Small-Town America Has A Serious Drinking-Water Problem

On a sweltering day last July, a team of scientists stood before a crowded room of people from the tiny town of Sanders, Arizona, and showed them a photo of a dilapidated wooden shack covered by hole-filled tarps. This, the scientists explained, was the town’s water source.

Tonya Baloo, a longtime resident and mother of two, did a double take. “It looked like a Third World country,” she says. “I was like, ‘Is this Africa?’”

The well serving Sanders residents Chris Shuey

The researchers’ next image—a chart with a flat red line cutting through yellow bars—was even more worrisome. Tommy Rock, a Ph.D. candidate studying water contamination at Northern Arizona University, explained that the red line was the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold for uranium allowed in public water systems: 30 micrograms per liter. The yellow bars represented uranium levels in Sanders’ water supply dating back to 2003. They hovered around 50 micrograms per liter.

For more than a decade, the chart showed, people in Sanders had been drinking contaminated water.

Residents listened, dumbfounded. Sanders sits on the edge of the Navajo Nation; uranium mines, relics of the Cold War, have long dotted tribal lands across the West. Long-term exposure to the heavy metal can cause kidney disease and cancer. But locals had never been notified of the contamination. Nor were they aware of the nearly 200 drinking-water violations that the local utility had amassed over the previous decade, ranging from uranium and bacterial contamination to failure to test the water.

“The initial betrayal,” Baloo says. “It was shocking.”

Roughly 6 million Americans use one of 2,300 public water systems that qualify as “serious violators”; 99 percent of those utilities serve fewer than 50,000 people.

The meeting happened two months before researchers in Flint, Michigan, revealed that their city’s water was laced with lead. In both cases, curious scientists exposed years of drinking-water violations that affected predominantly poor, minority communities. (Most Sanders residents are Navajo and live on less than $20,000 per year.) But unlike urban Flint, Sanders is home to just 630 people and consists of a cluster of single-family homes, a gas station, a dollar store, two churches, and a trading post—all surrounded by miles of red rock and sage brush.

An aerial view of Sanders, Arizona Doc Searls/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

The town is one of thousands of rural communities across the country where water quality has quietly evaded federal health standards for years. Many small utilities simply cannot afford advanced water treatment technology, says Jeff Griffiths, a public health professor at Tufts University and a former adviser to the EPA on drinking water. (An inspection of the Sanders well in 2012, for example, found that “the owner pours an unapproved bleach product down the casing vent daily as the method of disinfection.”) According to EPA data, roughly 6 million Americans use one of 2,300 public water systems that qualify as “serious violators”—defined as having multiple, continuous, or serious health or reporting problems. Ninety-nine percent of those utilities serve fewer than 50,000 people. Together, they serve a population 25 times the size of Flint.

A week after Rock’s presentation, Sanders residents received a notice in the mail from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) informing them of the high uranium levels in the local water supply—a first since the contamination was reported to the state in 2003. Long-term exposure can increase the risk of kidney disease and cancer, it said, but the situation wasn’t an emergency. “You do NOT need to seek an alternate (for example, bottled or hauled) water supply,” it read. “The water remains safe to use until treatment is put into place.”

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Many residents, wary of the state’s assurances, avoided the water. Baloo brought her kids an hour away to her mom’s house for baths. Genevieve Lee, a 73-year-old retired teacher, resorted to eating canned food and taking sponge baths out of a bucket. She made 40-minute treks to Gallup, New Mexico, for water and often found herself wondering about the uranium’s impact. Did it contribute to her breast cancer in 2008? To her neighbor’s kidney disease?

Lee, Baloo, and others formed a water task force, petitioning for the town to connect to a nearby, well-maintained utility in the Navajo Nation. “All we think about is water,” Baloo told me this spring.

The hubbub led Sanders school system superintendent Dan Hute to test the schools’ water supply, which comes from a private well unaffiliated with Sanders’ water system; the water in Sanders elementary and middle schools was also contaminated. Hute tapped into school budgets to provide bottled water to roughly 500 students and 150 teachers. “I’ve gotten no help from anybody,” Hute told me earlier this spring. According to Rock, no local, state, or federal agency provided the town with bottled water or filters.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, utilities are required to notify their customers if water has contaminant levels above the EPA’s threshold. If they fail to do so, the law calls for the “primacy agency”—in Sanders’ case, the state—to intervene. After 30 days, the EPA steps in.

