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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Representation that the Torrey Pines Gliderport landing zone is a small restricted landing field when in truth there are two landing areas (the top landing area and the beach), the top landing area is at least 10 times larger than a restricted landing field as that term is defined in the USHPA SOPs, and the beach is thousands of times larger than a restricted landing field;
Representation that landing at the Torrey Pines Gliderport is technically difficult, when in truth landing there is a relatively easy task;


Then what's up with the H4 requirement?
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby SamKellner » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:59 pm

billcummings wrote:
Then what's up with the H4 requirement?



:thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap:

Good point BillC :idea:

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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:16 pm

...what's up with the H4 requirement?

Really. They could cut down the hang gliding traffic further by restricting Torrey to Hang 5s... :crazy:

It must be a pretty treacherous place, judging by all the paragliding deaths and injuries they've had there. I flew it in the 1980s - in a hang glider, of course. One step launch. It seemed like a great place to teach H3s to cliff launch and top land and learn Chandelle turns. People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying. It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA. If I ran Torrey, my priority would be to encourage H3s to build their skills there.

Of course, about that time, I became the concessionaire at Horseshoe Meadows (Walt's Point), Owens Valley. As a USHGA Special Observer, I introduced quite a few H3s to XC in the Owens. My bottom line was flying. Of course, the U$hPA did away with the Special Observer. The metro schools couldn't make money with people like me signing off new H4s in the boonies - same as tandem PG "instructors" at Torrey can't make a decent middle class living if the air's chock full of pesky hang gliders. After all, a tandem paraglider and a single hang glider need the same wind. One makes money. One doesn't. Today, the bottom line is money. Not flying. Make too much noise about flying and it looks to me that you get purged by the corporation.

Corporations basically suck. If you make one, you gotta keep a tight grip on it or its liable to go off and do it's own thing.
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:43 pm

Rick, there's a lot of truth and wisdom in every word of your post. But this stands out above all else (pardon my added emphasis):

RickMasters wrote:People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying.
It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA.

Other than making the font even larger, there's nothing I could add to make that statement more perfect.
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:23 pm

Despite Davis Straub's "Iron Curtain" some things get out.

Jacmac wrote:I'm not sure what to make of this. A result of trying to form a new HG org? A result of haranguing the USHPA for years? A result of testifying against as an expert regarding the P-1/P-0 collision at Torrey? All of those things plus just being generally disagreeable with the status quo? A reckless safety threat to himself or others? Is Bob such threat to the USHPA? The USHPA is made up largely of crackpots, so the getting rid of a crackpot theory doesn't hold water.

The BOD made a statement here without really saying anything. It's double talk; nonsense. Scott Pakin's Automatic Complaint Generator could not have done a finer job. Besides all that, this just looks bad. It looks a whole lot like the USHPA is doing everything that they can to discredit Bob out of some kind of fear, loathing, and reprisal. It looks like they are taking sides in a dispute that they have stated repeatedly that they would not become involved in. I have to wonder how this will all play out in court. Is Bob going to just disappear from the P-1/P-0 case just because the USHPA decided to expell him? How will it look to a jury that someone willing to testify was thrown out in reprisal?

I'm sure a lot of closed door meetings were held where all of this was discussed. How they all came to the conclusion that this would go over OK in the end is beyond me. Davis says all of the real work is done in the committees, the BOD votes are just formalities. Same with this action? Just a rubber stamped vote to oust a troublemaker? What has Bob done in the capacity of being a USHPA pilot that is so bad, so unsafe, or illegal to warrant explusion? Sure, he is loud, he make waves, he takes a stand, he argues, and he is stubborn, but he is fighting for what he and many others see as issues of fairness (and at a site where the USHPA has repeatedly stated that they had no reason to and no inclination to become involved). Again, this action looks like nothing more than a vindictive reprisal.


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Even "Scare!" had some pretty good comments:

Scare!" wrote:I'm not on either side of this thing, but:

You must represent yourself at the hearing - you may not have anyone else speak for you - and no one else may speak on your behalf.


