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The ‘Fix Is In’ On Lighthouse Point Project

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday said it appeared as if the “fix is in” on Lighthouse Point.

Mr Mitchell scrutinised comments made by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, who told residents at Wednesday’s town hall meeting in South Eleuthera that environmental arguments will not sway the government’s decision.

Noting his party only wanted a fair process, the former Cabinet minister also pointed to allegations that South Eleuthera MP Hank Johnson is actively lobbying for Disney’s proposed development.

“The information that has come to the PLP is that the MP is actively involved in lobbying on behalf of Disney – that in itself sends up red flags,” Mr Mitchell said.

“More importantly you have the prime minister appearing to fetter his discretion saying he will dismiss environmental concerns in advance. If he is having a hearing on Friday with the other side,” he continued, “how can the government say they are going to have a fair hearing? When he’s already dismissed environmental concerns?”

Mr Mitchell said: “Looks to me that the fix is in and they’ve decided to go in one direction. We only want a fair process and if the project is something the people of Eleuthera want then certainly they should have it, but the process should be fair.”

Environmental groups like the Bahamas National Trust, reEarth and Waterkeepers Bahamas have sought to block Disney’s proposed development and promote efforts to preserve the 700-acre privately-owned peninsula property.

The One Eleuthera Foundation - a non-profit group also advocating for preservation - is set to present its offer for the property today, according to Dr Minnis.

At Wednesday’s town hall, Dr Minnis told residents a more damaging project was approved for the area in 2008 by the then-Hubert Ingraham Cabinet. Dr Minnis served as minister of health in that administration.

“...The argument about the destruction of the land will hold no water,” Dr Minnis said.

Mr Johnson’s wife Shelly Johnson is a member of the Community Support Group (CSG) - a body established this past spring to convey the “unfiltered voices” of local residents in Eleuthera.

CSG, according to its representatives, remained neutral in the Lighthouse Point saga until it was presented with proposals from both the One Eleuthera Foundation and Disney Cruise Lines.

CSG Chairman Denny Rankin said previously: “We had to come together to make it clear where we stood.”

The views of most of those attending Wednesday’s town meeting were overwhelmingly supportive of Disney’s project. Dozens wore T-shirts reading “We Love Disney”, “Disney Loves Eleuthera,” “Eleuthera loves Disney” and “Disney Respects Me” when they greeted Dr Minnis’ delegation at the island’s airport and during the town hall meeting that followed. One of those persons was Mrs Johnson.

Mrs Johnson, a spokesperson for CSG, has previously criticised One Eleuthera for what she described as “false representations of the truth.”

“This is not a political affair,” she told The Tribune this week. “One Eleuthera needs to understand that. This is about changing lives for the residents of Central and South Eleuthera.”

Expressing a clear disdain for One Eleuthera’s action in recent weeks, Mrs Johnson said “They want to give us corn beef and we want the lobster. It isn’t out of our reach. We can see it and touch it.

“Why get mad at us because we want better?” she asked.

Comments

SP 1 month ago

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell couldn't see the “fix was in” on Baha Mar!

STFU Fred!

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

in 2008 a more damaging approval was given by the FNM PAPA funny he should say that and he was right there front and center.

MS Johnson it is my hope that Disney will give you and your husband lot and lots of lobster. Its the peoples time indeed.

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

BAH MAR is all the FNM has . and it employees more Bahamians than Disney ever will. it is like comparing apples to oranges.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Sooooooooo, the First Lady of South Eleuthera is a Disney lobbyist???? ......... I suppose that settles it ........... The hand that rocks the bed rules the roost ......... FNM First Ladies rule!!!!

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licks2 1 month ago

The people of NE spoke. . .THE REST OF YINNA GO TAKE A HIKE!! Its their island, their home and their future!! It looks like Disney "jook" them jokers them up. . .

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Any citizens comrade who dares challenge crown members Imperial Red Shirts Guard, are quickly being wacky-like Trump-ism attacked for being Enemies of the Imperial state.
Have comrade citizens lost all sense decency by not dumping off their red t shirts at wherever red shirts MP'sand paid proponents operate from - who are championing the sale our private islands and beaches being sold to non-citizens or their native fronts?

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John 1 month ago

Seeing what is happening in Freeport and if even parts of the rumors about Bah Mars operations are true, the people of South Eleuthera would be wise to accept the Disney proposal and use it as a lifeline.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

There are interesting focusing more deeply into the timelines leading up to and for while after island's owner actually entering into a potential Sale Agreement, which when may or may not be PeoplePublic discussed in more detail later today..... And should best be left guide residents Eleuthera to draw they own conclusions..... But doesn't help when official opposition party are now only waking up call out to brungs forth some clarity going on's - on island Eleuthera by those suspiciously favouring quick and quiet Sale island?

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proudloudandfnm 1 month ago

How is it possible a man can be such a hypocrite?????

Fred just jealous cause he can't get in on the fix.....

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Sickened 1 month ago

Fred thanks for your service. However it's time for you to retire to San Francisco or Mykonos where you will be welcomed with hardened glee. Your being seen or heard in The Bahamas is irritating, even to the most hard core PLP's (Birdie is of course the exception - who is either you in disguise or wants to be with you).

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themessenger 1 month ago

Have never agreed with much of anything Fred Mitchell has or had to say before but he's dead right on this one. Sad!

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Apr 1 month ago

Wait the plp care about eia..environmental impact assessments ..ghezze where were they when Balmoral island got bulldozed for segway/ scooter rides and not to mention stolen dolphins and seals..They allowed complete disregard for law and order..and we reap what they sow..nygard only shows up when they in office..

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Apr 1 month ago

Plp care about environmental impact assessments? Try Balmoral island not to mention. Nygard..

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sealice 4 weeks ago

This bloody Doctor needs some business advice......

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sealice 4 weeks ago

The PLP care about the Environment???? WHat the fluck is Bimini??

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themessenger 4 weeks ago

This isn't about the PLP, its about the Bahamian people, especially those in Eleuthera, getting swing by we gubment. I ain sure what dem Eleuthera peoples expecting to get out da deal, but Mickey dem sure tink dey getting value for dey money. Now da nex part a da story is which rats did get da cheese dat was on da plate and which mice get leave wid da crumbs??

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