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Kite Land Talk => Website Discussion => Topic started by: chilese on July 27, 2012, 02:42 PM



Title: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: chilese on July 27, 2012, 02:42 PM
My AKA membership will end in a few days.

    I went to the AKA website to renew and found myself hesitant.

For $40/year I get the magazine, but barely skim through it.

And this is from someone who regularly donates photos and time

assisting Phil with some of the Photoshop editorial duties. In fact,

the AKA cover contest is scheduled to appear in the next issue.

   The 10% off at authorized merchants is nice, but it actually hurts

the merchants, so who am I helping?

   Don't compete anymore, haven't for many years. So I'm open as

to reasons why I should renew. I like the idea of the organization,

but am hard pressed to stay on. 



Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on July 27, 2012, 02:50 PM
5 years ago I went to the AKA web site looking for a reason to join.
I'm still looking.

Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: MtnFlyer on July 27, 2012, 03:04 PM
I'm a member and will remain so.

I attend and participate in AKA sanctioned festivals and events, for which the AKA insurance is a good and necessary thing. I occasionally compete in handcrafted. I enjoy the magazine as well, especially JC's pics.  ;)

While the negative personalities of the past were a turn off, I try (tried) to ignore that and focus on the positive.

It's a minimal effort on my part to help foster a hobby I enjoy.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: thief on July 27, 2012, 03:28 PM
I have not been a member for over 5 years....I was at one point of the highest recruiters in the late 90s and early 00s....
the magazine declined - phil still works hard at keeping it going....

I had contacted the office once a few years back about becoming a life member...apparently that scared them as i got a couple of emails that then dropped off....so...i said forget it....

I still will help them if i can....I donate items to the auctions sometimes with out hearing anything back.......
Just not putting out my money on them....



Title: Re: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 27, 2012, 03:47 PM
I had a membership for several years and then allowed to lapse. I spoke my good friend Jay Nune who explained that the AKA is not a company that does something for its members... the AKA is the members. So ny paying I into the AKA we are supporting other kite filers. The main thing I see this as is to maintain an  insurance policy so festivals can still take place. Without the insurance, many events could not happen. Is that worth $40 a year? On top of that, I like the mag. It reminds me that things are happening all over the place And keeps me going in the winter months.

So I don't look at it as what the AKA gives me... rather my $40 helps other members.

I don't think the 10% discount really hurts vendors. Hopefully it gives them more sales but it also increases the reason for someone to join the AKA. You then need to see above as to why that is a good thing.

Sent from my Samsung S3


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Sherman Myers on July 27, 2012, 04:28 PM
I am a member. I continue to  be a member to support kiting.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tpatter on July 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
I join for the same reason that I join other organizations - it's purpose, in this case I would generally describe as 'to share the experience and love of kiting with others', is important to me.   

I would not have discovered my love of sport kite flying if not for the AKA and NWSKL. 


Tom


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on July 27, 2012, 05:21 PM
I agree with Tom. If it wasn't for two different AKA sponsored/supported Kite Festivals, I would have not been introduced to kiting as it exists today. If we don't support the AKA, we are not supporting the sport we love.
Are there politics? Yes!
Get over them, and be a part of something greater than the proverbial ME.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Kantaxel on July 27, 2012, 05:35 PM
Provocative discussion!
I have to agree with the previous four responders.............$40 bucks a year compared to one used trickster on the swap meet?  40 dollars is not the issue...............supporting the cause is........

Jim


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Wayner on July 27, 2012, 05:42 PM

Related question

What should the AKA do for its members.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on July 27, 2012, 05:42 PM
I support the kite builders.  ;)

Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteking on July 27, 2012, 08:18 PM
been a member since the late 70's the insurance used to protect me whenever I flew, not the case anymore, but now that I am part of the Southern Oregon Kite Festival (a Sanctioned event) it requires some AKA members to get the insurance. Even so, I look it as a no cost membership, because I write it off my taxes


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: JimB on July 27, 2012, 09:01 PM
One particular bit of politicking sent me out the door.

Still support The Eastern League.



Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 27, 2012, 10:14 PM
What should the AKA do for its members.
Since each member _is_ the AKA, your question becomes what should members do for other members.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on July 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
Some people we know well have avidly recruited for the AKA.
Here is a quote about a couple you I'll recognize:
Christine Miller and Steve Hall of Chico California are long time kite enthusiasts, owners of Gone With the Wind Kites and hosts of the popular GWTW Kite Forum. Most weekends they can be found sharing their passion flying single line, dual line and quad line kites at Chico's Wildwood Park. For their efforts in recruiting members for the American Kitefliers Association (AKA) they were the recipients of the 2005 AKA Volunteers of the Year award.

Good people!
I guess I could follow their lead and make sure the word gets around.


Title: Re: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: TGunn on July 28, 2012, 03:55 AM
I had a membership for several years and then allowed to lapse. I spoke my good friend Jay Nune who explained that the AKA is not a company that does something for its members... the AKA is the members. So ny paying I into the AKA we are supporting other kite filers. The main thing I see this as is to maintain an  insurance policy so festivals can still take place. Without the insurance, many events could not happen. Is that worth $40 a year? On top of that, I like the mag. It reminds me that things are happening all over the place And keeps me going in the winter months.

So I don't look at it as what the AKA gives me... rather my $40 helps other members.

I don't think the 10% discount really hurts vendors. Hopefully it gives them more sales but it also increases the reason for someone to join the AKA. You then need to see above as to why that is a good thing.

Sent from my Samsung S3

Well said Todd!


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: mikenchico on July 28, 2012, 08:31 AM
I was a member years ago, Family member, and paid for all three of us for a few years. But I let it lapse too because our regional director at that time was letting us all lapse IMO. Tom seldom filed a regional report and when he did it was announcements for upcoming events that had passed months before. It only aggravated me to be paying to see what I had missed. I haven't been a big supporter of Tom's event either for that reason.

I look at the AKA every year and feel a tinge of guilt for not joining, but I feel the same guilt for not joining the WKA (http://www.wka-kiteflyers.org/index.php) & AOK who help so much with WSIKF (http://kitefestival.com/kite-festival/).

The AKA magazine has improved immensely from the old newsletter format to a professional quality publication, I wish they had the resources to provide a subscription to all the libraries and schools to increase exposure.

But I just haven't seen enough benefit to overcome the guilt.

We spend those dues at the promoters and sponsors of any events we do attend. They get a little profit, we get something to give away (most often). And they can spend a bit of that profit on being an AKA Merchant Member if they'll realize a benefit.



Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 28, 2012, 08:45 AM
Keep in mind that a good portion of AKA dues goes toward supporting the cost of the insurance policy. Without that policy many events would not be able to take place. The fee that is paid to actually obtain the coverage for a certain event is only used to off-set the cost of the policy slightly.

