Doing it themselves 

By Jenn Watt

Published May 1 2018

Y oung people are doing it for themselves in Haliburton and the results are promising.

Over the last several months teenagers have been organizing to create a space that is their own and can serve as a refuge from the pressures of life and school.

Called 705 Tribe the space on York Street is open Wednesdays after school until 7 p.m. and offers music food and a chance for people to come together when there is little else available to them.

The last year has been tumultuous for the area’s young people. From the death of Phoenix Acero a gregarious 14-year-old student at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School to the rising pressure from the community to end bullying for some the year has taken a toll.

One of the organizers of the space Seamus Lynch told the Echo that having a place to go after school breaks up what could be a solitary evening. But it also makes space for creativity and connection – two crucial components of any life but particularly teenagers’.

On a parallel track Point in Time and Haliburton Highlands Health Services has been doing work to secure some big grant funding to create a permanent youth hub for the community.

And this spring the new skate park in Haliburton is anticipated to be complete.

All three endeavours are looking to address the same problem – the lack of activities for youth.

For those who want to spend their evenings making music or even just making friends there needs to be something there for them.

Those who are creating something for themselves should feel proud of what they’ve accomplished so far and hopefully the parents friends and community members will continue to support them.

On Friday there will be a concert featuring local musicians Wescali Citizen X Hollows and River and Sage Christiano at the Rec Room at 7 p.m. Admission is $7.

Make a difference run for council

The nomination period is now open for those seeking municipal office. Anyone who wants to become a candidate needs to file the proper paperwork between now and July 27.

There is always a need for engaged passionate people to participate in the election process and further the local debate. New ideas and a fresh perspective can go a long way to keeping a community healthy.

You can make a big difference by being a municipal councillor. Local councils can decide to build a pool or build reserves. They adjust tax rates maintain and improve public parks decide how much to spend on roads libraries and paramedic services. They decide what to do with our trash how to make our towns more accessible and how to attract tourists to bring in dollars.

And their approval is needed for a plethora of building projects from condos and businesses to changes on private lots.

Council members matter. If you have something to contribute to the community consider running.

Municipal elections are held Oct. 22.