Saturday, January 30, 2010

BELIZE OIL BUSINESS REVENUE SHARING DEBATE !

** Installing oil rig at Spanish Lookout oil field by BNE.


OIL ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER THIS WEEK, OWNED BY THE PRIME MINISTER.

OIL REVENUES TO THE BELIZE GOVERNMENT SHORT CHANGED!

We are not blaming the oil company BNE for the fiasco in our nation getting an insufficient share of gross oil revenues. Using a local rural setup used for local small speculative risky business, we normally off the cuff, divide such earnings in thirds. One third for the owner ( in this case the government on behalf of citizens ), one third for operations, exploration and re-investment and upkeep, one third for the investors - owners who took the risk, to do with as they wish, either as dividends, or anything else.
Using that simplistic model of revenue sharing, when we look at how the PUP of the past administration set up the government share of oil revenues, using the advice of outside oil expert accountants, we can see where things have gone wrong.
According to the Prime Minister in his newspaper, the UDP party rag, he explains that income tax brings in around $40 million and then there is a lesser amount of 7.5% for royalties. Which the government offers an infintismal, unfair, small slice to property owners for usurpation of their land and below surface resources. At any rate, from the article in the Guardian newspaper we can see the government earned $47 million off $600 million Bz. of the gross total oil sales.
Oil sales so far, are touted at $300 million (usa) in round number figures. The take for our country should have been 35% or so of that; or roughly $100 million (usa) ( $200 million Bz ), using our local risk taking business model. No matter how they design the breakdown in more fancy terms. What we got is $47 million so far from gross oil sales according to the Prime Minister. So there is a shortfall of expected revenue returns of $53 million ( usa ).
Accountants are auditing the BNE oil company, but it does look like the oil revenue sharing agreement needs adjusting? Seeing how the company discovered oil and was the first to do so. I think they should get to keep whatever they have right now, but from January 2010 onwards, we the citizens of the nation of Belize should get 35% of GROSS foreign sold, oil revenues. Such foreign currency should go into our FOREIGN RESERVES and only brought in as needed. In the next 19 years, the FOREIGN RESERVES need to be increased as savings to $4 billion, from the couple hundred million currently in there. Just to pay our debts, not counting the cost of building our nation in a safe and solid conservative manner.

BELIZE POLICE SYSTEM DESCRIPTION, 2010

** Typical rural wooden shack police station. Though nowadays they are being replaced with cement buildings.
*** One of many major police stations.
** Police national HIGH BRASS, owned, appointed and controlled by the political party in power. They are not elected chiefs by citizens in towns and geographical areas.
** police with modern car that doesn't last long. Only less than a year they say.




BELIZE POLICE SYSTEM CONTINUES IN THE BRUTAL POLITICIZED CHAOTIC MODEL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE COLONIAL MODEL. The following article was posted on the Belize Culture Debating list serve by FLASHPOINT and copied here. Author unknown!

Well written, this is an accurate description of the Caribbean English speaking countries who continue this monarchist brutal colonial police system. Where mostly the poor are policed, the rich and the political levels are never sent to jail for anything. This is an oppressive police system, brutal, beatings, whippings and torture the norm to get confessions.
==============================================

Crooks, Crime & Cussedness

Posted by:flashpoint 1/28/2010 12:00:00 AM
The Opposition’s response to the crime situation has been the boilerplate, politics-as-usual approach to call for the resignation of the Minister of National Security as if someone from the government or opposition benches could do a better job.
Crooks, Crime & Cussedness

I thought at first it was a joke: the Commissioner of Police saying at a press conference that criminals were deliberately ramping up crime at the end of 2009 to make him look bad; so crime stats for 2009 could look as bad as in 2008.

It’s difficult to decide which is more dispiriting: his honest belief that criminals were sending up stats or his belief that the department’s interpretation of its statistics was of real value to the evaluation of crime in Belize City.

So what if the crime stats at the end of 2009 were marginally better than in 2008? Would that have been due to better policing and crime prevention or bad weather that kept criminals indoors for more days in 2009 than in 2008?

People feel that their personal security is in greater jeopardy because it is. There is an increase in daytime assassinations, random and targeted grenade attacks and the ratio of unsolved crime to solved ones.

The recent threat by the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, following the killing of a spectator at a high school football match, to discontinue high school sporting events if security could not be enhanced signaled that the fear for personal security has crept onto and bivouacked itself on hitherto safe ground.

Hardly had the hot air from the meeting of rival gang leaders dissipated than another grenade exploded in the pre-dawn of January 11th shattering the stillness as well as the fragile truce of the gangs.

But not even this fifth grenade blast was powerful enough to shake Belizeans from their deep, sub-terranean apathy.

The public’s reaction to news of the fifth blast was as nonchalant as if it were counting the exploding grenades to the preschool lyrics “Ten green bottles hanging on the wall”.

Gangland’s power to detonate grenades against random citizens in Belize City at a place and time of its choosing without the security forces being able to do anything about it is the quintessence of terrorism and the high watermark of personal insecurity.

The Opposition’s response to the crime situation has been the boilerplate, politics-as-usual approach to call for the resignation of the Minister of National Security as if someone from the government or opposition benches could do a better job.

It seems idle and nonsensical for the Opposition to demand that the government make public the year-old Crooks report on the police department.
Instead it should have taken the initiative as well as the high ground by analyzing the Crooks report, informing the people and advising the government how to forge an action plan out of Mr. Crooks’ recommendations.

The Crooks report should be compulsory reading for those engaged in law enforcement. Its indictment of the Belize Police Department is severe and comprehensive. But neither the police nor the current government is to blame. Blame it on years of neglect and lack of policy direction.

Crooks finds that the Crime Investigation Branch (CIB) lacks the infrastructural capacity to investigate and interdict complex crime and dangerous criminals, lacks intelligence-led policing and forensics and uses obsolete case file preparation methods.

“Doubling the number of boots on the ground in Belize City”, as called for by the Opposition, brings little value added if, as Crooks finds, 68% of these recruits have only been to primary school, are not properly character-screened, poorly paid, poorly trained and therefore unmotivated.

The magnitude of the problem thus begins to emerge making it difficult to not treat with contempt shallow, thoughtless statements about crime whether coming from the Commissioner, the Government or the Opposition.

Crooks makes the point that what is needed is not necessarily more resources but adjustments to meet new challenges like trained surveillance units to gather intelligence. He noted then that the levels of patrols of Belize City’s Southside was unsustainable “so an array of more effective crime attack techniques” had to be employed to suppress the murder rate.

More boots on the ground could translate into more poorly educated, intimidated, freshmen police officers amenable to bribes and further muddling matters. The security framework has to be strategic and not purely tactical.

The police training syllabus, he finds, has failed in developing officers who are “self-directed, accountable, ethical, self-disciplined and service oriented.”

As for those precious crime stats, Crooks reports that “vital criminal statistics are filed away without disaggregation” and “criminal bio-data remains uncollected due to outdated forms which guide data collection.”

Crooks thinks the leadership of the police department cannot effectively guide it because it is too distant from the lower ranks engaged in police service delivery.

Neither can the police leadership’s cognitive power improve if it relies for training on short term technical courses being offered by countries through Technical Assistance Programs rather than a sustained training program designed to fit the specific needs of the department.

Skepticism is rarely as sweeping and sobering as this: “The widespread rhetoric of modernization is paralleled by deteriorating police service delivery” and “there is an unrecognized crisis of indiscipline among constables and corporals” who are the frontline providers of police services.

“Neighborhood watches are declining”, he noted, at a time when community involvement is most needed. A picture of gross waste, poor security and negligence is painted in relation to the use and safeguarding of the physical resources of the department.

