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#393428 - 11/23/10 08:56 AM From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market
Marty Offline
Everyone knows that to get the best fresh produce in the city - the place to go is the Queen's Square market. Or at least it used to be. That best place would now be the Michael Finnegan Market - which is the Queen's Square Market, reloaded, refurbished and revamped.

After a construction period that was riddled by dissent from vendors, it was re-opened this morning and 7News was there:…

Zenaida Moya-Flowers, Mayor - Belize City
"This market is named after the area representative who has work tirelessly with his constituents to ensure that they are happy and contented and so it is only fitting also that it be name after him. The project is one that has with it the support of the area reps but also of the vendors, I am sure that I saw some of their faces and they seem very pleased with the project and so no doubt that we the consumers will in fact really share encouragingly in all the years thereafter that we will be enjoying this market. It includes 47 double and single stalls, it includes garbage disposal site, an administrative office, a utility room, restrooms for both male and female and the stall as well if you notice they are fully tiled, the counters are tiled as well, it has an area where they can wash their hands and meats, it has all the amenities, it has proper fencing to ensure enough security, it has pavers on the floor so that even when it rains it shouldn't be a problem. We don't foresee any major changes, it's the same people and the same people running it, we will ensure that the areas are in fact kept clean. We want everybody to understand that this project did take some time and so we do want to ensure that we keep it maintain in a proper fashion."

Michael Finnegan - Area Representative
"Well the significance of the event today, it's not about me, it is about the government and the Belize City council working hand-in-hand together to provide a better environment for people like you and I who like to shop at the market, that is what it is all about although it is name after me it's about the people, government and the Belize City council working together to create a friendly and more conducive environment for the Belizean public."

The market will be opened for business tomorrow….

Channel 7

#393431 - 11/23/10 09:00 AM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Michael Finnegan at the New Michael Finnegan Market

There is a spanking new market in the south side; it was inaugurated this morning and replaces the old Queen Square Market. Construction of the one point three million dollar building was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, the project was overseen by the Social Investment Fund and the City Council is responsible for its upkeep. The market is named after the Area Representative, a known patron to the seventy vendors. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Old Market next to the National Transport Bus stop was in ruins for years. The plan to build a new market meant that vendors had to move. There were many complaints at the temporary location from both the vendors and the city council. However, construction has been completed and today the new facility has been blessed.

Father Dorrick Wright

“Bless this market and all those who will come here to do business amen.”

The ribbon was cut by the city councilors as well as Diane Finnegan. The market was named after Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan, who the mayor revealed is a regular at the market.

Zenaida Moya Flowers, Belize City Mayor

“I myself have met Mister Finnegan after Sunday mass as he would get out of his vehicle to buy ingredients for his famous Sunday dinner. And for those of you who don’t know, Mr. Finnegan bubbles the best cow foot and conch soup in Belize.”

Michael finnegan

Michael Finnegan, Area Representative, Mesopotamia

“Although it is named after me, it is about the people. Government and the Belize City Council working together to create a friendly and more conducive environment for the Belizean public.”

Jose Sanchez

“How soon should we see you at Finnegan’s market buying your goods?”

Michael Finnegan

“The first stall weh come in, I wah be the first shopper.”

Jose Sanchez

“And yow ah buy cow foot?”

Michael Finnegan

“Well if they have it, I wah get it from here, but I likie buy mi cow foot from Southside Meat Shop because ih more tendor when yo bboil it and when yo boil it, ih boil quicker. Basically I woulda wah give Mista Lizarraga wah plug.”

zenaida moya flowers

Zenaida Moya Flowers

“This market is a project that will definitely have the vendors feel happy about their whole environment that they will be selling in. As you can see the entire grounds are paved—have brick pavers on it which ensure that they no longer have to walk in mud. Their produce and products will be able to be stored in well designed tiled concrete facilities. Every amenity that they need, they will have the restrooms. They have an area to wash, proper ventilation, electricity. Everything that they need, they will have. So, I foresee no reason for complaints.”

Jose Sanchez

“Every government we’ve had—whether P.U.P. or U.D.P. have built, but when it comes to upkeep that has always been a questionable factor. When it comes to do you have in place?”

Zenaida Moya Flowers

“Well. We have a councilor responsible for markets, Councilor Kevin Singh. And so no doubt, him and the clerk of market, Miss Bernadette Saldivar will see that this facility is properly maintained.”

Jose Sanchez

“We shouldn’t see the vendors complaining anymore about having to move about conditions?”

Michael Finnegan

“Well you know how people are, you would want to believe so but there will be something here and there. And people complaining; that is good for democracy, it is healthy. If they aren’t complaining, something is wrong. We want to hear complains so that we can better the situation.”

