Residents Discuss Coral Bay Summer’s End on Social Media Site

CORAL BAY — One community activist brought the simmering Coral Harbor marina battle to the shore of the bucolic bay on Friday, October 10, when he tried to listen in on a site visit to the waterfront property by federal officials to meet with experts working with the developers of the proposed mega-yacht marina, The Yacht Club at Summer’s End and ended up in a confrontation with Summer’s End partner Rick Barksdale.

Amid coconut telegraph reports of assaults and arrests, David Silverman, a Coral Bay resident with stateside experience in zoning matters who has been publically criticizing the process leading up to the recent St. John Coastal Zone Management committee approval of the controversial development plan which would take control of most of Coral Harbor, reported on the incident on Coral Bay Summers End Discussion’s Facebook page on Friday, October 10, at 2:40 p.m.

“Everyone seems to want to know about the confrontation this morning…,” Silverman posted. “Not much to tell other than that Rick Barksdale acted rude and threatening to me because I wanted to silently listen to what his consultant (Amy Dempsey) was saying to the Army Corps personnel … ”

“(t)hey were all standing outside Island Blues and Rick bumped and pushed me and yelled at me that I wasn’t ‘invited,’” and something to the effect that I am a ‘trouble maker’ (for him possibly true …),” Silverman posted. “(h)e proceeded to phone the ‘property owner’ and the police, who all eventually arrived and took statements from Rick… (who claims I hit him when he in fact stood straight in my face and butted his chest against me)… ”

“(i)n the end I respectfully asked the Army Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) personnel if I had interfered with their meeting, and they responded ‘of course not’ … ,” the community activist posted. “(t)his guy is operating on a very thin thread judging from his behavior … not rational at all … even Chaliese (SEG partner Chaliese Summers) tried to get him to settle down… ”

There were no arrests or other VIPD action.

Army Corps Meets With CBCC, Residents
Ironically, the confrontation between Barksdale and Silverman came after representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers had met with the community citizen’s group the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) on Thursday afternoon, October 9, as reported by CBCC founder Sharon Coldren in a subsequent internet posting.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Coral Bay Community Council’s staff, some board members and other community members met with three Army Corps reps in Coral Bay and discussed the full range of marina concerns, the planned removal of derelict vessels by CBCC and more,” Coldren wrote in the internet posting.

The CBCC has secured a grant for the removal of derelict vessels from the bay and is drafting plans to remove the vessels in early 2015 while the mega-yacht marina developers simultaneously are seeking funds from a 2013 federal grant to the V.I. government “to provide transient vessels healthy and available access” to the islands to pay for removal of sunken vessels as part of relocating and configuring the Coral Bay mooring field to make room for the marina docks and enforcing the use of pump-out services by liveaboard vessels in the harbor.

“There was also a boat trip to see all aspects of our beautiful inner bay and how to maintain and improve the environment, and the site of the marina. It was a very useful and productive meeting — with the same Army Corps personnel who got treated to the SEG style on Friday a.m. …”

And, “There Was This Man at the Bar from T-Rex”

As if there were not enough activity on the Coral Bay waterfront, the coconut telegraph had one more internet posting on the confusing marina controversy:

“A man named Lynn who represents the T-Rex Marina project was at  Skinny’s today. He showed up looking for Alan of Coral Bay Marine, & wound up chatting up a few locals,” the writer posted. “He gave a brief synopsis of thier marina/hotel plan.”
“He answered a few of my questions, but admittedly did not know the answers to others,” the writer posted. “Said he would be back in the same area tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon but would not commit to a time.

He invited me to a meeting with the T-Rex developers at noon on Saturday at the Moravian Church.”