I would never want to be a regional director... they (can) do so much but of course they get paid a ton of money, get all of their expenses paid, are allowed to use the comp fields whenever they want and are given all the free kites they can carry. Ok... so I'm just checking to see if people are really reading this. They don't get one single penny for being regional directors. Personally, I don't see how they do it. It takes a special person. But there are also good and not so good Regional Directors. It's important for members to choose a good RD. I'm in Region 7 and our AKA RD is Robin McCracken. Man... I don't know how that boy does it... he uses the AKA website to send out a few emails every month, he posts on G+, keeps events going in his area, etc. He really does a great job. But as I mentioned, some RD's might not be best for the task.

But that does come back to what I mentioned before... the AKA is it's members. When people tell me the AKA does nothing for them I ask... what have you done for the AKA? I have no issues with people who don't want to be a part of the AKA.... I get it. No worries. But the way I view it... AKA members get out of the AKA what they put in. If you consider this, I think you will see the AKA in a different light.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on July 28, 2012, 09:05 AM
Without the AKA we don't have insurance at kite festivals.
Without insurance we don't have kite festivals.
Without kite festivals people don't see kites flown in mass.
Without people seeing kites being flown, they don't go buy a kite.
Without people buying kites, kite stores close.
When kite stores close, kite makers don't sell them kites.
When kite makers sell fewer kites, they stop making new ones.
When kite makers stop making new ones, you have steal other peoples kites.
When you start stealing other peoples kites, you get arrested.
When you get arrested, you'll have plenty of time to sit in prison and wish you had paid your AKA dues.
Pay your AKA dues. . .

Godfather send me your PayPal addy, I'll send you $40.   :-*


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Allen Carter on July 28, 2012, 09:17 AM
Ask not what the AKA can do for you, but what the AKA can do for others...

That said, the magazine is really amazing these days. Much wider coverage of various types of kiting than in the past and excellent production quality. The regional reports have improved a lot. May be just who the RDs are at the moment, but they are actually a readable part of the magazine. Newsstand price for a highly specialized magazine like this is around $10 an issue, so next time you sit through through a movie and feel like you've wasted $10 and 90 minutes of your life, think about reading a magazine cover to cover. Much better use of your money, time and brain.  :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RobB on July 28, 2012, 09:38 AM
I finally let my membership go after 10 years. There were no events in my area (nothing closer than 5 hour drive) since the cancellation of the NYC kite festival. I think the last one was in 2008. So, with no local AKA presence, I'm just left with an expensive magazine.
Nice pictures in the magazine, but not enough, and too much with the club politics. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than meaningless politics.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 28, 2012, 09:44 AM
Nice pictures in the magazine, but not enough, and too much with the club politics. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than meaningless politics.
It's what people talk about a lot. No question, it exists. I just ignore it and it does not affect me at all. The AKA and kiting functions just fine if you just let it roll off your back. I hear stuff all of the time but I just listen and then go back to flying kites. They seem to fly just the same.  ;)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 28, 2012, 09:56 AM
I joined in '97 because I had to, to be able to compete. I no longer compete and just recently let my membership lapse, mostly because of some of the politics within the AKA in the past few years have left a real bad taste in my mouth.

Bill


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Tmadz on July 28, 2012, 10:15 AM
I've been lurking on this topic. I am new to kiting and have not joined the AKA. I do support the stores on these forums and certainly have supported the kitemakers, I do not see that one need to entice me to join. I understand about the insurance to have festivals, but my time is limited and I can only make one or two in the region. I won't be travelling to KP, antelope Lake, WSIKF or the such for years, if at all. As far as I can tell, I haven't seen a compelling answer to Johns question either way.
so create such a rift, except for lack of
I can't imagine what politics could be involved to turning people off, but it's kites for crying out loud. What could be so important to create such a rift? (rhetorical)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on July 28, 2012, 10:21 AM
I can't imagine what politics could be involved to turning people off, but it's kites for crying out loud. What could be so important to create such a rift? (rhetorical)
"Important" has nothing to do with it. It doesn't matter if it's kites or anything else - you get more than 2 people involved in any activity and sooner or later you have politics.

Plenty of "us vs. them" in the AKA. Stick around long enough and you'll get your fill.

I'm in roughly the same boat as Bill - I've been an AKA member since I started flying kites in '97, remained a member for years because of sport kite competition, and I'm still a member of the AKA Sport Kite Committee so I just do a knee-jerk membership renewal every April. But to be honest, I'd be hard pressed to give anyone a compelling reason to join at this point.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on July 28, 2012, 10:37 AM
Without the AKA we don't have insurance at kite festivals.
Without insurance we don't have kite festivals.
Without kite festivals people don't see kites flown in mass.
Without people seeing kites being flown, they don't go buy a kite.
Without people buying kites, kite stores close.
When kite stores close, kite makers don't sell them kites.
When kite makers sell fewer kites, they stop making new ones.
When kite makers stop making new ones, you have steal other peoples kites.
When you start stealing other peoples kites, you get arrested.
When you get arrested, you'll have plenty of time to sit in prison and wish you had paid your AKA dues.
Pay your AKA dues. . .


I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?

What you've said might have been true when I first started flying...15 years ago. People went to festivals and saw new kites, met manufacturer's reps, other fliers, bought kites. The Internet changed that. Most of the newer people involved have never been to a competition or festival, in fact don't live anywhere near a place that a festival takes place. Maybe they saw someone flying something at a park or beach, or saw a video online, and from that point on they did almost all of their kite learning/purchasing/socializing in cyberspace.

It would be a great argument for joining the AKA or maintaining membership, but it flies in the face of reality.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 28, 2012, 11:09 AM
I understand about the insurance to have festivals, but my time is limited and I can only make one or two in the region. I won't be travelling to KP, antelope Lake, WSIKF or the such for years, if at all. As far as I can tell, I haven't seen a compelling answer to Johns question either way.

Then I think you are missing my point. Even if you don't attend a festival that relies on the AKA insurance, please understand that your participation in the AKA allows those festivals to take place. So your participation helps all other fliers who attend those events. _That_ is what I mean about doing something for the AKA (all of the members)... not what the AKA (other members) can do for you. View it like that and then think about it some more.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 28, 2012, 11:14 AM
I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?

I do it all of the time and wish I could do it more. Granted, I can watch a video on the Internet but it's just not the same. Also, when I go to a festival I can simply look around like a kid in a candy store. I can also talk to the people that own the kite for more information.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: MtnFlyer on July 28, 2012, 11:32 AM
I think several folks have stated my thoughts much better than I managed during the work day yesterday. Todd, Boomer, Jim, Allen, others, thanks for helping my brain out.  ::)  ;)

I have no local AKA presence either. My "local" kite shop is 3-1/2 hours away and I only get there once every year or two if I make a concerted effort.

My nearest festival is 3 hours away and I make every effort to help support that, flying the type kite that helps draw the attendees and not necessarily what I'd prefer to be flying. Being close to that festival, I know how big an effort is required to start and maintain a festival. Johnfarl can chime in on that one with first-hand experience. In some cases, the AKA insurance is crucial to a festival's viability. And when I see 1500 kids making kites, being excited, and the parent involvement in that, I'm looking at the future for the kite industry. And who knows which adult is going to get hooked by that demo, the hands on, the on-site lessons, etc. - something they otherwise wouldn't ever try. Sure, the internet has changed things (think iQuad's LC video, too) but I think the real-life experience and exposure can't be beat.

