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New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -2/12/10

February 12, 2010

New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -2/12/10

NEW YORK UPDATES:
Motorcycle, helmet, gang, rights: no updates

NOTE: The Assembly and Senate are not currently in session. They will reconvene at 3:00 P.M. on Monday, February 22, 2010

NY NEWS:

www.legislativegazette.com/Articles-c-2010-02-08-65334.113122_Lawmaker_r
etooling_open_govt_legislation.html


Lawmaker retooling open govt. legislation

By Emily Claire Atkin

February 08, 2010
To improve transparency at public meetings, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin has announced she will be introducing legislation that would require all discussion materials be made available to the public beforehand.

The assemblywoman’s bill would require any public bodies conducting a meeting to post any reports, records or other documents being discussed at least 24 hours before the gathering. The legislation would also require hard copies of discussion material at the meetings.

Paulin is in the process of picking up co-sponsors for the legislation and expects it will be drafted and available to the public by Feb. 11, according to the assemblywoman’s press secretary, Allison Esposito.

According to Paulin, D-White Plains, records are often unavailable at open meetings, making it difficult and sometimes impossible for the public and the press to understand the discussion.

“I can’t tell you how many times I would be at a public meeting and the materials were not available,” said Paulin of her experiences when she was active with the Westchester League of Women Voters. “A board member would refer to page 3, section 2 and no one would have any idea what they were talking about.”

“No one can disagree that transparency and openness are important to foster and to encourage,” said Paulin.

“Having the ability to follow the deliberations of a government body will enable countless citizens to have an impact on the course of their governments,” said Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York Department of State’s Committee on Open Government.

According to Freeman, countless entities are covered by the state’s Open Meetings, or “sunshine,” Law — public elementary and secondary school boards, SUNY and CUNY entities, and all county, city, town and village governments, among others. Currently, none of those entities are required to provide discussion materials to meeting attendees.

However, if people want to obtain a document under discussion, they, under existing law, can request it under the state’s Freedom of Information Law — something Freeman said costs more time and money than it would to have the information provided online.

“Just about every unit of government that I know of has the capacity to make records available online,” said Freeman. “People would rather get documents online, and it would result in minimal costs.”

According to Paulin, opposition to the bill in the past resulted from the potential high costs of providing multiple hard copies of lengthy documents at every meeting. But Paulin said her bill will primarily state that documents have to be available on the Internet, with only a few hard copies at meetings.

Bill S.7042/A.5943, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey, D-Maspeth and Sen. John A. DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, was passed in both houses of the Legislature in 2008 but ended up being vetoed by the governor.

“In the case of voluminous records, both the review and the copying of the material within the required period would impose a serious burden on agency staff. Such requirements, dispensing entirely with the procedure for making and responding to FOIL requests, could seriously disrupt the work of boards and commissions in the days immediately preceding an important scheduled meeting,” said Gov. David A. Paterson in his veto message.

Paulin’s forthcoming bill would require the availability of all records discussed, but only “to the extent practicable,” meaning that in situations where it would be too difficult, public agencies would not have to produce the documents.

“If you can, reasonably, you must,” said Freeman. “But if [the documents are] only on paper and [the public bodies] don’t receive it until the night before the meeting — if it’s really difficult or impractical to produce them, they wouldn’t be required to.”

Freeman said the bill would make the state’s Open Meetings Law more meaningful to the citizens of New York.

The legislative declaration of New York’s Open Meetings Law reads: “The people must be able to remain informed if they are to retain control over those who are their public servants. It is the only climate under which the commonweal will prosper and enable the governmental process to operate for the benefit of those who created it.”

When asked if he expected opposition to Paulin’s proposal, Freeman said he didn’t think so. “My thought is that those who might ordinarily be opposed, once they think about it, their opposition will dissipate.”
————————

Fordham Symposium on noise – February 9, 2010, New York City

I attended a panel discussion on noise last night.  One of the speakers was Richard Tur of Noiseoff.org. He addressed motorcycle exhaust issues and I wanted to be there to counter his point of view.  As you can see by his recap of the event on his forum, we both enjoyed debating each other.

“Fordham University hosted an event for students and the public to learn about noise in New York City. The event was organized by Dr. Harold Takooshian. The dais had an interesting mix of experts. Dr. Peter Walker from the United Nations Human Settlements Committee spoke on environment and behavior. In making his point, he asked the audience if the place where they live is their home, by definition, where they feel safe and comfortable.

The impacts of urban din was covered by Dr. Arline Bronzaft who spoke about noise and health. Mr. Charles Shamoon representing the NYC Department of Environmental Protection spoke about how the revised noise code came about, not since updated in over thirty years. My own presentation was a primer on NoiseOFF and covered several noise issues that residents are dealing with in the city. Mr. Aaron Friedman, representing MakeMusicNY.org spoke about musicians collaborating for live music events in NYC.

An interesting discussion occurred between myself and Mr. Jon Simon, a motorcycle activist who attended the meeting regarding the issue of motorcycle noise, specifically enforcement. The discourse was the issue of EPA-stamped exhaust systems as a means for enforcement to reduce noise. The lively discussion was on-topic and Jon spoke very well.

