Lease Updates

Unfortunately, Chabot Gun Club’s lease was not renewed by the East Bay Regional Park District and the marksmanship range is now permanently closed. We thank all of our tens of thousands of patrons for your support for more than fifty years at this important facility. There are no plans to open up at another location at this time, although we still are open to suggestions.

UPDATE:   CGC Liquidation Sale, Saturday & Sunday, September 17th & 18th

Ammunition prices are up on http://www.cgcliquidation.com/

Chabot Gun Club will be holding a liquidation sale this Saturday and Sunday, the 17th and 18th of September. The sale will take place on Ranges 1, 2 and 3 and at the Main Range Office on the Rifle, Pistol line.

We will open our gates at 8 am and close them at 5 pm.

We will be selling ammo, supplies, shooting tables, file cabinets, picnic tables, you name it, at ridiculously low prices.

Most of the items will be listed (with lots of pictures) up on http://www.cgcliquidation.com/

The list of items will change daily as we add things (like the ammo list), so check back every day.

Bring your pickup truck, rental truck or trailer because Saturday and Sunday are the only days of the sale.

DO NOT BRING ANY GUNS. THERE WILL BE NO SHOOTING!

I know, waaaaah, boo, hiss. But really, no guns. We can’t.

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster

 

keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com


Chabot Gun Club is located at
9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546

A Memo to the Members and Patrons of Chabot Gun Club

Date: August 25, 2016
From: Dennis Staats – PresidentMany of you have rightfully approached our staff requesting information regarding our recent announcement that the last day we will be open for business will be Labor Day, September 5, 2016. We have chosen this date because we will need to

vacate the property by September 20, 2016 and it will obviously require several weeks to move all Chabot Gun Club (CGC) property off the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range (ACMR). Although we would have preferred to allow use of the facility later than Labor Day, the logistics of the process of vacating ACWR by September 20, 2016 simply do not permit us to remain open beyond that date.

The vacancy date of September 20, 2016 was chosen by the CGC Board of Directors for a variety of reasons. To elaborate completely on those reasons within this notice is not possible at this time. However, so that concerned persons may at least be given some information regarding the process of the CGC Board’s decision at this point in time, here are some points to consider.

1. On March 1, 2016 the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Board of Directors voted to discontinue its concession relationship with CGC. It further directed the EBRPD staff to negotiate and subsequently enter into a one year lease extension until March 31, 2017 with CGC for the purpose of allowing CGC to “wrap up operations” and vacate ACMR by that date. The EBRPD Board gave its staff a few recommendations to follow. These may be viewed on the EBRPD website.

2. On March 29, 2016 the EBRPD presented CGC with a lease extension to ratify their Board’s decision to allow us to stay until the end of next March. The proposed lease extension contained many onerous stipulations that the EBRPD Board never sanctioned, but their staff insisted that CGC agree to. CGC has refused to agree to the following:

a) Requirements that CGC provide to the EBRPD many private records including:

i. All documents, reports, correspondence, minutes, agendas, ledgers, and other information;

ii. CGC files related to the use and operation of ACMR;

iii. CGC employees, agents, contractors, employees, and members for “interviews” by the EBRPD, its agents, and contractors.

Note that in order for the EBRPD to interview these persons, which includes CGC members, we would have to provide the EBRPD with a membership list.

b) CGC, which includes its members, had to enter into a “Covenant not to Sue”. Within this covenant was the following stipulation:

CGC will forever refrain from instituting, prosecuting or maintaining any lawsuit, action and/or administrative or governmental proceedings against the District and its Related Parties with respect to any conduct, action or inaction which predates this Fourth Amendment and is in any manner or way connected with the Release of Tenant Claim(s).

In other words regardless of the EBRPD’s conduct now, or at any time in the past, CGC agrees not to litigate, or even contribute to anyone (including CGC members) who may wish to legally “challenge” the EBRPD regarding its very questionable actions related to the relationship with CGC and other concessionaires of the EBRPD in the past and possibly in the future as well.

3. Early in the negotiation process of this lease extension, we began objecting to such sort of, what are in my opinion, absurd requirements. Without warning, the EBRPD served a 30 day notice of termination on June 3, 2016 which permitted them to begin an eviction process on July 3, 2016 if they so chose.

4. CGC continued to try and negotiate with the EBRPD. In my opinion, while those negotiations may have accomplished the removal of these ridiculous stipulations from the proposed lease extension, it came at the cost of CGC agreeing to vacate the property earlier than next March. CGC is willing sign an agreement with such onerous stipulations removed. CGC sent a proposed lease extension with such language removed on July 8, 2016.

As of the date of this memo, the CGC Board of Directors voted by unanimous decision on August 8, 2016 to vacate the property on September 20, 2016. The EBRPD has sent us a further revised version of the document we sent them July 8, 2016 of the lease extension. However, they have re-inserted language, we had already stricken, back into the document. In short, the process continues to “drag on and on” because the EBRPD simply refuses to be reasonable.

Thus, the CGC Board has done everything in its power to protect its members, patrons, employees, and vendors during this entire process. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the EBRPD has continued with its well-known, established habits of bullying, intimidation, threats, and not negotiating in good faith with CGC and other concessionaires within the EBRPD.

If you are upset, angry, or dismayed regarding the fact that CGC’s Board has made the decision they have, may I suggest that these feelings are more properly directed towards the EBRPD?

It is also my opinion that members, patrons, and the public should strongly consider organizing and launching an all-out protest campaign against the EBRPD, not to exclude the possibility of litigation, recalls of EBRPD board members, and possibly challenging current and future candidates running for that board as well.

Best regards,

Dennis G. Staats, President Chabot Gun Club, Inc.

 

Lease Update 8/13/2016: Closure Announcement 

We sincerely regret to inform our hundreds of members and thousands of supporters that Chabot Gun Club, Inc., upon a unanimous vote of the CGC Board of Directors, will cease operating the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range after Labor Day, September 5, 2016.

Monday, September 5th, 2016, will be the last day we are open.

Our President, Dennis Staats, will issue a formal statement soon, and more details will be forthcoming.

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder,

Senior Rangemaster

Lease Update 5/10/16    Supervisor Nate Miley, Supporter of the Range

In the last update, I mentioned that I wanted to highlight an elected official who stood up for Chabot Gun Club and for the perpetuation of a marksmanship range in the East Bay Regional Parks District (the “District”).

He is Supervisor Nate Miley, Alameda County District 4, which “includes the city of Pleasanton, including the adjacent unincorporated Castlewood and Happy Valley areas; the Lower Hills, South Hills and Elmhurst areas of Oakland; the unincorporated communities of Castro Valley, Cherryland, and Fairview; and most of the unincorporated community of Ashland.” (copied from the Alameda County website, bold and italics are mine)

Nate Miley’s district includes a huge number of Chabot Gun Club members and supporters, and includes the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range itself. He is up for re-election and I would like you to seriously consider giving him your vote.

Letters to the East Bay Regional Parks District

During the recent lease negotiations, Supervisor Miley wrote a strong letter in support of the Range to the District. Among other things, he stated,

“I am writing to support the Proposal Regarding the Future Operations of the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range, as submitted by the Chabot Gun Club. I encourage you to evaluate the proposal carefully and work with the Chabot Gun Club to reach a long-term arrangement that is beneficial for the community, including those who depend on the Marksmanship Range for shooting practice. . . . I hope that a resolution to allow the continued operation of the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range can be reached. I trust that, with your strong leadership, the public can continue to have access to such a valuable community resource.” (January 22, 2016 letter from Supervisor Miley to EBRPD Board of Directors)

Supervisor Miley followed up with a similar letter, both of which he sent prior to meeting with us on this issue. In both letters, he requested a meeting with EBRPD District Staff to discuss keeping the Range open. The last time we spoke, the EBRPD had not yet responded.

Supervisor Miley was unable to attend the March 1st meeting where the District’s Board of Directors voted to close the Range but he did send a representative on his behalf. Since that time, the Club has been in repeated contact with the Supervisor concerning the intended closure.

And the point of this is…

I personally know that keeping the Range open for the public and for our law enforcement agencies is very important to Nate Miley. As such, I believe that it is in the Bay Area shooting community’s best interest that he retains his supervisor’s seat as our representative in the upcoming election. The primary is coming up on June 7th, but the absentee ballots will start arriving at our doorsteps this week. If you value your Range and live in his district, please consider giving Nate Miley, Supervisor, District 4, Alameda County, your vote.

I plan to give him mine.

Inside or outside his district, money makes the world go round, so I am sure a contribution to his campaign would also be appreciated.

http://www.mileyforsupervisor.com/

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster

No campaign funds or other considerations from any political source were used in the production or issuance of this update. jmm

Lease Update 5/6/16       Want to try that again?

It has been quite a while since we reported on our progress with the East Bay Regional Park District concerning our Lease arrangement. We have been in what a friend calls “Duck Mode”: placid and serene on the surface; paddling furiously beneath.

Chabot Gun Club has received the EBRPD’s proposed “Fourth Amendment” to our lease. We will only address a couple of issues in this Update.

At the big March 1st Board Meeting, the EBRPD Board’s directions to the EBRPD Staff contained, among other things:

”WHEREAS, any such Lease extension should be contingent on 1) the Gun Club’s cooperation with the Park District in locating records and documents associated with its operation of the range; 2) its assistance in locating historic insurance policies; 3) the Gun Club’s commitment to vacate the site at the end of the term; and 4) such other terms and conditions that may be appropriate to ensure an orderly closure; …”

The EBRPD Staff interpreted those instructions in the Fourth Amendment (in part):

“… Cooperation. …  Upon request by the District, Tenant will make available for the District’s review, Tenant’s files related to the use and operation of the Premises and Tenant will also make available Tenant’s employees, members, agents and contractors for interviews by the District and its agents, employees and contractors….”

And:

Covenant Not to Sue and Against Further Action.  Except as expressly reserved herein, Tenant and its Related Parties agree that they will forever refrain from instituting, prosecuting or maintaining any lawsuit, action and/or administrative or governmental proceedings against the District and its Related Parties with respect to any conduct, action or inaction which predates this Fourth Amendment and is in any manner or way connected with the Release of Tenant Claim(s).”

Are you kidding me?

Our attorney’s response to the EBRPD expressed the following:

First, we will not give up our member and associations lists. Even asking this reflects a cavalier attitude toward constitutionally protected privacy rights.

Second, we were never asked to release claims regarding lease negotiations (and all other claims) when we signed previous leases. Does the District think it did something during these last “negotiations” that it thinks will get the District sued?

Third, why don’t you send us something that we can sign? We are, as always, open for discussion.

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster

Ps: In the next Lease Update, we want to highlight an elected official who stood up for us. He is up for re-election and we would like all the shooters to support him.

Pps: if you have not already, please sign up for these updates on keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Ppps: if you have not already, please join and/or make donations to the California Rifle & Pistol Association http://crpa.org/ and the National Rifle Association https://home.nra.org/

Lease Update, 4/8/16

We have posted the dates for the rest of the year for Club activities, pending successful negotiations with the EBRPD.

Lease Update, 3/22/16: Support When We Needed It

There have been some unfair criticisms of the National Rifle Association (NRA) on some of the pro-gun threads and elsewhere that need to be addressed.