“These people have been drinking this for years. It’s not a short-term exposure. I’m a little baffled by their lack of concern.”

Though the policy sounds simple enough, the reality is far murkier. Dr. Bruce Macler, an EPA toxicologist who helped decide to tell Sanders residents that
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/06/rural-water-contamination-uranium-navajo-sanders/

This article has been updated.

 


Tip Of The Day….

As we continue to observe members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force display lax attitudes in the way they approach and apprehend suspects at the peril of their own lives , we continue to offer advise to members who interact with the public most frequently.
That usually falls on the junior officers.

Everything about this reeks “wrong

We also try to educate and inform the public on it’s rights and responsibilities when dealing with police officers.
Since it appears there is a crisis of leadership both at the junior and senior management levels of the JCF, we will continue to offer these tips with a view to helping officers understand that in order for them to protect others they must first learn to protect themselves.
Additionally it is important as well, that we continue to advise and educate the public to it’s responsibilities in this arrangement between itself and law enforcement.

This type of traffic stop is almost cartoon-like in it’s outdated and dangerous approach.

 Conduct professional, safe traffic stops.

  1. Remember your training. No traffic stop is routine. When conducting a stop, consider when and where to initiate the stop and the best location for the driver to stop.
  2. Notify the dispatcher. Make sure that the dispatcher knows your location and the stopped vehicle’s license, make and model before making contact with the driver.
  3. Create a safety lane for yourself. Be sure to offset your vehicle behind the stopped vehicle to create a safety lane. Turn tires out and consider a passenger side approach to contact the driver.
  4. Communication is critical. Remember that the first words spoken by an officer may very well determine the tone of the encounter and even the eventual outcome. Similarly, the last words are also very important and may be the basis of a lasting impression of the officer and agency.
  5. Stops at night or low light conditions: Use your takedown lights, and/or spot light to light the interior of the stopped vehicle. Placing the spot light directly into the rear view mirror of the stopped vehicle can help cover your approach.
  6. Pay attention to the verbal and physical cues from the driver. Excessive repetition of requests or instructions by the driver can be an indication of a problem, as is taking a long time to find documents such as driver’s license, registration or insurance card.
  7. Control the stop. You control that vehicle and its passengers for the duration of the stop. If you feel it is necessary, request assistance.Talk to you later..

Tip Of The Day..

Young people who crave excitement become gang members.
The media often glamorize the gang lifestyle. » Young people who cannot resist peer pressure may join because their friends are in gangs.
They may feel pressured to join to be part of the “in” crowd. » Young people who are fearful often feel that being a gang member will keep them safe.
If they are challenged by others, their gang/crew will help them retaliate because in the gang culture, no challenge goes unanswered.
Perversely, this idea of “safety” leads to increased violence. » Youth who do not understand the consequences do not fully understand the risks of being in a gang. Risks include arrest, physical assault and in some cases, death. » Young people are often recruited by older gang members to commit their criminal acts, because the adults feel that laws are more lenient on juveniles.
In Jamaica the laws are lenient on all criminals so the latter line does not apply. However lax law enforcement and a porous and delinquent justice system encourages and enhances the process of criminality and Gang activity it was designed to remedy.

Talk to you next time…

Tip Of The Day..

We continue to speak to the Jamaican Police about executing safe arrests , particularly in light of mounting evidence of proper protocols not being followed.

♦So the first order of business in executing an arrest is speed.
Once an offender is told in sharp , clear and concise language that he/she is under arrest , the next command must be , turn around and place your hands behind your back.
The reason for ordering the offender to  turn away from you the officer, and place his/her harm behind the back, is to mitigate potential harm to you the officer.
It also gives a clear indication right away to you the officer whether this offender intends to resist arrest or not.

♦ The next step is to move swiftly and decidedly to the offender and place him in handcuffs , always with hands cuffed behind the back.
If the offender is belligerent , argumentative , and non-compliant, officer/s must bring the offender to the ground and execute the arrest as swiftly as possible .
♦In executing an arrest there should be no circumstances in which an officer or two struggles with effecting an arrest while another officer is standing around like a casual observer.
In the event that happens the department should forthwith send that officer back for retraining ,or he or she should be dismissed from the service.

