Everybody loves a good locals-versus-developer matchup. In Fort Lauderdale over the past year, the heavyweight bout has been between flashy developer Asi Cymbal's 960-unit Marina Lofts project and a vocal opposition. The main issue: The project threatens to uproot the six-story-high, 100-year-old rain tree sitting smack in the middle of the development's proposed footprint. Despite promises to move the iconic tree, the plan still struck many as wrong-headed. Three people led the charge. Activist Cal Deal unloaded all of his rhetorical firepower against the project on his blog, Fort Lauderdale Observer. Jessica Kross rolled out a moveon.org petition asking the City Commission to save the tree, eventually notching more than 4,300 signatures. And Chris Brennan, first mate at the Water Taxi located near the site, filmed a YouTube video voicing his opposition. When Water Taxi — which leases its location from Cymbal — told Brennan to take down the clip or leave his job, he walked. Unfortunately, the Marina Lofts were greenlighted thanks to neutered politicians who get all jelly-legged around flashy blueprints. But Deal, Kross, and Brennan should still be congratulated for fighting the good fight.