8 Ball In The Wind

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Black Thursday 2017

On Thursday, January 19th, the motorcycling community of Washington State was well represented by the hard core freedom fighters who endured nearly freezing temps, and rain, to let their voices be heard in the legislative halls of the Capitol in Olympia.

When the riders began to roll in shortly after 10:00AM, the event began to take on the feeling of an old fashioned protest rally.  Bull horns blaring and good folks cheering.  The workers inside sending scooter tramps and bikers all through the Capitol campus to see their legislators.

There was even a group who took the helmet bill that was to be dropped in the House of Representatives (later numbered HB1485) to "The Hopper" and officially give it a send-off into the life of a bill at the Capitol.

At the end of the day, most of those still at the Capitol, headed down to the nearby Governor Hotel for an after party, and enjoyed good music, good liquor, and even a little dancing.  

It was a good day all told, legislative bills worked on, partying done, and everyone enjoyed the good music and fellowship.  Where were you on Black Thursday 2017?

Catch you on the road sometime?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Powerful Senator Sponsors Helmet Bill

With all the focus and hype about modality shifts to reduce traffic, and lower greenhouse emissions, It was really rather a surprise that it wasn't the lane sharing pilot program bill, but the universal helmet law amendment bill that garnered a very powerful prime sponsor.  With the bill not having such a powerful sponsor before, and still coming within one signature of passing out of committee during the last biennium, there is an energy that seems almost infectious about the expectations for this year.  Even with this Senators support and backing, the helmet bill is still, as always, in for a serious fight.

That's where my part comes in.  I have to meet with legislators; especially those on the House and Senate Transportation Committees, and get enough of them them to support the bill to get it moving on to the floor of the chambers for a vote.  I have already heard from one Representative who will pose a challenge.  However, in a conversation with his Legislative Aid while scheduling a meeting, there was a tactical slip and I now have an idea from which direction his opposition will come.  I have adapted my presentation to be prepared to counter that argument, as well as supply supporting data from a source he considers quite reputable and reliable.

This story is only beginning.  From the energetic and enthusiastic support of the bills prime sponsor and her staff, this has the opportunity to be a very interesting several weeks ahead.  While the main stream media will be focussed on; the antagonistic budget process, and the struggle over a record tax increase during a time of projected surpluses over the next two biennium, I will be working to hopefully help enable the motorcyclists of Washington State exercise their Right to determine for themselves what the proper and appropriate level of protection is for each ride they make.  It may not sound like much, but it is a Right that has not been allowed to be exercised in this state for over a generation.  

The time is coming when motorcyclists of all kinds will be able to again exercise their Right to choose.  I will do what I can to see that it is sooner than later.

Catch you on the road sometime...