Certification in firearm use and first aid is haphazard while living and working conditions are below minimum tolerable levels at police substations.

The overall picture is of a police department hopelessly outmoded, undisciplined, poorly trained, disconnected and lacking adequate leadership. To quote directly, the police’s managerial culture is characterized by “rhetoric, symbolic manipulation and scape-goating, a crumbling structure of managed police service delivery, uninspiring leadership and increasing corrupt practices”.

How then, I ask, can such a department reform and reorganize itself and understand, prioritize, budget for and write an action plan for the implementation of Mr. Crooks’ recommendations for the transformation of itself?

Before Crooks, there was Carl. The Carl Holmes report of 1997. It was anesthetized to death by cheap talk and inaction. Crooks’ report is deeper and more comprehensive but hardly immune from the same fate. The better the report the quicker its death due to the sheer formidably of its implementation.

The Crooks report is inherently bedeviled by the sheer magnitude of what needs to be done, where to begin, how to prioritize and how to pay for it.

The implementation team for the Crooks report is headed by the Compol and the CEO of the Ministry of National Security supported by two senior police officers and a staff officer from the ministry. The Compol, CEO and senior police officers have neither the time nor the skill to organize and deliver the Crooks recommendations which is now one year old.

The project implementation has to be lead full-time by a highly motivated, energized individual with superior organizational and managerial skills shuttling between law enforcement entities, the public and the Cabinet.

The Crimes Control Council should stand down from whatever it is it thinks it is doing and be asked to dedicate all of its available time, energies and resources to supporting a real project implementation team for the Crooks report.

If the Opposition really wants to be helpful it should first study and understand the Crooks report, present its ideas for a prioritized, budgeted action plan and ask to participate in the project implementation to ensure that it is truly a bipartisan national effort.

In the meantime, the Crooks report inches, with each passing month, toward that inscrutable black hole in Belmopan City where countless, voluminous reports have been swallowed up, undigested and added to the waste that fertilizes the public sector’s paralysis of action.
===============================

The only things I could add to that, would be that vigilante justice is becoming more the norm. Indeed, often the only recourse to achieving justice in Belize. Hired killers can be hired over in Guatemala for $300 a pop.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BELIZE GOVERNMENT HOLDS PRACTICAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EXCERCISE

BELIZE DEPARTMENT BUREAUCRATS HOLD DISASTER REAL LIFE PRACTICE EXERCISES IN WESTERN BELIZE.


Belize government bureaucracies were having real time, physical life drills today, trying to put into practice the paper bureaucratic plans for disaster awaredness. As they say, in real life things don't work often the way you plan. This was for the CAYO district out Western Belize, covering; Dam break, floods and earthquake preparedness.

The new video on the news tonight was really funny. They supposedly had a fat lady in a flood, and a narrow racing canoe was speeding to her rescue. She was wearing a floatation collar. The emergency people were trying to get this supposedly drowning lady in a flood, safe ashore. They were unable to load her in the canoe. I myself thought, as the two canoeists tried manoeuvring a canoe in the river and neither of them were able to co-ordinate the direction of the canoe, while the lady was waving her arms and "drowning". They were circling around her, but couldn't reach her. I laughed my head off ! Then they got alongside. No way I thought, are they going to load somebody over that side of a narrow racing canoe without tipping everybody in the water. So some shore side people waded into the water. Turned out the water was shallow and they were standing in knee deep water. They heaved and puffed, lifted and swore standing on the gravel river bottom, and finally got her into the canoe without tipping it. Had a hell of a time trying to carry her up the river bank though without her touching the ground. If that had been deep water and a real flood, they would have held her to the side of the canoe and paddled ashore. Unfortunately neither of the two bureaucrats in the canoe knew how to paddle a canoe properly. Hilarious ! Fine entertainment.
If the rest of the government bureaucratic exercises went like that, they are going to need a lot of remedial practice, before any disaster preparedness plan is even slightly workable.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CHILE says NO - to Chavez Marxist system tyranny.

** Tyrant Hugo Chavez of Venezuela in 2010




CHILE HAS SAID NO, TO HUGO CHAVEZ'S TYRANNICAL MARXIST SYSTEM OF DICTATORSHIP.
In a press release this week, the government of Chile has rejected the Marxist model of tyranny and one party rule by a dictator. They have chosen Free Market Democracy as a governing system.
Hugo Chavez with his very rich oil country is falling apart at the seams, as the stupid Marxist model ruins the country of Venezuela. Not only are Venezuelans suffering from devaluation and galloping inflation. The printed money is getting to be as valueless as that of Mugabwe's, Rhodesia. It is good for lighting a fire if you live high up in the colder mountains. Three Cabinet Ministers have just quit, or been purged from the ruling politboro of the Stalinist Russian model, or like that of Castro brothers Cuba, now being implemented in Venezuela. The infamous Marxist, nick named ( the ALBANIAN) after that cruel and terror ridden, fear filled country during the Cold War; though his real name is Jorge Giordani has picked up another Cabinet, or politboro department to add to his list. Chavez is increasing his personal security with Cubans it is reported, who are not tainted by being local Venezuelans and thus unlikely to enable a coup. There are now questions being raised about the validity of the last election count. Chavez was once the darling of the poor masses. Now the poor are losing all, or any money they get, or cannot buy anything with it. Riots are occurring more regularly. Chavez failed to invest in the necessary infra-structure with the oil wealth. There is so much corruption and bleeding off of oil money into bureaucratic hands, the country is following in the footsteps of the previous Eastern Bloc socialist model. Chavez is still popular, ( about 50% ) for having an illiteracy campaign to teach those that cannot read and write, to do so. Plus some roads have been built and also clinics in the country have been built and staffed. Personal freedoms though are beginning to be diluted and as the tyranny puts on more and more of a strangle hold, to cement the tyranny in place and have absolute power over all citizens, even the poor are starting to realize this is not what they bargained for. Democracies provide the best socialist services as the European Union have shown and places like New Zealand and Canada.
Central and South American countries and the remaining Caribbean countries, not in the ALBA FEDERATION are watching the developments of the collapsing economy of oil rich Venezuela with interest. It is now becoming plain that Chavez ideas are ridiculous poppycock about economics.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Belize Racing season starting soon! Ruta Maya in March.

** Swiss catamaran defending the Americas Cup in Spain this 2010
** Trimaran competitor for Feb.8th AMERICAS CUP RACE IN SPAIN



Americas Cup in Spain in February! ( from local Belize culture debating list serve )

Wow! Wonder what channel cable tv that will be on? Love to see those races! Somebody remind me when we get closer?
------------------------------------------
*** Belize Ruta Maya cross country, 200 mile, three stage canoe race in March 2010

** Ruta Maya 200 mile canoe race in Belize for 2010





In the meantime, preparations in Belize for the RUTA MAYA in March are underway. Teams are practicing. Shorter coastal races being held. 200 mile canoe race across the width of Belize. ( 3 days-stages)

There is as of yet, no International yacht race in Belize, from Caye Caulker, picking up a confirmation ticket at Mauger Caye, Turneffe Atoll, another confirmation ticket at Half Moon Caye of Lighthouse Reef Atoll and another ticket at Long Caye, Glovers Reef Atoll, return finish at San Pedro, or Caye Caulker inside the Barrier Reef. We tried to get this ocean and reef sailboat race started as a single handed race back in 1968, but lacked the funds.
Now there is a way that the Belize Tourist Board could invest some publicity funds.