Beyond that, I can drive 6 or 8 hours, or fly to the coast for my fix, or for even decent flying. I'm getting pretty good at packing the hard case.  ;D

If I was closer to the action and had more free time, I'd probably try to participate in the AKA as well. I've been very close to doing so in the past but just didn't have the spare time. I dislike the politics but try to ignore the crap. When I do read that forum, I know what to skip and what to read.

I think the magazine is terrific and Phil does an awesome job. If that's the only benefit a person feels they might derive from dues, that's not a bad return. Any subscription to a publication is usually going to cost a bunch these days - the differential's probably pretty small, and this is one I enjoy reading.

It's not those of us reading this forum who will perpetuate the sport. We can't even keep the Kmacs of the world in business long term. It's that newbie, that kid, that person who stops you on the beach or at a festival and asks where you got that bird SLK (Laima) or stands in awe of that PL inflatable.

I love kites of all types - flying and building. I'm willing to pitch in a few bucks to help foster the sport and hobby. It's not really what I get out of it directly but a little way that I feel I can help the sport.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteking on July 28, 2012, 12:18 PM
I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?


Well I met one last weekend, His name is Tobie, and 2 years ago Suzette convinced him to come to Brookings for the kite festival. He set his chair on the road and prepared to be board... instead, he was mesmerized, astonished, at what he saw on the field... He bought a kite that day and returned home, he has since opened a kite shop and started a local monthly fly.... all because he saw a kite at a festival...

(http://www.windandfunkites.com/uploads/2/8/8/5/2885565/7916543_orig.jpg)

I don't know if he is a AKA member, but he is on this forum, aren't you Tobie


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on July 28, 2012, 12:19 PM
I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?

I do it all of the time and wish I could do it more. Granted, I can watch a video on the Internet but it's just not the same. Also, when I go to a festival I can simply look around like a kid in a candy store. I can also talk to the people that own the kite for more information.

Yeah, but you're not the typical case. You're also not a "new person". You've experienced competitions and festivals and know the difference.

It used to frustrate me how many people would post to forums, hang out in chat rooms, and watch hours of kite videos on their computers sooner than they'd even consider driving an hour to go to a real event. Eventually I got tired of ranting about how "internet kiting" was killing "real kiting". It's not not like ours is the only hobby that's experiencing it, it's just that a small, "niche" activity like kiting is going to suffer from it much faster than something much bigger and well-established.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on July 28, 2012, 12:27 PM
Well I met one last weekend,

Look, I'm sure we can all name one, or two, or more people who bought a kite because they went to a festival. Not surprising that those among us who attend kite events know people who got involved because they happened to go to those events.

Given how few organized events are left compared to 10 years ago, I doubt many manufacturers or retailers would still be around if that was the primary stream of new buyers.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: alleykat on July 28, 2012, 12:41 PM
I renew my membership most years and can remember that seeing an event sponsored by an AKA retailer got me into flying kites. I can also remember as RonG stated about there being events almost weekly to go to. Most people flying today do not remember having to decide which event you would attend for the weekend because there was more than one going on.  Now a days I am lucky to get an event once a month in my area.  We still get together and fly for fun around here but not as often as we used to.  Just one of the things that happen as you get older and slower.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: TGunn on July 28, 2012, 04:15 PM
I've read all of the discussions regarding why a person should join the AKA or continue to renew their AKA membership. Some of you say that your only benefit of being and AKA member, is the AKA Kiitng Magazine, and that the annual dues you pay are not worth the cost of the magazine. Some former AKA members that used to compete in sport kite competitions, say that since they no longer compete anymore, receiving the magazine is not enough reason to renew their AKA membership. 



The AKA is an extremely important part of kite flying, kite festivals, workshops, school programs, kite flyer and kite event organizer support, information, etc... and most of you benefit from it in some way, whether you realize it or not.



I was AKA Region 8 Director in the late 90's, and am the current AKA Region 8 Director. There are a lot of behind the scenes things that the AKA and/or it's Board of Directors do to help with the overall success of kiting, that everyone here benefits from, or has benefited from. Regional Directors such as myself work daily answering e-mails, phone calls, text, social network messages, from kite flyers, event organizers, schools, etc...  needing help with various kite related activities. Many events start with new event organizers contacting the AKA about how to organize a festival, workshop, fun fly, kite club, etc...  Many events whether AKA sanctioned or not, where given a helping hand by the AKA, and without the AKA's guidance, many events or kite related activities would never have been created in the first place. Whether it's through word of mouth help, or people using the AKA's many information resources, the AKA provides help to all who need help with kite related activities. The AKA does this for members and non-members alike. When someone contacts me about kite related questions, I don't ask if they're an AKA member before I help them. I do it because I love kites and everything involved with kites. Since 1996 I've maintained the AKA Region 8 Kite Events calendar website as a way of giving the AKA members I represent a little something extra. I maintain the Junction Kite Retreat website for free, because there was a need. I used to maintain the Dead Bird Buggy Bash website, because there was a need. I organize a local kite festival because it gets more people interested in kiting. I do school workshops for children, because there is a need. I do this all for free. All AKA BOD members are volunteers, with the exception of the AKA Executive Director, and the AKA Kiting Magazine Editor, and many BOD members help give back to kiting just like I do, because there's a need.



It's sad to see some kiters that will only support the AKA, if what the AKA does, instantly benefits them.



Without AKA members, the AKA would cease to exist, and most of the behind the scenes benefits of the AKA's BOD would not happen. The AKA needs you! The AKA needs people like you to help volunteer. Without AKA member's annual membership dues, the AKA couldn't afford to publish a magazine, pay for event insurance, or pay the many cost of running the association.


The AKA is it's members!

 






Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Kantaxel on July 28, 2012, 04:23 PM
What I'm now seeing in this thread has degraded to what most of the naysayers have attributed for their reason to not support the AKA:   Politics.......

Why don't we start talking about who we're voting for in the presidential race?

Whoa!  That's against Forum guidlines!  :-X

You should have your answer by now John, one way or the other.

Jim


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: sunsetflyers on July 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
i joined aka about 10 years ago and loved it then my wife got involved in the board she was Secretary for prez and we were involved in the politics and at that time there was alot of politics name calling and stuff happening that is normal in any organization look at the upcoming elections and at times it gets ugly all that works out for the better in the end.. that said
i too thought all i got was a magazine there is alot more good that comes from aka i have become a kite builder and get new ideas from magazine not copying anything i just don't have imagination like some people without aka most festivals wouldn't exist without insurance it would cost thousands to get it on your own and most city officials want insurance because most festivals are at beaches parks and so on there is so much that the aka does most members don't see and will never understand unless they get involved at that level become a rd get involved on boards im not plugging the aka because we have had our disagreements however i get over them and still love kiting the aka and all they do for all kiting there has always be controversy that is how we grow my opinion and its just my opinion  if we love kiting we should support  it in any way weather financial or our time it does alot more than we think


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Desertflier on July 28, 2012, 09:05 PM
I've never been an AKA member. I have always loved flying kites as a little kid in elementary school up to the present time.
I have always had some type of kite to fly. I have four children and they all have a kite or two that I have bought for them and taught them how to fly it. It is rare that I ever see any other kids flying kites around where I live.