So, no Champions allowed in the trial-by-combat-to-the-death!

- Creation of at least two national hang gliding organizations with the stated purpose of competing with USHPA, one of which you currently control;


Ah, the old "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" commandment. An association may be allowed to restrict it's membership in any way it wants, but that's also getting dangerously close to saying "you can't be a member because you're (fill in any skin color, religion, gender, nationality, or membership in some other club)".

- Representation that you had personally witnessed "a number of collisions by students who were under radio instruction of Air California Adventures' instructors", when in truth, you have only personally observed one such incident where students collided;


One is a number.

- Representation that the Torrey Pines Gliderport landing zone is a small restricted landing field when in truth there are two landing areas (the top landing area and the beach), the top landing area is at least 10 times larger than a restricted landing field as that term is defined in the USHPA SOPs, and the beach is thousands of times larger than a restricted landing field;


"It's not what you say it is, because our definitions say it isn't."
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby SamKellner » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:26 am

BobK

Glad to see the above quotes. Here's another that might show which way momentum is headed...........

Andrew Vanis:

I can't get over the coincidence that the USHPA attorney happened to be at the council meeting under no direction or not even knowledge from USHPA per Rich Hass per his post on here (IIRC).


I'm sure this is what Andrew is referring to.

March, 2.

Richh, Mr President:

no one representing USHPA attended BK's hearing with USHPA's knowledge or consent or at USHPA's expense.
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:32 am

According to the March 2015 USHPA Board minutes (currently released as a draft), USHPA's lawyer (Tim Herr) gave a presentation to the USHPA Board about "Bob Kuczewski as a member of USHPA" pursuant to the USHPA bylaws Article 5, Section 4, paragraph (a), sections (i) through (iv).

Now remember that Tim Herr is currently defending Robin Marien and Air California Adventure (Torrey Pines Gliderport concessionaire) in a law suit where I've given testimony as an expert witness that is damaging to Tim Herr's case. So Tim Herr would certainly like to discredit me to help his case. Also remember that as USHPA's lawyer, Tim Herr is essentially the lawyer for all of the Directors who will vote in my expulsion proceeding, and he's the one who gives them legal advice on how to proceed as a Board of Directors. Yet the details of Tim Herr's presentation to the USHPA Board are NOT included in the minutes for the members to see.

The USHPA minutes go on to reflect that after Tim Herr's presentation, Felipe Amunátegui introduced a motion to terminate my membership. Felipe's motion was seconded by Bill Belcourt. Here's the vote:

  • Region 1:      Mark Forbes Yes
  • Region 1:      Rich Hass (either didn't vote or claimed his vote wasn't required)
  • Region 1:      Paul Murdoch Yes
  • Region 2:      Jugdeep Aggarwal Yes
  • Region 2:      Josh Cohn Yes
  • Region 2:      Jon James Yes
  • Region 2:      Steve Rodrigues Yes
  • Region 3:      Corey Caffrey Absent
  • Region 3:      Alan Crouse Abstained
  • Region 3:      Pete Michelmore Yes
  • Region 4:      Bill Belcourt Yes
  • Region 4:      Ken Grubbs Yes
  • Region 5:      Josh Pierce Yes
  • Region 6&11:      David Glover Yes
  • Region 7:      Paul Olson Yes
  • Region 8:      Michael Holmes Yes
  • Region 9:      Felipe Amunátegui Yes
  • Region 9:      Larry Dennis Yes
  • Region 9:      Art Greenfield Absent
  • Region 9:      Dennis Pagen Absent
  • Region 10:      Steve Kroop Yes
  • Region 10:      Jamie Shelden Absent
  • Region 10:      Matt Taber Absent
  • Region 10:      Bruce Weaver Yes
  • Region 12:      Paul Voight Yes
  • Region 12:      Ryan Voight Yes

Article V of the USHPA bylaws is titled "MEMBERSHIP" and here's section 4 paragraph (a):

SECTION 4. TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF MEMBERSHIPS
    (a) Causes of Termination: Any membership shall terminate upon occurrence of any of the following events:
      (i) The resignation of the member on reasonable notice to the corporation.
      (ii) The failure of a member to pay annual dues or comply with membership requirements within the times set forth by the Board of Directors.
      (iii) Expiration of the period of membership, unless the membership is renewed on renewal terms fixed by the Board.
      (iv) Expulsion of the member based on the good faith determination by the Board of Directors or a committee designated to make such determination that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing this corporation as promulgated by the Board from time to time or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of the corporation.