** Belize April Rodeo


National Agriculture Fair is being advertised for sometime in April I believe! Rodeo time! Dirt bike competitions and that kind of stuff. Looks like fun season is coming on fast around here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

RETIRED PERSONS PERMANENT TOURIST VISA IN BELIZE

From the local Belize Culture Listserve debating forum
-----------------------------------------------------

This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from Lan Sluder :
This is total 100% BS. It's a hype by a real estate broker trying to sell land.

There are nowhere near 20,000 participants in the QRP program. I
haven't tried to find out recently how many there QRPs have been
approved, but the last time I checked, a few years ago, it was fewer
than 200. (The BTB was relucant to give out the exact number, and you
can guess why.) I would say there are more now, but fewer than 1,000.
If I had to guess, maybe 500 or 600 approved since the program
started, of which not all are still in Belize.

No way that one in 15 or 16 people living in Belize (say, 330,000
divided by 20,000) are QRPers. That doesn't even begin to pass the
sniff test.

Nor does the fact that if there are 20,000 in the program, they are
required to deposit at least US$40 million a month in Belize banks, or
about half a billion U.S. a year. The total assets of ALL
Belize-based banks is only a little over a billion dollars.

The problem with QRP is not that it has been too successful but not
successful enough. Its provisions -- you don't get residency but just
permanent tourist status, you have to deposit US$2000 a month in a
Belize bank, etc., you can't work in Belize, you have to have
guaranteed income from a pension or Social Security, not just
investment income -- are not competitive with the programs in Mexico,
Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

Panama's pensionado program requires just US$400 a month. Costa
Rica's I believe now requires $1,000.

I have heard that the BTB is reviewing the QRP program to see if they
can make it more competitive. One thing under consideration is that
time as a QRPer will count toward citizenship. As it is now, if you
decide to switch from QRP to permanent resident, you have to pay back
some of your tax benefits and you have to start from scratch in terms
of times toward residency and citizenship.

--Lan Sluder

ROUND UP OF BELIZE NEWS THIS WEEK!

WEEKEND NEWS ROUNDUP OF 5 BELIZE WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS!

News Roundup of weekend newspapers in Belize

I notice that there are lots of donations going to the Red Cross and other Hurricane Relief charities. I also notice that there is not a SINGLE Red Cross, or Salvation Army soup kitchen on the ground in Port O Prince in Haiti. Therefore as from my experiences of World War 2 and during the 50's in North America. I question the value of these donations going to either institution in this modern era here in Belize. Certainly I WILL NOT donate to them. I'm a performance orientated person.

The oil industry of Belize came into a rather complicated explanatory article of money and stuff with BNE the oil company. Couldn't make heads or tales of it. I did get that somebody else, think it was Mark Espat ( politician ) jumped on the bandwagon of our earlier complaint about our share of oil earnings and ran his own complaints to the media. To my way of thinking our Government should be getting 35% OF TOTAL GROSS OIL SALES into our revenue base. One third is for operating capital for BNE and one is for them to re-invest, or pay dividends, or whatever. That is the way we do business in rural Belize and it works fair and well. It may be that our government is already getting in access of this amount? If so, it is not clear in my mind from the confusing bookkeeping presented to us in the newspapers. BNE are claiming in the most recent article that they had to borrow millions of dollars to get in as many oil wells on this field as possible and have to pay it back, because their exploration license will expire either this year, or next year. All well and good, but their business model and operating problems are theirs to deal with and they pay for it. We the country of Belize should get at least 35% of all GROSS sales from this oil field. Like an ice cream cone in the hot sun, this is a melting wasting asset. We need to get a fair share.

A week ago one of the newspapers alleged, or implied that the crooked PUP gang that were in office last term had the fiasco of one oil exploration bribe aired in the public media with ads paid by an investor who got ripped off. Seems he paid around $300,000 or so, to an Oil Minister's chauffer, the usual Cabinet Ministers cut out for taking bribes. His complaint was he did'nt get the exploration block he wanted and paid his bribe for. There were at the time, a shuffle of PUP oil ministers and it was not completely clear to me from the newspaper reporting which PUP cabinet minister was the crook. The other weekend's newspapers implied or alleged, it was the reigning leader of the PUP today, Johnny Briceno. I note that no criminal charges were ever made by his own party, or this new one now in government. From a public viewpoint like mine, I'm fairly convinced somebody in the PUP got $300,000 richer in a bribe. Since the man was an American I believe he may be in trouble now in the USA as this bribe is illegal by their laws. I always liked Johnny, but this implication means I wouldn't want him in government in the future. Neither PUP Mark Espat, who I believe was the Minister of Belize Tourist Board and allegedly raided the BTB funds to send Xmas hams and presents to his voting constituency. Not sure I got the name right, but it was an Espat I believe, from way back, when in an old corruption crooked scandal in the newspapers.

The gang of crooks that are the PUP in opposition this week, made a media show of complaining about the state of the nation. More or less repeating what has been culled from the newspapers over the weeks. Now it may be the fashion to bash the government in power, but I sure would not give my vote to somebody who had no solutions to offer in opposition. I neither heard, or read of any PUP solutions to the problems of Belize. Anybody can complain and we do it on this listserve every day. But we also offer solutions. The PUP apparently have no solutions. The only one I read of, was when the PUP said we should spend our small FOREIGN RESERVES to stimulate the economy. What nonsense that is! We need to save $4 billion in our FOREIGN RESERVES over the next 19 years, or three and a half political terms in office of either party. To pay our past debts this PUP have given us and this current UDP administration is also seeking. That is the challenge facing this government today and for the next three governments to come.

It is notable that job creation is being approached by creating more rules, laws and regulations to employ more people in civil service secure government salaried positions. The growth of our civil service via regulatory bureaucratic systems, do not impress me as a proper way to grow our economy, or deal with the infra structural operating problems this small nation has.

Can't remember the name of the last PUP elected representative for our Central Cayo area off hand. I'm getting old. But did note in the newspapers a month or so back, that a whole bunch of lands were being sent to auction for non-payment of taxes that he acquired during his 5 years in office. The wife brought it to my attention from the newspapers and it makes me sore, because Betty, from our local grocery suburb store, a widow at a young age with two children, had her lot she was so proud of, seized for a public purpose, that she eventually hoped to build her house on. When I saw the lot in the past PUP area representatives debt list, among a dozen, or two dozen the old PUP representative for our district had acquired, I felt betrayed by the PUP as I had campaigned to help this guy get into office. Betty still is living with her parents and her kids in a small house. Damned shame! Never again the PUP mon! Bunch of damned criminals.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BELIZE - Trip Advisor Awards MOPAN RIVER RESORT -BEST- in the world.

*** Mopan River Resort dining.
** The Mopan River in Western Belize
*** Mopan River Resort thatch roofed cabins.



MOPAN RIVER RESORT IN TOP TEN RESORTS IN THE WHOLE WORLD SAYS TRIP ADVISOR AWARD

Congratulations to the Belize winners of the TripAdvisor.com Travelers’ Choice 2010 Awards. In each category there are 10 winners, and the numbers below indicate the Belize winners’ rank in the top 10 in Central and South America. (The All-Inclusive winner, Mopan River Resort, is number 10 in the world, as there was no ranking specifically for Central and South America.)

The exact methodology used by TripAdvisor to pick the winners was not disclosed.

