Key West Citizen Editorial Page...

A Mr. Neugent, who owns a restaurant in Marathon in the Keys, is a big supporter of the Pilot Program. He responded to a guest column which I wrote, here and here is his response Notice how Neugent immediately drops to ad hominem attacks rather than attempt to refute my points in a logical manner. That sort of response is usual when the individual concerned has no backup for his position, so he attempts to vilify the other side.
Below is my reply, which was also published on the Key West Citizen website as a comment to the column.

Dear Mr. Neugent - I am the writer of the guest column in the KW Citizen to which you took such exception. Your juvenile sounding ad hominem attack entirely ignores the facts I pointed out, most particularly that the Pilot Program does nothing that isn't already achievable by laws currently in place. It is rather rich that you accuse me of "trying to obfuscate detail, reason and facts" when you yourself ignore them.

Fact: Marathon was able to deal with its derelict boat problem years ago, before there was any Pilot Program;
Fact: the Pilot Program permits municipalities to unnecessarily duplicate state and federal laws currently in place dealing with the issues at hand;
Fact: at risk vessels are currently identified by the FWC - the Pilot Program is not required for this, no matter how hard you attempt to claim that to be the case.

When you claim - "rather than an outcry of revulsion, [they] defend this behavior", you demonstrate one of two things to me: that you require a course in remedial reading, since I most certainly said no such thing or that you simply didn't read what I wrote, and your mind is entirely closed to any intelligent discussion of the issues.

Now, let me inform you of something else you don't know. A great many cruisers - and there are over 10,000 boats coming south every season, are talking about boycotting Florida as a result of the state's 'boater unfriendly' attitude that you so clearly demonstrate. I've seen remarks in several online forums, and heard of further remarks on various cruisers' radio nets on single sideband. This would be over 20,000 people who eat, shop and do touristy things things that you people in the Keys utterly rely on for your living. That would be 20,000 responsible boaters who are tired of being treated by you in the same manner that you treat your drunks, druggies and incorrigibles in Florida who ARE your problem.
Just to sharpen your memory, here's a quote from recent BOCC minutes, from Lt. Dipre:
          "FWC's Lieutenant Dipre stated one common factor that applies to derelict vessels throughout the state is the socioeconomic  
          factor.Drug and alcohol use also play a big part in derelict vessels.
If you don't care for that quote, how about this one: 
          "Lieutenant Dipre stated that he does not believe more mooring fields will resolve the derelict vessel program".
But since you don't believe me - go read what Phil Horning of the FWC had to say recently in Boat US magazine. Here's what one reviewer of the article had to say: "The recent article touting the implementation of the FWC's "At-Risk" Vessel Program and its successes, by Phil Horning, published in BOAT US magazine, proves that the Pilot Program's stated objectives of helping control derelict and abandoned vessels is not truth. The Pilot Program has no funding at all and offers none of its participants funding for derelict and abandoned boat control--no funding at all for anything. Using the derelict and abandoned boat problem as a premise for the necessity of the Pilot Program is an inaccuracy and very misleading the the Public."

Next time you come ready to shoot the messenger, Mr. Neugent, try loading your gun with something other than blanks.


Wally Moran