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Thursday, September 30, 2010

SB435 - who's next?

OFF THE WIRE
Wisconsin...?
From a VMC Member

"My SB 435 comment? Took me a time to find what comment you were referring to. My comment came from an article written for either an ABATE monthly news letter or one written for MRF as they were taking notice of the requirement for the EPA sticker in a Wisconsin bill, being pushed for much the same reasons as SB 435. The EPA sticker requirement would certainly have a negative effect on after market manufacture and cost of replacement parts.
In general I would say feel free to quote me any time you wish, just know that I steal my facts from others and am not an expert at much of any thing. Feel free to use my real name or the grdog name I use on sites, which just for the record is short for gray dog a old CB handle I used many years ago.
Tom Verrill "

Federal helmet law a possibility

OFF THE WIRE
The news in this is not so much the idea of a Federal Helmet law, but that the AMA is promoting the support of National Mandatory Training and Safety Awareness programs in HB1498. This press release makes it sound as if it has to be one or the other.

Safety-crats under the guise of an MRO!

Breeze

Federal helmet law a possibility
Federal helmet law a possibilityTake Action!



Contact your Senators now!

On September 28, 2010, Administrator David Strickland of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called for efforts to “actively work with Congress to promote helmet use.” Strickland made this comment at a Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance hearing titled “NHTSA Oversight: An Examination of the Highway Safety Provisions of SAFETEA-LU” of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Strickland's comment was part of his overall testimony regarding how safety provisions within the transportation reauthorization bill (SAFETEA-LU) played a role in reducing highway fatalities.

Strickland stated the following regarding motorcycle fatalities:

“However, you will notice that there is one indicator that is moving in the wrong direction, motorcycle fatalities. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of motorcycle riders killed increased from just over 4,200 to almost 4,462, an 11 percent increase. The number of motorcycle fatalities did fall between 2008 and 2009, the first time we have seen a decrease in more than a decade. We need to work to build on last year’s progress. The most important step we could take would be to assure that all riders wear a DOT-compliant helmet, which are 37 percent effective in reducing fatalities. We estimate that helmets prevented over 1,800 fatalities in 2008, and that more than 800 additional fatalities could have been avoided if all riders wore helmets. NHTSA will actively work with Congress to promote helmet use.”

To view Strickland’s complete testimony, click here.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is concerned that Strickland may be recommending the re-institution of a federal helmet mandate. If a helmet mandate is passed into law, it would penalize any state without a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for all riders by denying federal transportation and safety dollars to that state. The AMA supports states' rights to determine their respective helmet policy free from the threat of federal sanctions. Congress affirmed this right as recently as 1995 in the National Highway System Act when they removed federal penalties placed on states without mandatory helmet laws.

The best way for NHTSA to reduce motorcycle crashes is to employ proven strategies, such as rider education and motorcycle awareness programs, that decrease the likelihood of crashes from ever occurring. These strategies must be research-based, and motorcyclists would be much better served by applying the funding to the national motorcycle crash causation study that is currently underway at Oklahoma State University. This is a sentiment supported by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and many of his colleagues in Congress through recently introduced H. Res. 1498.

To urge your Representative to support H. Res. 1498, click here.

The AMA encourages you to contact your Senators and urge them to prevent the NHTSA from solely focusing on federal helmet mandate legislation but to employ proven strategies to reduce motorcycle crashes from occurring in the first place.

Contact information for your Senators is available at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation by entering your zip code in the "Find your Officials" box. A prewritten e-mail is available for you to send to your Senators immediately by following the "Take Action" option and entering your information.

To view an archived webcast of Strickland's comments at the hearing, click here.

Please write or call your Senators today and urge NHTSA to employ proven strategies, such as rider education and motorcycle awareness programs, that will be better served for motorcyclists.

MOTORCYCLE ONLY CHECKPOINTS INITIATIVE

OFF THE WIRE
http://www.capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=17616511&type=CO

More info/links

Press release from MA's MMA... NOW THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT RIGHTS???

OFF THE WIRE
Wow, and the MMA has mixed emotions about this, and ARE NOW WORRIED ABOUT PEOPLE'S RIGHTS?
Maybe because it's not totally directed to motorcycling?
How bizarre is that???? Where the hell were they before with rights?????

(Gypsy) Betsy

================
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MMA Safety Update - Massachusetts "Texting Law"

FWIW, TXT Law BGNs 9/30/2k10

For those of us who don’t know what that means, or aren’t aware of the changes in the coming week, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) reminds its members that there’s a significant new law in effect this Thursday, September 30th, 2010… The new law bans texting while driving and eliminates cell phone use for those under 18 in addition to other changes.

It’s estimated that approximately 959,000 traffic incidents last year were caused by distracted driving and 4,898 of those resulted in at least one death. Indeed complaints are even more common as a daily occurrence for bad road behavior exhibited by drivers using cell phones. As a result, Massachusetts joins 29 other states in passing a texting ban; almost all of those same states (28) have also banned cell phone use in some form.

Officially called the “Massachusetts Safe Driving Law” signed by Governor Deval Patrick in July, this new law bans all drivers from using ANY mobile electronic device to read or write text messages, emails, or search the internet while at the wheel. In addition, drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using those same devices in any form, including voice calls.

A nuance of the law is that it involves ANY use while behind the wheel on a public way – that includes stop signs and red lights. A driver must exit lanes of traffic and stop the vehicle to use the mobile device.

The new law also adds provisions that are aimed at making it easier for law enforcement officers and doctors to alert the state if they believe that someone is no longer mentally or physically fit to drive – this was originally targeted at senior drivers, but the new law now requires drivers over the age of 75 to renew their licenses in person at the RMV offices.

Additionally, the law targets removal of bad drivers from the roads by reducing the number of “surchargeable incidents” that are required before a license can be suspended.

First offenses result in a $100 fine and increase with subsequent offenses within 12 months. Junior operators, on the other hand, are also fined $100 for a first offense but a 60-day license suspension as well as attendance at a mandatory “driver attitude retraining course” are also added to the penalty.

Citations issued against this law do NOT count against insurance surcharges, although penalties for subsequent offenses increase, as do penalties if serious injury or fatalities occur. Additional penalties also apply to public transport (for example bus, train, and taxi) operators.

The new Massachusetts “Safe Driver Law” is summarized here:

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv/SafeDrivingLawSummary.aspx

The MMA cautions, however, that differing reports concerning components of the law are contained in the Massachusetts State Government Website Summary, the MassDOT Summary, and various news reports. For the purpose of consistence, penalties and other specifics in this announcement have been taken solely from the Massachusetts General Law recently updated to reflect the detail changes identified here:

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2010/Chapter155

The MMA has very mixed and guarded feelings on this new law. On the surface, this law is very well intentioned and can indeed save lives – especially motorcyclists who are often smaller and harder to see if a driver is not particularly paying attention, but also raises some concerns about individual rights.

Unfortunately, this law will be particularly hard to enforce, as confirmed by the Massachusetts Chiefs-of-Police Association. Specifically, it will require special training to identify whether someone is using a mobile device unlawfully unless in obvious view of the law enforcement officer.

Additionally, it’s unclear how devices such as hand-held and after-market GPS will be handled. It’s legal, per the new law, to operate an integrated GPS, and or read printed directions, but not operate GPS or mapping software on a personal device and possible one not permanently affixed to your vehicle.

Further, The Massachusetts Police Association (MPA) confirms that Law Enforcement can subpoena phones and phone records. The MPA confirmed that it’s unlikely they would do so for the purpose of writing a ticket – that is really intended for investigating a serious injury or fatality.

Although seniors are no longer specifically singled out with the exception of being forced to renew a license in person, there are serious concerns on people’s rights of privacy, but time will tell whether the law is abused by either side.

In the interim, the intention is to create a significant deterrent towards distracted driving, which unless you haven’t been behind the wheel yourself in the past 2 or 3 years, you’d have to agree is a good thing.

While the MMA doesn’t truly believe that motorcyclists as a general rule text or use their phone while riding, the season is coming to a close and many motorcyclists are returning to their cars.

The MMA reminds its members that the new “No Texting” law goes into effect this Thursday, September 30th, and to drive with caution. It’s best not to use a mobile device of any type, unless completely “hands free” with at least one hand on the wheel. Junior operators are advised to not use any mobile device while behind the wheel. If you must, pull over to a safe spot, ot of the lanes of traffix..

For More Information, Please see http://www.massmotorcycle.org or contact: SafetyDirector@MassMotorcycle.org

Title 23 on the Grants

OFF THE WIRE
It is pretty uncanny how the govt machine works. Instead of direct lobbying, the system of grants continues the coersive nature of the DOT and NHTSA. Ironic how much of what is described here is the declared purpose of the MRO's?!



http://uscode.house.gov/pdf/2005/2005usc23.pdf

§ 153. Use of safety belts and motorcycle helmets
(a) A
UTHORITY TO MAKE GRANTS.—The Secretary
may make grants to a State in a fiscal
year in accordance with this section if the State
has in effect in such fiscal year—
(1) a law which makes unlawful throughout
the State the operation of a motorcycle if any
individual on the motorcycle is not wearing a
motorcycle helmet; and
(2) a law which makes unlawful throughout
the State the operation of a passenger vehicle
whenever an individual in a front seat of the
vehicle (other than a child who is secured in a
child restraint system) does not have a safety
belt properly fastened about the individual’s
body.
(b) USE OF GRANTS.—A grant made to a State
under this section shall be used to adopt and implement
a traffic safety program to carry out
the following purposes:
(1) EDUCATION.—To educate the public about
motorcycle and passenger vehicle safety and
motorcycle helmet, safety belt, and child restraint
system use and to involve public
health education agencies and other related
agencies in these efforts.
(2) TRAINING.—To train law enforcement officers
in the enforcement of State laws described
in subsection (a).

