Friday, June 29, 2012

MIDDLE EAST WRAP: WATCHING EGYPT

A round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz-Maariv-Yedioth Ahronoth-Israel Hayom-The Jerusalem Post-Ynet-Arutz 7 News-Army Radio-Israel Radio-and Makor Rishon 

The election of the Moslem Brotherhood candidate as Egypt’s first post-Mubarak president dominates all the Israeli newspapers on Monday, June 25, 2012. The official Israeli response to the election of an Islamist was muted, but the newspapers appear to have already made up their minds about what it means for Israel, for the Israel-Egypt peace accord and for the security of southern Israel……done

Yedioth Ahronoth had a five-page coverage with a reference to the biblical plagues, calling Mursi’s election the ‘plague of darkness.’

Maariv’s headline….‘A new Middle East’ is more neutral, but it goes on to say that ‘Israel’s greatest fear has been realized.’

Israel Hayom says that the Egyptian people ‘voted for Islam’ and that Israel must ready itself for Egyptian demands to renegotiate the terms of the peace treaty.
Officially, Israel sounded a cautious note on the announcement of the election results. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that ‘Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects its outcome. Israel expects continued cooperation with the Egyptian administration on the basis of the peace accord between the two countries, which is in the interest of the two peoples and contributes to regional stability,’ the statement continued.

Nevertheless, an unnamed Israeli official told the Associated Press that ‘it looks like we were right when we said the Arab Spring would become an 'Islamic Winter,' even though Western nations laughed us off at the time.’ The official added that he hoped the Egyptian government would ‘try to be more statesmanlike, by working in the interests of the country.’ Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo, told Israel's Army Radio that Mursi's authority would likely be diluted by the powerful Egyptian army, which relies on Washington's defense grants.

Channel 2's veteran Arab affairs expert, Ehud Yaari said that armed with untiring patience, the Muslim Brotherhood “will try to stabilize a monopoly on power – not hurriedly, not through confrontations, but through a gradual building of force, just as Khomeini did in Iran”. Mursi is not looking for war with Israel, Yaari adds, and he will let the military manage relations with Israel. ‘But it is nearly certain that, at a moment not too far off from now, he will insist that Israel 'reassess' the 1979 peace treaty and demand that the military protocol limiting the Egyptian army's deployment in Sinai be amended”.

All the papers also report that, in his first address to the nation just hours after being declared Egypt's new president, Mursi vowed to “preserve international accords and obligations”. In what was seen as an indirect reference to the peace treaty with Israel, Mursi said he had a “message of peace” and would “respect all international agreements”. He also proclaimed himself the “leader of all Egyptians”.

On the other hand, in a message that would have sent chills down Israeli leaders’ spines, he said in an interview on Monday that he wants closer ties with Tehran to create a “balance” in the Middle East. Mursi told the Iranian Fars News Agency that closer relations with Iran “will create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my program”..

In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives on Monday, June 25th on a state visit to Israel. He is heading a 300-strong delegation comprising government ministers, advisers and journalists that is arriving in four planes. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman greeted the Russian entourage at Ben-Gurion Airport. The delegation traveled to Netanya, where Putin, alongside President Shimon Peres, dedicated a monument to the Red Army's triumph over Nazi Germany. From Netanya, the Russian leader headed to Jerusalem, for talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and cabinet ministers Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz. He dined with his Israeli counterpart Peres that evening. Putin is scheduled to visit Bethlehem and Jordan on Tuesday, June 26, 2010.

Putin last visited Israel in 2005, during his first term as president and in what was the first Russian presidential visit to Israel.

Finally, Maariv reported that Israel and the U.S. will hold their largest ever joint military exercise in October, featuring thousands of soldiers and advanced anti-missile defense systems, simulating simultaneous fire from Iran and Syria.

On a recent visit to Israel commander of the 3rd Air Force Lt.-Gen. Craig A. Franklin established a planning committee with representatives of the IDF to coordinate the details of the large exercise that was set to include some 3,000 U.S. soldiers alongside thousands of Israeli troops. The exercise is scheduled to take place in October. The drill will simulate missiles being fired at Israel from Iran and Syria at the same time, with potentially tens, if not hundreds, of rockets mid-air at the same time. Israel will feature its upgraded Arrow 2 defense system, while the U.S. will deploy the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and PAC-3 Patriot air defense platforms. According to Maariv, some military analysts have nicknamed the exercise a “dress rehearsal”, noting that it sends a clear message to Iran at a time during which results of international sanctions will start to take effect and be seen.