Let us make it very clear that the NRA has been in the battle to keep Chabot Gun Club (Club) open since we first notified our supporters that we were having difficulty with our landlord, the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). At that time, C.D. Michel & Associates (CDMA), who represents the NRA, immediately stepped in into the lease negotiations, representing the Club.

Then, when the EBRPD began to openly make impossible demands that eventually drove the Club’s finances into the ground, the NRA, in conjunction with the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) upped the ante, contributing to the Club’s legal needs.

During that time, the NRA Alameda Member’s Counsel began spreading the word, rallying more shooters from around the Bay Area and attending EBRPD meetings with the Club.

As the negotiations with the EBRPD went from the impossible to the ridiculous, the NRA and CRPA doubled down, spreading the word to more thousands of supporters and materially assisting the Club in preparing for the critical March 1st EBRPD Board meeting.

Chuck Michel, CDMA counsel for both the NRA and the Club and president of CRPA, himself came to that meeting, with additional legal staff, and spoke to the assembly.

The lopsided decision of the EBRPD to close the range came from closed-mindedness and following an agenda, in spite of all of our valiant efforts. No one, not the NRA, the CRPA nor CDMA can be faulted for a setback when battling a government agency bent on ignoring both science and the will of the people.

In the Club’s opinion, we would have been out of commission a long time ago without the invaluable assistance and material support of C.D. Michel, the CRPA and the NRA. We are very grateful for their assistance. So please, put any criticism to rest.

If you are a shooter and/or supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and are not yet a member of the NRA and CRPA, now would be a good time to join. We have seen, first hand, how they step up to the plate.

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder
Senior Rangemaster,
Chabot Gun Club, Inc.

By the way:

EBRPD board members are elected by and responsible to the public in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. To read about them, their service and time in office, please go to http://www.ebparks.org/about/board

You might want to tell the EBRPD board members what you think of their recent decision:

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1, Director
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3 (CGC’s Ward), Treasurer
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Vice President
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Secretary
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.s. Don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Lease Update, 3/18/16: CRPA Nails It

Chabot Gun Club (CGC) appreciates the California Rifle and Pistol Association’s clear and concise recap of the East Bay Regional Park District’s rejection of Chabot Gun Club along with the thousands upon thousands of Bay Area shooters and their families that (CGC) directly or indirectly represents. Please read the CRPA’s alert below, and then consider letting your elected officials on the EBRPD Board how you feel about it. Then, join the CRPA and the NRA if you are not already a member and send them an extra donation if you are.

Thanks,

John M. Maunder
Senior Rangemaster
Chabot Gun Club, Inc.
keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com
.

CRPA ALERT
Park District Directors Vote to Close Down 60-Year-Old Chabot Shooting Range

At its March 1, 2016 meeting, the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) Board of Directors voted to not renew Chabot Gun Club’s (CGC) lease. The action spells the end for a shooting range that has been a beloved destination for hundreds of thousands of gun owners throughout the Bay Area for the past 60 years.It is estimated that nearly 1,000 people showed up to the Board of Directors meeting–the largest turnout the Board has ever seen. Over 90% of those in attendance supported keeping the range open, many wearing blue (CGC’s color) and carrying signs to show their support.

The Board ignored their pleas, and also ignored the pleas of the thousands of range supporters who sent letters and emails to the Board over the past two years.  The Board also ignored letters from the NRA and CRPA which offered funds to help solve CGC’s environmental issues, a letter of support from Alameda County District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley, letters submitted by non-profit organizations like the Pink Pistols, and letters of support from surrounding shooting ranges, including Baypoint Rod & Gun Club and Richmond Rod & Gun Club. Those nearby ranges pointed out that they cannot accommodate all the shooters that are going to be displaced from CGC.

The Board didn’t care. Despite more than five hours and over 200 people making comments in favor of keeping the range open, the Board unanimously voted to deny renewal of CGC’s lease. Now CGC must shut down within a year.

The Board’s vote was based almost entirely on a recommendation and biased evaluation presented to the Board in one-sided reports prepared by EBRPD staffers, who have wanted to shut down the range for years. For the past two years CGC has battled EBRPD staff, who were determined all along to close the range. EBRPD staff has repeatedly exaggerated the problems associated with managing lead at the range. EBRPD staff released a “Draft Informational Report” that drastically misrepresented the extent of the environmental issues at the range, and grossly inflated the costs of managing stormwater run-off.

At the EBRPD Staff’s request, CGC developed a comprehensive environmental management plan and sent multiple impact mitigation proposals for EBRPD staff approval. And when the EBRPD staff arbitrarily raised the environmental standards they wanted to impose to be more stringent than state laws requires, CGC still came up with a way to meet these unnecessarily higher standards. Then the EBRPD staff pulled something akin to a bait and switch, and gave CGC only 60 days to prepare a comprehensive business-plan type proposal, which not only had to address environmental mitigation measures, but also had to show an ability to pay for unnecessary and exorbitant environmental management fees.

CGC rose to that challenge too, but EBRPD staff provided the Board with grossly inflated estimates of what it supposedly would cost to run the range so that the Board would be forced to vote to shut the range without even giving it a chance. EBRPD staff claimed that it would cost $200,000 a year to contain filter stormwater runoff, and $2-$20 million in long-term cleanup costs. These grossly exaggerated cleanup costs were used as the pretext to get rid of the range. Even though CGC did everything to address EBRPD Staff’s concerns, from proposing to raise shooting fees by $6 per user to pay for cleanup costs, to offering to pay for all cleanup costs, to making improvements to the stormwater runoff system so that it complied with state standards, but the EBRPD staff refused to acknowledge the merit of any of it.

We will keep you informed of updates as the range winds down its operations. This is a great loss for shooting sports participants and for those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms.

End of CRPA alert.

A further note from CGC

EBRPD board members are NOT CGC board members! They are EBRPD Special District board members elected by and responsible to the public. To read about them, their service and time in office, please go to http://www.ebparks.org/about/board

You might want to contact the EBRPD board members directly:

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1, Director
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3 (CGC’s Ward), Treasurer
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Vice President
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Secretary
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.s. Don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Lease Update, March 2nd, 2016

Yesterday, at the General Board meeting, in spite of the the largest attendance the Board has ever seen and with over 80% support to keep the Range open, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors voted unanimously to close the Range after extending the lease for 12 months.

The CGC Board of Directors is in meetings with our attorneys and consultants and will decide on the next course of action. A more complete statement will be forthcoming. Please stay tuned.

We want to thank everyone who came out yesterday. I was never more proud to be surrounded by such a great bunch of people.

Thanks to all of you who could not attend but sent your emails, letters and made personal appearances in the past. We appreciate everyone’s support during this trying time.

A special note of thanks to C.D Michel & Associates, the CRPA and the NRA who carried the effort forward long after the Club’s resources were exhausted.

We will be in touch,

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder
Senior Rangemaster

Lease Update 2/29/16

As we said earlier, Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1st, at 2 pm is it.

The EBRPD Management Staff is recommending to the EBRPD Board that the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range be closed at the end of September 2016.

Please come to the General Board meeting Tuesday at 2 pm. (Get there early and hang around, it will be a long afternoon.) Bring food and beverages. If the parking lot is full, you can park along much of Redwood Road.

Please tell the EBRPD Board what you think. A speaker card is posted below. Please print it, cut it out, fill it out and bring it. You will need to get it to the Clerk of the Board, Yolande, before the meeting. If there is a hang-up, we may set up a relay to pass the cards to her.

You will have ONE minute to speak. Although this is a very emotional issue for all of us, we need to stay calm and focused. One minute goes by very, very quickly when we are speaking in public.

When you are finished speaking, please cycle out of the main meeting room so that others can speak also. The room will only hold 300 people and we expect it to fill it up.

This is going to be a zoo, but it is necessary to demonstrate our determination.

Do NOT bring guns, you will NOT be on our property. The meeting will be held at

Redwood Canyon Golf Course

17007 Redwood Road (just north of Castro Valley on Redwood Road)

Castro Valley, CA 94546

Wear BLUE, because, even if you cannot speak, your presence will speak volumes.

See you tomorrow.

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster

keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

1 Min Speaker Card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease Update, 2/19/2016

OK Everybody, this is it!

The fate of your Range and Chabot Gun Club will be decided on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 beginning at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

We ask you to be there. Early.

The East Bay Regional Park District has made it a little easier this time. They have moved the venue to the Redwood Canyon (formerly known as Willow Park) Golf Course at the north end of Castro Valley, 17007 Redwood Road. The meeting room will hold 300 people and there is way more parking than at the District office. Also, there should be lots more parking along Redwood Road around the golf course and in the Chabot Staging Area by the Christmas Tree farm.

You may want to speak, but the really important thing at this point is that you show up.

Hundreds of you!!     Thousands of you!!

The importance of your attendance cannot be emphasized enough!

The people that want to shut us down are already calling on their supporters to attend.

If you love shooting at Chabot, you need to be there.

If you love shooting at the other ranges that are already under siege from some of the same groups that are targeting us, you need to be there.

If you love shooting to train and practice in the defense of your families and our beloved country, you need to be there.

If you are a member of the law enforcement or military communities that train to defend all of us, you need to be there.

If you live within earshot of the range and appreciate what our (legal in all respects) sound signifies, you need to be there.

If you operate a business in Castro Valley or Oakland, anywhere near Redwood Road, that receives the benefit of the 45,000 plus shooters and their families that attend the range (they have to go both ways so that’s 90,000 individuals each year travelling near your restaurants, stores, gas stations and so forth), you need to be there.

If you understand that the East Bay Regional Park District has a responsibility to provide recreation as part of its original intent and ongoing purpose, you need to be there.

The renewal team has done its part.

We have submitted our proposals to continue to meet our environmental responsibilities. Within those plans are expensive but workable procedures that we have already successfully begun to implement in the short term and will continue to upgrade and make permanent for the long haul.

The other issues we face are relatively minor compared to the environment but we are confidant that if we are permitted to, we can meet and exceed our responsibilities there also.

More than 100 professionals, tradesmen and others have volunteered to help the Club.

People are increasing their donations. We should be able to get support from the NRA and CRPA if we receive a lease with a long enough term (10 years is a good start, 25 years is better).

Now it is your turn.

The thousands of mail, email and petition supporters have made a difference. We might have been closed already if it weren’t for those.

Now, it comes down to you who will show up at the March 1st Board meeting.

It will be a zoo, I can promise you, because a democratic republic is a messy way to govern ourselves. Nevertheless, our elected officials need to see our passion, our dedication and our numbers.

You need to be there.

We will be sending along more updates to help us get organized. We are sending this out right away because we want you to have time to take off work, take off school, get the tiny ones a sitter, or do whatever you need to do to get to the Redwood Canyon Golf Course before 2 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

Please read all of the upcoming alerts, they may announce changes in meeting times or venues.

Let’s all wear some shade of Blue, Chabot’s color.

Please send this alert out to every single person or group in the Bay Area that supports the freedoms we cherish. Talk to all your friends about joining us.

It will be a long day, but if we lose our Range, it will be the beginning of a long night.

See you ALL there.