Jose Sanchez

“Michael Finnegan at the Finnegan Market, you like the title though?”

Michael Finnegan

“The title? The people like the title.”

The vendors officially move into the market this coming Sunday. But with new facilities may come increased fees. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

#393451 - 11/23/10 06:44 PM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
TiredOfTheUS Offline
Marty, would "strip malls" or revitalization projects in shop neighborhoods be a needed thing in Belize? This is something I'm interested in doing when my family and myself get moved down there and become residents.
"Be all that you can be"

#395409 - 12/23/10 09:52 AM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


The Michael Finnegan Market was inaugurated exactly a month ago today yet some vendors have not relocated because they do not have light or water. In addition some vendors do not have a stall in the new market. Michael Theus from the Belize City Council explains.

Michael Theus; Belize City Council

“Since the inauguration of the market we’ve had a few glitches along the way. we sent a letter out to the tenants who currently occupy the market at that Pound yard division asking them to relocate over to the new Michael Finnegan Market. Those are the ones who had gotten a stall. We still had some problems as it pertains to getting in the light and the water. for the other tenants who did not have a stall we are having some problems with them because the area they wanted to vend is not that area prescribed for vending. We are giving them the area and they don’t want to comply with that. What we are doing is that we have set aside an area, which is along the Hickatee Street Area for those vendors. Some vendors are classified as peddles, they just come in not every day; they come in to do sales quite possible on the heavier market days so they don’t have a stall. So those persons are being located along Hickatee side and from the junction of Hickatee with the kennel side going back towards the Dean Street Bridge. There is a prescribed area for the wholesalers to be at. That is where we are having problems because some of the vendors are taking up that area for the vendors so it is just to get those little glitches out and I think we will have a very smooth running of the market after that.”

For the vendors who still cannot move over to the new market Theus says that they can no longer provide security for them.

Michael Theus

“Now we recently hired six new special constables and they are posted at the Michael Finnegan Market. We cannot stretch our resources that thin.”

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

So, at what point did they not have security? I’m talking about Pound Yard.

Michael Theus

“That would be today.”

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

So as of today no security at Pound Yard?

Michael Theus

“Yes, that commenced this morning. If there are any additional problem, any additional comment, we are free, we are open. We will listen to what persons bring forward to us because we want to make sure that the move is as painless as possible. I say painless because it is a change in how we operate our business, we want to centralize our operation to have people in a more orderly fashion. With changes most people find problems and that is what we are trying to work out. We are hopeful that at the end of this exercise it is going to be a plus for the vender, the shoppers; everybody.”


#413280 - 08/05/11 10:20 AM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More Drama At The Michael Finnegan Market

It seems like every month something or the other is up at the Michael Finnegan market in Belize City. Today, the drama is about a deadline imposed by the Public Health Department directing that all vendors should have a food handler's certificate.

The directive was issued at the end of last month and takes effect tomorrow - after a ten day grace period - warning that, quote "ALL VENDORS FAILING TO COMPLY SHOULD BE REMOVED AT THE END OF THE GRACE PERIOD."

That's tomorrow..too bad that none of the produce vendors we spoke to have a certificate!

We spoke to Councillor Phillip Willoughby about this latest complication:..

Jules Vasquez
"How many vendors presently have a food handler's permit?"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"To this date I am not certain, I don't think majority of them have."

Jules Vasquez
"So it might be zero?"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"There is a possibility. But like I said the letter was forwarded to all the vendors the day after we received it at the council and I am here asking now to say that this is not a malicious act on behalf of the council or the Ministry of Health. We are only seeking compliance that they comply with the policies set out."

Consuelo Maldonado, Vendor
"That just happen yesterday, this is 24 hours ago. We can't get anything in 24 hours. That's ridiculous."

Jules Vasquez
"But if you don't have it by August 5th it says you can't come into the market."

Consuelo Maldonado, Vendor
"Well everybody refuse to do that. They will have to shut down the market."

Jules Vasquez
"How many people you know along here have a food handler certificate?"

Consuelo Maldonado, Vendor
"Nobody. If I don't have it then nobody have it."

Edith Brakeman, Vendor
"I think that is good that everybody have their food handler because from ever since they have always wanted us to have it."

Jules Vasquez
"But you think you all need it?"

Edith Brakeman, Vendor
"Well they say that we have to have it so we have to get it."

Jules Vasquez
"Have you gotten yours yet because tomorrow is the deadline."

Edith Brakeman, Vendor
"They just hand us these papers yesterday."

Jules Vasquez
"The papers that Mr. Willoughby have says August 5th."

Edith Brakeman, Vendor
"Well today is the 4th, I don't think that it's August 5th they mean."

