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Wreaths Across America & Young Marines Enter Partnership

By General Posts

Nonprofits agree to work together to help support common missions of teaching the next generation the values of leadership, citizenship, and freedom.

COLUMBIA FALLS, Me., and ST. CHARLES, Mo. – May 13, 2022 – Yesterday, national nonprofits Wreaths Across America (WAA) and the Young Marines are proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. The signing is to build a stronger awareness for each group’s common missions while supporting educational events throughout the nation.

These events will help teach lessons of character and patriotism to the next generation. WAA’s Director of Military and Veteran Outreach, Joseph Reagan, and Young Marines National Executive Director Col. William Davis signed the MOU live as part of the Young Marines Adult Leadership Conference held in St. Charles, Missouri.

To watch the video of yesterday’s signing, please click here or visit https://vimeo.com/709265876/c5414c677a .

The MOU between the two groups outlines key agreements that establish a framework for cooperation between WAA and the Young Marines. This includes collaborative volunteer efforts to provide opportunities for joint community service activities that bring awareness to both groups’ missions throughout the country, and regular feature interviews on Wreaths Across America Radio. The interviews will highlight youth participants’ academic achievement, community service, good citizenship, and other attributes.

“As a program whose core mission focuses on teaching the next generation the value of freedom, supporting and working with leadership groups like the Young Marines is critical to the future of this country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, WAA. “These kids are learning not only what it means to be a productive member of society, they are learning that anyone can find a way to serve their community, and what it truly means to be an American.”

“The Memorandum of Understanding solidifies the two organizations’ commitments to citizenship, leadership, and memorializing our nation’s veterans,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “We were especially proud to host the signing at the Young Marines’ Adult Leadership Conference at which hundreds of volunteers were witnesses. The Young Marines and WAA are truly partners who have analogous values.”

Founded in 2007, and headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine, WAA is best known for its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, and now at more than 3,100 participating locations nationwide. The organization’s yearlong efforts support its mission to Remember our fallen U.S. veterans, Honor those who served, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom.

Young Marines has more than 238 units including thousands of youth members, most of whom have been placing veterans’ wreaths throughout the country for many years. The MOU will only heighten awareness of this task of respect and honor.

The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, aged eight through high school graduation. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members and focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork, and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

About Wreaths Across America: Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, and Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
For more information or to sponsor a wreath please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

About Young Marines: The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through high school graduation. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork, and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 238 units with 6,100 youth and 2,100 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: https://youngmarines.org.

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Women and Growth in Gun Ownership & Firearms Industry

By General Posts

Contributions American women make to the firearm and ammunition industry – past, present and future

by Larry Keane from www.TheTruthAboutGuns.com

March is Women’s History Month and there’s no better opportunity to celebrate the contributions American women make to the firearm and ammunition industry – past, present and future.

Women have accounted for 40 percent of firearm sales over the past two years.

Click Here to read this Feature Article on Bikernet.com

Check Out our “Celebrate Women” section – Click Here

National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced

By General Posts

Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities.

What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths.

The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome. From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006.

To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives:

  • Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users.
  • Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to help achieve some of these goals. For example, $14 billion in new funding was specifically allocated for road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also announced plans this week to increase the data it collects on crashes. The agency wants to boost the number of crashes investigated and add additional studies that examine crashes involving medium-duty trucks, pedestrians, and workers who are hit on the road.

We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are encouraged to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a complete view of traffic safety, incorporating multiple factors to make our roadways safer. We also remain committed to the theory of crash avoidance, as a crash that doesn’t happen is always safer than one that does.

To get more detail and read the 41 page report click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
See website at: http://mrf.org/

Bandit Lights an Xmas Fire

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Bandit’s Cantina Episode 96 : a 2021 Christmas story

by K.Randall Ball

Bandit looked around at the dozen or so kids and looked at the sleek classic chopper with highbars he was building. The Knucklehead engine and transmission were now in place.

Marko approached and whispered something into Bandit’s ear, “Exactly,” Bandit added.