All of these winners are highly deserving. Personally, however, I think a number of other Belize hotels, inns and lodges should also have been honored.
--Lan Sluder

Best Service in Central and South America

3. Hamanasi, Hopkins

7. Chabil Mar Villas, Placencia

10. Hidden Valley Inn, Mountain Pine Ridge



Best Family Hotel in Central and South America

3. Hamanasi, Hopkins

10. Inn at Robert’s Grove, Seine Bight (Placencia)



Best B&Bs and Inns in Central and South America

4. Table Rock Lodge, near San Ignacio

7. Hickatee Cottages, Punta Gorda

9. Belize Jungle Dome, Belmopan



Top Hotel for Romance in Central and South America

1. Coco Beach Resort, North Ambergris

3. Portofino, North Ambergris

6. Ka’ana Boutique Resort & Spa, San Ignacio

7. Mata Chica Beach Resort, North Ambergris

9. Hamanasi, Hopkins

10. Coco Plum Island Resort, off Dangriga



Top Luxury Hotel in Central and South America

4. Chabil Mar Villas, Placencia

8. Mata Chica Beach Resort, North Ambergris



Top Relaxation/Spa Hotel in Central and South America

1. Coco Beach Resort, North Ambergris

9. Mata Chica Beach Resort, North Ambergris

BEST Youth Party Hostel in the WORLD

Tina's Backpackers Hostel on the beach at Caye Caulker, Belize inside the Great Barrier Reef ( 2nd. longest in the world )



Best All-Inclusive in the WORLD

10. Mopan River Resort, Benque Viejo, Belize, Central America

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CITRUS GROWER ANSWERS DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BY SLANDERERS

*** Citrus Growers Association disinformation machine?



FRANK REDMOND ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON WHY HE QUIT THE CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION
This response is in context to the slanderous, mud slinging verbal attacks of people with personal vendettas, who will not take responsibility he charges, for their own actions. ( see below )


From the debating Belize Culture listserve on the economy and politics of Belize.
---------------------------------
This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from "palmspring" :
>
> This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from MEL
> : Is Frank Redmond still a list member? Would
> be interesting if he could bring us up to date with what is going on
> with the quarrel in the Citrus industry and share his point of view.
>

Mel,


In summary, the root of the problem lies in the Investment Agreement
signed in 2006 when CGA (Citrus Growers Association) sold 47% of their
100% holdings in the fruit company, which they had 'BOUGHT" FOR $2
from the Commonwealth Development Corporation, plus approx $50M of
debt AND the battle of the personalities and egos of growers in the valley
who hate each other and are using the CGA to fight their battles. Many of us
who try to be professional farmers are tired of all the fighting and want
nothing more to do with it.

In 2006, the issues were settled by slanging, emotion and little sensible
business appraisal. Remember the headlines "Thunder in the Valley" !
There was good and bad in this agreement. Today, we see the same
emotion and slanging and little sensible talk. In short, attack the messenger
and not the message. We have this agreement, and growers need to work
within it, whether we like it all or not. That is reality.


I resigned as chairman of CGA in March 2009 because I saw which way the
CGA Board wanted to go.

They all need to shut up, face reality and get down to the business of
growing and processing citrus profitably and leave their personal vendettas
at home.

I personally find it very sad that an organization such as CGA, to which I
have given several years of my time, is self destructing because of poor
leadership. Belize has lost hundreds of small farmers over the past few
years, and the Industry could end up like the banana boys with just 10
growers.


Have fun.

Frank

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Belize windmill 12 volt charger system for running computers in the outback.

72 year old Ray Auxillou photo. Patriarch of the Auxillou Investment Group. This photo was taken on a cold winter January day in 2010, when the temperature during a NORTHER from Alaska came through dropping the temperature to 54 degree Farenheight. A T shirt, thick shirt and sweater day in Western Belize.

THE COMPUTER STORY FOR THE FINANCIAL TRADING ROOM I HAVE IN WESTERN BELIZE.

I would like to thank those of you on the bz-culture listserve that helped me with my battery operated computer system. My new office - (there is a photo on the BLOG of mine ) Western Belize Happenings, has two computers. One operates off the wall plug from BEL. Due to BEL having outages, brownouts, current surges that blew my desktop computer power supply and motherboard. The replacement repairs cost me $250 for used parts. They are not of the capacity the computer had before either, or the speed enjoyed. C├ęst la vie!
So I bought a new computer over in Guatemala from Banco Rural, who drop ship after you pay at the bank in Melchor and they get it in 3 days from Guatemala City. The price was good, about the same as you pay in discount stores in the USA, without the hassle of importation, freight and so forth. This was the first new computer I´ve had for six years. I have bought some second hand ones periodically and fixed them up to use, to lower the investment cost.
What I wanted was continuity of internet service as I trade on the CBOE in Chicago. It was important that I always have available internet service. Outages are not permissable, as such things when a trade is running, can cost thousands of dollars in losses. Through your assistance, I did not find a large enough USB recommended, but did buy a 1000 watt inverter. It turns out my older desktop computer uses about 400 watts of power off the electric mains and my new computer uses about 75 watts is my guess? The desktop case is lighter and easier to carry and the flat screen monitor of course uses much less juice than the older technology in desk top computers.
I am finding that I can easily work on one battery, I have one deep cycle battery from Caribbean Tire, plus a battery charger I use for the pickup truck when needed. Then the inverter. The battery alone gives me a comfortable 3 or 4 hours of computer time and people have told me I could probably go to 12 hours before discharging the battery. What I do is run the computer and when the battery is low, keep the battery charger on as well. Sometimes though, I just disconnect the battery charger when the battery is full and use battery and inverter alone. I run the computer down until, when I do hook up the battery charger it reads around a 6 amp charge rate. Even when I´m not using the computer I can leave the battery charger on and the needle eventually drops to 1 amp. At this point below 2 amps I usually disconnect the battery charger by unclipping the positive lead and unplugging it from the main electricity service. It takes about 12 hours to recharge the battery if I run it down to the point the battery charger comes on reading 6 amps. This for 3 or 4 hours of usage if I elect to go this way. All perfectly adequate and it is a nice working system. I´m very satisfied how this worked out.
I am now looking at being able to charge my battery from a windmill charger system I want to build myself. Thus saving the electricity from the mains, coming through the battery charger I currently am using. In that regard I´ve been scouting around the TWIN TOWNS looking to scrounge materials to build a windmill charger. There are all kinds of windmill types and I´m sorting through the options. Today I went the long distance to Spanish Lookout to see what they had in 12 v. d.c. motors suitable. But they had nothing. They do have cast iron heavy pulleys at CROSSROADS, but I was looking for something lighter in the aluminum types. Needless to say, Spanish Lookout stores and those of our TWIN TOWNS were a complete washout. Any windmill choice is going to have to be a medly of what can be found. I think I can get me a used car alternator. This poses problems as the speed has to be high in rpms. How to do this without pulleys, or belt making material is something else. So the challenges now are different, but go on, making life interesting.
Stay tuned for the next episode for life on the frontier of pioneering in Belize.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Electricity investment in Belize opportunity. 400 megawatts more are needed in 12 years.

BELIZE NEEDS 400 MEGAWATTS MORE, OF ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION OVER NEXT 12 YEARS!

There isn´t a lot of information online about the sources of electricity for Belize. What we do know is that current resources of electricity are about 200 megawatts and this comes from three hydro electric dams, more are planned against environmental opposition and a growing population that do not want it. Also we buy electricity from Mexico in the Yucatan at ever increasing prices. A new sugar mill is expected to also supply some electricity. One investor, since the governments of the day became more open to diversification and private sector investment into electrical production, actually imported a WARTSILLA DIESEL BIG GENERATOR, and as our electrical demand keeps going up, he went suddenly from a politically ostracized businessman, to somebody who is now courted for his foresight and investment. He is making money, which is the name of the game and providing a needed service.
Up to now our electrical production and the distribution system has been controlled by FORTIS of Canada in a MONOPOLY. Over the last ten years a lot of debate went on about allowing the private sector to compete in the supply of electrical production for the national grid. This was met with political opposition ( mostly due to bribes and contract skimming requirements of politicians the rumor mills implied ), but the increasing population which is growing exponentially and the electrical shortages simply by-passed the politicians and forced the issue from one of perceived corruption blocks, to one of a scrambling for electricity at any price. Suddenly the debate became irrelevant and the doors have opened wide to the need for private competitive sector investment in the electrical supply business to the national grid.

