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‘How Can We Trust Disney’S Paid Poll?’

photo

Sam Duncombe

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

REEARTH President Sam Duncombe has condemned a recent Public Domain survey which found that more than 60 percent of Bahamians said they “very much” or “somewhat” support Disney Cruise Lines’ proposal for Lighthouse Point, calling those results “magically skewed”.

Addressing the findings yesterday, the activist alleged the poll was “deliberately” structured to get the answers Disney needs to better its case for the acquisition of the property.

This comes as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis plans to hold a town meeting in Eleuthera tonight at the Greencastle Primary School about the island’s economy. 

“You can get a survey to say or do anything if you try hard enough,” she claimed. “They tried so hard, it’s obvious this poll was set-up to get a particular result.”

Mrs Duncombe, referring to online polls carried out by local media companies via their websites, said it was surprising that “trusted media outlets which Bahamians have depended on for years” had different outcomes than the recent survey.

She asserted: “The Tribune website was at 74 percent (against the development) when I read it; the Nassau Guardian and Eyewitness News was at 78 percent of Bahamians not in support.”

A Tribune online poll asking if people are in favour of Disney’s plans for the island had 1,144 votes up to press time, with 78 percent against the proposal.

She furthered: “The Magic Kingdom is here and they are pushing their hype machine into full gear. They want you to believe they have this massive backing and they don’t.

“They are selling the point that they will create jobs and this massive spend, but in reality, there is no plan to see this promise of more jobs and access through. The majority of Bahamians are not being swayed.”

Of the 994 households the market research firm surveyed across the country, 38 percent said they “very much” support the development, 28 percent said they “somewhat” support it, and 26 percent said they “very much do not” support the development. Nine percent said they “somewhat do not support.”

The poll was commissioned by Disney, Public Domain President M’wale Rahming told The Tribune.

In the Public Domain survey, 21 percent of those who do not support the initiative said it was out of concern for possible environmental damage.

Fourteen percent said their opposition is due to the belief that “the government has already given too much land to foreign owners,” while 12 percent said they are concerned about loss of local access to Lighthouse Point.

Most respondents said they were concerned about the claims raised by environmentalists about the dangers of a cruise port at the site.

These claims include the local economy not being stimulated, environmental impact, and a legacy of attempts to create large-scale commercial ventures that result in abandoned, unfinished projects.

After hearing these claims, 27 percent of respondents said they are “very likely” to support Disney’s project, while 22 percent said they were “not likely at all”.

However, most respondents also proved to be supportive of pro-Disney arguments.

These include the fact Disney has committed to providing Bahamians access to the entire development site every day, after the project is completed, and Disney’s promise to return over 170 acres of land to the government.

After hearing these claims, 40 percent of respondents said they were “very likely” to support the development project in Eleuthera.

Responding yesterday, Mrs Duncombe said she is disturbed by Disney’s push to create a development at Lighthouse Point.

She told The Tribune the “long-suffering identity” of South Eleuthera is being preyed on daily.

“I do understand that South Eleuthera has been ignored for years and years; but the reality is, with Disney, south Eleutherans have very little to gain and so much to lose.

“I am disturbed because they are being sold on something that will never come to fruition,” she added.

“When Disney said they had no ‘Plan B,’ that was them trying to coerce Bahamians.

“They wanted to make us believe that Lighthouse Point was their one and only choice. But again, in reality, they were shopping around and ran away from everywhere else.”

“This is a chance for Bahamians to stand up and demand our fair-share. Not jump at the first offer.”

“We are better than that.”

Lighthouse Point is a 700-acre peninsula located at the southern tip of Eleuthera. Disney’s proposal is being opposed by environmental activists.

In a joint opinion piece released last month, Bahamas National Trust Executive Director Eric Carey and One Eleuthera Foundation CEO Shaun Ingraham argued that the country must stop acquiescing to the cruise sector.

One Eleuthera has been locked in a public campaign to block Disney’s acquisition of the property.

Nonetheless, Disney has taken preparatory steps to acquire the historic site for the construction of multi-million-dollar cruise port, promising a $400m spend.

