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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:38 pm

Free wrote:A place to counter the banner's 'official story' would be a good service to those that get kicked to the curb.
Keeping the gatekeepers honest is an honest goal.

Well, we sort of have that one already. Everyone is certainly free to tell their side of the story right here. The key to making this work will be to increase readership of this forum so that it actually matters. We'll need to figure out a way to make the US Hawks one of the places where pilots will come to get the real scoop on what's happened. We also need it to be a place where people will want to come and visit. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Free wrote:
The rift between Warren and Jim. This appears to be a long standing feud, and I don't know enough history to make much of a comment. But I can say that it's often helpful to have impartial people willing to look at a conflict and try to work with both sides toward a resolution. This may be impossible, but I think it's worth at least some level of effort.[/list]
What do you all think of that role for the US Hawks?


Hey, I really like it though it is doubtful that Jim Gaar will join in. It's been tried before.
I've given him opportunities to clear his conscience but he just won't come clean.

Well, we have to start from an assumption that he may not feel he has anything to come clean about. We also have to start with a goal in mind. Maybe just a "baby step" kind of goal.

So what would be a simple step toward mending that fence that you would like to see?

Let me give you an example from the hanggliding.org banning. I could demand that Jack admit that he's been a jerk and also remove the bans on Scott and myself. But that's not likely to happen. However, asking to remove the bans without any admissions is much more likely (although still nearly impossible).

So what is it that you would like to be able to accomplish in the Jim Gaar situation that would be a small step in the right direction without demanding an unconditional surrender from Jim?

Free wrote:A Court of Public Opinion sounds like a good way to sort this out, remedy the problem and maybe get a 'brother' back in the air.

That sounds like a worthy goal. What is the absolute minimum required to make that happen (without any admissions of guilt on anyone's part)?
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Free » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:11 am

bobk wrote: So what is it that you would like to be able to accomplish in the Jim Gaar situation that would be a small step in the right direction without demanding an unconditional surrender from Jim?
What is the absolute minimum required to make that happen (without any admissions of guilt on anyone's part)?


The facts need to come out and let the chips lie where they fall.
Another ex-partner, ex-Regional Director Len Smith, actually went to a Board meeting and asked for a sanction against me. I've never heard what the charges were. Men should stand behind their actions.
Call it coming clean or just giving justification for actions taken, no one is being forced to admit guilt.

If it was good enough to take to a board meeting and ask for sanctions then Smith and Gaar ought to be man enough to explain what the sanction was for. In a fair court of law the accused is able to face their accusers. Len Smith has fallen off the face of the earth and Jim Gaar has stated that he speaks for Len Smith.
I can't get either one to talk!

I lost quite a bit of money and effort in trying to promote hang gliding in this area. I partnered with these guys to start something good and was kicked in the teeth for the effort. My property was claimed as their own and I was banned by the *lawyer's son. He would 'not allow one of "his" tug pilots to tow me.

*Jim Gaar's father, Norman, was also a 1/5 partner that did the incorporation paperwork for the flight park.
Jim Gaar was a 2 hr. Hang 2 and he was temporarily named general manager by the father, a non pilot.
An election was supposed to be held for offices and this never occurred. The hang 2 Gaar became the permanent boss when I wasn't able to force an election. Gaar's wife was treasurer.

Long story short, Gaar eventually refused to accept my monthly dues/payment. He returned the check via certified mail. (thanks Jim :)
I was kicked out by the self appointed manager and my personal property was taken as his own. :(

I had dropped out of flying for several reasons and Gaar was able to spin the break up any way he wanted.
Now he doesn't want to talk about it and like he says that you, (Bob) should be banned for years, he doesn't want me to ever fly again. He thought I was gone and now he needs me to be gone so the real story doesn't come out.

Jim Gaar plays some dirty pool and I have taken the brunt.
If he can't speak up for himself now, what does that say?
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:12 am

OK, that's a good start.

Now what exactly would you like to have happen at this point? What would make things 100% right in your mind? What would make things 75% right in your mind? What would make things 50% right in your mind?

And what is the minimal level of "fixing things" that would allow you to put this behind you?

