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Letter to the BOD and Members

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jack klauschie jr
(@jarthur)
Posts: 17
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 
Member # 16475
 
However well intended, the votes of three people to fire the newsletter editor is wrong especially given the firing was over opinions about the future of the club. From where I sit the firing was more about power than the direction of the Club. This opinion is reinforced by the indication all BOD members support a greater internet presence. In other words, the firing cannot be justified by resistance to a greater internet presence.
 
A paper and web based "newsletter" are not mutually exclusive. As a newsletter editor myself I empathize with every editor who struggles to fine "printable" content. One asks for contributions from members, and one typically gets nothing. Rather than complain about content, provide your own contribution to an editor. It most likely will be welcome and well received.
 
The decision to hire an outside newsletter editor should be rescinded immediately. It is my opinion members should vote on something this central to the Club.
 
I expect the current BOD will not rescind the hiring of an outside business. So, my question is where is content for a newsletter going to come from with the new "editor," especially given it is a business and not a Club member? The BOD? If that is the case, then one or all of "The Three" should take over as editor.  There is no need for an outside business editor. If members of the BOD are going to censor content, then they should step up and become the newsletter editors themselves. Don't hide behind a business. 
 
I like getting a paper copy of the newsletter and am willing to pay extra.
 
Whether to pay extra for a paper copy is a decision to be made by each member.
 
There is no rule that says there cannot be a paper copy and web-based edition. If someone is willing to do the work both are desirable.
 
If the paper newsletter is eliminated, I will not renew my membership. It is the only tangible benefit I receive from membership.
 
Oak's technical articles and other technical resources are the reason I joined the club. Eliminate them and you lose a member. (While articles about rides and reports of events are quaint, they are not enough for me to remain a member.)
 
Having been involved in a local BMW riding club as an officer and director for over a decade I appreciate a desire to grow the membership of a club. Destroying the foundation of the club however is not a sustainable path.
 
An internet heavy presence will not work. We tried.
 
No one in a social club (which relies on volunteers) has the time, desire or perseverance to manage an internet site on an hourly basis 24/7 to keep the transient interest of the occasional millennial who might land there.
 
Which of "The Three" is prepared to volunteer their time to manage the Club internet site so millennials will have sufficient interest "to subscribe?" Is this another task where dues will be spent to hire a business to manage? Again, where is content going to come from?
 
What has worked for us is engaging young people who show an interest at a personal level.  
 
Growing the membership starts at major events and not just BMW events, and on every occasion a current member comes into contact with someone who is or seems interested in our bikes. I have walked into "air central" at a few events and did not feel welcome. No one was disrespectful, but then again no one greeted me as a newcomer and made me feel welcome. I walked away after a few minutes. If I were not already a member (again for the technical information) you would have lost an opportunity to get a new member. That must change.
 
Every member is an ambassador of the Club and should invite interested folks in whether it is for a day ride, camping event, tech day, whatever. People will join when they feel welcome. That does not happen on an internet site 
 
The only asset the Club has that may add value to a perspective member is the wealth of technical knowledge, the ability to access it, and the willingness of members to share it. Losing Oak's library of knowledge by insisting only on an internet presence is a step backward.
  
As an interested member I believe all members should receive notice of when the Board meets. Dates and times of Board meetings should be posted on the Club's web-based calendar of events. Members should be allowed to participate via conference call, Zoom or such.  
 
In summary, the decision to fire the newsletter editor apparently for inviting opinions contrary to the three members who cast that vote is censorship and a power grab that is not appropriate in a social club.
 
The three do not have my support and need to give the membership the vote on such matters and the direction of the Club.
 
Best,
 
Jack
 
Posted : 12/26/2022 14:04
Eric Zwicky
(@13780)
Posts: 19
Eminent Member
 

Hi Jack, just one point I’d like to respond to.    You asked where Airmail content will come from without B Jan.    Every issue is full of tech day reports , ride reports and other stuff *of interest to all of us*, contributed by members.  

