March 2017 Region 5 Newsletter

February 27th, 2017

Welcome to the March edition of the Region 5 newsletter.


Clinton County Chili CookOff

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

ABATE Region 5 Clinton County will be holding their annual Chili Cook Off Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at the American Legion Post 49 located in Wilmington, Ohio.

Cook Off runs from 6PM to 8PM. $5 Entry. Open to the public, everyone welcome. Contact Theresa Shoemaker at 937-302-6232 or Randy Wallace at 937-289-2758 for more information. Click flier image for full size flier.

Clinton County Chili CookOff Flier


Support bill to seek independent scientific analysis of E15 effects - Urge your representative to cosponsor today!

Information from the American Motorcyclist Association(AMA)

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced H.R. 777 on Jan. 31. This bill would require the National Academy of Sciences to provide a comprehensive assessment of research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends - fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume - compared to gasoline blends containing 10 percent or zero percent ethanol. The study will evaluate the performance, safety, and environmental impact of mid-level ethanol blended fuels.

The American Motorcyclist Association supports H.R. 777, as part of wider effort to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard. No motorcycles or ATVs are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

You can use our easy to use tools to send a prewritten message to your representative.

"As a former member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have always believed science-based decision making must guide our assessment of the RFS and the effects this policy has had on consumers, our economy, and our environment," Sensenbrenner said. "This is especially true in a state like Wisconsin, where the use of recreational vehicles and marine engines is a way of life for many of its residents."

Make our voice stronger by sharing the AMA alert. Share with your friends on Facebook.

Click here to "TAKE ACTION".


Bikers Roll into Texas With a Unified Voice: End Motorcycle Profiling

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

The roar of hundreds of motorcycles echoed through the halls of the Texas State Capitol in Austin. This year, January 23rd marked the day where bikers from all walks of life, representing all corners of Texas and beyond gathered together in unity to send a strong message to lawmakers: end the unconstitutional practice of motorcycle profiling.

Citing a survey issued by the Motorcycle Profiling Project completed last year, instances of profiling of motorcyclists is on the rise in the U.S. With a participation level of over 5,000 motorcyclists nation-wide, over 50% reported being unjustifiably stopped by police at least once while riding their motorcycles. According to state laws passed in Washington and Maryland, motorcycle profiling is defined as, the arbitrary or illegal use of the fact that an individual rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related attire as a factor in deciding to stop, question, take enforcement action, or make an arrest.

Dozens of other states have already introduced similar legislative proposals in 2017. Even the U.S. Congress addressed the issue in 2016 through the introduction of a bill in the House of Representatives. Though its unclear if the Texas legislature will introduce an anti-profiling bill, the dynamic between law enforcement and the motorcycle community continues to be tense after an incident in 2015 in the state that left nine people dead and hundreds arrested.

But despite the controversy in Texas, many see value in continuing to raise concerns over motorcycle profiling on a national scale; especially considering the outcome in the states that already passed anti-profiling laws. In Washington state, which passed their profiling measure in 2011, reported incidents of motorcycle profiling have dropped approximately 90 percent since legislation was signed into law. And in Maryland, though the law was only passed last year, preliminary reports suggest the number of incidents of motorcycle profiling are down.

Back in Austin, motorcyclists communicated these statistics to any lawmakers that would listen. "Riding a motorcycle or wearing a leather jacket doesn't make me a criminal," said Russell Radke, a member of the National Council of Clubs, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, and a Member of the Board of Directors to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. Radke is also International Vice President for the Soldiers for Jesus Motorcycle Club. "We need to send a strong message to lawmakers – unlawful profiling of motorcyclists will not be tolerated."

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has led the fight in Washington, DC to bring awareness to the issue. Through work with its partners within the Anti-Profiling Action Group, the MRF will continue to advocate in 2017 for a national solution to end the practice of the profiling of motorcyclists and support its members at the state level in their own advocacy efforts.

The well-established leader in the anti-profiling movement and the force behind the Motorcycle Profiling Project, David "Double D" Devereaux also attend the Texas events speaking at the State Capitol rallying the crowds; "Motorcyclists view the state of Texas as ground zero in the effort to preserve motorcyclist's civil liberties and the fight against profiling and discrimination…they have chosen to stand up and fight for their liberties."


Senate bill introduced to block BLM Planning 2.0 rule - Urge your senators to cosponsor today!

