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Old 05-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
BroadHopper
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Thumbs down Marine Patrol to eliminate auxiliary

The Marine Patrol will be eliminating the inspections at town docks. The MP staff is reduced by 20% due to budget cuts.

http://www.citizen.com/news/laconia_...a4bcf6878.html

I remember Dir. Barrett statement to the representatives back in 2007 that there are only 90 officers on duty at a time to patrol over 300 lakes, ponds, rivers etc. as well as the ocean. A tremendous job for the marine patrol and I commend them for that. With a 20% staff cut that roughly translate to 72 officers patrolling the same number of waterways.

With no inspection checks and new laws straining the already reduced force, I can see something tragic about to happen.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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Default

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Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
With no inspection checks and new laws straining the already reduced force, I can see something tragic about to happen.
How so?

Just curious what you are thinking.

I could see the argument that without inspection checks, people will be unaware of impending safety hazards. However it always seems to me like the folks who most ought to get an inspection are the ones that don't anyway.

I wonder what the liability of a group like SBONH setting up a sort of "fail only" inspection check volunteer group. By this I mean, they couldn't (for liability reasons) tell you outright that you "passed" an inspection. But they *could* tell you if you failed a particular line item.

Biggest change I see in this is that you might want to consider one of the tow-boat service packages in case you need help on the lake and the MP isn't available.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:09 PM   #3
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Default Marine Patrol to eliminate auxilliary

I understand Broadhoppers concerns about eliminating auxilliary inspections. Anytime money is eliminated from inspections and maintenance programs you are asking for eventual trouble. This is true for municipal budgets, school district budgets, personal household budgets, and I fear it will be true in the case of boating. The statement by brk-Int is so right referring to inpending safety hazards. Many, make that most, casual boaters don't really understand what is going on, mechanically, with their boat. If it starts, it's good. Not always true, and the trained eye of an auxilliary inspector is "cheap" insurance to maybe catch some small problem before it becomes some big disaster.

I have a very basic question: In the face of all the real and potential budget cuts, where, exactly is the State spending its (pronounced OUR) money?
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Last summer SBONH organized inspections by the Lakes Region Sail and Power Squadron.

Power squadron inspections are different than Marine Patrol auxillary inspections. In my opinion they are more comprehensive but not as focused on NH specific laws.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Lrsps

I will be posting the Power Squadron schedule for inspections over the next week. There will still be an outlet if you would like your boat inspected.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:24 PM   #6
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Default How much $ are we saving?

When my brother was in the NHMP Auxiliary he was an unpaid volunteer. All that I recall him getting was a free hat. I assume that the members are still not on the dole. Possibly there are some administrative costs but I can't think it is a lot.

Anyway, THANK YOU for your service and dedication to safe boating in NH.

Bravo Zulu

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Old 05-06-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Big Government 101, when the taxpayers try to claw back some of their money by cutting the budget, make sure you cut popular and visible services first. Never cut waste or non-essential personel. Why do we even have non-essential personel?
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrc View Post
Big Government 101, when the taxpayers try to claw back some of their money by cutting the budget, make sure you cut popular and visible services first. Never cut waste or non-essential personel. Why do we even have non-essential personel?
They have non-essential personel so when we get one of those "big" major storms they can announce, everyone but "non-essential personel" must report to their jobs. I guess so it makes the government big whigs sound important or something!
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:31 PM   #9
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Default Union Leader Article

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...WS07/705089989

A million dollars of our registration fees were taken away from the marine patrol to give to the general funds. According to this article there will only be 48 MP officers covering the entire state!

Obviously our elected officers are not boater friendly.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:27 AM   #10
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Lightbulb You don't see the BIG picture

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
A million dollars of our registration fees were taken away from the marine patrol to give to the general funds. According to this article there will only be 48 MP officers covering the entire state!

Obviously our elected officers are not boater friendly.
BroadHopper you obviously do not see the big picture as the legislators do.
The lawmakers have been brainwashed, no make that convinced, that the lakes are so much safer now that we have certain limits (I won't mention the dreaded topic but thanks WinnFABS - not). Really now, who needs more Marine Patrol?

