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Hawaii State Law would prohibit WS within 200' of a surfer
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1373

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Hawaii State Law would prohibit WS within 200' of a surfer Reply with quote

While casually browsing the Hot Sails Maui website, I clicked on a blog and found out about this critical comment period with only 3 minutes to spare, so I got my email testimony in with 22 seconds left in the comment period. What a drag to see this news. Hopefully this bill will be defeated:

The Bill for an act that passed the first reading will have a public hearing on Friday at 2.45pm in Honolulu (Conference Room 414, State Capitol - 415 South Beretania Street).

There was the possibility to send testimony via email (testimony@capitol.hawaii.gov) or fax (586-6659 or 1-800-586-6659) at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.

That's today Thursday 2 14 at 245pm.
It's too late now, officially.


If you decide to write an email testimony even though it's past the official deadline now, the following must be the subject of the email:

Email subject:
Testimony to bill SB 2091 COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND hearing of Friday February 15, 2008 2.45pm

The feeling among local windsurfers in HI is that this could wreck the industry, obviously, as wave sailing could be next to impossible at many breaks. ie: 1 surfer out, you cannot windsurf.

The official hearing notice:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/hearingnotices/WTL_02-15-08_.htm


Last edited by geohaye on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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gerritt



Joined: 06 May 1998
Posts: 429
Location: Redwood City, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF? Hawaii and Maui specifically is the mecca, but lately I see all this stuff happening to kill windsurfing. First the north shore rentals are gone. Next, they are arresting windsurfers for sailing Hookipa while more than a certain number of surfers out. Now this.

I'm in the SF Bay area sailing over 100 days a year along with thousands of other full time employed non-industry windsurfers wondering why the industry completely seems to ignor us. This is the same industry that is based on Maui where the majority of R&D is done. This is the same industry that seems complacent when even their own back yard and livelihood is threatened. Kiting hasn't killed the industry. Its so asleep, its in a coma. Someone better wake up before you all are declared brain dead and the plug is pulled permanently.
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1373

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right, someone should have spread the word about this days ago if not weeks ago, so us mainlanders could have had a chance to send in a comment email. iW is not the only ws forum in the world, but anyone wanting to alert windsurfers about this issue should certainly have known to post here.

It's not easy to follow everything, but it is true that some windsurfing association on Maui should watch for these things. Sort of like defending your right to exist...

Could be a wake up call to get more organized and stay a bit more on alert?

Or did the legislators really just fast-track and slip this one past us?
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nealpar



Joined: 25 Oct 1998
Posts: 624

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case you missed it, this was my comment about this issue in the other topic on this subject:

Here in California, we have similar laws already enacted, that if actually enforced, would prevent us windsurfers and kitesurfers from launching at most of our favorite beaches (because they happen to also be popular with swimmers and surfers).

Once in a while, however, when someone has managed to piss off the local lifeguard, people have in fact been cited or even convicted of a misdemeanor for doing something reckless. However, if you are careful and don't "show off" right in front of the lifeguards or near bathers, then the 100 or 200 foot rule is never ENFORCED against you!!!

See the California version of the law below.

California's Harbors and Navigations Code Section 655.2 provides as follows:

655.2. (a) Every owner, operator, or person in command of any
vessel propelled by machinery is guilty of a misdemeanor who uses it,
or permits it to be used, at a speed in excess of five miles per
hour in any portion of the following areas not otherwise regulated by
local rules and regulations:
(1) Within 100 feet of any person who is engaged in the act of
bathing. A person engaged in the sport of water skiing shall not be
considered as engaged in the act of bathing for the purposes of this
section.
(2) Within 200 feet of any of the following:
(A) A beach frequented by bathers.
(B) A swimming float, diving platform, or lifeline.
(C) A way or landing float to which boats are made fast or which
is being used for the embarkation or discharge of passengers.
(b) This section does not apply to vessels engaged in direct law
enforcement activities which are displaying the lights prescribed by
Section 652.5. Those vessels are also exempt from any locally
imposed speed regulation adopted pursuant to Section 660.
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nealpar



Joined: 25 Oct 1998
Posts: 624

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geohaye, to summarize for you:

Please don't ring the panic alarm just yet as you are not qualified to predict how the law will be enforced.

