Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Masthead Issue # 9 2-26-08 MAXIMS

Feb.26 2008 Tuesday morning 7:30 AM, Newport Beach City Council Chambers Task Force Newport in regards to the enforcement of the speed limit in Newport Bay.

Extracted from conversations and the thick head of Len Bose.

“ Push deputy in corner, you’re going to lose the campaign”

Ralph Rodheim chairmen of the Joint Task Force Newport deservers a “well done” for controlling this mornings meeting. With over fifty people attending this morning's roll call. The issues were then laid on the table with a short & long-term task force starting to form. The short-term task force will be focusing on saving this season bay racing. The Long Term Task force is to keep this issue from returning.

Harbor Master Deana Bergquist was the first speaker and opened the meeting with a review of most of the tasks assigned to the Harbor Department. I am starting to understand the difficulties of this issue and heard the concern or nervousness in the captain’s voice while making her presentation. One wonders if the Captain has the proper set of tools to complete her task?

While looking across the chambers I started to ask myself if we were doing the right thing by placing the harbor department in a room full of grumpy old sailors? I noticed a number of people rubbing their faces while questions were being asked, has if we were at traffic school and you had the sudden urge to change seats. Don’t take me wrong; I understand in a public forum everyone gets his or her three minutes. I am just starting to question our route to this waypoint. Its like the Trans Pac Race after day three, you can only hope you're on the best course because it’s a long way to the finish.

Like in any race you push on and look for the next wind shift. Many of you have seen me sail to one side of the course, then to the other side of the course, with normally the same result. I just hope this time it’s a tie with the finsh line being a better working relationship between the Harbor Department and the yachtsman.

Keep checking your routing programs to see what tack I'm on after next weeks meeting


Thursday, February 14, 2008

"The Masthead" Issue # 8 2-13-08 "I would like to report a near miss"

Wednesday night “Joint Task Force Newport” was created and has been assigned the task of evaluating sailboat " racing" activities in the harbor and provides future recommended actions. In a unanimous decision the Newport Harbor Commission has asked commission member Ralph Rodheim to lead a group of stakeholders to this task and report back to the commission at a later date.

The Council chambers were full by 1830 with a number of people standing in the halls. In attendance were past Americas Cup Skippers , yacht builders, yacht designers, charter boat owners and sabot sailors . A number of people stood up asking “why the strict enforcement of the speed limit”. Speakers hitting the nail on the head were Andy Rose, Tom Smith and Rodger MacGregor. With Andy and Tom speaking of City and County codes while Roger pointed out the damage that is occurring now by the Harbor Department and asked to put this issue to bed quickly. All three speakers were met with large round of applause after their presentations. Towards the end of public comments, Harbor Master Deana Bergquist presented herself to the commission. Her presentation lasted close to ten minutes and unfortunately I did not really understand what she was trying to say. She encourages staff recommendation to evaluate sailboat racing activities and plans on attending and participating within this committee. She will continue to enforce the speed limit for the public safety and will review the marine event applications on a case-by-case basis. The Captains loudest response came from the comment that no other harbor in Southern California allows sailboat racing within their harbor.

Commissioner Beek asked “Lets just change it back to the way it was”. Member Collins asked for a “cooling off period and continue with the old permit and speed enforcement until this was out of committee”. While member Rhyne expressed the need for the change in ordinance.

My thoughts are we need the change in ordinance so that we do not have to go through this again. I want to race in the bay this summer because I don’t have time to miss a summer of sailing with my son. Where do we stand at this moment? My guess is we won't find out until the first race of beer cans in May.

Sea Ya at the Mid Winters, I will be racing my boat inside the bay in Alamitos

Monday, February 11, 2008

"The Masthead" Issue # 7 2-11-08 "Its going to get ugly"

I am sure you will all remember the Cuban Missile Standoff of the 1960s, and then the term Mexican Standoff of the 1970s, and I am sure none of you will ever forget the Surf Board Standoff on Oahu’s North Shore. Well, the Newport Standoff may begin this Wednesday night at 6:00 Pm in the Newport City Council Chambers.

On one side of the table you will have the Newport Harbor Master Deana Bergquist, Assistant Harbor Master Erin Giudice, and Sergeant Steven McCormick. The Harbor Department will be presenting their concerns in "insuring public safety".

On the other side of the table will be every sailor in Newport Beach and Southern California wondering why the sudden change in policy? Keelboats have been racing in Newport Harbor for over a hundred years – what is necessitating a change now? What pressing and urgent safety issue is taking precedence over a long, successful and prestigious boating heritage?

And finally, in the middle you will have the City of Newport Beach, the Newport Harbor Commission and City Staff wondering “What happened to our peaceful harbor?” Weren’t we doing fine 2 or 3 years ago?

Recently the Harbor Department has changed their interpretation of a number of policies and the one bringing the issue to a boil is enforcing the speed limit for sailboats racing in the bay. This strict enforcement of the 5 MPH will shut down all keelboat racing in Newport Harbor. That’s right, no Monday night American Legion races, and no Beer Can races this summer. I am sure someone else will point out all the other type of boating that exceeds the speed limit, and if we have to stop exceeding the speed limit why don’t they have to as well?

What’s the right thing to do? I have no idea; but this one has the potential to get ugly! The best answer to solve this problem has come from Tom Rossmiller, the Harbor Resource Manager for the city of Newport Beach who suggests the establishment of a stakeholder list, and set up a meeting to determine various concerns and perceptions of this issue and talk it out.

The only comment I can make at this time is EVERYONE MUST attend this Harbor Commission Meeting this Wednesday night and try not to come into the room with both guns blazing. It will be hard for me and many other boaters to do this, but it’s truly time to listen to the facts, perceptions and the details that have led up to this potential impasse and try to come to some sort of compromise.

Also, if you think about it, the way the lower bay is filling up with sediment and the lack of funding for dredging this might be all a muddied point anyway?

Please, let us take the time to address all needs of the use of our beautiful harbor, and yet honor and continue the traditions from our long and remarkable past. Newport City Hall 3300 Newport Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92663

Sunday, February 10, 2008

NEW LISTING 1984 Nelson Marek 55

Owner wants her sold! Its always about timing so if you want a performance cruiser or you want to do this years Mexico races and this years Pacific Cup now is the time to find this great Value! Easy to show located in Newport Beach. ASKING $ 149,000