MRF News Release - News from Washington

OFF THE WIRE
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org
10NR26 - MRF News Release - News from Washington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 September 2010
Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Action Needed!
A letter from Congressman James Sensenbrenner is being sent to United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking insight into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recent request for applications from law enforcement agencies to obtain grant money to hold motorcycle only roadside checkpoints. The letter also asks that the grant process be suspended until sound reasoning for the checkpoints is produced.
NHTSA recently announced that it would solicit applications and then award grants to police units who want to conduct motorcycle only roadside safety checkpoints. The MRF is strongly in opposition to this program.
Congressman Sensenbrenner is a long time friend of the MRF and ABATE of WI with a history of supporting motorcycle rights on issues such most notably as one of the first to spearhead the repeal of the National mandatory helmet law in 1995. He has also been a staunch advocate for fairness when it comes to health care issues for motorcyclists, as well as an active and vocal supporter for the NHTSA lobby ban.
Mr. Sensenbrenner has called on his colleagues to sign a letter of request to the US DOT to gain more information on the motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints and to halt funding until that information is produced.
Please call your United States Congressman and ask for them to sign on to the Sensenbrenner letter to Secretary Ray LaHood. Deadline for co-signers is close of business September 29th.
This approach to stopping the roadside checkpoints got unanimous consent when discussed at the MRF Meeting of the Minds 2010 MRF/State Motorcycle Right Organization Legislative Strategy Session held last weekend.
Senate safety hearing mentions motorcycle helmet use.
Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation held a hearing on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations endeavors. The hearing featured NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. Strickland referenced the overall decline in traffic fatalities from 2004-2009. He also suggested that the rise in seat belt use and child restraint use are contributors to the decline. He then went on to point out the rise in motorcycle fatalities over the same time period.
Strickland's direct quote:
"However, you will notice that there is one indicator that is moving in the wrong direction, motorcycle fatalities. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of motorcycle riders killed increased from just over 4,200 to almost 4,462, an 11 percent increase. The number of motorcycle fatalities did fall between 2008 and 2009, the first time we have seen a decrease in more than a decade. We need to work to build on last year's progress. The most important step we could take would be to assure that all riders wear a DOT-compliant helmet, which are 37 percent effective in reducing fatalities. We estimate that helmets prevented over 1,800 fatalities in 2008, and that more than 800 additional fatalities could have been avoided if all riders wore helmets. NHTSA will actively work with Congress to promote helmet use".
The MRF will be contacting Strickland to remind him that accident avoidance over safer crashing is the best solution to motorcycle safety.

Noise Ordinance In Effect For Bikes, Blues & BBQ

Kyle Cabodi / Reporter / kcabodi@hearst.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Bikers are already rolling into Fayetteville for this weekend’s Bikes, Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally, and between the bikes and the music, it’s set to be a loud event

Bikers need to keep the noise from their rides under control. Fayetteville law prohibits excessive engine revving.

Tom and Sharon Righot rode in from Kansas City on a bike with pipes that could push the limits of the city noise ordinance.

“As far as enforcing a rule like that, I just kind of wonder, it’s kind of arbitrary,” Tom Righot said. “What are they going to do, walk around with a sound meter and say that’s three decibels to loud?”

When measured with a device, the noise from Righot’s bike came in at over 100 decibels while being revved.

Some bikers say that kind of noise is necessary

“There’s a reason why these bikes are loud, it’s a safety issue for us,” biker Christopher Nazario said. “We’re on the road and people don’t always recognize the fact that bikes are on the road so they bikes are loud so people can hear us.”

There were some people that didn’t think the noise ordinance was a bad idea.

Biker Charles Barron said, “There’s a lot of kids that get scared real bad, a lot of older people that have hearing problems.”

Barron said you can still have fun with the noises from your bike, but in moderation.

“You can come down and ramp the motor up a little bit but there ain’t no need to go overboard with it,” Barron said.

Some bikers said they like to lay off the throttle so they don’t burn their engine out.

original article

September 29 Deadline for Representatives to sign Congressional letter to suspend motorcycle-only checkpoints

OFF THE WIRE
AMA :September 29 Deadline for Representatives to sign Congressional
> letter to suspend motorcycle-only checkpoints
> Congressional letter aims to suspend NHTSA program to fund
> discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpointsTake Action!
> Urge your Representative to sign on today!
>
> Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is taking the lead by sending a letter
> to Sec. Ray LaHood urging him to suspend a grant program that would
> expand the highly criticized practice of creating motorcycle-only
> checkpoints by law enforcement agencies.
>
> The program is the Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstrations Grant
> (DTNH22-10-R-00386), and has closed for new applicants as of August
> 13, 2010. However, you can view the grant notice by clicking here.
>
> The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) supports this important
> letter, and seeks to have as many Representatives sign on as possible.
> Therefore, the AMA needs your help immediately to contact your
> Representative and urge them to sign onto this letter.
>
> The AMA has formally questioned the potential discriminatory and legal
> nature of this program, administered by the National Highway Traffic
> Safety Administration (NHTSA). The AMA sent a letter to Administrator
> Strickland on August 9 urging him to suspend the grant program until
> questions have been addressed. To date, Administrator Strickland has
> not responded. To view AMA's letter, click here.
>
> While law enforcement officials may defend the program as a safety
> measure to decrease motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities, there
> is no proof of its effectiveness. The practice, first modeled in New
> York State, has drawn the ire of thousands of motorcyclists
> nationally.
>
> NHTSA is now seeking up to five other law enforcement agencies,
> besides the state of New York, to participate in motorcycle-only
> checkpoints, and is offering $350,000 in federal funding.
>
> The AMA believes that the best way for NHTSA to reduce motorcycle
> crashes is to employ proven strategies, such as rider education and
> motorcycle awareness programs, that decrease the likelihood of crashes
> from ever occurring. These strategies must be research-based, and
> motorcyclists would be much better served by applying the funding to
> the national motorcycle crash causation study that is currently
> underway at Oklahoma State University. This is a sentiment supported
> by Sensenbrenner and many of his colleagues in Congress through
> recently introduced H. Res. 1498.
>
> To urge your Representative to support this important resolution, click here.
>
> Be sure to forward this to your motorcycling friends! Ask them to
> contact their Representative and urge them to sign on to the
> Sensenbrenner letter requesting the grant offer be suspended until the
> concerns of the motorcycling community have been addressed. Just
> follow the “Take Action” option to send a pre-written e-mail directly
> to your Representative demanding no federal dollars be used to expand
> programs that discriminate against motorcyclists.

Local 6 business meeting

OFF THE WIRE
FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY


ABATE LOCAL 6 MONTHLY BUSINESS MEETING

The ABATE Local 6 Business Meeting happens before The Local 6 Monthly Meeting..
This month's business meeting will be on FRIDAY , OCTOBER 1st 2010 at 6:30 PM at :


JOE'S PIZZA 5583 CLAIREMONT MESA BLVD SAN DIEGO

IN A MALL ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CLAIREMONT MESA BLVD, IMMEDIATELY WEST OF ROUTE I-805
At the meeting, we discuss the matters that will be covered at Sunday's
meeting.
WHILE LOCAL OFFICERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND, This is NOT just an
officers meeting.....any member is welcome to attend. Questions
??? call John at ( 619 ) 223-0421 ).



John Del Santo
( 619 ) 223-0421

W.T.F U.S. Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority

OFF THE WIRE
The Obama administration is developing plans that would require all Internet-based communication services -- such as encrypted BlackBerry e-mail, Facebook, and Skype -- to be capable of complying with federal wiretap orders, according to a report published Monday.

National security officials and federal law enforcement argue their ability to eavesdrop on terror suspects is increasingly "going dark," The New York Times reported, as more communication takes place via Internet services, rather than by traditional telephone.

The bill, which the White House plans to deliver to Congress next year, would require communication service providers be technically capable of intercepting and decrypting messages, raising serious privacy concerns, the Times said.

The proposal has "huge implications" and poses a test to the "fundamental elements of the Internet revolution," vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, James Dempsey, told the Times.

"They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function," he was quoted as saying.


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"We're not talking expanding authority," FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told the Times. "We're talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security."

Internet and phone networks are already required to have eavesdropping abilities thanks to a 1994 law called the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, but the mandate does not apply to communication service providers -- like Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry devices.

RIM has recently been working to resolve disputes with India, the United Arab Emirates and other countries to avert threats to ban BlackBerry services. The countries complained that BlackBerry e-mail encryption posed a national-security risk. India postponed a ban for at least two months after RIM agreed to give security officials "lawful access" to data.

"We've made it clear that we are respectful of government needs and fully cooperating to comply with lawful requirements on an industry standard basis, but we cannot compromise the security architecture of the BlackBerry enterprise solution," RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said Thursday, reiterating the company's previous stance.

Balsillie said RIM "simply has no ability to read the encrypted information and that it has no master key or back door key to allow access."

Robeson County deputies arrest Lumberton man for murder

OFF THE WIRE
BY: Rusty Ray
Source: scnow.com
LUMBERTON - Robeson County deputies say a fight at a motorcycle club lead to a deadly shooting on Saturday night.

According to Major Howard Branch, 40-year-old Thomas Smith, of Lumberton, got into a fight with several people at the Screaming Eagles Motorcycle Club on Old Whiteville Road a little before 10:00 p.m., and when he was asked to leave, he threatened to come back and kill everyone involved.

Deputies say he did return, and opened fire, shooting and killing 41-year-old Richard Taylor, of Pembroke.

Major Branch said Smith then fled the scene, and after a brief chase involved county deputies and Lumberton police officers, he was captured.

