Live Blog/Video: SDO Debate [No Vote]

March 18, 2011

[Updated - no vote to be taken] Senators are expected to debate the Tucker’s Point SDO today [Mar.18], and both CURB and BEST called for residents to come to the Cabinet Building grounds to “quietly protest the Tuckers Point SDO.”

Updates will be posted through the day, with the most recent on top, press ‘F5′ key to refresh:

Update 9:00am March 19: Statement from BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward:

Hooray for this partial victory.

We appreciate the Senators who went the extra mile to become more informed and encourage them to assert their right to be fully informed on every aspect of this matter before resuming this debate.

As this SDO proposes to remove acres with a value of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars from the pbulic’s bank of protected conservation lands, we would recommend they have an independent environmental advisor (that is someone not connected to either TPC or the government) to assist them in asking the right environmental questions and evaluating the answers, and an independent financial advisor to assist them in asking and evaluating answers to the right financial questions.

Update 12:00am: After the debate ended, Senator Michael Dunkley [UBP] said:

We are pleased that common sense has prevailed and now we can work on a position that all sides can live with. As I stressed over and over again when I spoke…it is about balance and finding a position that works for us all. We commend the government for the opportunity to rise and report progress and we look forward to finding a solution that is best for Bermuda.

Update 11:37pm: Senator Burt [PLP] who was the one to “rise and report” which stopped the debate/vote, said it was done after liasing with the Premier, Environment Minister Walter Roban, Tourism & Business Minister Patrice Minors and Government Senate Leader David Burch.

The considered position having liaised with the Premier, Min. Roban,Min. Minors and the Senate Government Leader was that the better view was to rise, and report progress. We listened. This way we give an option for all the parties to reflect and to review their position.

Update 10:11pm: With the SDO now in a state of limbo, it is unclear what will happen with the plan for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to become the property’s operator. In a previous statement, Tucker’s Point said, “Not only is approval of the SDO critical to the financial viability of Tucker’s Point, it is a condition for finalizing the agreement with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.”

Update 9:35pm: Senator Burt [PLP] interrupts, and asks to rise and report progress, meaning that the SDO will not be put to Senate vote tonight. The debate has ended. The SDO can be brought back to the Senate for a vote, although it is unclear at this time if it will.

Senator Kim Wilson [PLP], and Senator Carol Ann Bassett [Independent] were the last two left to speak. The PLP were expected to vote for the SDO, and UBP against, meaning the SDO needed one Independent Senator to support it for it to pass.

Independent Walwyn Hughes said he would not support it, as did Senator Joan Dillas Wright [who had been whispered by some to be the independent who might have voted for the SDO] leaving Senate President Carol Ann Bassett to be the deciding vote. The PLP’s stopping of the vote could be taken as an indication of the way they felt Senator Bassett would have went although there has been no official statement on the matter.

Update 9:30pm: Senator Atherden says she will not support the SDO, talks about unsold properties at Tucker’s Point now. Says its tied into a financial issue. Says its not a “national priority.” Says it is a business problem being turned into Bermuda’s problem.

Update 9:17pm: Senator Burch finishes, Senator Jeanne Atherden [UBP] starts. Senator Wilson [PLP], and Senator Bassett [Independent] are left to speak. Senator Bassett would be considered the swing vote, as the other two independents have said they will not support the SDO.

Update 9:13pm: Senator Burch said he has been inundated with emails, 98 to date. Says he will vote for the SDO as “national interests outweigh his misgivings.”

Update 9:11pm: UBP Leader Kim.Swan, who has been in the Senate Chambers during the debate, said, “Land for future generations need to be protected against the loss of important woodland reserve for predominately residential development. One of the last forested areas in Bermuda which also sits on top of irreplaceable and significant caves.”

Update 9:07pm: Senator Burch says the same people who said the Government it too stuck in the past and pulls the “race card”, are now imploring the Senate to turn it down for historical aspects. Said “mercy” and called it disingenuous.

Update 8:59pm: Senator Burch says international business and tourism will be the pillars of the economy for years to come. Says Government has demonstrated that they are willing to make difficult decisions to save tourism. Syas his support is “not without reservations,” but says as it is approval-in-principle requiring final approval from planning is a good safeguard.

Update 8:59pm: Senator Shakir spoke for almost an hour, now finished. Senator David Burch [PLP] begins. Talks about the open process for the SDO, saying it is the first time.

Update 8:57pm: Senator Shakir is still speaking, says “if it means getting put out of the House thats how serious this thing is.”

Update 8:38pm: Senator Shakir said to make a decision on the SDO we shouldn’t have to think of historical aspects. Says an “emotional debate is a dangerous debate.” Refers to Talbot Brothers who were removed from Tucker’s Town, says they moved to Smiths parish, and later on were back in Tucker’s Town performing for guests.

Update 8:35pm: 4 left to speak: Senator Burch [PLP], Senator Wilson [PLP], Senator Atherden [UBP] and Senator Bassett [Independent]. Senator Bassett is considered the swing vote. MPs continue to come into the Senate Chamber – UBP Leader Kim.Swan, Minister Glenn Blakeney and more.

Update 8:28pm: Senator Shakir says we have to protect tourism. Says “what outstrips environment to me, is sustainability.” Speaking in general terms, is asked to “get back to focus” on the SDO. Senator Shakir says “if he has to be put out of the House” he will. Says he has been getting “disturbed” all day by people honking horns, as someone had signs out saying to honk.