As for the facts coming out, that's up to you. If you really want to go into a detailed discussion of this incident, then I think you should start a new topic in this forum (Building the US Hawks). Try to name it something neutral and descriptive. The title "Why Jim Garr is Wrong" would be a poor choice. Maybe try something like "Seeking a Resolution between Warren and Jim". Then let's get all the facts on the table and see what Jim has to say. How does that sound?
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Free » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:34 am

bobk wrote:
let's get all the facts on the table and see what Jim has to say.


Great idea, and one I have been trying to implement for quite a while.
Ex-RD6 Len Smith, or anyone else that knows about the USHPA sanction complaint lodged against me, can also speak up. If it was good enough to take to the Board it should be good enough to repeat here.
Transparenct and accountability is always a good thing.

The facts need to come out as to what really happened before any healing can begin.
Both of these ex-Regional Directors should be working to improve the sport. Time is running out on all of us.

The great Adventure Airsports (LLC) pipe dream has collapsed. My help was rejected and I was barred from flying there by my former partners, ex RD Jim Gaar, and ex RD Len Smith.

Hang gliding could be served and improved by examining the facts of the failure. Others can learn what went wrong, so as not to repeat them. If the fault lies all in my lap, so be it. I've already paid a price. Wills Wing and others have paid a price. Could be, millions of potential pilots in R6 have paid a price.

Perhaps a new thread could be, 'Reasons for the Collapse of Promising Airpark' or something similar examining where things went wrong and how to fix them. I do have a lot of saved documentation from forum discussions that i mostly was banned from. Gaar has actively campaigned to keep me off most forums and continues today. I really hate to go back and data mine a lot of these closed conversations. I would rather move forward.
Jim and Len should come forward with their side of the issue and explain it as they percieve it.
They can start with the complaints taken to the USHPA Board meeting and we can go from there.
We can all learn from mistakes and I certainly want to correct the ones that I have made.
Fair enough?
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:34 am

Hi Warren,

I think starting a new topic would be good at this point. If you want to analyze the airpark's collapse, then that might be a fine title. But is that really what you want to do? Do you just want to analyze it, or do you want to fix what you feel was done wrong (to you or anyone else)? I think the best approach is to figure out what you want to have happen now and in the future to fix or repair what's happened in the past. If you feel that requires an apology, then say so. If you feel it requires you to regain access to a flying site then say so as well.

Also, you might want to present a clear case as to what happened with as much factual evidence as possible. At this point, it's hard for me to know what really happened, so that's the case that needs to be made. But the most important thing is deciding what you want to have happen from here onward. Maybe if you said, for example, that you just want to be able to use the site for 3 years without any fees, then maybe that might seem reasonable enough and it would just be granted without bringing up all the past issues. But you have to be sure that what you ask for will satisfy you. If you will be truly satisfied with getting what you request, then you shouldn't feel the need to continue with any criticism, and I suspect that's one of the things Jim would want from the deal.

So with that said, please start a new topic and let's see what we can do there. I'd like to keep this topic (here) focussed on what the Hawks can do to serve its members. I think dispute resolution could be a huge benefit offered by the Hawks, and I'm glad you're willing to help experiment with that role. But the actual cases probably deserve their own topics so this one can cover all benefits that the Hawks can offer its members.

Thanks.
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:58 pm

I thought these questions and answers from the US Hawks FAQ page might be helpful in this topic. I wrote these back in August, and I think they still fit pretty well.


What is the US Hawks?
The US Hawks is a national hang gliding organization designed to give all hang glider pilots a platform for sharing information and a focal point for pooling their efforts to further their own flying and the sport of hang gliding.

What does it cost to join the US Hawks?
Currently, membership is free. The US Hawks will follow the model of the Torrey Hawks by providing a voice for all hang glider pilots. The Torrey Hawks did this on the local level, and the US Hawks will attempt to do that on the national level. There may be a time when we need actual money, and we'll address that issue then.

Why do we need another organization?
The need for choice on the national level has been clear for some time. The HGAA, for example, was originally formed to be more of a grass roots organization than USHPA. However, it was quickly overtaken by those who again concentrated power and shunned opposing viewpoints. So the US Hawks was formed to provide yet another alternative.