Bystanders who intervenes , obstructs, goads or otherwise interferes with an arrest must forthwith be placed under arrest and charged for obstructing Governmental Administration or Assisting the principal in resisting arrest depending on the statute.

(1) Where police fail to follow established guidelines in effecting safe arrests in Jamaica, and (2) the United States where some Police officers use the arrest process to exact revenge and retribution on arrestees for myriad reasons.
I believe there is a amicable middle ground .
As I said in a previous  article, when an offender is told to turn away from the arresting officer and place his hands behind the back of his head, it gives the arresting officer a chance to find out to a certain degree whether the offender intends to resist,
(unless that offender decides to play Possum) .
In which case the officer is trained to deal with that situation.
There is a middle ground which does not always have to include either polar opposites if executed correctly.
There is a grey area between Rambo brutes and incompetent wimps.

Tip Of The Day…

On issuing guidance to lower courts on the issue of Police Reasonable Force, the US Supreme Court’s  guidelines are as follows.

The Supreme Court cautioned courts examining excessive force claims that “the calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments–in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving–about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” The Court also stated that the use of force should be measured by what the officer knew at the scene, not by the “20/20 vision of hindsight” by a Monday-morning quarterback. In sum, the Court fashioned a realistically generous test for use of force lawsuits.

Jamaica is not governed by American law yet I thought I would use this guideline as a barometer of (1) How the most powerful court in the world sees and articulates this issue and (2) the guidance it gives to the court system in the United States as it relates to the latitude law enforcement should have in apprehending violent non-compliant offenders.

It must be said that the power to use all necessary force to subdue an offender must only be commensurate with the level of resistance, or just enough above, to gain control of the offender.
Immediately the subject is restrained and cuffed no physical force must be applied to the subject.
Any force applied to a cuffed offender who has stopped resisting is excessive force and outside of the guidelines given to law enforcement officers .

In fairness to the Jamaica Constabulary Force this policy has been the longstanding policy of the department for as long as I can remember.
Officers who approach subjects with the intent to arrest must be prepared to  engage in a struggle, no one wants to go to jail.
On that basis officers have a responsibility to themselves to protect their own lives .
Use the commensurate force and caution to secure the offender leave the gibberish to  the cynics, Monday-morning-quarterbacks and in Jamaica’s case the village lawyers.

Tip Of The Day..

Upon approaching your car, look to make sure no one is hiding in or around the vehicle, especially in the back seat. Check your tires for flats.  Keep windows rolled up, except for a small opening for ventilation and keep the doors locked at all times.

     Keep valuables secured in the trunk, not lying on the seat next to you. Put your purse on the floor of your car.  Plan your route before you leave. Displaying a map will send a message that you’re unfamiliar with the area.

Old Cast Iron Bridge, St. Catherine – Erected in 1801.

     When stopped in traffic, always leave enough space between your car and the one in front of you. This will allow you to pass easily, if neces­sary.  Keep your car well maintained and the gas tank at least half full to avoid getting stranded.

     Should you suspect that you are being followed, make several turns down active streets. If the vehicle continues to follow, head for the nearest police station, fire house, or open store. Avoid
driving to your home.  If someone attempts to force you off the road, remain calm and blow your horn continuously to attract attention. If forced off the road, stop, put your car in reverse and back away.

Tip Of The Day..

Police Officers

In the age of ubiquitous video and mushrooming oversight, how can you ensure that your use of force does not bring unwanted discredit upon you,and your  department?
Know the law, and comply with it.

“Where an officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to himself/herself, or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to use deadly force to stop that threat.

Rest in peace constable Leighton Hanson

Tip Of The Day..

STREET SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR SURVIVAL.

