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CITCO and Stakeholders Reach Agreement on Cinderella Plaza Layout Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

The Belize City Council, Cinderella Plaza Taxi Association, residents  and other business houses in the Cinderella Plaza area have reached an agreement on the proposed layout for the rehabilitated space. Copies of the Cinderella Plaza Proposed Dimension Layout were handed out at a public consultation on Tuesday night, March 21.

During the consultation exercise, Councilor Philip Willoughby provided an update on the Flood Mitigation Project, which has been integral to the development of the Cinderella Plaza community. The Belize City Council worked in close partnership with the Flood Mitigation Project Committee to concrete streets in the area simultaneously with their comprehensive drainage project. Willoughby explained that the Committee will officially hand over the area to the Belize City Council within a few weeks and it will once again be the Council’s responsibility for upkeep and further development of the infrastructure.

Councilor Bernard Q. Pitts holds the portfolio with Responsibility for Traffic. He gave an overview of the proposed layout which increases the number of parking spaces from 18 to 29 in the area. The median will be made shorter. Ten feet will be removed from the side that leads into Freetown Road and five feet will be removed from the end near Kelly Street. Two Kiosks will be added next to the Belize Water Services plant for small entrepreneurs. Green spaces will be featured along the median and at other locations in the area. A bathroom facility will be added for the use of taxi operators and small entrepreneurs.

Councilor Michael Theus is responsible for Small Business Initiatives. He spoke about the difficulty experienced during the consultation process in striking a balance between the needs of residents, taxi operators and other business owners in the area. “We finally have a plan that everyone seems to be happy with.”

 
Forest 4 Life launched Nationally Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

Over a thousand students filled the auditorium at the Sacred Heart High School and Junior College in San Ignacio Town on Tuesday in a National launch by the Forestry Department, to bring greater appreciation of our forests. The message filled displays by the students was one to behold as we commemorate this year’s International Forest Day.  Among the messages sent were that forests are an integral part of our sustenance. Forests also protect our watersheds and are important to a climate change solution.

Forest 4 Life “… allows students to actually engage in activities outside of the classroom, by doing, they learn more so we want them to go out to nature parks, we want them to engage in community activities right within their own area, because some of them are only one mile away from forested areas-- that  they can experience what forests have to offer,” says Violet Yorke, Communications Officer at the Forest Department.

While Forest 4 Life this year is being spearheaded by the Forestry Department, funding is also coming from the Biodiversity Areas Project, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and community based groups such as Wild Tracks and the Friends for Conservation and Development.

For this year,  International Forest Day is being held under the theme: “Forest 4 Life.”

 
BDF General Jones Inducted in US Army College’s International Hall of Fame Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

Nearly 8,000 international officers who have graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College since 1894 and now 270 of those distinguished men and women from across the globe have been inducted into its International Hall of Fame. Belize’s Brigadier General David Jones, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force is among the elites of the elites after he was inducted on March 16 at the Lewis and Clark Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Jones and three other military leaders were honoured by Major General John S. Kem, Provost of the Army University and Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, who officiated the ceremony. The other honorees were Major General Authur David Gawn of New Zealand, Lieutenant General Tadeusz Buk of Poland and General Alberto Jose Mejia Ferrero of Columbia. According to reports, Jones was accompanied by his two sons, David and Deron, as he spoke about his time studying at CGSC and how the course prepared him to lead the Belize Defense Force.

The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College was established in 1881. Of the nearly 8,000 international students that have graduated from CGSC, more than 50 percent achieve the rank of general officer. The CGSC International Hall of Fame was established in 1973 jointly between CGSC, the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and the CGSC Foundation. In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, inductees are presented a CGSC certificate of honor by the Military Order of the World Wars and a Life Constituent Certificate by the Foundation. According to the institution, international military student participation in cooperative military studies in the United States originated at Fort Leavenworth with the arrival of Swiss Lieutenant Henri Le Comte in 1894. “Since then, international students, representing 164 countries to date, have become an integral part of the Fort Leavenworth experience. These talented military officers contribute to a rich professional and cultural exchange environment.”