John M. Maunder
Senior Rangemaster,
Chabot Gun Club, Inc.

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.s. Don’t forget to get your families, friends and groups to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Lease Update, January 20, 2016: We Made It!

After an intense marathon the last several weeks, CGC has submitted, on time (Jan 15, 2016), our “Proposal Regarding the Future Operation of the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range”.

This is the first of several subsequent submittals, as negotiated under the current agreement.

We will be open at least until March 31, 2016 while we continue to seek a long term arrangement.

Our goals remain as follows:

  1. To keep the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range open to the public (absolute).
  2. To keep Chabot Gun Club operating the Range (our preference).

We thank all of you for your support obtaining this short-term (but essential) extension.

Sincerely,

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster at:

keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

p.s. Please keep reminding the EBRPD Board that we have thousands of supporters out here.

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org

John Sutter, Ward 2,
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, (Chabot Gun Club’s Ward Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4,
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5,
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6,
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7,
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.p.s. Don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Former Updates

Lease Update, 1/5/16: Good News from the Horns of a Dilemma

EBRPD District Counsel Victor has informed us that the Park District has accepted our revisions to the agreement. Here are the two most relevant portions:

…The Club shall provide to the District, by email with hard copy mailed contemporaneously therewith, a document that describes (1) all of the Club’s proposed remedial and preventative measures intended to address the presence of lead and other firearms-related materials at the marksmanship range, and (2) how the Club proposes to finance or otherwise achieve the implementation of those measures… no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 15, 2016.

And

The submission of a document pursuant to this section does not preclude the Club from later submitting proposals to the District…

The first excerpt will permit us to finalize and submit the environmental proposals that we have already been working on for the past several years.

The second excerpt will give us more time to develop and submit our responses to the other items in the EBRPD staff’s Informational Report.

We want to thank everyone who contacted the District on our behalf. I think that your grass-roots efforts are paying off, as our public officials are getting an opportunity to see the depths of support for the range and the Club. We believe that we can win this fight. The Club also thanks the NRA and CRPA for all their efforts on the Club’s behalf. Both the NRA and CRPA have been supporting the Club through experts, attorneys and communications to their members. If you aren’t a member, please consider joining and/or donating to both!

U S I Guest Privileges Extended

Since CGC will be open at least until March 31, 2016, your valid 2016 or 2017 USI affiliated membership card will entitle you and your spousal unit to continue to shoot at our Guest rates. We hope you get your rifle and pistol lines up and running soon but in the meantime, please join us at Chabot.

Call for Volunteers

Many of you, members and non-member patrons alike, have asked what you can do to help. Our team has been in such a scramble to meet District deadlines that we have not been able to properly respond to volunteers. Now we are ready to begin assembling the volunteer corps to work to keep our range open. We will be looking for, in part:

Attorneys

Paralegals

Construction Estimators

Licensed General Contractors

Licensed Plumbers

Licensed Electricians

Heavy Equipment Operators

Environmental Professionals

Sound Engineers (with firearms range experience)

Grant writers

Proposal writers

Law Enforcement professionals

and who knows what else. You might have relevant skills in an area that we haven’t even thought of!

If you have already made an offer to volunteer, please do so again because we are now ready to coordinate your efforts better than we were before.

What we need are people who can perform in a team effort. That can be the most difficult part of volunteering but will accomplish far more that we can with our overworked staff and current volunteers.

If you want to volunteer or have questions, please contact me

John M. Maunder, Senior Rangemaster at:

keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Thanks, I think this may start getting to be fun again.

John

p.s. You might want to thank the members of the EBRPD Board for their efforts. I have gotten some feedback that the links provided below can function intermittently. If you have trouble, please go directly or cut and paste directly to the District’s website at

www.ebparks.org/about/board

Send written mail too if possible. And call (510-544-2020). Toward the bottom of the page is the mailing address.

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,President
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, Secretary (Chabot Gun Club’s Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, Vice President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Treasurer
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Director
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

p.s. Don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Lease Update, 12/28/15 Teetering on the Horns of a Dilemma

So, here we are, almost at the eleventh hour. On December 15th, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors voted unanimously to extend our lease until Thursday, March 31st, 2016. Included in the Resolution was the following: ”… that the Chabot Gun Club be given a deadline of January 15, 2016 to submit any proposals to the Park District for continued operation of the range…”. The Resolution approved a draft lease extension contract that was similar to previous lease extensions, with one notable new clause: “On or before January 15, 2016, the Club shall provide, in writing, any and all proposals it may have for the Club’s continued operation of the range.”

As we have repeatedly attempted to explain to the Board (and to anyone else who would listen), we have been working on the environmental issues for years and we are obtaining some excellent results related to the storm water at the range. It obviously makes more sense to have Chabot Gun Club continue to address storm water at the site now rather than kicking the Club off the property and having a financially interested third party oversee the work. The Club has focused, and continues to focus, on environmental regulatory compliance. It would be impossible to give that same level of attention to all of the newly raised issues, particularly facilities repair/replacement recommendations that District Staff raised in their “Draft Informational Report,” which was publicly released to us and everybody else in late September 2015.

Add to that the fact that a Request for Proposal (which is the way the EBRPD normally makes deals with its facility operators), which was first promised us in 2013, and then in 2014 and again in 2015, has NOT been issued by the District. We are a small not-for-profit, with a budget of less than a million dollars per year, and District Staff, for whatever reason, seems to think we should be able to immediately respond to its allegations as if we are a for-profit business. That is just not right.

At the recent December 15th Board meeting, while I was attempting to explain this to the Board, District Counsel Carol Victor stepped up to the podium and indicated that the January 15 deadline only applies to submission of (1) environmental proposals and (2) a financial proposal showing how the costs of the proposed environmental work be funded. That is very different from what the Board apparently voted on, that is, “all proposals” being due on January 15. Now that we have finally had some real rain, Chabot Gun Club is excited by the results of our multi-year efforts and I expect our environmental proposals will be submitted by January 15th.

It is an unreasonable dilemma: the Club must either address only environmental issues in the proposal to ensure compliance with the January 15 deadline (and risk District Staff unfairly using its Draft Informational Report as the “last word” on any non-storm water issue), or scramble over the holidays to attempt to cover all bases raised in the Informational Report, including sound, infrastructure, etc. Preparing such a submission would involve getting numerous bids from numerous contractors in multiple trades and reports from experts with multiple specialties. This cannot reasonably be expected to occur in just four weeks, even under normal circumstances, let alone a time when the whole country essentially slows down to a holiday crawl.

In response to this dilemma, I have personally contacted every member of the District Board, seeking guidance.

We have until December 31st, 2015 to sign the document. You all might want to contact the Directors and let them know how you feel.

Please cc me so I know too.

Thanks,

John Maunder

Send written mail too if possible. And call (510-544-2020). Toward the bottom of the page is the mailing address.

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,President
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org (may need to cut and paste)

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, Secretary (Chabot Gun Club’s Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, Vice President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Treasurer
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Director
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Sign up for updates on the situation at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

THANK YOU!

P.S. if you haven’t yet joined the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) now is a great time. We need them and they need you!

P.P.S. don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Joint CRPA / CGC Lease Update 12/14/15 Tomorrow’s EBRPD Board Meeting

We know that these updates are sent very close to the meetings we are asking you to send messages to. It is the nature of the Park’s posting policies late in the week and our need to review everything we say before we contact you. We apologize, but trust us: Your efforts are making a difference!

Keep Helping! Your Efforts are
Making a Difference in Keeping
the Chabot Shooting Range Open

CRPA and Chabot Gun Club (CGC) thank everyone who has contacted the Board of Directors of CGC’s landlord, the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). CGC has made progress in trying to save the range and keep it open to the public, but it still needs your help! There is a meeting tomorrow, December 15. Please contact the Park Directors as indicated at the end of this message!

CGC is requesting a short lease extension so that CGC can submit a detailed business plan/proposal by March 31, 2016. That document will include a response to a “Draft Informational Report” the EBRPD staff recently made public, which contains a very warped site evaluation and including a very inflated estimate for the cost of continuing to operate the Club. CGC representatives have been able to debunk many of the conclusions and cost estimates in the staff report. If allowed enough time to prepare a proper business plan, CGC will show the EBRPD Directors how CGC can address all the concerns raised by the staff report and still continue to keep the range open to the public, and operating at a profit!

CGC has been working on the environmental parts of that business plan for months. But the EBRPD really should have issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) last year, then again this year. If EBRPD staff had made it clear that they wanted CGC to produce a plan covering more than the environmental issues that the Club has been working on for over a year, CGC could have been preparing a comprehensive response to that RFP a while ago. Instead, EBRPD repeatedly asked CGC to address environmental issues on the site. So since January of this year, CGC has been focusing on those environmental issues, working with environmental consultants, and sending multiple environmental impact mitigation proposals to EBRPD for approval. But without receiving an RFP or notification that EBRPD wanted more than proposals specific to the environmental issues, CGC did not prepare a broader business plan type proposal.

Then, just a few weeks after EBRPD staff dropped its “Draft Informational Report” on the CGC, the EBRPD staff told CGC reps that CGC should respond by submitting a comprehensive proposal akin to a business plan – and that EBRPD expected CGC to prepare it in about 60 days! Meanwhile, it took EBRPD over six months to prepare its draft report, but EBRPD staff is telling the EBRPD Board that the club should not get that same amount of time to prepare its response.
CGC is rising to the challenge and creating a business plan to submit to the Park. But there is a lot of work involved! We need time!

The EBRPD staff continues to talk about closing the range. CGC needs everyone’s help to stop that from happening! Please keep sending emails to the individual EBRPD Directors. Ask them to give CGC until March 31 to respond to the staff report effectively. Tell them how and why you think Chabot Gun Club is an important asset to the area. Share your experiences at CGC and at other outdoor ranges. Please email the directors individually. Here are their email addresses.

Send written mail too if possible. And call (510-544-2020). Toward the bottom of the page is the mailing address.

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,President
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org (may need to cut and paste)

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, Secretary (Chabot Gun Club’s Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, Vice President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Treasurer
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Director
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
P.O Box 5381
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Sign up for updates on the situation at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Chabot Gun Club is located at 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546.

THANK YOU!

P.S. if you haven’t yet joined the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) now is a great time. We need them and they need you!

P.P.S. don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

CHABOT GUN CLUB, INC.
P.O. Box 2246
Castro Valley, CA 94546Update your Email Preferences or Unsubscribe
VR Logo

 

Lease Update 11/8/15: Some Thoughts from the November 3rd Board Meeting

First of all, let me thank everyone who gave Chabot Gun Club (CGC) your support by writing letters to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Board, by emailing them, by attending the meeting, and by speaking. After the meeting, several EBRPD staffers and upper management people thanked us for the decorum of our supporters. Thanks to all of you for your polite and respectful interactions with our landlord and our opposition. There were at least four uniformed officers in the meeting and the only time they needed to talk to us, to my knowledge, was to ask us to tell our people that someone lost a wallet with a large amount of cash and no ID. If that was you, please call the number listed on the EBRPD website: ebparks.org.

