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OW Barracks gone! Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

I know that some readers dislike when I make reference to dates but sometimes it’s necessary to jolt people’s memories. My fellow Orangewalkeños can recall that in early 2007, a few months after the UDP won the municipal elections of March 2006, in Orange Walk Town (and indeed countrywide) the principal PUP media organ in OW, namely CTV3, began a sustained attack on the new Council by claiming that we were destroying Fort Cairns when we cleaned out a moat on Arthur Street, which was full of used Styrofoam cups and plates. As we all know, Fort Cairns was a British military base installed in 1876 here in OWT.

The PUP propaganda proved to be a big bunch of hysterics. But it got the UDP hierarchy nervous. You see, a General Election was looming on the horizon, and not wanting to any taking chances on that thieving crowd winning again, the top brass summoned myself and fellow Councilor Carlos Perrera to appear on a talk show in the City, where we faced a hostile moderator, even as we were also UDP like he was.  In 20/20 hindsight, we should have quoted a single phrase to quell the OW PUP onslaught, “if you promise to stop telling lies about us, we promise to stop telling the truth about you”.  In truth, the PUP were always anti-colonial about anything and had earlier on  in the  1970s made it public policy  to wipe away all traces of the British. The  then PUP Mayor, I think it was Mr. Polo at the time, constructed the Town Hall directly on top of the mentioned Fort Cairns and gave away the two remaining cannons to a private secondary school. The PUP continued the destruction of our monuments by building the town’s police station, its administrative offices and the Courthouse directly on top of Fort Mundy. In later years, they completed the obliteration of history by erecting the offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources over the remaining section of Fort Cairns, then later re-baptized the area as the Fort Cairns Market.

Why am I bringing this up now in 2019?  Because of the continuing duplicity of the PUP. It is now clear that the expunging of history is now being completed. The famous Fort Cairns Barracks is now a parking area for vehicles and a storage area for aggregate.  When former UDP mayor, the late Fred Martinez, proposed to lease the Barracks for 20 years to a Mexican investor to erect a huge shopping mall, the PUP went ballistic claiming the barracks was a designated day playground for the poor students at St. Peter’s Anglican, and an evening workout area for the football team “Mad Squad”. When Phillip De la Fuente erected some stalls on the north end of the barracks to remove crowded vendors from the west end, the incoming PUP Council in 2012 scrapped this idea and cannibalized material from the stalls. Now look at the hypocrites! The Barracks is a shell of its former green landscape, with haphazard parking and gravel all over the place.

But who is to blame? The present Town Council is on auto-pilot with the Mayor busy as the PUP’s East standard bearer. All the activity upstairs these days center on extending the contract period with Demar’s Construction for the paving of streets in Union Town and Marcus Canul.  I maintain my opinion that no municipal body should be able to mire future town councils in debt for more than one succeeding term. What you think, fellow Orangewalkeños? This fifteen year contract times $120,000 is totally unjust. It’s Orange walk’s own little Superbond!

 
Are you a Teen Boss? The Do’s and Don’ts of Fight Youth Unemployment Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

We lament about this issue on morning talk shows, on Facebook and other social media platforms. We discuss this issue inside the classroom, inside our homes, on street corners, amongst our friends. We hear about it all the time in the speeches of leaders canvassing for votes. Youths loitering inside their ‘hoods’ all hours of the day give it away. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that unemployment is a problem in Belize, and particularly among the youth.

But there is real hope. History teaches us that solutions can arise from the youth. You don’t have to submit to the status quo or be a victim of your circumstances. There is a way out if you dare to defy the odds.

Here’s what you can do to eradicate unemployment for the old and young in Belize.

Do:

Cultivate your Entrepreneurial spirit.

Because when jobs are scarce, or the type of employment you want is not available, then the answer is to create a job for yourself.

Think like a Teen Boss.

Thinking like a boss means refusing to be anything less than successful, working smartly and consistently, even when you don’t feel like it. It means being bold. Don’t be scared to venture into the scarce skill sectors, those fields that are not as popular but a demand exist. Find that niche and fill it. While, you’re at it, get motivated and dream big.

Make steps starting with what you know how to do.

You do not need to know how to do everything you want to do at the start. So make steps starting with what you do know how to do. That step is what prepares you for the next. And the next and the next

Don’t:

Give up

Stop dreaming

Waste time

Stop trying and applying yourself

Unemployment has always been a problem, but as an aspiring teen entrepreneur, your mindset must move beyond thinking that you can’t change things. It is within your power to do something. You can help to turn things around for your family, community, your country and generations to come. You can turn things around for yourself.