The Marine Patrol Aux includes Mighty Moe. Other than being assigned an MP radio what does it cost MP to have him as an Auxiliary MP? Nothing. Concord obviously sees no benefit. I think he is an amazing asset.

It appears that Concord wants to do away with Director Barrett or his position to save $$. And they believe they can, now that the big lake is perceived as so much safer than it was.

With more boats on the water but a safer environment why not save ONE MILLION DOLLARS by cutting Marine Patrol budget (and eliminating the auxiliary)?

Get with the program BroadHopper
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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Default Great news (not)

This is great news if your idea of fun is...

- grabbing a case of beer and ripping up the lake with your loud, obnoxious buddies,
- disregarding safe passage laws,
- disregarding speed limits, day and night,
- disregarding NWZ's,
- disregarding safe distances to kids swimming and playing,
- disregarding safe distances for tubers and skiers,
- disregarding spacing and anchoring rules at NRZ's and sandbars,
- disregarding the ques at launches and docks,
- disregarding DUI laws,
- disregarding safety equipment
- disregarding any knowledge of safe, respectful boating,
- jumping off the back of a moving boat with a few friends in the busy, tight West Alton channel by sleepers, and then swimming to the sand bar (yes I actually saw this), drunk. Jumped in right in front of a large cruiser leaving the marina. Their boat left them there to go pick up more drunk friends and presumably, more beer.

- waiting longer for help in an emergency, which is now more likely than before,

Of course, your life is getting more complicated if you just want to spend some safe, respectful and law abiding time on the big lake with your family. I have spent many days on the lake watching one infraction after another without ever seeing a patrol boat. Looks like I am in store for even more of these days.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH_boater View Post
waiting longer for help in an emergency, which is now more likely than before
This is the only issue I see with less MP that would impact 99.9% of people on the water.

Solution: Get a 2-way marine radio. Cellphones are too spotty to rely on.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
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Not looking for an argument but I feel that all this stuff happens now, and will certainly not decrease due to a likely lower 'police' presence on the big lake. I think that this affects anyone who gets in boat or jumps in the water. I am not saying that the sky is falling, just that I hate to think of more idiots running free on the same lake where I choose to put my wife and daughter.

We have all seen stupid acts of ignorance or stupidity on the lake. Maybe I am alone but I feel better when I see the Patrol Boat among the day's activities. Ever notice how much safe passage increases when there is a patrol boat sitting there?
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jrc View Post
Big Government 101, when the taxpayers try to claw back some of their money by cutting the budget, make sure you cut popular and visible services first. Never cut waste or non-essential personel. Why do we even have non-essential personel?
Oh and never ever cut "entitlements".
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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Safe Boaters of New Hampshire
“To promote safety through education and legislation that works”
http://www.SBONH.ORG

Safe Boaters of NH demands cuts to the NH Marine Patrol
be restored!


For Immediate Release:

Safe Boaters of New Hampshire is stunned that the NH Legislature is considering cutting the budget of the NH Marine Patrol. According to published reports the cuts that would be required of the Marine Patrol forces would be on the order of 20% in addition to the elimination of the civilian Marine Patrol Auxiliary.

These are outrageous! Safe Boaters of NH understands that the state is looking to save money and balance the budget, however doing it on the backs of an agency that is funded through boater registrations, not the general fund, and is responsible for law enforcement and safety on all of the state’s waterways is very short sighted.

Coast Guard statistics available for 2008 show New Hampshire’s waterways are the safest in New England and among the safest in the nation on which to boat. This is because of the Marine Patrol and the programs that they operate, such as vessel safety check and mandatory boater education in addition to the daily patrols they conduct on the water.

Bringing that force down to only 48 officers for the entire state is ludicrous! Lake Winnipesaukee alone has 72 square miles of water and there are 974 other bodies of water, and the Sea Coast, that are the responsibility of the NH Marine Patrol.

Director of Safety Services David Barrett is quoted as saying 25% of the mandatory boater education classes will have to be eliminated. That means either fewer people will be boating and spending money in NH, or there will be uncertified boaters on our waters making things dangerous for everyone and no law enforcement as a check.

