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  #11  
Old 01-31-2015, 03:19 PM
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tmacklin tmacklin is offline
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Gentlemen, get thee to the country!

Get outside of the city and their onerous regulations. Find a friendly landowner with suitable land and make him a reasonable offer. No reasonable person will turn down money for a reasonable purpose and some farmers actually enjoy seeing other people having fun. It's just like asking a girl for a dance...you'll never know if you don't ask!
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2015, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironnerd
Excellent suggestions. Mostly along the lines I was thinking, but you guys do add a lot of polish to my plan.

GHROCKETMAN: for my personal or family launched I just hit the local park. Parks and rec is actually fine with that, but Cobb county (Atlanta, GA) actually has a law prohibiting organized model rocket events.

Crazy, but true.
That *is* crazy. A club--which has by-laws and has to uphold certain standards of behavior among its members (especially if it's a NAR Section, or a Scouts or 4-H rocket group)--is ^LESS^ likely to cause any problems at a park than an individual space modeler or a family, because a few of them *are* rogues; a club that consists of such folks seldom has the cohesiveness and mutual cooperation to stay in existence for very long. This needs to be pointed out to the county commission as well as to the parks & recreation folks.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2015, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmacklin
Gentlemen, get thee to the country!

Get outside of the city and their onerous regulations. Find a friendly landowner with suitable land and make him a reasonable offer. No reasonable person will turn down money for a reasonable purpose and some farmers actually enjoy seeing other people having fun. It's just like asking a girl for a dance...you'll never know if you don't ask!
I heartily agree; it's just that Ironnerd is trying to secure one or more local flying fields, because others are at least an hour away from him. (How galling it is to have a big beautiful field nearby, but be unable to use it because some ignoramus--or a quorum of them--decided that model rockets are "dangerous.") Since city and county residents pay for municipal and county parks (with no option to *not* pay if they don't or can't use them), they should be able to use their parks for rocket flying as well as for other activities, as long as they're safe (which our hobby definitely is). His is a "fight" that is well worth engaging in.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2015, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
I heartily agree; it's just that Ironnerd is trying to secure one or more local flying fields, because others are at least an hour away from him. (How galling it is to have a big beautiful field nearby, but be unable to use it because some ignoramus--or a quorum of them--decided that model rockets are "dangerous.") Since city and county residents pay for municipal and county parks (with no option to *not* pay if they don't or can't use them), they should be able to use their parks for rocket flying as well as for other activities, as long as they're safe (which our hobby definitely is). His is a "fight" that is well worth engaging in.


It is unfortunate that many members of governmental bodies are hell bent on lording their authority over the very citizens who placed them into office in the first place. This is why I occasionally go nuts when I hear stories such as this. It is also a classic example of how the forbidden subject, "politics", directly impacts upon this wonderful hobby.

It's well past time for the tar and feathers!
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2015, 02:13 AM
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bernomatic bernomatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmacklin
It is unfortunate that many members of governmental bodies are hell bent on lording their authority over the very citizens who placed them into office in the first place. This is why I occasionally go nuts when I hear stories such as this. It is also a classic example of how the forbidden subject, "politics", directly impacts upon this wonderful hobby.

It's well past time for the tar and feathers!


I have mentioned in the past how on one particular occasion I got everybody's OK (the school principal, bd. of ed., Fire Dept., Police Dept.) and just needed the Park's Dept. OK to have a launch for one of my sons kindergarten class.

The head of the Parks Dept. was away (on vacation or such) and I had to go to a minion. Well the minion killed the whole thing, just because he had the power of no. By the time the Dept. Head was back, the school year was over.

Sometimes it comes down to timing, and the best timing is when an election is coming up. Try to start with an elected official and work "down " from there. The elected officials are also more approachable due to public meetings. Where a Parks Manager can just be "out" everytime you call, a councilman has to watch out for how something like this may be spun by his opposition the next time he is up for election.
Feel free to let him know if he can't assist you that you will make sure to let his opponent know that he is against STEM training of our youth.

Of course if he seems like he is willing to help, make sure you can help point out his assistance to the youth. Give him something he can use. Don't infer that he will know how to use the permission to his benefit, give him ideas.

-The councilman approves and supports the safe hobby of model rocketry for our youth.
-The councilman wants to help STEM students put their aerospace knowledge to use by allowing model rocket club to use park.

You get the idea. and make sure there is a photo-op with the official. Even if no news media pick it up, have a club member take picks and write up a story for a club newsletter.

Just a few ideas to consider.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2015, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernomatic
-The councilman approves and supports the safe hobby of model rocketry for our youth.
-The councilman wants to help STEM students put their aerospace knowledge to use by allowing model rocket club to use park.

That's awesome. Thank-you.

I'm adding that to the teleprompter

See my natural inclination is to call these ignorant bags of puke out on their absolute stupidity. I keep that inside though, and write it all out later in crayon.