FIRST OF ITS KIND TELETHON IN BELIZE TO RAISE FUNS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN


The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize are hosting a telethon on Saturday, June, 30th, 2012 in the hopes of raising $1,000,000 towards the construction of the Inspiration Center. This center will offer basic medical care and various therapies to children with special needs and serve as a community center with after-school classes for children from the surrounding communities.

The telethon will run from 8am to 6pm from the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and will be simulcast on local TV and radio as well as live streaming on the internet.

Belizeans and friends of Belize, at home and abroad can donate by cash, depositing to the center’s bank account, through texting, billing pledges to their BTL and BWS accounts, credit card or even buying Inspiration Center T-shirts and hats. Ten booths will be set up across the country, including Placencia and San Pedro, where citizens can go to donate or buy the promotional items. On Saturday, both SMART and BTL customers will be able to access the telethon’s hotline 0-800-INSPIRE (467-7473), while international audience can dial 501-227-WISH (9497).

Right now your help is needed. Will you give now and help us to achieve this goal?  Change can only happen through advocacy.

There are many special needs children living in Belize. They are counting on you today to help fuel this program.

With your support, we will be able to offer special needs children a place to receive the distinct care and therapies they so badly need.

Give a gift today; we can’t do it without you. And by doing so you can help us move closer to a place of freedom for the special needs children in Belize.

Monday, June 25, 2012

BOOK NOOK: ALL ABOUT BOOKS


Because I love to read and share. My aim is to promote reading and sharing one book to one person at a time. 
The name "Book Nook" came from a used bookstore I used to frequent in Tel Aviv while living in Israel.  



BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS


The Diary of Anne Frank


A detail of the diary of the wax figure of Anne Frank and their hideout reconstruction is unveiled at Madame Tussauds on March 9, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Today, June 25, 2012, it's been 65 years since the publication of Anne Frank's Diary, written during the two years the teenager and her family hid from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam.  The Jewish girl Annelies "Anne" Marie Frank wrote the first entry of her famous diary on June 12, 1942, her 13th birthday.

Decades after the horror of World War II, Anne’s diary has now turned 70. Her first entry reads, “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”



Frank, one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, was born in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Weimar Germany, although she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. As a German national, she lost her citizenship in 1941 when Nazi Germany passed the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws.

Her family then survived by hiding in attics and hidden corners. Frank stayed true to her journal until she and her family were betrayed and captured by the Germans in August 1944.

Anne Frank died in a Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March of 1945, at age 15. After the war, Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam and published the diary that would touch the hearts and minds of generations to come.

The diary of Anne begins when she is 13 years of age at a time when the Jews were wearing yellow stars in Amsterdam. Anne is your usual precocious girl, flirting with boys and being impudent when she can get away with it. When at last the time comes for the Franks to go into hiding (Margot Frank, Anne's sister, has been issued an order for her removal) they do so with another family, the Van Daans.

In a small floor hidden above Otto Frank's old workplace, the two families are aided by faithful friends and employees. Over the course of the diary we watch and listen through Anne's eyes as, for two years, the people in the attic are put through terrible deprivations and trials; through good times and bad times.

After a while you become so comfortable with Anne's observations and voice that the final page of the narrative comes as a shock when the capture of Anne and her family is finally announced.

The diary holds the remarkably deep thoughts of a young thirteen year old. I think young teenage girls will understand Anne's plight intrinsically. By the end of the diary, Anne becomes far more philosophical. She no longer records the family's every move and action. Instead, she ponders questions like whether or not young people are lonelier than old people. Or what it means to be good. Though you may not like the protagonist of this book at all times, you come to understand and sympathize with her. Anne is a remarkable writer, all the more so when you consider that this diary was written for her alone.  I would strongly encourage kids to read Anne’s diary. In my opinion it is the best Holocaust-related children's book anywhere today.


History of Annelies "Anne" Marie Frank http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Fran

Sunday, June 24, 2012

THREE GOLD MEDALS FOR BELIZE AT THE 23RD CENTRAL AMERICAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP

The 23rd Central American Senior Athletics Championship was held last weekend, June 15-17, 2012 in Managua, Nicaragua. The athletes representing Belize won three gold medals, four silver and three bronze medals.