 
Insurance for natural disasters Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) is one the Caribbean and Central American regions’ primary mechanisms of response in the event of a natural disaster. Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary in February, it is the first of its kind in the world. The not-for-profit insurance facility which is headquartered in the Cayman Islands exists to aid in natural disaster mitigation and recovery to vulnerable countries, 16 Caribbean member countries and 1 Central American country. The facility works primarily with the governments of these countries and is looking to implement an agreement this year to work closely with individual farmers, fishermen, and other at risk groups.

In essence, a country purchases coverage from CCIF based on what they can afford. A threshold is determined by the two parties and in the event of a disaster, where that threshold is met, the country is given funds to aid in disaster recovery. For example, the Government of Belize has purchased tropical cyclone and rainfall policies. Although the damages sustained by 2016’s hurricane Earl were quite disastrous, the tropical cyclone threshold was not met. The country did however receive a sum of USD $261,073 on its rainfall policy after hurricane Earl.

The parametric project works on model-based insurance strategies. Within its 10 year existence, approximately 22 government payouts have been given. Those payouts have totaled a whopping USD $69 million in post-disaster recovery aid. These USD $69 million have been paid out to a total of 10 governments. For example, in 2016, the Haitian government was granted USD $24 million after the devastating Cyclone Matthew.

CCRIF’s CEO, Isaac Anthony boasts that unlike other similar initiatives, the CCRIF project responds quickly to disaster mitigation- typically within a fourteen day period. Anthony also expresses his gratitude to the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative and the United States State Department for the efforts and for making the CCRIF successful in its objectives. To be successful, the CCRIF believes that it is critical to assist national governments, young professionals, and communities as it relates to disaster risk management and climate change response.

Additionally, while the country receives financial aid, the CCRIF doesn’t tend to end its involvement there. The CCRIF looks forward to receive updates from the countries regarding their respective disaster mitigation efforts.

 
Johnny needs to open his eyes Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

Ever since the Prime Minister presented his 2017/2018 Budget the PUP leadership have been making the media rounds. It seems as if though it was all comers that were making these rounds .Everyone from Johnny to Rodwell are making radio and television appearances. Yes you read it right, even Rodwell. Now knowing the type of interventions Rodwell has made in the House of Representatives, in the past, the things that he has said during these media appearances were very much expected to be very low on content and logic. Not that his Leader Johnny or any of the others, made any Einstein-like appearances.

It has been like the Bozo Show with these clowns. Perhaps the reason they have been unable to demolish the budget, is because they were expecting a budget loaded with new taxes, budget cuts and even retrenchment. They have all been reaching and coming up short. The first time we knew that the PUP were having problems in criticizing the budget was when we saw Johnny reading some sort of hurriedly written comments that somebody sent to him on his phone during the house meeting on the occasion of the budget presentation. We don't know if the person or persons who came up with those comments, was setting up Johnny or just did not know what they were doing ,but what we definitely  know is that neither does Johnny or any of those persons who have attempted to speak about the budget so far know what they are talking about.

We are hoping that the PUP Area Reps we have not heard from so far or those BENCH PLAYERS they have in the Senate make more sense, because those starting players we have heard from so far, including Johnny, Mai, Rodwell, Habet and Karim made absolutely no sense Some of the bench players have also had their say as well and their's too are in the same category. They don't make any sense, They include persons like Vaughan Gill, Marshall, Don Hecto, Mose Hyde, Iguana Creek Sam, Mr.  Torres, Collet Montejo, Louis Wade, Carlos Santos, Senator Lizarraga and the list goes on. The one constant we got from all of them is that they have all been singing in the same wrong key, but just using different levels of audio. We think it may be time for them to bring back Albert Vaughan, G-Mike and even Crazy Kaila. They we know give excellent comic relief. Let's hope nobody gets their presentation written by Troy Gabb, Darrel Carter, Sydney Campbell or Jose Coye. The last two we are sure would do some spirited speech writing, but we would prefer SOBER SPEECHES. Troy and Darrel we are sure would give some sound business BADVICE, as is their practice on their Business Hour.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:04
 


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