A fleet with certain skeletons

The Aurora and Chaleur at Herman and Helen's Marina


Aurora owner Chris Willson responds  to today’s column on his blog:
“The Aurora has had a troubled past but it really isn’t the Aurora that has had a troubled past it is her former owners that couldn’t take care of business and found it more easy to walk away due to politics. Under my watch the Aurora has come a long way and has passed each and every Coast Guard inspection with flying colors.”
He takes on the column piece by piece here.
Late yesterday, but prior to publication of the column, Curtis Lind, owner of the Fir — another Pier 38 evictee — and another big boat at Herman and Helens, wrote:
“I have two of the ships at H&H.  We have the ability to make our idea (floating waterfront tourist attractions–MF) happen.
“Some of the potential people that could become involved are the group that created Disneyland Florida, currently building a Ark in Kentucky, have a biblical tourist town in Israel, etc.  We have the basic vessels, we have the backing of Chief Bill (local) who has casino permits, one of our vessels is a National Federal Monument, some need work, some are ready to go, all of them have history and are interesting.
“We are trying to get some traction.  We need support from either the City of Stockton or the county to proceed.  I have met with the county and they do not seem to be interested.  I have not met with the city (Chief Bill is arranging a meeting).”
Lind provided a Outline of a Development for San Joaquin County. I do believe a historic or interesting ship of some sort could be an important component of a redeveloped Stockton waterfront. But Lind’s outine is way too sketchy and unrealistic in its current form. He needs to show a business plan, proof of financing, memoranda of understanding with affiliates, etcetera …
… and then the city or county will shoot him down because he was evicted from pier 38, reportedly paid to leave Alameda and is here illegally, according to county officials.  
If these vessel owners obey the laws, pay their bills and follow the standard business start-up practices their ideas to make a buck out of their boats deserve a fair hearing.
Or we could follow the advice of reader Nancy Schell: “The solution is simple … send in the urban miners. Let them know that they should start in the interior so that it dosen’t sink to soon.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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