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 Post subject: A New Day Dawning?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:37 pm 
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Hello Fellow Torrey Hawks,

As many of you know, we've recently had a very upbeat meeting with the new Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer.

I've opened this topic to discuss how we might proceed along the lines of our three goals for that meeting:

    1. Torrey Hawks Site Insurance
    2. Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board
    3. An open-ended RFP for the Gliderport Lease

As background, here's my original letter to the Mayor requesting a meeting on April 27th, 2014:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Cc: Brian McMahon, Richard Hass, Ken Baier, Dan DeWeese, Alan Crouse, Corey.Caffrey, and Torrey Hawks
Subject: Torrey Hawks Meeting with Mayor Faulconer
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10:25:12 -0700


Greetings Mayor Faulconer and Staff (cc/bcc others),

Thank you very much for giving our club (Torrey Hawks) the opportunity to meet with you regarding the Torrey Pines City Park and Gliderport. In reviewing the available dates (May 16th at 2pm and May 30th at 11am), it will be most convenient for some of our members to meet on the 30th, and I respectfully ask to reserve that date and time for the meeting. Thank you.

Also, as a prelude to the meeting, I would like to introduce the following topics for discussion:

1. Insurance. USHPA offers clubs (like the Torrey Hawks) the ability to purchase low cost liability insurance protecting landowners at the many sites we fly throughout the country. Our club (Torrey Hawks) is a USHPA Chapter, and we would like the opportunity to provide such liability insurance (a $1,000,000 policy) at no cost to the City of San Diego.

2. Oversight. Our club (Torrey Hawks) provided a Board Member to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board. We would like to continue participation in either a continuation of that Board or in a new Board which will advise the City regarding flight operations and safety at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. We feel this is particularly important because the concessionaire has a financial conflict of interest in the operation of the site. We would like to ensure that all user groups of the park participate in advising the City regarding the oversight of that park.

3. RFP/Lease. The 10 year Gliderport lease expired in 2008. Our club would like to ensure that any RFP published for the Torrey Pines Gliderport is written in a manner that does not preclude participation by any stakeholders (pilots, clubs, instructors, etc.) who may wish to be involved in the process.

This is not a complete list of the topics that may come up during the meeting, but they are three important issues that we would like to be able to discuss.

Thank you again for the opportunity to meet with you regarding the Torrey Pines Gliderport. Torrey Pines is famous throughout the world as one of the premier sites for unpowered flight sports. Our club would like to ensure that the Gliderport remains a safe and enjoyable park for all participants and observers of these sports.

Sincerely,

Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club

cc:
  Brian McMahon - President, Torrey Hawks
  Rich Hass - President, USHPA
  Ken Baier - Torrey Hawks representative to TPCPAB
  Alan, Corey, Dan - Region 3 Directors of USHPA

bcc:
  Other interested parties


There was a lot that happened between that letter (April 27th) and our meeting yesterday (June 17th). But that's far less important than what lies ahead. We ended up having a great meeting, and I just sent the following letter (with a few names removed) to one of Mayor Faulconer's Directors as an outcome of the meeting.

Moderator's Note: The June 18th letter was moved to the next post to present the series of 3 letters addressing the three issues in separate posts.

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 Post subject: June 18th - Site Insurance Follow-Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:09 am 
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Follow-Up on Site Insurance Topic
Letter to the City dated June 18th, 2014

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Mayor Kevin Faulconer and staff

---------------------------------------------------------
Thank you,

We very much look forward to working with you as well!!

As we discussed at the meeting and in our original request (Email_2014_04_27_Faulconer.pdf attached), our club would like to work with the City to accomplish these 3 things:

    1. Torrey Hawks Site Insurance
    2. Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board
    3. An open-ended RFP for the Gliderport Lease

Of the three, the easiest is the Site Insurance. Our club would like to add the City of San Diego as an additionally insured party to the USHPA liability policy as described in the letter from the President of USHPA to Mayor Faulconer on June 16th, 2014 (see attached file 2014-06-16_Faulconer_letter_final_with SOP.pdf). As stated in that letter:

Quote:
Chapters of USHPA are also additional insureds under USHPA's liability policy, for their activities related to hang gliding and paragliding. The insurance carrier also allows USHPA to request that landowners of property where hang gliding and paragliding activities are carried out by USHPA members also be added as additional insureds on the USHPA liability policy when the hang gliding and paragliding activities taking place at that location are managed by a USHPA chapter through agreement with the landowner.
         - Richard Hass, President of USHPA


The letter also includes the USHPA Site Insurance SOP stating:

Quote:
When landowners are named as an additional insured, the USHPA commercial general liability policy defends landowners against claims resulting from USHPA member accidents, subject to the terms and limits of the policy. Site insurance only covers landowners named on the insurance rider and does not automatically provide coverage for every landowner in the vicinity of a launch or LZ.
        - USHPA SOP 06-02.01


The SOP goes on to state:

Quote:
Chapters may insure sites jointly used by other chapters, flight schools, or concession operators provided:
1. The landowner recognizes the chapter as being responsible for managing all or a part of the flying activities at the site.
        - USHPA SOP 06-02.01 (with emphasis added)


With that limitation in mind, we (the Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club) request that the City of San Diego recognize our club as being partially responsible for managing the subset of flying activities conducted by our own Torrey Hawks members. We will continue to follow all of the rules of the Gliderport and the current Gliderport lease. As it turns out, the Torrey Hawks has already been filing the annual site risk assessment required by the USHPA insurance program. In fact, our Torrey Hawks President (Brian McMahon) has been the designated safety coordinator for the Torrey Hawks at Torrey Pines under that program.