Now in the letter that I got from Martin Palmaz, it only quotes from subparagraph (iv):

On March 14, 2015, the Board of Directors of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) determined that you should be expelled from the association pursuant to the USHPA bylaws which provide for the expulsion of a member based upon a good faith determination by the board that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing USHPA or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purpose and interests of USHPA.


So the two legs of their stool are that I did one of the these two things:

  1. failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing USHPA
  2. engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purpose and interests of USHPA

So I'd like to ask:

  • What are the rules of conduct governing USHPA?
  • What are the purposes and interests of USHPA?
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:27 am

By the way, on March 11th, 2015, I wrote to USHPA President Rich Hass:

Rich Hass (CC Directors, Ken Baier, Brian McMahon and BCC others),

I am writing to ask what USHPA will do to aid me in flying at Torrey Pines given that the current concessionaire (Air California Adventure as represented by Robin Marien) is refusing to allow me to be on the property or to fly there.

As a short review, I was video recording their instructor Gabe Jebb kiting without a helmet on November 9th, 2014. He didn't like me recording and so he approached me and slapped at my camera telling me to leave. Eventually the police were called and Robin Marien asked the police to remove me for trespassing. I was arrested, but no charges were filed. Robin then attempted to obtain a "Workplace Violence" restraining order against me and he used his deep pockets to drag the trial out for 4 months. On March 5th, the judge issued her ruling denying his request for the restraining order. I returned to the Torrey Pines Gliderport on March 8th for our club's regular "Second Sunday" fly-in / meeting. Upon asking to sign in, I was told that Robin was refusing to allow me to do so and he demanded that I leave the property. I asserted my rights to be on the property and Robin Marien again had me arrested (a citizen's arrest) for trespassing.

Of course, I plan to pursue my legal options, but several people have suggested that I also make a formal request for help from USHPA. This is that formal request. Specifically, as a USHPA member, I am seeking USHPA's assistance to fly at Torrey Pines, and I would like you to clearly outline what steps USHPA is willing to take in this matter.

Thanks in advance,
Bob Kuczewski - 858-204-7499
USHPA Member since 2004

P.S. I have copied two of my current Region 3 Directors (Alan Crouse and Corey Caffrey), but I do not have an email address for the newest Region 3 Director (Pete Michelmore). Please send me his email address so I can include him in my future correspondence.

I never got a direct response from USHPA President Rich Hass, but it's pretty clear that his answer is to expel me from USHPA.

This again raises the unanswered questions:

  • What are the rules of conduct governing USHPA?
  • What are the purposes and interests of USHPA?

If you read USHPA's mission statement (SOP 02-00.02) it states in large bold letters:

USHPA’s mission is to ensure the future of free flight.


That raises the additional unanswered question ... "For who?".     For its members?

Maybe that's another purpose of the expulsion ... to avoid doing what they know they should be doing for a USHPA member at Torrey Pines.

This brings up a good point to remember as we work to build the US Hawks. The US Hawks should NEVER lose sight of its purpose to serve its MEMBERS. Keeping our members flying (both in the present and in the future) should be our primary focus. USHPA has clearly lost sight of that goal.
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:25 am

Bob, it seems strange that a pilot who received 23% percent of the vote for Region 3 could be expelled from the corporation. Removing you from USHPA is a convenient way (they think) to implement the same effect as the restraining order denied by the court. They all had to be aware of the fact that the restraining order was denied but effectively moved against the court ruling anyway. This, to me, seems to be an illegal conspiracy to deny you your rights in San Diego and other areas controlled by the USHPA.