The current outlook is that the private sector needs to find an additional 400 megawatts of additonal electricity over the next 12 years. Various investments are being looked at as the more open competitive supply of electricity is meeting with favor. Though the government hasn´t really made the legislation suitable to encourage investment yet. The politicians are reserving their right to control and make corrupt incomes off such permits and licenses involved. At the moment the politicians are not in the drivers seat, as the demand for cheaper and more electricity is escalating and the prices of Mexican electrical supply is going through the roof. Local private sector competition is expected to drop electrical costs if allowed, for the citizens and consumers, if the politicians would just let the free market place develop.

Private sector investors are looking at the 300 megawatt small Chinese nuclear plant. You have small nuclear electrical plants scattered around Mexico for examples. Another avenue would be more private sector, WARTISLLA DIESEL investments. Though since these rely on crude oil prices, this might not be a very good environmental, or profitable long term solution.

On the other hand, a fairly rapid solution to electrical supply might be the ability to drop outsourcing, or cut the amounts down, by going to NET METERING. Net metering would mean, both wind and solar production of electricity on a home by home basis, at the small investment homeowner level. You produce small amounts of electricity and feed the excess into the National Grid that you do not use. This is a really neat way to go. In the past both FORTIS OF CANADA and the governments of the day did not encourage this method in the past ten years. For political enrichment and control reasons the public believe. Yet the escalating demand for reliable electricity and our growing economy is going to make these opponents to NET METERING obstructions, get swept aside as the next few years pass, due to public necessity. The government would be better making appropriate encouraging legislation and regulation and let the real world market place settle the philosphical arguments on NET METERING. One can see a new national industry both for local electrical consumption and for export in manufacturing such small home systems right here in Belize, based on the GROWING DEMAND over the next 12 years and that 400 megawatts of electricity we have to find someplace, to allow our economy and life style to grow. Ethanol production which is very practical with our tropical crops, can also run generators on home, or small business systems feeding our national grid. The obstacles here are the bureaucratic regulatory and tax environment. Otherwise it is very practical already.

PACZ TOURS STAYS NUMBER 1, FOR THE 2010 TOURIST YEAR.

PACZ TOURS STAYS NUMBER 1, FOR THE 2010 TOURIST YEAR


There is a lot of competition in the twin towns over tour services. PACZ TOURS remains No.1 choice by the lodges, hotels and various small tourist businesses scattered around the rural area of the CAYO DISTRICT in Western Belize.

The reason is; reliability, honesty in advertising, and good service with 5 STAR recommendations by satisfied customers.

Pacz Tours operate out of a small office on the main street of San Ignacio Town center and operate about 15 vehicles.

Small tourist operations cannot afford to run their own TOUR operations, so they must field them out for small groups, of one or two people. Only the biggest tourist operators like Chaa Creek with a million dollar business and thousand dollar night services can afford to run their own Tour Operations. The small guys have to rely on PACZ TOURS, to pool the various tourists from their operations, hotels and jungle lodges, to make tour trips worthwhile.

BELIZE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES CARRY THEIR WAR TO THE TELEPHONE BOOK OF BELIZE

This is actually a war between the two major political parties ( UDP in power and PUP out of power)in Belize. The UDP government now controls BTL, the telecommunications company on behalf of the citizens of the country of Belize, that prints the National Telephone Book. The PUP ( opposition political party ) investors control SMART the other telecommunications company.

It was reported to me today that some advertisers down in the TWIN TOWNS had submitted their graphics ad, for their business to be in the yellow pages in the National Telephone Book ( the only one printed in the country and a reference for all business and private persons ). To their amazement their graphics ads for their business were rejected by BTL for inclusion in the National Telephone Directory, on the grounds the ad included a telephone number, for the opposition competitive SMART telephone company. The message was, SMART had to print their own telephone book. In a country that is a pioneer frontier society with a scattered population of 300,000 this is serious.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BELIZE WELCOMING TECHNICAL SKILLED IMMIGRANTS!

BELIZE NEEDS AND WELCOMES NEW IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE INNOVATORS AND HAVE SKILLS TO BUILD OUR ECONOMY. ALL KINDS OF OPPORTUNITIES!

We need machinists who can make windmill chargers for export, you need a little electrical generator experience, carbon fiber skills to mold some propellor blades, or build a d.c. voltage regulator and the market would be the Caribbean and Central America. Just one example.

We need people who can make chocolate bars and export them from here. We grow chocolate but export the raw commodity, the Cacao beans. What this country needs is somebody can build a business to export from Belize.

There are all kinds of entrepreneurial ideas!

BELIZE IN JANUARY COMPARED TO CANADA PHOTOS

Village of Hillview, on the slope of Green Parrot Valley. View uphill to the ridge from my verandah. Have a couple of different SNOW BIRDS coming down from the USA wanting to look at my property here for sale, along with others. Local real estate offices, say business was brisk during December and sales good.
View across the village and the Belize River valley at sunset, in January at the same time.
January photos in Belize.
Snorkeling at Caye Caulker, by the Great Barrier Reef for Tradewind Suites beachfront condos a mile inside the Great Barrier Reef.

This is a photo of a Canadian in the Province of Ontario, practicing his snorkeling for a trip to Belize and the Great Barrier Reef in January 2010.

BELIZE UDP GOVERNMENT FREEZES ALL LAND TITLES!

BELIZE UDP GOVERNMENT CONTINUES FREEZE OF ALL LAND TITLES!

Don´t remember when exactly, but the wife bought one of those abandoned DFC development vandalized house shells. No windows, doors, plumbing, toilet gone, kitchen area stolen and so forth. At auction the wife got it for $15,500 Bz. It took us many months to get the LEASE CERTIFICATE and we learned the hard way, that we didn´t actually buy the LAND from the Development Finance Corporation, only the destroyed vandalized house shell. Anyway, our tale is that we spent months dealing with both the Lands Department in Belmopan and the local office in San Ignacio Town. One thing and another, we eventually got a LEASE CERTIFICATE for land and house, which is good only for 30 years after you pay for the lot to the Department of Lands, on which the DFC built house sits. The next step was to transfer the LEASE CERTIFICATE to what is called a TITLE, or FREEHOLD TITLE. Basically they charge you for the land all over again. If you fix up the house, and repair it, they delay you and then inspect the property and raise the fees for getting the TITLE because of improvements. So we have been delaying some six months now to doing much of the repairs and investment required to make this shell of a house once again livable, or so, waiting for our application to change the LEASE CERTIFICATE to a FREEHOLD TITLE. That TITLE means you own it, instead of the government owning it and stops the crooked politicians from stealing it from you, to give to some political party hack, claiming your LEASE purchase is needed for a public purpose, or some excuse. Which occurence occurs often, reported in local newspapers down on the coast.
We are not doing any repairs or improvements and still have the vandalized shell. We did put a fence. Got some repaired temporary doors and windows in now, but not done the interior of the vandalized house yet. We are patiently waiting so we can do the repairs and reconstruct the original building with replacing all the stolen stuff out of it. Under the Belize Lands system, we do not yet own the property even though we have paid for it and taken about a year to get this far in the processing. We only LEASE. Month after month, the wife makes the pilgrimage to Belmopan Lands Department, to see if the local Department of Lands agent, survey and report has finally been submitted and title approved. We are told under new UDP government rules after an inspection then a new assessment is to be made, which apparently has been done by the local Government Land Agent already ( took a few months ) and we can pay AGAIN for a FREEHOLD TITLE. Simple procedure, the Minister signs the new title theoretically. About six months now we are waiting for this paper title and the assessment for this auctioned off, DFC vandalized house shell we paid $15,500 for at auction. I´m not complaining, because we know the process takes about three years. In that sense we are right on track government bureaucratic processing wise. I only print this here, because another month has passed with a fruitless trip to Belmopan Lands Department, who tell us the applications sit on the Cabinet Miniser of Lands desk for signing. The clerks cannot do anything.
According to the newspaper articles, it has been reported the UDP government have frozen all land titles issuance for a long time. About a year or more they hint. We are locals and patient. A bit frustrated because we cannot work with our investment. Or will not until we get clear title. I print this for incoming retirees and immigrants that may get confused with the LAND TITLE PROCESS in Belize, compared to whichever country they come from. It helps to know you are not being victimized on your investment. This is just the way it is here in Belize. The system is dysfunctional, though it may be so for a polical purpose, which is often BRIBERY claim numerous newspaper articles on the subject and rumors in the streets. So we wait, and you wait and there is no sense in sending me e-mails asking me if the real estate agent is crooked because you bought some land ( people do this all the time ) paid your money, and a year or more has passed and you cannot get your piece of ownership paper, be it a LEASE, or a TITLE. We locals simply know it takes about 3 years to get CLEAR TITLE to your house lot, even when you have the money to pay cash. You are not alone in your frustration. The system plays hell with investing in a business though. What could be done in three to six months, usually takes three to six years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