Update 8:15pm: Senator Shakir references Jim Woolridge multiple times, the third Senator to do so during the debate.

Update 8:09pm: Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser finishes, Senator Cromwell Shakir [PLP] begins. MP Walter Lister is welcomed in the Senate Chamber.

Update 8:03pm: Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser continues to speak, she is touching on various environmental matters including caves and animal life. Says she “cannot support the SDO.” Says she “wishes for the success of Tucker’s Point, but not at the expense of something we cannot replace.:

Update 8:00pm: In addition to the Premier, MPs have stopped in the Senate Chamber including Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, Tourism & Business Minister Patrice Minors, and Minister of Justice & Attorney General Michael Scott.

Update 7:55pm: So far Senator David Burt and Senator Laverne Furbert have spoken for the PLP, Senator Michael Dunkley and Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser for the UBP, and Independent Senators Joan Dillas Wright and Walwyn Hughes. Left to speak are Senators Burch, Wilson and Shakir for the PLP, Senator Atherden for the UBP, and Senate President Carol Bassett, an Independent. If the UBP/PLP vote in a block as predicted to, it would appear that Independent Senator Carol Ann Bassett must vote for the SDO for it to pass.

Update 7:48pm: Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser says Tucker’s Point is in “serious financial difficulties” and they were upfront with them about that. Says if the previous SDOs were successful, they wouldn’t be there today.

Update 7:41pm: Senate President acknowledges presence of Premier Paula Cox in the gallery. Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser [UBP] starts speaking. Majority of the demonstrators have left, and ones remaining appear to be packing up [photo].

Update 7:37pm: Senator Joan Dillas Wright said she is “not prepared to support the SDO”. This means assuming the PLP/UBP Senators vote as expected, Senate President Carol Bassett must vote for the SDO for it to pass.

Update 7:19pm: Senator Furbert finishes, Independent Senator Joan Dillas Wright starts. Says this is Tucker’s Point 3rd SDO. She is considered to be a key swing voter.

Update 7:10pm: Senator Furbert says CURB needs to do their research. Says CURB is supposed to deal with those who practice racism, and said its “not people that look like me”. She said it does not make sense to”bring in black speakers from Africa”, and does not finish as the Senator is interrupted by the Senate President and asked to stay on the SDO topic. Senator Furbert said she is. Senator Furbert says she read extensively on the topic, and supports the SDO.

Update 7:02pm: Senator Furbert says what “really annoyed” her, was when CURB said the SDO was “a slap in the face” to the descendants of Tucker’s Town. The Senator said “they were slapped in their face a long time ago.” Mentions that white people lived there too.

Update 6:51pm: Senator Furbert references her son, an environmentalist, who has written three books on the environment. She said he has a masters degree in a related field, and will soon receive his doctorate. Quotes from an article he wrote about the SDO. Says he speaks from a position of authority, but some have dismissed him as he is her son.

Update 6:50pm: Senator Furbert speaks to the historical aspects, says that Tucker’s Town and Tucker’s Point are two different things, and some people confuse them. Says many of the people who left the area were not in the exact Tucker’s Point area, but in varied places in Tucker’s Town.

Update 6:40pm: Senator Hughes has finished, Senator Laverne Furbert [PLP] starts speaking. Senator Furbert addresses suggestions made by the two previous Senators that Government has not listened to the people. She says when she came in this morning, she saw Tucker;s Point employees. Says “when we talk about the public, what public are we talking about.” Talks about all the emails received, says some were sent by civil servants using their dot gov email address, and said that would have been different before 1998.

Update 6:20pm: A breakdown of the voting:

  • There are 11 Senators, 5 PLP, 3 UBP and 3 Independents, and the SDO needs 6 votes to pass.
  • The SDO has already passed in the House of Assembly, with PLP MPs for and UBP MPs against.
  • The PLP Senators [5] are Lt. Col. David Burch, Kim Wilson, David Burt, Cromwell Shakir, and Laverne Furbert
  • The UBP Senators [3] are Jeanne Atherden, Michael Dunkley, and Suzann Roberts Holshouser
  • The Independent Senators [3] are Carol Bassett, Walwyn Hughes, and Joan Dillas-Wright
  • The PLP Senators are predicted to be voting in favour, UBP Senators are predicted to vote against
  • The Independents are considered by pundits to be the unknown quantity, and the key votes
  • Assuming the PLP/UBP vote as expected, only one Independent vote is needed for the bill to pass

Update 6:15pm: Senator Dunkley finishes, Independent Senator Walwyn Hughes starts speaking, indicates he wil not support SDO.

Update 5:48pm: Tucker’s Point President Ed Trippe is on the Cabinet grounds.

Update 5:36pm:Senator Dunkley speaks on historical aspects, and says “if the shoe was on other foot,” the PLP would focus on it with “lazer like” effort. Says a “certain Government race relations consultant” used to take people to Tucker’s Town to show them the graveyard, but has now “lost his tongue”. Senator Dunkley said he “find that interesting.”

Update 5:29pm: Senator Burt has finished, and Senator Michael Dunkley [UBP] starts. Commends Government for handling SDO in a public manner, however says the public has spoken. Thanks a number of people including BEST and Tucker’s Point. Speaks on foreign ownership of hotel, says we need to make sure global investors understand we are “open for business.” Speaks on environment, says we must have “balance”.

