Mickey Housel our USARM member, webmaster, Grid Editor and publisher has been in the hospital with major surgery to his other leg that has resulted in amputation. Due to these circumstances, the website has not been updated but your MotoGP applications are on file with the Event Chairman, Ted Kuwada. I ask that all members say a special prayer for Mickey in their nightly prayers. Mickey should be back home by the time you read this and you can send him a personal email through our USARM site. - Your 2009 Board
New Secured Membership Website
We are proud to announce that we have a new secure website for our members, https://www.usarm.net/. This website is for USARM members to be able to Join USARM or Update (register) their membership and update their contact & medical information, etc. You can also pay for your membership via PayPal when you join or renew. You can also allow (or not) other registered USARM members to be able to view your contact information. You choose whether your email, phone numbers, mailing address is displayed or if all three can be displayed. Only registered and confirmed USARM members will be allowed in to the password protected areas of this website so you don't have to worry about just anyone being able to view your information. This website uses an SSL certificate which means that any and ALL information passed between your computer and the website is encrypted with 256 bit encryption.
Those that have already registered on this USARM website can use the same username and password that you have. If you have registered previously but don't remember your username and password, please contact the USARM webmaster. For more information on this please see our website at http://usarm.org.
MotoGP application deadline be is May 8th which is fast approaching and can be downloaded in either Word or PDF formats at our http://usarm.org website. Get your application(s) in today to reserve your place for the big race over the 4th of July weekend and celebrate our 50 year anniversary.
The USARM Board has decided to go "Green" and thus a new era begins for the USARM Grid. There might be some that have internet access that still would like a printed version of the Grid. Choose below which version of the Grid you'd like to download for print. You can get a color or black and white version in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
If you do not have Microsoft Office to open the DOC file you can download Open Office which is open-source software which will allow you to open and print the DOC files. You will need Adobe Acrobat to be able to print the PDF files. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
2009 April Grid Downloads
Those members that have not renewed their membership by April 30, 2009 will not receive another issue the Grid until they renew their membership. Only members with current membership can work an event, so non-current members will be removed from all worker lists. Again please remember that dues are due the first of each year. Please help us control cost and pay promptly each year.
From the Presidents Desk
A Golden Anniversary
Hello Race Fans,
Well, Spring is in the air and racing is in full swing. USARM has already completed the Skip Barber races for the Spring and will continue in the fall. Porsche Club has held 2 events and more on the way. Other Club events are all underway, and time till the MotoGP is less than 3 months away and counting, and a contract has been completed for this year.
United States Auto Race Marshals first incorporated back in 1959, some 50 years ago. So we will celebrate a rather impressive Golden Anniversary this year which will be held on Saturday night at the MotoGP worker campgrounds. We will be having a BBQ from Famous Dave's in Gilroy who did last years dinner as well. USARM will hold its annual meeting as required by the by-laws in conjunction with dinner, worker awards, guest speakers, and voting on several historic issues will take place. We want ALL USARM members to be present at the Annual Banquet and corporate meeting, so even if you're not working the bike races, please come and join us. I promise you won't regret it. Directions and information about access to the banquet should be out by June for access to the Laguna Seca /Mazda Raceway on Saturday night. For the moment, please send your name to our Secretary, Jan Kaufman to be included on the list. We will use your current contact information from our website to mail all tickets and acceptance letters in the future, so please ensure the information is correct and current.
So in closing, please get your MotoGP applications in and try our new on-line application and payment through PayPal at our secure website https://usarm.net. Make sure while you're there to update your contact and vital information including medications and allergies. Take a few minutes and read the on-line handbook which is in the process of being updated (on the .org site), because there will be a test! LOL!
See you at the races,
2009 USARM President
Why do we talk about safety and being safe so much? Because racing is a dangerous business. It is dangerous for the drivers (riders); it is dangerous for officials and corner workers. It is even dangerous for the fans. How many fans have been injured or even killed over the years in locations they considered completely safe.
From the moment you drive through the front gates into a racing facility, you must consider yourself in danger. With that in mind, it pays to always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. You don't have to be out on the course to get seriously injured. Just walking through the paddock can be a hazardous proposition.