Branch said Smith is held without bond at the Robeson County Detention Center on first-degree murder charges and weapons charges. The investigation continues and Branch said more charges are possible.

Judge vacates accountant's conviction

OFF THE WIRE
By LEE ROOD • lrood@dmreg.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A federal judge on Monday vacated a drug conviction against a former millionaire accountant from Waukee who was alleged to have been a kingpin in a motorcycle gang's multistate drug ring.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt said Russell Schoenauer's Omaha attorney, James Martin Davis, provided the 59-year-old ineffective assistance during his 2002 trial for an alleged methamphetamine and marijuana conspiracy. Contacted Monday, Davis defended his work on the case.

Schoenauer was one of nine people indicted in March 2001 in connection with alleged drug trafficking involving the Sons of Silence dating back to 1978.

Shoenauer had been sentenced to 17 years in prison on the drug charges. He is also serving a 10-year sentence on gun charges. He could be released from a South Dakota prison as soon as 2012 - unless prosecutors win an appeal of the judge's ruling.

Mike Bladel, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said prosecutors were reviewing Pratt's ruling to decide what to do next.

Federal agents watched Schoenauer for 10 years before his 2001 arrest, alleging in an indictment that he was the national treasurer for the Sons of Silence. The Harley-riding businessman, who acknowledged he had a drug problem but always insisted he was innocent, was accused of supplying club members with weapons and drugs, and teaching them how to hide their drug money.

Although the government subpoenaed volumes of Schoenauer's personal and business records, however, prosecutors provided little proof at his seven-week trial that the accountant used his many businesses to launder money for the Colorado-based biker club.

Schoenauer's new Kansas City attorney argued at a hearing in August that Davis failed to effectively represent Schoenauer in a number of areas.

Pratt, who oversaw the original 2002 trial, found Davis failed to look into records that could have better explained an alleged $2.6 million in unexplained income that made Schoenauer look guilty at the time.

"The Court ... finds ... that had Davis conducted the investigation into Schoenauer's records as requested by Schoenauer there is a reasonable probability the result in this case would have been different," Pratt wrote.

Davis said he asked for all exculpatory evidence in the case that would help Schoenauer, but prosecutors failed to disclose to him an independent 1992 IRS investigation that showed no unexplained income.

"The failure to disclose the evidence was egregious, but I didn't do it," Davis said. "The government was playing hide the ball."

Schoenauer's federal court case was the subject of a series of stories about the use of "snitches" in federal cases in The Des Moines Register in 2002.

Several convicts who faced long prison sentences were flown into Iowa to testify against Schoenauer and a co-defendant, Robert "Skunk" Norman, a Sons of Silence member, and were offered deals to testify. One of the convict witnesses was freed the same day as his testimony.

Federal prosecutors also paid Schoenauer's secretary to spy on him and agreed to restore the custody of a recovering meth addict's child if she testified.

At the time of the trial, Davis alleged federal drug agents were trying to prove a much larger conspiracy against Schoenauer so the government could recoup a windfall of money and property through forfeiture. At the height of his success, the accountant had $14 million in real estate and side businesses.

The case followed a sting in October 1999 in which 37 Sons of Silence members were arrested on drug and weapons charges.

original article

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ALERT: Call To Action

CAll to Action
to veto California SB-435

Vehicles: pollution control devices
California-September, 2010 ABATE of Washington - B.O.L.T. of Washington - Sons of Liberty Riders of Washington - B.O.L.T. of Nevada have joined in issuing a National Call to Action regarding recently passed legislation, California SB-435.

SB-435 has passed in the California legislature and the Governor has until September 30th to decide to sign it into law, veto the bill or do nothing in which case the bill becomes law.

All motorcyclists in the USA are urged to call, email or fax California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to urge him to use his Power of Veto to stop this bill before the September 30, 2010 deadline.

Governor's Office
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
phone: (916) 445-2841
fax: (916) 558-3160
email: go to http://www.gov.ca.gov/interact#email

Unchecked, this type of legislation will be spreading nation wide. Guised as a pollution control bill, it is actually a noise control bill and there are already laws in California dealing with noise. This bill places an undue burden on motorcyclists, endangers the cottage industry of after market manufacturers as well as custom builders and hobbyists and does nothing to control emissions.

Visit www.boltusa.org for more information on the bill and the Call to Action and call, email or fax today. We must unite and tell Governor Schwarzenegger this bill is not wanted or needed. He has stated that he is remaining neutral until he hears from the public before the September 30th deadline.

Please act on this request and post it on your social network pages and forward to friends.

This request is from Donnie "Mr. Breeze" Landsman, legislative1@ABATE-WA.org and BOLT Director of Washington State.


As founder of ABATE of Wisconsin (1974) and founder of BOLT (1992) I wholly support this call to action.

Tony "Pan" Sanfelipo
Sturgis Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame, 2002

WASHINGTON:No mercy for speeders as troopers issue more ticketsClark County duo honored by Traffic Safety Commission Files

OFF THE WIRE
HONORED FOR WRITING TICKETS,W.T.F

http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/sep/27/no-mercy-for-speeders-troopers-issue-more-tickets/ No mercy for speeders as troopers issue more ticketsClark County duo honored by Traffic Safety Commission Files/The Columbian

By John Branton Columbian Staff Reporter

Originally published September 27, 2010 at 6 a.m., updated September 27, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
More like this Troopers giving fewer warnings, more tickets
Extra eyes will be on roads to catch speeders
Troopers tough on cell phone law skirters
Cell phone law spurs 6-fold increase in tickets
Car licenses again under scrutiny
WSP

Mike Johnson averaged 34 stops per shift.
WSP

Marcus Hoggatt ticketed 92.3% of drivers he stopped. Map Map data ©2010 Google - Terms of UseMapHybridsee more mapped stories If you have a lead foot, you might want to ease up on the gas pedal on Interstate 5 and other highways in Clark County, because there’s a strict mood in the air, for some state troopers at least.

Don’t believe it?

Ask the 5,835 speeders that two recently-honored Washington State Patrol troopers, Marcus Hoggatt and Mike Johnson, used their motorcycles to pull over in Clark County last year.

Johnson stopped an average of 34 violators per shift, the highest average of any motorcycle trooper in the state.

And he and Hoggatt aren’t known for saying things like, “Well, I won’t write you up this time. Just take it easy, OK?”

Johnson issued tickets in 95 percent of his stops last year, and cut only 5 percent loose with a warning.

Hoggatt wrote citations to 92.3 percent of his drivers and let less than 8 percent off the hook, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission said Thursday.

Strict ticket versus warning rates like those are higher than average, said Dan Coon, a WSP spokesman in Olympia, who estimated that the average ticket rate these days is in the high 50s to low 60s.

“It’s a pretty high ratio,” Trooper Steve Schatzel, a WSP spokesman who also specializes in tracking down license cheaters, said of Hoggatt’s and Johnson’s ticketing. Schatzel said his personal ticket versus warning rate when he was assigned to road patrol several years ago was about 60 percent ticketed.

Also, Schatzel and Coon said, motorcycle-riding troopers like Hoggatt and Johnson tend to stop more speeders than troopers in patrol cars.

“Their main focus is speeders,” Schatzel said.

If a motorcycle trooper stops a driver who is intoxicated, Coon said, the trooper likely will call for a trooper in a car to take over the arrest. The car trooper then can put the driver in the back seat of the patrol cruiser for a trip to the nearest alcohol-breath tester or jail.

Once the car trooper arrives, the motorcycle trooper gets back to watching for speeders.

Also, heavy traffic on I-5 in Clark County offers troopers a steady flow of speeders to target.

“I don’t want to say it’s like shooting fish in a barrel,” Coon said, “but we all know how it is on I-5 in that area.”

As in years past, all troopers have discretion as to issuing tickets or warnings, based on the situation, officials said.

“The Patrol doesn’t have any quotas on how many tickets a trooper writes,” Schatzel said.

“Somebody who’s 15 mph over the speed limit, chances are they are not going to get a warning,” Schatzel said.

He said the same goes for aggressive drivers who tailgate others and make erratic lane changes to get ahead, or those who drive even more dangerously.

Target: Zero fatalities To keep driving the traffic fatality numbers down, toward the Target Zero goal of none in Washington by 2030, WSP Chief John R. Batiste asked troopers to take speeding more seriously in 2006. A year later, motorists were getting tickets in about 60 to 65 percent of stops, up from about 44 percent previously, according to Columbian files.

Troopers’ thinking changed after Batiste’s order. Were they really being nice guys when they issued only a warning? Or were they encouraging more speeding and more crashes?

Last week, Hoggatt and Johnson were honored as outstanding troopers by the Traffic Safety Commission, during a statewide awards ceremony in Lacey.

And though officials say the WSP has no quotas, the commission focused on the number of traffic stops the two troopers made, and how many tickets they wrote, as among the reasons for the awards.

Hoggatt pulled over 2,730 speeders in Clark County last year, officials said in a bulletin, and 2,520 of those drivers received tickets. Last November and December he focused on impaired drivers and arrested 34.

As for Johnson, he stopped 3,105 speeders and issued 2,950 citations.

“Trooper Johnson often speaks to community groups and teens to emphasize the importance of driver and motorcycle safety,” Mark Medalen, speaking for the Traffic Safety Commission, said in the bulletin.

They were among 13 troopers honored statewide, said Lynn Drake, a program manager with the commission. The commission also recognized 25 people or groups for helping make roads safer, ranging from the King County Department of Transportation to a Renton police cadet to Shelton High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions group, Drake said.

It’s well known that the number of traffic fatalities has been falling year to year, and public safety officials say it’s due to several factors including traffic-law enforcement, safety education, safer roads and cars, and better emergency medical services for injured motorists when crashes do occur.

