Schooner Bay and Phil and Mary and Steph
he throws a great party
St Croix -sorry to disagree but still stand by my view of Mosler. I've never met him either, but I know what he looks like. To me he has about the same reputation as Allan Sanford or Jeffrey Prosser. Both of them had a lot of money and built their empires only for the public to find out later it was not necessarily done legally or ethically. I am like you though in the assessment of the bureaucratic nightmare one must go through to do things "by the book".
As for improving Cane Bay Beach area (safety, quality of the beach, etc), there is nothing remotely common sense in his idea to re-route the road. I live close by Cane Bay beach & yes it gets congested on certain days but a few speed bumps would serve the same purpose to "control the traffic"..
Okay RKS, I'll bite... point by point. 🙂
There are many lessons. And I invite you all to scrutinize him and reach your own conclusions--certainly do not take my word for any of them. One lesson is that he does not understand economics.
And what about his endorsements by several economics professors?
He's like a lot of people: they don't trust the old traditional economic answers anymore.
He controls a great deal of his family wealth which allows him to play at many games, but he found and bought stx while the market was at its highest and has tried to dump properties as the market bottomed.
They guy made a killing in the financial markets over the last 20 years.
And I won't denigrate him for coming from money either. Lots of people do.
Another lesson is that he is a speculator, not an investor. Investors invest money with the hope of a return while speculators try to capitalize on price fluctuations. Mosler has bought many, many properties on stx and has invested in almost none of them. He has strung a couple of contractors along who are plugging away at places like Lori's new building, but he has not made an effort to build anything except, afaik, the house for his daughter (grassy pt) and, in partnership with Chris Hanley, the dismal self-storage place at 7 Flags rd. which is an outgrowth of Warren's Tile Pile. (Which, by the way, he imported and stacked in the weather on pallets which have rotted and collapsed, breaking most of the tiles. What's the return on that investment, I wonder.)
If he "bought high" as you say, then he is by definition not what you say --a "speculator." As every homeowner knows, it's an investment to buy expensive property --if you're in it for the long-haul. If he eventually bails because the VI govt frustrates him, he'll simply join a long list of enthusiasts who thought it would be different. Not everyone buys to develop, some simply buy for the tax benefits. Very American of him. Are you upset because he doesn't want to build another casino or bar?
He built a storage facility that people in our area needed. So it's not Crucian Gardens. The run off from the hills in that valley is terrible.
Investors further understand that it takes money to make money, and if you expect to make money from a community you must invest in that community. Even Leon Hess, Alcoa, Vialco and Prosser put money into the community. What has Warren done? Zip. Nothing. Any advertising? nope. A grant here and there? nothing worth mentioning.
Owning property, building a restaurant, paying taxes and trying to become an elected official is not investing in the community??
What would you propose he advertise?
Further, he has no sense of, or interest in, the culture of the island he has bought. He behaves like a kid who buys a new gadget and throws away the instructions. When he realizes it won't respond to him and that he can't figure out how to make it work, he tosses it aside. His last two election campaigns for delegate have made that point clearly.
By "tossing it aside" you mean "he got out when he realized he couldn't win"? Friend, I call that "good business sense." Only idiots continue to run for office when they cannot win (and this island has a few of those already). A sense of good timing is no sin.
He and his family live behind gates, they employ almost exclusively white people, they do not engage in the community they live in, and they are afraid of it.
I live behind a gate. I understand some people think he's a racist because he once expoused requiring community service from people who lived in public housing. I personally have no problem with that concept!
...you may know another of his botched projects: the bulldozed lot at the intersection where N Shore road turns toward Salt River. That was to be another minimart until the downturn in the economy. Sadly, that happens to have been the site of the oldest human habitation in the Virgin Islands. He had it bulldozed, with no clear plan, and now it is lost for ever.
I mentioned this in my other post. You can't put a spade in the ground around the Salt River without being on ancient ground. If it happened as you say, he was wrong, but development in historic areas is not wrong, it just needs to be done carefully. Point your anger at the NPS and DPNR. Their mis-management of the greater area is an archaeological disaster in the making.
Slow development around here is not "botched" development. And knowing when to quit is not bad business.