Halse hall great house clarendon
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts.  If you think you are in an area you should not be, you probably are.
  • Know where you’re going and the safest way to get there, particularly when moving about the city during hours of darkness. Walk/run in well-traveled, well-lit areas avoiding short cuts through alleys and parking lots.
  • Have a plan of action in mind.  Decide where you would go and what you would do should some dangerous situation occur.  Know where the nearest police/fire station is located, how to contact the police in the event of an emergency, what establishments are open late where you could seek refuge if needed, etc.
  • Walk with confidence on the street and at a good, steady pace.  Keep your head up, observe your surroundings, and don’t look down at the ground.
  • Carry a whistle or similar type of noisemaker.  In the event of an emergency, the sound may scare off a would-be attacker.
  • Take special care when jogging or biking.  Vary your route, go with a friend, and avoid isolated areas.
  • Do NOT wear headphones or listen to music.  These can distract you from being aware of your surroundings and who may be approaching you.
  • Keep purses and packages tucked securely between your arms and body. Don’t overload yourself with packages and bags – it is distracting and it can make you look defenseless.
  • Carry only what you need. Don’t carry a large amount of cash or numerous credit cards and avoid wearing flashy and excessive amounts of jewelry.
  • Exercise caution when using ATM machines. Only use ATMs located in well lit, well trafficked areas those physically located in stores are the safest.

If You are Being Followed:

  • Show you are suspicious and turn to look at the person.   It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
  • Change directions.   If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace.   If the person following you is in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Go into the nearest store or public place.   If the person follows you, ask to use (or find) a phone and call for help.   If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving.   If you have to scream (or blow your whistle) to draw attention to your situation, do it.

If You are Robbed:

  • DO NOT RESIST, especially if you know or believe the robber to be armed.  The best course of action is to hand over money and whatever other belongings are demanded as quickly as possible and try to disengage from this confrontational, and potentially dangerous.  Remember, belongings can always be replaced, but you cannot.
  • Try to remain calm.  Note the robber’s appearance and report the crime immediately to the police.
  • Talk to you soon..

Tip Of The Day…

HELPFUL POLICE SAFETY TIPS WHICH WILL  HELP PREVENT HAVING  YOUR HOME BURGLARIZED

Historic King’s House Jamaica , home of the Governor General.(adapted)
  • Invest in solid doors and good quality locks on doors and windows. This includes on all sliding glass doors as well. Make it not only difficult but also time consuming for a burglar to gain entry.
  • Whenever you go outside, lock the door and take the key with you, even if you are just stepping next door or out mowing the backyard.
  • Don’t put valuables where they can be seen from the window, especially items that can be easily carried.
  • Be sure your garage door can be secured. Do not leave it open when you are away, an empty garage broadcasts your absence.
  • When you aren’t home, set a timer set to turn interior lights on and off at varying intervals as though your home was still occupied.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or really valuable jewelry around the house.
  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the telephone, make the call yourself. Don’t invite them in.
  • Don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or under a flower pot. Thieves know all the good hiding places.
  • Plant thorny bushes under all windows. Trim back any trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be thieves.
  • Invest in a good security system along with motion sensor lights installed out of reach.
  • Don’t leave ladders outside. Keep any tools that could be used to break in your home safely locked away in a garage or shed.
  • Get a barking dog or “Beware of Dog” sign. If you own a dog and go out of town, have someone come in and care for your dog in your home.
  • Always double check doors at night and lock all windows.
  • Engrave all valuables such as stereos, microwaves, video cameras, with your driver’s license number. Videotape the contents of your home. Keep the video and the list of all valuables in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box.

Tip Of The Day..

Simple common sense approaches can save you a whole lot of headache and pain.
Leaving pocket-books, Jeweler boxes, or packages which appear to contain valuables is an open invitation for thieves to break into your vehicle, even if the containers are empty.

Thieves scouting out a group of automobiles will invariable chose to break into the one which has packages visible inside.
It does not matter that the package is empty.
Imagine credit cards, driver’s licence, and other personal documents which have all your personal information, including your home address in the hands of faceless strangers?
Even if they did not find anything, you will be left holding the bag for a smashed window or a damaged door-lock.

The Flat Bridge Bog Walk St Catherine…

Oh by the way, always lock your doors, no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is .
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity .
Talk to you next time.

Tip Of The Day..

If you are a pertinent witness in a case before the courts  it is important that you attend court. However it may sometimes be onerous for you to take day after day after day from work  to attend court .

The Rose Hall Great House a Jamaican attraction.

It may not be necessary to skip work , considering that cases within the Jamaican criminal courts move at a Snail’s pace.
In order not to lose your job or your sanity it may be a good idea to speak to the Investigating Officer handling the case, or the prosecuting Attorney.
Let them know that having to attend court even on days when the case will not begin trial is difficult and onerous for you.
The Investigating Officer has a responsibility to tell you when you will be needed definitively.
As a witness critical to a criminal case this will prevent you from loosing interest in moving forward.
It also helps to ensure that criminals are held accountable because you are not frustrated before the process even begins .
Talk to you next time.