Jules Vasquez
"Tomorrow August 5th is the deadline and the rule is that when the grace period is finished all persons failing to comply should be removed from the market at the end of the grace period. Tomorrow is August 5th, will the none-certificate having persons be removed?"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"Well I believe if they haven't done so up to tomorrow at the close of business...for the Ministry of Health, they will have a very busy day over there tomorrow to ensure that they do have the food handler's permit."

Jules Vasquez
"But let's be realistic. This is a market. There is a dusty street. Very few people are buying things here to eat. Sometimes stuff is stored a foot from the ground. You don't need a food handler's certificate. A food handler's certificate says that you have to have hair net and so. This isn't tacos you are buying. You are buying raw materials. Why would you harass these people into getting a food certificate for stuff that people know that you have to go home and wash before you eat?"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"In the Ministry of Health's best - I believe - conventional wisdom, this is the appropriate way for them to conduct their business within the law."

Jules Vasquez
"But the law is not inflexible, it's not blind. The law has to respect the fact that it is a market - there are items of produce in the open air. If you buy a grapefruit - you are not going to eat through the skin - you peel off the skin, so why do I need to have a hair net to serve a grapefruit?"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"Jules again, I am no scientist to determine whether or not..... "

Jules Vasquez
"But you should be a man of the people."

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"Yes I am not here to determine whether or not how osmosis occurs or permeable membrane, and what passes where and what gets where. We are simply saying that the Ministry of Health is requiring that you have a permit to do business. It's all simple and too easy - just comply."

Jules Vasquez
"But sir this is the second time you have taken the side of the authority against the side of the people. When BEL in its private ownership incarnation wanted everyone under the 120 kV line to move - you jump right in the bed with BEL - 'move.' But now the public health authority is coming, after decades of un-regulation, is coming here and telling people who are selling things in a skin saying that they need to have a food handler's certificate, I am saying that you as the public elected authority have to come out for the people and say 'let's make sense out of nonsense.'"

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"It's not only fruits and vegetables that are sold here. There are meats and other produce."

Jules Vasquez
"Orson, you have a food handler's certificate. Why did you get one?"

Orson Giron, butcher
"Because I am a meat vendor, I suppose to have that to sell meat or else they will not allow me in here."

Jules Vasquez
"Was it something difficult or costly to get?"

Orson Giron, butcher
"Not really, you just go in and answer some easy questions and you get it quick."

Jules Vasquez
"You think the fruit vendors who sell here and the produce vendors should be required to get one as well?"

Orson Giron, butcher
"I would say mostly for the meat vendors or for people who sell meats. Vegetables are not really something that we need that for."

Phillip Willoughby, Councillor
"You are making it into a category 4-5 hurricane, Jules. This is just a simple thing of going over to the health department to request a permit to do business in a hygienic way. So take out all the complexities and perplexities that you are bringing about and just let's move on with serving the public in a health safe fashion and environment."

Usually a food handler's certificate takes a few days to get - and applicants have to attend an orientation seminar - which means - long story short - those who apply tomorrow won't get it tomorrow. We'll see how that plays out.

Channel 7

#413285 - 08/05/11 10:29 AM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize City Council says vendors must comply with Health regulations

But the City Councilor with responsibility for the market, Philip Willoughby, maintains that the letter was delivered in July. He also emphasized that it’s an initiative of the Ministry of Health and not the simply the council, but that the vendors must comply with the notice. As for the conditions of the market, Willoughby told News Five today that the work to correct the problem should begin shortly.

Philip Willoughby, City Councilor Responsible for Markets

“I received a letter dated July twenty-sixth or twenty-fifth from the Ministry of Health, the public health inspector Mr. Bernard. Basically that document was saying that vendors needed to attain a food handler’s permit so to speak and I believe that the Ministry has been pushing or endeavoring that the vendors would attain this permit for some period of time. To this end, they have not. This initiative is being promulgated by the Ministry of Health to ensure that the vendors within the Michael Finnegan Market and outside operate within the code of conduct spelled out in the Ministry of Health policies and that is to comply by having the food handler’s permit. It’s not a tedious process, it’s nothing hard. All you have to do is to go over to the Ministry of health, fill out your forms and get your approval and go ahead and do business at the market.”

Delahnie Bain

Philip Willoughby

Their problem is that they are saying that they got this notice yesterday and they are being told now that if they don’t get the permits by tomorrow they can’t sell at the market.

Philip Willoughby

“That’s not true. I believe the same day I received the communiqué from the Ministry; the document was photocopied and sent to the vendors. A second copy was forwarded against yesterday as a gentle reminder that you should and must comply.”

Delahnie Bain

“Another complaint is that whenever it rains, they lose a lot of products because their stuff gets wet and because that hasn’t been fixed, they are losing money. And they’re saying that is part of the reason why they haven’t dealt with the food handler’s as yet.”