When TGunn mentioned "School workshops for children" that was the deciding factor for me.

Where do I sign-up???


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 28, 2012, 09:09 PM
Where do I sign-up???
http://www.aka.kite.org/ (http://www.aka.kite.org/)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Desertflier on July 28, 2012, 09:30 PM
Thanks for that  ;) 
I have family in Pleasant Grove and Provo Utah. I'll have to look you up the next time we're over visiting.  :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: TGunn on July 28, 2012, 10:05 PM
Thanks for that  ;) 
I have family in Pleasant Grove and Provo Utah. I'll have to look you up the next time we're over visiting.  :)


Desertflier:
If you have family in Utah, you should try and Make a visit to them and y'all attend the Antelope Island Balloon & Kite Festival that is coming up soon.  http://antelopeislandstampede.com/ (http://antelopeislandstampede.com/)   

The AKA website also has a nice manual, free for download, called "Kites in the Classroom".  Download it, share one with the local school teachers, and it helps the teachers develope a nice kite making program in their classes.   http://www.aka.kite.org/resources/publications/cat_view/134-main/123-manuals (http://www.aka.kite.org/resources/publications/cat_view/134-main/123-manuals)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on July 28, 2012, 10:10 PM
Quote from: TGunn link=topic=8093.msg71510#msg71510
The AKA website also has a nice manual, free for download, called "Kites in the Classroom". Download it, share one with the local school teachers, and it helps the teachers develope a nice kite making program in their classes.

Plus - every April is National Kite Month. 
The AKA has resources for April too.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Jynx on July 28, 2012, 10:22 PM
I'm happily ignorant to AKA politics... and I choose to remain so!

The quarterly magazines are wonderfully done and I look forward to reading (and seeing) all the kiting events I'm unable to attend and kites I normally wouldn't have a chance to see!

The portion of my dues that helps defray insurance at the festivals I attend, seems minor compared to other sports and hobbies I'm involved in, additionally, the 10% discount usually makes up for the entire $40 in dues spent each year for me.

If not for the AKA, what organization would step-up and take over? Now-a-days it's hard to find any persons or organization that will take the time and effort to do the things the AKA seems to accomplish.

...and as far as politics in kiting ...(as I was told some years ago)... "They're Kites not Kidneys!" ...Time to drop the politics (as there's already way too much in our daily lives) and just have fun and WINDerFULL times with a whole lot of great people!

I will continue to support this sport I love... including my nominal dues to AKA!  :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: firecsi on July 30, 2012, 11:20 AM
Yes Mike Suzette & I are members of the AKA and our shop is a Merchant Member.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: johnfarl on July 30, 2012, 02:59 PM
The AKA is the core.  Without it kites are just cloth in the sky.  Just ask what would it be like without AKA.

I am sure some of the big festivals would continue because they are community, chamber of commerce driven.  But over time there would be less and less happening.  There would be less and less interconnection of kite fliers and kite shops would all be toy stores.

No individual needs AKA but we as kiters do need something like AKA.  Because this is an organization of people there will always be some sort of displeasure with the poltics.  But it is not that bad.

Price well could be less but could be a lot more.   I have seen other organizations charge a lot more for a lot less.  Use the money to promote agendas of the board. 

When we were starting the Fort Collins festival the first thing we did was check on the information available from AKA.  Top notch info was available.  Plus the people connections were very important.  Now we have a festival with 6000 attendees and have a place where a few of us kite addicts can show off our hobby.  Thanks AKA.

John 


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Sketch on July 31, 2012, 09:56 AM
I feel your pain...
For example... over the years....I had been a competition CLPA flyer and have designed many models and have published a couple of my more successful winning designs in various model magazines.
For example of how our AMA included insurance worked during those years.
http://modelaircraft.org/joinrenew.aspz (http://modelaircraft.org/joinrenew.aspz)
The AMA insurance still today  is somewhat important..however if one reads the small print carefully one will notice  that the insurance we receive with our membership ONLY CAN BE USED AFTER YOUR OWN FAMILY AND PERSONAL INSURANCE PLANS (HOMEOWNERS) ETC. IS USED FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!

For example...many years ago, one of our  members was flying a flying demo in a large football stadium filled with people..
HE WAS FLYING A RADIO CONTROLLED "MODEL LAWNMOWER" which he lost flight control...HIT A BUNCH OF SPECTATORS...
Only after his homeowners insurance took care of the some of the damage which was limited to only One hundred thousand...then the AMA INSURANCE PLAN was to then kick in...
HOWEVER THE AMA NEVER STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE! FINALLY AFTER MUCH $$$ WAS BLOWN AWAY...THE FOOTBALL STADIUM OWNERS GAVE UP WAITING AND PAID ALL THE EXPENSES WITH THEIR OWN INSURANCE.

Goes to show you...just how much the BIG MONEY CHASING LAWYERS LOVE situations like this?  ??? :-[

 :(
BOTTOM LINE:
YES! Although there is a major flaw in so many of these insurance plan schemes...(ESPECIALLY) by some of these risk management insurance plans scammmmmer  :'(
.Our organization and others like us still need and must have  them available in  order to sell and promote sporting and social events to cities throughout the world. :-*

THE OLYMPICS ON TV....watching events such as cycle racing etc through the streets filled with crowds of observers..truly must make those ALBULANCE CHASING LAWYERS DROOL BIG TIME?  :D :D ;)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: rncembal on July 31, 2012, 10:40 AM
This is a reoccurring topic.
If you care that there exists a organized body to promote kiting then support it.
IF the politics were so ugly that you withdrew . How can you stand to live in the USA our countries politics are so much uglier.
The politics became personal and vitriolic as desperation set in with finances in trouble and sinking membership. I think anyone with knowledge of the inner working knows that there is no quick fix as well as no clear blame to be assessed.
We seem the have achieved more peace now but that may be because I'm less involved ( but still dues paying)
There is an acceptance that the rush doing the sport kite growth is gone and the defection of kite surfers who joined only for the illusion of insurance . Read the AMA post that was the type AKA had as well.
I state it as others have. I don't pay my dues for a magazine but I read it . I never competed but I worked events. I never saw the insurance as a strong benefit as I'd read the policy. Most big events get the AKA insurance but also have a primary policy .
 For me it's simple my life has been so enriched by the AKA from it's existence I've met people from around the world and across the country. I am luckier than most AKA member in that I've been able to travel to conventions and other events in the 30 years I've been a member. My first real exposure to the wide world of kite beyond deltas boxes and diamonds came  as the Smithsonian festival where I was signed up for the AKA as well. I hope that others can get the same pleasure I do. In the new instant communication world much of the infighting that goes on in any governing body was exposed and brought to light. I'm sure it existed before  and I was glad not to know.
Proud dues payer
Rob


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on July 31, 2012, 11:23 AM
AKA membership isn't mandatory unless you compete. Maybe they should take note of the AMA. They require membership to fly at any club field.
I wonder how many card carry AMA members there are on this forum ? Maybe as many as there are AKA members ? At least 2 have posted in this thread already.

