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#488038 - 03/15/14 11:00 AM At Last, Crooked Tree Causeway Set Straight
Marty Online   happy
The Crooked Tree Causeway went under water at the end of October, and didn't re-appear until February. True, it was what villagers call a "Top Gallon" flood - but it only underscored a chronic problem of flooding in the Lagoon. At the end of the almost four month ordeal, one life had been lost to a boating accident, and the villagers, working people and students had experienced many, many hours of inconvenience.

Finally, what villagers say should have been done long ago is finally being undertaken: the causeway is being repaired. We found out more in Crooked Tree today:...

Hon. Edmund Castro
"What you can see out here - as soon as the rains held up maybe not exceeding 6 weeks we are out here trying to put on some material on the causeway. I think we raise most of the causeway right now approximately a foot to two feet. As you can see the equipment are still out here. It's raining so they are working in between to see how we could elevate the situation out here in Crooked Tree."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir, tell us about what the final plan for the causeway, will it be paved or just graded?"

Hon. Edmund Castro
"I don't think anybody is asking for paving. What we need to do is to make sure that the people have accessibility in terms of flood and situation of disaster and so on people can drive in and drive out uninterruptedly with interrupting their daily lives, so that what's we are doing. I think we will get some of the work done now and then we will try to get some done again later on."

Daniel Ortiz
"Will this causeway be able to hold up to the more serious floods like the one which had the villagers trapped for 3 months?"

Hon. Edmund Castro
"I think once we could do some of the work now and then later on in the year once the weather permits we do the other foot or two, I think we are right on target. Once we raise the causeway the required 3-4 feet I think we will not see the same type of situation that had occurred in previous years in the flood."

Daniel Ortiz
"Your critics have said that it took a death; the death of Mr. Benjamin Gentle for you as area rep. to make an effort to try and assist them with something that they've been requesting for months."

Hon. Edmund Castro
"I think that pure foolishness. If you deal with anybody that wants to be sensible, this has nothing to do with the young brother death. We had been working on the causeway for some time, we built the road to Blackburn in the back and what it's costing us now to raise the causeway now it would have cost us a lot less if we could have access to Blackburn."

Daniel Ortiz
"You are saying categorically that the death of Mr. Benjamin Gentle had nothing to do with this work that....."

Hon. Edmund Castro
"Not at all."

Daniel Ortiz
"Why not finish is all in this one swoop?"

Hon. Edmund Castro
"You didn't react the age of 30 in one day, so it's the same way. If we had all the money, we would have gotten everything done then nothing would have been left in this world to do."

Castro told us that he hopes that they will be able to raise the cause way by as much as 4 feet. As noted in the story, not all the works on the causeway will be finished on this first attempt. He tells us that he must oversee road works in all the other villages in his Belize Rural constituency, which numbers a total of 27 villages. They will attempted to do as much work as possible until next week, after which they will move to the Bomba Road, which Castro says is in dire condition.

Channel 7


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#495323 - 09/04/14 10:59 AM Re: At Last, Crooked Tree Causeway Set Straight [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Coast Guard Charged For Crooked Tree Lagoon Death

You may recall that on January 31st, the Crooked Tree Lagoon saw one of the worst boating accidents in memory. The Lagoon Causeway had been flooded for months, and the Coast Guard had been running a boat back and forth many times a day to get village residents from one side to the other. But on that day in January, one of the coast guard vessels crashed into the other – killing 20 year old Benjamin Gentle and injuring nine other students.

Today, over 7 months later, 49 year old Coast Guard Officer Whaine Williams was charged for manslaughter by negligence. Williams was arraigned in Court #1 before Magistrate Herbert Panton where he was unrepresented. It is an indictable offense, so no plea was taken from Williams and the court prosecutor had no objection to bail so Magistrate Panton offered him bail of $2,000 dollars plus one surety of the same amount which he met within 15 minutes of his arraignment. After the charge was read to him, Magistrate Panton said, “I could not help but question why you are before me on this charge.” He commented saying that “Weren’t you in the execution of your duties?” Nevertheless, the charge was read to him and tonight, Williams is home with his family. No other charges were levy against him although eight others were injured in the boat accident.

Channel 7


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