OBA Candidate: ‘Residents Have Little Faith’

April 17, 2012

One Bermuda Alliance candidate Scott Stewart said that Government’s broken promises to do something about the dump fires are destroying the constituent’s faith in the political system.

Mr Stewart is the candidate for Constituency #15 Pembroke East, which is located by the Marsh Folly Composting Facility.

Pembroke East is presently held by the PLP’s Walter Roban, who won 81.63% of the vote in 2007, and will contest the seat again in the upcoming election.

Mr Stewart said, “As I have canvassed in my area, Constituency 15, during the last few weeks, residents have told me that the Pembroke dump fires of the last few years, and the Government’s promises to do something about them – all so far broken – are destroying their faith in the political system.

“They are telling me that they now have little faith in the political process. Many have decided that going to the polls is an exercise in futility.

“The psychological trauma and cost of having to clean homes and roofs in the wake of the smoke and soot damage from the most recent fire, which was so serious that firemen, police and soldiers from the Bermuda Regiment had to turn out to avert the threat that the fire might spread to nearby homes and businesses, are going to be with my constituents for a very long time.

“There is the fear that one day they will not be so lucky and will lose everything they have worked so hard for all their lives, if not their lives,” continued Mr Stewart.

“Constituency 15 has a ‘professional politician’ representing them at the moment who is not putting the safety of the constituents first. He is not interested in creating a beautiful park in this area but seems content to allow it to continue to be a dangerous eyesore.

“They are not blind to the significance of the fact that he seems to care so little about such matters that he tried to enable one of his fellow Cabinet colleagues to develop the Devonshire marsh as an industrial zone.

“I challenge him to persuade the Government to get busy on this plan of theirs to stop fires on the dump for good. I challenge him to demonstrate for the residents of Constituency 15, and the other constituencies that border the Marsh Folly area, that he can get things done for them.

“In the absence of any such activity, I hope he will forgive the residents if they conclude there is no plan, and that talk of one was just another attempt at election time to appease the voters and maintain the status quo,” concluded Mr Stewart.

A statement released in response by the PLP said, “The Progressive Labour Party is wholly satisfied that the Government handled the Marsh Folly Dump Fire with the utmost professionalism.

“In addition, we are satisfied that the Government continues to manage the affairs of the country, with seriousness, protecting the people and the environment in an exemplary manner.

“We find it deplorable that the One Bermuda Alliance yet again, tries to play politics with a serious issue and tries to manufacture controversy simply to get attention,” concluded the PLP statement.

On Friday, Minister of Public Weeks Michael Weeks said his Ministry will work to mitigate future fires, with additional measures including extra no-smoking signs and installing a large water tank so workers can spray the composting piles with water every day to minimize the risk of fires.

The Minister also said the Fire Service has consulted with the Marsh Folly team and recommended improved methods for stockpiling the composted material.

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Comments (45)

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  1. Argosy says:

    Well said, Scott!

    They’re too busy taking care of their friends & family to worry about “the ordnary people” and these ordinary people are neither stupid nor blind.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Guess what, their friends and family just happen to be “ordinary people”.

      They aren’t stupid or blind, and 98, 03, 07 and 12 will prove that!

      • Come correct says:


      • Argosy says:

        You’re kidding, right?

        We’ll see! Sooner she calls it the better.

        Do you know what she’s waiting for?

    • double talk says:

      ” Many have decided that going to the polls is an exercise in futility.”

      Translation … *We will never vote for anyone else but the PLP*

      It’s up to them , the 81.6% , to make a change happen but their blind loyalty won’t let them do it .
      Until voters on this island realise that parties can get voted in and out when the electorate decides that they’re not doing a good job , things will continue to get worse . Political apathy will solve nothing and just prolong the suffering.

      btw , Mr Stewart is a good guy and he surely doesn’t need the hassles (or supposed ‘benefits’) that come with being an MP , but he’s never going to win this district.

      • star man says:

        “Many have decided that going to the polls is an exercise in futility.

        Translation … *We will never vote for anyone else but the PLP”

        WRONG!! They will NOT go to the polls just like they said. The PLP will NOT get their votes, no party will. So the PLP loses. And the OBA wins!!


        • double talk says:

          I wish I could share your optomism . The writing was on the wall in 2007 and the PLP was still returned . They will believe that our current financial mess has nothing to do with their beloved party .

          Now , if it was raining cats and dogs , thunder and lightning on election day and all the taxis in Bda were broken down at the same time .. THEN you might see the balance swing to favour the OBA.

  2. Voice of Reason says:

    This guy from Fairylands is really out pretending he cares… Oh jesus, what’s next from the OBA.

    • Bring On The Election says:

      Does Scott even know where the dump is?

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      You guys are so piitfully racist.

      If a white guy hated on a black bermudian for where he comes from or where he resides you lot would be jumpin gup and down about white supremacy and the lot.

