Archive for the “Updates” Category

Carnegie Forever Meets with Park Officials

Posted by on December 15, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has one response.

December 8, 2010, Carnegie SVRA. Members of the Carnegie Forever Board of Directors met with OHV staff to review a series of developments at the park. The ongoing meetings are a way to continue presenting the views of the users to the managers. The group included Joe Ramos Carnegie Sector Superintendent, Jerry Fouts an AMA Congressman and Ole and Sherry Stortruen who represent 4WD groups. Coming to observe the meeting was Kane Silverberg one of the California OHV Commissioners. We invited him to take a ride in the park, but the weather was too wet. The on-going developments of the Alameda/Tesla Expansion Project were a key item of discussion at the round table, informal meeting held outdoors at MotoMart, our vendor store at Carnegie. Also submitted was the need to meet more frequently. Our organization hopes to have a meeting of the OHV Commission in 2011 in Tracy. In the future we will also publish minutes of our meetings so people can keep up with our activities.

Christmas Greetings to all of the subscribers to our website.

November 2nd is Fast Approaching

Posted by on October 12, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 4 responses.

As Skip said at Carnegie Freedom day; “We have to vote those so and so’s out of office”. We live in a free society and it is more important than ever to exercise our right to vote. But which so and so’s do we need to vote out of office? This is why we need to educate ourselves about where particular candidates stand pertaining to issues that affect us. The Internet is an invaluable tool to find out about candidate voting records and which candidates are introducing legislation that diminish our riding opportunities. Beyond just doing basic Internet research there is help on the way. In Dirt Rider’s latest issue there is an article entitled “You Lose! Don’t Make Dirt Bikes Extinct” by Jimmy Lewis.

This article contains some really useful information about voting. Check out all three pages especially the section on how to obtain information about candidates and issues. According to this article there is a 2010 AMA member voter guide (you need to login). The AMA doesn’t tell you how to vote but tries to help AMA members understand where candidates stand on issues important to the future of motorcycling. Although most of the candidates did not return the AMA questionnaire, and this tool is limited, do take a look here if you are an AMA member.

Over the next couple of weeks we have to find out about the candidates and the issues. As Jimmy Lewis says: “Shortly, if things continue the way they are going, you will not have dirt bikes to ride or places to ride them.” Read the article and take action. It was never more important than it is today to exercise your right to vote. Know the candidates and the propositions before you enter the voting booth.

Getting ready for elections and making sure we understand the issues is very important. I have been voting since I was eighteen years old and take my duty as a citizen of this great country very seriously. Sometimes a particular issue is not as cut and dry as it initially seems.

I recently had a discussion about Proposition 23 with a friend. As I understood it, Proposition 23 would suspend AB-32 (a greenhouse gas reduction program) until California’s unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters (not very likely any time soon). I originally assumed that Proposition 23 was not a good thing.

After listening to his arguments I researched the issues and this is what I learned.

According to the literature AB-32 is a comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emissions reporting and fee requirements for major emittors such as power plants and oil refineries.

It sounds like AB-32 will reduce green house gases. Isn’t that a good thing? Aren’t green house emissions responsible for global warming? We all have our own answers to this question. I believe they do. There are scientists who believe that they do and others who believe that they don’t. Beyond this question, other issues germane to this proposition are more complicated than I thought.

Some newspaper articles blame out-of-state oil companies for sponsoring and funding Proposition 23. Yet according to a site called Ballotpedia, Proposition 23 supporters include Dan Logue, US Congressman Tom McClintock (see my previous post about Tom McClintock), Steve Poizner, The California Republican Party, Jim Kellog, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and Americans for the prosperity of California.

Then there is the issue of who will be responsible for implementing and making regulations pursuant to AB-32. According to the language of the statute, The California Air Resources Board (CARB), under the California Environmental Protection Agency, is to prepare plans to achieve the objectives stated in the Act.

We all know these groups. The day before yesterday there was a newspaper article about CARB, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards. CARB grossly miscalculated pollution levels for diesel-fueled off-road vehicles used in construction and other industries. Its scientific analysis was off by 340 percent.

“The setbacks in the air board’s research – and the proposed softening of a landmark regulation raise questions about the performance of the agency as it is in the midst of implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB-32 as it is commonly called, one of the state’s and the nation’s most ambitious environmental policies to date.”