Denny


Title: Re: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on July 31, 2012, 12:53 PM
I won't get into the insurance too much (I'd think it was interesting but everyone else would fall asleep) but most policies of this nature are going to be excess policies. The policy is not being issued to be member themselves... it mainly serves to be there so events can be put on. Without the AKA insurance, many events would shut down.

Sent from my Samsung S3


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DGomberg on July 31, 2012, 10:35 PM
AKA has certainly been suffering lately. Membership is off by 50%, attendance is down at the conventions, and with fixed costs like insurance spread over fewer people, it is harder to balance budgets.

Politics? Even the people I like least in kiting share a bond and understanding with me and the joys I value most. But that often gets lost.

I think our kite club mirrors our national situation. Some people hate the current president and miss the last one. Some people think the current president is fine and blame the last one for everything gone wrong. And lots of other people are so frustrated with the finger pointing and name calling that they just don’t care anymore.

Times and circumstances change, and AKA has needed to re-invent itself from time to time. We broadened the leadership to involve Regional Directors; we embraced competition; we struggled and ultimately lost the ability to insure members, we shifted from a newsletter to a magazine; we created a web presence and used the internet to communicate, we created Kite Month.

Folks no longer need a club to network, share information, or learn. It is time for AKA to once again, reinvent itself. The problem is that we’ve lost the ability to build a consensus. Critical change is needed and the Board is stagnating. Can you name a major initiative or overture of the past five years?? A president is successful if they can simply keep more people from getting mad. And the time needed to respond to members in this communication-intense age absorbs all available energy and efforts. Is anyone even running for President?

All things considered, John, my advice is to simply let your membership lapse.

Few people compete so there is little need for anyone to maintain our rules.

Insurance allows smaller events to exist and clubs to schedule regular events. But if you don’t have events nearby or a local club, who cares??

FaceBook has rendered Kiting magazine obsolete. No matter that it is a repository of our history and a tool to recruit new fliers.

If the convention goes away, we can rely on kite businesses to hold an assortment of “championships” and we’ll eventually sort out who is the best. As was once the case, money will decide the outcome.

Education and outreach and maintaining publications is hard. But in the absence of our Association, I’m sure someone will pick up the ball.

And awards? Each event or club can issue their own lifetime achievement awards. The Edeiken, Toy, and Ingraham trophies are too pretentious anyway…

Seriously, if good people all let their memberships lapse, in the end, the club will be left with no one – or at least not enough people to function credibly. And what will be lost? Something really special that adds to the understanding, joy, and credibility of what we all do.

We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David










Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Kantaxel on August 01, 2012, 12:48 AM
AKA has certainly been suffering lately.

All things considered, John, my advice is to simply let your membership lapse.
Few people compete so there is little need for anyone to maintain our rules.

Insurance allows smaller events to exist and clubs to schedule regular events. But if you don’t have events nearby or a local club, who cares??

FaceBook has rendered Kiting magazine obsolete. No matter that it is a repository of our history and a tool to recruit new fliers.

If the convention goes away, we can rely on kite businesses to hold an assortment of “championships” and we’ll eventually sort out who is the best. As was once the case, money will decide the outcome.

Education and outreach and maintaining publications is hard. But in the absence of our Association, I’m sure someone will pick up the ball.

And awards? Each event or club can issue their own lifetime achievement awards. The Edeiken, Toy, and Ingraham trophies are too pretentious anyway…

Seriously, if good people all let their memberships lapse, in the end, the club will be left with no one – or at least not enough people to function credibly. And what will be lost? Something really special that adds to the understanding, joy, and credibility of what we all do.

We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David









Mr Gomberg,
Just so I understand................Is the red above followed by six statements
intended to be facetious?

And the end for real?

Just want to know, I'm a bit confused :-\


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteking on August 01, 2012, 04:24 AM

We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David

Well said David


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RobB on August 01, 2012, 04:48 AM
Oh yeah... THE CONVENTION. I was thrilled that the convention was going to be in the northeast a couple of years ago. Until I found out that it was $250 to get in the door. After years of paying dues, I have to pay that kind of scratch to come & fly with my 'kite club' ? Not not mention the other costs associated with travelling, I found that to be a slap in the face, especially because the yearly kite festival at the same venue is FREE.

I notice the convention this year is half that price... what does that reflect ? Others thought $250 was over the top, or was that just the organizers figuring that people in the northeast are used to getting ripped off ?

As far as supporting kiting, you know what I did with that $250 ? Bought another kite. Never once asked a retailer to honor my 'AKA discount'. Also, I support the forums that some how manage to get all these people together to talk about what's really going on in kiting, not what's going on with the 'organization'.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DGomberg on August 01, 2012, 06:22 AM

Mr Gomberg,
Just so I understand................Is the red above followed by six statements
intended to be facetious?

And the end for real?

Just want to know, I'm a bit confused :-\

Facetious: adjective 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark. 2. amusing; humorous. 3. lacking serious intent;

Yeah -- I was being facetious. Thanks for asking. ;)

David


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Kantaxel on August 01, 2012, 06:39 AM

Facetious: adjective 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark. 2. amusing; humorous. 3. lacking serious intent;

Yeah -- I was being facetious. Thanks for asking. ;)

David
[/quote]

Thank you then...I agree with Mike........VERY well said 8)

Jim


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DGomberg on August 01, 2012, 10:22 AM
Oh yeah... THE CONVENTION. I was thrilled that the convention was going to be in the northeast a couple of years ago. Until I found out that it was $250 to get in the door. After years of paying dues, I have to pay that kind of scratch to come & fly with my 'kite club' ? Not not mention the other costs associated with travelling, I found that to be a slap in the face, especially because the yearly kite festival at the same venue is FREE.

I notice the convention this year is half that price... what does that reflect ? Others thought $250 was over the top, or was that just the organizers figuring that people in the northeast are used to getting ripped off ?

Well, to be fair, there is no such thing as a "free" kite festival. Someone pays. In the case of the Wildwood festival, most costs were covered by city grants, major sponsors, and vendors.

At the Wildwood convention, costs were covered by attending members. And that cost - including two banquets - was $250. I think it would be great if the AKA could find sponsors and grants. But with a rotating location, and an event focused on kiters more than on spectators, it has proven almost impossible to find outside money.