Information from the American Motorcyclist Association(AMA)

A resolution to use the Congressional Review Act to block the implementation of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Planning 2.0 rule has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. The Senate resolution (S.J.Res. 15) is the companion to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney's (R-Wyo.) H.J.Res. 44, which was introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

The American Motorcyclist Association is concerned the planning rule's focus on landscape-level management minimizes input from local governments, public officials and private citizens and fails to address economic impact and administrative costs of the proposed changes.

The AMA supports S.J.Res. 15 and sent a letter to Chairman Rob Bishop urging Congress to block the planning rule using the CRA. You can use our convenient tools to send a prewritten message to your senators.

The BLM rule changes are based on a presidential directive and four secretarial orders-all of which circumvent Congress, states and a wide range of national, regional and local stakeholders. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

"The Obama administration's Planning 2.0 rule makes sweeping changes to how BLM develops resource management plans, shifts decision-making authority away from the impacted states to Washington, DC, and disregards BLM's multiple-use mission. If left intact, it will harm grazing, timber, energy and mineral development, and recreation on our public lands," Murkowski said. "Effective multiple-use management requires local, site-specific considerations, not landscape-level analyses. By rescinding this rule, we can return power and decision-making authority to those who actually live near BLM lands in western states."

According to the U.S. Government Publishing Office, "a joint resolution is a legislative proposal that requires the approval of both houses and the signature of the president, just as a bill does."

Click here to "TAKE ACTION".


Lawmakers Respond to Motorcyclists' Concerns Over Lack of Representation on Motorcyclist Advisory Council

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

When last year's highway bill passed into law, motorcyclists worked hard to re-establish the Motorcyclist Advisory Council or 'MAC'. By design, the MAC was created to coordinate with and counsel the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on infrastructure issues that affect motorcyclists. So, it came as shock when the FHWA announced in January they would only dedicate one seat out of a possible ten for a motorcyclist on the Council. Instead the other nine seats were to represent experts in road design, construction, safety and engineering.

Riders from across the nation quickly sounded the alarms calling on their elected officials to correct what was viewed by many as not only a misstep by the Agency, but a sharp turn away from the congressional intent behind the statute of the highway bill itself. Officials in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate agreed.

Approximately one month after the announcement about the composition of the MAC was issued, letters were sent to the newly confirmed Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao asking her to ensure that a balanced makeup of the MAC be guaranteed to address motorcyclists' concerns. The bipartisan Senate letter, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) included a total of ten signatories including that of John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation which has jurisdiction over transportation-related matters.

The U.S. House of Representatives issued its own letter to Secretary Chao outlining its concerns with actions by the FHWA, asking the Secretary to go as far as to delay future activity of the MAC until a fair and balanced composition could be reached. The House letter, led by Representatives' Tim Walberg (R-MI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mike Burgess (R-TX) Donald Norcross (D-NJ) stated,


"It is critical to allow motorcyclists to have a strong voice on this Council. These are the individuals who have experience and can provide a motorcyclist's insights on the challenges and benefits of our roadways. Depending on where they live, riders have unique experiences and are differently impacted by roadway and barrier design, and construction, among others."

In total, over thirty-five lawmakers signed onto the letters representing sixteen different states. Still, other lawmakers including Representatives' Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) called the Federal Highway Administration directly speaking with Michael Griffith, Director of the Office of Safety Technologies within the Agency and the contact for the MAC according to the Federal Register notice. Both registered their opposition on the composition of the Council though reported the response from Griffith was "limited."

The Federal Highway Administration is accepting nominations to the MAC through February 23. It is unclear as to whether they will look to increase the number of motorcyclists on the Council despite the concerns expressed from various lawmakers and the motorcycle community at-large.

Leading the charge on the issue is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the Washington, DC-based organization for states' motorcyclists' rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. President of the Board of Directors Kirk 'Hardtail' Willard explained the impetus for the organization's strong stance on this issue, "Motorcyclists deserve robust representation on bodies handling issues that affect their community. It's a scary world for riders when this all-important dialogue between the federal government and the motorcycling community may very well take place among bureaucrats who have never swung a leg over a motorcycle."


Legislation introduced to increase transparency of the Equal Access to Justice Act - Contact your senators and representative today!

Information from the American Motorcyclist Association(AMA)

On Feb. 14, U.S. Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) introduced bipartisan legislation would reinstate tracking and reporting requirements for payments made under the Equal Access to Justice Act. U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

The House bill is H.R. 1033, the "Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act." The Senate bill does not have a number yet.

Use the American Motorcyclist Association's convenient tools to urge your senators and representative to cosponsor the bills.