It was a long, long meeting, around five hours from the time they let us into the room until we finally left the building. Around 150 people showed up, with lots of Chabot Gun Club BLUE showing. We estimate that our supporters outnumbered the anti’s by three or four to one. One of the funnier comments from the other side was a complaint about how well we who support the range are organized. This is not the first time we have heard this. Sorry if that offends some of you but we did not choose this debate. You can see that we are very serious about defending the range and Chabot Gun Club.

Of the 52 speakers, 35 were for the range, with 17 against. Several people from our side had to leave before they could speak, the meeting ran so long. We heard the usual complaints from the opposition, the noise, the lead, and the cost to the taxpayers. We also heard a new theme: the sound of gunfire reminds people of war and killing children.

I have a different perspective: I am reminded that my children live in a country where they are safer than most other places in the world BECAUSE of the sound of gunfire during strategic times in our history.

Our President, Dennis Staats, yours truly and a number of both anticipated and surprise speakers from our side presented reasonable pleas for a continuance of the one-year extension (we don’t hand out talking points – we trust our side to speak its mind), so that we can provide a rational response to the EBRPD staff’s very lopsided proposal. Make no mistake – the EBRPD staff is talking closure of the range, this year, next year, five years, maybe ten years – but always closure (and they want our shooters to pay for it).

Petitions

One of the things that we were able to provide to the Board was Jason Siegel’s 6500+ signature petition in support of the Club and the range. Jason had never received a response from the Board when he submitted it months ago. I had also spoken to one Board member who had not seen it after Jason emailed it to the EBRPD Board. So, last Tuesday, in open session, I gave the EBRPD Board and senior staff ten flash drives of Jason’s petition, including the thousands of excellent and supportive comments. If the Board doesn’t read and acknowledge it now, it is a matter of their choice.

We know that Jason’s petition differs from the most recent Burton petition against us in the obvious fact that Jason’s is for the range continuing on in the park while Burton’s calls for closure. However, there is another significant difference between the two petitions as far as who has signed them. Burton’s appears to have been “fluffed-up” by significant numbers of out-of-area signers and people pulled in from other causes. Jason’s petition has some out-of- area signers of course: people who moved away and used to use the range and some who want to help out of principle, but the vast majority of Jason’s signers are local shooters and supporters.

Back to the Public Comments.

We were able debunk the staff report to anyone who was willing to listen objectively. We were gratified that, in the end, the EBRPD Board basically instructed the staff to keep talking to us and, most importantly, made it clear that they need to hear our proposals in a report format similar to their staff’s.

That is what we have been working on, even though the whole process is upside down. The EBRPD should have issued an RFP – Request for Proposal, first last year, then this year, but they never have. Just days before they dropped their “Draft Informational Report” on the public, they told us we should submit a comprehensive proposal, which we began diligently preparing.

Per their earlier request, since January of this year, we had been sending numerous individual proposals for environmental impact mitigation. However, without an RFP we did not know that they expected us to provide a report similar in scope to their “Draft Informational Report”. Like I said, the process has been turned upside down, but we are rising to the challenge.

Hopefully, our proposal will pass muster with one speaker (whom we met for the first time Tuesday). Based upon his years in the environmental business, he told the EBRPD Board, “If my staff had given me (something) like this (the EBRPD’s informational report), I would have fired all of them on the spot!” We plan to do better.

Another thing: The Club has actually been profitable:

Per the EBRPD’s own report: “The concession maintenance fund for the gun range currently has a positive balance of approximately $234,000” It would be more, but the EBRPD has been spending the money without “… written approval of both the District and the Club”, as defined in our lease. (1989 Lease, Section 12.b.)

In 2014, Chabot Gun Club spent $121,479 more than we made, due to new environmental requirements, unprecedented legal fees, and trying to comply with the interference of the EBRPD in our traditional operations. However, if the EBRPD had released the $234,000 they are repurposing from CMF to a closure fund, again without “… written approval of both the District and the Club”. CGC would actually have shown a positive balance of $112,521. That is a little different than what they are trying to pass off to the public.

And another thing: Infrastructure:

We are getting pounded on the condition of the residence, allegedly at 101% of its usable life. Hmmm… If the EBRPD had followed through on their two promises to upgrade and expand the residence approximately fifteen years ago, it would not be an issue today. There are similar missteps concerning the rest of the CGC infrastructure, but the residence serves as a prime example. At 1,192 square feet, the EBRPD’s estimates to renovate or replace the residence, at over $350,000, defy logic. As one contractor told me, he would be stealing from us to estimate renovation at $50,000. $90,000 would be for “gold plating”. A high, but reasonable estimate for asset preservation would probably be in the $30,000 range. That does not even include factoring in the volunteer help that we have been offered if the Park would let us do the work that we have requested to be able to do.

As you can imagine, the rest of the infrastructure needs somebody with a sharper pencil to take a look at it too.

What you can do.

Please keep sending emails to the EBRPD Directors, individually. Ask them to give us the time to respond effectively. Tell them how and why you think Chabot Gun Club is an important asset to the San Francisco Bay Area. Share your experiences here and at other outdoor ranges. If you have time, mail them individually. Here are their email addresses. Toward the bottom of the page is the mailing address.

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,President
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org (may need to cut and paste)

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, Secretary (Chabot Gun Club’s Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, Vice President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Treasurer
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Director
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)

P.O Box 5381

2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

Thank you all,

Semi-well organized,

John M. Maunder, Sr. Rm.

P.S. if you haven’t yet joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) now is a great time. We need them and they need you!

P.P.S. don’t forget to sign up for updates at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

 

Supporters of Chabot Gun Club: the next Lease Update is in process, we promise!

We had hoped to have an update on the significant events coming from the East Bay Regional Park District, November 3rd Board Meeting by now, but we are still trying to figure out what all happened and what it all means.I will say this:We were generally pleased by the results of the meeting: around 150 people showed up, mostly CGC supporters. Fifty-two people were able to speak, again mostly our supporters, although the meeting went so long that some just had to leave before they could speak.We made our point to the Board about the inefficacy of the staff report and challenged our opposition firmly, yet politely.More to come, stay tuned.Thanks,John Maunder, Sr. Rm.

Chabot Gun Club President, Dennis Staats will be on KGO Radio, AM 810 with Christine Craft today, Sunday, Nov. 1st at 6pm. This is a call-in talk show so listen for the numbers and call in if you can.Christine Craft, an attorney who believes in Constitutional rights, will be interviewing Dennis today about the issues surrounding the current efforts to close Chabot Gun Club and the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range.She describes herself as a “Flaming Liberal who owns Guns.”Dennis has been our President for more than 13 years and has held other board and activity positions before that. He is very knowledgeable about the issues and opposition we face.Should be a lively discussion, Please listen and call in if you can.Thanks,John M. Maunder, S.RM.

 

Lease Update 10/31/15: Chabot Gun Club Has Risen to the Challenge!

Now it’s your turn:

EBRPD Board Meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, @ 2:00 pm. Please be there!

In the last lease update, we painted a pretty bleak picture of our current relationship with the East Bay Regional Park District. To make matters even more interesting, we have it on good authority that people from various out-of-area groups, plus the Unitarian Church, the Golden Gate Audubon Society, and even a local park anti-expansion group have been pulled into the mix of those opposed to Chabot Gun Club operating the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range.

Doesn’t really surprise us. We expected outside agitators to join people with legitimate concerns to take this up as the cause du jour.

Fortunately, the National Rifle Association, the California Rifle and Pistol Association and the Diablo Rod and Gun Club have stepped in with donations and other assistance. Our counsel, C.D. Michel & Associates, a well-known firearms legal firm, is bending over backwards to help us rise to these challenges. Thousands of other individuals are also finding ways to assist us.

 

Our Compliance Recapped

First off, in our haste to get the last lease update out, where we discussed our areas of compliance with the regulators, we forgot to include some of the other areas in which we are, even according to the EBRPD, already compliant with regulations concerning the environment:

Things we learned during the Board Operations Committee on September 24:

The water in Lake Chabot has been tested in the upper strata and no lead has been found.

No testing of the lower strata in the lake was done because of the years of lead fishing weights that had been deposited there.

Lead has been found somewhere upstream of the lake but the EBRPD does not know where it came from. (With the East Bay hills’ history of military firearms ranges and missile sites is that really surprising?)

The fish in Lake Chabot have been tested and are free of lead.

 

So Let’s Summarize:

CGC is legally compliant on our sound signature, specifically on the type of sound that gunfire makes.

CGC is compliant on our stormwater signature. There were some earlier ‘spikes’ caused by mitigation measures improperly forced upon us. (Like one of Alameda County’s regulators told us, “Sometimes we tend to over-regulate a little.”)

CGC is compliant on our lead reclamation projects, even though interrupted by the aforementioned mitigation measures.

CGC will continue to be compliant as we have already brought in a nationally recognized lead reclamation firm to help us re-vamp the range.

CGC is compliant with our environmental stewardship as we are not causing a discharge of lead into Lake Chabot.

CGC compliant with our environmental stewardship as we have no impact on the fish in Lake Chabot.

CGC is compliant with the EBRPD’s requirement that we retain a stormwater scientist by retaining Dr. Tim Bauters, a nationally recognized stormwater expert.

 

The only place that CGC is not compliant is in this:

We were told that while we could protest (what we believed were unnecessary, expensive and potentially irresponsible) proposals that the EBRPD and its consultants were pushing upon us, in the end, we have to do what we are told.

Well, it is not quite that simple.

CGC will endeavor to continue to do what is right, especially where safety and the environment are concerned.

Here are a few examples:

Even though the EBRPD has been trying to hide discharge points from the regulators and the public, we will sample wherever we deem necessary and report our findings to the authorities.

Even though the EBRPD has prevented us from implementing reasonable and effective Best Management Practices (BMPs) and required us to engage in practices that could damage the environment, we will continue to work to ensure that only clean water leaves our facility.

Even though the EBRPD has taken funds away from their intended purpose in order to facilitate our closure, we will bring those funds to light in an effort to have the EBRPD reassign them to the long term benefit of the mass of shooters in the Bay Area and the environment that the EBRPD professes to desire to preserve.

What can you do?

First send an email to the EBRPD Directors, individually, as soon as possible. Tell them how and why you think Chabot Gun Club is an important asset to the San Francisco Bay Area. Share your experiences here and at other outdoor ranges. Here are their email addresses:

 

Whitney Dotson, Ward 1,President
E-mail: wdotson@ebparks.org (may need to cut and paste)

John Sutter, Ward 2, Director
E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Dennis Waespi, Ward 3, Secretary (Chabot Gun Club’s Director)
E-mail: dwaespi@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4, Vice President
E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5, Director
E-mail: awieskamp@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6, Treasurer
E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Diane Burgis, Ward 7, Director
E-mail: dburgis@ebparks.org

Then, come to the EBRPD General Board Meeting at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015. I would suggest you get there at least half an hour early, as I expect the opposition to show up in large numbers.

The opposition will have signs. We should all wear something BLUE, the Club’s main color. If you plan to speak, you will need to fill out a speaker card when you get there or email me at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com I will send you one to finish filling out. We are agenda item C.2.a., Chabot Gun Club.

Since this will be an informational meeting, no vote will be taken (at least that is what EBRPDs staff has told us). The senior staff will probably present a very biased, negative report on Chabot Gun Club, as they have in the Board Operations Committee and the Park Advisory Committee.

