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January 21st, 2010

Dear Editor,

    The Saga Humane Society would like to thank the San Pedro Police Department in the recovery of their camera stolen from the clinic on December 7th, 2009. Not only do we use this camera for our Pet of the Week but we like to record activities that happen around the Humane Society. The camera was usefully for recording cases of neglect and cruelty along with helping us to reunite lost pets with their owners. We love to take pictures of volunteers who stop by the Humane Society to lend a hand, walking dogs, painting, or doing general chores around the clinic. We can not thank the police enough for their help in returning this valuable piece of equipment to us. It is very much appreciated!!

/s/ Saga Humane Society Volunteers and Staff

Dear Editor,

Letty Lara Says Thank You

    Miss Letty Lara would like to express her sincere gratitude to all those that made her trip possible to represent Belize at the Miss World pageant held in South Africa on December 2009.

Thank you to: Ambergris Divers, Ambergris Today, Amigos del Mar, Belizean Melody, Belize Tourism Board, Brad’s, Captain Sharks Marine, Caribeña Enterprises, Castillo’s Hardware, Caye Management, Chac Mol Gifts, Cholo’s Golf Cart Rental, Crystal Store, Designing Solution, Farah’s Grocery Store, Fido’s Courtyard, Grand Belize Estate, Green House, Havens Salon, Herrera’s Super Market, Hidden Treasures Restaurant, Island Academy, Island Adventure Golf Cart, Island Gear, Island Super Market, Island Vibes, Jose’s Salon, Leslie’s Salon, Lino’s Meat, Lions Club, Marina’s Store, Maya Island Air, Moncho’s, Golf Cart Rental, Moon Dancer Boutique, Mimo’s Store, Nasser, Nellie’s Property Management , N.I.C.H., Ocean Essence, Pretty Ethnic, Quality Chicken, Ramon’s Village, Reef Radio, Richie’s Super Market, San Pedro Belize Express, San Pedro Sun, San Pedro Super Market, San Pedro Town Council, San Pedro Price Club, Sarai Boutique, SMART, Stadium Sports Bar, Sun Breeze Hotel, Tabony Industry (D’Bush), Vanessa’s Salon, Victoria House, War Paint, Wings and 7 Eleven.

    A special thank you to the Honorable Manuel Heredia for his generous contribution and to all my fans that helped and cheered for me.

/s/ Letty Lara

*Jen Sharp Photography


    Just a warning to visitors to San Pedro to avoid or be extremely wary of the Supermarket staff on Middle Street store adjacent to the Social Security Office: My traveling companion was short-changed, and in the midst of the confusion was charged Bze$3.60 for each bottle of tonic water!!

    In another incident a young local boy was charged for bottles even though he brought his own bottles. The salesperson refused to return the money until the boy’s grandfather was summoned to shop to demand that he do so.

    The attitude and deliberate cheating of customers is intolerable.

    Hope you pass this on to visitors.

/s/ Ana Vanson

Dear Editor and readers,

    On this cold Sunday morning, we buried my nephew. He did not have to die.

    His mother, my best friend, is a hard working woman who was excitedly awaiting the birth of her second son. She was surprised by his unexpected arrival on the 22nd December 2009, two months ahead of his due date. As a premature baby, one would expect that he would be kept in the hospital for a few days at the least. Twenty six hours later, he was released and they were told to go home. The doctor informed my sister that she would have to be a “Kangaroo mother”, which according to him, simply meant that she had to keep the baby warm and fed. According to them, he was fine. My brother-in-law, the baby’s dad was concerned about the baby’s health because of the bad reputation that hospitals in Belize have. Seeking reassurance, he once again asked if they were sure the baby was healthy enough to leave the San Ignacio hospital. They were told to take him home.

    As good parents, upon their departure from the hospital they tried to find a pediatrician to give Kanan a general check-up. After visiting several clinics, they found out that this was not possible since most doctors in Cayo were on holiday and not available to the public.

