: AP, Gaza Strip, September 13, 2011



Saturday, September 17, 2011

1000 ISRAELIS IN NUDE SHOOT AT THE DEAD SEA

Naked volunteers pose for American photographer Spencer Tunick on the shores of the Dead Sea in Israel.
At dawn this morning, at the lowest point on earth, more than 1000 Israelis volunteered to pose nude for photographer Spencer Tunick at the Dead Sea.  Mr. Tunick is famed for photographing crowds of naked people in public spaces around the world.

The Dead Sea was chosen to send an environmental message of the plight of the lowest and saltiest body of water on earth. The Dead Sea is dropping by nearly 4 feet a year. Experts warn that the Dead Sea could dry out by 2050 unless steps are taken to halt its demise.

The project, Tunick’s first in the Middle East, is part of a bid to boost Israel’s campaign to have the salt-saturated feature recognized as one of the world’s seven natural wonders in a global online vote in November.

You can read the account here!

Photo #1 by Jack Guez/AFP
Photo #2 by Nati Shohat/Flash 90 at Israel21c.com 

Friday, September 16, 2011

SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH- SEPTEMBER 2011

This is a segment to honor and recognize outstanding Belizeans and their descendants for their accomplishment and contributions to life.  As a proud Belizean, I believe it is imperative that we support and promote Belizeans both at home and abroad. You are an important part of our community. We hope we can inspire our children to reach for the stars.


You can nominate a candidate for Belizean Spotlight that you believe has excelled or contributed to our life. 

Previous “Spotlight of the Month” can be found in the archives.
Pastor and Mrs. John Wright 
He is not a Belizean, but because of the work he is doing in the Village of Crooked Tree, ministering and working with the young and assistance to the elderly, I have decided to make Pastor John Wright a Belizean Spotlight of the Month.  The Church of the Nazarene has been without a pastor for almost four years, and because Pastor Wright has retired from ministering in the US, he has willing volunteered to go to Crooked Tree Village for one year.
The Church of the Nazarene
 I was born in 1940, to a family of western Kansas wheat farmers. More importantly, it was a family that served God with their whole hearts. By the age of ten, my parents had already introduced me to the world of Nazarene missions through their involvement with the North American Indian District.

I graduated high school in 1958 and immediately began college in what is now called Southern Nazarene University. Midway through college, where I had been studying music, I left school and returned home to begin farming with my father. During this time, I married my wife Terri, and we had two sons born into our farming family. Feeling that this was not where God would have me spend my life, we sold out all we had and both returned to college to prepare for the ministry with a major in religion.

During these years of working to support my growing family and studying for the ministry, I began to pastor an Indian church in Oklahoma Upon graduation from college in 1967, we moved to GallupNew Mexico to pastor the Twin Butte Indian Mission.

Following this, and now with a family of four children, we returned to Kansas and began pastoring Anglo churches. Most of our ministry was spent on the Kansas District; opportunities came to us to begin Cross Culture ministry with Hispanic families. While in Elkhart, Kansas, we organized the first Hispanic church of the Nazarene in the Kansas District. Cross Culture Ministry has long been a driving force in my ministry.

Shortly after this experience, I was appointed to direct the Kansas District Compassionate Ministry. Combining the two, Compassionate Ministry and Cross Culture Ministry quickly became my ministry focus. While pastoring, we were privileged to work directly with a village in Guatemala and with the pastors of the surrounding area in a Compassionate Ministry program. Soon this expanded to working with the pastors of the Northern Mexico District. We worked directly with those pastors to encourage them and help them with some of their ministry needs.

In 2004, we moved our District Compassionate Ministry to Belize, as we began to work with the churches and pastors of the Toledo Zone. Following my retirement in 2006, I had to give up my position as District Compassionate Ministry Director of the Kansas District, but I have pursued avenues to continue to be involved in building churches and working with the pastors of the Toledo area.

In 2009, I was asked to become Interim Pastor to the church here in McLouth, Kansas. After six months I was asked to become senior pastor, and accepted, on a short term basis.

My heart continues to be with Cross Culture and Compassionate ministries. I greatly enjoy working with families, children and youth, as well as the elderly. God has given us a great awareness of His goodness and blessings. It remains my desire that in what ever state I am in, therewith to be content!
 Photos and video by Dr. Jane Crawford

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL 2011/2012 IN CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Teacher George Tillett with his class: please click on photos for a closer view
How many of you remember those Staples commercials? This particular one I’m remembering is with the guy in the pool and the kids playing and screaming on the deck. You know what I’m talking about right? He just presses the big, red easy button—and like magic, the kids are outfitted in all of their school supplies!

Well, wouldn’t it be nice if back to school shopping in Belize were really that easy—and affordable too?

The reality is that back to school time can be a tremendous hardship on low income families—especially those who have to provide school supplies and uniforms for more than one child in the home. In this current recessive economy, schools are being hit the hardest and the government, with an already tight education budget, is no help at all.

Many schools in Belize are tightening their purse strings and in the Belize District, some schools are being amalgamated. And some of these schools don’t have enough school supplies to go around; sometimes what they have is old and shabby. With limited school supplies available, teachers sometimes end up spending their own hard-earned money to buy pencils, pens, notebooks, and textbooks for students whose families cannot afford them. On top of paying for school supplies, teachers also usually pay for photocopies, chalk, blackboard markers, posters, and classroom decor out of their own pockets.


So how do we keep our teachers and parents from picking up the slack when it comes to needed school supplies? With your demonstrated kindness and generosity, of course!

Over the past two months Village View Post has been conducting a fund raiser for school supplies. Many of you have stepped up to the plate to power this school-supply drive for the children of Crooked Tree and Lemonal Villages. Your kindness towards our children is well grounded, first and foremost, in your strong belief in education. Contributors like you want our eager young minds to have the tools for learning, and at the same time, prepare Belize for the future.

For some of you, the school-supply campaign stirs painful memories of being ashamed of turning up the first day of school empty-handed and embarrassed. You do not want another young student's face to be red with embarrassment!
Thank you to all who made it possible through your generous donations to give these items to the Crooked Tree and Lemonal schools: pens, pencils, pencil cases, rulers, glue, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, composition books, and art supplies. Because of your generosity, our children are now able to start the school year off on the right track. Your contributions were distributed to the schoolchildren on the first day of school, September 5th, 2011.

Thank you to Cherry Cadle and Emelio Mena of Easy Shipping (941-255-1031) in Port Charlotte, Florida for making the school year a happier one for teachers and students alike. The boxes were delivered in Crooked Tree Village to Becky Crawford.

Below is a list of people who contributed:

Bernadine Faber, Stephanie Anthony, Verla Kerr Bidos, Stephanie Gonzalez, Louise Crawford, Rose Dawson, Robbie Dawson, Lisbon Tillett, Ruth Wade, Josephine McGee, Avril Wade, Maggie Leslie, Nadia Crawford, Pamela Anna Campbell Pandy, Lisbon Tillett, Debbie Rowley, Caroline Rowley, Ariel Elul, Gilah Elul, Benjamin Elul, Edward Melcer, Kaitlyn Kliewer, Kareem Ferguson, National AIDS Commission Belize, Pamela Sedacy, Mary Tillett Lamey, Dr. Jane Crawford, and Becky Crawford.

Hope I didn't miss anyone!!  
Photos by Teacher Verla Jex and Dr. Jane Crawford