Speak if you can. Numbers will matter.

If you can’t get in, due to the number of people, hang around the building. The media will undoubtedly will be there.

No guns! No foul language! Please be very polite. There are a lot of people working in the EBRPD that quietly support us. If they are against us, do like Reagan did: try to never turn an adversary into an enemy.

The address to come to the meeting is:

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381

See you there.

John

 

Lease update 10/21/15 Blindsided !!

You most likely have heard that Chabot Gun Club (CGC) has been hit with some very negative publicity recently. There is a lot of spin, the apparent purpose being to make it easier to shut the range down. To give you some background, at the request of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), CGC management has been in what we were told were ‘confidential negotiations’ with EBRPD staff and their consultants for the last several months. That is why there have been no Lease Updates recently. We have been working in good faith, trying to be fair and proactive. We hired experts with extensive experience in environmental practices and mitigation measures to evaluate the range and make recommendations. But before we even concluded our conversations, EBRPD publicized draft reports that essentially ignored our environmental experts’ input. The recommendations in these reports substantially raised the cost estimates of maintaining the range to unsustainable levels, while downplaying the costs of shutting it down and cleaning it up. These reports appeared on the EBRPD’s website at approximately the same time that we first received them! We had no opportunity to prepare a response before the reports were released. Then the reports were portrayed by those who apparently want to shut down CGC as unquestionably sound. They most emphatically are not! On top of that, one EBRPD Board member, who has been posturing to shut CGC down and who’s mind appears to be closed on the issue, held a very dismissive interview with the news media that condemned CGC before we had time to respond. He is basically acting as a lobbyist against CGC continuing to operate! Ignoring our scientists and other range operations professionals, EBRPD’s consultants and its staff have prepared conclusions to their studies that unnecessarily exaggerate the costs involved for operating the Range, managing environmental issues, and continuing to meet the environmental standards that apply. By the EBRPD’s own admission, CGC is already meeting environmental requirements now! At the same time, their consultants and staff have proffered estimates to shut the range that do not square with CGC’s range professionals’ opinions. Additionally, the (non-environmental) facility maintenance responsibilities and their associated costs are wildly inflated in the reports and ignore the fact that EBRPD stopped allowing CGC to do most routine facilities maintenance several years ago even though it continued to collect the money from CGC operations, over and above the lease payment, that should be used for CGC facilities and maintenance – to the tune of about $234,000.00. Now, the EBRPD and the public seem to be accepting the ‘draft,’ unrebutted figures as gospel. Some are demanding the range be closed at the end of this year, while one EBRPD director stated that he supported an “orderly wind-down” of the range. This seems to translate into one or two more years of operation, possibly with surcharges imposed to make our shooter clients pay for part of the cleanup in advance. In response to these attempts to ‘stack the deck’ to make it impossible for CGC to continue to operate, our President, Dennis Staats, recently engaged in the following exchange with the EBRPD Board Operations Committee: Mr. Staats: “Chabot Gun Club is diligently working on a proposal, as requested by the East Bay Regional Park District counsel. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond at this time to the ‘informational’ packet that was ‘dropped’ on us at the last Board Operations Committee meeting. The draft report contained in the packet was sent to us three and a half business days prior to that meeting. The sound study portion of that report had not been sent to us prior to the meeting. The second draft ‘informational’ report was also sent to us three and a half business days prior to this meeting. The environmental study portion of this second draft report was sent to us late yesterday. Additionally, CGC’s counsel has not received other important information they have requested from the Park staff. “Both the original and second draft ‘informational’ reports from the Park staff contain steps that are ‘unnecessary’, ‘expensive’, and acting upon them before the report is finalized is ‘irresponsible’. Although CGC’s team of scientists, attorneys, maintenance, & finance personnel are working diligently, we cannot possibly have a response to present to the Park before the end of this year. We believe it will more likely be in the Spring of next year. “One of the things that our attorneys have asked us to request is that they be given a means to directly access the individual members of the Park Board. CGC believes that the information the Park Board may be receiving is incomplete and inaccurate. “How does CGC accomplish our goal of obtaining a free and open discussion with the Park Board in this matter of such great magnitude?” Neither the Committee nor the staff responded to Mr. Staats’ question about access to the Board. EBRPD Director John Sutter, Chair of the Committee and author of informational sheets detrimental to the continued operation of the range did ask Mr. Staats, “What are the issues?” Mr. Staats replied, “Geosyntec (the EBRPD’s environmental consultant) has said within the first paragraph of the report that, should the proposed initial BMPs (Best Management Practices) not drop the lead levels, then more drastic and expensive measures will be required. We have not even had the first rain event of this year, so we do not know if the current BMPs accomplish that goal. However, basing proposed costs solely on those more expensive solutions leads one to believe that CGC cannot possibly afford to meet the future lead numbers.” To put things into perspective, CGC’s lead remediation consultant, whose business includes cleaning up closed ranges, told us that it is always more expensive to close a range than to maintain it. Our primary storm-water consultant assures us that CGC is capable of continuing to meet the applicable current and future environmental standards with the implementation of the affordable BMP’s that CGC has already proposed to the Park District. Unfortunately, the EBRPD has only allowed CGC to implement one of the nine proposals to take specific measures to mitigate environmental impacts that CGC submitted to the EBRPD throughout this year (let alone for the last six years). Those measures could be paid for by CGC. Fortunately, although months have passed, one critical proposal has now finally been permitted, albeit at the last minute, just before the fall rains. Without at least some of those measures in place, the numbers after the rain may be high, and no doubt CGC will be blamed for it. On another note, so to speak, the sound study produced by EBRPD’s sound consultant proved that the Club’s sound signature is well within legal limits. This is no different than what all previous studies have always shown. While CGC is legal, some people don’t like the type of noise. As a consequence, the EBRPD seems to be accepting recommendations to enclose ranges with structures that would severely impact CGC’s management of shooters and safety protocols at the public firing lines. We would love to find the magic solution to the noise issue. In some states they can use some types of sound suppressors that are illegal in California. Not a whole lot of viable options, none perfect. More to come on this issue. The ‘draft’ report also trashed the infrastructure of the CGC’s buildings and public works, saying that it would cost in excess of a million dollars to bring them up to a satisfactory condition and nearly the same to tear them down and replace them. That is ridiculous! Yes, the facility is run down. However, if the EBRPD would let us do the necessary work that we have been requesting to do for years and if they would also release the $234,000 plus funds in the Concessionaires Maintenance Fund that CGC has been paying into for years, CGC would have no trouble restoring the structures to their intended purposes with past and future revenues. EBRPD has fought CGC for years over those funds, only allowing them to barely trickle out. Recently, they admitted that they don’t plan to let us use them anymore. Instead, they are holding them as a possible “Closure Fund”, in case we walk away.We want the EBRPD Board of Directors to understand: Ignoring sound issue realities and proposing expensive remedies that could severely impact CGC’s excellent safety record bypasses both common sense and applicable law on noise levels – which has always been the standard before. Preventing CGC from performing necessary work, essential to keeping the facility properly maintained, obeying regulations and being responsible environmentally makes no sense if the goal is for a reduced impact on the community. Withholding funds that CGC paid into, and then saying that they are earmarked for closure, appears to be accounting by agenda. Promoting the notion that shutting the range down is less expensive than maintaining and improving it is not supported by those in the business and seems to be financially questionable. The public is now understandably stirred up by the prematurely published ‘draft informational’ reports on lead, stormwater, sound and infrastructure issues. CGC expected preliminary reports to review and discuss in confidence, not defend in public. Sadly, now both genuinely concerned citizens and people who just hate guns are jumping to false conclusions on the real issues. Make no mistake; this does not seem to be about environmental responsibility, which has always been one of CGC’s priorities. This appears to be simply an excuse to shut down a GUN range. As one non-affiliated gentleman, with an extensive environmental work history, stated to us after the most recent EBRPD Board Operations Committee meeting, “This is not about the environment. This is purely political.” Another gentleman, also not affiliated with us, with an extensive consulting resume in recovery from catastrophic events, publicly cautioned the EBRPD not to make matters worse by moving too quickly on complicated issues. We believe that if, as some are urging, the EBRPD Board takes the staff report and prematurely acts on it now rather than giving CGC time to respond and submit a proposal for the range’s operation, matters could become much worse for everyone. It could then be impossible for CGC to continue to serve the public and the EBRPD operationally, fiscally and environmentally. By the way, the reason we have not asked all of you to come to an EBRPD Board meeting again is that the dates that CGC is to be heard have been pushed back a couple of times. This is to be expected on such large issues. When it is time to show up, we will probably only have a couple of days to prepare. The next ‘Informational Meeting’, without a vote, should take place November 3. We will confirm the when, the time and the where, as soon as we are confident the schedule is firm and spread the word. Make no mistake; the whole Bay Area will be slammed if Chabot Gun Club gets shut down. The alternative ranges will have great difficulty handling the reverberations. The EBRPD will also go through serious gyrations. We need you to help keep that from happening. Stay tuned, and if you or your friends are not signed up on keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com where we will issue action alerts, please do so right away. Thanks. John

 

Previous Announcement: United Sportsmans Rifle/Pistol Line Closure

As many of you probably already know, United Sportsmen, Inc., the great range north of us in Concord, has suspended its rifle and pistol lines, as well as their action bays, until further notice to conduct necessary maintenance. Following is part of a message that we have sent to all of the clubs that make up USI:The Chabot Gun Club, Inc. Board of Directors would like to extend “Guest Rate” privileges to all members and their spouses of United Sportsmen, Inc., and their affiliated clubs, during the time that USI is conducting maintenance on the rifle/pistol lines. This offer is good until December 28, (because that is the last day we are open in 2015) or whenever your facility is back up to speed, whichever comes first. Our Guests pay $8.00 per day per shooter per day, instead of $15.50, the normal Non-Member rate. You must have your membership card in hand to access the discount. Although USI’s clay bird facilities are far more extensive than Chabot Gun Club’s, and we would not expect you to come to our range for strictly shotgun sports, if you are here anyway, we will certainly extend the Guest discount, or $8.00 instead of $10.00 per round of 25 clays, to your members and your spouses. Hopefully, USI will be up to full speed very quickly; in the interim, we open our doors to you and look forward to working together in furtherance of the shooting sports.

 

Lease Update: 7/20/15: It figures . . .

 

Over the last several months (years, really), Chabot Gun Club has worked diligently with the East Bay Regional Park District to meet the July 1, 2015 deadline for the state’s new Storm Water Pollution Protection Plan. This has involved numerous improvements to the storm water conveyance system infrastructure and various ancillary projects. Then, when we (and half a jillion others) submitted our reports (on time), the system wasn’t able to handle it (sound familiar?). So now we have until August 14th to make our submission even more wonderful. This is to say that we continue to be compliant with the constantly moving target that is environmental stewardship. There will a lot of changes coming up and a lot more money will be spent but we will strive to do all that is required to keep your range open. Looking forward Now, as we head into the latter half of 2015 and the end of the current, one-year lease extension, we look forward to seeing what the Park will propose for the future. Meetings are being scheduled as we write this and we will let you know what is coming up. We do know this, the Park District is expecting a large attendance at any public meeting that addresses the Gun Club / lease issue. We certainly don’t want to disappoint them, so when the call goes out we need to be ready to mobilize quickly. We usually only get about five day’s advance notice of a meeting that addresses our issues and we will certainly contact everyone who has signed up on keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com

Be sure to sign up there if you haven’t already.

