It broke my spirit today to tell long time neighbors and marina members that the bayshore would not be affordable to them again. They don’t understand. They just want to be able to enjoy their passion in their retirement years. They don’t see the big picture. They don’t see the greed and corruption of powerful men in far away cities that rob them of their heritage on the bay. They said the boat is siting in their backyard this year. I don’t have the heart to tell them that’s where it will stay. They don’t see that our region is much less expensive than any other part of the state and that boat slip fees doubled this season and would at least quadruple at a Money Island if I paid state extortion fees.
Over 70% of the recreational boats in our poor rural part of New Jersey are sitting in backyards now according to the Marine Trades Association. It will only get worse. Retired people who can afford the boats and finally have the time to use them don’t have the physical ability to ramp launch them. Without options, this couple must abandon their boating passion that I know means so much to them.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain”
Today, Sunday, is cooler and breezy. The heat and bugs were tough to take this past week. Overall I feel like it just slows down my progress in life. Yet I must work with it, not against it. I did make progress on a handful of projects this week but I’m dragging my feet on getting out to raise investment capital.
I feel frustrated waiting to collect money due to Baysave so that I can reallocate it as needed to other projects. We need a workboat in the water ASAP to pull docks. The boat is done, registered and ready but needs an engine and controls mounted. So far I’ve been patient with waiting. Now I feel that I should make a plan to move forward.
Dragonflies are thick, especially in the reeds and cedar, but don’t seem to have made any difference to the greenheads. Inside I’m focused on the ants and houseflies. The mosquitos are under control after screen repairs.
All is quiet on a Monday. I’ve had one visitor to Money Island in the past 24 hours; except of course the three guys who make a daily drive through past my house. That’s a whole different story. The visitor is a disabled veteran whose son works on an oyster boat. He came down to do a little fishing and watch his son come back in from work.
Part of the reason for few people now is that the greenhead flies are bad. Lance and I were chased in last night after getting only about 200 yards into our planned evening walk. But today on a morning walk I saw the first dragonfly. It seems early for dragonflies that usually come in the middle of July and kill many of the greenheads and mosquitos.
Meanwhile, the recovery plan for my own life and the future of Money Island continues to evolve. The memorandum of understanding letters go out today. I will begin making personal calls to potential stakeholders. The legal and financial model seems to be worked out and ready to move forward.
It’s been one week since I was found guilty of a criminal offense in New Jersey by a judge who said he reviewed the evidence and sided with the officer over me. I was pretty shaken up that day but my thinking is clearer now. I think I understand more of where I went wrong in presenting the evidence and how I could have made my case more effectively. I now understand why the officer lied and the person taking the payment on the “anonymous” complaint is exposed. Moreover, I am reminded that it is not reasonable to expect justice from the justice system when the issues involve fraud as deep as this. But it is too late for that now. I need to focus on maintaining my professional licenses and avoiding facing the same false charge again. Most of those details will be kept private. I did aree to put together a post for an accounting magazine on dealing with fraud within government.
I’ve also been thinking about the two people who ripped off the marina last week. There is little I can do because the arrangements were with Bruce who died a year ago. Unfortunately a few people who owed money saw that as a way to beat their debt to the marina. What this means is that I’ve been unable to pay some creditors. That causes stress. I don’t know how else to handle it except to continue to muscle through.
Today I drafted a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ for parties interested in future operations at Money Island. Several parties have expressed interest but we have no written agreements yet. A proposed funders asked for this next step in writing.