I think B Jan does a good job putting together the magazine.   Some of us merely object to paying for his monthly soapbox for his personal opinions and biker fiction.    If he would stay as editor,  continuing to assemble and collate the contributions from the members, I think most people would be happy.     

The rest of the contentious BOD issues don’t really matter much to me.   

Eric Zwicky

13780

Richmond VA

 

 

 

This post was modified 1 year ago by Eric Zwicky
 
Posted : 12/26/2022 15:38
Joe Hall, Bret Williams, Eric Morales and 2 people reacted
Curtis Henry
(@5542)
Posts: 8
Active Member
 
 
I like getting a paper copy of the newsletter and am willing to pay extra.
 
The paper Airmail magazine will continue to be published.  There are many reasons the Airhead Beemer Club will be publishing a digital edition.  One is that the ABC is an international club.  Overseas members are currently paying $50 USD per year for membership due the price of shipping the magazine.  With a digital copy the international cost will be the same as the US cost of membership.
 
Whether to pay extra for a paper copy is a decision to be made by each member.
 
All members with internet access will receive both a digital copy and paper copy.  At the time of renewal membership will have the option of digital copy or paper copy.
 
 
Oak's technical articles and other technical resources are the reason I joined the club. Eliminate them and you lose a member. (While articles about rides and reports of events are quaint, they are not enough for me to remain a member.)
 
Airtech will continue to be in the Airmail magizine.  Several shops and knowledgeable Airheads have agreed to write the tech articles.  The Board of Directors is working to purchase Oak Okleshen's intellectual property from his estate.  At this time the Board of Directors is discussing how to use the material without placing the material on the web.  One possibility would be placing the material in manuals to be sold through the Airstore.
 
Having been involved in a local BMW riding club as an officer and director for over a decade I appreciate a desire to grow the membership of a club. Destroying the foundation of the club however is not a sustainable path.
 
The Airheads Beemer Club will not change, and we will continue to abide by the Cannons.  Only the editor of the Airmail will be changed.
 
An internet heavy presence will not work. We tried.
 
The Board of Directors has received multiple requests for a digital option for the Airmail magazine.
 
No one in a social club (which relies on volunteers) has the time, desire or perseverance to manage an internet site on an hourly basis 24/7 to keep the transient interest of the occasional millennial who might land there.
 
The ABC has a active Web Team in place.
 
Which of "The Three" is prepared to volunteer their time to manage the Club internet site so millennials will have sufficient interest "to subscribe?" Is this another task where dues will be spent to hire a business to manage? Again, where is content going to come from?
 
One of the Board of Directors members is already on the ABC Web Team.
 
What has worked for us is engaging young people who show an interest at a personal level.
 
Engaging younger members is the repository of the State Airmarshals.  In Minnesota we host tech days and personal invite younger members to join.  Many of the Minnesota Airheads carry business cards for the Airheads with my personal information.  We have recruited several members that have last for more than one year.
 
Growing the membership starts at major events and not just BMW events, and on every occasion a current member comes into contact with someone who is or seems interested in our bikes. I have walked into "air central" at a few events and did not feel welcome. No one was disrespectful, but then again no one greeted me as a newcomer and made me feel welcome. I walked away after a few minutes. If I were not already a member (again for the technical information) you would have lost an opportunity to get a new member. That must change.
 
What you say has been true.  When I first started going to MOA Rallies Aircentral was full of grumpy old men.  The current Board of Directors has been working to correct the problem.  2022 Rallies we made sure that someone was welcoming everyone that walked into Aircentral, I know we miss a few but try our best.
 
Every member is an ambassador of the Club and should invite interested folks in whether it is for a day ride, camping event, tech day, whatever. People will join when they feel welcome. That does not happen on an internet site
 
You are correct, a club is only as good as it's members.
 
The only asset the Club has that may add value to a perspective member is the wealth of technical knowledge, the ability to access it, and the willingness of members to share it. Losing Oak's library of knowledge by insisting only on an internet presence is a step backward.
 