      Hypocrites is all you are my friend.

      And on top of that do you know that is where this guy lives. Or is it just one of your racist assumptions that all white people come from these types of areas?

  3. Hi-Liter says:

    Mr. Steward is correct, resident are fed up with the dump period. Can someone please educate me on which fools decided to place rubbish in a place surrounded by neighborhoods in the first place. If white people were the majority in that neighborhood would this have occurred?
    The fires and the smell of Pembroke dump are not funny to the residents in the area and if Mr. Steward wants to criticize the current Government for inaction he should first condemn those that decide that the Pembroke Marsh was a suitable place for a dump.

    • Bermyman says:

      The people responsible are probably all dead and gone it was so long ago. It is what happens now and in the future that really matters or the problem will never be solved.

    • Tired... says:

      I’d guess that the dump was built before the area was built up as much. The dump caused property prices to drop which made the area more attractive to those with lower incomes. It’s an unfortunate state that such a high proportion of these people are black, but it’s the situation we (and they) find ourselves in. The eventual winner in Pembroke 15 has a big task ahead of him.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Next time you head down S Road to the airport passing the Camden Property take a look at the large green area on the south side of the road which is part of the Tucker property. If you could dig down under that grass you would find Bermudas garbage from the 50s. Imagine that. Trash being dumped right in the middle of Paget East.

      Pembroke dump did not come into being until that Paget area was full.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    “The Progressive Labour Party is wholly satisfied that the Government handled the Marsh Folly Dump Fire with the utmost professionalism”.

    Oh really!!! Did anyone see a PLP MP out there on the dump fighting the fire or controlling the ‘looky looks’?

    The PLP has no clue of what to do with the dump. First either a new way of dealing with the waste or a new place to put it has to be found. The mulch could be used if it were not so contaminated with plastic & other non horticultural matter.

    In the meantime the the dump will not catch fire again…at least not till the next time.

    • specialgirl4you says:

      Your Upset OBA/UBP Triangle Drifter……get over it….the Minister did an excellent job…..this is nothing more than politicking and politicking by the OBA/UBP MR. Steward…

      • My two cents says:

        How could anything be considered excellent? I’m sorry, WHO exactly let the machine go unfixed for five years? I’m sorry WHO is that you say? To much spent on the Dame-Louis, TCD, Dockyard, and the such to fix basic infrastructure? Why is it that Tynes Bay only had 1 stack working and had to haul garbarge(whcih further added to unecessary debt) to Morgan’s Point and then haul it back to Tynes Bay when fixed? Why are we having ANY infrastructure when we are 1.5 billion in debt with gov. saying they “invested” in Bermuda?

  5. Bermyman says:

    “Horticultural waste continued accumulating at Pembroke Dump for about five months while machinery to treat it was broken, Government staff have revealed.

    Government yesterday confirmed its pro-grinder, the equipment which breaks down plant waste discarded at Marsh Folly, has been out of service since November last year.”

    (from the RG)

    A badly managed government facility is the reason. And guess what it had happened before but no one did anything between now and 2007 to prevent the issue.

    “The huge Marsh Folly blaze of 2007 was blamed on broken grinders, which meant the mound of waste grew to the height of an eight-storey building and eventually self-ignited in hot, dry weather.”

    That ladies and gentleman is a clear sign that the current Government just do not care enough about the issue to do anything about it. They know a problem before occurred and they know that it would happen again unless they fixed the machine. What is everyone doing that works there when the machine is not operational. Sitting around looking at it? A large fire is an emergency, why was the machine not fixed as a matter of Urgency?

    • trees says:

      Don’t be silly why would they spend good money fixing the equipment?

      That money needs to be spent on trips, flashy cars and building contracts so their buddys can get rich!!

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        Exactly once again they have shown that they do not care for the voters.


        • Truth says:

          Yet people will still vote for them!! Insanity? Stupidity? Brainwashing? I just don’t understand how anyone can morally justify voting these lot back in. People really are stupid.

          • Bring On The Election says:

            The same way the whites voted for the UBP over and over, and will vote for them OBA/UBP again.Who is brain wash? Blacks have always moved back and forward between parties. I doubt you have if the truth be told.

            • Tired of nonsense says:

              That’s because blacks have been welcome in both parties since their inception.

              Whites, well, we all know how a particular Party fet about them since their inception and as more things change the more they tend to stay the same with this particular Party.

            • My two cents says:

              Yeah okay. Whites aren’t the ones that live by the dumb according to what people on here are saying so if residents don’t care about their government not fixing the proper equipment to prevent toxic fumes and chemicals from being spewed all over their homes going into the tanks and being inhaled in their lungs then so be it. Good luck with that. The thing is if people vote the PLP back in then so be it. But we will be back on here telling you I told you so every time something like this happens. And you will have to continue to defend them and giving them a pass for bad behavior and lack of personal responsibility. So be it. We are all going to be suffering together in one way or another if the PLP are voted back in. But hey, we will have to deal with it.