Update 5:25pm: Senator Burt [PLP] decision will “not make us any new friends no matter how we vote.” Said must consider all people when making decisions. Said debate represesents “historic” openness, and SDO is in-principle only, and carries “stringent conditions.”

Update 5:18pm: Live video stream from the Cabinet grounds, which as the SDO debate is being broadcast outside, also includes audio feed of the SDO debate from the Senate. [Live stream over, replay of first 45 mins is available below]

Update 5:00pm: The SDO debate is beginning, PLP Senator Burt says he introduces the bill “with pride because the steps we are taking today are unprecedented in the history of the Legislature. Never before has any Government of these islands tabled for debate and for public scrutiny a Special Development Order.” You can listen on the radio [89.1]. He references the volume of emails received and the demonstrators today, before talking on the SDO.

Update 4:58pm: Demonstrators are gathering on the Cabinet grounds again [photo]

Update 4:30pm: Senators are still debating aspects of the budget. It is anticipated that the SDO debate will start after 5/5:15pm.

Update 4:15pm: Photo gallery from this morning’s demonstration. Click to enlarge photos:

Update 3:35pm: Full 90 minute replay of this morning’s webcast, which footage from approximately 9am to 10:30am. The webcast starts out by showing the Tucker’s Point group walking into the Cabinet Grounds carrying signs to show support for the SDO, then shows the arrival of all the Senators, a brief interview with BEST Chairman Stuart Best, crowd shots and more.

Update 3:06pm: 4 minute video of the presentation at 1pm by Frances Eddy, who said she would like to “speak for her great, great grandmother Dinna Smith, who famously refused to give up her land. She has a farm, she was a farmer. Her voice, her protest was squashed. I don’t think she even received remuneration in the end for her land.” Ms Eddy said she is not asking to reclaim land, but to ask people to be conscious of the history.

Update 1:26pm: Live 40 minute webcast replay now available above of all the speeches made. The first few minutes show preparation, the scene etc., with the speeches started about 6/7 minutes in.

Update 1:10pm: Speeches are over, organisers invite everyone to come back at 5pm to listen outside as the Senate debates the SDO. The replay of the live stream will be available shortly.

Update 1:07pm: BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward [pictured below] is speaking, saying “they own the land, but we own the zoning” and calling for the land to be protected. He commended the Government for bringing the SDO to the legislature, noting it is the first time it has happened. He said that the Minister has turned the decision over, but not the financials, which Mr Hayward called “cock eyed”, and to make an informed decision, one needs all applicable information.

stuart hayward sdo speech

Update 1:00pm: Ray Charlton is speaking, he notes that it is a nice day today, and said thats what they are trying to protect – Bermuda’s natural beauty, not bail out foreign investors. Mr Charlton says finances indicate that Tucker’s Point will likely go into receivership anyway down the road, and this is just a bailout. He asked “Will the tourists come here when all the trees are cut down?”.

Update 12:59pm: Crowd photo taken 2 minutes ago.

sdo protest 345

Update 12:55pm: Lynne Winfield of the anti-racism group CURB is speaking. Says their objection is not environmental, but historical. Holding a sign saying “not this time”, Frances Eddy of CURB is talking about one of her ancestors Dinna Smith who was one of the 400 families removed, and said that the families were “forced out.” She said she is not asking to reclaim land or anything similar, but to ask people to be conscious of the history.

Update 12:50pm: Deputy Chairman of the Tucker’s Town Historical Society Denny Richardson is speaking, he said “you as a people have to do whats right by each other.” He appealed to all of Bermuda to “come out and take a position of strength.”

Update 12:45pm: All three UBP Senators spoke briefly, and thanked everyone for coming. Quick 18 second video of UBP Senator Michael Dunkley addressing the crowd:

Update 12:31pm: We are back live streaming video, available above. Speeches are due to start.

Update 12:15pm: A crowd is starting to gather on the Cabinet Grounds again.

Update 12:10pm: Organisers say the online petition against the SDO is still open for signing. To date it has over 2,000 signatures. Link here.

Update 11:51am: Organisers are encouraging people to gather at the Cabinet grounds at 5 pm, when the Senate is expected to start debating the SDO, which will be broadcast to those gathered on the grounds.

Update 11:20am: Quick video of Tucker’s Point staff chanting “Yes to SDO”

Update 11:00am: Audio clip of Ray Charlton, who referenced the Tucker’s Point staff who came to the demonstration, explaining that those against the SDO  are “in favour of their jobs, in favour of tourism, and wish them all the best, but we don’t think this is the answer.” Mr Charlton also spoke on the financial and environmental aspects. Listen here

Update 10:50am: The live webcast replay is now available above, about 90 mins of footage from approx. 9am – 10:30am.

Update 10:16am: The pro-SDO demonstrators from Tucker’s Point have left, and a few dozen people remain and the scene is much quieter. We will be hopefully be back live streaming the planned speeches at lunchtime.

Update 10:11am: Audio clip of Tucker’s Point Night Manager Sean Pitcher, who previously wrote a letter of support for the SDO, speaking on why the staff came out this morning, saying “they are concerned for their jobs,” and want the Senators to vote yes for the SDO. Listen here.

Update 10:06am: The Tucker’s Point group is getting on a bus. A few Police officers are visible as well. Live video stopped temporarily while we switch cameras.