Why is Enid cheaper? First, the city there waived many of the typical costs. Guess they want us more than more popular destinations on the Coast do. And second, AKA has decided to run the event with volunteers rather than a paid manager. With low attendance, a manager really drives up the per attendee cost. But I can tell you that years ago, I was one of the last volunteer convention managers. And it was a full-time job! On top of that, how do we feel about volunteers handling $50,000 in registration fees. Folks probably don't remember the fiasco in San Diego over that very issue.

Attending any convention for any sport/hobby costs money. I think reasoned conversations about the amount are fair.

Sorry to divert the thread, but he question was asked.

David



Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: red sweater on August 01, 2012, 11:40 AM
I was on vacation for the past week, including from the internet (mostly).

I don't know if anyone here wants my opinion, but here it is. We're not short on pixels, are we?

I once saw a guy flying a two-line kite on the drill field at college. A good while later, while perusing a hobby shop, I saw cheap (~$50) two-line kites. I bought one. I liked it, though I have trouble finding the wind to fly a non-UL kite. A year or two later, I got a Quantum, which I saw as a big investment. I've had it for a few years, but haven't flown it except for the annual beach trips. Inland sucks, but I only felt like I was missing out on occasion. Life flies by.

I've never met with others in a group to fly, and I've only once seen the DC Kite Festival at the National Monument, only briefly, and only because I happened by chance to be there that day already. I've not traveled to a festival, and only this year caught the freestyle bug and gotten really anxious about tricking kites.

I've not joined the AKA or any club. It might be nice, but being a husband and father severely limit my time and budget. I get the rush of buying new kites now, and adding a trick to my repertoire, but I could probably be okay with my new std and UL for years to come. Of course, I want all the kites I see on this forum now. But I wouldn't know what to do with them anyway.

I get that the AKA needs members to do anything. I wish I lived closer to where the events were, and I'd be happy to support it. But right now, I don't, and I won't. I'm pulled at least a dozen different directions in life, and I prioritize as best I can. I wish I had the ability to devote more time and money to this hobby. C'est la vie.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: rncembal on August 06, 2012, 09:48 AM
For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on August 06, 2012, 10:02 AM
While I've heard and discussed the "politics" in the AKA they have never affected me in anyway. The solution is simple... don't include yourself as part of the problem and it won't exist for you.

Politics only exists when you allow it to exist. At that point you become part of the problem.

It really does not matter to me a whole lot who is President of the AKA... it does not change what I get out of it or what I put in. As someone once told me at a kite festival... at the end of the day, it's just kite flying.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on August 06, 2012, 10:43 AM
For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob
I agree, John will be a game changer. He needs all our support!
The AKA is in the process of mailing out ballots.
Region 10, my area is being sent out today.
John has brought kiting into the world view with the formation of iQuad.
They have been ambassadors to the world and attention to our televisions.
Join or renew now.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on August 06, 2012, 04:49 PM
For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob

You're saying that Barbara isn't running for another term, I take it.

John is running for AKA president?


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: sunsetflyers on August 06, 2012, 06:26 PM
My husband has replied to this thread already but I wanted to share my own thoughts on this topic.

If you want to compete you need to be a member.

For me I have been a kite shop owner, festival organizer, national champion and board of directors member. I let my membership lapse. You can get insurance for events with out the AKA I got insurance for 2 years worth of fitness events for 200.00. KK will sell you affordable event insurance.

We still fly and now build kites. Not to many festivals in our area.. it's a lot of work and not to many people are up to the task. Promoting the sport? Sorry I can't tell someone it's gonna cost you 250.00 for a sport kite, 1000.00 in regional festivals.... oh and then you got to lose a week at work and Grand Nationals are gonna cost you another grand.

I fly as often as I can, I put as many kites in the sky as I can.. I put a yo yo winder or my sport kite handles in anyone's hands that will take it.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteman on August 06, 2012, 06:52 PM
Sounds to me John that you should man up and join. Your a somewhat well off retired person like I hope to be. I would gladly join then. Better than the NRA!! This country is in decline and needs help. I guess we do what we can do!!

Don :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: ray3619 on August 06, 2012, 06:57 PM
my last aka membership was for the aka convention in seaside or. in 1992? only time i ever competed nationally , but its good to support the things you love , and if johns in im in , he just loves kiting and doesnt care bout the other crap , just my 2 cents , ray


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2012, 07:05 PM
Joining the AKA is going to save the country ?
Really ?


Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2012, 07:07 PM
To be honest, if it wasn't for the talk on this forum, I'd never know the AKA existed.

Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on August 06, 2012, 07:14 PM
To be honest, if it wasn't for the talk on this forum, I'd never know the AKA existed.

Denny
If it wasn't for this forum we wouldn't know you existed either.  :(


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on August 06, 2012, 07:24 PM
The irony is that the talking is all happening here. Anyone who's been on the AKA forum would know that almost *no* talking goes on there. The sound of crickets.

This forum will do just fine with or without an AKA, and that's fine by me.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2012, 07:24 PM
To be honest, if it wasn't for the talk on this forum, I'd never know the AKA existed.

Denny
If it wasn't for this forum we wouldn't know you existed either.  :(

Do you have a point ?
Its people like you that have kept me away from the AKA.

Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: boomertype on August 06, 2012, 08:44 PM
To be honest, if it wasn't for the talk on this forum, I'd never know the AKA existed.

Denny
If it wasn't for this forum we wouldn't know you existed either.  :(

Do you have a point ?
Its people like you that have kept me away from the AKA.

Denny
Just trying to add a touch of humor.
The AKA is full of people that like to laugh.
Guess you wouldn't fit.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2012, 09:31 PM
I'm happy not fitting in or supporting the AKA in any way. I'd much rather my money went to support kite shops and kite makers than a bunch of over inflated egos.

Denny


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteman on August 07, 2012, 06:16 AM
Boomertype, that was funny! I didn't mean joining would save this country. Any act of kindness won't hurt.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: rncembal on August 07, 2012, 08:47 AM
To be honest, if it wasn't for the talk on this forum, I'd never know the AKA existed.

Denny
Really?
This forum is the result of work by AKA members, Steve now Dan before. You fly the kites that were developed by early AKA members. Doing tricks perfected for AKA competitions. The fact that times have changed and we find information and socialize differently than in the past should lead you to discount the influences the AKA had on the kiting world you know or what it may provide in the future.
Ron pointed out more discussion here than on the AKA site. I'm very guilty of that I just can't spend that time on several forums. I  have facebook account and I read and post here. That enough of a time suck. I know there are many other forums and groups.
 To label the AKA as all about egos is kind of douchey. The vast majority of members are not into the politics and leadership they don't all compete. They are into kites and wanting to share that. No you don't need to be a member to go out and do that. You can have an extra kite to share and help people having trouble flying. 
As a kite person more than a kite industry person I support a centralized clearing house for our group. I also support the anarchy of many clubs with no dues and meetings along with those that have big treasuries and do all sorts or work. If you want to not be a member fine but it's about you,not the we that choose to be part of it because we'd love to have you included.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: glider on August 07, 2012, 09:12 AM
I renewed my AKA membership a while back.  I think the magazines are still coming so I guess it is still current. 