So the question also becomes – do we really trust the California Air Resources Board to implement this law in an unbiased manner? Among other things, my friend said that the CARB used junk science with the OHV Red Sticker/Green sticker issue and based current emissions on tests from a mid 1970s 2- stroke.

According to a comment to the Chronicle article alluded to above there are also other questions pertaining to this agency which include among other things poisoning California wells by forcing refineries to add MTBE to gasoline and forcing independent truck drivers to sell their rigs when they issued draconian standards based on phony science. The author of the comment said that its director, Mary Nichols, has arrogantly joked, “I can do anything I want–I don’t have to stand for election”.

Need I say more? Voting is not easy and I cannot tell you how to vote. As Wooster says in P.G. Wodehouse’s popular novel, “there are circles within circles”. Nothing is easy or even cut and dried. I don’t want to tell you how I will vote. Everybody has different values and beliefs, but it has never been more important than it is today to exercise our right to vote and educate ourselves about the issues.

As I said before, the Dirt Rider article has some very good ideas. It is an invaluable resource to look at before you step into the voting booth. Also talk to friends and look at websites for organizations that represent our interests like Blue Ribbon Coalition, CORVA, AMA, District 36, and others to find out what the issues are and where the candidates stand.

News from Carnegie

Posted by on September 10, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 4 responses.

Greetings to all the people who want to support ongoing OHV recreation at Carnegie SVRA. Substantial progress has taken place in the last 9 months after our park was almost closed.

For the previous 10 years a group of Carnegie riders has met with park staff to try to make our ideas part of the park’s future. Some of our efforts were useful but others were unfortunately never implemented or accepted. We originally worked under the name CORE.

We are now pleased to announce that our work for these past months and years will culminate with our application this month (September) for Federal non-profit status as a 501(C) (3) corporation called – Carnegie Forever, Inc. We know that this is the only way to have our views credibly represented at future meetings.

Relative to this new status we will apply to California’s OHV Commission for a major round table discussion about Carnegie this year (hopefully December) in Tracy. We want to discuss many problems at the park and ways to keep environmental organization from trying to close our park. Carnegie was a test case for attacking OHV areas and we are dedicated to keeping the gate closed to these persistent intruders.

Special Request 1
One of our greatest allies over the last 15 years is Don Amador. As the Western States Representative for BRC (Blue Ribbon Coalition), he travels to “hot spots” all over the West fighting for our recreation rights. Don came to our rally the day we expected the park to cease operations – now let’s rally to support his work. He keeps us informed of issues all over the state and appears as an expert witness on our behalf. Don NEEDS our financial help right now. Please take a few minutes and make a donation to his work. Access this web page. On the right side of the page is a donation box to direct your gift. Under “contribution instructions” enter “Western Rep. Expenses”. Your support will get some critical financial help to the office of the man we have all come to trust and respect.

Please, do it today!

Special Request 2
Dirt bike season starts in October. The dreaded and totally unfair Red Sticker season also ends at the same time. With perfect symmetry we can celebrate this occasion with an annual reunion of sorts at Carnegie by attending the Horne Family’s California Hillclimb Series Round 3 on October 2nd and 3rd. Round 4 will be on November 6th and 7th.

This series has grown in popularity over the last 20 years and the Carnegie hills have produced many champions in the sport. Also added is a new twist – side-by-side racing called VERTICROSS©. Motocross riders are now entering hillclimbs! Previous events brought 500 riders who compete in classes from 50cc to 1500cc. There will be a pit-bike race Saturday night under the lights.

Special note: Carnegie Forever, Inc will have an information booth at the event.

Join the fun and support the event and the Skip, Lynn and George Horne Family that has put Carnegie on the map. Visit Skip’s Promotions for more info.

Finally
Keep the faith. Send us your suggestions and ideas, especially for the OHV Commission Meeting this year. We will keep you informed of the progress of our corporation.

Remember – financial support for Don Amador and Skip’s Hillclimb supports all our efforts as a recreation community.

Thanks for helping us,

Mark Speed, Mark Martinez, Pete Krunich, Dave Duffin and Diana Tweedy

A Threat from the Inside

Posted by on August 18, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 2 responses.

After injuring myself I was back on my motorcycle for the first time in over a month. I noticed a lot of changes since I was my last ride. Not good changes. Let me explain what I mean.

