Here's a place to deposit scraps of information and observations of our US Hawks history.

Google Groups - HGAA DIscussion Group

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:45 pm

hgaagg_banner.png
HGAA Google Group Banner
hgaagg_banner.png (14.72 KiB) Viewed 5434 times

In late July, it was becoming obvious that Jack Axaopoulos was preparing his takeover of the HGAA through his control of their forum (which he eventually did). In anticipation of that event Scott started a Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HGAofAmerica) and I started a Google group (http://groups.google.com/group/hgaa) so that members of the HGAA could continue to communicate without relying on Jack's HGAA forum. Here's Scott's original introduction to the HGAA Discussion Group (Google Group) site:

Welcome to the HGAA’s alternate communication group.

Our ultimate goal is to preserve and promote the sport of hang gliding.

The Method? To give every member, new and old, the opportunity to voice their interests and concerns; for the leaders within this Association to encourage and embrace respectful two way communications with their brothers and sisters within the hang gliding community.

Our Philosophy? The value of the Association is no greater than the value of every member. The respect due the Association is no greater than the respect that the Association owes its individual members.

The direction of the Association will always remain open and transparent to every member. Every member has a right to contribute, in some way, to that direction. No member, or group of members, may determine the direction of the Association without the clear approval of a majority of the membership.

With the successful creation of a solid foundation, the glide path to our ultimate goal will involve far fewer obstacles.

I particularly liked Scott's stated philosophy:

    The value of the Association is no greater than the value of every member.
    The respect due the Association is no greater than the respect that the Association owes its individual members.
Unfortunately, this Google Group was started too late to become an effective means of communication within the HGAA. Furthermore, it became apparent that most members had grown accustomed to the more familiar forum interface and the Google and Yahoo groups formats would not gain popularity. As a result, the US Hawks forum was created and opened on August 13th, 2010 and attention was devoted to that medium.

It was recently announced that the Google Groups would drop support for Pages and Files (which were both used by our HGAA Discussion Group):

The Google Groups Team wrote:Google Groups Announcements Page
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Notice about Pages and Files


To focus on improving the core functionality of Google Groups -- mailing lists and forum discussions -- we have decided to stop supporting the pages and files features. Even though we know discontinuing these features may inconvenience some of you in the short term, we believe that this move will improve your experience storing and sharing files as other products, such as Google Docs and Google Sites, are designed specifically for file storage and page creation.

For example, you can create your pages on Google Sites and share the site with the members of your group. You can also store your files on the site by attaching files to pages on the site. If you’re just looking for a place to upload files so that your group members can download them, we suggest you try using Google Docs. You can upload files and share access with either a group or an individual, assigning either edit or download only access to the files.

Starting in November 2010, Groups will no longer allow the creation or editing of files and pages; the content will only be available for viewing, and only existing files will be able to be downloaded. If you would like to keep the content currently on the pages and files sections of your group, we highly encourage you to export and migrate it to another product. In February 2011, we will turn off the pages and files features, and you will no longer be able to access that content.

To make this move easier for you, we have enabled zip-download functionality to export all the pages and files from your group easily. You can access this tool by clicking "Download all pages" and "Download all files" feature on the pages and files home pages of your groups.

Thanks for taking the time to read this announcement and for using Google Groups.

The Google Groups Team

Given this turn of events, I've decided to capture and repost the original posts from the Google Group to preserve our history. I've posted one post per post with the original author highlighted in bold. It's always been important to me that we capture and preserve the history of whatever new organization we create. In fact, it was the rewriting of history on the HGAA forum that led to my greatest dissatisfaction with the HGAA leadership. We'll try to do better here on the US Hawks. :)

Note: In late 2014 I changed each post to reflect the person who originally sent each message.
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New Google Group for the Hang Gliding Association of America

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:47 pm

From: bobk
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 16:05:51 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sun, Jul 25 2010 4:05 pm
Subject: New Google Group for the Hang Gliding Association of America
---
I just wanted to set up a group with a slightly easier email address
(hgaa@googlegroups.com) for the HGAA to use.
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Re: New Google Group for the Hang Gliding Association of Ame

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:48 pm

From: bobk
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:04:32 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sun, Jul 25 2010 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: New Google Group for the Hang Gliding Association of America
---
The HGAA Discussion Group is being set up to allow HGAA Discussions when the normal HGAA web site is not available for any reason.

The email address for posting to this group is: hgaa@googlegroups.com
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How to use Google Groups with Email

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:52 pm

From: Bob Kuczewski
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:55:24 -0700
Local: Sun, Jul 25 2010 10:55 pm
Subject: How to use Google Groups with Email
---
I was doing some thinking about how to use Google groups with email, and I think there are two basic approaches (and various combinations). I've drawn up two diagrams to show these two primary approaches.

