08-15-2008, 01:51 PM #1
Some People Need a Sign - AWA Members know better!
Some people need a sign
Aug 15, 2008 - 0416 CDT
By MARK BRAUN
As a lifelong resident of Bismarck and a river rat since the early 1960s, two recent articles in the Tribune have compelled me to respond.
Sam McQuade Jr. was right in his letter to the editor concerning the trash being left behind by what can only be called inconsiderate idiots. My wife and I also crossed the Expressway Bridge on July 5. The mess on the "Broken Oar" sandbar was disgraceful.
Unfortunately, this total lack of class is not limited to just this one sandbar. Someone was nice enough to bag their garbage on Croushoe Island, but then inconsiderate enough to leave it for someone else to haul away. On any given day, trash can be found floating down stream, washed against the shore or left on the bank. Marinas, where residents have tried to live in a relaxing neighborhood, are littered with beer cans and pop bottles. Back bays are polluted beyond use; one is even known as Diaper Bay.
When anyone sees these obvious slobs, they should turn them in! A registration number must be clearly displayed on the side of all watercraft. Write the numbers down and contact the Game and Fish. Be a willing solution to the problem. Mr. McQuade has kindly offered to lead the cleanup of this mess; we should all help.
The second article was on the front page of Sunday's Tribune. Just looking at the pictures explains some of the problems on the river. The first picture shows a young person jumping off the Fox Island dock as another youngster watches. It is unfortunate that the caption did not read, "A young swimmer jumps off a dock clearly posted as not to do so."
The second picture shows three people on a single jet ski. Here the caption should read, "Three guys on a jet ski without flotation devices, a violation of state law." Look at the additional pictures. Other than a "no wake" sign, each picture shows the lack of good judgment by the participants.
Those who are fortunate to live on the water must understand the rights of other users. They must accept that their docks may be in a high-traffic area and subject to wakes.
Those that live in marinas must understand that there will be additional traffic and sightseers in their "backyards." While jet skis are made for speed, the rider must exercise good judgment on the place to use that speed.
Pontoon parties must understand that a marina is also a residential neighborhood and sound and speed should be kept to a minimum. Pontooners need to be aware of the capacity of their craft and not use a standing room only approach.
Rafters and those on canoes should make an effort to use back channels and shallow areas that others cannot. Cruisers and speed boats need to be more conscious of their wakes, especially near landings, swimming areas and passing the Lewis and Clark Riverboat. "No wake" areas mean no wake, not a little wake or reduced wake. "Idle speed only" means just in gear, not reduced speed. If your water craft won't run at idle, and you refuse to have it corrected, you should stay out of idle only areas.
All of this can be corrected with a little common sense and courtesy. When you see an "idiot" on the water, get the registration and turn them in. With enough complaints, law enforcement will correct the problem. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has a water safety course available at no charge. Maybe everyone should be required to pass this course before being allowed to license a watercraft.
Should your readers think that I am biased as to their favorite water spot, please know that I live on the river, in a marina, with a dock. I have two jet skis, a cruiser, a fishing boat, a canoe, a pontoon and a paddleboat. My children and I took, and passed, the water safety course years ago. The only thing I have an agenda against is idiots.
The comedian Jeff Foxworthy is correct, "Some people need a sign."
08-21-2008, 11:27 PM #2
ahh one of the joys of living in the south is that i will never see that in the newspaper...
i will agree to disagree with some of her points.
"Those who are fortunate to live on the water must understand the rights of other users. They must accept that their docks may be in a high-traffic area and subject to wakes."
got me the most frustrated, no wake means no wake. the state does clearly define what areas are defined as such and RESIDENTIAL areas are ALWAYS no wake areas. (in florida, unless waves are constant IE ocean front) just as "unmarked residential streets" have a speed limit of 25MPH. this is to be understood that all residential areas are no wake zones.
lesson learned? check and know your local laws before writing into a newspaper.
it is peps like her that stop minors from swimming and having fun...
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