O.C. Music Magazine >> ATTIKA7 'The Rockstar Uproar Tour'

OFF THE WIRE,
AND GOOOOODDDDD FOR THEM
Attika 7, photo courtesy of www.attika7.com
Uproar Fest is the sickest metal tour going on. With bands like Hell Yeah, Halestorm Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed, you know it’s going to rock your socks off. But one of the up and coming bands that is getting their share of attention is Attika 7.
The Orange County based band has made their way into the music industry and many a-head banger’s heart, and band members Jay Rexx, Rusty Coones, Danielmark, and Tony Campos played one hell of a show Friday afternoon at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine. They kicked off the show with their hit song “Into The Blackness,“ their energy and chemistry on stage giving their performance that special quality every band wants but only few possess.
I had the special opportunity to meet the band and hang with them throughout the day, and while the guys were bombarded with fans praising their performance and taking photos, they seemed to enjoy every minute of it. The band is very humble and very appreciative and they let their fans know it.
Attika 7 released their EP on iTunes on September 7th, 2010, and it is also available at their website: www.attika7.com. Having just returned from touring Europe, the band is now back to work touring several venues in California. Listen for their music on Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy!
Attika 7 is managed by RJ Valdez of Arjay Management (arjaymanagement.com), and sponsored by RockStar Energy Drink, War, Serious Pimp, and Jagermeister. They just came out with new merchandise which will be released soon at Hot Topic and Spencer’s.
The Uproar Festival continues their tour through San Diego, Bakersfield, Phoenix, and Sacramento before heading to Washington. If you are planning on checking out the RockStar Uproar Fest, be sure to catch my new favorite band rocking it out on stage.

NEVADA:Hollywood star Perry King to host 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

OFF THE WIRE
Hollywood film and television star Perry King will host the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Red Rock Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.

King, whose career spans more than 40 years, is perhaps best known for his portrayal as Cody Allen in the popular 1980s television series "Riptide." King rose to prominence alongside up-and-comers Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler with the 1974 release of "The Lords of Flatbush," in which he played the character Chico Tyrell. Today, his list of roles numbers in the hundreds and, most recently, he has appeared in the HBO hit "Big Love."

King hosted last year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and is a natural fit for the role of emcee. Not only is he a seasoned professional actor, he is also an avid motorcyclist and a member of the AMA Board of Directors.

"Perry lends the perfect blend of consummate professionalism with down-to-earth approachability to our ceremony," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "We are really thrilled to have someone as talented and as passionate about motorcycling as Perry for our emcee, and we're very fortunate that his schedule allowed him to return this year."

"I'm really honored to demonstrate my support for the Hall of Fame in this way," King said. "Last year, there were several moments when everyone in the room was choking back the tears during the inductee speeches. I was one of them. Their words were genuine and heartfelt, and they touched all of us deeply. That's what I love about motorcyclists. We're like a huge family, and if you love to ride you're welcomed with open arms, no questions asked."

The Hall of Fame Class of 2010 includes legendary two-stroke engine tuner Eyvind Boyesen, dirt-track racer Don Castro, sidecar roadrace champion Larry Coleman, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde, off-road gear pioneers John and Rita Gregory, desert racing champion and team manager Bruce Ogilvie, and championship team owner Mitch Payton. Also honored will be legendary motocross hero and Hall of Famer Bob Hannah. Hundreds will attend, including inductees' families, friends and fans, dozens of Hall of Fame members, industry leaders, and AMA and AMHF (American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation) board members.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the three-day AMA Legends and Champions Weekend features a full slate of activities. On Saturday, Nov. 20, the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d'Elegance will showcase some of the country's most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. Then at noon, the AMA honors the best of the amateur racing community at the 2010 AMA Racing Championship Banquet. Saturday evening marks the Las Vegas d├ębut of the movie "Carlsbad USGP: 1980," a look at an iconic motocross race that some have dubbed "the Woodstock of motorcycling." Sunday caps off the weekend with self-guided rides in the surrounding area.

For more information, including tickets and reduced-rate accommodations, visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com/LegandsAndChampions.

Vagos members file claims against county after raids

http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_evagos27.2a0edbc.html Vagos members file claims against county after raids
Monday, September 27, 2010 at 10:25am By JOHN ASBURY The Vagos Motorcycle Club has filed 16 claims against Riverside County and state authorities seeking damages for a March raid on club members in Hemet, Fontana and Indio.
The claims filed by the motorcycle club and four families also target Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.
The claims allege defamation of character and violation of civil rights related to the March 17 sweep. During "Operation Everywhere," district attorney's officials, sheriff's deputies and police arrested 33 people named as members of the Vagos on suspicion of parole violations and drug and weapon charges.
"The members and associates of the Vagos and the family members of the Vagos members also suffered from humiliation and emotional distress as a result of the public employees' public defamatory statements about the Vagos and its members," the claim states.
Riverside County officials said the claims are under review and a decision on whether to accept or reject them has not been made. In addition to Pacheco, the claims name district attorney spokesman John Hall, an unidentified district attorney's investigator and a sheriff's sergeant.
The Vagos accuse authorities of ransacking homes, intimidating and wrongfully detaining family members and telling some restaurants not to serve the Vagos members.
"The members and associates of the Vagos and the family members of the Vagos members also suffered from humiliation and emotional distress as a result of the public employees' public defamatory statements about the Vagos and its members," the claim states.
Riverside County officials said the claims are under review and a decision on whether to accept or reject them has not been made. In addition to Pacheco, the claims name district attorney spokesman John Hall, an unidentified district attorney's investigator and a sheriff's sergeant.
The Vagos accuse authorities of ransacking homes, intimidating and wrongfully detaining family members and telling some restaurants not to serve the Vagos members.
"This is a ridiculous attempt to intimidate law enforcement by a criminal street gang," Pacheco said in a statement last week.
Joseph Yanny, an attorney for the Vagos, said he also has filed claims against state Attorney General Jerry Brown, Hemet police and other agencies. He said the rhetoric of the March 17 news conference and reports that followed unfairly linked the Vagos to the Hemet police attacks.
The Vagos were not named as suspects in the Hemet case but Pacheco made several references to a history of attacks on law enforcement.
The claims cite Hemet Police Chief Richard Dana's remark that the sweep made the Vagos "scatter like cockroaches."
When asked at the time about their involvement in the attacks, Pacheco said the "Vagos have got our significant attention in recent months ... and their time has come."
Less than four months later, Hemet police charged two men with conducting the attacks to thwart a marijuana trial.
Pacheco said the two men may have had associations with the Vagos, but were not members.
Yanny said the sweeps were a campaign stunt for Pacheco's failed June re-election bid.
"The county of Riverside should rein in people of his position. He does not have the right to use his office in an attempt to generate fear and opinions to aid political campaigns," Yanny said. "This was a very concerted effort prior to the election to make them the bad boys and beat up them for political purposes."

LAW SUIT CA

OFF THE WIRE
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_16185365?nclick_check=1 Bikers file claims over Riverside County raids The Associated Press Posted: 09/27/2010 06:42:00 AM PDT Updated: 09/27/2010 06:42:00 AM PDT
RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The outlaw Vagos motorcycle gang has filed civil rights damage claims accusing Riverside County authorities of ransacking homes, intimidating family members and telling restaurants not to serve club members. The FBI and California authorities classifies Vagos as an outlaw motorcycle club involved in methamphetamine and marijuana distribution, extortion, insurance fraud, money laundering and weapons violations.
The 16 claims against Riverside County and state officials seek damages for a March raid on club members in Hemet, Fontana and Indio. Authorities arrested 33 Vagos members for parole violations and drug and weapon charges.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the claims allege defamation and violation of civil rights, noting members and their families were humiliated and suffered emotional distress because public defamatory statements.

Good news!

OFF THE WIRE
Charges dismissed against Md. man who taped traffic stop
A Harford County Circuit Court judge Monday dismissed wiretapping charges against Anthony Graber, a motorcyclist who was jailed briefly after he taped a Maryland state trooper who stopped him for speeding on I-95. Graber used a camera mounted on his helmet, then posted the video on YouTube.
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/story-lab/2010/09/wiretapping_charges_dropped_ag.html

Swarzenegger's helmet.... DOT??? I don't think so~ USE THIS INFO!

OFF THE WIRE
Hey... this doesn't look like any DOT approved helmet to me! Looks like the one I have~
Maybe you can use this for fuel for your helmet tickets out there!
Gypsy

Easy Rider: Arnold Swarzenegger went out for a bike ride on his vintage Indian motorcycle yesterday in Brentwood
The classic bike is valued at a cool £45,000 (US$60,000) and was originally a competitor to Schwarzenegger's usual bike of choice, the Harley Davidson, in the 1940s. Riding motorcycles has long been a favourite hobby for Schwarzenegger. He owns a Harley and even used a Harley Davidson Softail Fatboy in the Terminator films.
But despite his love of the vehicles, motorcycles haven't always been kind to the one-time body builder.

Decked out: Schwarzenegger wore some shiny leather trousers and a World Champion Body Builder sweatshirt for his ride


Entourage: Schwarzenegger was flanked by his ever present security detail as he walked to his bike
He and his son, Patrick, now 16, collided with a car in 2006 leaving Patrick uninjured but Schwarzenegger with 15 stitches on his lip.
Previously to that, he broke six ribs in a December 2001 crash, prompting him to both get an official motorcyclist license and, as governor, enact more motorcycle safety laws.