President Hugo Chavez deliberately destroying Venezuela's economy?

** Chavez as military commander of Venezuela's soon to be totalitarian dictatorship. If the worst things that can happen to a country, are INFLATION and DEVALUATION, then Chavez has succeeded in destroying the economy of Venezuela. You would think destroying the economy of Venezuela would be hard to do, with so much riches in revenues from their oil wealth. Yet Chavez has succeeded beyond anyones dreams!

President Hugo Chavez is deliberately destroying Venezuela's economy?

According to conventional wisdom, based on historical evidence, the worst thing that can happen to the economy of any country is a INFLATION & DEVALUATION.

Hugo Chavez is reputed to have devalued his currency three years ago and this New Year of 2010 has done it again in a huge amount. I heard 50%?

Economic scientists will tell you over and over and over again, the effects of a DEVALUATION, and or INFLATION will damage a country more than a WAR. Chavez has a military buildup going on, and it is speculated he wants to start a war with Colombia? On the other hand, critics say it is simply to stay in POWER, as President for Life and crush any rebellion from the streets.

Whatever the cause for the devaluation this past week in Venezuela, it demonstrates total MISMANAGEMENT, IGNORANCE OF ECONOMICS, and a total disregard, or ability to GOVERN the country of Venezuela in a sane and responsible manner.

President Hugo Chavez is busy turning his country into a copy of the mid last century of the failed Russian and Eastern European block Socialist dictatorships. You want to know how that works, read the book RED HORIZON. A history of that period some 60 years ago that ended in misery, deaths of millions and total destruction of the citizens of those countries, by totalitarian fear, and terror.

As a tyrannical dictator Chavez is obviously a success. As a leader of a successful economic governing system, this second devaluation in three years indicates by SANE people, that Chavez policies and desires are a total disaster for the poor people of Venezuela. ( just an opinion piece here ) If they tried to do that in Belize here, somebody would surely shoot the Prime Minister whoever it was, as responsible.
PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ SUFFERING FROM GOD DISEASE! Most of the Presidents for Life Club of the ALBA Federation are suffering from GOD DISEASE. This is a disease that strikes most leaders of countries, that opt for more than one term in office, and or re-arrange their Constitutions to allow them to stay in office in perpetuity. Mugabwe of Zimbabwe is one and there are several African countries afflicted with this God Disease. One thing learned about DEMOCRACY over the past 250 years is that National Leaders must be changed every three or four years, without being able to repeat their time in office. There are all kinds of side effects to GOD DISEASE. Terror, fear, persecution, murder, torture, rape, rule by oppressive security forces, imprisonment and usually death for those opposing those with GOD DISEASE. Economic stagnation, national economic ruin and so forth. In the case of ALBA FEDERATION, Chavez makes no bones about destroying the economy of his country, in order to eventually control everything. The State, or Chavez will own the bed you sleep in, the rationed food you eat, the room and building you live in, the jobs you will be offered by the plantation administration, or the state bureaucracy, the chairs you sit in, and the citizens become SLAVES. Under the monarchies, people called the citizens Serfs.
Other words for GOD DISEASE, are ego-maniac, tyrant, dictator, this describing a person who surrounds themself with YES MEN to do his bidding to concentrate all power in his hands.

TWIN TOWNS CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PARTY SPONSORS


*** Lisa standing outside her Mom's Restaurant
***Santa Claus came from the North Pole to Mom's Christmas Party in the TWIN TOWNS of Western Belize



DONORS AND VOLUNTEER LIST TO THE CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PARTY
Held at Mom's Restaurant, #12 Joseph Andrews Drive, San Ignacio Town, in Western Belize.
Instead of the expected 300 children, the number actually ended up between 600 and 700 children. There was a coloring contest and door prizes for ALL the children. Local artist Winsome was the judge in the coloring contest. There were actually children coming from towns around the Cayo District. They came from Benque Viejo Town, San Ignacio Town, Santa Elena Town and even the capital Belmopan. Hot dogs were served. Crystal jUices, cookies, cupcakes, candy, fruits and most important of all, Santa Clause came from the North Pole. A photographer, Arthur Wager from the AMS store took photos as they went to Santa Claus for presents.
The following community sponsors and volunteers assisted in this successful shindig.
Arms of Love Preschool
Excel Computer Store
The Martinez Family
Chaa Creek Resort
Lisa's Boutique
Kenrick Theus
John Roberson Jr.
Belize Natural Energy, the oil company
Town Council of the Twin Towns
Dr. Mike Martinez
Galen University
Scotia Bank
Gitz Office Supply
Belize Bird Rescue
Movies 7
A & R Enterprises
Larry's Barber Shop
Costless Mart
Torres Bakery
Better in Belize
Joe Awe
The Old French Bakery
NL's Tortillas
Dellia's
La Popular Bakery
Cayo Cable Vision
BIWG
Pacz Tours
Whistling Duck Farms
Madisco
Winsome Foundation
Holdfast Ltd.
Bowen & Bowen bottlers
Cayo Cosmetology
Toucan Industries
Belize Red Cross
Dorothy and Marin Cooke
Nolan Garbutt
Fashion Galore
Veranas Foods
Rainforest Realty
Think Belize Ltd.
Parrot Nest Resort
Codds Drug Store
Fabrigas
Spider Web Store
Pandy TV Show
Sue Schweitzer
Jim Smyrnios
Shopper's Choice
Pro Belize
Les and Susan Wilkinson
Gale and Art Hubble

Saturday, January 9, 2010

POLITICS IN BELIZE AND THE MAYAN "WALKING TOUCAN" AWARD.

**** Michael Reid, caustic opposition PUP party writer and wit!



From Opposition PUP Party Hack, Michael Reid, a writer extolling the virtues of the Opposition political party in Belize. ( party flag is Blue )
------------------------


****Prime Minister Barrow of Belize. His party in power is the UDP. ( Party flag is red )

Prime Minister Dean Barrow was invited to address a major gathering of native Maya farmers in the village of San Antonio in the Southern Toledo hills last evening.