 

Tip Of The Day

Crime thrives on acquiescence and fear.
FEAR
This means if you are deemed to be fearful those who smell the fear will keep taking advantage of you.
ACQUIESCENCE
This means you are seen as receptive, tolerant, or friendly to criminal conduct.

Across Jamaica and in communities in every country, criminals set up shop in places where residents show fear and demonstrate tolerance to crime.
This is particularly so when residents have options to report criminal activity yet chooses to remain silent.
You do not get a free pass from criminals simply because you remain silent.
Most criminals are cowardly predators who do not care who they exploit and abuse .
Today it’s someone else tomorrow it will be you.

Tip Of The Day

If you are apprehended by the Police even if you believe you are innocent or being unfairly treated, Cooperate as best you can with the Officer/s and submit to being ticketed or arrested.

You are not going to win a fight with someone who is empowered to take your life if you attack them.
You will have your day in Court where you will be allowed to air your grievance/s.
Additionally, there are Civil remedies available to you in the courts, you may be able to recover monetary damages if you are able to prove that you were wrongly arrested.
Do not be dead right…
Talk to you next time….

Tip Of The Day..

You can get rid of Police corruption by not offering Officers a bribe, and refusing to pay bribes.
Each Officer has a Regulation number ,if an Officer demand a bribe simply take note of his/her Regulation number and the Identifying marker of the vehicle he/she is driving and  make a report to the Relevant authority.

Police on Parade..

That does not mean you should try to destroy an Officer’s character by making false reports against an officer because you break the law and he/she apprehended you.
It is a crime to make a false report.

Talk to you next time…

Tip Of The Day..

When you visit Jamaica, enjoy our beautiful country, obey our laws .
Do not ask for drugs. Do not accompany anyone anywhere for drugs.

Dunns River Falls

If you live in Jamaica, avoid being forced into vehicles ,even if you are being forced at gunpoint.
In most cases if criminals want to take you away in a vehicle they have reservations about hurting you at the point of contact.
Your best chance is generally to take a stand right there.
Be safe until next time…

Tip Of The Day..

# 1 If you are travelling to Jamaica or live there, do not flash wads of cash in public, it is easy to do this because it requires lots of dollars to make purchases.
However for your own safety think about what you may need to spend and carry just enough with you.

#2 Travel in groups where possible …
Your security depends on you.

See you next time.

 

A Lot Of The Problems Jamaica Faces Are Wonderful Opportunities For A Tremendous New Beginning…

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Over the years I have written quite a bit about the need for the Government of Jamaica to fully harness the natural resources of our beautiful Island by designating them national parks and developing them accordingly. Though a relatively small land-mass Jamaica has a litany of beaches, mountain-range, waterfalls and other natural attractions which are unique only to Jamaica.
I have always believed that as our country struggle to find ways to deal with the economic conditions associated with our ever exploding population, harnessing all of the Island’s natural treasures for the benefit of the people is critical.
To date Jamaica is the 6th most populous country in the world, that situation is not likely to change for the better any time soon. Any plan which is intended to create wealth and prosperity must be comprised with the elimination of waste and corruption as well as taking full advantage of our national treasures even as we take care to preserve them for generations to come.
The concept of national parks is not a novel concept, it has been done throughout history in nations all across the globe. The United States has done a remarkable job of designating millions and millions of acres of land under the national parks program which has preserved the pristine nature of those hectares while generating income for the Federal Government and providing employment for hundreds of thousands of American citizens.

California's Yosemite Valley—with stunners such as El Capitan, at left, and the Merced River—inspired early European visitors to call for its protection.
California’s Yosemite Valley—with stunners such as El Capitan, at left, and the Merced River—inspired early European visitors to call for its protection.

 

The parks were born because in the mid-1800s a relatively small group of people had a vision—what writer Wallace Stegner has called “the best idea we ever had”—to make sure that America’s greatest natural treasures would belong to everyone and remain preserved forever. “Americans developed a national pride of the natural wonders in this nation and they believed that they rivaled the great castles and cathedrals of Europe,” explains David Barna, National Park Service Chief of Public Affairs.