Kenneth Medwood won the first gold medal for Belize in the men’s 400m hurdles on Friday, in 49.81 seconds; while Costa Rica’s, Gerald Drummond won the silver in 53.33 and Guatemala’s Gerber Blanco Mena took the bronze at 53.95.
Kenneth Medwood
 In the women’s long jump on Sunday the 17th, Tricia Flores won the gold medal for Belize with a leap of 5.67 meters; while Panama’s Nathalee Aranda jumped 5.41 meters to win the silver and Guatemala’s Estefany Cruz Perez jumped 5.40 meters for the bronze.

Tricia also won a bronze medal on Friday in the 100m event where, the record is held by Belize’s Kaina Martinez at 11.74 seconds, set on June 24, 2011.
Tricia clocked 12.34 seconds, while Panama’s Ruth Hunt ran 11.97 seconds for the gold and Costa Rica’s Sharolyn Joseph took the silver in 12.25 secs. Tricia  ran 12.50 secs in the heats to qualify, while Charnelle Enriquez clocked 13.35 secs to finish fifth in her heat. She did not qualify to the finals.

The third gold medal for Belize was won by Brandon Jones in the men’s triple jump on Sunday with a leap of 15.47 meters. Brandon also won  silver in the men’s long jump at 7.20 meters; in which Panama’s Juan Mosquera Prado took the gold at 7.24m.
Brandon Jones
Shaneva and Shantel Swift
 Shaneve Swift won a silver medal for Belize in the 200m on Saturday, clocking 24.82, while Panama’s Ruth Hunt ran 24.30 for the gold. Kaina Martinez holds the record at 24.17. Shaneve also won a bronze in the 400m on Sunday, running 56.93 seconds, while Panama’s Andrea Ferris Quintero took the gold in 55.17 secs and Honduras’ Heidy Palacios won silver in 55.24 secs.

Shaneve’s sister, Shantel Swift, won silver in the women’s triple jump on Sunday, leaping 11.53 meters; while Guatemala’s Estefany Cruz Perez won the gold at 12.08m and Costa Rica took the bronze at 11.34 m.

In the heptathlon, Ana Poras of Costa Rica took the gold, Ruth Morales of Guatemala, the silver and Katy Sealy won the third bronze for Belize with at total of 4201 points.
Katy Sealy 
The Belize women: Shantel and Shaneve Swift, Irice Reyes and Charnelle Enriquez, won another bronze in the 4 x 100 meter  relay on Saturday, clocking 50.29, while the Costa Rican women won the gold in 47.68 secs and the Panamanians won silver in 47.79 secs.
The Swift sisters and Enriquez teamed up with Alexia Neal and placed fourth in the women’s 4 x 400 meters on Sunday.

Alexia Neal also won silver in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, clocking 1:07:47. Nicaragua’s Jessica Aguilera took the gold in 1:03:66. Alexia also won a bronze medal in the 100 meter hurdles, clocking 15.87 seconds. Honduras’ Jeimmy Bernardez Santos won the gold in 13.99 secs and Costa Rica’s  Naomi Smith Wint won the silver in 15.83 secs.

Belize’s Brandon Jones, Kenneth Medwood, Chavis Lopez and Mark Anderson won silver in the men’s 4 x 400 meters, running 3:19.33. The Costa Ricans won the gold in 3:12.42 and the Nicaraguans took the bronze in 3:19.56.

Information can be found here:http://www.atletismocadica.org/


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MURDER CHARGE BROUGHT AGAINST BELIZE CITY BUSINESSMAN

Burt Haylock Vasquez


Chester Clyde Williams, Senior Superintendent Belize Police Department 

Update: Burt Haylock Vasquez, 28 year old Belize City businessman, has been charged and arraigned in court for one count of murder in relation to the death of Jasmine Lowe. He has been remanded into custody until the 14th day of August 2012. Thanks to all who assisted the police in making this possible. 


As it relates to the complaints relating to the other young girls, Burt Vasquez will be arraigned tomorrow on several other charges following 11 separate reports made against him by young girls who allege that Vasquez had attempted to pick them up and offered them money in the Cayo District. 


