Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-04-2005, 11:37   #1
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
WARNING - NWS Services Under Attack !!!

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum has introduced a bill (S. 786) which would prevent the National Weather Service [ www.nws.noaa.gov ] from distributing free weather data because it "hinders" similar,for-profit offerings from commercial entities like The Weather Channel, Accuweather, etc.

Background:
Re: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Bill S. 786 (Santorum, R-PA) - 4/14/05
Title: ďA bill to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, and for other purposes.Ē
Sponsor: Sen Santorum, Rick [PA] (introduced 4/14/2005)
Cosponsors: (None)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Major Action: 4/14/2005 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Link to Text: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...?bill=s109-786

Including paragraph(b):
ď COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR.
-The National Weather Service shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a service or product [other than a service or product described in subsection (a)(1)(A)] that is or could be provided by the private sector unless ... ď

I urge all interested (American) parties to review the Bill, and let your elected representatives know what you think of this bill.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2005, 13:36   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Guilford, CT
Boat: 1980 Lancer 30
Posts: 5
NWS

Gord,

Thanks for the heads up on the possible demise (privatization) of this important agency. I have already contacted via email both of the senators from CT and hope that others will do the same. I use the web forecasting regularly during the sailing season as well as during the off season.

Ellis Rogers
__________________

__________________
Firesail
LIS, CT
Firesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2005, 13:37   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2
Before anyone gets too excited about this post, you should be aware that the bill does not prohibit the National Weather Service from preparing and issuing "severe weather warnings and forecasts designed for the protection of life and property of the general public." On the contrary, the bill expressly requires the National Weather Service to continue to issue severe weather warnings and forecasts.

This bill only prohibits the National Weather Service from preparing graphics and displays such as are used routinely by television broadcasters to illustrate commercially televised weather reports. I don't know why our tax money should be used to prepare and provide art work for television stations that they can and should pay for. By prohibiting government employees from preparing such materials for free, Congress will ensure that private employees will have paying jobs doing that same work.

The bill doesn't prevent the National Weather Service from disseminating free weather information to the public via television, radio, print media, or the web, or any other media.
__________________
sailormon6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2005, 22:28   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
From BoatUS

BoatU.S. Government Affairs is already working on this one. Obviously we would oppose such a move as not being in the interest for the boating public and its safety, weather being a critical element of any boating activity. We've also alerted our other colleagues with maritime organizations of their own. We'll be writing to the Senate committee members with our opposition this week. As of yesterday, this bill had zero co-sponsors so it does not appear to have much support. Also the NWS employees union is also opposing it, as is AOPA, the academic community and others.
Any boaters wishing to write their own senators are encouraged to do so, by fax or e-mail (Anthrax scare makes it difficult to send an actual letter to Congress anymore.) You can find their names at boatus.com/gov links. Thanks for all the great comments.
Elaine Dickinson, BoatU.S. Public Affairs
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2005, 04:10   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2
The Bill addresses two groups: (1) the general public, and (2) all people and entities other than the general public (i.e., commercial users of weather data)

Section 2(a)(1-4) requires the NWS to provide the general public free access to the following resources:

****************************************
SEC. 2. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

(a) NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE- To protect life and property, the Secretary of Commerce shall, through the National Weather Service, be responsible for the following:

(1) The preparation and issuance of severe weather forecasts and warnings designed for the protection of life and property of the general public.

(2) The preparation and issuance of hydrometeorological guidance and core forecast information.

(3) The collection and exchange of meteorological, hydrological, climatic, and oceanographic data and information.

(4) The provision of reports, forecasts, warnings, and other advice to the Secretary of Transportation and other persons pursuant to section 44720 of title 49, United States Code.
************************************

That sounds to me like the general public is entitled to free access to virtually all the info that the NWS collects. I don't see any language that suggests that we members of the general public won't have free access to buoy readings or surf forecasts or any other weather data.

On his website, Sen. Santorum says this proposal is intended to restore a policy that has existed since 1991. In 1991, the National Weather Service (NWS) adopted a policy to not provide products or services that were or could be provided by the commercial weather industry to anyone other than the general public. That policy continued in effect until December, 2004, when NOAA (the parent agency of the NWS) repealed it.

My guess is that we recreational sailors were so completely unaffected by the change when it was adopted in 1991 that we didn't even notice it, and that we likewise didn't notice anything different when the policy was repealed in December, 2004. The reason why it doesn't affect us is because it is only intended to affect commercial users of weather information, not recreational sailors. We didn't notice it when the rule was adopted in 1991, because we still had access to all the same data as we had before it was adopted.

Since 1991, while this rule was in effect, we recreational sailors have enjoyed free weather services.

The part of the Bill that requires users to obtain their weather data from commercial providers reads as follows:

*******************************

(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service (other than a product or service described in subsection (a)(1)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless--

(1) the Secretary determines that the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide such product or service; or

(2) the United States Government is obligated to provide such product or service under international aviation agreements to provide meteorological services and exchange meteorological information.

*****************************
The words that are enclosed in parentheses in sub-paragraph (b), above, refer to the data that is required to be furnished to members of the general public. Thus, the general public is not required to get its weather data from commercial providers.

I think commercial users ought to pay for their weather services. They can afford to pay. It's part of their business. I don't think we little recreational guys should have to pay for it. We don't profit from it financially, and, for most of us, the expense of owning a boat is already something of a burden.

Radio and television broadcasters and newspaper publishers are entities that are not included as members of the general public, and they will have to obtain their weather data and services from commercial weather providers and to pay for them. Because this bill will hit those entities in their pocketbooks, you can expect them to try to mislead people like us into thinking we're being deprived of something, because politicians will listen to angry boater-voters, but nobody feels sorry for the press or for other commercial users, such as BoatUS.

I suggest everyone write their senator and congressman and tell them that you would strenuously oppose the bill if it will affect or limit or change in any way the free access that recreational users have to the same breadth and quality of weather services as are presently provided, but that you would support the bill insofar as it requires commercial users to obtain their weather services from commercial providers, or pay for them.

That way, you can make it clear that you don't want recreational boaters to have to pay for weather data, but you agree that commercial users should pay for their weather services.
__________________
sailormon6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2005, 07:54   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
I know one thing for sure! Accuweather dot com has modified their site so much lately that I don't even bother to log on. I've even deleted their sight from my favorites.

I use to be able to get satellite images of the North & South Pacific. Now all I can get is the mainland US. Usless to a sailor. They probably want me to pay now just like Netzero and Netscape has pushed on us.

I hear tell there is some special interest money getting passed around by Accuweather!

http://rawstory.com/exclusives/byrne...eather_421.htm
__________________

__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.