I re-upped and got my girlfriend to join after taking part in a private conversation with two prominent leaders of AKA.  The annual convention was coming to the local beach and I was waffling about paying the money to officially attend the convention.  These two leaders told me that people should not be "freeloaders" and should pay for the convention if they plan to be at the same beach. 

I was happy to see AKA coming to the local beach.  But since I was not competing, since I had very little time off work, and because I would be spending the time as a vacation with the GF, it was hard to justify paying for the convention.  In the end, we joined and I paid the money for the convention mostly so my GF and I could go to dinner with all our friends.    It was a ton of money with virtually no benefit to me.  I regret that decision.  The statement by these two leaders that if someone shows up to a public beach where the AKA is being held, and doesn't pay for a convention, he is a freeloader really stuck with me.  On the field, I never stepped foot inside the roped off area. I did not participate in a single workshop.  Freeloader?  I've spent thousands of dollars at kite shops.

On the field, I heard one of these two leaders on the PA system saying fields were reserved for AKA flyers, not "some yahoo off the street".  This was announced to the crowd.  If I were a spectator, that attitude would have been a total turn off.  I'd have thought, you can keep your little organization.  Another popular sentiment among organizers was that the convention is for the "best of the best" and the general public should find a different occassion to participate in kiting.   Is exclusivity a good thing when it comes to the AKA convention?

I've been part of volunteer organizations.  I know it is thankless work.  But there has to be little humility.

If JB is running I'll back him. 
Maybe we can get some changes in place that would help streamline competitions. 
Maybe a more humble, more open attitude will help grow the organization. 
Perhaps the AKA forum would become a fun place. 
Maybe parts of the AKA conventions could be open to yahoos of the street, where it could serve to draw people in rather than leave a nasty taste in their mouths.

Time to make sure my membership is current.

Dave


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: adx1592 on August 08, 2012, 05:39 PM
Honestly if John becomes president I'd renew. I trust where he wants kiting to go, and the effort he puts into it.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: johnguz76 on August 08, 2012, 05:54 PM
I have been a longtime member of the AKA and will continue to do so.My family membership expires in 2015.I support John Baressi in his bid for AKA president.I did however elect not to renu my WKA membership.I just feel WKA isnt right for us and meetings are 2 hours away even though headquarters are only 30 min..


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on August 08, 2012, 06:37 PM
I re-upped and got my girlfriend to join after taking part in a private conversation with two prominent leaders of AKA.  The annual convention was coming to the local beach and I was waffling about paying the money to officially attend the convention.  These two leaders told me that people should not be "freeloaders" and should pay for the convention if they plan to be at the same beach. 
While I think it's correct that AKA reps _need_ to push people paying for the convention if they are going, I don't agree with the cost or the current set up. As I said, I completely understand the argument for the high fee.

I agree that this really does serve to alienate many AKA members. I know of _many_ people who don't go... but would go if they could pay a reduced price. But this has been discussed, discussed and discussed some more. I think many other things need to change before this will be possible. Dumping an over paid festival manager is/was a good start.

 
If JB is running I'll back him. 
Maybe we can get some changes in place that would help streamline competitions. 
Maybe a more humble, more open attitude will help grow the organization. 
Perhaps the AKA forum would become a fun place.
If I understand it correctly, John is running unopposed.

I think John will make a good President. But also don't know that anyone who wanted the position would make a bad president. But keep in mind, the President of the AKA does not call the shots... just ask anyone who has been President. It takes the the entire board backing the President for much to change. The more the President wants to change things (I fear) the more difficult it will be to get those things changed.

But as I've said before, these things don't bother me personally. For me, it's not what the AKA is about and it does not affect me at all. I support the AKA for the reason's I mentioned in prior posts and if something good happens, GREAT. If it does, no big deal.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: RonG on August 09, 2012, 02:48 AM
But keep in mind, the President of the AKA does not call the shots... just ask anyone who has been President. It takes the the entire board backing the President for much to change. The more the President wants to change things (I fear) the more difficult it will be to get those things changed.

+1

If they don't walk in with a hand-picked Board (and most don't/can't), don't count on much change at all.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: mikenchico on August 09, 2012, 06:24 PM
Good deal Tobie. I'm happy to see you jumping in with both feet and more. Although we haven't made it over to Clear Lake yet to meet you I think you might make a great district rep, new ideas and all.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on August 10, 2012, 10:45 AM
I called Mel and told him i was interested. I live in Clearlake California in Region 11 and did not want my area to go unrepresented. I don't know anything about the passed goings on of the AKA I just know there are some great people out there in the kiting world and I would like to add to that list.

This was just sent out from the AKA:

"Ballots are in the mail! Due to a by-law change, only those that were members as of August 1 will receive a ballot. If you do notreceive by September 1, please contact the office. Please be sure to vote.

Region 11 will need to write in a candidate. There are rumors of a volunteer. Watch your email for an update"

You might be this "volunteer" but if you are running (even unopposed) the I don't think you'd be "volunteering for the RD position. You may want to follow up on your request to run. Perhaps you are already working on this situation.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DGomberg on August 10, 2012, 12:10 PM
Earlier in this thread, I mentioned it is time for AKA to once again re-invent itself. Change or become obsolete. John is in a good place to make those changes. Right person for the job.

His success will depend in large part on his ability to recruit qualified and hard working officers, to develop a vision, and to build a consensus among the larger Board. I wish him success.

Someone mentioned the "best of the best" at convention. That was originally a change to address the problem of 200 sport kite fliers showing up ready to compete at nationals. We needed to know how many people were coming so we could manage time and arrange judges for heats. But the problem of too many competitors is an anachronism. So John may want to change that.

Overpaid convention manager? Organizing the convention is incredibly complex. Contracts, meals, fields, auditoriums, workshops, meetings. It is like doing Wildwood, Fort Worden, and the Lincoln City Indoor Festival all at once! A manager's cost, spread over 400 attendees is not a problem. Spread over 200 is a big problem. We'll see how we do this year with a volunteer in charge. The big question is, who will volunteer next year?

Convention costs are also a function of what facilities charge us. Wildwood Convention Center and meals were costly. Enid is cheap -- but I'd be surprised if we get 200 people there.

Freeloaders? I hate that kind of divisive rhetoric. But when registered conventioneers are paying all the costs, there is natural resentment when other kiters show up to enjoy the atmosphere -- especially when some try to edge onto the fields or workshops.

But calling people names is unnecessary.

We always say "It's just kites." But AKA is a corporation and needs to be carefully managed. Some of you may remember when I was elected in 2000 and discovered we were losing money every month and would be out of reserves in eight weeks. We needed to make big changes fast-- and we did!  Had a great Exec, fine Board, and good staff.

Good people can disagree about practices and priorities. Sadly, we've become disagreeable about how we do that.

Again, I wish John and his team well.

David


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: KiteLife on August 11, 2012, 05:04 PM
Thanks to those who have expressed their confidence... As for anyone who isn't so sure or just doesn't care, I guess there's nothing to say - only the coming year(s) will tell, assuming I'm elected.

