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Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Stop the Eviction of Disabled Veterans from Travis Marina and Keep the Sailing Center Alive!
  • Petitioning Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service

This petition will be delivered to:

Frank Dean, GGNRA Superintendent
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service
National Park Service
Jonathan Jarvis
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Stop the Eviction of Disabled Veterans from Travis Marina and Keep the Sailing Center Alive!

    1. Colleen Shaw
    2. Petition by

      Colleen Shaw

      Fairfax, CA

These three veterans live on fixed incomes and suffer from various disabilities caused by their time spent bravely fighting for our country. Since 2003 and 2006, they have lived on their sailboats in Travis Marina, near Sausalito, California, which sits inside the territory of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a division of the National Park Service. They pay rent each month to Travis Air Force Base, the manager of the Marina. None of the veterans have ever been late with a rent payment. This Marina has historically been a Morale Welfare and recreation facility for active duty and retired military members to enjoy sailing at below market costs. The Presidio Yacht Club has operated on site since 1959.

After some valid complaints were made about the dangerous and dilapidated state of the docks at Travis Marina, the Air Force decided to evict all tenants living aboard their boats, including the three veterans that have made the Marina their home for nearly a decade. The National Park Service claims that infrastructure improvements will cost $700,000 and are therefore "cost prohibitive." 

Due to the support that the Veterans have from the community, both locally and on-line, and the intervention of local political figures the move-out date has been extended multiple times. Yet the battle has not been won. We still need the public's help.

The National Park Service, GGNRA has plans to end the long affiliation that the Marina has had with Veterans since World War II and to cancel the Sailing Center programs that are offered at the Marina to Veterans at little or no charge. Sailing Center programs have proved very therapeutic for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and for older veterans that still deal with painful memories from when they faced enemy fire in combat.

The National Park Service and GGNRA officials are currently considering an award of a 30 year lease to Passport Resorts, LLC (private developer of the luxury hotel steps away from the Marina: Cavallo Point). Passport Resorts, LLC proposes that the boating Marina be turned into a privately run beachfront. They propose building a boat museum, which would mean eventually removing all the boats that are stored there by dozens of private individuals - the majority of whom fought for our country. This plan would also eliminate the sailing and kayak programs at the Marina so that it is converted into another seldom used tourist attraction.

As I have pointed out many times to many federal officials, this plan will require a lot of money too and a lot more time to implement, as the public have a voice in how public lands are used. This Marina should not be privatized when so many of our nation's citizens are returning from wars and will need Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

The veterans and myself have a different plan:  Travis Air Force base should get the 30 year lease so that they can appropriate federal funds to expand this Morale Welfare and Recreation facility. The docks at Travis Marina could be fixed with the help of willing volunteers and funds provided by block grants and organizational sponsors. 

But the National Park Service, as legal owner of the Marina, has to agree to let the Veterans stay and has to agree to award Travis Air Force base the long-term lease so that the Sailing Center can continue operations. So far, the National Park Service has not agreed to our plan, and will not even grant us a meeting, despite nearly one year of my repeated requests.

Please let the National Park Service and the GGNRA know that the American people will not tolerate their government evicting disabled veterans or privatizing public land designated to reward the efforts of our service members. Sign this Petition!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Veterans Day Potluck Strategy Session

      Colleen Shaw
      Petition Organizer

      On Wednesday 11/13 at 6:30 p.m. supporters of maintaining the live-aboard tenancies of these three disabled combat veterans and preserving the Marina as a morale welfare and recreation facility for military members are meeting at the Presidio Yacht Club at Fort Baker, Sausalito.

      The National Park Service could decide to close the Marina any day. This action would devastate not only the three men that live there but also the dozens of active-duty and retired military members that use the Marina to dock their boats.

      If you are in the area please stop by to show your support and see how you may be able to help stop the closure of the Marina and the eviction of three men who in the prime of their life put their safety on the line for America.

    2. Privatization Proposals Being Considered by National Park Service

      Colleen Shaw
      Petition Organizer

      While my clients remain in their homes thanks to the efforts of Congressman Jared Huffman, other federal officials and public support - the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is currently considering 6 proposals to change the character and use of Travis Marina. A decision is expected by October 2013. Write your Congressperson and ask them to preserve this MWR!

      Otherwise, by next summer, my clients could be forced from the Marina, along with dozens of other boat owners that berth their boats there.

