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For those visitors that do not know who the owner of the physical Finnon Lake and real property is - it is the Mosquito Volunteer Fire Association or simply the MVFA. The MVFA is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board made up of seven members. No individual actually owns the property or lake, and no individual owns or runs the MVFA. Finnonlake.com was begun in 2009 by a resident of the area to help the MVFA promote awareness of Finnon Lake, and with the hope that people would utilize the lake and campsites. The lake is now held back by the recently restored dam, which was approved for use in January of 2012 by the State. Dams come under the control of the State’s Department of Water Resources via their Division of Safety of Dams. The State also charges dam owners a fee based upon the size of the dam as well the amount of water the dam holds back. If dam fees aren’t paid water depths must remain low, and the lake can never be full. A condition of sale of Finnon Lake to the MVFA was that the MVFA had to keep the lake and property available as a camping / recreation area. If they can’t do this the State has the option to take it back under State ownership. Therefore one can see the importance of renting as many campsites as possible, so the MVFA may receive income to simply pay fees they owe to the State. One can also see why utilizing any method possible to make people aware of the lake and campgrounds should be used. When offered, absolutely free, they should be used more. So the website finnonlake.com was created to assist the MVFA, not for the MVFA, something their board has forgotten. Finnonlake.com has never been associated with the MVFA other than to simply make people aware that there is a Finnon Lake and that there are campsites. The paragraphs below deal with the MVFA's deportment in regards to their lack of courtesy to a website that has only been trying to let the world know about Finnon Lake so the MVFA may rent campsites, and receive revenue.
The MVFA states on their website’s “About” page - “All adults living in Mosquito/Swansboro are automatically members of MVFA.” This is mentioned as the MVFA chairperson, in late 2011, wrote a letter (original kept at this website’s office) to finnonlake.com's webmaster demanding the finnonlake.com website either be given to the MVFA or shut down as it asked for help with the horse that resides on the Finnon property. That request for help with the horse was for the time during which the dam reconstruction took place. Shut down a website because it asked to help an animal!! What a humanitarian way to treat an old horse! And what a way to treat a “member”. Important note - the horse is not MVFA property. Being a “member” that cares about animals the webmaster of finnonlake.com could not honor their chairperson’s request and continues to ask for a helping hand for our four legged neighbors, as well as the bipedal ones. Finnonlake.com will also promote the wonderful lake resource that began over 107 years ago. [As construction is complete and the grounds have returned to their normal “grassy” state the horse should fare well, so please do not feed him at this time.] So - the 2011 recap is: Finnonlake.com has been an up and running website for 2 years, with over 40 pages of information, and ranked first in Google searches for Finnon Lake at which point the MVFA demands the website simply be given to them or removed from the Internet. The website is something they never contributed to, helped maintain, supported, or even seemed to care about until help for an old horse was asked for. Sad? Or Sad! Either way - yes.
Let’s travel back to March of 2010 - a write up of Finnon Lake and the campgrounds was submitted to the National Geographic’s Sierra Nevada Geotourism website. The write up was done by the webmaster of finnonlake.com to promote the lake and campgrounds. National Geographic accepted and posted the write up to their website. This was Finnon Lake and Recreation Area’s debut to a major website, one that could offer a huge audience. The finnonlake.com webmaster notified the MVFA Board of the acceptance and web-publishing of that article. Again, this was done 1½ years prior to the MVFA even having their own website which they started in late 2011/early 2012. Fast forward to December of 2012. The National Geographic contacted finnonlake.com’s webmaster and indicated that a MVFA board member complained that the write up, submitted 2½ years ago, included links to finnonlake.com. [Note - after the MVFA began their website then links to their site were included in the Sierra Nevada Geotourism write up. Links to both sites were in the write-up.] Finnonlake.com did the write up to simply promote the lake and camping yet the MVFA Board member had to have the information removed from the National Geographic’s Sierra Nevada Geotourism site because that write up contained links to finnonlake.com. How rude of the finnonlake.com webmaster to have done this at a time 18 months before there even was a MVFA website. So now, due to the actions of a MVFA board member, there is one less national venue for people to even know there is a Finnon Lake. Finnonlake.com has to wonder why? One would think any business, whether non-profit or for-profit, would like all the free advertising they could get. It also came to the attention of finnonlake.com that the MVFA website has been using a photograph, belonging to finnonlake.com, as their banner, or top of webpage, photo. That photo is copyrighted material from the finnonlake.com website and the personal property of the finnonlake.com webmaster, who created the photograph. The MVFA never had the courtesy to even ask if they could use the personal property photograph, and to date (all of December 2012) the request sent to the MVFA board chair, had been ignored. That request was for them to simply ask for permissive use of the photo by providing credit to the photographer, and if they couldn’t ask then to remove the photo. Ethics anyone? So we have to ask - how long will it take this MVFA board member to contact every website out there that has a link to finnonlake.com. We know of at least XXX+ (000 to 999+) sites, so that board member better get crackin’; we wouldn’t want them to be pro-active or do something to benefit Finnon Lake - would we? What's in store for 2013?
The New Year began and without any news regarding the 2012 items noted above. A letter, rather than an e-mail, was mailed to the chairperson of the MVFA. The letter addressed those items and again asked to to either give credit to the photographer of the banner photograph they had been using or to stop using it. That photo of Finnon Lake which was being used by their website is now gone. Thank You. Guess giving a little credit to someone who took the photo was a simple courtesy they couldn’t provide.
Wow! The webmaster for finnonlake.com has now heard it all. A new member of the MVFA’s board held a fundraiser to help raise money for our local volunteer fire department. Raising a 5 digit figure of money seems to have gotten her ousted from the MVFA. Whoa! Hold on! Why? It seems as though this board member wanted the money to go to the volunteer fire department but was told by other board members that the volunteer fire department has to go through some type of “hoop jumping” to qualify for the money. We thought that the MVFA was an entity that was formed to help the fire department, hence their organizational name. Hm?? We wonder if the folks that donated money at the fund raising event held by this board member know that the money they gave to help their local volunteer fire department hasn’t reached them yet. That board member has been ostracized by the MVFA and is no longer an MVFA board member. Good for her! And by the way - we are 100% positive that if you went to the volunteer fire department with a check they would gladly accept it and say thanks for not making them jump hoops.
UPDATE to the above, as of April 2015 - Looks like the fire department did their hoop jumping to satisfy those that require satisfaction. Last heard is that the money earmarked for the fire station has finally found its way there.
What’s the old adage - try to do something nice for someone and you’ll get……………
This website is not associated with the Mosquito Volunteer Fire Association (MVFA) or their website. Can you guess why?
It will still be finnonlake.com’s mission to promote information about the lake and its restoration, and hope that this 113 year old resource will be enjoyed by the many, not just the few. We hoped the new MVFA Board, beginning in 2015, would give better understanding to those that would like to see Finnon Lake succeed, but it appears to be status quo. It takes more than a few dinner events and a yard sale to raise enough money to pay State fees. It takes people, ideas, work, and a passion; how will the MVFA board do in 2018/9? Time will tell but their history indicates that nothing new will happen.
Below are some thoughts of one of the best humorists this country ever had, just something for one to ponder on -
“The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.”
A quote from Mark Twain, What Is Man? (1906)
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." A quote from Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)