Update 9:57am: The Tucker’s Point group appear to be leaving, and were just chanting “Save the SDO, save our jobs, save tourism.” They are standing on Front Street now.

Update 9:40am: Senators continue to arrive, most being greeted with applause as they come in. Premier Paula Cox has just left the Cabinet building.

Update 9:28am: BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward is now speaking with us on video, as seen above, and said he is pleased to see so many people turn out. He said at 5pm some of them will go into listen to the debate. Mr Hayward said he hopes the Senators do the right thing. While we were talking with Mr Hayward, three more Senators arrived. UBP Senator Michael Dunkley stopped to talked to some who were gathered.

dunk sen sdo

Update 9:24am: PLP Senator Laverne Furbert is the first Senator to arrive [photo], applause can be heard as she walks in.

Update 9:20am: There are people across the street of the Cabinet office with signs saying “Honk no to SDO.” Video here.

Update 9:05am: Quick video spanning the pro-SDO demonstrators from Tucker’s Point here.

Update 9:00am: Tucker’s Point President Mr Ed Trippe arrived along with approximately 30 persons on a bus, carrying signs supporting the SDO and a Tucker’s Point banner. Last night BEST said they had “been informed that Tuckers Point plans to ferry paid employees of the hotel with placards to the Cabinet Building tomorrow,” and a spokesperson for Tucker’s Point said, “Tucker’s Point employees who want to show their support are going to be present at the Cabinet Building tomorrow – very peacefully.” Short video of group standing on Cabinet grounds here.

sdo march 2]

sdo march 18 1

Update 8:45am: People are starting to filter on the Cabinet grounds, many carrying signs.

sdo protest march 18

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  1. Tuckers Point SDO « "Catch a fire" | March 18, 2011
  1. Chart says:

    Good luck getting any service at TPC this morning; they required all their Bermudian employees to attend the Cabinet counter protest.

    • La Garza says:

      TPC pays them so why should you question it? It’s not a public service and surely they have staff there now operating the hotel while others lobby for their jobs.

      • in the know says:

        As TPC employee – WE WERE not required to attend – it was a personal choice. We left at 10:15 to go and attend our jobs as unlike the rich, retired, anti SDO protestors – we have jobs to do

        • Watching! says:

          No disrespect but you will not lose your jobs! Belmont staff are still there except for the owner and one associated with real estate. If hotel goes up for sale it will go as a going concern and they will need you to continue the good service that you are providing.

  2. Been Watchin says:

    “Senators Save Our Jobs! YES TO SDO”; “TOURISM NEEDS GROW! Clear to see……”

    Job losses weren’t an issue to the former Tourism Minister/Premier of Bermuda when he displaced those Bermudians who were employed in the NY Tourism Office, and they were the ambassadors to Bermuda. Let’s hope those 3 Independent Senators also think beyond job losses and vote “NO to the SDO!”

    • LOL (original) says:

      Are not two of the independent Senators former PLP people how “independent” are they. This is a joke…..

      LOL

    • Cleancut says:

      Yes! Save these people! they will loose millions if the SDO is not passed. the TP is a business and they are there to make money, potential buyers are in waiting,and shareholders are in waiting! save these people! the worst case scenario, at least the share holders of TP can walk away without loosing a penny.

  3. Ed says:

    Thank you for the live coverage.

  4. Interesting says:

    I think more buildings will take away the meaning of what Bermuda should be- Leave the natural space and trees. All this concrete will make it worse. I love Tuckers Point, very pretty and the staff are great but I think there has to be another way for tourist to enjoy your facility. Either way people will be upset over the decision. Enjoy your day everyone, remember we all have to live on this wonderful island so let’s treat it good and respect it.
    Have a good one.

  5. Sarah says:

    It’s not too late to sign the petition against!
    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43111.html

  6. Linda says:

    I am sorry didn’t Mr. Tripp say that the hotel was doing well and that we are not going anywhere blah, blah, blah …With that said why do these people think they will lose there jobs. I think Mr. Tripp has gotten himself into some deep doo doo with investors. He does not give a rats tail about Bermuda or its people.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Yes interseting point have the employees been told they will lose their jobs?

      LOL

  7. Seriously?! says:

    It will be a travesty to all Bermudians if this SDO is passed. And passing it will not necessarily save jobs – that is pure spin from TPC management. If it passes, I hope everyone remembers that at the next election.

  8. Margaret says:

    Just find it very odd that Sean Pitcher would start a new job last week at TPR as the night manager, when TPR is bordering on receivership . . . common knowledge from the past year . . . and this SDO if not passed he claims that will be responsible for him losing his job???
    So he must know his job is secure to accept employment there no matter what the outcome or he’s not as bright as I thought he was. And to think I high had high hopes for this BDA founder, well not now.

    • Been Watchin says:

      In the Bda Sun (March 16th) Sean Pitcher stated, “My livelihood (and home) depend on the passage of this SDO.” His letter indicates a sign of desperation on his part. He also made the comment, “We need less people with more, as opposed to more people with less.” and was referring to billionaires and millionaires as opposed to ordinary tourists. His statement reminds me of the PLP politicians who, since obtaining power, have acquired so much more than the average citizens of Bermuda have acquired in a lifetime.

      • Rockfish says:

        Sounds like he aligined himself POLITICALLY…

  9. Done Deal says:

    I am personally against the SDO, however I believe the SDO will pass with at least one (1) independent voting in favor. Final tally will be six in favor to five against.

    • PEPPER says:

      Has any one else noticed how many times Lavern Furbert uses “you know ” she is on the radio discussing the S.D.O. so far she has said “you know” thirteen times !!!!!!!!

  10. Terry says:

    Well….Like old Jimmy Boofah says…..It’s Five ‘O’Senators somewhere……

    Bottoms up…..

  11. Done Deal says:

    @ Margaret. Your statement re Sean Pitcher is incorrect. Sean has been employed as night manager at TPR since mid 2010. Please check your ‘facts’.

    • Terry says:

      Yeah..so what Done Deal. Not even a year and he knows it all. Probabley the Night Auditor too. Apparently the new Public Relations Manager also.

      Money money money money………

      “SDO” ….Sean Does Obfuscation

      • Spelling Lessons says:

        Hi Terry,

        It’s ‘probably’, but I guess you make up for that in spelling Hayward. Stones, glass houses………… Obfuscation must have really been a stretch for you. Either that or the thesaurus has been working overtime. Do us all a favour and SDO – Shut your Damn Orafice

    • Still Recent says:

      Mid 2010 isn’t last week but it sure is very recent – not even a year!

    • Margaret says:

      I’m only repeating what I heard on the Everest DaCosta tlk radio show . . . even Mr. DaCosta was surprised & made a comment about that! Perhaps, then he was just promoted to Night Manager???

  12. Weldon Wade says:

    Love Frances Eddy. Thank you so much for the live feed Bernews. No to SDO.

  13. pipsqueak says:

    Do you really think that the PLP give a damn, they’re “Running Bermuda” their way.
    The death-knoll sounded the day they were elected, either join them or boot-them-out at the next election. “Be careful of what you wish for!!!”
    Have a great Bermudaful Day!

  14. Questions answered says:

    So thats the answer! Caves, Trees, Birds and a questionable land develpment deal. I’ve waited a couple years to find out the answer and here it is above – in color photographs.

    The question was: What type of ‘National concern’ does it take to cause the upper-middle class, white-Bermudian, fortunate people of this island to publicly march/demonstrate and express concern to media and Government.

    This seems rather sickening considering the level of poverty, violence, death, guns, gangs and other incivilities that plague our island every second, every day.

    Ahhh….. The joys of being Bermudian & middle-class. ‘Gather the troops! There is an SDO in progress that we must stop. This is the most important thing thats hurting our island!! GO GO GO!!’

    Despite being an honorable and diverse example of democracy this SDO demonstation, from my very narrow perception regarding what wealthy people feel is important vs what is really hurting Bermuda, is asinine.

    I also can’t concede that it is impractical or irrelevant for Frances Eddy or Stuart Heyward et al. to attend anti-gang rallies etc. They are articulate, well organised and reletively grounded people. Its just a shame they are emotionally fueled by speculative matters concerning caves and trees, rather than ongoing matters involving illiterate Bermudian boys selling drugs and killing each other.

    Chew on that for a bit. You can hate it- but you can’t deny it.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Question for you,

      How long will the hate/ lack of trust / unwillingness to see any issue for the issue and not boil everything down to black vs white benifit the island? Personally I’m against the SDO because I do not see this getting TPR out of debt and thus falling into recievership anyway. Trees produce oxygen which at least I need to breath. Oxgyen is used to promote healing of the body and has regenrating effects so in my book trees are alway a good thing. Birds cherping also has a relaxing effect along with other sounds the natral enviroment make. If people are unknowingly benifiting from these this ask yourself this where these boys as you put it comming from are trees and a natral enviroment present in these areas? This coupled with some of their soco econmic situations (note I said some)and congestion of over populated areas are contributing factors to what is happening to the island IMO of course.

      As to F. Eddie and S.Heyward they are enviromentalist yes BEST is an enviromental group is it not? If they believe the enviroment is a contributing factor to peoples behavior like I do then they are already doing what they know best for your above concern. It could be that you just done see it that way.

      LOL People deal with things differently and it take all types to come together for the Big Picture. “You can hate it- but you can’t deny it.”

      • LOL (original) says:

        see terry for the spelling on Hayward I also followed Question spelling apologies

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      Bitter are we? Save some money and maybe one day you can achieve being upper-middle class instead of wasing it on the latest cell phone to hit the market.

    • My two cents says:

      “They are articulate, well organised and reletively grounded people. Its just a shame they are emotionally fueled by speculative matters concerning caves and trees, rather than ongoing matters involving illiterate Bermudian boys selling drugs and killing each other.”

      Why do you feel like you can tell other people what they should and should not be protesting about? Seems very odd and illogical. We live in a society in which you can do such things freely. Did you organize a protest when the government cut funding to the police squad which will DIRECTLY affect fighting crime? Hmmm, I didn’t quite think so.

    • Who will listen says:

      Protesting an SDO has nothing to do with color or money…. unfortunately that’s why the poorest people live in the least desirable conditions. The needs required for survival and lack of foresight are the consequences of land, habitat and ecoystem loss not being considered.

      As far as protesting for other “national concerns”, the majority of the people of color on the Rock, who also support the current government, would not listen to anyone who doesn’t look like them anyway. There would still be talk of how dare they try to speak out against all of this black on black crime and killing.

      Damn if they do, Damned if they don’t…. Protect the land, if you can’t help the people…

      And yes, I am a person of color born and raised on the Rock…

      I am so thankful for an open mind.

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m quite impressed at the turnout. It’s good to see that apathy isn’t complete in the community.
    As for “Questions Answered”, it’s naive to assume that everyone there is upper middle class or wealthy. Speaking as the organiser of the petition, I can tell you that I live on the poverty line, and I can guarantee that I’m not the only poor person opposed to this. You will note that the protesting increased around lunch time and will probably increase after work when the “average” Bermudian can attend.
    How does one picket or petition for gangs to stop using guns and quit the violence? Who would we picket to protest against that? The same activism isn’t relevant across all problems, and honestly from my perspective, the problem isn’t awareness of the gangs/drugs/violence problem, it’s how can we possibly stop it? Gangs aren’t going to care about protesters, the police are doing everything they can, Bermuda is aware of the existence of Crimestoppers and unwilling to utilise it to the greatest extent needed….
    Another thing to consider is that this SDO, while political, is less likely to come back to harm someone for supporting/protesting it than a protest about gangs, poverty, and the more dangerous or contentious issues. We have a lot of progress to make as an island.

    • LOL (original) says:

      I guess we should be protesting to ourselves the public of Bermuda about the crime we allow to happen??????????

      LOL

  16. Terry says:

    Questions, ..If you have a problem with drugs/dealers et al, this is not the time nor place for it. Contact your local MP and voice or LTE.

    As for “caves and trees”…….At this rate, with all your monies you can travel the world ( US is closer) and be guided through all these things at a price; plus airfare, hotels, et al.

    IT’S FREEKING FREE in Bermuda, with limitations.

    The more I read about the “Demise of Bermuda” the more I realise it’s more about “Whats in your wallet”.

    Shark Hole hill and it’s surrounding greenage will never be the same once ‘Guppies’ like you create your own landfill.

    And by the way, it’s Hayward not “Heyward”.

    (Note too self…..Look up ‘wayward/weyward’)

  17. Watching! says:

    Given the history of TPC, voting in favor of the SDO must be killing Senator Furbert!

    • Jim Garlic says:

      Not likely mate…Shes’ fearless, not even the preditable detrimental effects of smoking is a deterent to this most intelligent, outspoken and beautiful Senator..

  18. Robert Bryce says:

    One day in the not so distant future the PLP Government and Senators will realize they were totally outsmarted and played by Ed Trippe. Nothing new really , they were outsmarted and played by the ex Premier for the last 4.

    • Cleancut says:

      And in both cases MILLIONS of dollars are involved.

  19. Julie says:

    When the dusts settles over Bermuda from all the gun and drug violence, as mentioned previously…what’s going to be left?

    Those trees,caves and birds or more concrete?

  20. Watching! says:

    SDO will pass so wonder what the reaction will be? Newstead staff still have their jobs despite receivership. Should this not pass and TPC go into receivership, the only jobs that will be lost will be that of Tripp, just as Mr Petty did. They are using the jobs as an excuse!! The owners and shareholders have all to lose!

    Reading comments by Sen. Furbert, she is saying that the two properties are separate! Wow, what a sell out to our own people. Last time I checked, the grave site was right, smack in the middle of the golf course!

  21. Robert Bryce says:

    For the Premier to arrive and sit in the public gallery at such a time shows the depths to which this Government is going to go. I am now thinking it will be poetic justice for the SDO to pass. After all to give land taken from people who represent the majority of the population and give it to the minority can only be right.

  22. Sarah says:

    “Senator Shakir said to make a decision on the SDO we shouldn’t have to think of historical aspects.”
    What.The.****. Respectfully, Senator, you are so wrong. In ANY debate, we should consider ALL aspects of the issue at hand. To ignore history is dangerous, and your statement short-sighted. Wow.

    • Watching! says:

      Does that surprise you? It is the muppet show and the masters are pulling the strings! What a bunch of disgraceful group of representatives! There is more to this than meets the eye! This SDO will only bail out a failing business model. When TPC first opened their doors they thought they would come and did not want anyone’s help! When no one bought into the expensive model they came back crawling and begging for help! Tripp will lose the business and the hotel will be bought by a chain that can make it work without having to add more real estate? TPC will not lose their jobs.

      • Sarah says:

        Of course it doesn’t surprise me, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth commenting on. The whole vote is a sham and TP will fail.

        • Watching! says:

          I agree but the current model has already failed! They came into the market thinking that they would corner the elite market. That failed miserably. A new buyer with a more realistic business model can make it work. SDO is bailing them out, plain and simple!

    • Jim Garlic says:

      Remember Senator Shakir is by profession a barber,What do they do? Shave off the past and start afresh …You Know new growth.. Just another day on the J.O.B….. Shame,,,shame,,,shame….

  23. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    Hope the VOTE IS A CLEAR NO^^

    • Watching! says:

      Unfortunately it will be a yes! The swing vote is left in the hands of Sen. Bassett who was put there by the PLP! With MP’s watching I cannot see her growing a pair and voting against it. She stands to lose her seat. Pressure is on. Having said that I am also hopping that she does what is right and maybe she will.

      People need to understand that jobs will not be lost. Only Trippe and other owners lose the right to own, like Petty. Staff loss is a scare monger. tPC will and can be bought by a chain that can change the business model to be successful.

      • Actually says:

        Actually Sen. Bassett is appointed by HE The Governor as per the Constitution. She is not a PLP appointee at all. All 3 Independent Senators are appointed by the Governor.

      • RobbieM says:

        She will not lose her seat. She is an independant Senator appoint by the GOVERNOR of Bermuda!

        • Watching! says:

          Then I stand corrected! But I do believe there are political ties

    • RobbieM says:

      The vote is a clear NOP against the SDO!!!!

  24. Thinker says:

    Senator Burt [PLP] interrupts, and asks to rise and report progress, meaning that the SDO will not be put to Senate vote tonight, and is delayed. The debate has ended. Senator Wilson [PLP], and Senator Bassett [Independent] were the last two left to speak, and Senator Bassett was considered the swing vote, as the other two independents said they will not support the SDO. Her position was never made clear..

    ???? Typical of our government.. Not sure if they can get their way… Run and hide…..

    Think of our county long term and forget this SDO

    • Watching! says:

      More like spend weekend reminding remaining independent who put her there!

      • Thinker says:

        Bully is the word that comes to mind… They sound like a bunch of scoop children!!

      • Open You Eyes says:

        Watching!. A suggestion. Open your eyes!

        • Watching! says:

          My eyes are wide open! I know more than you think I do, especially in the Tourism Business! I suggest you open yours!

          • Open You Eyes says:

            If they’re open, then you most certainly must be blind. Unfortunate. Maybe you should try ‘listening’ a bit more and ‘talking’ a bit less. If you know so much about the Tourism Business, then why don’t you contribute something towards saving tourism?

            • Watching says:

              my business has generated over 4 million into the tourism business the past four years What have you have you done? In fact, we genered close to 2 million last year alone so my number is conservative! I ask again, what have you done!

              • Open Your Eyes says:

                Watching. Help me out a little. Like, selling coffee and muffins to the foreign workers in the banks and reinsurance companies in Hamilton is hardly helping the tourism industry. Share a little more info if you please.

                • Watching! says:

                  This is direct tourism based if you need to know! That is encouraging visitors to come to the island for vacation! In fact we attend trade shows with various hotels and tourism to promote product (which is Bermuda). Because of our small but tireless effort we create jobs. My estimate $ amount is direct visitors, not muffins, sorry hate to disappoint you! So, my eyes and ears are wide open and in the know! Enough said. I do my part!

    • Watching! says:

      I think they realized that they could lose! This is a stall tatic!,

    • Cleancut says:

      And what do you think the Premiers decision is, as she watched in the wings! You don’t last long in PLP if you go against the tide. My way! or the Highway!

  25. RobbieM says:

    The PLP Senators are a bunch of losers. They could not even address the issues of the SDO. Senator Furbert harped on her son’s academic credentials ans disparaged CURB. Senator Shakir talked about those who could not afford housing (nothing to do with the SDO). Senator Burch was hesitant to support Tucker’s Point and its mismanagement but supported passage of the SDO purely along Party lines!..

  26. Triangle Drifter says:

    Senator Bassett has the weight of Bermuda on her shoulders. Will she vote the will of the people or will she feel the pull of the puppet strings or will she do a Dale & vote in her own self interest?

  27. W.T.F.??? says:

    Pathetic Losers Party!

  28. Skink says:

    Being the only “Truely” Native and Endemic…….I say, ” AMEN and GOODNIGHT SDO!!!” put it to bed Bermuda, cos I’m going to…….bed that is.

  29. Sen. Carol Bassett says:

    .Thank you all for providing an entertaing read after a LONG day. I just love my people, you are all too much.
    BTW, I don’t need to grow a pair I have something WAY better, I have Jesus.

    • Sarah says:

      Your tone is patronising and unbecoming of a representative of the people. Your implied judgement of those who do not “have” Jesus is kind of gross too.

    • W.T.F.??? says:

      I thought you already have a pair!!!!

    • Mad Prophet says:

      Greetings in the name of “JESUS CHRIST”!

      Senator Bassett says, “I have Jesus”.

      “For This You Have Jesus” and Jesus will say, “For This I Have You”.

      The light of Heaven shines on your face.

      All we ask is for the luminescence presence of Wisdom. Christ’s Wisdom.

      Look into the Eyes of the People of Bermuda.

      Look at History! Look into the Future! Find the Truth of Your Conviction!

      THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LOOK HIM IN THE FACE AND SAY NOT MY WILL BUT YOUR WILL.

      “HE SAVED THE WORLD”, “YOU WILL SAVE BERMUDA”.

      THE MAD PROPHET ISSUES THIS PROCLAMATION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BERMUDA.

      LET ALL THINGS BE DONE, “IN THE NAME OF JESUS”.

      THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”

      THEREFORE LET EVERY HOUSE IN BERMUDA KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT GOD IS CREATOR OF ALL THINGS PASS AND PRESENT.

    • Watching! says:

      First, we are not YOUR people
      Secondly, you get paid by THE people so one long day will not kill you!
      Third and by no means last, I hope Jesus guides you to do what is right but that I suppose is subjective!
      Enjoy your weekend Senator and God Bless!

  30. Observing In BDA says:

    Why am I not suprised that the Senate has held up yet another potential development on the island because of petty bickering.

    Once this is settled lets get on with the the various tasks at hand like finishing the debate on the 9Beaches property and get that back up and running so that can assist in reviving our tourism product.