The first diagram is what I call the "Distributed Model". In that case, all Transition Team members just send regular email to all other Transition Team members, and they just copy ("cc") the Google Groups repository (hgaa@googlegroups.com). The nice thing about this approach is that we really don't depend on the Google Group at all. We simply use it as a "witness" to what we've written, and as a way to make our communications publicly viewable to everyone else.

The second diagram is what I call the "Centralized Model". In that model, people use the Google Groups interface directly. They could do that by simply sending regular email to the Google Group and having it do the redistribution, or they don't use email at all and can post directly through the web interface. In fact, if everyone just uses the web interface, then there may not be any email at all. I see that as a problem because it creates a single point of failure as we've already seen with the HGAA forum. In that case, whoever controls the forum (or Group) will essentially control the HGAA (as we see now).

Of course, there are hybrids of these approaches. A person could send their email directly to the Transition Team and "cc" the repository and still have the repository redistribute the messages as well. This is actually fine, but it does mean that people may get duplicate copies of messages (one from the direct sender, and another from the Google Groups repository). That's not too bad, and it might be controllable with user settings (although I haven't figured out how yet). The best thing would be for the repository to be smart enough to know that if it gets a message from Bob with a direct "cc" to Scott, then the repository doesn't need to forward it to Scott as well. I haven't seen anything to tell me it's that smart yet.

Anyway, this is just something to think about when we're considering how to use Google Groups to provide reliable communication without undue reliance on any one person or service.

HGAA_Google_Group.png
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First Discussion Topic - The HGAA Site Take Over

Postby wingspan33 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:57 pm

From: S C Wise
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:52:39 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Jul 26 2010 12:52 pm
Subject: First Discussion Topic - The HGAA Site Take Over
---
For the HGAA community's serious consideration -

A bit over a week ago (on Thursday 7/15/10) John Borton (aka, JB), as Vice Chairman of the HGAA started a Straw Vote thread. He did so in my absence (as the Interim Chairman). I hold no issue with that simple act.

However, in the course of collecting Transition Team member's votes he decided to begin altering the continuity and context of the topic by removing contributors' posts (and putting them in a dumping ground thread). He did so with the willing help of Jack Axaopoulos (aka, SG).

However, this kind or level of "moderation" had been disapproved of by a large portion of the HGAA Transition Team before any significant work began at the new HGAA web site. The consensus was formed at that time that this kind of editing and/or altering of the records of HGAA communications should not, and would not, be allowed.

The evidence that this is indeed the case, is right in the records for anyone to read (go to hgaa.org and dig some in the Work Forum).

In fact, as I clearly recall, both Jack Axaopoulos (SG) and John Borton (JB) were VERY strong supporters of this (my term) no touch policy. This "no touch" policy was itself based on the HGAA founding principle of maintaining full transparency in all of HGAA's business. I remember this well, because, as informally(?) elected HGAA Interim Chairman, I sought agreement that I would be allowed the ability to edit out off-topic posts from Work Forum topics - so that I might keep things on track.

There was, however, great opposition to me or anyone having such control. The clear idea being that what people wrote in threads should stay as it was. I appreciated the points made and accepted that the continuity and content of all HGAA topics would be left as they were created. There is no mistaking that that idea and concept were well understood by everyone participating in that discussion - which included both John Borton (JB) and Jack Axaopoulos (SG).

And this is why I see John and Jack's actions as illegitimate and improper. That is, . . . while a Transition Team consensus HAD BEEN formed on the issue of NOT altering members' thread contributions, NO consensus was sought by either John (JB) or Jack (SG) when they decided (all on their own) to begin violating the earlier Transition Team consensus decision (to not alter thread content).

At this point, I, as Interim Chairman, stepped back into the picture (after an over extended absence) and realized what had taken place. For JB (with SG's support) to have taken such a step without Transition Team approval was, to me, as HGAA Interim Chairman, very inappropriate and in violation of HGAA's most basic and fundamental Transparency Policy.

Now, since I had appointed John Borton (JB) to assist me with the operations of the HGAA, - or to put it another way, because I alone was responsible for his deeds and/or misdeeds - I decided, after hours of investigation and very serious thought, to remove him from the position of Vice Chairman. I saw him as simply being too radical for the position and obviously unable to adhere to critical requirements of the established HGAA Transparency Policy.

Soon after announcing that I would be replacing John Borton (JB) as Vice Chairman, Jack Axaopoulos (SG) began a campaign to (effectively) oust me as HGAA Interim Chairman. He argued quite simply yet nonsensically that I was not truly(?) Chairman.

Jack's actions could not be considered as anything less than a full on mutiny. The problem was, he also began acting like the HGAA web site was his own ship. And, in retrospect IT ALWAYS HAD BEEN his ship. He created the site and held all the "keys", so to speak.

