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|San Pedro Daily||Monday, February 21,
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26 San Pedro families oppose $6 million development plan
Twenty-two families in San Pedro are saying that a $6 million tourism beautification project, which proposes to build a multipurpose pier and sunset boardwalks, is threatening to displace them and take away their livelihood.
San Pedro Town Mayor Elsa Paz explained to The Reporter on Wednesday, February 16 that the project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, will in no way displace those families. The families vociferously objected to the project when it was first presented to them last November; and after hearing their complaints, the officials modified the plan.
The new plan for the upgrade factored in the residents’ interest and guaranteed that their livelihood would be preserved. For example, the boardwalk would cover areas which the protesting residents presently use for vending, fishing or parking their boats. All who fish or do other business in the area each have their own pier.
Paz explained that the new multipurpose pier would replace those piers, but they would maintain their individual spaces. Despite these measures of good faith, she said, many of the interested parties remain opposed to the idea. She added that they are trying to reach a compromise with the residents even though the land, which the residents have claimed as theirs, is actually a government reserved area.
Despite assurances from the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr. and other officials, the residents maintain their stance because they say none of these promises have been made to them in writing and so they seriously doubt that the project will benefit them. The interested parties who oppose the project say they have been using, or in some cases living in the area, for more than 40 years.
Others also say they don’t see why any “beautification” is necessary, because the tourists have always been attracted to San Pedro because of its natural beauty and its quaint, quiet village charm.
Bureau of standards to crack down
on cheating butane gas vendors
The Belize Bureau of Standards has assured consumers that they intend to immediately “pursue measures to provide additional assurance to the consumer as it relates to purchases of liquid petroleum gas in the domestic market.”
The action follows an investigative report by Channel 7 Television which showed that some butane vendors were ripping off consumers by as much as 25 percent on a 100 pound cylinder of butane.
Consumers have no practical way of weighing the butane they buy, and some unscrupulous vendors have used this loop-hole to short-change buyers by putting less butane (by weight) into their tanks. The Bureau proposes to buy new metering equipment and hold butane vendors to exact weight standards to put an end to the abuse.
The equipment, the Bureau says, will help them monitor the LPG industry to make sure that butane vendors sell at the proper weight. The Bureau will also monitor the quality of butane being sold since local butane, although in short supply, is a lot cheaper than the imported butane.
The bureau has already secured technical assistance, notably from associates in Central America and from a company in Germany which provides scientific and technical services. These will assist the Bureau to evaluate butane suppliers, facilities and equipment. The new measures will also evaluate storage and distribution methods, including the meters on trucks and in plants which measure butane being sold. The Bureau did not indicate whether it would take criminal action against current abusers.
The Belize Bureau of Standards pledges to move swiftly to put these inspection measures into effect, but acknowledged it cannot do so immediately.
The Bureau urges consumers to be on the alert and buy only from reputable vendors. Consumers can protect themselves from fraud by weighing the butane cylinders before they are filled and after. If they have a bathroom scale at home they should use it. They should also report any discrepancy in the weight to the Bureau of Standards in Belmopan at Tel. 822-0466
or fax, 822.2477, or email email@example.com. There is also a consumer hotline: 0800-283-5587.
Mexican universities will help Belize with science programs
Belize has begun a collaboration with prestigious universities of Mexico which will lead to a Bachelor programme in Marine Biology for the University of Belize.
The initiative has come from Mexico, which this week hosted a symposium along with the University of Belize Faculty of Science and Technology. Participants included more than 15 scientists from some of the most prestigious institutions in Mexico and Latin America: the Instituto Polytéchnico Nacional (IPN); El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR); Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), and Centro de Investigacíon y Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV).
They discussed a broad spectrum of subjects of crucial interest to Belize including marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, pollution research in the Chetumal and the Rio Hondo bays, research on sharks, rays and lobsters, environmental education on coastal areas, aquatic ecosystems, rain forest management, sea and coastal areas observatories in Mexico, Belize River Valley Restoration Projects, and the Belize’s tri-national border with Guatemala and Honduras.
Letters to the Editor
The family of Don Genaro Nuñez is requesting donations. After successful implantation of a heart pace maker, Don Genaro is out of the hospital and resting in Honduras. This was an expensive operation so contributions of any amount will be greatly appreciated.
Please call Eddie Halliday at 610 2517 or Diana Halliday at 226 2017
Scheduled Power Outage
Wednesday, February 23, 9AM to 2PM-
Feeder: 2; Zone: 2; All of Pescador Drive, Coconut Drive, Almond Street, Elliott Subdivision, San Marcos, San Pedrito, DFC Subdivision and San Pablo Area.
Cook-Off – Asian Cuisine
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6 – 9 p.m. at the Tackle Box Bar & Grill
Come out and support Saga Humane Society with our monthly cook-off fundraiser for 2011. Each month will feature a different theme and the recipes will become part of a cookbook that will be available for sale at the end of the year.
There will be a prize for 1st and 2nd place and also a raffle on the night of the event.
To enter, bring your ‘Everything Asian’ dish to the event no later than 6:00 p.m. The dish must serve a minimum of 60 sample size portions.
© SAN PEDRO DAILY, PO Box 45, San Pedro Town, Belize.
Inquiries to Editor@SanPedroDaily.Com