There has been a great deal of vitriol over the years pitting bikers and noise control advocates. There are evident philosophical and legal differences on the issue, but I believe there is opportunity for a better dialog and mutual understanding.

My thanks to Fordham University and the organizers of the event. I hope there are more events like this in NYC and for colleges and universities around the country to organize panel discussions on noise.”

I also emailed Professor Takooshian (who rides by the way) to thank him for putting this together and here is his response

“Jon, You are as fast as you are gracious. We all appreciate your visit and your helpful comments tonight.

Harold Takooshian, PhD”

I made it a point to be brief and to the point, since the event was not about me or our group.  It is this kind of work we all have to get involved in and break down the boundaries.  BTW I learned my gracious style from Mark, he honed my rough edges.

Cheers
Jon Simon
New York City Motorcycle Advocacy Group, NYCMAG
http://nycmag.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATES:

http://www.nhmro.org/index.html

New Hampshire Motorcycle Rights Organization, NHMRO
One down, One to go!
February 10, 2010

We have received word from Concord that HB 1261/Noise was pulled from the consent calendar and was put to the House floor for a vote. The vote was 267 to 28 in opposition of the bill.  The other bill HB 1162 has not yet been voted upon and we can expect that to occur when the House is in session, next Wednesday. If you haven’t done so… you know the drill by now – contact your rep’s to be sure that they vote NO  on 1162 when it goes to vote on the “floor”.

NH-HB1162- relative to the wearing of motorcycle protective headgear.
12/10/2009 H Introduced
1/6/2010 and Referred to Transportation; HJ 6, PG.231
01/07/2010 H Public Hearing:
1/28/2010 10:30 AM Representative’s Hall
01/26/2010 H Executive Session: 2/2/2010 10:15 AM LOB 203
02/03/2010 H Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for Feb 10 CC
(vote 19-0); HC 13, PG.533 02/10/2010 H Removed from Consent Calendar
(Rep Vaillancourt)
———-
http://www.abate-wa.org/Blogs/Legislative/default.aspx

ABATE of Washington
HB2511 Hearing Testimony [Addressing motorcycle profiling] by Mr Breeze

9 February 2010 14:30

This is part of the Public Safety and Emergency Preparednes Committee testimony of February 2, 2010.

As you will see in the video, the committee went directly to a vote and Passed the Profiling Bill to the next step by a vote of 7 to 1.

To hear the full testimony (audio only) go to 1hr 5min 38sec on this link:

http://www.tvw.org/media/mediaplayer.cfm?evid=2010020064&TYPE=A&CFID=5014884&CFTOKEN=74180502&bhcp=1
———-
http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=11957639

Tennessee could include motorcycles in ‘lemon law’

Posted: Feb 09, 2010 1:06 PM EST

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill to include motorcycles in the state’s “lemon law” for defective vehicles is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Vince Dean of East Ridge would give owners of new motorcycles the same rights as those who have cars and trucks that don’t perform properly.

Dean said mechanical or structural problems can be more dangerous for motorcycles riders’ safety.

In Dean’s words, “On a car, a bent frame may just make it wobble or something. But on a motorcycle a bent frame can cause an accident very easily.”

The measure was advanced Tuesday to the House Consumer and Employee
Affairs Committee.

The companion measure is awaiting consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Click here to read HB2551.
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/106/Bill/HB2551.pdf
———-
http://www.abateofne.com/

ABATE of NE- LB200/helmet:
February 11, 2010

LB200 is dead in the legislature

Once again the Biker’s rights have been ignored.

We need to band together and work hard to get those opposed to granting these rights to bikers out of office. Keep a close eye on the State primary election candidates. Find out if those running against those already in office are for us, or against us. We may have lost this round in the legislature, but we are not finished yet. The time to act is now! Working together, we can get those opposed out of office.

ABATE of NE, Inc., owes a big THANK YOU to Todd Miller, our State Coordinator, for all the time and hard work he has put into LB200. He has done an outstanding job on getting the information out there to our members and keeping everyone informed on the progress of LB200 through all the debate. We may not have won this round, but we are not beaten!

With the great leadership we have at the State level with our officers Todd, Bob & Scott, and their dedication to this cause, as well as all our other great members, things can only go forward from here. Thanks to each and every one of you for a job well done.

LET THOSE THAT RIDE — DECIDE!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW REPORTS:

Two-Way Tweets: Using Social Media Tools to Communicate with Lawmakers
Association News – February 2010 | Vol.34 | No.2

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/associationnews/201002/index.php?startid
=22

———-
MIC Launches Multi-media Campaign at Indy to Permanently
Stop the Ban on Youth Motorcycles and ATVs
February 9, 2010

Members, exhibitors and dealers can text, e-mail, Skype, send letters,
and make videos to voice their support at the 2010 Dealernews
International Powersports Dealer Expo

Press Release: http://www.mic.org/news020910.cfm
Visit http://www.stopthebannow.com for background information, FAQs, and
public outreach tools for the Stop The Ban campaign.

*********************************************
Visit our website for the full list of New York Legislation

http://www.newyorkfreedomriders.com
New York Freedom Riders
Riders Against Constitutional Erosion
“Freedom Is NOT A Spectator Sport”

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