It was the week after Thanksgiving. Marko disappeared for a minute and returned with a couple of large boxes marked, “Xmas.”

“We need to do something to brighten Christmas for these kids. I’m going to paint the Chopper red and white for the holidays.” said Bandit.

CLICK HERE To Read the Christmas Episode of Bandit’s Cantina – The Series.

Join the Cantina to read all the Episodes – a live ever-growing series.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/cantina_the_series.aspx

The Flying Wrens: Sisterhood of Motorcycling Heroes

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All-Female British dispatch riders of WW-II

Originally, the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was formed in 1917, during WW-I.

Riding on narrow British roads in all weather conditions can be a dangerous enough occupation. Doing so around the clock during WW-II with the German Blitz going on around you required steel nerves.

The bikes used were mostly small, single-cylinder affairs, built specifically for military use.

Click Here to Read this Feature Article & Historic Photos on Bikernet.com

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Motogo teaching confidence, building grit through motorcycles

By General Posts

by Taylor Bruck from https://www.mynews13.com

CLEVELAND — Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some learn better through reading and writing and others are kinesthetic learners, which is another way of saying “hands-on.”

What You Need To Know

  • The nonprofit Motogo teaches young people life skills through motorcycles
  • They teach students how to take apart a motorcycle and put it back together
  • They do that by bringing back shop class through partnerships with schools and community organizations
  • Motogo helps students learn from their failures and build self-confidence, resilience and grit

“I’ve always been a hands-on learner, and I can relate to students who have a hard time sitting still in class. I think I played sports my whole life because that’s how I learned. I learned by doing and using my hands,” said Molly Vaughn, the executive director of Motogo, a nonprofit in Cleveland.

With a majority of funding tied to high test scores in schools, many districts in the U.S. eliminated their shop classes in the 70s or 80s. She and her husband Brian Schaffran are bringing it back.

“He’s the head coach at Motogo. I love being his boss,” said Vaughn.

Schaffran owns Skidmark Garage, and in 2017 alongside Vaughn, the two founded its nonprofit educational wing, Motogo. Motogo is a mobile shop class with a mission to teach kids to solve problems and build grit and confidence through building motorcycles.

Schaffran is a former high school math and history teacher. It wasn’t until he could use his hands that he really fell in love with learning.

“Once I just learned by doing, then that woke my motivation up to take as many college classes as I could and learn as much as I could about everything in the world,” said Schaffran. “Getting a kid to memorize is one thing, but getting a kid to love to learn is the ultimate goal, and shop class helps some students wake up that love of learning.”

He’s not alone. Many people prefer to learn by doing.

“I find it easier, like when you’re actually like in the field doing something, not just like reading off a book,” said Liam Michael, a junior at Saint Martin de Porres High School, a school currently hosting an after-school Motogo program.

“It’s different. I’s something I never thought about doing so it’s fun doing it and learning,” said Maladdia Williams, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo has already been in more than 20 different schools and community organizations. They offer quarter-long and full semester in-school and out-of-school STEM curriculums, as well as week-long summer camps for middle and high school students.

“It helps me figure out what I want to do. I mean, the more knowledge, the better,” said Elijah Williams, a sophomore at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

“I learned a lot about the tools. Like I really didn’t know any tool names or like all the different sizes and stuff,” said Summer Onwundinjo, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo aims to be that outlet to teach young people that there’s a place for everyone to succeed in life, regardless of what motivates them.

“This isn’t a boy’s world, and this isn’t a boy’s job. This is everybody’s job,” said Schaffran. “Girls are better at this and should be trying this and should be getting their hands dirty. And I hope that it’s going to take a generation or two, but I think this is the beginning of a permanent change in who gets to do what, and who’s better at what, and who gets to experience this kind of confidence and victories.”

Motogo also aims to give them the physical and metaphorical tools to succeed in life, helping young people realize that failing is just another word for learning. If at first effort doesn’t work, try and try again.