Comments

OMG 2 months ago

So the money and effort to secure 30,000 signatures are not skewed towards stopping Disney. I suggest that if it goes ahead stringent safeguards have to be put in place but like so many others who live comfortably you express sympathy with the residents of south Eleuthera but just like Shaun Ingraham have absolutely no concrete alternative other than vague "economic zones" or " Nature preserves". One Eleuthera translated into One South Eleuthera is headed by Mr Ingraham who wants to exert total control over that area and all that happens.

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becks 2 months ago

OmG....the 30,000 signature poll was not paid for unlike this paid by Disney poll. What is interesting is that a poll conducted by the Tribune showed over 70% against Disney, another poll conducted by this paper showed over 70% against Disney and we have the 30,000 signature against Disney....kind of funny how the only poll that is for Disney was paid for by Disney....ya gots to wonder! And OMG, you’re still doing your black-crab act against Shaun Ingraham and one Eleuthera, one has to wonder what exactly he did to offend you...he didn’t give your aunties son a job perhaps.

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OMG 2 months ago

Sorry Becks I don't have an aunty/ As for the black crab thing???. If you are a leader CEO as Mr Ingraham is and if you are vocal and outspoken in a cause that you believe in then you are subject to support and criticism As for the paying for polls , how does that differ from the intense effort to gain signatures that for the most part do not originate from Eleutherans. I would be the first to admit that One Eleuthera and by extension Mr Ingraham have done some worthwhile projects such as the fire/ambulance station and training center, however I maintain that One Eleuthera has not to date offered a defined and well laid out plan for this land along with precise details as to how many persons may be employed. So far One Eleuthera whose main focus is South Eleuthera has not provided that many employment oportunities. He has never offended me but I have the opinion that he wants to control the whole area and any solution be it Disney or his plans, need to offer quick and substantial progress to providing long term jobs. So many of these signatories including Mr Ingraham have salaries and live comfortably and this has only become a public issue since Disney raised the prospect of a potential purchase.

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Clamshell 2 months ago

People on either side of this issue are gonna believe what they want to believe. God could conduct a poll and the losing side would dispute His methodology. Polls will not decide the outcome.

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MaryMack53 2 months ago

Ms. Duncombe might be onto something. This poll is very twisted an one-sided. Soon before we know it, any and everybody will be allowed to buy and build in the Bahamas. The amount of trash that is discarded on a daily basis by these massives ships are disgusting. What will happen to our beautiful pristine waters? Who will visit after our country when it is destroyed by greed?

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licks2 2 months ago

So nothing was wrong when she had that 30,000 partition? Duncombe got her trick turned back on her when Disney asked the people in Eleuthera. . . she knows that she got out smarted by the big boys. . .she thought that she was wining by "swinging" the masses. . .she is just a lil short when she went up against Disney. . .

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

I recall getting a telephone market survey from (I suspect) this same company in connection to..it was either NHI or gaming.. Most likely NHI because it was during or after 2016. The questions were so lobsided they were ridiculous. One question asked something to the effect would you pay an NHI tax or should we fire police officers. I literally asked the pollster what kind of question is that????

These company sponsored surveys are not set up to get independent opinion. They want an exact result. The company pays for the survey and structures the questions. When they pay for a survey with "real" questions, they keep those private

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Heatheroe 2 months ago

I signed the petition to Save Lighthouse Point. No one paid. And Disney is "the big boys" and they have fooled those that support them. Once they get approval, they can do whatever they want.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

I agree with Ms Duncombe you can get a poll to say anything you want it to say. "Do you want Disney to develop lighthouse point or do you want to end up like Haiti"?

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licks2 2 months ago

I agree with her about steering polls. . .but this time she got "swing" by her own game. . .her campaign was to "stuff" the deck with swung signers to swing the vote way off and put pressure on the politicians!! Disney "jook them up" by talking to the peoples dem from Eleuthera. . .the grass roots!! Not that one Eleuthera man. . .who she thought was going to make Disney stink with politicians. She playing with the big boys dem. . .no more bulldozing stupid causes in a one horse town where the people are. . .well post on this site shows how dumb we can be when it comes to using sound reasoning skills!!

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TalRussell 2 months ago

Hello, why hasn't the legalised stealing the private islands and beaches away from PeoplePublic, not resonated with Comrades "Brave" and Co, with the selling private islands foreigners? if the official opposition party needs fight pass legislation up in House to return ALL colony islands private islands and beaches- back PeoplePublic. This must become main issues should the prime minister be forced into calling by election. If the PLP is not ready, then we need form start opposition private islands and beaches party.

