While I don’t know anything about this situation other than what this reporter wrote, (while perhaps trying to create a name for himself and sales for the paper), I do think that the laws are too liberal with respect to derelict vessels. It doesn't take much for the uninformed public to see a couple of poor examples and develop opinions about the rest of us.
I think it is important for us, as boaters working through organizations, to take a proactive approach in dealing with the abandon vessel issue. I know that if someone abandoned an old rusted Chevy Vega at the curb in front of my house, I would not be too pleased. And I would probably get pretty upset if local agencies said it had to stay there for a year or two while they tried to locate an owner. And then the tax payers get stuck with the owner search, towing and disposal bill.
While I don't like Mr. Homan's comments, I think the disgrace here is the writer. I see this too often. A writer goes to a site and just prints a bunch of inflammatory quotes from an individual. When he prints them he does nothing to check the validity. The uninformed public reads them and takes them as fact. What he should have done was investigate the three boats that were tied up and see if the cats were abandoned. He should have looked into the statement of the boaters not paying taxes
(I can verify that is false
). Really, it looks like the writer was just being lazy, or following the guidance of the editor and sacrificing good journalism for a quick inflammatory story. When a topic takes hold it usually results in several back and forth letters to the editor that, in the end, succeed in selling more papers and advertising. Their ultimate goal.