“We just want to be one opportunity, maybe find the kids that haven’t found that thing that sparks them yet,” said Vaughn. “We’re really a unique opportunity to make someone feel valued, who feels left out, whether a student wants to go into a manufacturing career or they want to go into something more like becoming a doctor or a lawyer, or they’re going to be a stay-at-home parent one day. It doesn’t really matter what the end product is. We know that by taking shop classes again, that it’s going to rewire their brain to kind of think about the way you approach the world differently.”

“A lot of people don’t know that they can fix the world around them and they don’t have the confidence to even try most of the time. Hopefully, after going through a Motogo course, they just gain a little bit more nerve, a little bit more confidence than they’re willing to try and grab a tool and figure it out and problem solve,” said Schaffran. “Whatever problem that someone comes across, I hope that they say to themselves, well, I rebuilt a motorcycle. If I did that, I can do this.”

For more information on Motogo visit their website.

Free Youth Leadership Program in Driver Education in Canada

By General Posts

Teens in Ontario can now apply for new Vision Zero Youth Network Program.

The Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN) by Teens Learn to Drive Inc. allows teens in Ontario ages 15-19 to gain experience and help make their communities safe.

ONTARIO, CANADA – Non-profit organization, Teens Learn to Drive Inc. (TL2D) is inviting media partners for the launch of its new leadership program for Ontario high school students called the Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN).

In Ontario’s worst case scenario, a 16-year old could:
• Pass the G1 written test after taking 10 to 12 practice tests online. (This test concentrates on sign recognition of the rules of the road, and both are largely forgotten afterwards.)
• Drive back and forth to the grocery store for a year while parents are unaware of what their child is doing on the road.
• Practise the route of a road test a few times before taking the actual assessment – (perhaps in a much less busy region than where they live).
NOTE: During this time, the parent cannot let them drive on 400-series highways.
• On their 17th birthday, pass the 17-minute road test.
• Then pile their friends into the car and head out on the 401 – North America’s busiest road – while driving at high speeds alongside other cars, trucks, motorcycles and emergency vehicles.

If that sounds far-fetched, 62% of new drivers in Ontario do not take formal driver education (2019, MTO data). Instead, they learn from friends and family members who may have bad habits or outdated information.

Vision Zero is an idea that was developed in Sweden during the late 1990s. It aims to eliminate deaths on roads by using systems and infrastructure to lessen the damage when drivers make mistakes. Sweden also strengthened their mandatory driver education system to create safer drivers at the outset, thereby reducing the volume of serious driver errors in the first place. Compared to Sweden, most Ontario drivers start with a serious education gap about winter driving, space management, blind zones, scanning skills and behaviours that affect driving.

The VZYN will help to fill in that gap of driver education by empowering young people to work with police and other partners to create and share road safety messages about topics that concern their region.

This volunteer position is free to Ontario high school students and includes numerous benefits. Selected Ambassadors will earn their 40 Community Service hours, a $500 scholarship, and an expense-paid trip to the VZYN conference in Toronto. In addition, they will also strengthen their skills, portfolios, resumes and networks.

DATE: Wednesday, May 19
Time: 1pm
Location: Via ZOOM
Hosted by: John Derringer of Q107

Motorcycle Ohio Announces Funding for Motorcycle Rider Training

By General Posts

COLUMBUS – Motorcycle Ohio, within the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, is pleased to announce funding assistance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, such as career centers and institutions of higher learning, that are interested in offering certified motorcycle rider training.

Motorcycle Ohio establishes motorcycle safety and education programs to provide affordable motorcycle rider training courses in order to reduce fatalities and injuries on Ohio’s roadways through rider education, public information campaigns, and licensing improvement.

Funding assistance is available to applicants who are interested in offering Basic Rider Skills for beginners, Basic Rider Skills for the returning rider, and Basic Rider Skills – 2 for experienced riders.

Applicants must meet specific parameters and other necessary requirements to be eligible for an award. For more information, visit the Motorcycle Ohio website or email. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2020.

RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

By General Posts

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Capitol Hill Update

Republicans Pressing Democrats
With Democrats now the majority party in the House of Representatives, they control the committee chairmanships and thus control the agenda for each committee. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, who has jurisdiction over autonomous vehicle technology, is now chaired by Frank Pallone of New Jersey. This puts Republicans in a role they not been in since 2010, seeking the help of Democrats to tackle legislative priorities.

Republican Greg Walden of Oregon, the previous chairman and now ranking member as well as Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Bob Latta of Ohio sent Chairman Pallone a letter regarding the need for Congress to act on autonomous vehicles legislation.

“We write to urge the Energy and Commerce Committee to take up bipartisan self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress this Committee worked across party lines to draft H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act (SELF DRIVE Act). The SELF DRIVE Act was an example of this Committee at its very best: working together, across the aisle, to develop legislation that will advance lifesaving technology. As a result of our deliberative, transparent, and bipartisan process, the Committee voted unanimously, 54 yeas and 0 nays, to report the SELF-DRIVE Act to the House floor where it again passed unanimously. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the bill,” Walden, Latta, and Rodgers wrote.

The MRF has and continues to educate members about the safety concerns for motorcyclists and autonomous vehicles. We believe that any bill dealing with autonomous vehicle technology should include provisions that ensure the safety of roadways users including motorcyclists. We will keep you updated on any movement of legislation related to this emerging technology.

Transportation Bill
The current transportation bill, which funds federal surface transportation programs, expires in September of 2020. The previous bill known as the FAST Act provided $281 billion for transportation projects. The Transportation Committee and specifically the Highways Subcommittee has begun the process of drafting the reauthorization bill.

At a recent hearing Highways Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Davis of Illinois laid out his four priorities for new legislation:

“First, the Highway Trust Fund is not able to meet our surface transportation needs as they stand today, let alone our future needs. Congress and the Administration must come together and find a way to shore-up the Highway Trust Fund, providing sustainable funding for our Nation’s surface transportation programs.

Second, while our current surface transportation system has significant needs, we must also begin to prepare for the future. Underinvestment has taken its toll on the system’s ability to move people and freight – we face increasing congestion, delays, and safety issues. Not only is adequate infrastructure investment important to mobility, it also creates jobs and allows our economy to prosper.

Third, as the reauthorization process moves forward, it is essential that we find ways to build more efficiently – to stretch the federal dollar. We need to identify and attack hidden project costs by streamlining the project delivery process and reducing burdensome regulations.

And lastly, by incorporating technologies and other innovations, we have the opportunity to increase safety and efficiency in our surface transportation system.”

The MRF has a meeting scheduled with Congressman Davis in early April to discuss transportation-related issues and ensure that the motorcycle community is not overlooked when Congress addresses transportation issues. We will update you about our conversations in the coming weeks.

Google It
This month the House Motorcycle Caucus updated its website for the 116th Congress. One addition of note is the inclusion of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to the list of “related organizations”. Previously only the American Motorcycle Association and Motorcycle Industry Council were listed in this section of the website.

While not earth-shattering news, this small addition to the website is a simple example of how the MRF continues to raise our profile on Capitol Hill. If you haven’t visited the House Motorcycle Caucus website, we encourage you to take a few seconds and look around.

House Motorcycle Caucus

MRF Event News – Bikers Inside the Beltway 2019
The 11th Annual Bikers Inside the Beltway is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st. Schedule too jammed to attend Bikers inside the Beltway? Please go to www.mrfae.org to make a tax-deductible contribution of $10, $20, $50, or $100 to raise funds needed to offset the administrative and printing costs of sponsoring BITB 2019. Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc. (MRFA&E) is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 and sponsors BITB with an awareness presentation to members of Congress.

OR … Mail your contribution to:
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc.,
2221 S. Clark St.; 11th Floor
Arlington VA 22202

Your support of BITB is greatly appreciated! The efforts to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists could not be done without members such as yourself.

Tiffany & Rocky
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation