Response to VT Digger Article on WaterSkiing vs. Rowing

You may have heard about the Great Hosmer Pond issue between the scullers and a water skier/camp owner.  Following are links to articles from Seven Days News and Vermont Digger regarding the issue at hand.

https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/water-rights-scullers-vs-motor-boats-in-craftsbury/Content?oid=3445825

https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/16/pond-rule-change-could-favor-lawyers-power-boat-over-rowers/

What’s important to us is that the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) / Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has started Rule Making with their own process bypassing the Use of Public Waters Rules (UPWR) formerly the Use of Public Waters Policy.  ANR /DEC has been given the responsibility to manage user conflicts on Public Waters.  Why is this important to us?  Water skiing is considered a normal use under UPWR.  To limit water skiing or any other normal use (i.e. quiet use, fishing, etc) a petition must be submitted.  The Petition must explain what the Petitioner has done w/ other users to resolve any issues. Also a rule change needs to be submitted under the specific parameters of the rules (separation, day(s), time of day, speed).  Under UPWR, anyone who feels they want to limit or eliminate water skiing must file a Petition.   On Great Hosmer Pond no petition has been filed. If the ANR/DEC can go straight to Rule Making our rights to the water could easily be in jeopardy.   Under UPWR, a Petition would have to be filed with the Petitioner having to document that they contacted affected users and demonstrate what they did to try to resolve the issue under UPWR section 2 guidelines.  PLEASE READ the UPWR & email below that I sent to ANR/DEC.   The The UPWR can be found at vermont.gov/anr/dec   then click onto Lakes and Ponds on left and go to Quick Links for Use of Public Waters Rules.    You can help by bringing this issue to your local legislators by emailing and/or  calling them.  Go to vermont.gov on the right side of the page to elected officials.  Questions on this matter please call or email me.

Bruce Epstein
Green Mountain Water Skiers – President
CELL:  (802)272-5324
bruce@greenmountainwaterskiers.com

DEC Commissioner Boedecker, ANR Secretary Moore

The Green Mountain Water Skiers (GMWS) have been involved in public water issues for over thirty years.We have worked with the Legislature, other user groups, and individuals to amend state statutes, promote water ski safety, and help resolve conflicts on our public waters.  WE support multi recreational use while recognizing that any public body of water can not necessarily be available to all users all the time.  WE are proud to have been a major player in resolving the conflicts on Waterbury Reservoir that festered through several petitions starting in the late 80s.  The GMWS proposed the idea of Rule Options in a petition submitted to the Water Resources Board (WRB) under the Guidelines of the newly adopted Use of Public Waters Policy (UPWP) .  The Petition was submitted by a coalition of Recreational Users including the GMWS, Friends of Waterbury Reservoir, VT Bass Assoc., VT Personal Water Craft Assoc. and interested individuals.  The new Rules adopted under then Option 2 of the Petition greatly increased the 5 mph/ no wake zones of the Reservoir for quiet use while establishing the siting of 2 water ski courses.  The majority of the Reservoir remained high speed multi recreational use.  The resolution of the intricate user conflicts was made possible by the foresight of the WRB, which was a citizen board.  News of this was spread nation wide that water skiers & quiet users could resolve their differences in VT. 

On behalf of the GMWS, I attempted to contact Commissioner Bodecker’s office yesterday (7/24) about our concern with the Rule Making Procedures for the user conflict resolution on Great Hosmer Pond.  I was informed I could not discuss this subject with her, because the discussions were complete with the involved users. Any comments can only be done by email/letter.  I asked why our organization,which is an effected user group was never contacted?  I was told they could can not contact everyone and there was public notice made.    Comments:

(1)  The GMWS takes issue with the ANR for going to Rule Making w/o following the Use of Public Waters Rules established by State Statute and entrusted to the ANR for their management.  If the ANR proceeds to finalize Rule Making, this will set a  precedent that is potentially harmful to various users of our public waters.  WE believe this is a dangerous slippery slope that will lead to more conflicts and bad decision making.  The original UPWP was established based on the WRB outreach including public hearings held in several locations state wide.  It was the goal of the WRB UPWP “… to provide a basis for both avoiding when possible, and resolving when necessary, conflicts in the use of public waters in a comprehensive and integrated manner so that the various uses may be enjoyed in a reasonable manner, considering the best interests of both current and future generations of the citizens of the State and insuring that natural resource values of the public waters are fully protected.”   WE believe this document has stood the test to time and should not be bypassed  by a State Agency.    The GMWS considers this a breach of public trust.

(2)   Section 2.4 of the UPWR  requires “when establishing either general or specific rules for the use of public waters under 10 VSA Section 1424 the following persons and entities shall be consulted…”  The list includes affected user groups.  Our Organization has never been contact or consulted.  We have a well documented history of involvement on public water issues  for decades. 