Schwarzenegger is currently facing pressure from Woodland Hills residents to pass a bill that targets motorcyclists who remove factory-installed emission control devices mandated by the U.S. government and replace them with custom, after-market parts that often make their bikes louder.
Schwarzenegger, who has until Sept. 30 to decide, has not taken a position on the legislation yet, said spokesman Aaron McLear. It is not known if his bikes fall within acceptable noise emission standards.

Wiretap Charges Tossed in Videotaping of Trooper

OFF THE WIRE
http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/maryland/wiretap-charges-tossed-in-videotaping-of-trooper-092710


This ruling upholds the fundamental right to hold police accountable to the public and constitutional principles they serve," said attorney David Rocah of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, who represented Graber along with a team of private attorneys who took the case pro bono.



Wiretap Charges Tossed in Videotaping of Trooper
Updated: Tuesday, 28 Sep 2010, 8:12 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 27 Sep 2010, 9:06 PM EDT

By BEN NUCKOLS Associated Press Writer

BALTIMORE - A judge threw out criminal charges Monday against a Maryland man who videotaped his traffic stop by a plainclothes state trooper and posted the video on YouTube.

Anthony J. Graber III had been indicted under Maryland's wiretap law, which requires the consent of both parties to record a private conversation. His video shows the trooper pulling his gun and telling Graber to get off his motorcycle before he identifies himself as a police officer.

See the entire video on YouTube >>>

Harford County Circuit Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr. ruled that the wiretap law did not apply to a traffic stop because the conversation was not private.

"In this rapid information technology era in which we live, it is hard to imagine that either an offender or an officer would have any reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to what is said between them in a traffic stop on a public highway," Plitt wrote.

Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly, who obtained the indictment against Graber, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

State police spokesman Greg Shipley said the agency respects the judge's ruling and that troopers will be made aware of it. Troopers who suspect a violation of the wiretap law have been told to present the case to prosecutors before pursuing charges, he added.

Graber, 25, still faces traffic charges including reckless driving and negligent driving stemming from the March arrest. He had been recording himself riding on his motorcycle with a camera mounted on his helmet before he was pulled over on an Interstate 95 exit ramp.

After he posted the video, state police obtained a search warrant and seized his computer and other items. Graber was indicted in April.

"This ruling upholds the fundamental right to hold police accountable to the public and constitutional principles they serve," said attorney David Rocah of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, who represented Graber along with a team of private attorneys who took the case pro bono.

From ABATE of California's newsletter, lobbyist Jim Lombardo's article:

OFF THE WIRE
From ABATE of California's newsletter, lobbyist Jim Lombardo's article:
I know there’s been a lot of serious concern and complaints about the roadside motorcycle inspections by local cops. We will take this up at our Legislative session during the next Board meeting on October 16 in Sacramento. Send someone from your Local to the Board/Legislative/President’s meetings where we will begin developing a strategy to block the funding of this type of roadside “SAFETY PROGRAM” harassment. Law enforcement personnel need to concentrate their efforts on citing drivers for cutting off motorcycle riders and their failure to yield to motorcyclists, not use federal money to set up blockades to check for mechanical violations or expired registrations. That wasn’t the “safety” that the grants were supposed to be used for.

California Helmet Bill Is Dead

OFF THE WIRE
First, some Alpha Biker commentary... we have always asked non-bikers to pay attention to things happening to bikers as they will eventually happen to you... here is a "case in point".

-------------------------

A bill to require skiers and snowboarders under 18 to wear helmets at California resorts, passed by the state's Assembly and Senate, has died because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not sign a piece of companion legislation requiring resorts to prepare annual safety plans.

Schwarzenegger signed the helmet bill on Friday, Sept. 24, but not Assembly Bill 1652, which would have required ski resorts to prepare safety plans each year, compile data on fatal accidents, and devise signage plans.

"This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities," Schwarzenegger said in a message accompanying his veto of the bill.

The governor signed Senate Bill 880, requiring helmets for skiers and snowboarders younger than 18.

"This measure will help prevent avoidable injuries to children while engaging in dangerous activities," Schwarzenegger wrote.

"Unfortunately, the Legislature made the enactment of this legislation contingent upon the enactment of Assembly Bill 1652, which I am returning without my signature. Consequently, while I am signing this bill to demonstrate my support for this measure, I recognize that it will not take effect."

Opinion was split over the proposed helmet law, in California and across the nation.

An editorial in the Manchester Union Leader Aug. 30 stated, "Do we really want to replicate a California-style nanny state here in New Hampshire? We are heading in that direction, and to see where we might end up, all we have to do is periodically check the news from the Golden State ...

"Passage of the bill followed, naturally, California's bicycle helmet law. New Hampshire passed its child bicycle helmet law in 2005. Last year, Democratic legislators tried to mandate that kids also wear helmets while skateboarding. It won't be long before they follow California's lead and try to mandate that kids wear helmets while skiing. And once the kids have to wear helmets while skiing, they'll try to make all of us strap them on.

"Don't get us wrong. As we have written repeatedly regarding the bicycle and skateboarding helmet laws, kids should wear helmets while participating in those activities. Some kids should wear helmets while skiing, depending on the kid, the property owners and the conditions.

"But whether they do or not is none of the Legislature's business. That responsibility belongs to the parents and the ski slope. Let's not follow California's lead in transferring the authority for those decisions to politicians."

An editorial in The Denver Post Sept. 3 stated: "A rule specifically for children recognizes that they lack the perspective and life experience to accurately assess the dangers posed by riding without head protection. If resorts were to make helmets for kids a requirement, there would be no rationale for legislation, or for the state to get involved in resort business.

"Enforcement for resorts would be simple enough - no helmet, no lift access. Checking for helmets would be easier than scanning lift passes.

"Colorado ski resorts have long displayed an abiding interest in safety, and a rule requiring helmets for children would be another example of that commitment."

original article

Mongols Win Case Again

OFF THE WIRE
BY: Rebel
Source: agingrebel.com
Mon, Sep 27, 2010
The Mongols Motorcycle Club has won the Mongols Motorcycle Club case again. In a ruling issued September 21st and filed September 24th, Federal District Judge Otis D. Wright has ruled that the United States cannot seize the name and patch of the club.

Judge Wright ruled that his previously issued “preliminary order of forfeiture is rendered invalid.”

The issue of whether the Department of Justice and the ATF could simply steal the name and the patch of the Mongols Motorcycle Club was settled definitively in July 2009. But then Christopher Brunwin and Steven Welk, two of the prosecutors in this case, as well as the ATF Agents who had created the case, just simply refused to believe they had lost and the Mongols had won. The presiding judge then, the late Florence-Marie Cooper wrote an angry decision which stated unequivocally that the government could not seize the marks. Last week Judge Wright wrote, “United States District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper already ruled upon the issues relevant to this proceeding.”

In short, the prosecutors in this case have argued for two years that former Mongols president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos could forfeit the Mongols name and patch as part of his “punishment.” Two federal judges have now ruled the Mongols insignia is not Cavazos’ to give away.

Last week, Judge Wright wrote:

“Even if the Court were to accept the Government’s evidence that Ruben Cavazos controlled the use of the mark during his tenure as National President, there is no support for the notion that a defendant’s control of property belonging to a RICO enterprise is sufficient to establish a forfeitable ownership interest in the property. In addition, there is no evidence that Ruben Cavazos owned a majority interest or any interest in the Mongol Nation that would equate to an ownership interest in the mark. There is no evidence that Shotgun Productions, LLC ever used the mark as a collective membership mark – to indicate membership in an organization substantially similar to that of the Mongol Nation. The purported assignment to Shotgun Productions, LLC is therefore without legal effect. Moreover, the Government’s evidence demonstrates that the Mongol Nation began using the collective mark in approximately 1969, and either Mongol Nation or (MNMC) continues to use the mark to identify their members. (Guevara Decl. ¶ 6.) The Mongol Nation and (MNMC) by virtue of having used the collective membership mark since 1969, having registered the mark in 2005, and having continued use of the mark to identify members of the club, have acquired and maintained exclusive ownership in the collective membership mark at issue.”

Criminal Enterprise
The government has attempted to prove that the Mongols is a “criminal enterprise” by blackmailing Cavazos and more than 60 other members of the club into “confessing” that the government’s allegation is true. The weapon the government has used to force these confessions is the severe penalties provided by the RICO Act. Simply by accusing these defendants of “racketeering” the government was able to cynically manipulate the justice system. In some cases, defendants confessed only to being members or officers of the motorcycle club. The actual charges against most of the defendants were for violations of state law.

What Brunwin and the other prosecutors actually proved was that after being tortured with a RICO prosecution defendants become like prisoners of the North Vietnamese: They will confess to anything. And history may remember Brunwin for that.

In most cases the charges against defendants were either blatantly contrived or completely invented out of air. The case demonstrates the evolution of American policing. To this day, most citizens think “police work” is “solving crimes.” It is common for even cynical and bright people to still think that professional police “solve” murders, robberies and rapes. In the Mongols case, the investigators were evaluated on their ability to create crimes.

What Was Happening Here
What the government tried to do in the Mongols case was to outlaw this motorcycle club by seizing the name and the symbol club members wear on their backs – which bikers call colors. When lawyers cast their magic spells they use the Latin word indicia. Judge Carter prefers to call these expressions that Mongols wear on their backs insignia.

Effectively outlawing the Mongols by forbidding them the use of the symbols they use to identify themselves was the original point of this case. The prosecutors must have thought that seizing the indicia would be a heartbreakingly brilliant strategy to obviate Article One, Clause three of the Constitution, which is the part of the American idea that forbids guilt by association. The press release that accompanied the unsealing of the indictment gloated:

“The racketeering indictment seeks the forfeiture of the trademarked ‘Mongols’ name, which is part of the ‘patch’ members wear on their motorcycle jackets.