Press Release: June 20, 2012





WIFE OF BELIZE'S PM RETURNS TO BELIZE

Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow & Daughter at Phillip Goldson International Airport] - June 20, 2012
The Office of the Prime Minister has released this picture of the First Lady and her daughter upon arrival in Belize. Kim Simplis Barrow has arrived home after weeks of cancer treatments in Miami, Florida. 

In what had been a difficult chapter, Mrs. Barrow experienced complications as a result of her treatment for breast cancer. Fluid had developed in her lungs and an irregular heartbeat prompted doctors to take her into intensive care. Tests revealed that her heart was severely damaged. At one point, only 10 to 15% of her heart was functional. According to doctors, most of the damages are irreversible. Prime Minister Barrow said that Doctor Bernard Bulwer in Boston and Doctor Dorita Arzu in Houston had arranged for her to see a doctor that specializes in treating heart failure arising from radiation and chemotherapy damage. While in Belize, Mrs. Barrow will be treated by Dr. Adrian Coye. Dr. Coye spoke to Mrs. Barrow’s doctor from Miami on Wednesday morning in regards to her present condition.

Mrs. Barrow expressed her profound appreciation for all the good wishes and expressions of concern from Belizeans at home and abroad and is extremely happy to be once again at home among family and friends. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CROOKED TREE SCHOOL RANKED IN TOP TEN IN BELIZE DISTRICT

Students that sat the PSE


The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced last week and the Crooked Tree Village School did an excellent job. A total of 19 students sat the exam and all of them were successful.

Twelve year old Arturo Wade and Shawn Crawford were the top scorers, with scores of 353 points out of 400, or 88.25%.  The top five students at Crooked Tree are Arturo Wade, Shawn Crawford, Glenford Herbert, Edwin Gillett and Terique Gillett.

Crooked Tree School now ranked 7th from 60 schools in the Belize District and 14th out of 288 schools nationwide. This is a huge advancement for the Principal, Winnie Gillett and the villagers of Crooked Tree.

Principal Gillett said, “I feel so proud and elated for all of my students, especially since this was a very challenging class of 15 boys and 4 girls. There were times when the class teacher Verla Jex, felt like giving up but she persevered to the end. We try very hard to prepare out students for the PSE; in fact, we start to prepare them from the very moment they
 enter Crooked Tree School. All of our teachers work very hard and I want to thank them for their commitment and dedication to our school and Crooked Tree Village. In the past several years it has been paying off in a big way for us”.


The Primary School Examination (PSE) is the conclusion of the 8 years of study and hard work before high school. The students are tested in the areas of Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.

ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO COMBAT CRIME IN BELIZE

Faced with a mounting crime rate in Belize in the past month, the GOB of Belize issued this press release to announce additional funds to combat crime and a cabinet re-shuffle.   




BOOK PRESENTATION IN BELIZE CITY


 The book will be presented at the Image Factory in Belize City on
Wednesday June 27, 2012 at 10:00am.

Francis aka Frank Palacio was born and raised in Belize and educated at St. Joseph
School, St. Johns College, and Belize Technical College, all in Belize City. He
continued his education at California State University Los Angeles and Chapman
University in the Los Angeles, California.


The book is part autobiography and part treatise on the impact popular social
networking FACEBOOK has had not only on Mr. Palacio, but on people all over the world.


In the book, Mr. Palacio interviewed people he has come across on Facebook and
asked them to talk about their experience using the popular social networking website.
People interviewed include a college professor, a deacon, a professional actor, an
engineer, an author, a beauty queen, a nurse, a business person and the founder of
Beinggarifuna.com, –that is, Teofilo Colon Jr (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”).


Palacio is a graduate of California Sate University, Los Angeles. He obtained a teaching
credential and a masters degree in education from Chapman University. In 2005, Frank
was one of a select group of teachers chosen to attend the UCLA Writing Project as a
fellow.