Working actually on or near the racing surface brings with it a whole new set of rules regarding your personal wellbeing. Never take anything for granted. Always be checking your environment. Look over your shoulder; keep your ears tuned to unusual sounds. Watch out for your fellow workers, especially when working around a "live" track. However, don't assume anybody is watching your back but you. Never put yourself in jeopardy for a racer. It may sound tactless, but he paid for the privilege of putting himself in harm's way. Don't you.
The best time to prepare yourself for a safe corner-working experience is before the racing starts. Don't wait until disaster strikes to plan your escape route. Go over in your mind what types of things might be needed to keep you safe during the event.
Good clothing is a must: always wear as much white as possible if you are going to be working on the side of the track (unless your position calls for other colors). It will help you to be seen by racers. Cotton is best-it breathes better, it is usually lighter weight, and it won't support combustion or melt onto your skin near heat as some man-made fabrics will. Wear a hat-it will keep the sun (or rain) from your eyes when you need to see traffic. Wear sturdy shoes-they protect your feet. Carry a whistle-use it for signaling other workers and racers. Make sure it is on a breakaway lanyard if it is around your neck. You don't want it to catch on a vehicle that is moving. Wear gloves, preferably a heat resistant type like Nomex. Leather can shrink onto your hands under severe heat conditions. Always have plenty of liquids handy, water is best. Wear sunscreen.
Now for the part that nobody wants to contemplate: CALAMITY. A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed is approaching your position without warning and you have nanoseconds to react. What are you going to do? It is difficult to practice this scenario without actually being in the situation. However, you can do some pre planning. If you are going to be working an area you have never been before, prepare yourself. As you approach your new corner for the first time, map out entrance points and exit routes. Play "what if" and go over what could possibly happen if a racer lost control in any part of the turn. If you are going to be in a fixed position for most of the time and not moving around (such as a flagger), plan your escape route or "bailout" path. Know where you will go and what you will do before the time comes. With this in mind, always be mindful of ANYTHING that will obstruct that path. Chairs, coolers, flag stands, people (tell that photographer he cannot stand there unless he wants to get run over when you bail). When the time comes, don't wait until the last moment-leave. Hopefully, you've practiced enough in your mind that your body will react correctly. And, please, take your buddy with you. He will thank you for it. Believe me.
These are some of things to consider in making your racing experience a safer experience. Hopefully, this will also contribute to it being a more enjoyable time as well.
Presented by your USARM training Committee
Treasurer's 2 Cents Worth
Before I give the Treasurers' Report on our present state of financial affairs, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Rich "Rosebud" Vlastelica and I've been elected by the 2009 Board of Directors to be the USARM Treasurer.
I was once told by my mentor who was a CPA and also my father, that the most important person in any organization is the Treasurer. His role is imperative to the club. And to be asked to accept that position means that your peers think very highly of you. They have put their total faith and trust in you and you must not compromise that trust and take therefore take the position very seriously. Accountability is the most important part of the position. Without having full knowledge of just how large of a task I was inheriting, I accepted the position with one footnote attached, "I don't own a computer" and that all the bookkeeping would be done the "old school way" by hand and adding machine using the checks and balance method.
I am several months and boxes into the project and along with the checks and balance method, I have begun to categorize all the income and expenses, both from the years past and current. Not only will this help us sort through and organize the books from the past several years, but it will also help us in the future when considering things like the annual budget.
In the process of building our new corporate identity and structure, we must dot all the "i-s " and cross all our "t-s" and become financially responsible, being accountable for our actions. In today's economic landscape we need to see that every dollar spent in the best interest of the club. We have begun several steps to obtain these goals. For example, we are now getting 2-3 bids for large ticket items rather than just making deals with friends. We are working closely with the club's corporate attorney to make sure that we are abiding by corporate law. We have completed the inventory of all our assets, from fire bottles, flags and such and matching these assets with the original invoices to determine their value, depreciation and life expectancy. In this process, we have discovered that they our current inventory does not match the numbers purchased. We will be working to improve the system to prevent future losses such as this.
Accountability is my top priority, as is the financial wellbeing of this club. We are just now getting a more accurate assessment of the club's financial position. The problems we face as a club, financially, didn't happen overnight and I predict that it will be several more months before we truly gain a handle on it all. There is no quick fix and some of the issues run deeper than numbers. But I promise you that I will continue to work at it until the numbers add up.