“‘In addition to pursuing the criminal charges set forth in the indictment, for the first time ever, we are seeking to forfeit the intellectual property of a gang,’ said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. ‘The name “Mongols,” which is part of the gang’s “patch” that members wear on their motorcycle jackets, was trademarked by the gang. The indictment alleges that this trademark is subject to forfeiture. We have filed papers seeking a court order that will prevent gang members from using or displaying the name “Mongols.” If the court grants our request for this order, then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back.’”

Successfully seizing the Mongols indicia would have also allowed the ATF to forbid patch holders and their suspected sympathizers Constitutional refuge from unreasonable searches and seizures and summary punishment without due process.

It would have worked like this: Once the indicia was forfeited ATF thugs could have carried out violent searches of homes and businesses looking for the forbidden symbol. The searches were common in the summer of 2009 and the point of them was not and would not be to gather or preserve “evidence” but to summarily punish “bad guys.” Private places are routinely damaged and wrecked in these searches as a method of punishment. Children are terrorized, parents are assaulted, robbed and bullied, pets are gunned down and sometimes the targets of these searches are murdered as a form of extra-judicial summary punishment.

Judge Wright’s ruling last week is another small step to slowing all that down, too.

Charges dropped against man that videotaped the undercover cop.

OFF THE WIRE
Remember the story of the crotch rocket guy that had a videocam on his helmet and was pulled over by an undercover cop and the cop pointed his gun at him? Remember the suspect was charged with having committed the crime of video/audio taping the stop? The suspect posted the event on You-tube and faced felony charges for that particular "crime."
http://usridernews.com/2010/06/12/liberty-is-imperiled-when-men-hide-behind-bad-laws/


Well, good news, that charge was dropped! These types of victories warm my heart as they seem to be fewer these days, therefore, more appreciated!

Remember the story of the crotch rocket guy that had a videocam on his helmet and was pulled over by an undercover cop and the cop pointed his gun at him? Remember the suspect was charged with having committed the crime of video/audio taping the stop? The suspect posted the event on You-tube and faced felony charges for that particular "crime."
http://usridernews.com/2010/06/12/liberty-is-imperiled-when-men-hide-behind-bad-laws/


Well, good news, that charge was dropped! These types of victories warm my heart as they seem to be fewer these days, therefore, more appreciated!


TigerLily
Southwest Ad Manager/Correspondent
QuickThrottle Magazine
www.quickthrottle.com
702-417-6260

Maine, 300 Bikers Pay Respects To Gunman Killed In Shootout

OFF THE WIRE
Source: wlwt.com
Iron Horsemen Member To Be Buried In Maine
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- Police in the Maine city of South Portland said about 300 people attended a visitation for a member of the Iron Horsemen motorcycle club killed during a shootout with police in Cincinnati.

Harry Seavey Jr. was killed Sept. 18 during a gun battle in Cincinnati, after officers said they went into a Camp Washington eatery to speak with members of the motorcycle club.

South Portland Police said there were no problems at the Monday calling hours at a local funeral home.

South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins said officers had a plan to manage traffic.

He said Wednesday's burial isn't expected to be a problem because it's easy to detour traffic away from the cemetery where the 51-year-old Seavey will be buried.

Cincinnati's police chief, Thomas Streicher, said officers had heard complaints from bars on the west side about Iron Horsemen blocking doorways and questioning patrons to find members of the Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle Club.

Streicher said a vice officer spotted a large number of motorcycles on the day of the shooting and some Iron Horsemen outside JD's Honky Tonk and Emporium and called his supervisor.

The chief said a plan was quickly put together to visit the bar and talk with the club members about the complaints.

But when the caravan of 14 officers, including three vice officers wearing masks, arrived at the bar, Streicher said Seavey pulled out a 9mm handgun and opened fire.

Two officers were wounded and Seavey was shot to death.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

KANSAS ,The good guys prevail

OFF THE WIRE
First, some Alpha Biker commentary... I got my most recent chance to see the Patriot Guard in action at Big Tom's (Mortal Skulls MC... LJ's brother) funeral in Long Island. Much respect to these men and women who truly preserve the honor of the fallen American Patriots. Thank you for what you do.
Chuck DeCost

-------------------------------

Williamsburg turned out to make honor and gratitude the message for a fallen hero

Todd Weaver was the kind of man any family, any community, any nation would be proud of.

Not so the members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, who traveled to Williamsburg for the funeral of the young officer, killed in Afghanistan.

They didn't come to pay respect. They came to disrespect. To disrupt. To display what can only be described as their deranged version of Christianity.

They've become a tired stereotype at memorials for our military fallen — rag tag groups waving placards claiming "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates your tears," blaming our tattered moral values for everything from 9/11 to wars. They have also brought their message of vengeance to concerts, football games and the funerals of religious leaders and victims of disasters and murder.
Text NEWS to 71593 for headlines from the Daily Press. Click here for other text alerts.

In this free country, they're free to believe, as their signs say, that "God cursed America" for homosexuality. But they're free to co-opt the discussion only if the rest of us let them, if we allow their vicious voices to be the loudest in the public arena.

Last weekend, hundreds of determined men and women in the Williamsburg area refused to let that happen, and delivered some well-deserved comeuppance to Westboro Baptist Church.

Church members stirred local passions by announcing their intention to picket the Saturday memorial service for Weaver at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. It was a cruel attempt to dishonor the memory of a Bruton football star and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, whose sense of duty was so strong that he served our nation in two wars, in Iraq and later Afghanistan, where he was killed shortly after his daughter's first birthday.

When local residents got wind of the intended desecration, they responded angrily on bulletin boards and in the Last Word column of the Virginia Gazette. They mobilized local residents to outnumber and out-demonstrate the Westboro Wackos.

So more than100 people lined the way to the church, creating a virtual wall of honor in support of the family and friends who came to remember the 26-year-old fallen soldier. From W&M students to elderly veterans, good Americans turned out to surround the Westboro protesters with placards and flags, shouts of support and patriotic hymns.

They outnumbered the three pathetic Westboro protesters.

To make sure mourners saw something more inspirational than Westboro's ugliness, the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club — who give bikers everywhere a good name with their dedicated service sheltering grieving relatives from Westboro at military funerals — erected their own wall, this one of American flags. Drivers passing by honked their horns and gave thumbs up signs. Signs emblazoned with "Support our troops" lined the road.

It's obscene that families grieving the loss of loved ones should be confronted with despicable messages from people who hate. It's sickening that sacrifice is met with condemnation, honor with dishonor. At least one stricken father tried to stop Westboro in court but failed, rightly, because our constitutional freedoms protect unpopular speech as much as that with which we agree.

But the residents of Williamsburg proved that one need not use violence or tamper with the First Amendment to put people like Westboro Baptist in their place. All they need to do is exercise their own freedoms to assemble and to speak — proudly and more loudly.

They showed the people who love Todd Weaver that their son and husband and father and brother and friend did not die in vain, and that his community respects his sacrifice.

original article

AMA :September 29 Deadline for Representatives to sign Congressional letter to suspend motorcycle-only checkpoints

OFF THE WIRE
Congressional letter aims to suspend NHTSA program to fund discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpointsTake Action!
Urge your Representative to sign on today!

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is taking the lead by sending a letter to Sec. Ray LaHood urging him to suspend a grant program that would expand the highly criticized practice of creating motorcycle-only checkpoints by law enforcement agencies.

The program is the Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstrations Grant (DTNH22-10-R-00386), and has closed for new applicants as of August 13, 2010. However, you can view the grant notice by clicking here.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) supports this important letter, and seeks to have as many Representatives sign on as possible. Therefore, the AMA needs your help immediately to contact your Representative and urge them to sign onto this letter.

The AMA has formally questioned the potential discriminatory and legal nature of this program, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The AMA sent a letter to Administrator Strickland on August 9 urging him to suspend the grant program until questions have been addressed. To date, Administrator Strickland has not responded. To view AMA's letter, click here.

While law enforcement officials may defend the program as a safety measure to decrease motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities, there is no proof of its effectiveness. The practice, first modeled in New York State, has drawn the ire of thousands of motorcyclists nationally.

NHTSA is now seeking up to five other law enforcement agencies, besides the state of New York, to participate in motorcycle-only checkpoints, and is offering $350,000 in federal funding.

The AMA believes that the best way for NHTSA to reduce motorcycle crashes is to employ proven strategies, such as rider education and motorcycle awareness programs, that decrease the likelihood of crashes from ever occurring. These strategies must be research-based, and motorcyclists would be much better served by applying the funding to the national motorcycle crash causation study that is currently underway at Oklahoma State University. This is a sentiment supported by Sensenbrenner and many of his colleagues in Congress through recently introduced H. Res. 1498.

To urge your Representative to support this important resolution, click here.

Be sure to forward this to your motorcycling friends! Ask them to contact their Representative and urge them to sign on to the Sensenbrenner letter requesting the grant offer be suspended until the concerns of the motorcycling community have been addressed. Just follow the “Take Action” option to send a pre-written e-mail directly to your Representative demanding no federal dollars be used to expand programs that discriminate against motorcyclists.

Tell the Governor to Veto SB435 - negative impact on California tourism

OFF THE WIRE
To all departments related to California tourism and travel,

California Governor Schwarzenegger has been promoting tourism in
televised advertisements shown here on the east coast. However, I am
sorry to report that despite the professionally produced and expensive
commercials, Senate Bill 435, which is sitting on his desk right now,
for action by September 30 represents a negative impact to California
tourism.

Please contact him and ask him to veto it.