You are correct.  To preserve Oak's material is the reason the Board of Directors is working to purchase his intellectable materials.  If we do not gain ownership the material will be lost.
  
As an interested member I believe all members should receive notice of when the Board meets. Dates and times of Board meetings should be posted on the Club's web-based calendar of events. Members should be allowed to participate via conference call, Zoom or such. 
 
The Board of Directors meets by a Zoom type platform.  We have enough problems maintaining order with 5.  With the full membership it would be impossible.  The minutes of the meeting are posted in the Airmail magazine. 
 
In summary, the decision to fire the newsletter editor apparently for inviting opinions contrary to the three members who cast that vote is censorship and a power grab that is not appropriate in a social club.
 
I can assure you that there is no power grab happening.  The Board of Directors is working in what we believe is the best interest of the Airhead Beemer Club.  The majority of the Board of Directors voted to terminate the contract with the past editor.
I believe the February 2023 issue of the Airmail will change the opinion of the majority of the ABC membership.
 
Curt Henry
ABC 5542
Minnesota Airmarshal
Board of Directors Region 3
 
 
Posted : 12/27/2022 14:14
Joe Hall, Edward Adams, Bill Potter and 1 people reacted
Doug Lambert
(@elpha)
Posts: 14
Eminent Member
 

So, were the three BoD’s working behind the other’s back in hiring the new editing company? You say there is no power grab but the actions of you three say differently. You guys have lost the confidence of a large percentage of the membership it seems. I don’t know how you’re going to pull this club out of the hole you three have dug, but you’ve spiked my curiosity. 

Doug

#17074

 
Posted : 12/27/2022 14:36
Edward Adams
(@rtpilot)
Posts: 30
Trusted Member
 

@5542  Your reply above….

The Board of Directors meets by a Zoom type platform.  We have enough problems maintaining order with 5.  With the full membership it would be impossible.  The minutes of the meeting are posted in the Airmail magazine. ”

I call BS.  As an active Board member of a non profit for many years, and hosting monthly zoom meetings with our members, is NOT impossible.  

The fact (surprising fact) that this BoD’s meetings are hard to control is insightful.  But including members to view with muting inplace to avoid disruptions is easy to do and the Zoom platform has options for the meeting ‘host’ to set this up. So denying access to members due to things being uncontrollable is not true. 

Getting the month old synopsis/minutes of the monthly meeting does no good and sheds no light on what is going on to cause the contentiousness we currently have going on.  

 
Posted : 12/29/2022 22:34
Joe Hall, John Deikis, Michael Lucas and 3 people reacted
John Lucas
(@15393)
Posts: 3
New Member
 

I agree about the bs part. I received an email from the nh Airmarshal containing the latest bod letter. Nothing but spin and distortions. The only director I know is hille and I am not impressed with him. He bans members from “his” tech days and camp outs. He proclaims that members who are not vaccinated are not welcome. Not allowing for members personal, medical, moral or religious beliefs. Sounds like a dictator to me. The “vaccines” did not protect people from infection, nor did they stop the spread of infection. There should be no place in the ABC for a director or Air Marshal to ostracize other members based on said directors’ personal beliefs’. 
 I vote for the duo and B. Jans’ reinstatement. 
 The ABC should not allow cancel culture or the opinions of a few to decide the future of the club. 
 The trinity should be removed from office. 
  John Lucas 15393

 
Posted : 12/30/2022 06:22
Dave McLaughlin
(@8327)
Posts: 3
Active Member
 

 This feels like the Joe Cuda fiasco all over again!!! Only worse.

I just sold one of my airheads and told the new owner to join the club.  I think I made a mistake.   
I have only owned Airheads since 1970 and have always maintained them myself, including a few basket cases.  I have repaired just about everything on these fine machines and  I have way too many manuals including factory.  
The first thing I read is Oak's answers in the Airhead magazine.  I always pick up some little thing that I will remember for the next problem that will eventually happen to these fine machines.
Snowbum has been a wonderful asset to the club and he has helped me a few times personally.  But if you need information "now"  Snowbums articles are not what you need.  His articles are great for understanding "why" you are doing a repair in some particular way.  The info is invaluable, but hard to get through for a quick answer.  For a good understanding of the difference, get a copy of  "Oak's top end manual" and compare it to Snowbums articles.  Both are invaluable but in different ways.
To remove this from "Airheads" would be a MAJOR mistake, at least for me.  
 