Monday, June 18, 2012

EYE ON BELIZE

Actress and Ocean Activist Kate Walsh visited Belize on June 8th, World Oceans Day to raise awareness on Belize's sea heritage. She snorkeled off the Belize's Barrier Reef and Marine Reserve sites during her visit. Ms. Walsh visited Belize to work with Oceana and to show her support for Belize's Barrier Reef and Oceana's call to protect the reef and marine life from oil exploration in Belize's waters.  
 Below are two photos taken by photographer Tony Rath as Kate diyed the underwater world of Belize at Shark Ray Alley, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Here she is confronting a nurse shark at Shark Ray Alley, Belize. Copyright @ 2012 Tony Rath/tonyrath.com/for OceanaPhoto: Tony Roth
And here she's diving off Turneffe Atoll in Belize.. Copyright @ 2012 Tony Rath/tonyrath.com/for OceanaPhoto: Tony Roth
Photo of the Blue Hole by Kate Walsh



source:ambergristoday.com

Friday, June 15, 2012

OPEN LOBSTER SEASON KICKS OFF FESTIVITIES


The Belize lobster season 2012/2013 will open on June 15th and will end at midnight on the 14th of February, 2013. For the past few weeks traditional local fishermen on Ambergris have been gearing up, building new and repairing lobster traps and placing lobster sheds on the waterbeds in anticipation of the new season.  Fishermen look forward to the opening of the long awaited lobster season since it generates income into the local economy from the start of the season to the very end.  The first big demand for the spiny lobster is during the lobster festivals planned in various parts of the country including Caye Caulker Village, Placencia and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.


San Pedro is the first to kick off the lobster festivals with a week-long calendar of activities. The event kicks off on Friday June 15th at El Divino (Banana Beach Resort) featuring the opening ceremonies. According to the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee it is a great way to launch the festival on the same day the season opens and with great food. The Lobster Fest will run through Sunday, June 24th. Each day, the event will move to a different location, each with a singular menu depending on the venue.


The one main highlight for the San Pedro Lobster Festival includes the Lobster Crawl, which is basically a passport that will allow you to collect stamps at each location every night of the event. The stamps will entitle the passport holder to raffle tickets for a vacation package for Lobster Fest 2013. Another highlight is the first ever Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge. The two-day event, which starts on Friday June 22nd, will take kayakers completely around the entire Ambergris Caye, into creeks, major lagoons, along the reef and ending at the SP Central Park on Saturday, June 23rd. The end of the kayak race will coincide with the annual Lobster Fest Block party on Saturday June 23rd on Barrier Reef Drive (Main Street). Lobster food booths will be plentiful and the air will be filled with live musical performance which will see the participation of the Panerrifix Steel Band hailing from Belmopan City.


On our sister island of Caye Caulker, the Lobster fest will be held on June 30th and July 1st. There will be many events leading to the Lobster Festival with one of main highlights being the Miss Lobster Festival Queen 2012 pageant. The pageant will take place on Friday June 29th at Palapa’s Garden starting at 7PM and will see five lovely and talented young ladies vie for the coveted crown.  The newly crowned Miss Lobster Festival Queen 2012 will deliver the main address the following morning welcoming the festival goers to La Isla CariƱosa on June 30th for the two-day festival that end on Sunday July 1st.


Just as the lobster season opens the Fishers Department reminds Belizeans as well as fishermen about the regulations regarding the catching and consumption of lobster. In Belize, for a lobster to be legal for consumption the tail of the lobster must weigh over four ounces or the cape length/carapace must exceed three inches. The carapace of a lobster is referred to the part of the crustacean where the head connects to the tail all the way to the center of the pair of small spines located between the two eyes. The only lobster regulated in Belize is the Caribbean Spiny Lobster scientifically known as Panulirus Argus locally referred to as crawfish (crayfish).


Reprinted from the San Pedro Sun

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

OVERCROWDING AT CROOKED TREE VILLAGE CEMETERY

Entrance to Crooked Tree Cemetery
Clean up by a team from Learning Institute in USA last summer

Since September 29, 2011 we have had eighteen deaths related to Crooked Tree Village with thirteen of them interred in the village. In a village of roughly 1400 people that’s quite a number for the last few months. 

Not only is the number alarming, but burying them is now becoming a problem. The cemetery is small; it was established by the Baptist Mission Church in the early 1920’s. This plot of land next to the Crooked Tree Baptist Church was originally set aside to honor our loved ones for generations to come.  Since then the village has grown to more than triple its size and the cemetery is now very overcrowded.  It has now become common place to bury the dead on top of dead relatives and sometimes even with strangers. It is so bad that a few families are now burying their dead in their backyards.  But many of the villagers are not willing to bury their dead in their back yards for fear of dealing with the entire village becoming a graveyard.

Dying in Crooked Tree Village is now a crisis. In the past twelve years the practice of digging up old remains and reburying them with new corpses on top is common. Some people think this recycling practice is lacking in showing respect for the dead.