Want to have your voice heard? Anything you send in via email, phone or post will be added to the agenda for the next board meeting and we will get back to you with the results. You may also join us for our regular scheduled board meeting via Concall. Board Meetings are regularly scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. At this time the Board Meetings for the remainder of the year should be . . .
March 17th, April 21st, May 19th, June 16th, July 21st, August 18th, September 15th, October 20th, November 17th and December 15th.
The Concall information is available from Jan so just give call or send an email and she can provide you with the phone number and pin information.
State of Affairs
This is a vey small portion of what your Board of Directors has been up to. I'd like to bring everyone up to speed on the organizational aspects of your club.
First, the Board has been cleaning house, so to speak. We inherited a large number of open items from the minutes that needed to be addressed from previous years. In January, February and March, we worked many hours on closing or taking action on all the old issues at hand. You'll notice this when you read the February and March Minutes. We have closed many of those items and taking real action on the most important and urgent issues that affect our future.
The most important issue that has lain dormant for years was the corporate entity. United States Auto Race Marshals first incorporated back in 1959, some 50 years ago. So we celebrate a rather impressive birthday this year which will be held on Saturday night in the MotoGP worker campgrounds. A second incorporation took place in 1995. We have always been incorporated as a non-profit organization, but other aspects such as tax-exempt status were never completed by the previous corporation attorney which was unknown to the board(s). Through these years the Board also never performed the required corporate statements as evidenced by several unopened letters at the bottom of the boxes turned over to our current Treasurer, Rosebud. Rosebud is highly educated in finances. He has spent several hundreds of hours digging through 3 boxes, organizing everything and re-creating the last 5 years of our financial records. He uncovered several areas of concern and has raised those to the board. He has also created a complete financial accounting system for the club that will serve us well going forward. We owe Rosebud a special thank you for all his hard work which has often involved 24 straight hours trying to organize our financial details. THANK YOU, BUD!!!
What the new board has done was to address the issues with the old corporation which, were many. I have personally met with many of the ex-directors to review the issues uncovered. We also contacted several attorneys and came to the conclusion that the best step forward was to form a new organization. We then hired a law firm that specializes in doing just that, setting up new corporations. This time around the Directors, Committee chairs and Webmaster have been getting training with our lawyer every 2 weeks and this will continue over the next 3 months. We are 4 sessions in and have learned so much from our wonderful legal staff. Each year in the future, our corporate law firm will be having a session with the new Directors and bringing them up to speed on how to stay current and legal in the future.
We are setting up the new corporation as a "mutual benefit membership" type organization. The mission statement reflects our commitment to safety through trained workers for various motor sports venues. All members from the Directors down will be going through a more formalized training program this year. In fact everyone will be required to have taken a course prior to working any events once the program is in place. We will not be a tax-exempt corporation and will be paying taxes each year to support our government. The good news is that in setting up the club in this manner means that no member will receive an IRS form 1099 at the end of the year, unless you earn more than $600 during the year, directly from USARM. Most events are paid by the different clubs directly to you, so only a few events such as the MotoGP would fall under this income category.
During the first 3 months that the new BoD of 2009 has been in office, we have sorted out and moved forward leaps and bounds to overcome the actions that has taken place in the past few years. This Club deserves a fighting chance and these last two months have been very painful and difficult. Just know, our new BoD is totally dedicated to insuring the health and longevity of USARM.
The February Board Meeting minutes are available.
Skip Barber Race Finale
March 27-28, 2009
Great weather and good racing were on tap for the final race weekend for the Skip Barber school. Racing was highlighted by a 13 old boy that raced very well for his age in the open wheel class. Here are a few pictures from the awards dinner that all workers were invited. The dinner was great and the awards program was even better. Thank you Nick Nickolson for the great time.
February Bank Transactions
2009 USARM Board of Directors
Here are the 2009 Board of Directors of the United States Auto Race Marshals. The Board of Directors are responsible for the operations and guidance of USARM. This includes the many club events that USARM staffs at many different race tracks, as well as any major events which USARM is involved in, such as the international Moto Grand Prix race held annually at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
If you know someone who is a USARM Member & not getting The Grid,
please let one of the BoD members know & they will be added to the roster.