Somehow, I, and who knows how many Founding and Transition Team members, never presumed that we needed to take Jack Axaopoulos' (SG's) "keys" away before we began business as HGAA.

Jack (SG) clearly does not understand that despite having created the HGAA web site (and clearly having ultimate control over it - and us) he could not and should not use that control without the express and specific approval of AT LEAST the majority of the HGAA's Transition Team members.

And that brings us to the current unfortunate situation. Jack Axaopoulos (SG) has now taken over complete control of the HGAA web site. He has locked down every thread but one, which he has created, and is strictly controlling what is posted there.

This also means that he has taken away from us (the HGAA membership) our rights to use the HGAA web site to freely communicate with each other. He has acted, without any form of group approval or consensus, to take away the tool that allows us our (organizational) freedom of speech. That's very serious stuff!

I can't see how this can be overlooked. I don't see how such an action can go without being addressed. THAT is the first order of business for all parties concerned with the future of the HGAA. It is critical that we address what has been taking place at HGAA over the last 10 days.

As Founding and/or Transition Team Members, can we accept, . . . ARE we going to accept what has happened without presenting Jack Axaopoulos (SG) with a (consensus based) response?

Sincerely,

Scott C. Wise

(HGAA Founding member, Transition Team member and Ex - Interim Chairman of HGAA)

PS - Concerned HGAA members will have a discussion group web page ready very soon where open, reasonable debate can take place. If you (an HGAA Founding or Transition Team Member) are interested in joining these discussions please PM me here and I will explain when and where this site will become available. If you're interested in getting involved, but haven't gotten on board as of yet, you may also contact (PM) me stating as much. Thanks.
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Re: First Discussion Topic - The HGAA Site Take Over

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:59 pm

From: bobk
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 15:46:55 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sat, Aug 7 2010 3:46 pm
Subject: Re: First Discussion Topic - The HGAA Site Take Over
---
Hi Scott (and the Group),

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this...

I've read your account of the events (below) and I feel you've relayed them with great accuracy. At this point I think the HGAA has been hijacked by those who do not share the fundamental principles of openness and respect that you tried to bring during your Chairmanship.

The recent elections demonstrate the problems at the HGAA. The people in power have taken it upon themselves to decide which votes (and which voters) are allowed to count or not. I'll spare everyone the details, but at this point we need to start thinking about whether there's any hope of fixing the HGAA or if we'd be better off starting another organization with a more open and respectful attitude. That's why I started the "HGAA: Fight or Flight" topic, and I look forward to lots of thoughts over there.

But once again, in this topic, I'd like to reiterate that I think your (Scott's) recollection of events below is accurate, and I appreciate you taking the time to document what happened.

Thanks,
Bob Kuczewski

On Jul 26, 12:52 pm, S C Wise wrote:
From: S C Wise
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:52:39 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Jul 26 2010 12:52 pm
Subject: First Discussion Topic - The HGAA Site Take Over
---
For the HGAA community's serious consideration -

A bit over a week ago (on Thursday 7/15/10) John Borton (aka, JB), as Vice Chairman of the HGAA started a Straw Vote thread. He did so in my absence (as the Interim Chairman). I hold no issue with that simple
act.

However, in the course of collecting Transition Team member's votes he decided to begin altering the continuity and context of the topic by removing contributors' posts (and putting them in a dumping ground thread). He did so with the willing help of Jack Axaopoulos (aka, SG).

However, this kind or level of "moderation" had been disapproved of by a large portion of the HGAA Transition Team before any significant work began at the new HGAA web site. The consensus was formed at that time that this kind of editing and/or altering of the records of HGAA communications should not, and would not, be allowed.

The evidence that this is indeed the case, is right in the records for anyone to read (go to hgaa.org and dig some in the Work Forum).

In fact, as I clearly recall, both Jack Axaopoulos (SG) and John Borton (JB) were VERY strong supporters of this (my term) no touch policy. This "no touch" policy was itself based on the HGAA founding principle of maintaining full transparency in all of HGAA's business. I remember this well, because, as informally(?) elected HGAA Interim Chairman, I sought agreement that I would be allowed the ability to edit out off-topic posts from Work Forum topics - so that I might keep things on track.

There was, however, great opposition to me or anyone having such control. The clear idea being that what people wrote in threads should stay as it was. I appreciated the points made and accepted that the continuity and content of all HGAA topics would be left as they were created. There is no mistaking that that idea and concept were well understood by everyone participating in that discussion - which included both John Borton (JB) and Jack Axaopoulos (SG).