Thanks. John

 

Lease Update 6-3-2015: Hark, I Hear the Cannons’ Roar:

Recently, we have been addressing some of the potential ramifications that the East Bay Regional Park District could experience by closing the public marksmanship range. In a future post, we will address potential impacts on the larger community as well. Today, however, we want to look at the noise issue as presented by someone who is experiencing it firsthand. She recently wrote, “…Those in favor of the renewal of the gun club’s lease raise the (argument): ‘If you move near an airport, expect to hear planes’” She has “… been living off Skyline since 1980.” According to her, “…When I moved to my current home on the south end of HEIA 11 years ago, it was not disclosed by the former owner or realtors that I would be listening to gunfire every day and I did not know there was an (open-air) gun range within earshot. I had never heard of the Chabot gun club (sic) before moving here. “A gun club is not the same as an airport (or a high school which probably hits closer to home to those living in HEIA). Everyone knows where airports and schools are…a relatively small percentage of the population knows where the local (open-air) rifle ranges are located.” Eloquently stated. Her contention (and that of some others) seems to be that the range should be closed because of realtors and/or sellers who apparently failed to disclose the fact that there is an open-air gun range nearby, even though members of her community have historically admitted that they can hear it. That is the whole point of “Disclosure”. The people who know (sellers), or should have known (realtors), are supposed to tell the people that don’t know and have a right to know (buyers), what conditions exist within and without the property that they are buying into. Most of the people in her new neighborhood, shooters and non-shooters alike, knew about the range. Even if (as happened in one case) the seller of her new property did not know (due to some disability), it was still up to the realtor to find out. The realtors we have spoken to have been emphatic about that. The idea that the sellers or realtors of a house, within a community that admits that they can hear gunfire, would not disclose it to a potential buyer is simply unimaginable and dishonest. Those disturbed by the noise should look at their contracts to see if they were effectively forewarned. Chabot Gun Club has been operating the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range for the East Bay Regional Park District for over fifty years. The afore-mentioned realtors and prior owner, people who were necessarily part of that “relatively small percentage of the population (who knew) where the local (open-air) rifle range (was) located” appear to have failed to live up to their responsibility, harming this lady, other homeowners and thousands of range users in the process. We are not callus to the difficulty this has caused, but we are not at fault.

John

 

Lease Update 5/21/2015: Clarification Needed?

Well, our preliminary estimates are out in the open. Most of the responses (from our people) have been appreciative of the information. Some, however, have been concerned (and thank you for expressing your concerns) that we might be perceived as making “veiled threats” against the EBRPD by pointing out that the ultimate responsibility for the range rests with the Park. To be very clear, we are not making threats. We are pointing out the unintended, but likely consequences that will happen if the range is closed. The Club has never received any indication that the Park Board is trying to close the range (and besides, us threatening anybody would be really stupid!). What we have heard, directly from several directors, is that we have their support as long as we are being responsible toward the environment. Chabot Gun Club appreciates being in the East Bay Regional Park. The Park provides us with a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor range and we want to preserve this setting as long as possible. Our concern, expressed in the last update, is with the people who are pressuring the Park to shut us down. We are fairly sure they have not really thought through what they are asking for. Many of them care about the Park as much as we do. Therefore, we think that everyone needs to know what could happen if insufficient thought is put into the solvable environmental issues that face both the Club and the Park. We believe that Chabot Gun Club is the best hope for long term solutions but we cannot protect the Park if we are taken out. Let me put our warnings into perspective with a personal experience. Years ago, when I was hauling gasoline for a living, I was just entering a freeway when the Loma Prieta earthquake started. Cars immediately started hitting each other and traffic stopped. Next to my 8,000 gallon tanker was a line of power poles waving back and forth, like reeds in a pool, as the ground rippled underneath. The power lines repeatedly snapped taut, went slack, then snapped taut again. I knew I was well within their radius if they broke loose and a memory jumped to my mind. Years earlier, I had watched as a disconnected power line, on Crow Canyon Road, cut a four inch wide by eight inch long by four inch deep hole in the asphalt every time it touched the ground, then jumped up high into the air just to come down and cut another hole a few feet away. Now, stuck in traffic close to snapping power lines, I knew what could happen. I popped on the the parking brakes and flew out the door but saw all the people stuck in their cars and remembered the deadly Caldecott Tunnel gasoline tanker explosion. I had no illusions about what those power lines could do to my truck if just one of them touched it even once. So I ran over to the closest car, pointing to the flexing power lines and my gas tanker, yelling at the driver to get out and run. As I ran up to other cars, the earthquake stopped. Nothing catastrophic happened to us in that location but I make no apologies for making a scene and warning people. Was I issuing “veiled threats” to anyone? Of course not. I saw the danger that others did not and started warning people; LOUDLY! My responsibility was to the public around me so I ran around, waving my arms and yelling at people (sounds like some days at the Club!). So, here today, we at the Club see a potential threat to our great range and the park we are in. We see and hear people trying to pressure the District into shutting us down. It is our duty to sound a warning to our community. As it stands now, Chabot Gun Club (CGC) has been taking the lead in mitigating the environmental concerns that surround the range in accordance with all relevant regulations. However, if the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range is closed, the burden will fall exclusively on the Park who will likely be forced to begin the expensive cleanup or to maintain the range without anyone using it. Either way, the Park will have to spend a huge sum of money to maintain compliance instead of being able to share environmental stewardship with Chabot Gun Club, which has a vested interest in the project’s success. This is not a case of us-versus-them. If the current negotiations are disrupted, everyone loses. The public loses their range, the Park loses money, and the community suffers because the environmental problems become nearly insurmountable. The last thing we want is a fight. Instead, Chabot Gun Club wants to continue working with the Park District to provide long term and financially responsible solutions. Hope you all understand. More detailed estimates will come in future posts. John Lease Update 5-19-2015, What will it cost? This Lease Update will be posted in at least three, or maybe more, posts over the next few days, due to the volume of material. We have been very busy. We have been attending numerous EBRPD (District) Board and committee meetings for the last several months, learning better how the District functions and relates to its concessionaires. It is very different than the club/corporate structure that we are familiar with. Although we thought we had cultivated a successful working relationship over the years, the lease process has exposed numerous incorrect assumptions and fault lines on both the District’s side and the Club’s. We are working diligently to correct those. On May 8th, the Club hosted an EBRPD Board of Directors’ Walk-Through of the range. District personnel and CGC management were able to discuss some of the issues facing the range and the Club. We found it personally rewarding and got the sense that the District Board and staff, and members of the public who attended were enlightened also. No! No! No! One of the things that we have learned is that we DO NOT want to follow the type of process that resulted in the recent operator change at the nearby Willow Park Golf Course. After fifty years of management by the same concessionaire group (just like Chabot Gun Club), when the time for their lease renewal came up, the District and Willow Park’s management were not able to reconcile their differences. The result is that the golf course is now being operated by an interim group, Touchstone Golf. While the District Board has expressed their considerable appreciation for Touchstone’s management of the now re-named Redwood Canyon Golf Course, they have also made it clear that they really would not like a repeat of their golf course experience with the marksmanship range. Neither would we. Unlike the golf course, we are not aware of anyone waiting in the wings to take over the range. Why will become obvious in the rest of this post. The elephant in the room. While we await reports and further recommendations from our respective consultants, the issue of the cost of cleaning up the Marksmanship Range, if it closes, has finally surfaced. Chabot Gun Club has been formulating some educated guesses, now buttressed by the well-publicized, recent experience of Pacific Rod and Gun Club (PRG) in San Francisco. According to a recent newspaper article, Cleanup Takes Aim at Gun Club’s Debris, Feb 24, 2015, San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition, By John Wildermuth: (I am paraphrasing, any mistakes are mine) San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission is picking up the tab of cleaning up the Lake Merced site of the PRG. That will be $22 million (taxpayer dollars) for 11 acres, or $2 million per acre. That does not include the “mountain of lead” in the lake itself, since “studies found the mountain of lead shot that has fallen into Lake Merced since the club opened there (some 80 years ago!) poses no health problem”. (In another Lease Update, we may look at what is really going on in our own Lake Chabot, while downstream of the range, also home of countless lead fishing weights sold and submerged there for years, and downstream of various military ranges left over from our twentieth century wars.) But for now, back to the cleanup of the range: Chabot Gun Club operates 65 acres in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park, owned by the East Bay Regional Park District. We figure that somewhere around 50 acres would have to be cleaned up before other uses would be permitted on the site. Extrapolating from PRG’S numbers, we estimate that cleanup in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park Marksmanship Range would be at least $100 million. Because of our terrain, trees and the fact that all of our lead was shot on land and not into water, plus other factors that we will address later, we think the minimum cost could be closer to $200 million and could go as high as $500 million. It ain’t me, babe. People who hope they can wish us away just because they don’t like guns or firearms’ noise need to give serious, serious thought to what they are really asking for. We have heard some people say that the range should be closed and that Chabot Gun Club should bear the cost of the cleanup. They may not know that while we have operated the East Bay Regional Park District’s Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range for 50 years, ten years after the Club and the EBRPD built the range together, ownership passed from the Club to the District. At Chabot Gun Club, we have been and are committed to being good stewards of the land and environment we are in. We would like to continue to operate the District’s range, but if we get booted out, or are forced to walk away, it still belongs to the District. If we are sued, we will last five minutes, then it’s back to the District. With a 2015 budget of $223 million, the East Bay Regional Park District should last a little longer. That’s enough for today. In a couple of days, we will look at the some of the other impacts shutting the range down and cleaning it up would have on our community.

John

 

Lease Update, April 16, 2015: Road Closure Next Week (Friday, 4/24) and May Rate Increase

This is a two parter:

First, we have a road closure coming up next week. While that is not part of the lease, the Lease Update systems are the quickest ways to get the word out. Then, we need to implement a rate increase in May of this year. About the road closure: We are getting the word out a little late because we were unsure when the Park was going to repair Marciel Road, the Family Campground and significant areas of Chabot Gun Club. Now we know. Our whole park is scheduled to be closed Wednesday 4/22, Thursday 4/23 and Friday 4/24. This is a slight change from earlier plans. We have been watching the rain forecasts and the Park’s notices and this appears to be firm. So, the good news is, we should be closed to the Public only one day: Friday 4/24. The bad news is, we will be closed that day. We had thought it would be the Monday before but it’s not. So, try come up the Monday before (or after) to make up for the lost opportunity.