The law provides a cost recovery mechanism for citizens who sue the government and win. Yearly reports that detailed costs accrued under the law were required when the law initially went into effect in 1980. However, in 1995, Congress dropped the reporting requirement.

The bills would reinstate the reporting requirements, allowing citizens, bureaucrats and lawmakers alike to track payments made under the law. As a result, Congress would be better informed and able to track the EAJA's effectiveness.

Click here to "TAKE ACTION".


A Message from MRF President, Kirk 'Hardtail' Willard – CALL TO ACTION

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

As many of you know, last year the MRF assumed a new endeavor related to the unconstitutional practice of motorcycle profiling. After reports began to rise from our own membership citing instances where they felt singled out by law enforcement simply because of their appearance, apparel, or because they are simply riding a motorcycle, the MRF decided to take action.

Working with its partners within the Anti-Profiling Action Group, the MRF developed a strategy at the national level to help combat profiling, an issue that affects ALL riders and is unfortunately increasing. We know this to be true because of a survey put forth by the Motorcycle Profiling Project. In 2015, the survey found over 50% of riders across the U.S. reported being unjustifiably stopped by police at least once while riding their motorcycles. With a participation level of over 5,000 motorcyclists nation-wide, these facts and figures will help support and solidify our concerns over this issue when addressing lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

This year, the Motorcycle Profiling Project has launched another survey designed to reach an even broader audience. Like the previous survey, its results will be used as critical tools in the efforts to obtain legislative relief across the country.

I am asking you to take a few moments and fill out the survey, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below. It's completely anonymous and it's only 15 questions. YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

Click here to TAKE SURVEY.


Federal trade agency holding motorcyclists hostage - Sign the AMA petition: Deadline March 7!

Information from the American Motorcyclist Association(AMA)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is embroiled in a dispute with the European Union over U.S. beef that contains hormones. So, instead of working out a solution based on agricultural products, the Trade Representative included motorcycles in its proposed 100 percent tariffs on some products imported from the Europe.

The tariff would affect motorcycles with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc.

A member of the USTR staff stated in a Feb. 15 public hearing that the USTR hopes to use motorcyclists as leverage to get the E.U. to reverse its policy on U.S. beef.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the proposed tariff, because trade disputes residing within the boundaries of the agricultural industry should not be solved with trade sanctions levied against non-agricultural products. And this tariff would harm American consumers by raising prices and reducing product choice.

The USTR is accepting rebuttals to the Feb. 15 testimony. This provides an opportunity for the public to voice its opinion on the proposed Bikes for Beef tax. And the AMA has the tools to make it easy for you to submit comments. Just sign our petition.

Act now by signing the AMA's petition to voice your concern. The deadline is March 7.

The AMA will submit every name and address to the USTR. There is nothing more powerful than tens of thousands of riders joining together to express their concern with the Bikes for Beef tax.

Click here to "SIGN THE PETITION".


Ohio DNR starts 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Process - Take the survey so the state knows off-highway recreation is important

Information from the American Motorcyclist Association(AMA)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources divisions of Watercraft and Parks and Recreation have begun the 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan process. SCORP's are done nationwide as a requirement for states receiving money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

According to the National Park Service which has administered the program since it was eastablished by Congress in 1964, "Most SCORPs address the demand for and supply of recreation resources (local, state and federal) within a state, identify needs and new opportuntities for recreation improvements and set forth an implementation program to meet the goals identiofied by its citizens and elected leaders."

You can download copies of the last two Ohio SCORPs, published in 2008 and 2013, here: ODNR Division of State Parks & Watercraft webpage.

Significant to American Motorcyclist Association members and other motorized enthusiasts, Land and Water Conservation Fund money is available for motorized trails, but has never been used for that purpose in Ohio. The AMA believes the SCORP survey offered by ODNR is among the easiest, most effective ways to communicate to the federal government your belief in the importance of motorized recreation in Ohio.

To take the online survey: Use this link. Those who have already taken the survey estimate it took them 10-12 minutes. The survey will only be available through Wednesday, March 8.

For more information, contact Mary Fitch by phone at (614) 265-6477 or by email at mary.fitch@dnr.state.oh.us. Or contact Donna Studniarz by phone at (614) 265.6649.


Region 5 Monthly Meeting Info

Locations and times for the next Region 5 county meetings

Next Region 5 meeting for Clinton County is 11AM, March 12th at American Legion Post 49 in Wilmington, Ohio.

Next Region 5 meeting for Butler-Clermont-Hamilton counties is 11AM, March 5th at The Train Stop in Foster, Ohio.