July 9, 2007

ProJo Against Yacht Center at Quonset

Marc Comtois

The ProJo editorializes against putting a Yacht yard on the spot where a container port would go:

The explanation for the state’s alacrity in welcoming a mega-yacht center: Governor Carcieri, who entered public life by opposing a container port, and some of his followers in the summer yacht-club crowd (some of whom only live in Rhode Island in the summer), will do just about anything to keep out a real port — in this case, by filling the site with the yacht center, or at least the promise of it.

The Island Global Yachting project could, it is said, handle private yachts up to 600 feet long. The Florida-based company would pay the Quonset Development Corporation $120 million to $150 million for the property and hopes to employ 390 to 450 with average salaries around $50,000. It is also negotiating the purchase of an additional 32 acres. That’s not peanuts, and we’d welcome the project if it were located anywhere else. (How about elsewhere at Quonset?)

But it would be a terrific disservice to Rhode Islanders if the Carcieri adminstration were to permanently foreclose the possibility of building a container port...

The rest we know by heart. For some perspective, here's an example of what a generic, two-berth container port would look like (from a study commissioned by the Maine DOT). It would take up about 320 acres to be viable.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I'd rather look at yachts than containers.

Posted by: John at July 9, 2007 3:19 PM

The Projo editorial fails to even address the environmental impact of a port versus the environmental impact of the proposed "yacht-yard".

It also takes the pro-port economic arguments at face value at a time when most east coats ports are losing money.

The Port of New Hampshire recently issued a press release highlighting that it had generating a proft of $1 million. Doesn't sound like much? It does when the Port of Boston reported a loss of $19 million, Philadelphia reported a loss of $12 million and New York/New Jersey reported a loss of $59 million.

A port brings union jobs, so naturally there will be a segment that want to build it, but to blindly support a project without evaluating the environmental and economic impact is foolish.

Posted by: Anthony at July 9, 2007 9:09 PM


Foolish is a good word for it. Obsessive/compulsive would also fit the Projo profile regarding the container port. Have yet to come clean about their real motivation for constant promotion of this idea. Not that it makes much of a difference given the general lack of professionalism seen with this paper in recent years. They're greatly lacking in the credibility department. The fanaticism they express about a Quonset container port makes the case quite nicely.

Posted by: Tim at July 10, 2007 7:21 AM

Exactly, Anthony.

I do agree that, if possible, the proposed yacht center should be placed in a location which does not preclude the addition of a container port, in the event the mythical tenant ever does come forward.

Note to the author of the ProJo editorial: quit trying to create class war where there is none. The biggest opponents to a container port are permanent, full time residents of Rhode Island.

Note Number Two: because contrary to the false image that a few people keep trying to create, the real elites in this state are the heads of the public labor unions and their cronies who infest our government.

Posted by: SusanD at July 10, 2007 8:03 AM

SusanD, great point in identifying who comprises the RI elites. Corporate types associated with the GOP may be the elites in most states, but it's different in RI.

In Ri, the state is the largest employers. Union leaders and prominent Democrats are senior execs. or serve on the boards of the state's largest companies---Montanaro at Blue Cross, Coia at Beacon Mutual, Schweitzer at G Tech are just a few.

Democrats are left in a strange position. They cut special deals with large corporate interests that are friendly to them while still trying to maintain they are "the party of the people" to the average Rhode Islander. It's surprising that the average RI Democrat allows them to get away with it.

Posted by: Anthony at July 10, 2007 1:01 PM
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