People often ask me to write to the paper about their pet peeves, or other “important” stuff,

like noisy water trucks in the hills, roosters crowing and dogs barking at 2 a.m., loose doggy poop, noisy nighttime high-speed boats, stinking sewers, and other things that even the government can’t do anything about.

I always tell them that if they feel strongly enough about the subject, and want to bring it to the attention of the wider public, then they should write in themselves. My writings are my own opinions and observations. After all, this is a serious newspaper, except for Editor Freeman Rogers’ column, and we can’t have the tone lowered by frivolous subjects (except some of mine, of course!).

Such as: Why is it necessary for a government minister to travel all the way to New Caledonia (in the far Pacific) for a conference, when the premier has said that travel is to be kept to a minimum? Did he travel in economy class?

Such as: Why do government ministers think they should get free parking at the airport? What a cheek! On their salaries, too!

Such as: Will those behemoth vehicles with the House of Assembly plates be passed on to any replacement members after the election, or will they disappear into private hands under new plates?

Such as: Why is Biwater looking for water? I can tell them where to find some: at the bottom of the “escalator.” I believe it is because the water pressure is too high, but the Water and Sewerage Department doesn’t appear to be attending to it.

Such as: When will the road resurfacing start? And is it to be laid in patches between the sections that have been left? Incidentally, I see Belize has just signed a contract for 23 miles of new surfaced roads for $20 million. I wonder how much road we get for our money?

I really do look forward to the day the new incinerator is working. The contract was signed in 2004. The events of the intervening years are too complex to go into in a family newspaper, but the design for the building, electrical, plumbing and so on was all done by a contract with a New York company. So I reckon installation, testing and commissioning should have taken about three months at the outside. (By qualified, experienced personnel, that is). Meanwhile, months go by and it’s coming soon, coming soon… . Would not a turnkey project have been much cheaper and quicker in the long run?

Sometimes one gets frustrated at the security requirements of banks, especially in this electronic, drug-fueled, terrorist age, but one can see why they are necessary.