Philip Willoughby

“Well, if the vendors were on the canal side, they would still have to contend with the issues of tents that they had and on the canal side their products were still on the ground. To this end, they are not on the ground so that’s one step above from where they were. Secondly, the council has approved the application to source the funding to build the structures to at least remove all tents around the market along with awnings that will be placed on the concrete structures. So that will be coming on stream very soon.”

Willoughby says that if the vendors would show good faith and make an effort to apply for the permit, the council and ministry will be lenient enough to accommodate them. He also noted that the responsibilities for the market will be relinquished to the City Administrator while he focuses on campaigning for the upcoming municipal elections.

Channel 5

#413823 - 08/13/11 11:17 AM Re: From Queen’s Square To Finnegan’s Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Wholesalers Make Moves At The Market

The seemingly never ending saga at the Michael Finnegan market might just be coming to an end. For months, wholesale farmers have been in a protracted battle with the city council for a permanent place to call home and sell their goods without what they call undue harassment from council officials.

Now, the farmers says they have found their own fix. A new move by the farmers is expected to improve the conditions in which they operate, addressing issues such as adequate space, security, parking , health and sanitation, opening hours and bathroom facilities.

Today, at an impromptu press conference held at the old Novelo's Bus depot, the executive of the newly formed Farmers Vendors Association announced this latest move.

Oscar Pollard - Secretary, Farmers Vendors Association
"The reason for this press conference today, is two-fold. It is to inform the people of Belize City, the nearby community, and the country, that the Farmers Vendors Association will be relocating to the Pound Yard Area, which once housed the temporary market, with effect from August 14, 2011, at 3 p.m. In keeping with the continued cooperation of the Belize City Council, this move came about as a result of a). to alleviate the traffic congestion on West Collet Canal and Hiccatee Street, b). to provide more healty produce to the consumer, c). to provide a more appropriate business environment to the vendors and consumer, d). to allow the vendors of the Michael Finnegan Market to have profitable business atmosphere, d). to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to deliver healty produce to the consumer, and to adhere to their rules and condition, and e). to allow the Ministry of Works to be able their proposed canal rehabilitation project."

Jim McFadzean
"Mr. Hyde, How has the Council responded to this move independently of them to relocate to the compound here?"

Alvin Hyde Jr. - Chairman, Farmers Vendors Association
"Well, we met with Mr. Willoughby yesterday evening, and he told us that we could go ahead and conduct our business. He said that the Council have nothing against us, the members of the Association, to come here, set up, and carry on business."

Andrea Polanco - Channel 5 News
"So does this mean that you guys won't have to pay that daily fee to the City Council?"

Alvin Hyde Jr.
No, we don't have to pay that any daily fees to the council." We made attempts to contact Councilor Phillip Willoughby to confirm whether that is true, but were unable to reach him. The association is 85 members strong, and if all goes well, they should be able to occupy their new location at the Pound Yard effective, this Sunday, August 14th.

Channel 7

Market wholesalers move their fruits and vegetables to new location

Over the last year the wholesalers and retail vendors at the Michael Finnegan Market have had their own share of woes with flooding, imposed fees, security issues, you name it. Well, today the wholesalers say they are going to set up shop at the pound yard, which was once the temporary market. Up to this week, they were located on Hicatee Street, but come this Sunday they will move over to the pound yard compound. The Farmers-Vendors Association told the media today that the location, which they identified on their own, will alleviate their troubles.

Oscar Pollard, Secretary Farmers-Vendors Market Association

Oscar Pollard

“This move came about as a result of A: to alleviate the traffic congestion on West Collect Canal and Hicatee Street to provide healthier produce to the consumer, to provide more appropriate business environment to the vendors and consumers, to allow the vendors of the Michael Finnegan market to have a profitable business atmosphere, to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to deliver healthy produce to the consumers and to adhere to their rules and condition, to allow the Ministry of Works to be able to do their proposed canal rehabilitation project. At this new location there will be adequate parking spaces to conduct business that was not allotted before. There will also be proper bathroom facilities and lighting provided for use by the vendors whenever they arise to the compound to park to conduct their business. The vendors will now be able to sell their produce and dispose of it in a manner, in a way that they would like to do—retail and wholesale which was an obstacle as they were only permitted to do retail from five a.m. to ten a.m. and wholesale from ten a.m. to one a.m. only. This present location will be in operation to meet the needs of the vendors and consumers.”

Pollard said the move to a new location means they won’t be paying the daily fees to the City Council, however, they had a meeting with Councilor Willoughby this week and he was receptive of their plan to relocate. The association has a total of eighty five members.

Channel 5


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