Now, about the rate increase: The Park District must approve our rates prior to implementation. Back in October, 2014, we requested rate increases for the first time since 2006. In the past, with the economy so bad and ammo prices going insane, we did not want to make shooting even more difficult by raising our rates. Instead, we tightened our belts, like everybody else, and made do with the rates from 2006. Since 2006, while the Consumer Price index has gone up 17%, a number of our costs have risen substantially more, to wit: Liability insurance increased 105%. Environmental costs 500%. Maintenance expenses increased 274%. Utilities like propane and electricity have been in line with inflation but trash and recycling jumped quite a bit more. Don’t even get me started on the legal expenses! Unfortunately, the Park’s proposal on the one-year extension did not include the rate increase so it was not heard at the time the one-year extension was approved. Fortunately, we were allowed to go back to the Board and make a request for the rest of 2015, which was unanimously approved at the April 7th Park Board Meeting. The new rates are approximately ten percent higher: Rifle/Pistol (all day) Non-Member, from $14.00 to $15.50 Member, from $7.00 to $7.75 Guest, no change from $8.00 Junior, from $4.00 to $4.50 Trap (per round) Non-Member, from $9.00 to $10.00 Member, from $7.00 to $8.00 Guest, no change from $8.00 Junior, from $5.00 to $5.50 Now, to be candid, next year, we intend to ask for another rate increase along with the long term lease, and then we’ll try to keep up with inflation after that. Not much fun, but things are getting much more expensive and this year’s increase only begins to address the shortfall. Want to help? Come up and shoot even more than you already do. The more you shoot, the better off we all will be. Plus, as you know, it’s fun.

So, that’s about it for this update. A short road closure and a rate increase. We plan to let you know (soon!) how the rest of the lease process is coming along. (Hint: seems to be doing well.) Don’t forget to sign up (if you haven’t already) on keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com for alerts like this one. John, Senior Rangemaster

 

Lease Update, Tuesday, November 18th: Chabot Gun Club is very excited today! To Quote:

“…the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District hereby authorizes staff to execute a Second Amendment to the Lease Agreement with the Chabot Gun Club, to extend the initial term for one year expiring on December 31, 2015…” The vote was 6-0. We thank the Board of Directors for their support on this measure. Now, the intricate work of setting up the proper environmental testing will continue but with the Board’s encouragement we are confident that we will be able to achieve our mutual goals. We estimate that between 30 and 50 of our supporters attended the Board meeting. Twenty-one people spoke to the Board on our issue. Eighteen were supportive of the one-year lease extension to study our impact on the community. Three others did not want the lease extended. The Board listened intently while our supporters were sometimes eloquent, sometimes quietly passionate and most even stopped before the two minute cutoff. After the meeting, a couple of Park staffers complimented us on our group’s attendance and everyone’s comportment. To say that we were pleased does not begin to express our appreciation. We thank all who came, all who spoke and all who wrote letters and emails in support of the range and Chabot Gun Club. You did great! In the near future, we will let you know when the details of the extension agreement are ironed out. After that, we will begin the work on the long-term lease. Those items still lie ahead but today is a day to enjoy and remember. Most sincerely. John Senior Rangemaster

OK PEOPLE. THIS IS IT. THE PARK BOARD VOTES THIS TUESDAY! Sometime shortly after 2 pm, on Tuesday, November 18th, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a one year extension of Chabot Gun Club’s lease to operate the Anthony Chabot Regional Park’s Marksmanship Range. If it is approved as presented to us as of this writing, Chabot Gun Club plans to accept the extension. The Park Board meeting will be held at the East Bay Regional Park District Headquarters 2950 Peralta Oaks Court Oakland, CA 94605 Their Headquarters are located off 580 near the 106th Ave. exit. Parking is bizarre with all the construction next door so you may have to park a little ways away but it is a nice neighborhood. After parking, come into the main lobby under the drive-thru overhang and sign in at reception. They will give you a sticker to wear that always falls off. Then they will direct you the elevator and you will go down to the bottom floor. When you walk out the door behind you, turn left, then turn right and you will see signs for the Board Room. Plan to get there way ahead of time. I have no idea how many people plan to come to this meeting. You might let me know if you plan to attend by emailing me at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com Public comments and our item should be held near the beginning of the meeting. If you plan to speak, be sure to fill out the speaker’s card when you first enter the Board Room. Please be aware that you will only have two minutes to speak. The Board can get behind schedule if you go over so the best advice is to write out what you want to say and keep it under one and a half minutes. We would like to make the following suggestions, having watched various presentations over the years.

If some of these are your personal experience: Please Do: > Do Thank the Board – You might thank the Board members for providing such a beautiful place to enjoy your sporting activities. It is truly a gem. > Do Relate Your Personal Experiences – You might comment on how much you enjoy their range. If you and your family or your friends like to be at the range together, tell the Board why. > DoMention Law Enforcement and Security Training -You might bring up the communities’ need for the inexpensive and readily available law enforcement and security facilities provided by the range. > DoEmphasize Educational Opportunities – You might mention the comprehensive educational opportunities the range provides. Children and adults receive regular safety training at the range. > Do Mention Safe and Well Managed – This is what we have heard thousands of times from our clients. You might even mention your opinion of Chabot Gun Club’s operation of the range.

Please, Please, Please Do Not: > Do Not Make Veiled Threats or Threatening Jokes – Nobody believes you and you will just irritate our landlord. We can and should be very polite. > Do Not Give Job Advice – Nobody likes someone telling them “who they work for.” In most people, it causes resentment and stubbornness. Public chastisement of an elected (or appointed) official is almost sure to backfire and hurt our cause. > Do Not Demand Your Rights – Rights are not the issue here. Chabot Gun Club’s ultimate goal is to secure a new, long term lease with the East Bay Regional Park District. When we communicate, we must stick to the issue at hand by being brief and focused. If you are not sure that you can constrain yourself, please stay on the sidelines and support us in other ways. Everybody wins that way. If you are unable to attend the Board meeting on the 18th, you can write or email the various Board members. Their contact info is here: http://www.ebparks.org/about/boardThis should be fun. Please spread the word. Tell your friends and other club members to come to http://chabotgunclub.com/lease-updates/ and to email me at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com Thank you, John, Senior Rangemaster ********************* Notes from the Senior Rangemaster, John M. Maunder:

Lots of people have been asking about the status of our lease renewal with the Park District. To help everyone sort things out we are opening up this information page. It is now in the following sections: (current) Update, (previous) Update(s) and Historical Information.

Although we will try to be accurate in our presentation of the facts, mistakes will undoubtedly crop up. Please let me know if you see anything that needs to be addressed and we will try to make it as accurate as possible.

 

Lease Update November 14th: Proposed One Year Extension to be heard Tuesday, November 18th, 2 pm

The Park staff is recommending that the Park Board extend the lease with the Club for one year to better study the environmental impacts of the Marksmanship Range. After having reviewed the Board Packet and Agenda we are confident that we can meet the terms of the extension as presented as of this writing. The agenda and packet can be found here: http://www.ebparks.org/about/meetings under the 11/18/14 subheading. Sometime in the next 48 hours or so, we will be advising everyone what level of support at this meeting may be appropriate. It is your range, however, so anything we say is only our opinion. If you have not yet signed up on keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com ,our mobilization address, please do so asap. If you have not signed Jason Siegel’s petition in support of the range, http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/chabot-gun-club-safe please do so also. Feel free to let your Board Members know how much you like having a Marksmanship Range in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park. They can be reached at http://www.ebparks.org/about/board And be sure to let Mimi Waluch know via info@ebparks.org . She has been very appreciative of all your polite comments. We will be in touch very soon. John Senior Rangemaster

 

Lease Update November 1st: Draft Extension Letter!

So, we are finally able to tell you all that we have just received the first draft of the one year extension letter. Our attorneys and environmental experts are looking at it and will be helping us sort through the various details. We are told that the Park Board wants to vote on the extension in open session on Tuesday, November 18th. Now, this is a first draft, not a final document, but it is a start. Our concern of late was whether the Park was even interested in having a range here at all. We consider this first draft sort of a down payment on the concept. If we don’t have the extension in place by the end of the current contract, we have been told that we will go on “month to month” as in the past when contract adjustments were being hammered out. In addition, the Park Advisory Committee has moved the issue of the Marksmanship Range to the 2015 calendar. As a result of these developments, we have begun accepting rental requests from the various law enforcement agencies and training groups that use the range. We also encourage everyone to renew their memberships for 2015. On a more personal note: during the several meetings at the Park headquarters that we have attended recently, one thing really stands out: Mimi Waluch, Concessions Manager, told us that she was both surprised and pleased that the “gun people” were very polite and not at all what she expected. Be sure to keep that up as you continue to make your voices heard and as you encourage your fellow shooters to contact her: Mimi Waluch via info@ebparks.org There will be another Park Board meeting on November 4th, this Tuesday. Public comments are held near the beginning of the open session, around 2 PM. Even though the marksmanship range is not on the posted agenda, you will have an opportunity to speak to the Board if you wish. Several of your CGC staff and board members plan to attend. It would be nice to see you there. In the meantime, encourage everyone who has not yet filled out Jason Siegel’s petition to sign in and leave comments http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/chabot-gun-club-safe. Also, everyone who has not yet done so, please email me at keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com so that we can get ready to mobilize as needed.

John Senior Rangemaster

 

Update, October 17th: The Time to Mobilize is Fast Approaching, What You Can Do Now:

On October 2nd, our counsel was advised by the East Bay Regional Park District Counsel that a one-year extension of our current lease, under nearly all of the current lease provisions, was imminent. Then, we heard, on October 15th, that the extension was to be debated during open session of the Park Board. This is perplexing. Back in January, 2014, the Park staff told us that they needed to find out if they could just issue a six month extension to study our business or if it needed to go before the District Board. We never heard back until now on which path was chosen. Apparently, the Board path was decided upon but since then, there have been at least 20 District Board Meetings. We were hoping that an extension that represents $800,000 in revenue for one year, with hundreds of millions of dollars potentially riding on the outcome, could have been decided by now. It is time for us to get ready. The first step? We need to know who our supporters are, so we have opened up a new email address for this purpose: keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com We understand that many of you were leery of signing Jason Siegel’s excellent petition in support of the range because it was not hosted by Chabot Gun Club, so we are asking all of you, the 5859 signers of Jason’s petition, along with all the rest of you who support having a PUBLICRange in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park, to contact us through this email address: keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com This email address is the Club’s property. We will protect your information. We will not use the information you give us for any reason other than to promote: 1. Keeping the Public Range open 2. Keeping Chabot Gun Club operating the range We are primarily looking for email addresses at this time. If you and someone else use the same email address, please email us separately so that we can more efficiently count our supporters. If you want to make comments or suggestions, please do so; they have been very encouraging on Jason’s petition. If you know people who do not have email, they can write us at our P.O. Box 2246, Castro Valley, CA 94546-0246. We anticipate asking you to attend Park Board meetings and to write letters to the Board Members of the Park District to show them the extent of the Public that cares about their public range. Spread the word keeptherangeopen@chabotgunclub.com and let’s all get ready to march.

John Senior Rangemaster

 

Update, September 17th, 2014 Still holding . . .

We were hoping for more definitive news by this time but we are still in a holding pattern. Our sources inside the process (vague enough for everyone?) tell us that we are probably looking at a one year extension of the current lease for the Club to operate the range. During that time, an RFP could be issued and then we would devote our efforts toward a new long term, lease agreement. If we do get the extension, it will not be time to relax. There are huge issues that need to be addressed concerning the environment and other management responsibilities, so please keep up your contact with the Park; they need to know how important their public shooting range is to their public. Again, they have requested that you contact them concerning the range through their Concessions Manager, Mimi Waluch via info@ebparks.org Wish we could tell you more. As soon as we know something concrete, we will try to pass it along.