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Clamshell 2 months ago

@MaryMack ... I respect your opinion and your right to oppose this project. But the idea that cruise ships dump their trash at sea is absurd. They don’t. Those ships are equipped with trash compactors and the trash is disposed of ashore ... just as yours is. It’s fine to oppose this, but it’s wrong to spread info that is simply a lie.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

Actually she's not making up fairy tales, this is from a 2016 Reuters report:

"Carnival Corp’s Princess Cruise Lines will plead guilty to seven felony charges for polluting the seas and deliberate acts to cover it up, and pay a record USD $40 million criminal penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said"

The question is, is it still happening and how can we confirm its not happening in our waters

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Clamshell 2 months ago

That had to do with polluted bilge water, not dumping trash in the ocean. Commercial shipping vessels commit similar acts. It is bad, but they were not dumping garbage and trash in the ocean as she said. Don’t try to snow people with a selective use of a quote from a news story, dude. That’s as bad as a lie.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

Yeah I know it was bilge water, I don't see a difference, it's pollution...if I thought you'd want to distinguish between pollution and pollution I would have pasted the entire story. Like, my grouper ate plastic, well my grouper's better it was swimming around in feces infested water

I pasted the most egregious part of the story, "they tried to cover it up". Btw, I don't see any effort in your comment to talk about "bilge water" pollution exceptions. The picture you painted was Eco damage was a fairy tale. Perhaps you yourself are committing the lies omission that you're accusing others of

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Clamshell 2 months ago

You also failed to note that the ship in question never operated in the Bahamas. There are also ships polluting in Hong Kong. Let’s blame them, too!

I did not create any “fairy tales” ... that was you. I am not a Disney fan, but I believe in truth, not lies, and if we followed your “logic” we would need to ban * all* shipping. Even outboard motors pollute the waters.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

Ah ok, so you weren't distinguishing pollution from pollution and you want to extend that to not distinguishing cruise ship from cruise ship. Ok. From what I determined the discussion was about "cruise ships" and "pollution". I'm pretty good at comprehension..Mary started the conversation with "cruise ship pollution....what WILL they do in our islands". Clearly this was not a discussion based on your narrow criteria. As I said before, well I didn't say,have to be very clear with you, as I implied before, you are projecting, because I didn't see anywhere in your statement that your discussion was limited to Bahamian waters.

Here is your statement

"But the idea that cruise ships dump their trash at sea is absurd. They don’t

Where in there did you limit your cruise ship pollution discussion to the Bahamas?

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Clamshell 2 months ago

You are fibbing again ... when you find yourself in a hole, sir, you should stop digging.

Mary said cruise ships routinely dump their trash at sea. They do not. Go back and read it. Bilge water is not the same as garbage. Most people with an IQ above 75 know that. And the incident you refer to happened off the coast of England 5 years ago.

And, I repeat: “all* ships pollute. Especially those freighters that supply our islands daily. Shall we ban them all? You have not been able to answer that one.

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licks2 2 months ago

Do you really want to ask that question with the information you just gave? Use ya head. . .all the information needed to answer that question is right there in your information. . .

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

My question was ...well..ok fine maybe it wasn't clear...what policies will the government put in place to verify it doesn't happen. Since we can't even police small vessels for compliance until they blow up, I'm not hopeful

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

"emailed statement to HuffPost, MSC Cruises said that these videos are merely another angle of an incident reported last year in Brazilian media (and also covered by Jim Walker). In that incident, video filmed by a passenger above deck appeared to show bags of trash being flung off the ship and right into the ocean. HuffPost was unable to confirm that the latest videos are of the same incident. MSC Cruises says “a full investigation is being conducted into the issue” and that “new stringent procedures have been enacted ... to further discipline crew members for breaches of the company’s stringent anti-pollution policies.In light of the on-going investigation MSC Cruises is not in a position to divulge details of the case,” the company continued. “MSC Cruises is fully collaborating with the Brazilian authorities in order to shed light on the responsibilities and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future,” it said."

Here you go. 2014 huffing ton post story. My conclusion is, you can't know. It's their word that they're following the rules. You would expect a company like Disney to value their name enough to follow the rules. But it's their word.

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licks2 2 months ago

And they are heavily find back at their home ports if they cannot account foor their waste!!