Let me be clear: in no way do I blame him for spot zoning. That is a chronic problem in our local government and there isn't much any of us can do about it. I DO blame him for exploiting spot zoning, and in doing so desecrating our island without giving us anything, ANYTHING! in return.
How does building a mini-mart where one was needed, would pay taxes, and put people to work "desecrate 'our' island?" Virtually EVERY building on this island was built over some part of history. We need intelligent development. I don't know if he unearthed burials and villages when he bulldozed.... I hope not. But you can hardly stick a spade in the ground of most desirable locations on this island without hitting a previous culture.
And why not go after the boat owners and DPNR at the Salt River Bay for the sewage they are allowing into the fragile ecosystem there, and the numerous derelict boats. Why not go after the sewage being pumped over Long Reef? (and released into harbor by all the sailboats)?
And his boat is absolutely the ugliest thing on the water. He managed the impossible: he took Roger Hatfield's already ugly Gold Coast powerboat design and made it mud-fence ugly.
The truth comes out! You hate his boat! hahaha Yeah, it's uglier than sin.
But Mosler was interested in developing boats that rode better in rough seas and required less fuel. Shoot the man for experimenting with new technology! But I think we need people willing to invest in new concepts that aren't so pretty. Wind turbines, for example.
Disclosure...Early on, I was entranced by the flash and the cash, and I once thought about working on his campaign for delegate, so I looked into his background, his writings and his detractors. What I found, even then, led me to believe that we'd be a whole lot better off without him. (Hey, maybe we should call that the Stanford Syndrome!) All of my subsequent experience supports that conclusion. Of course, ymmv, so check him out and make up your own mind.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." 😉
Like I said, I've never met the man, and don't like his Tea Party attachments. His attempts to engage the world beyond being an investor does seem a bit scattered. And I wasn't interested in him when he started to run. But of the 10 largest landholders on the island you could have picked on, you picked on the easiest target -because while he may hide in a big house (when he's on island, that is), he hasn't hidden his political views. The rest of crowd are smarter. They pull their strings BEHIND the scenes.
Suggestion: How about going after the wealthy owners of all the derelict property on the island? How about going after the businesses which are trashing our enviroment, avoiding taxes, and doing business under the table? How about going after all the wealthy people in multi-million dollar home paying a paltry sum in property tax and visiting for just 3 months out of the year without investing in the community? (Hess gave back to the community, alright, including what will someday be a huge SuperFund cleanup site. Yes, Hess hires a ton of employees --who come here for a short time, put their kids in private school, and leave the island --taking their wages with them.)
His political and economic views may be different and wrong. (and I think some of them are)
Some of his development and investment ideas may have not turned out like he expected. (what does on this island?)
And he may be eccentric and trying to effect change by means other than developing a casino/hotel complex or rum distillery.
But that doesn't make him a BAD man or an ego-maniac. --That's what I'm mostly trying to say.
Well thanks for taking the time to write all that.
The bit about the boat was supposed to be a humorous, subjective rant to lighten up the end of my original post. Since you responded in seriousness I'll point out that Roger Hatfield at Gold Coast Yachts has been designing those wave-piercing power cats since probably before Mosler could find STX on a map. Mosler's contribution to the ugliness of the boat comes from his decoration of it, nothing more.
As to the rest, I'll try to keep this brief.
1 Professorial endorsements are meaningless on their own.
2 He runs a hedge fund. Hedge funds played a huge part of the current worldwide economic meltdown. To suggest that this experience lends validitiy to his macroeconomic ideas is equivalent to suggesting a rapist is an expert at romance.
3 Yes he came from money, and nor do I begrudge him that. But the British have a saying: "Riches to rags in 3 generations." Knowing him and his daughter as I do, I can see the pattern applies just as much to them.
4 Speculators buy high all the time, usually with the hope of selling higher. The bubble may burst, as it has for many of us, but that doesn't mean they aren't speculators, it merely means they missed a bet.
5 The tile-pile and storage units are indefensible.
6 No, owning property etc is not investing in the community. Communities are not merely lines on a plot map, they are groups of people who share various values, desires and concerns. Investing in communities means putting something into those groups in order to improve them, and thus improve the return on your own investments.
