Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hudson River Park boathouse update -

note, since I've actually reached out for people to come read this now - I have known about the 3-way competition for a while. All the organizations are just trying to survive - there is NOTHING wrong with that. I didn't say anything for a while because it just didn't seem like my place to do so (particularly regarding the Randy/Sebago thing - please note, at this point Randy had actually only approached a couple of members of the club, then came & spoke to an informal gathering of a few people of which I was a part - it was a privilege to be invited to that meeting & I hope talking about what happened there isn't abusing that privilege) - but it just kills me that this 3-way cutthroat thing has been set up by the choices & actions the Trust has made, the Trust themselves may not realize it, and nobody seems to be saying ANYTHING about it. If anyone feels like I owe them an apology, they're probably right.

One week from now, it's the final due date for proposals to manage the boathouse at Pier 66.

Last time the Trust put out a Request For Proposals was for the Pier 96 boathouse in Clinton. That time, as far as I know, only the Downtown Boathouse put in a proposal.

This time, there's a little more interest. Naturally, the paddling community at Pier 63 has joined forces as New York RiverSports - that group again is made up of:
Manhattan Kayak,
New York Kayak Polo,
New York Outrigger, and the
Hudson River Paddlers Guild.

Randy at New York Kayak is putting in a competing proposal. This isn't surprising at all as I think he is now about where MKC for the last year or two - no definite shutdown date, but no guarantee of being able to continue at his Pier 40 location from one season to the next, could be over any year. He approached some of the Sebago stalwarts about asking the club for help, though - that was an unpleasant surprise, one of the things I was happy about was that moving to Sebago got me clear of the unpleasantness of the Hudson River Park situation, and here was Randy trying to drag my new club back into it.

Now, I don't want to see Randy go out of business. Randy's shop the ABSOLUTE best place in NYC to go buy any basic piece of kayak equipment when you needed it yesterday - my office is near an Eastern Mountain Supply that does have a few items, but for anything beyond the bilge-pump/handi-rack level, I generally end up at NYKC. Still, it was very disconcerting to have him approach my new club asking us to agree to something that would help him out with his proposal when his proposal being chosen could potentially lead to the demise of MKC...

and then I also hear that the DTBH is putting in a proposal. Don't know whether this is in response to the Tribeca boathouse being possibly on the chopping block, or even if it's true, but that's the rumour. note, later on...this was NOT true - see comments for details - the DTBH was not allowed to apply as they are already managing a Trust boathouse.

It's like the Trust is running one of those experiments where you put too many rats in too small a cage and they all turn on each other. That they probably don't understand the effect that playing musical chairs with water access is having on people's lives doesn't make me feel any less bad about it.

Ignorance may be bliss - but it's a crummy excuse.

BTW, I haven't heard thing one about whether the DEC decided to let the barge continue to function as the paddlesports facility it had been until the September shutdown - have been extremely out of the loop since I left. Only thing I HAVE heard is that nothing's been accomplished on the demolition of the old Pier 63 headhouse that had housed BasketBall City & the mounted police.

Oh well...

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