The February 12th issue of the East Hampton Star arrived at our apartment a few days ago. Front page, lower right is a cover article about Ron Baron's refusal to remove a 800-foot oceanfront concrete retaining wall and repair the ancient dune destroyed in the building of it.
The story has hit the NY Post Page Six, but where is the broader media coverage? We need more coverage on this. Yes the economy is a mess, but why is it a mess? We've had a financial/governmental catastrophe in the housing market. There were large sums of money made by the people who helped create this problem. They've purchased or built many of the homes in the Hamptons from these profits. Whether Ron was one of them is not the point, it's the sense of entitlement that apparently comes with mega wealth.
There's some debate over whether the LLC or Ron Baron is on the hook for the suspected violation, but either way it's important that this issue get resolved.
The dunes need to be repaired and it needs to be clear to everyone that no matter how rich or how esoteric your legal structure might be you're never above the law.
If Ron is clearly not in control, then whoever is should fix the dunes.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Today is Jon Alsop's funeral.
It's simply too soon for such a great human, business partner, sales person, and friend.
My first recollection of Jon goes back to my early days at Advertising.com (late 2000). Jon stopped by my desk asking for help with his client, Snap-On Tools.
We ended up creating a Father's Day campaign that was a first in the industry and a big deal for the business considering business environment at the time. Jon and I traveled together to Kenosha, WI to visit with Snap-On. In the meeting we were presented with signed books from the CIO as well as the most popular Snap-On multi-use screw drivers. It was a classic. Orange handle. I still have mine. With Jon's passing it takes on a new meaning.
My experience with Jon on this client and many into the future allowed me to see him in action. He was an amazing sales person. His ability to connect with clients and become a trusted partner was second to none. I'm sure that many of his past clients will be disappointed to hear the news of his untimely passing.
Jon was a friend, he was always there to help out. When I bought a row house and decided to gut it myself he showed up and helped rip the place apart. One of my favorite photos is below.
Next thing I knew it I was buying and rehabbing row homes with Jon and John Demayo. We spent many hours together at night and on the weekends. While the work was exhausting it was a blast rebuilding these homes with Jon. We had many great experiences, whether it was working in sub zero conditions, hanging off ladders, having a brick wall collapse on us, or just hanging out after a long day of hard work.
Jon saved me from certain death or at least extreme bodily harm one day on my own row house. I had climbed up on a ladder to caulk some cracks in the bricks. While two stories up I fell off the ladder and found myself caught in cable and phone wires. Jon remained calm and helped me get back down to the ground safely. At one point he was planning on catching me, luckily we figured out another solution.
Jon was that kind of person, he was willing to try and catch me even though it would have put him in peril.
Jon was the first of my friends to meet my future wife. Diana came over in the morning with coffee after we had been banging nails for a few hours in the bitter cold. Being the natural sales person he sold me hard.
Jon I owe you big time.
It's not surprising to see the outpouring for Jon over the past week. All the photos, stories, and memories shows the impact he made on this world. He won't be forgotten. There must be bigger plans for him, there has to be because his life was cut too short. He's given life to others with his organs and I know he's really proud right now about that.
Jon we'll catch up in person on our next row house rehab in the afterlife.