Won't the US Hawks further fragment our resources?
Hang glider pilots typically pool their resources to reduce the costs of insurance and to lobby for protection of flying sites. There's no reason that the US Hawks couldn't team with either USHPA or the HGAA on both of those issues. In fact, having multiple organizations might increase the total number of people participating, and therefore increase both the insurance pool and the lobbying efforts.

What will keep the US Hawks from becoming another USHPA or HGAA?
You will ... hopefully. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Everyone has to do their part once in a while. If you see something that's not being done correctly, then it's your duty to speak out. One big difference between the US Hawks and other organizations is that the US Hawks really does honor the free speech of its members.

Will the US Hawks offer insurance?
Not at this time. The HGAA is currently working to see if they can get independent insurance. The outcome of their effort will tell us a lot about the "lay of the land" with regard to insurance. One option that I've suggested before is requesting to be included on USHPA's (or even the HGAA's) insurance with a small markup. That means we would have to follow their rating standards which are not unreasonable at this time.

Will the US Hawks try to replace USHPA or the HGAA?
No. I started the HGAA because I wanted pilots to have choices. Eliminating USHPA (or the HGAA) would reduce our choices and that's never been my goal. Pilots who like USHPA should have USHPA. Pilots who like the HGAA should have the HGAA. And pilots who like the US Hawks should have the US Hawks. As I said when founding the HGAA, more choices gives us a better chance of each pilot finding an organization that they like. Hopefully those organizations (USHPA, HGAA, US Hawks) will all work together to make our sport better. They each appeal to different kinds of pilots and that's likely to give us more total pilots participating in our national organizations. Win. Win. Win. I hope the US Hawks' relationships with USHPA and the HGAA will be positive.

How will the US Hawks try to be different from USHPA or the HGAA?
The US Hawks will try to be more of a grass roots organization - more like the start of hang gliding. There's nothing wrong with the strong central control exhibited by other organizations, but the US Hawks will appeal to pilots who want more local control and greater personal participation in decision making. We believe that good decisions sometimes require a significant effort to dig into the facts. Sometimes arguments are heated, and that's not something to be feared or rejected. That's the process - painful or not - that leads to better decisions.

Is there a Board of Directors for the US Hawks?
Not yet. The HGAA's early problems arose because different people wanted to take the organization in different directions. That created power stuggles which cost the HGAA some of its early leadership. For now, I'm going to take the US Hawks in the direction that I believe is right. If people want to go along, then they're welcome. If not, there are at least two other alternatives. :)

Can local chapters join the US Hawks?
Certainly. We currently provide a public forum for each of our chapters to keep them better integrated with the national organization. We may be the first national hang gliding association to do that (watch for others to follow).

Do all local chapters have to have 'Hawks' in their name?
No, but you might think so given our first 3 local chapters (Torrey Hawks, Tooele Hawks, and Lakeview Hawks)! Any club is welcome to apply for membership. All we really want to see is that the club is sincere in being a member of the US Hawks and that they have a desire to promote and protect the sport of hang gliding in their local area.

Do I have to be a member of the US Hawks to use the forum?
No, but your membership in the US Hawks would show a more sincere interest in our organization and an appreciation of our efforts. Eventually we may provide additional services for actual members or place limitations on non-members.

Can I donate to the US Hawks?
No. Our model is based on freedom of speech and freedom of representation. But thanks for asking!! If the US Hawks begins to offer expensive services (such as insurance) then we may have to charge for those services.

If I can't donate, then what can I do to help?
Just try to visit the forum regularly and post as often as you can. It also helps if you spread the word about the US Hawks and try to bring in new members.
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun May 17, 2015 2:21 pm

I just read a post by Joe Faust in the "split the USHPA in two" topic (May 17th, 2015) on the Oz Forum:

Joe Faust wrote:There is no battle in me about the "split" matter, as it is a done deal. What is left to do is for HG to have focus in its fully dedicated clubs and orgs; and that process is already started; no problem there; pilots will grow their orgs as they wish; when an org breaks faith or the law, then there will be natural consequences; that is neat, as the universe seems clear and faithful to itself. There is no need for "proof" for those who are caring about what they join and support, as they will naturally sense and see and receive and give in a flow that bares What Is.