Next, as for B. Jan, I don't always agree with what he writes but I respect the work he has put into the club.  If I don't like what he writes, I don't have to read it!  
We still have that "Right" left.  
 
If you want a club for the younger generation who wants to make Cafe Racers or such out of these fine machines, that's fine with me, but please follow good engineering practices and not just cobble things together so that no one gets killed.  
This sounds like a great "Spinoff" club from the Airheads.
Please leave this club alone, it's fine the way it is.
 
VERY close to leaving the club for good.......
 
Posted : 12/30/2022 09:27
John Deikis
(@5556)
Posts: 26
Eminent Member
 

Posted by: @jarthur

Rather than complain about content, provide your own contribution to an editor. It most likely will be welcome and well received.

Jack,    This has not been my experience with BJan. I've had articles published in other magazines and am a fair writer. I have never received any feedback from Jan, or even acknowledgement that an article had been submitted. For 12 or more years I have coordinated monthly barley therapy in SE Michigan during the winter. Jan never seemed to want to post the notice in Airmail and I just gave up. I have on occasion written a "letter to the editor" of Airmail. No acknowledgement. No appearance in print. Perhaps there was only so much stuff he could fit in on any given month. Understood.

I personally like Jan's "fictional" stories. Nevertheless, I'm sure Jan and I have voted differently in elections. So what? Club Cannons. But, he was a relatively unresponsive editor who produced a magazine that looked like my high school newspaper. ABC can do better!

John Deikis

ABC #5556

 

 
Posted : 01/09/2023 15:01
Joe Hall reacted
Billy Mearns
(@5059)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

I support the removal of B. Jan as editor. His political/social commentary (Luddite Creed) have been a problem for some for as long as I can remember (>20ys) I suspect a person’s feelings about B. Jan have more to do with one’s own political/social opinions than with their love of airheads. I believe this should not even be an issue in Airmail, and if it is, remove the cause. I have written several letters to the editor criticizing some of his comments. None have been published.     W.M. 5059

 
Posted : 01/15/2023 11:51
Joe Hall and Eric Zwicky reacted
Bret Williams
(@bret)
Posts: 83
Estimable Member
 

@13780 Editors voice their opinions and not everyone agrees with them. But I get it. I know people who quit taking newspapers over an editorial comment.

 
Posted : 02/05/2023 09:31
Eric Zwicky
(@13780)
Posts: 19
Eminent Member
 

Posted by: @bret
Editors voice their opinions and not everyone agrees with them. But I get it. I know people who quit taking newspapers over an editorial comment.

I keep seeing comments like this and it doesn't really apply here.    The Airmail is a newletter for enthusiasts.   It's not a newspaper or journal where the editors / opinion writers are expected to write about politics and the world around us.

The only job an editor of a hobbyist newsletter should be doing is managing the layout, checking submissions for spelling, editing them for style and form, etc.

There's no reason we should have to pay $30 a year to give one guy a soapbox for his political and social views which clearly do not represent all of the club membership.   And he clearly doesn't (didn't), as evidenced by the complaints we have read in this forum.    

 

 

 
Posted : 02/14/2023 13:49
Bret Williams
(@bret)
Posts: 83
Estimable Member
 

@13780 "The Airmail is a newletter for enthusiasts."

It quit being a newsletter when it became a propaganda outlet with redacted content.

 

"And he clearly doesn't (didn't), as evidenced by the complaints we have read in this forum."

Cherry picked complaints. There is a lot of disgust over this firing of a club founder and the dishonorable way it was done. 

Publish content to support a preordained outcome. See propaganda comment above.


 

 
Posted : 02/17/2023 08:58
Doug Lambert reacted

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