Joe Cacciola 0

Keep The Sea Star In Oceanside

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As you know the Sea Star provides sportfishing trips, sea life adventures, burials at sea (with full military honors for deceased veterans) along with floating marine science labs (the Ocean Classroom) for school children in North County. The Sea Star is the most successful privately owned charter boat in the 50+ year history of Oceanside Harbor. It has operated from it’s present dock for the past 34 years.

A little history: My fellow fishing captain and friend, Richard Helgren, entered into an exclusive sportfishing and whale watching lease (monopoly) with the City of Oceanside in 1978. This same lease will expire in May 2017.

Sadly, Richard passed away several years ago and his family took over the business. My father and I signed a long-term operating contract with Richard Helgren in 1982. It provided for five-year renewal periods.The present five-year period will end in March 2017. Helgren's present management disputes the validity of the operating contract and claims we have been on a month-to-month tenancy for the past 23 years! They have been trying to evict us since June 2014!

In July 2014, Helgren’s tried to increase the fees I pay them by 50%. I found that demand to be unjustified and unacceptable. I continued to make my semi-monthly fees payments as per the terms of original contract to Helgren’s and also the required rent payments to the City of Oceanside. Helgren’s accepted those payments all the way through August 2015. In September 2015, we sued Helgren’s in federal court for breach of contract and to prevent them from having the Sea Star seized and arrested by US marshals for allegedly trespassing at Helgren's landing.


On November 18, 2015 Captain Joe and Helgren's reached an out-of-court settlement facilitated by a federal magistrate judge. The Sea Star can continue to operate from Helgren's landing through December 2016 at a 50% increase in fees and other major concessions adding to the cost and inconvenience of doing business in Oceanside Harbor.

Helgren’s master lease with the City of Oceanside terminates on May 5, 2017. This may present an opportunity for change as the City intends to put out a request for proposals (open to all interested parties) for a new lease.

I love the Oceanside community and have no desire to move the boat. I am in this fight as much for myself as I am for you — our most loyal supporters. It would not be in the public’s best interest if the Sea Star was forced to leave Oceanside Harbor. It should also be noted that Oceanside Harbor is a public facility built with taxpayer dollars for the benefit and enjoyment of all Oceanside’s residents and visitors. Please join the movement and let your voice be heard by signing this Petition and making supportive comments so we can show the folks in City Hall that the public wants us to keep providing these memorial services, educational trips and lifetime sportfishing memories aboard the Sea Star for years to come.

As always ... thank you for being a loyal supporter of the Sea Star.

Capt. Joe Cacciola

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