      Passport Resorts, LLC - the developer of the luxury hotel at Fort Baker, Cavallo Point - have proposed that they be given a 30 year lease. They propose removing the Marina, all the boats and building a beachfront and a boat museum.

      Displacing veterans and military members should NOT be an option. Travis Air Force Base is also asking to be awarded a 30 year lease so that the Marina can be improved and the Sailing Center expanded. Travis Air Force Base would let my clients stay.

    3. February 1st We are Still in Limbo

      Colleen Shaw
      Petition Organizer

      We have yet to obtain an extension to the previously imposed move-out date of January 31, 2013 (today). Travis Air Force sent a new contract over for my clients' signatures. It raises boat storage rates at the Marin and prohibits any sleeping aboard a vessel for more than 72 hours in a week or more than 10 days in a month. It cites $50 per day penalties, cancellation of access to the Marina and mentions the potential for seizure of one's boat.... This is not a contract that anyone should sign.

      So far my calls to Travis and the GGNRA go unanswered.
      They are waiting for us to quit, to give up. It won't happen.

      Since 2010, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey protected my clients & their home at the Marina, their home for nearly a decade. Now we are asking Congressman Huffman to leave off where his predecessor did and force these federal agencies to be fair and compassionate. This Marina should remain active and available to the public. My clients should be grandfathered in as Liveaboards.

    4. Extension granted until January 30th, 2013!

      Colleen Shaw
      Petition Organizer

      I want to thank all of you for your signature support in our struggle to obtain fairness for my clients.

      Because of your signatures, my clients can spend at least one more Christmas in their homes of five years.

      You all have my promise that for the foreseeable future, I will continue the fight to preserve Travis Marina as a Morale Welfare and Recreation facility for service members, veterans and their families.

      Too much of military property is being sucked into the private sphere. We have many soldiers returning from combat zones who need such facilities to rest and recover from their time spent in less than desirable places, doing the less than enjoyable bidding of our country.

      Should negotiations fail, I will litigate this issue to the highest level necessary to find fairness for my clients and for the present & future users of Travis Marina.

      Peace and Joy to Everyone this Holiday Season!

      Sincerely,

      Colleen Shaw and all the Disabled Veterans Liveaboard Association members

    5. Senator Feinstein is our New Ally!

      Colleen Shaw
      Petition Organizer

      I want to thank everyone that has signed this petition thus far.

      Travis Air Force Base has not yet granted an extension to the November 30th move out date. However, I am not about to give in!

      I have utilized the Freedom of Information Act against both Travis Air Force Base and the National Park Service. The documents produced show unequivocally that the federal government has spent dozens of man hours strategizing about how to kick my clients, all disabled combat veterans, out of the Marina. E-mails between senior staff are callous and mean and talk predominantly about America's Cup and the potential to make money and worry about "congressional action" that might disrupt their plans.

      Well, they were right to worry. Senator Feinstein's office is now an ally in forcing Travis Air Force Base and the National Park Service to justify their claims and proposed eviction of these disabled war heroes.

      I am confident that all of your signatures have helped this struggle.

      Thanks!

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Nancy Butler LARKSPUR, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      The GGNRA usurpted many spaced within the park, the have been used by others for years, stable and marinas are no exception.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Georgianne Meade MILL VALLEY, CA
      • 10 months ago

      My husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran. I am thankful that the VA is taking care of his medical needs. I know that he suffers from PTSD and some of the homeless VETS also suffer from PTSD and do not want to be in a shelter. I wish there was a better was to provide for them but if they choose to camp in the Golden Gate National recreation Area., let them have peace like they fough for us to have peace and freedom.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Eyster LANSING, NY
      • 11 months ago

      As a military veteran, I strongly support a decision to keep the Travis marina as an integral part of the Travis Airforce Base so that our veterans who serve and have served our country continue having the opportunity to experience and enjoy this unique resource. There ary many other places in California where the well-to-do can find opportunities for rest and relaxation.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • 11 months ago

      I am against privatizing public land period. It does nothing but make those areas avaliable only to the rich and leave out those with low or fixed incomes to include school children on trips who may otherwise never see the areas.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • cherise petker ALAMEDA, CA
      • 11 months ago

      This is essential for the locals and vets. These programs are paramount to the community.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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