“Viewed from a jetliner at 35,000 feet Carnegie is indistinguishable from other geographic features like farms, shopping malls, housing tracts, and the military installation across the road from us.” Dave Duffin.

The danger lies not so much that the environmental extremists will close us down outright. They will take little chunks out of our riding experience bit by bit until we finally leave of our own accord.

Back on the ground and behind the scenes the rangers are being forced to kowtow to these extreme environmental groups and take action based on their interpretation of the Recreation Code.

The rangers are putting up more fencing and constructing trails that are finely graded and almost flat. These new trails pose no challenge to long time Carnegie riders. Some say that the many blind corners, easy terrain and increased speed pose a safety hazard on the narrow two-way trails.

“The “improvements” will add a new component to many unskilled riders’ experience – SPEED!!! This will result in accidents.” Dave Duffin.

What can we do to pressure the rangers into taking the riders needs into consideration when they make changes? Will Rodney Smith still be able to say that Carnegie is the most challenging place he had ever ridden?

“They act like we are riding on their front lawn not in our off road park.” Mark Martinez.

Someone is trying to turn Carnegie into a kind of safe amusement park like the snow coaches in Yellow Stone. Long time riders did not start riding here because they didn’t like challenging terrain. What can we do? We need to take action immediately or it will be too late.

Update for the Supporters of OHV Recreation at Carnegie SVRA

Posted by on August 18, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 8 responses.

Eight months ago we had a rally at our park to signal the last day of riding before it was due to be closed. We were in the national spotlight with TV news crews attending and articles written in the local and national press. The motives of our protagonists were not based on water quality, soils mitigation, or wildlife preservation. The burning idea in their minds was to close our park and end, by any means possible, family OHV recreation here and eventually at as many other places and State OHV Parks as possible.

After years of experience at closing other riding areas in California they finally found a way to “hack” into Carnegie and release a virus that would destroy our Off Highway vehicle lifestyle here. Our little Carnegie was to become a test case to see if their venom could be replicated at other places in the state and nation. The argument they used before a Judge in Alameda County, stated the water quality was harmed by OHV use in the park. An Appeals Court overruled this first decision and the park has thankfully remained open. The poison however, is still in the system since the Park Staff base many of their land use decisions on possible future lawsuits from these relentless, well funded, and yes selfish environmentalists.

Viewed from a jetliner at 35,000 feet Carnegie is indistinguishable from other geographic features like farms, shopping malls, housing tracts, and the military installation across the road from us. The alleged environmental groups Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance are currently probing for cracks in the wall that the Appellate Court erected. They won’t give up until this little dot on the map, Carnegie, becomes a hiking and nature area.

We have spent the months between December and August holding riders’ meetings with the intent to develop a substantial riders’ organization to represent the beliefs, aspirations and requirements of the 150 -200,000 OHV recreation enthusiasts who have come to Carnegie for over 40 years.

In the photo above we met in June with Dave Pickett AMA D.36 President and Legal Affairs Officer and Blue Ribbon Western Sates Representative Don Amador. At that meeting we decided to apply to the CA OHV Commission to have a future meeting in Tracy to discuss current issues and re-opening the application for the 4000 acres west of us – The Alameda-Tesla Expansion Project.

Finally we are in the last segment of establishing a Federal non-profit corporation called Carnegie Forever, Inc. The filing will take place in mid-September and we will be pleased to announce the GOOD NEWS this Fall after our corporation is approved. We desperately need this designation to effectively fight for our piece of the pie, our tiny dot on the map. At that time we will respectfully ask for your financial support with a tax deductible donation to fund the future defense fund of Carnegie.

Dave Duffin, Pete Krunich, Mark Speed, Mark Martinez and Diana Tweedy

America’s Great Outdoors Idea Jam

Posted by on August 10, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 6 responses.

What would you think if you could tell the Obama administration how you feel about outdoor recreation and conservation? It would be nice since wealthy lobbyists for conservation groups like the Sierra Club seem to have a stranglehold on influence in Washington. But now it is possible to speak to Washington about your concerns and to counter the ideas promoted by OHV opponents.

Blue Ribbon Coalition’s website informs us of a new law signed by Obama, “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative”, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) to coordinate with the Interior and Agriculture Departments on a program to promote conservation and outdoor recreation.” Go to the Blue Ribbon website to learn how you can join the discussion.