Memorandum of Understanding – Money Island Marina Community Whereas: 1) I have agreed to act as titleholder for the majority ownership stakeholders in a collection of properties known as the Money Island Marina Community. These properties include properties formerly used by Baysave, a consortium led by The Nature Conservancy and Rusty Joe’s Marina, properties in the Newport NJ area, and include properties whose owners wish to remain unnamed in public discussion at this time. These stakeholders are hereafter collectively referred to below as “We”. 2) I may not represent all of the stakeholders of these properties; nor am I saying that all of the stakeholders have been identified and had their claims vetted. Any party to an agreement will be subject to the possibility of other claims of other stakeholders. 3) These properties were formerly used as residences, businesses and research sites. In 2019 these properties are used only as my personal residence. We have no plans to continue using them beyond the current year. 4) The cost basis of the properties exceeds their current market value. We are unwilling or unable to sell the properties except as provided in this memorandum of understanding. Therefore: 1) We invite requests by other parties to use any or all of the properties for periods up to ten years at no cost under a ‘triple net lease’ with an option to extend or purchase after that period. 2) An offer of use may include the option to purchase at the adjusted cost basis as calculated by the seller and stakeholder(s). 3) An offer of use may include the responsibility to raise financing for redevelopment. 4) This offer is not exclusive. Offers are extended simultaneously to various government, private individuals, businesses, public organizations, nonprofit groups and educational organizations in hopes of soliciting an offer of use for any or all of the properties. If you or your organization has any interest in expansion at Money Island, I invite further discussion. Tony Novak
I had a strong hunch that if I took time and looked analytically then a response strategy would emerge in the midst of chaos and stress. Heavy dock construction continues on the creek. I focused on a “go dark” strategy with regard to the ways I am monitored. Buy time, protect myself, and rebuild a life elsewhere.
“The next 30 years are likely, instead, to resemble the slow disaster of the present: we will get used to each new shock, each new brutality, each “new normal,” until one day we look up from our screens to find ourselves in a new dark age — unless, of course, we’re already there.” This describes the flow of one unbelievable action after another that I’ve lived through here at Money Island.
(People will) “become used to random acts of violence as angry and sometimes starving citizens act out against increasingly repressive governments struggling to maintain control.” No doubt this describes the actions of the watermen we’ve seen already and includes future landowner actions against land use regulators.My story already includes examples of government in this highly distress community using violence and brutality to maintain controlover citizens – especially environmentalists!
“Revolution or collapse — in either case, the good life as we know it is no longer viable.” A reference to the book “Collapse” by professor Jared Diamond is appropriate and useful here.
“This is not our future, but our present: a time of transformation and strife beyond which it is difficult to see a clear path.” It is unrealistic to expect others to understand the issue and agree on the path forward.
The message is clear. For the past few decades I have been focused on being a positive force for change. Baysave tried to prevent disaster by working with people and government. The motto “think globally but act locally” made sense but was ultimately wrong. Now it is clear we must change to plan for the future as it will be; not the future that we hope will be.
Do not expect to see actions in the common good
Do not expect government to be a partner
I see daily violations of law now. More than in the past. Even as I write this blog post. It makes no sense to “report it”. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. It used to be that my manual photography would randomly catch an illegal act in the background of a shot. Now today’s security cameras record it on a daily basis. I wonder if they know or care.
Today I installed air conditioning in the bedroom. It is transformative to my quality of sleep yet I’m still only up to about 5 hours tonight. Fitbit tells me that my average is less than 4 hours. I don’t understand why my body acts more strongly now to bug bits and allergens in the air. Google gave me no new insights.
I suppose the bottom is a good place to start. The only problem is that you can only hope that you are at the bottom. God, could it really get worse?
Today I was falsely convicted of a crime in New Jersey. A pretty stupid crime. If I had to choose among crimes, this would be pretty lame and embarrassing. I didn’t turn over records because I did not have them. Why? Because the records were supposed to be for crabs bought and I didn’t buy any crabs. So I didn’t have any records for what didn’t exist. Sounds simple and like vocal to me. But here in New Jersey there must be something in the water.
Jesse’s sunset photos from last week. That’s my place on the left and on the far right.
I spent time formulating a ‘go forward’ strategy that includes “going dark” on Facebook. Ifaced at least three lawsuits based on Facebook and I’m weakened and battered. Blinkist helps. Talked with Lori, dad and John.
This blue heron is a daily guest. I wonder if this is the same one that escaped the eagle attack?
farmed striped bass at Whole Foods is tagged. $10 a pound. We have a ton of these here in the shallow water but they are illegal to harvest.
The book “The Drowning of Money Island” by Andrew S. Lewis is scheduled for release by Beacon House Publishing on October 1. I have nothing to do with that book project but I hope to be involved in a follow-up project. For now, this web site is just a collection of personal notes in blog format that will supplement the public topics posted at www.baysave.org.
Meanwhile, I welcome the opportunity to schedule a talk about environmental justice issues at the bayshore. If you are part of a group that schedules speakers for meetings in the mid-Atlantic region, I would love to hear from you.