I know 95% of the folks who will be helping to drive this thing in 2013, I've reconnected and spoken with nearly everyone over the past 2 days and I'm really pleased with the general response and outlook for the future.

I'm not going to "campaign" (unopposed or otherwise), and I'm not going to ask for your vote...

That's your business - mine will be to try and help mediate and direct the coming administration so that we can completely and finally move past the politics and in-fighting, most of which to speak quite frankly, can be heavily attributed to:

- Old personal conflicts
- Old organizational battles fought, long since gone
- Tireless, thankless work from many for relatively little tangible return
- A general dissatisfaction with the state of organized kiting in North America

None of that has to do with NOW, or the long series of small stones that need to be turned for change.

I'm juggling the mix of officer, director and committee representation to keep the institutional knowledge (I've been 3 years absent from the board and have never dealt with contracts, etc)...

I'm also working to get an influx of fresh perspectives and some real, tangible action from ACTIVE fliers that you'll have to judge for yourself over the time it takes to accomplish.

Honestly, I'm going to let you have it...

I don't care what folks think about me or my abilities, it has no bearing on what I'll likely have to contend with.

All I'll have to offer is proof of action - so I guess we'll see, for better or worse. :)

There are no other candidates, so if nothing else, I'm the best of what's left.

(ha, I should go make buttons with that slogan)

Thanks all, just for being here - ever onward.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Dano on August 11, 2012, 06:20 PM
JB,

You dont need to solicite my vote...

You'll get it, Buddy!

thanks!!


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: sunsetflyers on August 11, 2012, 07:03 PM
i had chimed in earlier and also let my membership lapse now that john is running i will be acctivating my membership again not blowing smoke up any bodys butt i personally think john is just what the aka needs new blood aka is a great organization i left for personal reasons maybe that is not right and i am sorry for that


 steve


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: Jynx on August 11, 2012, 07:17 PM
JB ~ You've got a lot on your plate here! I am pleased that you are willing to take-on the challenge! I look forward to seeing what your energy can produce!

Go Get 'Em (us)!   ;D 


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: kiteking on August 11, 2012, 08:42 PM
Got my ballot in the mail today,

looking forward to 2013 convention


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on September 16, 2012, 09:08 AM
This topic is a little old and I have mentioned this but today I'm getting emails about new kite events. Let me ask this question... if you attend any kite festival/event, how many would not exist if it were not for the AKA insurance? Think about that for a moment.

In addition to that, how many kite events would not exist if it were not for the AKA? Not just the ones that you attend but all of the events.

Is it worth $45/year for you to know that you are supporting all of the kite fliers that attend all of those events? What about all of the future kiters that attend those events? That is, those who see how wonderful kite flying can be and they go out and buy a kite. They buy a kite from those that make kites.

Is this worth $45/year? But wait... there is more. If you join, the AKA will through in 4 editions of the Kiting magazine... just for going the AKA!  :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: KiteLife on September 28, 2012, 02:28 PM
Well said Todd - in this regard, I think it comes down to the distinction between folks who purely fly for themselves and don't have any interest in the "kiting movement" versus folks that want to preserve and grow kiting as a greater vehicle for art, culture, sport and international interaction.

To each their own, it's now up to the AKA (it's collective volunteers - folks like us) to revamp their value for members, and for those who have some faith to jump in behind and push (or get up front and lead - ahem), even simply by way of membership and support.

Looking forward to 2013... Looks like I may actually end up in the hot seat, anxious to get started with the help of the many knowledgable and passionate people who are already involved. :)

The hammer drops evening of October 3rd, new leadership takes over on the 16th.

Look to Kitelife's home page (link below) for our annual daily updates from the convention (Oct 2-6 reports, likely to be published daily Oct 3-7), and consider subscribing to Kitelife while you're there... Some good benefits, and it helps me keep on kicking ass for better or worse. :)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: DWayne on September 28, 2012, 11:01 PM
Considering the fact that the "kiting movement" is virtually nonexistent, I'd say you need to seriously reassess what's going on at the AKA. Because what they've been doing isn't working.

Denny


Title: Re: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: tcope on September 29, 2012, 07:08 AM
"They" as in "we"? Replace those pronouns and read the post again. See if it changes the meaning.


Sent from my Samsung S3


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: fidelio on September 30, 2012, 04:14 AM
Yes, if you replace words, the meaning changes; that's how language works.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: indigo_wolf on September 30, 2012, 10:49 AM
Yes, if you replace words, the meaning changes; that's how language works.


The Office - Rimshot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obKLdou0LH0#ws)

and for no apparent reason....

LOL Cats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcVyl9X3gFo#)

ATB,
Sam


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: ko on September 30, 2012, 01:36 PM
SAM,SAM,SAM! As always you nailed it (not sure what but ___)


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: SparkieRob on October 01, 2012, 01:07 AM
I joined up. I'm new into kiting, this year and in Australia to boot! Region 13, the rest of the world I think. I don't know of the history or the politics. But if JB is driving I'm coming along! I don't use the term "someone I aspire to be" much but the way John conducts himself is nothing short of an example and I can't wait to meet him and shake his hand.

The 10% discount doesn't hurt either.


Sent via Tapatalk for iPhone.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: KiteLife on October 08, 2012, 11:35 AM
Todd: they = we = spot on.

The primary difference now may be that we have a younger, more tech-savvy and outward-bound perspective from the top down... I posted this on the AKA Facebook page yesterday:

Quote
The focus *here* is the AKA, and it's existence as the North American vessel for 50 years of kiting... Stay involved, sharing your favorite kite resources, educating each other, turning new people onto kiting, get them connected with the kite family at large.

Ever onward, I'll just be one of many with the bugle, ideas and a grin... Stay tuned through AKA channels (here, forum, email, Kiting magazine) for projects and ideas that you might have an interest in.

The key here, is that "the AKA" is and always has been a collection of kitefliers who either participate or contribute their time and expertise to necessary organizational or development aspects - many hands and practical (attainable) tasking makes light work if enough folks get involved, I hope to facilitate this process best I can and am looking forward to it.

Huge tip of the hat to Barbara Meyer for taking the helm for these past 3 years... With the help of countless other folks (most of whom are staying on), she has put the AKA in a relatively stable (although lean) position going into 2013 - safe to say it's what we make of it from here, and I'm grateful for the clean start - thank you Barbara.

Most of you know my style - I'm a doer first, lead by example.


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: thief on October 08, 2012, 02:22 PM
Todd: they = we = spot on.

The primary difference now may be that we have a younger, more tech-savvy and outward-bound perspective from the top down..
I wish you the best of luck.....I hope that is what the AKA needs....


Title: Re: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse
Post by: KiteLife on October 08, 2012, 02:53 PM
For anyone on Facebook who like to see what's flowing on my plate...

https://www.facebook.com/barresij (https://www.facebook.com/barresij)

Gonna give you more insight into my angles, if you're interested.

If not, I hope to meet you on a field sometime. ;)