And this is why I see John and Jack's actions as illegitimate and improper. That is, . . . while a Transition Team consensus HAD BEEN formed on the issue of NOT altering members' thread contributions, NO consensus was sought by either John (JB) or Jack (SG) when they decided (all on their own) to begin violating the earlier Transition Team consensus decision (to not alter thread content).

At this point, I, as Interim Chairman, stepped back into the picture (after an over extended absence) and realized what had taken place. For JB (with SG's support) to have taken such a step without Transition Team approval was, to me, as HGAA Interim Chairman, very inappropriate and in violation of HGAA's most basic and fundamental Transparency Policy.

Now, since I had appointed John Borton (JB) to assist me with the operations of the HGAA, - or to put it another way, because I alone was responsible for his deeds and/or misdeeds - I decided, after hours of investigation and very serious thought, to remove him from the position of Vice Chairman. I saw him as simply being too radical for the position and obviously unable to adhere to critical requirements of the established HGAA Transparency Policy.

Soon after announcing that I would be replacing John Borton (JB) as Vice Chairman, Jack Axaopoulos (SG) began a campaign to (effectively) oust me as HGAA Interim Chairman. He argued quite simply yet nonsensically that I was not truly(?) Chairman.

Jack's actions could not be considered as anything less than a full on mutiny. The problem was, he also began acting like the HGAA web site was his own ship. And, in retrospect IT ALWAYS HAD BEEN his ship. He created the site and held all the "keys", so to speak.

Somehow, I, and who knows how many Founding and Transition Team members, never presumed that we needed to take Jack Axaopoulos' (SG's) "keys" away before we began business as HGAA.

Jack (SG) clearly does not understand that despite having created the HGAA web site (and clearly having ultimate control over it - and us) he could not and should not use that control without the express and specific approval of AT LEAST the majority of the HGAA's Transition Team members.

And that brings us to the current unfortunate situation. Jack Axaopoulos (SG) has now taken over complete control of the HGAA web site. He has locked down every thread but one, which he has created, and is strictly controlling what is posted there.

This also means that he has taken away from us (the HGAA membership) our rights to use the HGAA web site to freely communicate with each other. He has acted, without any form of group approval or consensus, to take away the tool that allows us our (organizational) freedom of speech. That's very serious stuff!

I can't see how this can be overlooked. I don't see how such an action can go without being addressed. THAT is the first order of business for all parties concerned with the future of the HGAA. It is critical that we address what has been taking place at HGAA over the last 10 days.

As Founding and/or Transition Team Members, can we accept, . . . ARE we going to accept what has happened without presenting Jack Axaopoulos (SG) with a (consensus based) response?

Sincerely,

Scott C. Wise

(HGAA Founding member, Transition Team member and Ex - Interim Chairman of HGAA)

PS - Concerned HGAA members will have a discussion group web page ready very soon where open, reasonable debate can take place. If you (an HGAA Founding or Transition Team Member) are interested in joining these discussions please PM me here and I will explain when and where this site will become available. If you're interested in getting involved, but haven't gotten on board as of yet, you may also contact (PM) me stating as much. Thanks.

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Vote Fraud BY SG at HGAA

Postby wingspan33 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:02 pm

From: S C Wise
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 05:28:51 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Jul 29 2010 5:28 am
Subject: Vote Fraud BY SG at HGAA
---
There are times when somebody's actions are so reprehensible that you can't sit back back and do nothing. Go to The OZ Report Hang Gliding Forum and Click on the Vote Fraud topic.

Scott W
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Discussion on chapters

Postby JoeF » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:03 pm

From: JoeF <joefaust...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 10:56:07 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sat, Aug 7 2010 10:56 am
Subject: Discussion on chapters
---
HGAusa
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Mascot

Postby JoeF » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:04 pm

From: Joe Faust
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 11:11:44 -0700
Local: Sat, Aug 7 2010 11:11 am
Subject: Mascot
---
Lifting:
Bermuda Petrel (Pterodroma cahow) Thought extinct, it surfaced again.
Legendary extinct bird was not extinct!

Possible mascot for members of HGAA.

http://www.hanggliding.org/wiki/Cahow

http://www.oceanwanderers.com/BermudaPet.html[image: cahow0047.jpg]
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Test of sending images and font effects.

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:08 pm

From: Bob Kuczewski
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 2010 11:53:48 -0700
Local: Sat, Aug 7 2010 11:53 am
Subject: Test of sending images and font effects.
---
Hello HGAA Discussion Group,

I'm creating this new message as a test of including images and a test of HTML fonts (and how they appear through the Google Group).

Here's an image of the votes banning Scott:
vote_count.png
vote_count.png (13.06 KiB) Viewed 5434 times

Here's some bold text, some underlined text, some italic text, and some strikethrough text.

Also here's some red text, some blue text, and some monospaced text.
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