7 Running for office was purely a vain and selfish move on his part. It would have allowed him to bypass residency requirements for all his EDC benefits, among very many other percs.
8 I have a gate too. It keeps my dogs in.
9 I'd like to take a moment to clarify the situations mentioned around Salt River:
I think we would all agree that Salt River has many layers of historical and cultural significance. The territory has voiced its support for preserving that land on both sides of the bay and into the estuary, but it has consistently neglected to act to do so. Gradually, as the land became available, the National Park Service has purchased parcels around the site in order to preserve them. This began with the purchase of the old failed hotel development on the Cape of the Arrows. The Park was officially enacted in 1992. However, the Territorial Gov't has held tightly to the Columbus Landing site. So, although the NPS has refused to enter into such arrangements anywhere and everywhere else in the Nation, they agreed to draw up a cooperative agreement with the Territorial Gov't to co-manage Salt River Bay National Historic Site and Ecological Preserve. They then spent many years and many thousands of dollars to draw up this agreement with the input of any and every stakeholder they could think of. They arrived at a cooperative agreement that was satisfactory to all parties and submitted it to the Governor...TEN YEARS AGO. Finally, after two changes of administration and much howling and indignation from the community, the delegate, and many senators, Governor deJongh looked into it, approved it, sent it down to the commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources for his signature, and it sat on his desk for another 2 years.
At last the cooperative agreement was signed late last year and the governor announced it in his state of the territory address somewhere around page 21. But now, at least, the NPS through the Dept of Interior, can begin to put mechanisms into place to help the territory run, maintain and preserve the entire co-managed park as it was envisioned 20 years ago. The agreement has provisions for federal funding and resources for territorial govt positions for management of the park, maintenance, policing, security, and acquisition of the lots that are currently being built on where, among other things, the ancient ball court once was.
Further, the MREC mentioned earlier will not be "on burial grounds" as was suggested, but on land that had already been thoroughly sculpted, terraced and otherwise ransacked by the hotel developers in the '60s. Not withstanding that, the entire site has, and will continue to undergo very through archaeological excavations, and the plans for the facility are mandated to be sensitive to the archaeological significance of the site. It was mentioned that nowhere in Salt River can you turn a shovel without turning up something of historical significance. I'll counter that by saying that nowhere in any National Park can you turn a shovel (legally) without an archaeologist standing over you watching what you're doing.
to be cont'd
The poster "StCroix" in his earlier post said one thing which points succinctly to the problem, and I want to address that here.
Many of us who come here from elsewhere are surprised at first by the conservatism we find in the culture here. I was certainly taken aback when as a young man I discovered that Christiansted had a dress code, for all practical purposes...all the literature and media in the 'States seem to suggest that everyone in the caribbean wore swimsuits by day and pressed trousers and guayaberas by night. But the history and tradition here lend the island and its culture a strength that even my young and bohemian heart at the time soon began to appreciate.
Having spent nearly half my life here and having worked very hard to learn, preserve and teach much of what I've found, I've had a chance to see where some of that strength comes from. It comes from a very positive and strong cultural identity, and it's tempered by constant assaults from people who profess to know what's best for us.
Yes, sure, I get angry when I hear senators ranting in Government house about colonialism and carpet-baggers, but after generations of Crucians have had to endure wave after wave of people from elsewhere who come and go, often with the best of intentions, but never somehow leaving the place any better and often much worse than they found it, can anyone truly blame them? Think about it.
So I was heartbroken when I read the comment by "StCroix" that said, " If being "bawn here" politician[sic] meant you understood the problems of the island, then why do we still have the problems? (Perhaps "bawn here" is the problem?)"
Being born here means being born on one of the most beautiful places on earth, into a culture that is distinct, beautiful, diverse and strong, all under the protections and benefits of US citizenship. It also means having to endure countless comments like that suggesting they're inferior, stupid and backward.
Please ask yourselves, the next time you get angry at some aspect of Island life: Whose expectations are not being met? Where do those expectations come from? If you find yourselves blind to the beauty and numb to the joy that surrounds you here, please consider harnessing up that bohemian spirit that brought you here and moving to a new place, one that enriches you, and that you will enrich by your presence.