MAUI IS IN HAWAII, which is an entirely different state, as you know. Wink As a separate state, Hawaii has an absolute right to enact local laws, ordinances etc... to police its local beaches. The power of states to regulate themselves in this area is extremely BROAD. Thus, no amount of writing from Oregon and California is going to sway Hawaiians in how they should police their local beaches. If it were a federal law issue, it would be a different story. But it's not!
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nealpar



Joined: 25 Oct 1998
Posts: 624

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow-up to the above:

See the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution!
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tsokat



Joined: 15 May 1997
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nealpar, do you know if the term "machinery" has ever been defined in the context of this Cal law? I would be interested to see something on the legislative intent. It is hard for me to imagine that what we do and love involves machines, but I hear and respect what you are saying. An agro lifeguards can interpret that law to mean a machine=a sail and end the fun for the day very quickly. It sounds like this proposed law in Hawaii is more specifically aimed at windsurfers and kiters. It is possible to see something insidious behind what is going on there when you also look at what they are also doing with Northshore rentals.

Last edited by tsokat on Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tsokat



Joined: 15 May 1997
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that us mainlanders can have very limited impact upon Maui's public policy. The local windsurfing interests need to have effective lobbying and consensus building on a local level to protect their and the sport's interests.
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jwajack



Joined: 26 Apr 1994
Posts: 157
Location: San Pedro, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:06 am    Post subject: Lobbying Other States and Local CA Law re Windsurfing, etc Reply with quote

One does not need to live within a state or locality in order to successfully lobby for or against laws or regulations being proposed in that state or locality. Out of town and out of state interests often successfully lobby state legislatures -- all they need to show is that they have a stake in the issue. Many big companies, trade associations, and interest groups (e.g., Sierra Club) keep abreast of legislative activities in each of the fifty states so they can lobby when their interests are impacted. (Don't know if USWA does or has the budget to do so.)

In Hawaii, out-of-state windsurfers definitely could lobby based on the economic impact their tourism dollars have on the state. Granted, however, it would be good if local windsurfers (and more importantly, the industry) took the lead so we aren't completely viewed as carpet baggers.

With regard to the law cited by Nealpar, even if it doesn't apply due to the "machinery" limitation (or if you're going under 5 mph at the time you are within the proximity requirements), in Los Angeles County, at least, there are county regulations intended to separate swimmers from surfers, and I believe there are also regulations in the LA Municipal Code for the City of LA (ie, Cabrillo). Consistent with Nealpar's message, some of these regs give the lifeguard's lots of discretion about how they will be enforced or what areas will be open for windsurfing. (I looked at the regs to see whether a kiter who received a ticket simply for going out had any chance of fighting the ticket.)


Last edited by jwajack on Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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gerritt



Joined: 06 May 1998
Posts: 429
Location: Redwood City, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Researching the issue of "machinery." I found: powered by machinery was amended from "Powerboat." Looking further I found the definitions section of the Harbors and Nav Code under:

651

(n) "Motorboat" means any vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion, but shall not include a vessel that has a valid marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard or any federal agency successor thereto.

(s) "Personal watercraft" means a vessel 13 feet in length or less, propelled by machinery, that is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

(bb) "Water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device" includes all forms of water skiing, barefoot skiing, skiing on skim boards, knee boards, or other contrivances, parasailing, ski kiting, or any activity where a person is towed behind or alongside a boat.

655.1 states:

(a) As used in this section, "mechanically propelled vessel" means any vessel actively propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion.


Nowhere have I found windsurfer, sailboard, kiter, or similar defined. Thus, anyone cited in LA for violating this section while windsurfing or kiting should fight it. All of the caselaw surrounding this section clearly deals with motorized watercraft - as in propelled by internal combustion engines or electric motors. Waterskiers and the like (tow surfers probably) fall under the section as they are in the process of being towed by motorized watercraft. They are even included while down waiting for another tow and are not defined at that point in time as "bathers."

That is the state of the law in CA.

I agree that the Hawain legislature could give a rat's ass about what a bunch of citizens in CA think of their proposed legislation. Thus it is right back to the industry and specifically Hawain citizens (read North Shore locals who sail Hookipa, Sprecks, Kanaha, and anywhere else waves and wind comingle producing potential surfer/windsurfer/kiter conflict) to WAKE UP!
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