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squeezed

Another compelling post from the community in our forums..
I belong to a 40-year old boating school in Matheson Park, Coral Gables, Florida, (near Miami) called CASTLE HARBOR SAILING SCHOOL, with about 140 members and 14 boats. This is the only licensed on-water boating school in Dade and Broward. It is very close to my heart because they offer sailing camps for kids and underprivileged kids, every summer, thanks to grants and donations from members. And of course, ongoing sailing and boating classes to parents, kids etc. One of the legendary members is 93 years-old, winning most races, and he says that his weekend races are what keeps him alive and going.
About 2 months ago, the Park authority, with no warning, came up to the new school owner (a veteran champion sailor who bought the school 2 years ago from the founder) and said (get this!):
”We have realized that we have “omitted” to bill you rent escalation for 14 years!!! So you owe us $143,000 plus interests. Pay up or you’re out by September 4”.
Needless to say the school does not have that kind of money. The owner has offered multiple solutions, like a payment plan, or a month-to-month extension until he can relocate the 14 boats, the staff and equipment etc… The Park has flat-out declined any negotiation or solution, arguing also about an obscure lease clause.
In fact, the real (political??) reason is that the Park and City of Miami intend to build (reportedly through a developer??) a restaurant, bar, etc. They could have easily accommodated the school in that building, because the school does not need much space. They also refused.
In fact, they just want the school out, throwing out the window: all the staff members and the contractors who depend on the school for work, the kids sailing camps, and a legendary institution that has served the local community for 40 years.
It has been impossible to find another location for the school so far. We have all written to Miami Mayor Gimenez and Park Director Nardi. They are not interested. And now time is running very short. Desperately short.
So we want to take this shameful story public and viral.  We – club members – are going all out to all our connections, sailors or not to help save Castle Harbor. What can we do?
Activate any connection you may have, at the Miami Herald or any news outlet
Tweet the Mayor: Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) · Twitter
Tweet the Miami-Dade Parks (@MiamiDadeParks) · Twitter
Email Mayor Gimenez: [email protected]
Give us any bright idea you may have
We cannot lose this. It would be a terrible injustice, and there is nothing I hate more than that.
Comment here.