 

Update, August 27th, 2014 What we learned from the Quarterly Meeting:

We had our Quarterly meeting with the Park, as scheduled, on the 20th of August. It has taken a week to figure out what we learned. According to Park staff, Chabot Gun Club’s letter, formally requesting to lease the range again, is in the Park’s legal department. The six month extension that the Park staff requested to review our operations is also in their legal department. Since our future seems to currently be sitting in the Park’s legal department, we are contacting them to see if they can tell us anything. That is where the lease stands as of today. During the Quarterly meeting, we did learn that there has been a significant misunderstanding of certain applications of the Club’s Environmental Stewardship Plan and responsibilities. By resolving some critical definitions, we were able to demonstrate to the Park staff that we have kept up our compliance with the Plan to an even higher level than they realized. That part was rewarding. That’s about it for this post. When we know more, we’ll pass it on. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to let Mimi Waluch, the Park’s Concessions Manager, know of your support for the range and the Club by contacting her at info@ebparks.org.

 

Update, August 17th, 2014 The Park Tells Us How You Can Voice Your Support!

We are encouraged that the Park has responded to people’s concerns about the range. On a recent Facebook post the following interchange took place: MC: Who at the Park District should we call to voice our support for the range?

East Bay Regional Park District . . . Sorry for the delay. You would contact concessions manager Mimi Waluch via info@ebparks.org.

Since the Club is meeting with the Park this week, now would be a great time to send them an email in support of your range!

 

Update, August 13th, 2014: Upcoming Meeting

The Club will again be meeting with the Park staff on August 20. As of this post, no word on the RFP or an extension of the lease. We anticipate that the staff will have updates for us at that meeting. Stay posted!

 

Update, July 27th, 2014: Zero response to over 5000 signatures

As previously posted on 6/5/2014, Jason Siegel, who authored the petition to support the Club, sent that petition, with over 5000 signatures, to the Park Board . He received no response, so on approximately 7/7/2104, he sent a follow-up note to the Park Board, saying: “To the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District:It has been over a month since June 5, 2014 when I submitted a petition of over 5000 signatures in support of the Chabot Range to you all. I am wondering why none of you responded. Perhaps, because I didn’t ask for a response, you didn’t think it was necessary.Consider this, then, a formal request for a response to the following questions:–>What kind of an impact does the support for the range from over 5000 people have in your decision making process?–>What is the status of the upcoming lease renewal for the range? –>The Chabot Gun Club website is saying that they can’t schedule range rentals into 2015 because of the uncertainty regarding the lease to operate the range. Do you intend to ignore the issue and let the lease expire, de facto shutting down the range on December 31st 2014?My hope is that you will respond promptly, and openly about your position. And, ultimately that you ignore any pressure you may feel to close this valuable community resource. Please understand how much this range means to us. We didn’t sign that petition just to be ignored.Respectfully,Jason Siegel” Excellent questions, in my opinion. Unfortunately, as of this post, three weeks later (and nearly two months after his submission), neither Jason nor Chabot Gun Club have received any response from the Park District. ps. as of this posting there are 5563 signatures and some great comments on Jason’s petition.

 

Update, as of 7/21/2014: Over 23% would be LOST ! ! !

Peter Volin told ABC 7 News, “I would like to see the gun range not in this Park and either be someone (sic) else or just be happy with 19 gun ranges rather than 20 gun ranges in the Bay Area” http://abc7news.com/hobbies/gun-range-in-east-bay-park-faces-uncertain-future/173324/ We took a look at what’s available. From Morgan Hill to San Rafael to Vacaville and from Pacifica to Livermore, there seem to actually be 19 ranges open to the public. Closing one range looks like only a 5% loss but that does not tell the true story. Within those 19 ranges are 1,113 shooting positions: 763 rifle or pistol spots and 350 shotgun spots (5 spots per trap as an example). Chabot Gun Club, which is the most centrally located range in the Bay Area and one of the two largest, maintains 176 rifle/pistol positions and 12 shotgun positions. If Chabot Gun Club is removed, people who shoot shotguns will lose about 3 ½ percent of their sporting area. The rifle/pistol shooters, however, will have to “just be happy” with a reduction of more than 23 percent!!! This is nearly one quarter of the available rifle and pistol shooting positions for the entire San Francisco region! To look at this another way, the East Bay Regional Park District maintains 114,000 acres of parkland and 1200 miles of trails. Chabot Gun Club occupies only 65 acres. We use a tiny fraction (0.00057) of the land while providing more than twenty-three percent (0.23) of the service. Asking the region’s rifle and pistol shooters to give up Chabot Gun Club is like asking Peter Volin to give up 26,220 acres and 276 miles of trails! In talking to the other range people, we found that the consensus is that the loss of Chabot Gun Club would have a significant, region-wide impact. Thus, our issue is every Bay Area shooter’s issue. This is a sobering thought but as we continue to seek a new lease we hope that the entire shooting community will stay informed and be prepared to get involved if called upon.

 

Previous Update, as of 7/12/2014

After watching the ABC 7 News video,we realized that we had neglected to display Peter Volin’s earlier petition to close the range alongside the other two petitions. Although, as of this writing, Volin’s petition has only acquired 292 signatures, it is an important document in this controversy and you might want to read it: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/anthony-chabot-regional?source=c.em.cp&r_by=2928410 Also, we have been unable to locate Jorg Rupf’s original petition to close the range (or have us issue silencers). If anyone has an electronic copy, please forward it to rangemaster@chabotgunclub.com or bring a physical copy to the office. Thanks. Previous Update, as of 7/10/2014 I must say that I am impressed. The ABC 7 News video about the Club’s and the Range’s future is a well balanced piece of reporting. If you missed the earlier broadcast or want to see it again, check it out here: http://abc7news.com/hobbies/gun-range-in-east-bay-park-faces-uncertain-future/173324/

 

Previous Update, as of 7/8/2014

Just got word from ABC 7 News. A piece they have recorded about the range and the petitions will air Wednesday evening at 6 PM. We will be very interested to see what they have to say.

 

Previous Update, as of 7/2/2014

A complaint was posted on the petition to limit us that I think is worth noting:

“1053. . . from Hayward, CA signed this petition on Jun 22, 2014.

Gunfire at night not steps away from a family camp ground was frightening to me let alone some of the children. I’m all for keeping range but let’s cease fire at dusk.”

That ain’t us, people. We stop shooting at 5 PM. Sometimes it runs a little over, but never past 5:30. Like I’ve told people for years, gunfire in the daytime might be us. After that, it’s probably Oakland. If you hear shots after we close, call your local law enforcement agency. That’s what we do.

 

Previous Update, as of 7/1/2014

In the absence of any response from the Park on our latest request for information, today we sent letters to forty-three of our current and recent range rentals. Chabot Gun Club regularly rents ranges to numerous government agencies, various security companies and several itinerant instructors. We are becoming concerned about our ability to schedule range time for 2015. We have requested that our rental clients contact the Park because our inability to meaningfully plan into the coming year could seriously impact the renter’s readiness.

 

Previous Update, as of 6/10/2014

We requested an update on the status of the RFP and the rumored extension from the Park staff again today. Also, we mentioned the Siegel petition, in case the staff had not heard about it.

 

Previous Update, as of 6/6/2014

According to an email we received from Jason Siegel, he has submitted his petition to the Board of the East Bay Regional Park District. I have copied some of the text he included in his submission:

To the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District:

As you make decisions regarding the existence of the shooting range in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, or the Chabot Gun Club’s lease to operate that range, please consider the interests of the signers of this attached petition.

Over 5,000 people from around the Bay Area, and a few from afar, have expressed their support for this range. ….(Technical information)…. Please take some time to scroll through the comments of your constituents. You’ll find many great arguments for keeping the range open and accessible.

Thank you for your work in maintaining and expanding the EBRPD. It is a jewel of the Bay Area, an asset to mankind and nature alike.

Respectfully,

Jason Siegel

We could not agree more. Thank you Jason! By the way, you can still sign up and make comments on the petition. Who knows. Anything 5000 people can do, perhaps 7500 people could do even more. We’ll keep you posted.

John, Senior Rangemaster

 

Previous Update, as of 6/1/2014

At this moment, we’re not sure. We were originally told that the RFP (Request for Proposal) would probably be issued in May, 2014. Then, we were told that the Park was considering extending the lease for another six months to give their staff time to further assess our facility. As of this writing, we have neither seen an RFP nor received a confirmation that the lease has been extended. Chabot Gun Club has formally requested that the lease be renewed. We await the Park’s response. For the people who have been asking us if we have legal assistance: yes we do. We generate more than $800,000 per year in revenue so a twenty-five year lease, in today’s dollars, would be a 20 million dollar contract. No way we are going to enter into that kind of negotiation without proper representation.

Historical Information The current 25 year lease expires December 31, 2014. We were in the process of preparing for a new twenty-five year lease (awaiting the RFP) when a petition, authored by a local homeowner, to close the range (or issue silencers) surfaced. We believe that petition garnered around 100 signatures but then it disappeared. Almost immediately, a petition by Peter Volin, “AnthonyChabotRegionalPark is the Wrong Place for a GunRange“, showed up on the MoveOn petitions site. (Mr. Volin is a former Park employee and Current Park Advisory Board member.) As of 6/1/14, there were 282 signatures. Some pro-range comments were made by some signers but their comments were removed, although their signatures remain. When the Volin petition slowed down, Frank Burton opened up another MoveOn petition to “Stop or Drastically Reduce the Gunshot Noise in Chabot Regional Parks“. We don’t know Mr. Burton’s relationship to the process at this time, but either option listed in Mr. Burton’s petition would probably have the net effect of closing the range. As of 6/1/14, 1049 people had signed the petition. Again, a number of people signed the petition in order to make positive comments about the range. Again, most of their comments have been removed, although their signatures remain. After the Burton petition was up and running, Jason Siegel put up his own petition on MoveOn: “Chabot Gun Club-Safe and Valuable Community Resource.” (Mr. Siegel is not affiliated with Chabot Gun Club, although he is a patron of the range.) As of June 1st, there were 5016 signatures on Mr. Siegel’s petition (and the numbers continue to grow!). Also, well over 1600 very positive comments have been written in by signers, many emphasizing the safety and management of the range. We really appreciate all of the support. A couple of things bear mentioning: Chabot Gun Club, which operates the Anthony Chabot Marksmanship Range for the East Bay Regional Park District, operates a Public, not Private, range for the enjoyment of everyone. Although we have over one thousand members, the Club exists to serve the people of the entire San Francisco Bay Area (and beyond!) who are the Park District’s clientele. We estimate that that our members, who are important in keeping our management of the range fresh and engaged, use the range less than ten thousand times a year, which is around 22 percent of our total guests, who utilized our facilities more than 45,000 times last year alone. That’s what we can tell you as of now. Please stay tuned to this page. When we know more, we will try to keep you all informed.

Thank you,

John Senior Rangemaster