  6. The TRUTH (In A Forest Of Lies) says:

    I think we all need to step back and look at this in a different way…

    Dump fires are a completely normal part of life, and nothing to be ashamed of. We cannot with any inkling of integrity blame the PLP for so-called “failed promises” when such blazes are traditional and Bermudian as Cassava Pie! Little history lesson for the finger-waggers:

    From 1926 to 1973, the Government would ritualistically set the Marsh Folly dump on fire thrice a year to help reduce the number of excess casuarina saplings (Cedar blight, anyone?) and Radio Flyer wagons on the island.

    These fires brought the entire community together: black and white, rich and poor, young and old. They wonderfully exemplified the Bermudian spirit and gave us all pause for worldly self-reflection.

    ….and now we’re DEMONIZING something that used to bring us together. What have we become? When did the term “Dump Fire” become so taboo and unspeakable? Have we forgotten our roots?

    To be honest, the partisan bickering makes me slightly ill. The PLP and OBA can argue back and forth all they want, but all it means at the end of the day is that my child will now never be able to set up a beach chair at Marsh Folly and watch a beautiful dump fire take place without having to endure condescending stares and rejection from a society that has lost its way.

    I’m not voting.

    • Truth says:

      Wait, WHAT? Are you seriously telling me that people would gather around a flaming mound of garbage as a form of entertainment? This place really is backwards.

      Mmm….steaming, flaming piles of garbage…let’s go breathe it all in.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Didn’t they all get in their cars to go watch this latest one burn? Some folks have no lives.

  7. chris famous says:

    Good day Mr Scott Stewart OBA Candidate C15

    Let me thank you for visiting my side of the tracks and checking on us pond dogs after the fire. You are correct in saying we don’t like the fires nor the soot. No human being can ever like the thought of their homes being engulfed in flames. Yet what I don’t see you stating is this -
    For decades the UBP directed every form of waste in Bermuda to Marsh Folly.
    House hold waste
    Dead animal carcasses
    Raw sewage
    Biomedical waste
    The list goes on…yet whilst we pond dogs had to live daily with the stench and flies the UBP did nothing. It was only through constant pressure from the PLP and in particular Ottiwell Simmons and David Allen that the UBP relented and built Tynes Bay. So yes we remember “the neglect”…

    Mr. Stewart, you also mentioned that people in C15 are disillusioned with politics and won’t even vote.
    Hmm I don’t know why this shocks me to hear this from an OBA candidate. First and foremost, as a “concerned Bermudian”, you should encourage every registered voter to do their democratic duty and take part in the process. However it falls into the best interest of you and your party to have as many persons disgruntled and apathetic as possible.This constant “Doom n Gloom ” message you all are spreading seems like something out of a Harry Potter novel. Let’s be honest…”One less vote for the PLP is one more vote for the OBA”. What I find most telling is you are not s able to say these disgruntled voters are even remotely considering voting OBA.
    Lastly…MP Roban is a career politician…
    What you fail to state is this MP Roban has spent his entire adolescent and adult life studying every facet of Bermuda’s political process. MP Roban has been tutored by no less than 2 political mothers – Dame Lois and Dame Jennifer. My point is this…considering the depth of political knowledge that I see eminating from the current crop of OBA candidates..you all would do well trying to learn a thing or two from MP Roban.

    And yes, he will continue to be in politics as MP for C15. One advantage of living by the dump is this…we know hot air when we see it…and we know the smell of recycled waste when we smell it…not much nor many… can fool a pond dog!

    P.S. It’s a good thing the wind wasn’t blowing west…it would have been sheer disaster for you and your neighbors in Fairylands to have all that soot in your pools and patios.

    Yours sincerely
    Christopher Famous

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Well effing said!

    • Lenky DUB says:

      Wow dude, way to come off equally ignorant as Mr. Stewart…I’m not sure if you realize it, but your whole tirade is just as hypocritical and pompous as his.

      Clueless condescension doesn’t merit more clueless condescension.

    • specialgirl4you says:

      Well written Mr.Famous, I enjoy once again reading your statement, particularly coming from someone who actually lives in the area.

      • averageboy4me says:

        Poorly written Mrs. Unknown, I despise twice never tasting your written letter, particularly going to someone who fictionally dies in the circumference.

  8. #ThatIsAll says:

    By simply saying this is “playing Politics” shows that the PLP does not care or have the decency to respond to legitimate concerns of that constituency. It completely dismisses the root issue.