Don’t let the groups who are trying to stop OHV recreation hog all the ideas. We need to input our thoughts about the proper utilization of recreational resources. Off road recreation is not a crime. Go to: http://ideas.usda.gov/ago/ideas.nsf/ and let them know what you think.

Can’t We Just Get Along?

Posted by on August 2, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 6 responses.

Karen Schambach’s organization the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation in conjunction with the Center for Biological Diversity is behind a new petition for wit of mandate to stop a Green-Sticker funded trail near her home in Georgetown.

They are suing the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation along with Eldorado National Forest and The United States Forest Service to shut down the Rock Creek Development Project. They allege that 8.9 miles of new trail is a major expansion of off road vehicle use, thereby requiring an Environmental Impact Report. The project includes three new bridges and a rest room near the Rubicon. She is asking the judge to block the construction of the new trail until an EIR is approved. Think the Alameda/Tesla property.

To read the as yet unfilled writ of mandate see here.

Latest Court Ruling on Carnegie SVRA

Posted by on July 16, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 2 responses.

In the Registry of Actions for the Superior Court of California County of Alameda on Thursday July 15th, Judge Roesch did not grant CSPA and PEER a new trial on all causes of action. There is certainly some ambiguity in the Judge’s order, but it appears that the first, second and third causes of action dealing with the Porter Cologne act water discharge standards were hopefully dismissed.

The actions that were most likely dismissed are as follows:
- first – closing Carnegie SVRA
- second – requiring a waste discharge report, and
- third – meeting water discharge restrictions.

The one cause of action that was not dismissed was the fourth cause of action to make the park abide by Public Resources Code section 5090.35, which requires the Park to monitor soil and wildlife habitat. A trial will be set to resolve these issues later.

Other than the ambiguity surrounding the causes of action, there’s additional ambiguity in the judge’s ruling which leaves the door open for misinterpretation and the continuation of this suit.

It is not over yet. This can be considered a possible positive outcome for the park and its users, depending on how the judge’s order is interpreted. CSPA and PEER are still wrestling with their administrative remedies at the Water Board. A battle may have been won, but the war continues.

Independence Day Surprise

Posted by on July 6, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 3 responses.

I just learned that on June 18th 2010 CSFA and PEER filed a Motion for a New Trial in San Francisco Superior Court (asking the judge to set a date for a new trial) even though the Appellate Court had already issued an order dismissing CSFA and PEER’s First Amended Writ of Mandate, the Writ of Mandate that the “new trial” is supposed to resolve. Does that make sense? CSFA and PEER are asking the judge to set a new trial date on an action that has been dismissed (that no longer exists). Rather than going directly to the Appellate Court and asking for Reconsideration of the Order of Dismissal, CSFA and PEER are asking Judge Roesch to overrule the Appellate Court’s Order of Dismissal, by assigning a new trial date for that very same action, i.e., the action that has been dismissed. Judge Roesch has already ordered a hearing on CSFA and PEER’s Motion for New Trial for July 15th where he will either order a new trial date or not. (Are they forum shopping?) But it is not as simple as that. The plot sickens.

CSFA and PEER’s brief in support of their motion for new trial includes as an exhibit a copy of the State’s Appeal. It appears that the State only appealed the second cause of action requiring Carnegie to cease any new or changed pollution discharges pending submission of the Waste Discharge Repot, which the lower court judge interpreted as justification to shut down Carnegie. The State, rather than appealing the duty to prepare a Waste Discharge Report, provided one to the Californian Regional Water Quality Control Board. CSFA and PEER contend that the Regional Board responded to the State’s submission of the Waste Discharge Report and said that it was incomplete. CSFA and PEER also claim the Regional Board confirmed ongoing discharges into the creek. Although CSFA and PEER only seem to be asking the court to order a new trial on the fourth cause of action (monitoring soils wildlife, etc.), with this judge anything is possible.

In their Appeal the State (our side) failed to bring up the issue of the failure of CSFA and PEER to exhaust administrative remedies before the Regional or State Water Boards (procedures they must follow through with the water boards before asking the court for a writ of mandate). The Appellate Court used the failure to exhaust administrative remedies as the basis for its decision to dismiss the CSFA and PEER’s action, i.e., dismissal of their Writ of Mandate. This decision was based purely on an argument put forth as an Amicus Brief filed by the Water Board (who was not a party to the action). The Appellate Court did not have to pay attention to the Amicus Brief, but thank God they did.