He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing the Mayan standard of living, protecting the forest and fighting for their cause. He referred to his time as lawyer when he fought in court for Mayan rights and how while in opposition, he stood up on every issue that came before the House.

Although the Prime Minister was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke eloquently about his ideas for helping his indigenous sisters and brothers.
At the conclusion of his speech, the Mayans presented Barrow with a plaque inscribed with his new Mayan name, "Walking Toucan". ( Famous bird of Belize ) Barrow left the gathering feeling proud and confident that the Mayans could now be considered truly “red”. Red is the UDP governing political party colors.

Jules Vasquez a noted Reporter of the port town up in the middle of the coast of Belize, then approached the group of Mayans and asked how they came to select the new name they had given to the Prime Minister.

They explained that Walking Toucan is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.
_________________________-
"Don't know if this is a true event or not? It is still very funny, joke or real thing? Ha! Ha! Ha!

Friday, January 8, 2010

BOOK DESCRIBES THE FUTURE OF THE ALBA FEDERATION COUNTRIES of Hugo Chavez.


** Red Horizons


Hugo Chavez and the ALBA FEDERATION ( socialist dictatorship as a governing model )

There is as of yet, no hindsight study of CUBA and the socialist dictatorship of the CASTRO BROTHERS to read. The best book I have read which mirrors the attempt to achieve a better life for people through SOCIALISM and a one party strong leader dictatorship, is a book called RED HORIZONS, written by a defector, Lt. General ION MIHAI PACEPA, the former head of Romanian Intelligence
The book describes life in Romania and toward the end of the book also in Yugoslavia under TITO. All the Socialist countries, operated much the same way, whether it was Russia, or the Eastern Warsaw Pact countries, of that massive cruel failed experiment in SOCIALISM. Millions died in all the countries that tried to apply Communism, or a one party, governed dictatorship as a tyranny. Torture, imprisonment and death were the rule to keep the regimes alive. The Socialist countries developed tiers of elitist class living, with the party members at the top, the mid level bureaucrats at the bottom and the TYRANT whoever it was and his right hand henchmen having a wonderful life. Rivaling the riches of any multi-billionaire of the capitalist world.
The failure of SOCIALIST DICTATORSHIPS lies in human nature and physcology. Inevitably an ego-maniac criminal rises to the top post in such a dictatorship and goes on a rampage of killing and disappearing those who oppose him. This book, the RED HORIZONS is a good look into the warped minds of those who propose SOCIALIST DICTATORSHIPS as an economic system, with the undercurrents of competition among the bureaucracy for advantage. The enslavement of the poor masses to the ego's of the TYRANT, who eventually rules under such a one party system. People lose their individuality and become simple serfs, akin to the old Monarchy system of early Feudal times. They become slaves, owned lock, stock and barrel by the TYRANNY.
It is too bad the book is not in Spanish for Latin Americans to read. It would give Latin Americans a good look into the eventual goal of President Hugo Chavez and his compatriots who have formed the ALBA FEDERATION of SOCIALIST TYRANNIES, who seek a one party state dictatorship and LIFETIME PRESIDENCIES disguised as democracies.
** This book can be found in the Santa Elena Town Public Library, in Cayo District of Belize.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BELIZE BELIKIN BEER MAKING WAVES WITH 2010 GIRLY CALENDAR







BELIZE MADE BELIKIN BEER IS RAISING EYEBROWS WITH THEIR 2010 GIRLY CALENDAR THIS YEAR.

Monday, January 4, 2010

TWIN TOWNS MOM´S RESTAURANT HOLDS CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS PARTY

** Santa Claus greets each child with a present.
** Children at Xmas party 2009-10
** Eating area for children at Mom's Restaurant Christmas Party





MOM´S RESTAURANT HOLDS SUCCESSFUL CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS PARTY

LISA, the proprietor of MOM´s Restaurant and she is the third generation of the Williams family to have a MOM´s Restaurant in Belize, over the past 45 years. Anyway, Lisa with a bunch of kids of her own, organized a Christmas Party for the poorer kids of the TWIN TOWNS out here in Western Belize. She got some volunteers, donations gifts and wrapping paper and generally herded a lot of volunteer people together to make it happen. The Christmas party expected to cater to 300 to 400 young children, with each being given a present

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Somehow around 600 and 700 children showed up with their parents. Hopefully there were Christmas presents for each one. Yet to find that out! There was a Santa Clause and what I saw on the local TWIN TOWNS ¨"PLUS TV" local cable TV channel on the PANDY SHOW it seemed like all the children got a present. I could see LISA moving around keeping things moving on the video.

For a couple of years we had a Salvation Army family out here in the TWIN TOWNS, but the last couple of years they seem to have disappeared, which is disappointing. Without the SALVATION ARMY we don´t really have any organizational stuff like this Christmas Party here, and it is needed. MOM´S RESTAURANT is on the boulevard of the by-pass road, just past Sacred Heart College on the opposite side, going around the center of San Ignacio Town side of the Macal River, which divides the TWIN TOWNS of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town.
Lisa got some financial backing from expats living in the area and just opened her restaurant venture early in 2009. Her MOM ( Sue ) had another such restaurant in the port of Belize City, until rising rents forced her to keep moving away from the downtown business center and eventually she went bankrupt. Her mother´s mother, Lisa´s grandmother, ran a MOM´s restaurant, the first Mom´s Restaurant at the foot of the SWING BRIDGE in the center of the port of Belize City on the coast, for several decades until she died. The old lady, Lisa´s grandmother sailed from California in a homemade 30 ft tri'maran with her son, Jim Black, back in the 1960's down the North and Central American coast, and came through the Panama Canal eventually ending up in what was then the colony of British Honduras. The son´s name was Jim Black and he eventually bought a piece of river bank and dug it out and built a marina, which he sold in his old age and retired to a citrus farm on the Hummingbird Highway. While his mother built and ran the famous MOM´s Restaurant of those decades. Sue her daughter grew up there, as did her daughter Lisa. All of this early expat USA pioneer family to British Honduras enjoyed dual citizenship. They just could not fit into the lifestyle of the USA. It cost too much for one thing up in the states, besides being overregulated, expensive and crowded. This LISA, with the THIRD MOM´s Restaurant, now out Western Belize are a relatively famous local pioneer frontier family. Mom´s restaurant has always been a favorite of the expat crowd particularly, locals and Mennonites. Often they were the only good restaurant in town. They also were a center of rural gossip, a place to park things you bought on your trip to town when shopping, before returning to the outer jungles, farms, ranches and offshore cayes. I remember it always as a place to catch up on gossip of people in remote areas of the country, pioneering in what back then, were really primitive conditions. It was always great fun though and fond memories. If I had to live my life over, I would do it all again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Belize bicycle wheel windmill battery 12 v charger.


*** handling wind gusts with wind furling and a rubber band
** In wind gusts you need to compensate with tilt back, to reduce the effect and maintain steady rpm. This is called FURLING. In this case it is two hinges on a wood mounting block and a rubber band, to even out the wind surges.
** mounting photo of bicycle windmill
** This has been touted as the best model for charging batteries. Cheap versus results being the criteria. Made from rear bicycle wheels and a treadmill d.c. cast off motor.