    On the 28th December, my sister noted that Kanan’s skin was changing color and that he was not feeding as he previously did. They returned to the hospital only to be insulted by the attending doctor who told them that maybe the baby was sick because he didn’t have a name yet. At this time, a name hadn’t been chosen since each child’s name is chosen with great care and must be very significant. To make a long story short, Kanan was admitted to the KHMH on Monday, 28th December 2009 in a very critical condition. It was discovered that he had a blood infection. To many, sepsis, is dangerous but to premature low-weight infants, sepsis is life threatening.

    In the days that followed, the jaundice eventually cleared up, a blood transfusion was performed, his lungs became infected and hemorrhaged, he had to be put on the ventilator, his stomach was in bad condition due to the infection and many of his other organs were affected. On Wednesday, 6th January 2010, I visited him at KHMH and came to the conclusion that my nephew was a fighter. He was lying quietly in the incubator when I arrived. I spoke to him and he lifted his right hand, as in salutation. This moment will forever stay with me. He had a great desire to live. He had an IV hooked up to his artery, was breathing with the help of a ventilator and had tubes coming out of different parts of his body. I knew then that he was even more special than we had originally thought.

    After fighting to survive for so long, on Friday, 8th January 2010, Kanan passed away. Brain hemorrhaging caused by the infection was what finally caused his demise.

    To many, it is simple: THE BELIZEAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS FAILED AGAIN! To his mother and father, friends and family, it is more than just that. We know that he cannot come back but we feel that the public must be made aware of what happens to those that trust the system and its personnel.

    Kanan’s death could have been avoided. If he had been properly examined after he was born, the infection could have been detected and controlled at an early stage. As it was, by the time he was admitted to the KHMH, he was already in grave danger. Doctors and nurses at the KHMH worked unreservedly hard at trying to save him and must be commended for this. They tried everything within their power to give him a chance at life. Doctors at the San Ignacio hospital are another matter altogether. I hope that they don’t sleep at night thinking about what they have done. Their carelessness, negligence or simple ignorance has devastated a family, a community and even worse yet, a little boy who was expecting to be an older brother to Kanan. 

    What happens now? How long will we continue to grieve and cry for our loss? How will we get to the point of accepting that our little angel, Kanan, was to some just another statistic? How do we recover from this?

    Every day we hear of murders, burglaries, robberies, rapes and other such heinous crimes. Isn’t negligence a crime also? Don’t our doctors know that when they decided to study medicine and to practice medicine, they relegated their lives to serving others? The Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath (this is the oath that doctors take upon completion of their studies) states that “Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption…”.  The final clause in the oath states that “WHILE I CONTINUE to keep this Oath inviolate may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot.” Have our doctors forgotten this?

    Are our doctors so dumb that they do not know that a premature infant needs special attention and care? This cannot continue to happen! What must we do to stop it? Do we need to become violent to be heard? What happens to those that depend solely on public hospitals and clinics because they cannot afford to go to a private doctor or clinic? What happens to those that trust our system simply because they trust that our doctors will do their job properly? Who will answer these questions?

/s/ Dr. Roxanna Alvarez V.M.

January 14th, 2010

Letter to the Editor,

    I am responding to the remarks made to the editor in Ambergris Today December 17th issue.

    It was extremely upsetting to read the article personally attacking the Deputy Mayor. Mr. Nesto Gomez holds two portfolios, one as Deputy Mayor and also Education Minister of San Pedro.

    I have known this man for sometime, and know him as dedicated to his portfolios.

    He is dependable and a man of his word.

    I have been working on the project to finish the Roman Catholic School cafeteria for sometime now. The Deputy Mayor came forward to help me raise funds and volunteer his own personal time, and is working with me on this project so that we can open for the children.

    To humiliate and hurt not only Mr. Gomez but his family as well is completely unacceptable and cowardly.

    Mr. Deputy Mayor is respected and every much liked in the community. As for socializing, this is part of the job, listening to the people, and the issues. The signatures below are only a few of many who support Mr. Gomez.