Early Efforts

Yosemite was at the heart of America’s nascent national parks movement. The California valley’s splendor inspired some of its earliest European visitors to demand protection, even as settlers moved ceaselessly westward, “civilizing” the West and displacing native peoples. Elegant voices, like that of naturalist John Muir, brought the grandeur of such lands to those who had never seen them. His prolific and widely published writings stressed how such wild places were necessary for the soul, and his advocacy later became the driving force behind the creation of several national parks. Responding to such calls, Congress and President Abraham Lincoln put Yosemite under the protection of California during the Civil War. In 1872 Lincoln’s former general, President Ulysses S. Grant, made YellowstoneAmerica’s—and the world’s—first truly national park. More parks soon followed suit and, beginning in the late 19th century, cultural sites like Arizona’s prehistoric Casa Grande were honored as well.President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the park system’s greatest patrons. During his administration (1901-09) five new parks were created, as well as 18 national monuments, four national game refuges, 51 bird sanctuaries, and over 100 million acres (40 million hectares) of national forest. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/early-history/.

 

I was thrilled to see the new Administration in Kingston announce that a plan was being developed to have German help for Jamaica to develop parts of the Blue Mountain range into a national park. Though thrilled about the idea I believe the plan has not gone far enough in harnessing every treasure under the government’s control and developing them where possible into national parks.
It’s important that it be understood that a national park does not mean taking a piece of land and putting in fountains, flowers, and other niceties. In many cases the exact opposite is true. The idea is to maintain the natural pristine nature of the place with minimal changes necessary to make it attractive and a source of revenue for the Government and people for generations to come.

Jamaica To Get German Help To Develop National Park

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in seeking to address the continued problem of tourist harassment is contemplating legislation which would give the Courtesy Corp power of arrest as a means to cutting back on the harassment of visitors to our Island.
The Courtesy Corps a group of security officers which operates under the Tourism Product Development Company since it’s creation in 2009 would be a smiling, warm and friendly look, while at the same time have a strong and forceful hand to deal with situations as they arise,” if Bartlett gets his way.
The issue of National parks, Tourist harassment and the inevitable explosion of Cuba as a tourist destination in the near future offers the leadership in Kingston the opportunity to think big rather than trying to do piece-meal approaches.

What is the obsession with creating other police forces? How about a broader idea which includes a National Parks project taking into consideration the aforementioned reasons and designate the existing courtesy corp “park rangers”?
If we have learned anything from our experiences as Jamaicans it is that having more security guards does nothing to reduce crime. It’s hard to imagine any country with more security guards per square miles than Jamaica, yet we are right up there as one of the most violent, most murderous places on earth.

Rafting on the Martha Brae...
Rafting on the Martha Brae…

There seems to be an obsession with creating little pseudo police forces which accomplish precious little except to exacerbate the crime situation on the Island when the focus should be on upgrading and equipping our police force.
As a young constable, I spent a great deal of foot patrol hours in the resort towns of Ochi Rios, Negril, and  Montego Bay, dealing with the problem of harassment. Our efforts were a resounding success as it related to arresting and removing drug dealers and those who aggressively pushed trinkets on visitors while allowing vendors who obeyed the rules the opportunity to market their wares as they should to make a living.
The failure as it were must be owned by the business sector in these towns and the incompetent lazy Government which asked us to do the work while they banged on desks in Gordon House and bilked the nation’s coffers of its resources.
The business sector failed to use its influence to lobby the Government for tougher penalties for repeat offenders who were arrested selling drugs to tourists or who threatened visitors for not buying what they were selling.
The Government, incompetent and unconcerned did nothing about the issue either. In the end, the problem became too large, the courts were flooded with cases we had placed before them. The penalties for these offenses were certainly worth ignoring when stacked against the potential gains.

Rafting on the Martha Brae...
Bamboo Avenue…

In the end travel companies guided their clients to all-inclusive resorts which literally cut out the local population from deriving any direct benefit from the tourism trade. It happened because Jamaicans kept electing incompetent hustlers and con-men/women who lack vision to make decisions on their behalf.
All of these issues must be looked at in a broader context which creates exciting new possibilities for our small nation only if we are able to look at the big finished  picture instead of the little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
Who will begin the slow tedious work of creating the masterpiece Jamaica was destined to be?