This move by the NH Legislature imposes a tax on boaters. By eliminating the users fee that are boat registrations, and transferring that money to the State Police, NH lawmakers, most of which campaigned on no new tax platforms, have created a NEW TAX on boaters. The Marine Patrol budget has been funded exclusively through boat registrations without taking any money from taxpayers. It has been a self sufficient agency. Now the boat registration users fee will go into the general fund as a NEW TAX.


Safe Boaters of NH is calling on everyone who want safer lakes to contact members of the Senate and demand restoration of funding for the New Hampshire Marine Patrol so NH can maintain its outstanding safety record on the water.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #16
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Good for SBONH to speak up. The Marine Patrol wasn't exactly overflowing with staff to begin with. It's almost laughable the miniscule number of officers that have an entire state's waterways to deal with, including the coastal areas.

I know what it's like when gas prices and other budget constraints limit law enforcement on the water. It's not pretty. I know this is a numbers game, but it seems NH has done what many states have done in these times, steal budgets and consolidate areas that shouldn't be. If the statements is correct that 25% of the mandatory education classes would be eliminated, you'd expect more outrage.

I seriously doubt that any of the people in the state, much less boaters, would support this action. It should be a joint effort by SBONH and all other boating groups to speak up in the media, and let people know what's going on. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting, but there may be hope
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #17
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I am sure this will do wonders for speed limit enforcement...Less funding, less staffing, fewer patrols...

I am sure the Pro speed limit crew is happy about this! All the work that they have put into fighting for a speed limit will now be somewhat wasted since the state can't afford to enforce it effectively because they can't keep ample patrols on the lakes or buy additional equipment.

Cutting 25% of boaters safety classes is foolish. It is a poor system as it is. This just begs for unskilled, untrained boaters to do whatever they like and play dumb when they get caught, if they get caught.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #18
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i am sure this will do wonders for speed limit enforcement...less funding, less staffing, fewer patrols...

I am sure the pro speed limit crew is happy about this! All the work that they have put into fighting for a speed limit will now be somewhat wasted since the state can't afford to enforce it effectively because they can't keep ample patrols on the lakes or buy additional equipment.

Cutting 25% of boaters safety classes is foolish. It is a poor system as it is. This just begs for unskilled, untrained boaters to do whatever they like and play dumb when they get caught, if they get caught.
can you say w.o.t hee haaaa...
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #19
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Default A Marine Patrol "Log"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
The Marine Patrol will be eliminating the inspections at town docks. The MP staff is reduced by 20% due to budget cuts.
...but the Marine Patrol Auxiliary consists of volunteers: members get a free hat!

They were putting more eyes and ears on the water and assisting—where Director Barrett permitted them to assist.

Why cut them back, even more? The MP Auxiliary did inspections without agenda.

Tuesday, I watched as a regular NHMP patrol boat took about one hour to arrange his towing of a log from a beach at Storytelling Rock. He disappeared with the log, out of sight—one example for the MP Auxiliary to gladly handle such a task—instead
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #20
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Default Did you read the article?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acres per Second View Post
...but the Marine Patrol Auxiliary consists of volunteers: members get a free hat!

They were putting more eyes and ears on the water and assisting—where Director Barrett permitted them to assist.

Why cut them back, even more? The MP Auxiliary did inspections without agenda.

Tuesday, I watched as a regular NHMP patrol boat took about one hour to arrange his towing of a log from a beach at Storytelling Rock. He disappeared with the log, out of sight—one example for the MP Auxiliary to gladly handle such a task—instead
They cut out the MP Auxiliary. Duhhh............
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:13 AM   #21
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Thumbs down Too Many "Warnings"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Did you read the article?
Yes I did, but don't know yet—if "it's official".

Eliminating the MP-Auxiliary is shortsighted, but I won't have a problem if the new NH State Police "takeover" increases its vigilance and strictly enforces boating laws. (BWI-especially).

Director Barrett allowed too many warnings—IMO.
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