    I have been hearing the SAME DAMN tune from the PLP for past 10 years… I am sick of it. Whenever the OBA/ Opposition challenges them, or questions something they dismiss them. IT IS THEIR ROLE AS THE OPPOSITION TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people of this constituency have seen their neighbourhood and surrounding areas go straight to hell over the past 10 years… a paved road and a couple of surveillance cameras have not fixed the issues.

    It’s clear by lessoning this concern to mearly playing politics, that the plp feel they don’t need to answer to Constituency #15.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Um, you can’t really be serious. What did Scott Stewart bring up that was even worthy of a response? This is merely playing politics with a serious situation.

      Yes, PLP is responsible for the Marsh Fire, just like they were responsible for spending money on a big truck put it out quickly.

      Do we really need to play politics with everything?

      • Tired of nonsense says:

        Thank God for the PLP.

        I mean before 1998 in order to put out a fire we all had to line up from the ocean to the fire and pass buckets of the sea water just in order to extinguish the blaze.

  9. Hmmmmm says:

    This is so ridiculous. Anyone remember Dame Lois in the House railing against the UBP’s obvious policy of “Dump it in Devonshire” ? Or are we supposed to forget that as well? Listen folks, just drive through the remnants of the old Devonshire North and you will see Marsh Folly, Tynes Bay, National Sports Centre, CedarBridge, TCD, tennis courts, softball diamond, netball court…….wasn’t the hotel college on Roberts Avenue at one time too ? No concept of town planning or spreading the load these facilities place on a community. The policy was “dump it in Devonshire” and the proof is right before your eyes.


    Instead of coming up with ways to PREVENT future dump fires, why aren’t we focusing on their benefits and how best to upkeep them for purposes of heating and community gatherings?!?

    I find the political spin on both sides to be simultaneously sad and humourous…its funny how both the PLP and OBA are out to chastise Dump Fires while clearly not understanding their socio-political and historical benefits…pathetic.

  11. LaVerne Furbert says:

    It is really shameful that the PLP MPs did not join the firefighters to help put out the fire. After, when there were fires under the UBP reign Jack Sharpe and company were always at the dump helping to put out the fires. He even used to ride his mobylette round to the dump.

  12. LaVerne Furbert says:

    The definition of environmental racism is the inequality in the form of racism linked with environmental factors and practices that cause disproportionate distress on minority communities. It is a heavily debated phenomenon incorporating a hybrid of environmental concerns and human welfare.[1] Environmental racism is often used to describe specific policies, events, and outcomes in which minority communities are targeted for the placement of polluting industries and factories.

    • OBA = Old Boys Alliance! says:

      100% Agreed…environmental racism has deep roots in Bermudian history, and is an uncomfortable issue that most people choose to ignore.

      Cautionary tale for Bermudians: a perfect recent example of environmental racism tactics being employed full scale can be found in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. In this troubled nation, white farmers routinely have their land seized by the black Government simply because of the colour of their skin (it is the subject of this award winning documentary: http://www.mugabeandthewhiteafrican.com/). Let’s make that very clear: Mugabe’s ZANU party openly threatens and uses violence against whites to affect their livelihood SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE.

      Even if many of you may not agree with her, Senator Furbert is correct to bring up this subject as a factor here, because the same veil of ignorance can be applied to any member of any background who has the deadly combination of unchecked legislative power and a racial ax to grind.

      Its happened here before and it can happen again, but worse…we need to stick together and be ONE BERMUDA no matter the colour of our skin!

    • My two cents says:

      So WHY do you support the PLP every time they give an SDO to tear up more green space instead of FIGHTING to keep every last bit of land we have open? We have plenty of housing, plenty of office space, plenty of warehouses, etc. Open spaces in high density living are know to have a positive effect on the community, so why do you say stupid things like you don’t care about trees?

  13. All,
    The dump fire was clearly and unanticipated event. The entire community should continue to congratulate everyone involved in extinguishing the blaze in short order. We should also be very thankful for the blessing of rain later that night. I am sure we are still amazed at the ‘hose truck’. I did not even know it existed in Bermuda.

    With respect to Mr. Stewart, he seems to regularly make incredibly ignorant statements without foundation. Remember that he was the one to say that Bermuda was on the verge of bankruptcy when he was rolled out.

    And for anyone that knows even a little about MP Roban, he is very well briefed on all thinbgs political… both inside and outside of Bermuda.

  14. star man says:

    So, the fact that Bud lost his Cabinet position for acting unethically doesn’t count for anything…?

  15. Paul Clinton says:

    Positively love the idea of posting “No Smoking” signs. LOL

  16. Hi-Liter says:

    According to a long time resident: Central school was smack dab in almost the heart of the pond where they burned trash. I don’t think there was one child who I went to school with, who came… not smelling of smoke from the pond… because parents hung all clothes on a line. I mean the pond burned all day every day. You woke up with the smell of smoke, you went down with the smell of smoke.
    BLACKS have been suffering from this injustice for years and its time for it to end.