    Lets get the dialogue going with the investors and developers of the former Club Med and Sonesta Beach sites and get the bed stock back up so that we can cater to not just the higher end client but the child that travels with the parent, the grandmother that likes to knit, the sports enthuasist that likes to para glide, the tree hugger that likes to bird watch. Make all these peoples stay memorable and then we have a winning hit and something we can call Tourism.

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      The need to make a decision on this matter is understandable, however we have other promises that are outstanding also. The other hotels if/when constructed are far more important to Bermuda than Tuckers Point. First things first!

  31. Triangle Drifter says:

    Apathy still reigns supreme in Bermuda. For an issue that got so much support at the walk a few weeks ago, precious few turned up at the Cabinet grounds. Light numbers during the day was understandable but crunch time came after 5. The whole area should have been full of people.

    If you did the walk & did not show up at Cabinet, SHAME on you.

    Even the horn honking was pretty pathetic. Most gave a little ‘toot’. It should have been a blast from one end of the Cabinet block to the other leaving no doubt inside Cabinet how people outside feel on the subject.

    Fortunately, apparently the efforts of the protestors was enough…for now. The PLP will be back to try to railroad the SDO through again. You can bet TP’s last $ on it.

    Will YOU be out in the Cabinet grounds or on the street holding a sign or will you be one of those enabling the chainsaw to go through the trees because of your apathy?

    Lets not hear excuses. There were selfemployed people there who gave up a days income for the cause.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Here you go again. “Railroad the SDO through”?! If that was the plan or even if it was possible then they certainly wouldn’t have stopped short last night. When will you get it: the reason no-one wants to be associated with you and your cause publicly is because you think that whatever their Government does is illegitimate from the get-go. Now people didn’t toot loud enough? Wow, get a life. As I’ve said before, we’ve had 400 years of practice in protest and struggle, so we now how to do it and do it well. You all have been at it for only 12 years so its still the amateur hour. Marching protest is our specialty. You all should stick to the tactics that stalled this SDO: the prospect of a back-room deal at the bar of the MidOcean Club. Dunkley virtually said as much. I don’t support this SDO either but I stayed away precisely because I didn’t want to be seen and associated with people who think like you.

      • UncleElvis says:

        Nicely done, making this about race. That’s not too disgusting at all, is it?

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Sad innit? There are so many with so much hate that everything has to be turned into a racial issue. This IS a colour issue. It is about GREEN. Green land & green money. That is all.

          BTW, the horn honkers represented a very wide cross section of Bermudas population & in demographic proportion too. Very good to see & hear.

          • Hmmmmm says:

            Read the Tucker’s Point full page advert from Wednesday: to defeat this SDO would be to “dishonour the black Bermudians who gave up their land….” Then go to CURB, BEST and the rest’s arguments: “the cultural and racial importance of this site to black Bermudians”; the “desecration” of the graves as part of the driving range……all that without little old me. Ya’ll can do race all by yourselves when its convenient. Nice try.

            • Preto Plato says:

              EXACTLY.. For all those who say, we need to stop using race, they find a great when to use it when its convenient.. Flippin Hypocrites!

            • Uncle Elvis says:

              Another nice post, switching up your argument, ignoring what anyone says, bringing in other factors to distract from the actual point, accusing your opponents of motivations they haven’t shown and setting up false arguments…

              You have a future in propaganda and demagogy…

              Is it the Fox News handbook you’re reading from, or are you a natural?

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      I was slightly disappointed at the turnout as well, however, for the most part Bermudians do not march on Parliament,or toot horns to protest. We tend to confront our politicians directly or indirectly, and use the talk shows. One factor is the attitude of some employers when they learn of employees political views and positions, therefore being seen on the nightly news or the front page of a newspaper is a deterrent.
      The walk was simply a fact finding exercise for most attendees, with little chance of confrontation.
      Government has a record of ignoring petitions, marches etc, but cannot hide from irate members of the public, when not in the House. I have witnessed heated incidents at weddings,barbershops,(ask Senator Shakir) supermarkets, etc.(even at a wake) between politicians and members of the public.
      This may be considered unusual but some find it effective.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Being a small island we have the advantage of crossing paths with our polititians during our daily lives. This is a good thing but I feel it is inapropriate to confront them when they are going about their private lives in anything more than a quick comment. I cannot speak for other areas but I have no problem reaching my MP by phone at a reasonable hour

        Barber shops are good places for politics. A close member of my family used to be a barber. Polititians used to get the ssslllooowwweeessstt haircuts. They had no choice but to listen. Too bad old fashioned barber shops are just about a thing of the past.

  32. Lieutenant his Holyness ewart cox says:

    Let tuckers go into receivership. Do the decent thing and let some one buy it who can run a profitable hotel

  33. Cleancut says:

    Most of the blogs and in the media and the march seem to concentrate on 2 sides. The 1st side TPC ( loosing Jobs, Tourism, etc. ) and the other side the Enviormentalists ( loosing Land, trees, caves, etc.) what about the 3rd side that also needs to win, yes! the PLP that passed the SDO in the house, the ones we owe millions to.( gaining 70+ Houses, dozens of residence, taxes, families, Cars, taxes, cellphones, boats, taxes, Land, taxes,etc.) who do you think is going to win in this 2 horse race?

  34. Yawn says:

    Epic Government fail.