/s/ Eve Dirnback along with 16 signatures

Dear Editor,

2010 and the beat goes on

    Here we are – January 11th, 2010 and nothing has changed since my letter of November 11th, 2009 in this paper requesting that certain aspects of the journey north across the bridge be addressed. I had an occasion once again to go across the river to pick up a mini- doghouse (I have a very small dog that needs some protection from this unusual cold weather). The place I had to go was actually no more than one minute across the river from the bridge … two houses past the Church in San Mateo. The whole exercise took me five minutes; and, on Sunday evening that exercise cost me ten dollars to cross the bridge. I resent like hell paying to go across that bridge. Since my letter in November I have had to spend over two thousand dollars in repairs to my golf cart because of the battering it takes on these horrendous roads – especially the stretch from Ritchie’s Store to the bridge.

    There is also a sign there that says two dollars for bicycles, give us a break ! This bridge has been there for four years now and it’s about time to stop with the tolls. I am convinced that the system for accountability in place at the booth is flawed thereby creating great opportunity for discretionary abuse. This toll is an unnecessary burden for all businesses north of the bridge and, after four years, has become unjustifiable. If a case can be made for its continuance, then it should be published for all to consider. I will venture to suggest that there are no credible records to be reviewed.

    There are protocols that are instituted to provide for good and fair governance. One of these protocols is that elected politicians are not appointed or, do not appoint themselves to be Chairpersons of boards or committees or managers of agencies designated to implement programs necessary for the advancement of communities. First of all, politicians are most often not qualified to perform these tasks; and, also, politicians are, by nature, prone to political bias which does not bode well for the public at large.

    At this time, I understand that there are three licensing authorities that are chaired by councilmen (elected politicians) … the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee and the Ambergris Caye Transport Department and the Ambergris Caye Liquor Licensing Authority and possibly, soon, the Local Building Authority

    At least once a week, some one will come to me and lament about an unjust situation that is adversely affecting their business due to some inexplicable rationale by a licensing authority that has placed obstacles in their way to hamper their progress. One such example is a friend of mine … a long time resident and businessman who was told by the ACTCC that, in order to get approval for a scooter, he would have to relinquish his permit for his golf cart. How asinine and nonsensical!! He was wondering who it was that he could go “talk to”. Nobody should have to go “talk to” anybody to get a legitimate license. All this while the Mayor, in spite of the supposed moratorium on private vehicles, has brought her own private SUV to the Island. A year ago we had all this virtually under control. I guess we must have backslid to the way things used to be. What a shame!!!!

    Talking about transparency, the request for the details of the agreement between the SPTC and the developer up north still stands. I hear they only have forty lots left … and the term of the agreement is almost gone. That means that the Council must have capitalized on that agreement big time. I know I saw the Mayor and at least one councilor selling their little hearts out on an internet promo. I wonder what they actually got for all that facilitation … the permits and all. We should have at least gotten the northern road from Ritchie’s to the bridge for that. Maybe we’re asking the wrong people. Maybe we should ask the developer. He might be more forthcoming … and we know where to find him.

    It seems that the PM’s Financial Integrity Unit is quite busy. Kudos to the PM for that. Maybe at some time in the near future they will find time to come take a look-see at this local situation and rescue us from further embarrassment. I think he owes it to those of us who worked to afford him the environment for his Government to work unencumbered towards establishing a government free of corruption and inadequacy.

    San Pedro, I wish I could tell you that all things are new and wonderful in 2010. But, alas, no. It’s all “same old, same old”.

/s/ Harry Longsworth

January 7th, 2010

Dear Editor,

    Last week, I completed a mural of the reef, with 14 San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) students. The mural got great press coverage from your publication, for which I am both pleased and grateful, but a very important person, without whose help the mural would have not been realized, was left unrecognized. Mr. Emidio “Teacher Moncho” Acosta, a SPRC teacher, was present each day, and not only helped me with practical aspects of organizing the project, but lent moral support and dedication until the project was complete. Mr. Acosta is a very special man and dedicated teacher, who obviously cares deeply for his students and his school. I would like to publicly extend my deepest gratitude to Mr. Acosta for working with me through his holiday. He truly is a San Pedro treasure! Thanks, Mr. Moncho!



/s/ Liza Mills


1. San Pedro Sun - January 6, 2010

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