As a result of SB 435, travelers to California who rent or borrow a
motorcycle registered in California face the very real possibility of
being held responsible for problems that are created upstream at the
manufacturers of motorcycles and motorcycle exhaust pipes.
Unfortunately, it is not a problem which is easily remedied by
consumers, and for many models of motorcycles it is impossible. It is
definitely nothing that tourists who rent or borrow motorcycles should
be held responsible for.

It ends up holding consumers responsible for failures of manufacturers
to comply with an antiquated federal (EPA) standard, and the failure
rate is extremely high.

Reference: http://boltusa.org/library/index.php?title=Exhaust_pipes
To summarize for you: the 2008 study showed that of 76 brand new
motorcycles on the showroom floors, it would be difficult to find any of
them in full compliance with the federal standard.

Specifically, if a law enforcement officer pulls a motorcyclist over,
and if the motorcycle is registered in California, and the law
enforcement officer is not able to readily spot an EPA stamp on the
motorcycle exhaust pipes, the motorcyclist is held responsible and law
enforcement action is taken against them....for the manufacturers failures!!

This bill is not yet signed into law but has already resulted in word
being spread throughout the motorcycling community that if the bill
passes, California should be avoided as a tourist destination. The
helmet law already keep California off the list of good tourist
destinations for motorcyclists, and this wrongful placement of blame for
manufacturer failures is one more reason to avoid the state.

The Governor only has a day or two to veto the bill, so please make this
a priority matter.

Thank you,

Janice MacKay
Director, BOLT of NC
BOLT Networked Information Systems
http://boltusa.org

Last Call on SB435 - Act Now, Here's How!

OFF THE WIRE
Posted at http://boltusa.org/node/193#comment-255
Feel free to repost anywhere and everywhere else. No need to credit jan as the author of it.



Last Call on SB435 - Act Now, Here's How!
In addition to continuing to contact the Governors office directly, as mentioned in the National Call to Action, send an email to the California department of tourism and travel at web@visitcalifornia.com or call (916) 444-4429.
Here is what I wrote to them. I don't mind if you copy it, word for word, although your own words are often more effective, but PLEASE be sure to edit it where indicated by the (( )).
========================================================

Subject: Tell the Governor to Veto SB435 - negative impact on California tourism
To all departments related to California tourism and travel,
California Governor Schwarzenegger has been promoting tourism in televised advertisements shown here ((on the east coast)). However, I am sorry to report that despite the professionally produced and expensive commercials, Senate Bill 435, which is sitting on his desk right now, for action by September 30 represents a negative impact to California tourism.
Please contact him and ask him to veto it.
As a result of SB 435, travelers to California who rent or borrow a motorcycle registered in California face the very real possibility of being held responsible for problems that are created upstream at the
manufacturers of motorcycles and motorcycle exhaust pipes. Unfortunately, it is not a problem which is easily remedied by consumers, and for many models of motorcycles it is impossible. It is definitely nothing that tourists who rent or borrow motorcycles should be held responsible for.
It ends up holding consumers responsible for failures of manufacturers to comply with an antiquated federal (EPA) standard, and the failure rate is extremely high.
Reference: http://boltusa.org/library/index.php?title=Exhaust_pipes
To summarize for you: the 2008 study showed that of 76 brand new motorcycles on the showroom floors, it would be difficult to find any of them in full compliance with the federal standard.
Specifically, if a law enforcement officer pulls a motorcyclist over, and if the motorcycle is registered in California, and the law enforcement officer is not able to readily spot an EPA stamp on the
motorcycle exhaust pipes, the motorcyclist is held responsible and law enforcement action is taken against them....for the manufacturers failures!!
This bill is not yet signed into law but has already resulted in word being spread throughout the motorcycling community that if the bill passes, California should be avoided as a tourist destination.
(Some motorcyclists may avoid the state regardless of their mode of travel, as a matter of principle). The helmet law already keeps California off the list of good tourist destinations for motorcyclists, and this wrongful placement of blame for manufacturer failures onto consumers is one more reason to avoid the state.
The Governor only has a day or two to veto the bill, so please make this a priority matter.
Thank you,
((your name))
((if you are a "wheel" in your organization, put your title here))
((any associations you are proud of or which shows some clout))

Vagos members file claims against county after raids

OFF THE WIRE
BY: JOHN ASBURY
Source: pe.com
The Vagos Motorcycle Club has filed 16 claims against Riverside County and state authorities seeking damages for a March raid on club members in Hemet, Fontana and Indio.

The claims filed by the motorcycle club and four families also target Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.

The claims allege defamation of character and violation of civil rights related to the March 17 sweep. During "Operation Everywhere," district attorney's officials, sheriff's deputies and police arrested 33 people named as members of the Vagos on suspicion of parole violations and drug and weapon charges.

"The members and associates of the Vagos and the family members of the Vagos members also suffered from humiliation and emotional distress as a result of the public employees' public defamatory statements about the Vagos and its members," the claim states.

Riverside County officials said the claims are under review and a decision on whether to accept or reject them has not been made. In addition to Pacheco, the claims name district attorney spokesman John Hall, an unidentified district attorney's investigator and a sheriff's sergeant.

The Vagos accuse authorities of ransacking homes, intimidating and wrongfully detaining family members and telling some restaurants not to serve the Vagos members.

"This is a ridiculous attempt to intimidate law enforcement by a criminal street gang," Pacheco said in a statement last week.

Joseph Yanny, an attorney for the Vagos, said he also has filed claims against state Attorney General Jerry Brown, Hemet police and other agencies. He said the rhetoric of the March 17 news conference and reports that followed unfairly linked the Vagos to the Hemet police attacks.

The Vagos were not named as suspects in the Hemet case but Pacheco made several references to a history of attacks on law enforcement.

The claims cite Hemet Police Chief Richard Dana's remark that the sweep made the Vagos "scatter like cockroaches."

When asked at the time about their involvement in the attacks, Pacheco said the "Vagos have got our significant attention in recent months ... and their time has come."

Less than four months later, Hemet police charged two men with conducting the attacks to thwart a marijuana trial.

Pacheco said the two men may have had associations with the Vagos, but were not members.

Yanny said the sweeps were a campaign stunt for Pacheco's failed June re-election bid.

"The county of Riverside should rein in people of his position. He does not have the right to use his office in an attempt to generate fear and opinions to aid political campaigns," Yanny said. "This was a very concerted effort prior to the election to make them the bad boys and beat up them for political purposes."

Reach John Asbury at 951-763-3451 or jasbury@PE.com

City dad, son arrested in motorcycle theft ring

OFF THE WIRE
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100925/LOCAL07/309259981/1002/LOCAL City dad, son arrested in motorcycle theft ring Jeff Wiehe | The Journal Gazette A motorcycle theft ring that targeted motels along the routes of biker rallies has possibly come to an end.
Indiana State Police arrested a Fort Wayne father and son believed to be involved in stealing dozens of motorcycles in recent months and also recovered 13 stolen Harley-Davidsons thanks to a tip detectives got Thursday morning.
Police are now homing in on a third suspect, as well.
Detectives believe the three would comb through biker rally schedules, figure out the main routes those rallies would take and then use lock-picking equipment to steal the motorcycles from motel parking lots along those routes.
The thefts may have expanded into other states in the Midwest, according to police. Some of the motorcycles recovered were from Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, with a few from New York and Florida.
The cheapest bike recovered so far is valued about $13,000, while the most expensive is roughly $33,000.
“We’ve known for some time there’s been a rash of motorcycle thefts from motel parking lots across the Midwest,” said Detective Mark Heffelfinger, lead investigator in the case.
But the tip detectives received broke the case open, Heffelfinger said.
Police were told two stolen Harley-Davidson motorcycles were being kept at a home in Auburn. When police went to the home, they found the two stolen bikes – one from Milwaukee, the other from Bloomington – in a stolen trailer.
Donald J. Cupp Sr., 53, of Fort Wayne was arrested on two counts of possession of stolen property in connection to those stolen motorcycles and booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
Investigators then obtained a search warrant for a home in the 700 block of Davis Street in Fort Wayne.
There, detectives found another pair of stolen motorcycles, a marijuana-growing operation and a meth lab. At another nearby home, two more stolen motorcycles in a stolen trailer were found.
Cupp’s son, 21-year-old Donald J. Cupp Jr., was then arrested on multiple warrants from Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. He was taken to Allen County Jail.
Though he has not been officially charged in the thefts, Heffelfinger said those charges are pending.

INDIANA:Tip leads to stolen Harleys, pot, meth, police say

OFF THE WIRE
Tip leads to stolen Harleys, pot, meth, police say The Journal Gazette
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100924/LOCAL07/100929676/1043/LOCAL07 Tip leads to stolen Harleys, pot, meth, police say The Journal Gazette
Indiana State PoliceThirteen stolen Harley-Davidson motorcycles were recovered after a tip launched a six-county investigation that ended with a Fort Wayne father and son in jail, Indiana State Police said today.
The Criminal Investigation Division of state police in Fort Wayne began its probe after a tip about two Harleys at an Auburn home, state police said in a written statement.
It said Detective Mark Heffelfinger identified the motorcycles as having been stolen from Milwaukee, Wis., and Bloomington.
Donald J. Cupp Sr., 53, of Fort Wayne, was arrested and taken to the DeKalb County Jail, charged with two counts of possession of stolen property, the statement said.
Later, a search warrant was obtained for a home in the 700 block of Davis Street in Fort Wayne, where police said two more stolen motorcycles, a marijuana-growing operation and a meth lab were located. At another residence in the area, a stolen enclosed trailer with two stolen motorcycles was also recovered, police said.
Donald J. Cupp Jr., 21, of Fort Wayne was arrested on five outstanding charges from Vanderburgh and Warrick counties, and was taken to the Allen County Jail, the statement said.
Heffelfinger reported finding six more motorcycles in a barn in the Stroh area, and one in Ossian.
State police said more charges are expected

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS HOPE TO HUSH LOUD PIPES

OFF THE WIRE
CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS HOPE TO HUSH LOUD PIPES
California is home to the largest population of motorcyclists in the country, and if legislators have their way, it could also soon be home to one of the most onerous anti-motorcycle laws in America.

