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Donald Trump Buys Marina Village Yacht Harbor, Plans Skyrise over Existing Marina

May 24 - Alameda

After being the object of much interest by prospective buyers over the past six months, Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda has been sold to New York real estate mogul and world-class narcissist Donald Trump. In return for donating half the property to the city for much-needed parks, the city has granted Trump the right to build a 66-story luxury condo project with - get this - the marina continuing to occupy what would normally be the bottom four floors!

"I was the top bidder," The Donald explained, "because only I was smart enough to realize that Alameda is very much like Manhattan." When asked to explain himself, the flustered Trump said, "They're both almost completely surrounded by water, you dummy!"

"Thanks to my leadership and that of the Trump Estuary," said the man once known as 'Ivana's husband', "Alameda is going to become the Manhattan of the West Coast, while San Francisco will ultimately be relegated to the New Jersey of the West Coast."

After the deal was closed, Trump had two words for the current - and very popular - Marina Village Harbormaster, Alan Weaver: "You're fired!"

"I feel like I'm on television," responded Weaver with his trademark laugh.

"Just kidding," said Trump, jabbing Weaver in the ribs. "You're my new apprentice!"

Harbormaster Alan Weaver won't be going to Mexico quite yet, after all.

All right, enough fooling around, here's the real story:

Marina Village was purchased in March by developer Steve Meckfessel and a group of investors. Longtimers may recall that Meckfessel was one of the early partners of the marina and, according to Harbormaster Alan Weaver, will not be implementing many changes.

The controversial 'condo-ization' issue was addressed in a letter Meckfessel sent to Marina Village tenants: "We have inherited the condominium map from the previous owner, however, at this time, it is our intent not to sell any individual condo slips for several years." This will be a relief to many who opposed the plan. However, there is a less welcome change that will start immediately - an increase in slip fees for slips over 40 feet.

The letter also announced that Weaver will stay on as Harbormaster at the marina. "I was offered a position in Mazatlan before we knew who was buying the marina," said Weaver, "but decided to stay when Steve bought it. I've known him for 15 years, so I can assure everyone that everything is going to be wonderful."


More on the Death of Hans Horrevoets in the Volvo

May 24 - North Atlantic Ocean

With the body of Hans Horrevoets, the ABN Amro Two crewmember who died after being swept overboard, having been transferred to a Royal Netherlands frigate, two important pieces of information were released about the tragic incident. First, he had not been wearing a lifejacket or safety harness when a wave washed him off the boat from his position as spinnaker trimmer. The wind had quickly increased from 12 to 25 knots, and skipper Seb Josse had given the orders for everyone to put their harnesses on. Horrevoets was only about a minute away from getting his on when hit by the wave. Others said it was common for the spinnaker trimmer to be the last of the on-deck crew to put a lifejacket and harness on.

In addition, it was revealed that Horrevoets was in the water for 40 minutes before his body was recovered. Although this might seem like a lot of time, the crew were said to have done an excellent job under the conditions to make the recovery. It's like Pirates of the Caribbean skipper Paul Cayard has said, if you go overboard, it's probably the end.

"We Love These Boats", Says Skipper of Abandoned Volvo 70

May 24 - Portsmouth, UK

You might think that Bouwe Bekking, skipper of movistar, the Volvo 70 that was abandoned because of a loose keel in the last leg of the Volvo, might have had his fill with the controversial boats. But that's not the case. Here are his thoughts, as posted on the Volvo Race site:

"I personally hope that we can keep sailing on these boats in future Volvo Ocean Races. I think all the sailors - at least myself - love these boats. They are fantastic to sail. We know a lot of things have happened, but designers are not stupid, and they are all thinking, and a lot of people are communicating with each other to see what we can do to make the boats safer for the future. So even if the race is in three years time, we have enough development time and feedback from all the teams, and I think that next time we will have a second generation class, and we won't have any problems anymore."

movistar, as she looked arriving in New York at the end of Leg 6
Photo Martin Stockbridge

The abandoned movistar, photographed from her lifeboat. She is now presumed to either be upside down or sunk.
Photo movistar
Photos Courtesy www.volvooceanrace.org

NOAA Expects the Atlantic-Caribbean Hurricane Season to Be Above Normal

May 24 - East Coast

NOAA advises that they expect an 80% chance of above-normal hurricane activity, a 15% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below normal season. The outlook calls for a very active 2006 season, with 13-16 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes, and 4-6 major hurricanes. The likely range of the ACE index is 135%-205% of the median. This prediction indicates a continuation of above-normal activity that began in 1995. However, they do not currently expect a repeat of last year's record season.

This is not a prediction that you can take to the bank. In years passed, we've checked over predictions by various expert individuals and agencies, and their record isn't very impressive.

Would you freak out if a major hurricane flooded Manhattan and wiped out most of the expensive real estate on the shore of the Hamptons in Long Island? You shouldn't, because it's not like it hasn't happened before. Back in 1938, a hurricane struck New York and New England, killing 3,600 people, and causing terrible devastation. The unusual thing about the storm is that it approached land at a staggering 67 mph, and that once it passed, not one person blamed it on SUVs.

What's not often talked about is that Mexico and the Eastern Pacific had a lighter than normal hurricane season last year, and another one is predicted for this year. According to the experts, there's an 80% chance the season will be below normal.

Structures destroyed in Boston by hurricane

Newspaper in Boston before the real death toll was known
Photos Courtesy www.hurricanes-blizzards-noreasters.com

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