CSFA and PEER are in the process of exhausting administrative remedies even now as we speak. Arguing failure to exhaustion administrative remedies is not foolproof since CSFA and PEER could go and exhaust administrative remedies and then go back to the court and ask for the same relief, which is what they are in the process of doing.

We don’t know what Judge Roesch will do; whether he will order a new trial on one, two, three or all four causes of action; or do as he should do, lacking jurisdiction in the matter, not order a new trial at all.

The State only appealed the second cause of action which the judge used as justification to close Carnegie until a waste discharge report is acted upon by the Water Board. CSFA and PEER contend that the Water Discharge Report submitted by the ORV State Recreation Parks Dept was deficient in several respects. At this point it can be argued that the State has not gotten approval of its waste discharge report and perhaps the lower court could include the second cause of action in the new trial, when CSFA and PEER have exhausted administrative remedies. Then Judge Roesch could issue an order closing Carnegie again (worst possible outcome imaginable).

That also leaves the other three causes of action:

  1. First Cause of action – Duty to submit waste discharge report (that CSFA and PEER contend has still not been properly submitted)
  2. Third Cause of Action complying with water quality objectives
  3. Fourth Cause of Action – Monitor soils wildlife, shut down noncompliant areas, etc.

Our Judge could order a new trial on one, two, three or all four causes of action if he wants to. We don’t know what he will do, but if we go by the sort of decisions he has made in the past, we do know that he will bend over backwards to benefit CSFA, PEER and their cronies.

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not a part of this lawsuit, and not an expert on this case. But this is what I can piece together after looking at the registry of actions in this case. Go here and enter the case number RG09474549. Good luck; the documents are voluminous.

Attorney General Jerry Browns’ name is on the Appeal we supposedly won. Anything could happen. This is not real life. It has nothing to do whether there is any water in the so called creek, any fish; or any sediment killing fish in the so called creek. This is about politics. I am not an optimist and I say watch out. Of course, it goes without saying, that you should get on your bike and ride Carnegie this weekend, but don’t run over any RockFish.

Is Mother Nature Really Out To Get Us?

Posted by on July 6, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 2 responses.

The state legislature is about to pass a bill, SB624, declaring that Serpentine be removed as a state rock. It goes on to cite unscientific facts about the rock being carcinogenic. See ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES and the editorial in today’s newspaper.

This is a slippery slope and could result in even more closures. The text of SB624 declares that serpentine contains chrysotile asbestos and that exposure increases the risk of cancer mesothelioma.

As stated in a letter to the editor from John M. Stoiz, civil engineer: “This is a non-fact. Serpentine is a general name given to magnesium iron phyllosilicate minerals, and it can refer to any of twenty varieties. There are three polymorphs (or kinds) of serpentine: antigorite, chrysotile and lizardite, but only chrysotile contains asbestos”.

California has Serpentine everywhere, but no elevated disease rates from living here. There is no evidence that outdoor recreation exposure has any effect on human health. Our nonscientific state legislators are confusing daily worker exposure to processed asbestos in various products such as home insulation, insulation on ship’s boilers and insulated wiring with exposure to asbestos contained in the structure of naturally occurring rock.

The Blue Ribbon Coalition has reported extensively about the closure of Clear Creek OHV Park due to supposedly cancer causing asbestos contained in Serpentine. “Paul Turcke, BRC attorney and lead counsel for the recreation groups, states, ‘The BLM has previously and extensively studied the ‘asbestos issue’ and has properly concluded the naturally occurring short-fibered Coalinga chrysotile asbestos presents little or no risk to human health. Specifically, the size and nature of the particles in question allow them to be expunged from the lungs or broken down by natural body processes and rendered harmless. There is no bona fide emergency which justifies this drastic and hastily-reached decision.”

“According to a recent declaration provided by a respected scientist, this form of asbestos is innocuous and should be considered only a nuisance dust. Unfortunately, the “one fiber will kill you” zealots choose not to differentiate between different forms of asbestos…”

“The simple fact is that asbestos-related disease does not show up in any of these populations. Period.” – Don Amador.

Scientific facts to not sway our legislature in their quest to keep people from enjoying the great outdoors. The seemingly innocuous removal of Serpentine as a state rock has numerous implications. I have a sample in my rock collection and I have suffered no ill effects even though it is part of a mineral collection that has been in my bedroom for decades.

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