The big thing with cheap bicycle wheel windmill chargers, to charge one or more 12 volt deep cycle batteries for a storage bank of electricity and convert through an inverter into 120 a.c. 60 cycle operation is basically cost and performance, verus elegance and spending a lot of money. You need a wind vane, a furling system to stop it, a pulley to run the motor, you can make the tower out of anything. They say 3 feet wind vanes are best for home use, without getting into sophisticated building problems. Rough and ready is what I want. Finding parts in the rural boondocks of Belize, Central America is always a problem. Have to scrounge around. I see on the internet that people build windmills, using pvc pipe slices ( very thin width they recommend for low rpm startup ), sheet metal vanes, hooked on with wire and nails and so forth. Right down my alley the rough and ready stuff. Pulleys might be a problem around here though. We don't have that kind of hardware stores here.
I just got into building a computer room that requires data downloads, and the local Belize Electricity Ltd. burned out my computer with current surge. Had to replace my computer power supply and motherboard with some junk stuff. Even so it cost me and hurt my pocket book. BEL the electric company often has brownouts, days off for six hours or more without electricity and this is no way to run my business relying on computers and internet hookup. ( I can only get slow Verizon wireless, dial up from our local SMART company at 115 kbps. ) I have enough problems as it is, but data feed is critical and it takes an hour at these slow internet speeds ( nothing else available ) to reload data feeds and web pages from Chicago, USA CBOE trading pits. So I am building a battery computer run operation, so I don't get my data stuff webpages dumped, when BEL cuts the juice. Currently charging from household power into a battery through an automobile charger. Got two computers now. One will run off the battery and inverter all the time, and I was looking at a windmill to do the charging. I'm told I need a regulator with the windmill. Fancy is not the question, performance and COST is certainly paramount. I live in the foothills of the Belize Alps on the edge of a town called Santa Elena. Very rural with a couple of nice scenic valleys. Anyway after going through the internet, decided on bicycle wheel windmills. Will see what comes of this idea, and if I can even find a d.c. motor to use, second hand. Here are some of the better stories and photos I found for your perusal. Tell you later if this works!

Belize political activists copy the USA on tax incentives for new business!

THE TAX INCENTIVE PROGRAM OF BELIZE FOR NEW BUSINESS IS MEETING WITH PUBLIC SCRUTINY

The public on list serves and chat forums on the internet are questioning the government's policy of granting duty free exemptions for incoming machinery and plant, and including the TAX FREE HOLIDAYS given to new foreign and local enterprises. A big part of this whole encouragement was always based on producing a certain number of jobs in the small nation of Belize.

The sudden surge in the USA of municipalities and counties reneging on the tax breaks and other offers, including land for new company operations failing to provide the number of jobs they quoted, when they applied for the tax breaks and other concessions, has the educated public questioning Belize central government policy on this as well. Often the new enterprises do not provide the number of jobs they said they would and in the past nobody did anything about it. The new public scrutiny is going to make sure that new entrepreneurial businesses, seeking land, tax breaks and import custom duties exemptions, is going to be much harder in the near future. We in Belize are going to copy the trend in the USA. It looks like a political hot potato for the future of new industries seeking favors from government. Produce what you say you are going to produce, to the benefit of your profits and for the nation, particularly in jobs, or lose your exempt tax status and pay up. This is the new mantra for the economic activists interested in building the economy of Belize.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

BELIZE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2010 AND 2011

McFee the anti-virus multi-millionaire, who sold his company, plowed his fortune into real estate in the USA and ended up selling it for .10 cents on the dollar, to clear the decks for his retirement in Belize. Albeit with a lot fewer millions. Says he has never been happier and starting new projects here in Belize. He is well regarded in local circles as a down to earth guy.


BELIZE ECONOMICAL OUTLOOK 2010 TO 2011

World prices tumbled with the world recession, but commodity prices are expected to increase again by the Fall of 2010. Oil prices should rise and so would Belize energy costs. There is as of yet, no study on the electrical power needs of Belize, and projections, point to a need to tripling electrical power capacity in twelve years. The only viable alternative seems to be a Chinese 100 megawatt nuclear reactor power plant. Can the private sector secure this type of investment is the question?
Sugar prices are expected to rise more. Innovation in the USA is being held back by a slow PATENTING PROCESS and the expense of the PATENT process in the USA. Japan and the USA are the world leaders in Technological innovation.
It is doubtful that there will be any innovative experimental start on Ethanol production in Belize during 2010. Mostly due to roadblocks by existing legislation and the bureaucracy administration and the incapacity of the UDP government to deal with such changing economic issues in a timely manner.
In vehicles, HYDROGEN seems to be the most likely successful alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels. Natural gas will not make an impact over the next two years in Belize, until the USA develops the distribution system, enabling vehicle manufacturing up there from scratch. We could produce ethanol here, but the taxation and regulatory issue is the biggest obstacle. Gasoline hybrid electrical vehicles do not seem to be practical. The range of a battery driven car is limited to around 100 kms before recharging. The obstacle to hydrogen vehicles seem to refueling stations in the USA. Though in small Belize, this may not be that big an obstacle? Honda and Toyota are probably the best source of hydrogen vehicles.
Tourism is likely to suffer in 2010 on the through traveling tourist sector, using overland transportation. The Government has not yet enabled either the Western Border, or the Southern Border into Guatemala by public bus transportation rules. This is hurting tourism development. The paved Guatemalan highway from the Peten, to Melchor de Menchos and our Western border is nearly finished and running about 3 months behind projected scheduling. The new bridge across the Rio Mopan to Guatemala is expected to finish in 2010 requiring rebuilding of the Customs and Immigration setup, once again. Probably for 2011 to 2012? The Belize FREE ZONE on the Western border will stay idle through 2010, but may get government attention in 2011. Commercial Belize entrepreneurs are waiting patiently to buy lots for constructing warehouses, small factories and shops here in this stalled FREE ZONE development. Cruise ship tourism is likely to stay strong. Up scale expensive package tourism is expected to stay strong. The kind were you have three or four service people tending to each guest. Low budget hotels and hostels are suffering in occupancy levels. There needs to be a wider array of adventures offered to tourism in Belize. What that will be, is up to the innovators and investors.
Around the world, businesses will continue down sizing and accompanying bankruptcy through 2010, though the projections are for a slow incremental economic growth worldwide. New businesses will be mostly in technological innovation, in everything from electronics to food processing exporting. Employment careers will shift to new developing sectors in new industries in the USA.
The local economy is expected to stay the same, as half of the $200 borrowed UDP millions was spent in 2009 and the other half ( $100 million ) is to be spent in 2010 says our Prime Minister Barrow. Most of this is to maintain the Belize civil service bureaucracy costs and some little infra-structure. The USA economy is already recovering and re-structuring. This will continue over the next two years. Most of those who lost their jobs and homes in the USA due to credit card debt family policies, will not be re-hired and stay in the ranks of the welfare type people. New hires are going to be newly educated and trained young people. The older ones are just out of luck.
Growth in Belize is expected to stay level, or get a little better. The economy contracted to the real GDP during the recent recession, which is slightly negative growth and not staying up with population expansion. The loan borrowing of Belize governments continues to distort the real GDP, as foreign government loans are input into the economy. The cost of government is the biggest negative factor for self sustainability. Our foreign loan bonds are now real JUNK BONDS. The UDP government of Belize has still not given us any economic report on the state of the nation. We are mightily curious as to the Debt ratio to the new GDP? We are expecting something like 120% debt of GDP? Despite the government debts, the economy of Belize is chugging along merrily, growing with the population, albeit at a slightly slower pace.
In the words of McFee in a recent interview, the retired USA SOFTWARE VIRUS millionaire living in Belize. He never saw such a place as Belize, for entrepreneurial development opportunities. He is already diddling with new business entrepreneurial ideas in retirement and joined the Board of Directors of private Galen University here in Western Belize. I'm 72 going on 73 years myself, and just wish I was an octopus, to take advantage of all the business opportunities myself. The challenges are fun!