(3)  The GMWS recommends the ANR discontinue their current Rule Making process.  We recognize ANR is trying to get the conflicting parties together to resolve their differences, but bypassing the Use of Public Waters Rules the ANR  has been entrusted to use  by establishing new Rule Making procedure is flawed  Public Policy.  The GMWS further recommends that ANR inform the conflicting parties that if they cannot come to a local solution among themselves, a Petition that proposes a specific rule change that fully complies with the provisions UPWR is the only option.  The affected parties should be informed that they are both at risk of being disappointed with the end result if they can not compromise by using the separation, time of day and/or days as tools to resolve their differences.  Different Options could also be provided by joint Petition that would then go to Public Hearing for a fair resolution. This would be very similar to what happened in Waterbury Reservoir.  The frame work for settling this matter has been well established for over 20 years.

Sincerely,
Bruce Epstein, President GMWS
CELL:  (802)272-5324
www.greenmountainwaterskiers.com

CC:  Hard copy Governor Scott

Boat Winterizing Info, Invasive Species Fundraiser

As Fall is officially upon us according to the calendar I thought I would forward some information pertaining to boat winterization. Kenneth Kajenski who owns Ski Marine in Williston, VT reminded me of the importance to be properly winterizing your boat. He says about 99% of the engines and exhaust manifolds he replaces are due to improper winterization. The antifreeze you use should be a propylene glycol with corrosion inhibitor (Pink Fluid) but there is another Pink Fluid propylene alcohol that should not be used. The propylene alcohol will harden rubber seals and causes corrosion. Check the label to ensure you are getting the right stuff. Never use a toxic antifreeze (green stuff) that you put in your car. The pink stuff for recreational vehicles is bio-friendly.  Kenneth also noted the importance of draining your engine block and exhaust manifolds of water prior to flushing/filling with antifreeze. Just running antifreeze through your engine and hoping it replaces the water is not a good idea. I have also attached some winterizing tips from Discount Inboard Marine. If you would prefer to have someone winterize your boat engine for you please contact Kenneth Kajenski at Ski Marine 1-802-879-2050. He is a member of GMWS.

Many lakes in Vermont have been battling invasive plant and animal species: Most notably is Eurasian Milfoil. The Lake Iroquois Association located in the towns of Hinesburgh/Williston/Richmond is raising funds to help fight the nasty weed and improve the water quality in Lake Iroquois. They are holding a fund raiser on Tuesday, October 4 from 5-9 PM at the Hinesburgh Public House Restaurant. There will be a locally sourced three course Community Supper for an inclusive price of $20.00.   Half of the funds raised will support Lake Iroquois Association efforts to improve Lake Iroquois water quality, including milfoil control.  Support this local business and support beautiful Lake Iroquois. If you can attend you get a great meal for a great price and help support the efforts of the Lake Iroquois Association.

If you have paid your dues for the year thank you. If you have not paid your dues for the year it would be greatly appreciated if you would do so. A mere $10.00 for an individual or a mere $15.00 for a family. You can pay your dues here on our website by sending a check or by credit card through PayPal.

Record breaking summer temperature wise. Sure hate to see it ending. Thanks for being a member of Green Mountain Water Skiers!

Sincerely,
Joe Bourgeois
Membership – GMWS

Tournament Results 2015

We had another great season capped by our annual Tom Costello Alan Rossi Slalom Derby tournament.  The weather cooperated again with light winds, sunny skies and temps up near 80.  The day’s best scores was Pat Morrill with 4@38 off 34mph, Bob Radimer 2@38 off 34mph, Bruce Epstein 2@38 off 32mph, Justin Campfield 4@35 off 34mph, and Jon Kusiak 2@35 off 36 mph. For the women Darlene McCormick got 3.5@28 off 32mph.

The day’s real highlights included Joe Bourgeois getting 1.5@35 off 34mph, and the Boys 2 duel between Will Bruzzese and Chase Gulick. This was Joe’s first tournament. Running a pass is the usual measure of success in one’s first tournament, but to get into 35 off is a truly incredible achievement! Big congrats to Joe! The boys put on a great show of their own by getting into 22 off 34mph.  Chase bested Will by one half a buoy with 1.5 @ 22. Both boys exhibited exceptional technique that is reminiscent of Chris Rossi & Jamie Beauchesne at their age. Much appreciation to everyone who worked hard to make our tournament a success.

A big thanks to Fred Costello for yet again providing the t-shirts in memory of Tommy and Alan!

This year’s Alan Rossi Award went to Randy Youngsma. Randy is a past Eastern Regional champ, has put on many tournaments, and has always been a mentor/friend to everyone he’s met, including Alan. We are sure that Alan would be very proud to have Randy the award winner.