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Heatheroe 2 months ago

so the fine goes to clean up the trash they dumped out in the ocean? nope

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TalRussell 2 months ago

Ma Comrade, just because newer generation cruise ships have installed more modern waste management technologies it doesn’t mean cruise companies are using them, and point where the Bahamaland government has cruise ships sewage under systematic watch? We should have a plan in place to reduce our dependency on cruise tourism - not increase number cruise ships in our ports and open waters by selling 'exclusivity restrictions' who gets land on. swim and enjoy even more we private islands and our beaches.throughout colony islands. All beaches must be open and fully accessible PeoplePublic use. You don't be psychiatrist to understand we're surrounded citizens suffering loss identity head issues - caused by cruise visitors,

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licks2 2 months ago

I see what ya mean. . .all them white people dem make we eyes roll around in they sockets them so!! Ya think when they go back home them does take we brains them back and that's why some of us are so dang dumb in our reasoning abilities? As for you. . .please stay from close that dock ya hear. . .it looks like you getting a double doses of that cruise flue. . .

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Dawes 2 months ago

Should be up to the people who live in South Eleuthera to decide. I live in Nassau and it is gone and will never be the same as it was when i was a kid (when going out West was like going to the family islands and most roads you could move on except Palmdale). However this does means that we have a fairly good economy etc.

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hrysippus 2 months ago

I must respectfully disagree with your point. What happens with Disney at Lighthouse Point will have serious repercussions in our democratic system. In the city of Anaheim, CA, which is the corporate home of Disney, the elected officials are struggling with the fact that Disney spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid in the election of candidates that will support legislation that is friendly to the corporation. New York Times article Sunday past. Obviously Disney can be expected to use the same tactics in our local and National elections. If they are successful then we can expect legislation and consideration of government permits that favour the one who pays the piper rather than the electorate and the National interest. This is why this development is of interest to all Bahamians and not just those living on Eleuthera. Ms, Sam Duncombe is a courageous warrior for the environment.

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DWW 2 months ago

I am not sure it is fair for nassauvians to dictate what happens in the islands... abaco should be decided by abaonians, eleuthera but eluetherians. The planning and subdivision act 2010 dictates this but it is not enacted because Nassau dont want to give up control. BtW tal is a communist plainly.

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sealice 2 months ago

There must be some kinda sweet honey hole down there because as many people who have told Disney that they can GoFrigThemselves they are still pushing this project.... why can't they use the existing cruise terminal in South Eleuthera? Because Disney wants their own terminal so like Castaway Cay they can keep as many Bahamians as possible out of their business and off of their land (yeah not Bahamian land anymore).

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TalRussell 2 months ago

Comrade DWW, today's communism can only be a negative for Out Islanders - if they failed at living up 2018's communism = which is no more negative ideology than is that of today's capitalist 'put foreigners first' being practiced under governing Imperial prime minster and KP - along with red shirts members crown's cabinet. ( You can't just be meaning makes up your own perception what communism is, and is not }. And, for fuc#sakes we are done a colony many underdeveloped Out Islands - so why create restrictive access private islands for the exclusivity cruise ships passengers?

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truetruebahamian 2 months ago

There was absolutely NO payment for the 30,000 'No to disney' signatures. I am a resident of Eleuthera whose family goes back to 1640. We do NOT want or need Disney. I see that the Disney is sniffing around Bermuda as well trying to pull the same fast one. They seem to be wise to the lies and the majority do not wnt Disney there either.

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TalRussell 2 months ago

Ma Comrades, being Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is but a Tenant on 145 acre Port Coco Cay, formerly Little Stirrup Cay, Berry Island chain located between Freeport and Nassau, who holds the Lease and date termination?

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Jetflt 2 months ago

Disney should look at developing in the vicinity of Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera. So much potential, yet so little impact....

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OMG 2 months ago

What has always bugged me isthe fact that jobs be they government or private sector are rarely advertised and interviews held.to select the best candidate. Suddenly because of political or personal contacts a post is filled. L

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Clamshell 2 months ago

It is SHOCKING that The Nassau Tribune did not even bother to cover the public meeting on this issue on Eleuthera last night. That says a LOT about how little anybody in Nassau cares about the Out Islands. It’s not just the government ... the media does not care, either. They are all too busy sitting in their air conditioned office, playing with their iPhones. SHAME on The Tribune. SHAME.

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