RKS.... I think what Stcroix is saying is you practiced a bit of character assasination on Mosler. I don't know much about him or what he's done, but I too cringed when I read your post, not knowing whether it was true or not.
The whole "born here" thing is a poison debate because it's the eternal "us versus them" debate. It's not a local thing, it's a fundamental human defect I've seen in every place I've ever lived. People who have lived in a place longer think it entitles them to know better. The examples of the fallacy of this kind of thinking are too numerous to mention. (I could start with Appalachia, but won't.)
Regarding the Salt River...
I'm keenly interested in the area and have visited and researched it quite a bit. I sympathize with Stcroix's complaint about the NPS' impending construction. It's absolutely stunning to me that they are able to Fund & Construct a LARGE marine facilityon the East side of the Bay to study the reefs, but can't leverage the trash out of the trees on the west side.
As much as we need the reefs studied and protected, the ancient cultural heritage of the Bay needs better understood and protected too.
WHY has the VI govt been resisting the proper management of the Salt River Bay for so long? I think it's the same answer whether we're talking about the Bay, or WAPA, or abandoned vehicles, or trash by the roadside. And the VI is not alone in this dysfunction. Protecting the local heritage and the environment is a relatively NEW phenomenon in the States too. It first had to be shoved down everybody's throats by force of law.
Up north, only when local communities realized that there was MONEY to be made in protecting your cultural and environmental assets (tourism and recreation), did they jump on the bandwagon.
Put a re-creation of a Taino village on the west side of the Salt River, as well as, make sure the NPS marine facility was visitor-tourist friendly (more so than Ft Christianvaern, for example), and it would not only improve the entire area, it would improve the economy, and enrich the local population. It might also lead the way towards other projects that didn't have to wait 20 years to get approved.
thats good to know thanks CA.
If that store would lower the prices it could be a "gold mine"
Have found things cheaper at Stop and Go (rob)
My S.O. suggested an item he wished Phil and Mary would carry, and Mary actually wrote the item down and said she would check into carrying it. (flav. coffee creamer in case you were wondering):D
I don't typically shop out east... I'm lucky to live closer to Plaza and despite their high prices they are always cheaper than Schooner. I certainly hope that Phil and Mary and Steph do look at pricing there and attempt to keep themselves somewhat competitive on the basics. Many of my friends that live east stop in there for last minute essentials but have tried to do their 'big' shopping elsewhere because of cost. I think it is great that both Gallows Bay Hardware and Schooner Bay Market are under new management. Change is good and usually means someone takes a little interest in the business and makes it better! Yay! Both those places could do a lot better on pricing and service attitudes. Time will tell.
I think opening up another hardware store is just bad business sense and more of an emotional response than based on any business plan.
I hope that is rumor. With Home Depot coming (hopefully), we don't need another hardware store. HD will make sure prices are kept competitive. What would be great to see is a store with home goods, a la crate and barrell, bed/bath, williams sonomo ilk. I realize none of them would be possible but something that kinda combined the best of all and offered mid to high quality home essentials with an island twist! Steph used to do a great job selecting the kitchen and home items at GBH.. I think she'd be great at this type of home decor/home essentials store and would love it! With patio furniture! There is NO PLACE to buy good quality patio furniture on this island except K-Mart.! I can wish.
i agree with all you said limetime. espicially the part........well all of it. i agree that it could be an emotional part more then good business sense to open another hardware so close.
instead of gallows bay area will be known as hardware store alley.....
a home decor store would be nice....like you said kmart is about the only place to buy outside furniture.
we will have as many hardware store as we do furniture stores... hehe
I went into Schooner Bay Market today and was really pleased with the changes. The produce section is so much better than it was , the salad bar has really been beefed up (literally...there are sliced meats now), and I found the prices to be more reasonable. I bought fresh salmon for dinner tonight, and it was outstanding. I noticed, in the produce, they had rhubarb. Wasn't someone looking for that?
Another plus...familiar, friendly faces!
i agree juanita. some improvements. but what is with all the huge bags of dog food and cat food etc. when you walk in? hope they don't start trying to turn it into a plaza. plaza started junking up aisles with bulk stuff.
candles were an ok touch, wish they had a greeting card section.
have to stop there today. bought gallon of milk yesterday and it was sour......ewwwwwww