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Old 04-26-2002, 03:30 PM
  #21
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If you're takinga nap, who will be making my drink?
I would like to discuss this further, but it's 1:30 and I'm off to the lake.
See Ya,
Gary
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Old 04-28-2002, 10:43 PM
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Has anyone heard that Brad Pitt and Kevin Costner are building houses in Porto Cima? I was wondering if it was true or just a rumor.
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Old 04-29-2002, 10:47 PM
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We have a party cove that is a 1 hour idle and a channel that has a one hour idle. Therfore it is a two hour idle from Lake MI to the party cove. It sucks but we do it. Hundreds of us. I don't feel too sorry for you.
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Old 04-29-2002, 11:34 PM
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To Troutly and others;

I attended all the hearings concerning noise and speed limits on Lake Travis.

The noise ordinance was a concession to some property owners but it is not that hard to meet the standard.

One of the panel members who was an older man about 65, and mayor of one of the small villages on the lake. He said to me in private, that the sound of jets skis was far more annoying than the sound of the big power boats and he enjoyed hearing them go by.

One of the panel members was a whiney, middle aged woman who said those big boats make so much noise, they "rattle my windows". Generally, she did not receive much sympathy as she exaggerated the severity of the problem, at least many other panel members percieved that it was an exaggeration. Remember, perception is more important than reality.

It is IMPERATIVE that you local powerboaters attend these village meetings to stress that they, the property owners DO NOT OWN the river, and especially on the St Croix and especially since it connects to the Mississippi, and the ocean. Also, stress that all of you are very responsible professionals and would be the very last people to put your expensive boats at risk of damage or injury to others or your own families. Also at issue is that these bodies of water can not be regulated by micro management of various sectors, as that river is part of an Interstate Commerce system of travel. As such, one of the Amendments to the Constitution greatly restricts the state from imposing limitations on the free travel and trade. This is analogous to the low speed limits that were originally tried on the interstate highways. You know, the little hick towns that had speed traps. It was just a money grab, a scam, that they locals thought they could get away with and make a few easy bucks. After all, how can you boaters stand a chance in a kangaroo court in those pip squeak towns on the river? I think you could get that speed limit stuff thrown out on Federal grounds. I think you should petition the state of Wis and Minn to intercede and drag the Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard in on this. Generally, the superior law does not tolerate the inferior law interfering with their domain.

My parents live in Wisconsin and the tree huggers almost passed some local ordinances which would have made the lake a "sylvan preserve". I argued successfully to the chairwoman of the county zoning board that the proposed ordinance was an unnecessary imposition on other users of the lake and was the brain child of just a small minority of local tree huggers and some over zealous bureaucrats in Madison. Ultimately, the whole proposal was abandoned as unecessary and "an unreasonable restriction on the free and lawful enjoyment of the States natural resuorces". Remember those words, they will come in handy.

Even if the locals argue the safety issue, they have shown no evidence to support that. One incident, or one data point does not demonstrate a trend. Just the mere presence of people on the water puts them at risk, but that is an assumed risk and not an unreasonable risk.

Most importantly, near the conclusion of the endless hours of discussion on speed limits on Lake Travis, the chief of water safety enforcement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Carlos Vaca (now retired) said that he did not want a speed limit on the lake, that he had better things to do than sit there with a radar gun and try to clock people. Also, it was unenforcable because the safe speed on a busy Sunday was a lot different than the safe speed on a Wednesday morning in the Fall when a bass fisherman is running up the lake to get to his favorite hole. He also said that there were plenty of laws on the books that he could arrest those who weren't driving reponsibly, and he could make the charges stick, too.

Much of the hoopla about all these laws started when a few property owners on Travis asked for a lake safety study. The questions, in my opinion, were biased and leading. But the conclusions drawn by the consultants were ludicrous. The consusltants recommended that the big boats go to the small end of the lake and the small boats stay on the big end of the lake. They also recommended certain coves for quiet boats and others for jet skis. I said it was too close to deer season and all those obnoxious jet skis in one cove would be easy pickin's.

One of the other things that the committee recommended was a "mobile booking station" to arrest and detain drunken boaters. This is where everyone gets self righteous as certainly, nobody here would ever drink to excess. Anyway, Chif Vaca said that was not in the budget (car wrecks and DWI were far bigger problems) and BWI was a non problem anyway. Whenever his people caught a BWI the officer issued the ticket and found a sober person in the boat and told them to take over for driving. So much ado over nothing.

The safety consultant had data on the increase in water safety accident and boating accidents showing an increase over several years. When the data was examined further, it showed water safety accidents including non boating drownings were the major factor. Also, several hispanics (mexicans) had drowned because they couldn't read the deep water signs and they were drunk and did not know how to swim. Some people wanted to put up bilingual warning signs. I said that there was a theory by Charles Darwin that addressed the problem and postulated the solution. Also, part of the "big increase" in boating accidents was due to jet ski rentals by people who were untrained, e.g., flat out ignorant, as to how to drive them and they were colliding with docks or other jet skis while "buzzing" them. Most importantly, the real number of real boat accidents had gone down over several years. Also, boating accidents were not disproportionate with similar lakes with similar usage.

So, in conclusion, you, as collective group, must go to these proposed rule making meeting, you must gain the confidence of the DNR, you must invoke the higher authorities, you must demonstrate that boating under the prior rules was not unsafe, nor unreasonable, nor unlawful, and you must present a dignified and unified front. These locals have the perception that what you boaters are doing "ought to be illegal", and now it is.

The camel already has his nose and most of his neck in the tent.

Good luck. Jim von Wolske
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