Bruce Epstein, President

Bruce Epstein to Compete in World 35+

Our very own GMWS President, Bruce Epstein, will be competing in the World Over 35 Tournament next week at Sunset Lakes in Groveland, FL. Bruce is currently ranked #5 in the world for men 65 and over. Please send good energy his way during the qualifying round on Wednesday and the final on Sunday (see page 6 for schedule).

Bruce placed 2nd at the Nationals in Texas, and Donna placed 5th. Congratulations to both for their skill and consistency (notice the patience on the handle grab in the above photo)! We are truly lucky to have them as resources and friends.

Waterbury Reservoir Water Level in Danger

The Friends of Waterbury Reservoir have noted recent discussion about future management of the water level. A mailing of theirs explains all the detail and this can also be accessed at their “Call to Action” link. GMWS is asking you to either attend the Vt. Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s public information meeting on October 7, 2014, 6:30-8:30 at Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury or write to Jeff Crocker, VT Dept. of Environmental Conservation, 1 National Life Dr., Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3522, and express your concern that the water level be maintained at summer levels as it historically has so that everyone can enjoy the resource.

Tournament 2014

15E016 Tom Costello Alan Rossi Slalom Derby

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Great weather for this year’s tournament. Pat Morrill emerged the victor with a personal best (twice) of 4@38-off! Darlene McCormick was the women’s winner despite Karen Bruzzese’s higher ability. Her son, Will, states that her strategy “isn’t working for her.” We’ll hope for better next year. Scores can be viewed here. Some photos are posted below. Others have been added to the random header images. Send photos if you’d like them included, or become an author and post for yourself.

Alan Rossi Award

The Alan Rossi Award goes annually to the skier/official who best exemplifies the Real Deal spirit of Alan Rossi with a love for our Sport, dedication to tournament skiing, a willingness to help others, and a true friend.  We are very proud to be able to continue the tradition of the Award and the funding of East Region Junior Development along with successful Vermont Clinics that we have had with pro skiers Chris Rossi, Jamie Beauchesne and Nick Parsons.  This could not happen without the generous support from New England ski clubs and individuals.  Contributions to the Alan Rossi Fund can be made by personal check to the Green Mt. Waters Skiers, reference: Alan Rossi Fund. Mail to GMWS, PO Box 877, Waitsfield, VT 065673.

Thank you for your support!!!

Jamie Beauchesne Slalom Clinic Friday August 22

The one & only Jamie B will be here again Friday 8/23.  We will start at the Wrightsville Boat Launch Area at 8:00am sharp.   There will be 16 slots available in half an hour increments by appointment.  Price per round will be reduced to $40 for members with funds provided by the Green Mt. Water Skiers and the Alan Rossi Award Fund.  Payment made to the Green Mt. Water Skiers by Pay Pal using our website www.greenmountainwaterskiers.com.   Please contact me to secure your slot info below.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!!

Bruce Epstein  info@vt-loghome.com  /  (802)272-5324  CELL

Tom Costello / Alan Rossi Slalom Derby AUGUST 23

Our BIG EVENT is almost upon us. We will again be at our beautiful protected calm water site at the Wrightsville Beach. Start time is 7:30 am. We still have openings so if you’re thinking about entering, please do so ASAP. We have had to turn people away in the past and we do not want to disappoint. You can enter online at USA Waterski. Go to Events & Registration. You must be a USA water ski member or guest member to ski. As usual FUN skiers are welcome and do get a mulligan in the first round. We cannot run the event without volunteers. Please consider helping out by contacting me at info@vt-lohome.com and/or (802)272-5324. The one & only Jamie Beauchesne will also be doing a ski clinic Friday August 23. Details in separate Post. SEE YOU THERE!!

Bruce Epstein

Alan Rossi Award 2014

The Alan Rossi Award is presented annually to the skier/official who best exemplifies the Real Deal spirit of Alan Rossi with a love of our sport, dedication to tournament skiing, a willingness to help others, and a true friend.  Last year the award went posthumously to Russ Cole from Mass. who passed suddenly in 2012.  Russ was a hard working great family man and friend to everyone he met and he volunteered much of his time to our sport.   Past winners are posted on our website.  Donations go to Eastern Region Junior Development in Alan’s name and to fund GMWS clinics like the one last year with Jamie Beauchesne.  Please consider nominating anyone who you feel is worthy of this award.  Having such a prestigious award that recognizes individuals who give unselfishly of themselves to others and our sport has great meaning to recipients and family.  Also, please consider donating by check or PayPal to the Green Mountain Water Skiers for the Alan Rossi Award.  It’s a great cause.  Thank You!