I need to be stroking their egos... I'm slowly figuring out how to do that. I'm to the point where the banner would read "Cobb County Parks and Recreation, in association with the National Association of Rocketry, Presents ROCKET FEST"

The point of getting a small field, is to use it several times and prove we are not going to burn the joint to the ground, frighten women, children, or gentleman of a weak constitution, or do anything else normally frowned upon in what passes for a polite society. Then, maybe, we can gain access to a larger field where we can actually STAGE!

Right now we have to trek about 150 miles to get to a field large enough for high-power. We don't have a high-performance Low-power field at all right now. I understand "Get thee to the country", but you gotta go a LONG way out there to escape Atlanta.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2015, 03:05 PM
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Indeed--*this* is the crux of the matter. Political considerations are necessary at times, in order to gain access to public parks for launches. Strategizing here on how to do this isn't quarreling over politics, because it can help all space modelers who have the same launch site availability problem. And:

I mean this as no insult to my long-eared cousins, but dealing with elected politicians (who -are- much more answerable to the citizenry than are appointed officials--this distinction, which Bernomatic mentioned, is very useful to keep in mind) is similar to training a donkey (or a mule); in both cases, the other party's default position is, "What's in it for ME?" Also:

Since politics does operate by the "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" principle (among others), giving them something that they want is a way to get what we want. In the case of politicians, they want something that will help them get re-elected. Being able to point out things that they've done for their constituents ("Re-elect me, and I'll do more of this--for YOU!"), especially if they've been done for children, families, education, teachers, women, and veterans, is just the sort of "feather in his/her cap" that a politician wants. In addition:

Facilitating the free use of public parks for flying model rockets helps parents, children, teachers, and schools (not all schoolyards are large enough for rocket flying, especially where multi-stage and boost-glider models are concerned), which--from a politician's point of view--"kills several birds with one stone" with regard to garnering votes from multiple special interest groups. S/he could even use it to mollify "tax complainers," by saying, "We now get greater value from our [local/county/municipal] tax dollars, now that I've opened our public parks to another, widely-popular recreational activity which is also educational!"
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:26 PM
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Ack....

I'm stickin' to my Nike slogan.

JEST DOO ITT !!!!!
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:38 PM
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A policeman cannot legally enforce a law or ordinance that does not exist. Before a proposed law or ordinance can be enacted the public must be given the opportunity for "review and comment". This is the essence of a constitutional republic and the rule of law. Anything less is a police state. And I'm still pissed!
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2015, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmacklin
A policeman cannot legally enforce a law or ordinance that does not exist. Before a proposed law or ordinance can be enacted the public must be given the opportunity for "review and comment". This is the essence of a constitutional republic and the rule of law. Anything less is a police state. And I'm still pissed!



The problem can also lay in the interpretation of existing laws also.

The Cleveland Metro-parks system form a chain of green areas circling Metropolitan Cleveland, to such an extent that it is referred to as the Emerald Necklace. Over the years, the Metro-Parks have acquired certain properties and folded them into the system such that any large (acreage wise) area is almost exclusively under their jurisdiction. They are their own governmental entity with their own police force (not however judicial system, as at this time they must use local courts). All of this and.... you guessed it. Rocket launching is verboten.

They don't have a law, from what I understand from my conversation with some park rangers, specifically prohibiting model rocketry, but one which can be warped to include it. I think, and don't quote me on this, that the original law was created to make items like potato cannons illegal, since it states, going from memory on this. something along the lines as objects launched and or fired .....

I do plan on trying to overcome this ban one day, but at this time I have too many other projects on the line regarding trying to get my rocket company off the ground, and focusing on a smaller battle with a local councilman and a city owned park.

One additional tact I plan on utilizing is to possible have a law enacted which states that the parks can be used for model rocketry by MEMBERS OF A MODEL ROCKET ASSOCIATION WHOM ARE COVERED BY SOME SORT OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Letting the politicians know that we are concerned about our activities even to the point of being financially responsible for problems, takes an additional concern off their minds. It also leads to another positive point in your safety lecture by pointing out the low incident rate of model rocketry insurance claims. I believe the information is available through the NAR or I thought I saw it there once. I am sure it is available somewhere.

Not that I'm against HPR, I think it has it's place, but if I recall correctly, the most egregious of those claims I saw dealt with High Power. So, if not a problem, you can also consider a proviso that High Power Rocketry not be considered under certain circumstances. That would be your call and what your underlying goal is. It might be a tactic to even initially not have the high power and work into it at a later time. I am sure that rocketry got its foothold in the initial years by limiting the size and power of the rockets.

Another tact to take that reinforces the STEM connection is to correlate model rocketry with NASA and not those combative elements of national defense. I have done this on occasion to spectators by using the line...

I am like NASA, not the Army (or Air Force, Navy, I like to get my rockets back in one piece, safe and sound.

Now regardless of the fact that we know NASA doesn't care about first stages and such, the idea is reinforced that we are not there to blow up the neighborhood. There will be no explosions, and if there are, it is because of an accident, not deliberate. Now you are again reinforcing the safety consciousness.

One last thing, which may make a difference. Don't just use emails. Back it up with an additional snail mail letter, which is not just a copy of an email . This gives him and his staff something tangible to look at.

Good Luck
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