A villager recently told me that if they want to disturbed her mom’s grave “I will stop anyone from doing so. No way, as long as I’m living, no way”!

Crooked Tree recently got running water to every household and this water is coming from underground water supplies. A poorly placed grave on private property or at the cemetery could run the risk of contaminating the water with decomposing corpses.

And to add insult to the dead, the cemetery has been riddled with overgrown shrubs, broken headstones, fallen trees and some of the graves in very poor condition. Most of the time the cemetery is cleaned only when someone will be buried and it’s usually just around the area where the body will be interred.

In the rainy season of November 2008 the village suffered a terrible flooding and the cemetery was badly damaged after the water receded. The Crooked Tree Village Reunion set up a fund raising effort to help the village. The reunion committee raised a total of BZ$4350.00 and designated the funds for the clean-up and refurbishing of the cemetery. Allowance was also made for a new sign to be installed above the gate. A letter and the checks stating the designation of the funds were turned over to the Crooked Tree Village Council and deposited in their bank account and up to this day nothing has been done to repair the cemetery.

Last summer a group of high school volunteers from the Learning Institute in USA were hard at work cleaning up the cemetery in Crooked Tree Village. Even though it was a hot and humid day the volunteers were all in place raking leaves, clearing brush and debris, re-plastering broken graves and painting unattended graves. The graves and grave yard were maintained with the utmost respect. 
The Team from the Learning Institute in USA
After the clean-up
 The village needs a new cemetery and unless land is made available they will continue to unearth unmarked burial spots. And finding the ideal space for a new cemetery will be a huge problem; there is plenty of lease hold land with absolutely no development, but who will be willing to give up their land for the dead will be a mystery.  I call upon the Ministry of the Environment to allocate a parcel of land for a new cemetery because the Crooked Tree Village Council seems to be in no hurry to find a burial place for its departed residents.  The death rate is increasing due to population growth and the only option available now is the continuation of double-decker graves.


Below is the letter sent to the Crooked Tree Village Council regarding the donation for the upgrade and clean-up for the cemetery. Up until today, June 13, 2012 nothing has been done to upgrade the cemetery.



October 20, 2009


Mr. Leslie Gillett, Treasurer Crooked Tree Village Council
Mr. George Guest, Chairman Crooked Tree Village
Crooked Tree Village


Dear Mr. Gillett, and Mr. Guest,


As you and the Officers of the Crooked Tree Village Council are aware, the Crooked Tree Village Reunion Foundation had initiated and participated in a fund raising effort to assist our Village in the time of a flooding crisis. On October 20, 2008 we were deeply distressed to learn that Crooked Tree was seriously impacted by a flooding condition which was caused by a tropical depression.


The Crooked Tree Village Reunion Foundation appealed to our family and friends in the United States and abroad for donations so that we could provide much needed support and help to make a difference in Crooked Tree Village. In total, our Committee collected a sum of US $2135 dollars (Two thousand one hundred thirty five dollars). Our Committee and the donors decided to allocate these funds to repair and upgrade the appearance of the Burial Ground where our loved ones are laid to rest. We are humbly requesting that the Village Council work with us to complete this project. We believe the scope of the project in the Burial Ground will entail the following list of actions:


A) Clean and remove the water stained marks on the graves and repaint all the graves. We will suggest that the Village Council make a selection of about three or four colors.
B) Clean-up the Burial Ground and remove all the debris and remove unwanted weeds.
C) Plant some flowers to improve the appearance of the Burial Ground.
D) Install a gate at the main entrance and install a sign over the gate to mark “The Crooked Tree Village Burial Ground”.
E) At the completion of the Burial Ground project, we will suggest that any remaining funds be used to install a gate at the Crooked Tree Health Center.


We realize that this is a major undertaking but with the funds in hand this project should be much easier. We would appreciate you providing us with a short outline of how and when this project will go forward. We were discussing that perhaps we should work on the graves when the hurricane and wet weather season is over. Please give us your feedback.


We are required to be transparent to our donors on how the funds will be used in this project: therefore we are asking you to provide us with a summary of how the funds will be used.


The Crooked Tree Reunion Foundation sincerely appreciates your time and attention in
this matter.