Image
Region 1: Mark Forbes Yes
Region 1: Rich Hass (either didn't vote or claimed his vote wasn't required)
Image
Region 1: Paul Murdoch Yes
Image
Region 2: Jugdeep Aggarwal [Tandem PG instructor] Yes
Image
Region 2: Josh Cohn [PG tandem instructor]Yes
Region 2: Jon James [ HG examiner] Yes
Region 2: Steve Rodrigues [HG tandem instructor who brought PG to Ft. Funstun] Yes
Region 3: Corey Caffrey Absent
Region 3: Alan Crouse Abstained
Image
https://www.flickr.com/photos/13593329@ ... otostream/
Region 3: Pete Michelmore [PG tandem instructor] Yes
Image
Region 4: Bill Belcourt [ Chairman of the Board - US PG Team] Yes
Region 4: Ken Grubbs [HG] Yes
Region 5: Josh Pierce [PG] Yes
Region 6&11: David Glover [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Region 7: Paul Olson [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Region 8: Michael Holmes [HG examiner] Yes
Region 9: Felipe Amunátegui Yes
Image
Region 9: Larry Dennis [PG observer] Yes
Region 9: Art Greenfield Absent
Region 9: Dennis Pagen Absent
Region 10: Steve Kroop [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Region 10: Jamie Shelden Absent
Region 10: Matt Taber Absent
Region 10: Bruce Weaver [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Region 12: Paul Voight [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Region 12: Ryan Voight [HG tandem instructor] Yes
Last edited by Rick Masters on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: USHPA Expulsion Proceeding

Postby Free » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:40 am

bobk wrote: Now remember that Tim Herr is currently defending Robin Marien and Air California Adventure

If this is true it seems a conflict of interest to me.
Rich Hass and Mark Forbes have essentially denied this in previous statements.

(Torrey Pines Gliderport concessionaire) in a law suit where I've given testimony as an expert witness that is damaging to Tim Herr's case. So Tim Herr would certainly like to discredit me to help his case. Also remember that as USHPA's lawyer, Tim Herr is essentially the lawyer for all of the Directors who will vote in my expulsion proceeding, and he's the one who gives them legal advice on how to proceed as a Board of Directors. Yet the details of Tim Herr's presentation to the USHPA Board are NOT included in the minutes for the members to see.


Was Tim Herr was given special access to the board, as an private, outside attorney, to present a case against a USHPA member that he is also paid to represent? If attorney Joe Blow had been hired by Air California Adventure corporation to defend themselves in their liability lawsuit would Joe Blow have been given access to a USHPA corporation board meeting in order to initiate an expulsion action against a paid member of said USHPA corporation? I don't think so.


(iv) Expulsion of the member based on the good faith determination by the Board of Directors or a committee designated to make such determination that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing THIS CORPORATION as promulgated by the Board from time to time or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of THE CORPORATION.


On March 14, 2015, the Board of Directors of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) determined that you should be expelled from the association pursuant to the USHPA bylaws which provide for the expulsion of a member based upon a good faith determination by the board that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing USHPA or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purpose and interests of USHPA.

So the two legs of their stool are that I did one of the these two things:

  1. failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct governing USHPA ( THE CORPORATION)
  2. engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purpose and interests of USHPA (THE CORPORATION)

So I'd like to ask:

[*]What are the rules of conduct governing USHPA? (THE CORPORATION)

The rules of THE CORPORATION are whatever THE CORPORATION wants them to be.

[*]What are the purposes and interests of USHPA? (THE CORPORATION)

In this case, the purpose of THE CORPORATION is to exert inside leverage in conflict of interest to benefit a lawyer playing both sides in a liability lawsuit.

The interest of THE CORPORATION is THE CORPORATION, and those that feed from it.

Tim Herr = top feeder
How much is this guy paid?
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