Joe's wording is somewhat different, but the central theme of his comment reminds me of this:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


This was one of the very first topics in the US Hawks forum, and - aside from a few diversions - is still highly relevant today.
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun May 17, 2015 2:53 pm

By the way, reviving this topic from 2010 got me to thinking about our own history in the US Hawks.

You can view individual topics by their sequential topic number using this form of the URL:

    http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1

So I did a little wandering down memory lane to find the earliest topics on the US Hawks forum:

    1. Hello US Hawks!!      Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
    2. What a day to begin! Yea!      Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:42 pm
    3. Aaahhhhh!      Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:26 am
    4. Welcome to the Torrey Hawks Forum      Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:54 am
    5. Second Sundays Fly Ins (August, 2010)      Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:58 am
    6. Tooele Hawks Forum      Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:05 pm
    7. Hello Lakeview Hawks!!      Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:17 pm
    8. The requested topic does not exist. (It might have been a testing topic?)
    9. What can the US Hawks be?      Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:36 pm
    10. Purpose of this Forum      Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:04 pm
    11. Warren, Joe, and Sam on HGAofAmerica (August 2010)      Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:34 pm
    12. Be Polite!! (Free Speech Zone)      Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:10 pm
    13. Dennis D in the house...      Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:26 pm
    14. Vintage glider fly-in at Crestline      Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:38 am
    15. Actions supporting hang gliding      Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:30 pm

It's hard to believe that we're coming up on our 5 year anniversary.    :o :D

Thanks to everyone who's helped us grow.    :thumbup:
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:51 pm

By the way ... it's not quite 10pm here on the west coast, and the forum currently has 15 different topics that have been updated today (June 1st, 2015).

That's 15 different TOPICS ... and some of those topics have had as many as 16 posts added ... just today!!!

With the help of so many pilots, the US Hawks is finally becoming the thriving hang gliding community that we've always hoped it might become. Thanks to everyone who's been helping make that happen!!!
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Re: What can the US Hawks be?

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:34 pm

Here’s a question: In the event that a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) is established concerning the advancement of hang gliding (HG) interests, as its sole purpose, what could one expect to happen?

Could one assume that an NPO of this type, cautious that its sole purpose may never be tainted, focus on setting up a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to better safeguard its interest?

I wonder what would their mission statement or SOP look like?

Perhaps in the interest of purpose-clarity, the NPO might, for example, stipulate that it will not devote any energy to advance other sports like: soccer, SCUBA-diving, jousting, swimming, water polo, pole vaulting, Alpine skiing, three-meter board diving, car racing, tennis, go-cart racing……..perhaps you get the picture….?

I could also see the NPO agreeing not to devote any time and money toward working against any outside sporting activity, as exampled above. Such efforts would be a waste of time and resources, but, more importantly, would run afoul (hopefully) of their mission statement.

If the HG-only organization had paired up with the sport of soccer for mutual advancement and power in numbers, we may have to make concessions like soccer games in the LZ every other day or some other arrangement.

Let’s imagine that the sport of soccer, and its growth in popularity, was partnered with HG. Let’s say out-of-town teams wanted to have playoffs using our combined HG-Soccer clubs’ landing zone/playing field. However, about 15 pilots are having a fun day of flying under perfect conditions!!

Perhaps, we could simply put it to a popular vote. Within that vote, surely, the fair result would be to allow the sport with the majority of participants to have priority access to the field. Or, maybe a collaborative discussion could settle the number of days either club could have sole access to the field?

Put to a fair democratic vote, the HG pilots could equitably expect to use the combined clubs LZ in proportion to their percentage of participants.
If the voting membership, of each club, was sitting at 60/40 (Soccer/HG), equitable practice would mean that HG would get to use the LZ for three-of seven days of any week.

The fine art of compromise dictates that one goes into any meeting with full knowledge that he/she must be willing to give something up.

Does the majority ever take advantage of their numbers?
Has the Supreme Court ever had to set up quotas for minorities to level the playing field for college entry or job selection equality?

When dealing with unselfish, fair and honest-minded people, there is no need for any type of arbitrator/judge since minority interests will never be overlooked.
Good luck with that!

Are there safety nets built into all the organizations that you belong to?

If not what is your next best option?
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