Respectfully,
Linda Crawford
The US and Crooked Tree Planning Committee


P.O. Box 603
Windermere, FL 34786


Email address: crookedtreereunion2008@yahoo.com
Website address: www.crookedtreevillagereunion.com
Phone: US 407.267.5270 or BZE 501.662-3230

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY ISSUED SPECIAL MESSAGE ON MURDERED BELIZEAN TEEN

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a special message regarding Belizean teenager Jasmine Lowe, who went missing on June 4th and was later found murdered on June 6, 2012. 

“I can well imagine how devastated the entire community must be, and it’s particularly tragic that it should happen as she was about to share in a Jubilee celebration, which must have been such a cause of pride and happiness to her and her… family and friends. If you are in touch with friends there, Do let them know that she and all her family will be remembered in prayers here at Lambeth Palace. I shall be in touch with the Royal Household.”



Photo and source: Raquel Battle

MIDDLE EAST WRAP: THE BUTCHER IN SYRIA

Syrian President Bashar Assad 
A round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz-Maariv-Yedioth Ahronoth-Israel Hayom-The Jerusalem Post-Ynet-Arutz 7 News-Army Radio-Israel Radio-and Makor Rishon 
The latest massacre in Syria dominates the front pages of June 8th newspapers in Israel. The lead stories reported on the slaughter of more than 100 people and some publish graphic images of dead children. 

Yedioth Ahronoth, quoting a report from al-Jazeera, says that Syrian opposition sources claimed on Thursday, June 7th, that aircraft belonging to the Syrian Air Force have dropped toxic material into the province of Dara’a. According to the report, the unidentified material smells like sulfur and causes drowsiness and unconsciousness. No further information on these materials was provided, but the report also said that Assad’s forces had used unidentified gas shells on civilians in Dara’a, Hama and Deir ez-Zor.

It is well-known that Syria has a stockpile of unconventional weapons, including chemical weapons, the paper says.

The IDF’s Northern District Commander, Yair Golan, recently warned that the battle in Syria may have an effect on what is happening in Israel. Golan pointed out that "Syria has weapons of mass destruction along with a very heavy arsenal of weapons, including surface-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons. The fact that Syria is a storehouse of weapons which fuels terrorists in the region is very unsettling."

A senior Israeli military officer told the paper that the ongoing conflict in Syria has made it easier for Hizbollah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon. He added that there is concern that some of the Assad regime's stockpile of chemical weapons could end up in the group's hands. Defense Minister Ehud Barak also warned that sophisticated weapons could be transferred from Syria to Lebanon and to Hizbollah should Assad fall.

Is it a civil war in Syria? Stay tuned.




Friday, June 8, 2012

SIGN IT AND SHARE PLEASE: JUSTICE FOR JASMINE

Jasmine Lowe, the little thirteen year old girl who was found murdered on Wednesday, June 6th near San Ignacio, Belize, was last seen getting into a taxi on Monday afternoon. She was on her way to her mother’s hair salon to get ready for an event in Belmopan later that evening. She was scheduled to read the Queen's prayer at Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Belmopan.


Jasmine never made it; she was viciously murdered and her body tossed in the woods not far from her home.


Family and friends are organizing an on-line petition because they are dissatisfied with the coroner's office as to the cause of death.  They are requesting that her body be exhumed and a second autopsy be performed in an effort to determine the cause of death. An on-site post mortem was conducted by a pathologist, but they believed that the forensics that were obtained from the site were inadequate or tainted. 


Please sign the petition so that justice can be proved for Jasmine and her vicious murderer be taken off the streets and roads of Belize.


Please click on the link to sign the petition, and anyone can sign. 
http://www.petitions24.com/justice_for_jasmine

Thursday, June 7, 2012

MEMORIAL SERVICE AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR JASMINE LOWE

JASMINE LOWE

Pastor Mike would like to let the public know that you are invited to a memorial service in memory of Jasmine Lowe.


Jasmine’s memorial service will be at SHINING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH in Georgeville on Saturday, June 9, from 4-6 P.M…previous to the candlelight vigil.


The general public are invited to attend.


CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

The Cornerstone Foundation and the Scouts Association will be holding a candlelight vigil in memory of young Jasmine Lowe.


When: Saturday 9th June 2012


Where:  In front of the San Ignacio Police Station


Time:  Starting 7 pm sharp


We need all to attend and support. Bring your candles and white t-shirts!  Let’s pray for our country and children.

Courtesy:www.twocanview.com