By a bare majority vote of 21-16 on August 30 the state Senate approved SB435 which will make it a crime to operate a motorcycle manufactured after Jan. 1, 2013 that fails to meet federal noise-emission control standards and that all new motorcycles sold after that date must display and maintain compliance labels from the Environmental Protection Agency.

A similar bill last session would have required biennial smog checks for emissions violations, but after meeting resistance from bikers’ rights groups it has since been amended to target illegally modified exhaust systems. Supporters of the bill say that many motorcycle owners modify their exhausts to make them louder, but swapping a compliant tailpipe equipped with a catalytic converter for one without emissions controls produces more smog-forming pollutants per mile.

Opponents of the measure counter that many aftermarket exhausts meet federal EPA emissions standards but aren’t labeled, and labeling on stock systems is often difficult to locate, meaning that law-abiding riders could be unfairly ticketed.

SB435 has already passed the Assembly and its fate now lies in the hands of the state’s most famous motorcycle rider, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose office has not yet taken a position on the proposed legislation.

SOUND REASONING SILENCES N.H. NOISE ORDINANCE
Although North Hampton, New Hampshire voters approved a noise ordinance in May that prohibits motorcycles without an EPA sticker from being operated or even parked in town, a lawyer for the federal agency has expressed that just because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires a label on all motorcycle mufflers indicating the noise the vehicle produces does not exceed 80 decibels doesn't mean a municipality has the authority to enforce that noise level.

"The Noise Control Act (NCA), which authorizes EPA to enact noise control regulations, states that 'nothing in this section precludes or denies the right of any state or political subdivision thereof to establish and enforce controls on environmental noise,” wrote EPA Senior Assistant Regional Counsel Timothy Williamson in an Aug. 31 letter to North Hampton Town Administrator Steve Fournier. "However, neither does it grant localities any additional authority to control environmental noise beyond that available to them under state and local law."

"The ordinance basically bans motorcycles from the town if they do not have an EPA label on their exhaust system even though the motorcycles comply with the state's noise level limit of 106 decibels," said Seacoast Harley-Davidson in court papers challenging the new law.

Even the town’s own legal counsel has indicated the ordinance is unenforceable, saying that the state has already determined the appropriate noise levels for motorcycles and that the town, therefore, does not have the option of creating its own more restrictive noise ordinance.

That opinion was clearly reiterated in Williamson's letter on behalf of the EPA. "Thus, neither the NCA nor the regulations in Part 205 (of the EPA code) grant municipalities the authority to enact or enforce ordinances that supersede any limitations on their authority under state law," he wrote.

Town officials decided not to fight the Harley dealer’s request for a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the noise ordinance. "The ordinance will remain unenforced until we have a hearing," Fournier said, indicating that the town’s new noise ordinance will not be enforced until after the judge issues a ruling on the matter.

MASSACHUSETTS ENACTS RIDER TRAINING FOR JUNIOR MOTORCYCLISTS
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) announces that Senate Bill 2344, dubbed Ryan’s Bill, an “Act relative to assuring that motorcyclists between the ages of 16 and 18 are provided with adequate education relative to the proper safety and operation of a motorcycle.” has been signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick.


Recognizing the additional burden formal training may require, MMA Legislative Director Rick Gleason states, “A weekend of formal training sets the stage for a lifetime of motorcycling enjoyment and the skills acquired through training can help a rider avoid a crash.”


This new law does not make training mandatory, and only affects those under 18 who wish to earn their motorcycle license. MMA Chairman Dave Condon further clarifies that passage of Ryan’s Bill does not require a junior operator take a motorcycle training course. "A motorcycle permit in this state is good for two years. Therefore, a junior motorcycle operator can still ride on his\her permit beyond their 18th birthday, and take the road test offered by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.” Condon further stated, "The MMA was very careful in not taking anyone's choice away or interfering with a parent’s right to decide what is best for their child." Condon also pointed out that current state regulations require 40+ hours of formal training before a Junior Operator may obtain a license to operate an automobile.


Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP) officials analyzed ten years of information from the Massachusetts RMV and found that just over 63% of those involved in fatal motorcycle accidents have never received any formal motorcycle rider training and 22.5% of motorcycle fatalities were from riders under the age of 21.

The MMA supported the legislation in honor of 16 year old Ryan Orcutt of Brockton who died in a motorcycle accident.

SAVING TIME CAN COST YOU MONEY
In the current economic downturn, cash-strapped states across the U.S. are charging huge fines for speeding violations and other traffic infractions. All across America, legislators have one eye on road safety and the other on depleted coffers, and depending on where you live a speeding ticket can cost from under a hundred dollars to a couple thousand or more, reports AOL Autos.

Drivers caught speeding in the states of Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire all are liable to be fined up to $1000, at a judge's discretion, for a first-time speeding offense, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The severity of the financial penalty also may depend upon the number of miles above the speed limit when clocked and the number of points on a driver's license, or if the offense occurred near a school or road works. A driver's license may also be suspended, their vehicle impounded, or they may face jail time.

Some states including Michigan, Texas and New Jersey, operate under so-called "driver responsibility" laws, which, in some cases, can result in a further fine of up to $1000 leveled a year after the conviction. Virginia, which until 2008 had some of the strictest penalties for speeders, repealed its driver-responsibility laws last year after a public outcry. Georgia, meanwhile, has just voted to add $200 to the fine of what it terms "superspeeders," who travel more than 10 mph over the speed limit. Other states with fines of up to $500 -- which in many cases is then compounded with additional court fees -- include Maryland, Missouri and Oregon.

ROAD DEATHS DECLINE WORLDWIDE
Data published by an international transportation group revealed Britain has the lowest road death tally of 33 countries surveyed, topping the charts with just 3.8 deaths per 100,000 population, and the declining global fatality rate has been heralded as “a record decade for road safety.”

The United Kingdom joins the Netherlands and Sweden as the countries with the safest roads, according to the report published by the Paris-based International Transport Forum, while Malaysia, Argentina and Greece rated highest of the 33 countries detailed in the survey. The United States ranked 27th with a traffic fatality rate of 11.1, nearly three times higher than the UK.

Further data from the survey revealed motorists are least likely to be killed on Swedish, UK and Swiss roads, while the chances of being involved in a fatal crash were highest in Korea, the Czech Republic and Malaysia.

The report found motorcycle accidents in the UK were down 23%, despite a 45% increase in the number of motorcycles on the road.

Figures for motorcycles figured badly in the worldwide survey, however, with huge rises in fatal crashes in Finland and Slovenia. On the flipside, bike-related deaths dropped significantly in Portugal and Korea.

The report found motorcycle deaths were on the rise in many developing countries. "These increases are only partly explained by the rise in the number of motorcycles," said Veronique Feypell-de La Beaumelle, ITF road safety expert.

ITF Secretary General Jack Short hailed the overall figures as "a record decade for road safety," adding: "Reducing fatalities around the world will be accelerated by rapid and effective transfer of knowledge, good practice and information from the best performing countries."

Road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009: Malaysia - 23.8; Argentina - 18.4; Greece - 13.8; Cambodia - 12.6; Korea - 12.0; Poland - 12.0; US - 11.1; Lithuania - 11.0; New Zealand - 8.9; Belgium - 8.9; Czech Rep - 8.6; Slovenia - 8.4; Hungary - 8.2; Portugal - 7.9; Italy - 7.9; Austria - 7.6; Luxembourg - 7.2; Australia - 6.9; France - 6.9; Canada - 6.3; Spain - 5.9; Denmark - 5.5; Ireland - 5.4; Iceland - 5.3; Finland - 5.3; Germany - 5.1; Japan - 4.5; Switzerland - 4.5; Norway - 4.4; Israel - 4.2; Sweden - 3.9; Netherlands - 3.9; UK - 3.8

INDONESIAN CAPITAL LIMITS MOTORCYCLE TRAFFIC
City officials in Jakarta are mulling over schemes to limit the number of motorcycles allowed in certain areas during peak hours to help unsnarl the city’s acute traffic jams. The Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association estimates there are about 35 million motorcycles in usable condition in the country, and in the capital city of 8.5 million people there are nearly one motorcycle for every person and growing by nearly a thousand new bikes every day.

This extraordinarily high number of motorcycles has exacerbated the city's already awful traffic, especially during rush hour, and plans are in place to begin banning bikes from a number of main thoroughfares in this mostly Muslim nation after the holy holiday of Ramadan, requiring riders to continue their journeys by public transportation.

Motorcycle numbers have been increasing for six years throughout the country, driven by affluence and affordable credit schemes. Today, a new motorcycle can be purchased with an initial down payment of Rp 500,000 (US$50).

WEIRD NUDES
An 18-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran and his female passenger were thrown from a motorcycle when they veered off the road near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. According to newspaper reports, both sustained painful injuries due to total lack of safety gear; no helmet, no gloves, no boots…and no clothes!

The naked riders landed in a ditch, and the Marine was knocked unconscious and awoke to charges of DUI, reckless driving, driving without a license, license revoked, expired inspection, no insurance and no helmet. His passenger walked nearly a mile for help despite a broken arm and leg, but was only ticketed for failure to wear a helmet.

Apparently, riding in the buff is not a traffic offence in Onslow County as neither were charged with exhibitionism or failure to exhibit common sense.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: "Das Beste oder nichts (The best or nothing).”
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900), inventor of the motorcycle and the first automobile