In return for this recognition, our club will pay for the site insurance described in the SOP naming the City of San Diego as additionally insured in the USHPA policy (subject to meeting the conditions of that SOP and the approval of our insurance application).

As discussed in the meeting, we believe that this is a step toward separating the normal recreational uses of the Gliderport from the commercial interests. We believe this will not only enhance the enjoyment of the park by our members, but will also improve the safety at the park by reducing the conflicts between safety and profit.

This would also bring Torrey Pines more in line with the hundreds of other sites insured through USHPA including Fort Funston which is also a popular coastal flying site in another major metropolitan area (San Francisco).

Please let me know how we might proceed to work with the City to bring about these changes for the City and for our members.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club (USHPA Chapter 270)

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 Post subject: Re: A New Day Dawning?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:14 am 
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Follow-Up on Advisory Board Topic
Letter to the City dated June 19th, 2014

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Mayor Kevin Faulconer and staff

---------------------------------------------------------
Hello again (cc/bcc Mayor Faulconer and others),

Yesterday I sent an email message with our club's request to provide site insurance to the City of San Diego in accordance with the first of our three topics from the June 17th meeting:

    1. Torrey Hawks Site Insurance
    2. Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board
    3. An open-ended RFP for the Gliderport Lease

Today I'd like to address the second topic which is the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board.

The Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board was created via a settlement agreement arising from the violations committed by the Torrey Pines concessionaire. However, that Advisory Board was created under the wrong section of the San Diego City Charter. The Charter has a section for Advisory Boards (43a) and a section for Citizens' Committees (43b). The Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board was incorrectly created under 43b which does not address Advisory Boards at all. Additionally, the limitations of section 43b (Citizens' Committees must be temporary and must have a narrow scope) were applied to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board which kept it from addressing any of the problems at the Gliderport and caused its eventual termination. This was an unfortunate mistake.

This is now part San Diego's history regarding the Torrey Pines Gliderport, and I'm not necessarily advocating that we go back and fix it (although that would certainly be welcome). What I am suggesting is that the Mayor either work with the City Council to create a similar Advisory Board under the appropriate section of the City Charter or that the Mayor (without needing City Council approval) create a Citizen's Committee for the express purpose of answering this question:

    "How should the City structure the management and
     oversight of the Torrey Pines Gliderport for the safety
     and enjoyment of the participants and observers of
     unpowered air sports at that site?"

I suggest that the term of the Committee be fairly short (maybe 2 to 4 months with weekly meetings), and that their recommendation(s) be submitted to the City and considered by the City prior to any RFP being issued for the Gliderport Lease.

I recommend that the Committee be created as soon as possible and that it contain representatives from the same 4 flight organizations that comprised the recent Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board:

    Torrey Hawks - Representing Hang Gliding
    SDHGPA - Representing Paragliding
    Torrey Gulls - Representing Remote Controlled Flight
    AGCSC - Representing sailplanes

I recommend that the Committee contain a 5th member appointed by Mayor Faulconer. It would be reasonable for that 5th appointee to chair the Committee. The final report from that Committee should provide the City with a logical plan for continued oversight at the Gliderport and it should provide guidance in drafting the RFP for the lease.

In conclusion, many of the historic and ongoing problems at the Torrey Pines Gliderport arose because the City has not had the expertise to properly oversee a flight operation at its park. As a result, the concessionaire has been left with no oversight resulting in lawsuits, abuses, accidents, and even deaths. The Torrey Hawks strongly recommend that the City take the steps needed to enlist experts from the various flight communities (represented by local clubs) to aid the City in overseeing the flight operations at this City Park. This type of advisement is clearly described in the San Diego City Charter (Sections 43a and 43b) and is consistent with providing services to meet the needs of the user groups at that park.

Please let me know as soon as possible how our club can work with the City of San Diego to help implement some form of Advisory Board or Committee advising the City on the management at Torrey Pines.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club
858-204-7499

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 Post subject: Re: A New Day Dawning?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:14 am 
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Follow-Up on Request For Proposals (RFP) Topic
Letter to the City dated June 20th, 2014

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Mayor Kevin Faulconer and staff

---------------------------------------------------------
Hello yet again (cc/bcc Mayor Faulconer and others),

Yesterday I sent an email message with our club's request for an Advisory Board or Committee to advise the City on the ongoing operation at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. This was the second of our requests from the June 17th meeting:

    1. Torrey Hawks Site Insurance
    2. Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board
    3. An open-ended RFP for the Gliderport Lease

Today I'd like to address the final topic which is the RFP for the Gliderport Lease.

As you certainly know from the meeting, we would very much like to see new management at Torrey Pines. However, we don't want to see the City jump from the frying pan into the fire. The previous Gliderport lease (executed in 1998) has been with us for the last 15 years, and it's been the source of much of the abuse, lawsuits, and accidents at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. It is very important that any new lease (and therefore any RFP for such a lease) be crafted in a manner that balances the needs of all user groups and prevents the repetition of these problems in the future.

In many ways, the crafting of the Gliderport management structure is similar to the crafting of the US Constitution itself. It will take some careful thought to find the right balance between any commercial interests at the site and the public's right to use their own property. The system of checks and balances used in our own US Constitution is certainly a good model to begin with.

With those thoughts in mind, our club would like to request that any RFP drafted for the Torrey Pines Gliderport lease be written in such a manner that allows a wide variety of proposed management structures for that property. We also request that the public be involved either through specific public meetings or through an Advisory Board or Citizens Committee so they can provide input as to the form and content of any RFP issued for the Gliderport.

Please let me know as soon as possible how our club's members and the citizens of San Diego can be involved in contributing to the RFP for the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club
858-204-7499

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