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Do.Not.Mess.With.RR.Property
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18664

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who represents himself in a criminal court case has a fool for a client. There's way too much at stake to do anything less than retain a professional (a defense attorney, in this case) to "deal with it". It's how Warren Buffett and I deal with our taxes, and it's how I deal with my medical care and insurance. (Among > 30 victories over WRONG corporations and physicians, my wife and/or I have had to educate Blue Chip corporations about federal law and bookkeeping and educate oncologists about medicine. That’s how we kept two of our homes from incompetent banks and how I have thrived for 14 years after being told in 2004 that I had 5 years left.)

Turns out the attorney wasn't necessary. I got more than the rational justice I suggested in my opening post: the county DA phoned me today to assure me that he was dismissing the entire event. i.e., it never happened. Technically, I would have had zero quibble over a big fine, but anyone who considers jail time as rational justice for what I did grew up on a different planet than I did. This is neither Afghanistan nor California. Trespass law treatises state that intent and public risk play a big part in the adjudication of a violation.

OF COURSE I was guilty; I've stated that in all my correspondence with the powers that be about this matter. The No Trespassing signs were clear, but there wasn't enough daylight left to try to get a court decree or Union Pacific approval, so I relied ... justifiably, as it turns out ... on there being rational individuals in The System. The issue was never about guilt vs innocence; it was about punishment fitting the crime ... i.e., rational justice. I fail to see how cleaning the Gorge shoreline of an eyesore* visible for well over a mile deserves jail time.

* The gear I salvaged in usable condition is worth less than the gas money I spent driving from Roosevelt to Arlington, and I had to crawl up and down the boulder riprap because I can't walk on anything that irregular.

“Instead of pointing fingers, let's make this a learning moment” was the point of this thread. I asked the DA how we can enter RR property next time (again, no crossings involved; just a two-track dirt road through the puckerbrush well away from the tracks) to salvage gear or assist an incapacitated sailor. His answer was the Nike slogan. Of course, the next town or county may not see it that way, and the RR customarily delegates ROW enforcement authority to the communities it passes through. (The next county DA to the west is an avid kiter.)

Yep ... “164.255 Criminal trespass in the first degree. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the first degree if the person:...
(c) Enters or remains unlawfully upon railroad yards, tracks, bridges or rights of way… Seems pretty cut and dried.”

Sure does. So why did the officer write me up for 164.245 (the ORS statute for second degree trespass) yet print First Degree Trespass? How do I handle that and its conflicting definitions and punishments? Again, back to my opening sentence above.

And then back to my topic line: “Don’t screw with the RRs”, NOT “I want special treatment”. BTW, Riggit, I quit the GOP years ago, so your personal swipes at me or Republicans or whatever fall on deaf ears.

Again, Doug, I fully understand that you did all that could be done trying to save my gear. That was obvious even during the process, when I could see you struggling to herd two rigs bucking in gale force winds and big swell. You did more than I intended to ask.

Not that it’s relevant to this thread about RR property sanctity, but I personally thanked all the sailors and official responders I know to be involved, from the state trooper who followed up on the whole hullaballoo, to the deputy who cited me, to the DA for phoning so I wouldn’t lose any more sleep over the whole thing before his letter arrived.

Goiner nailed it. Going from never having been even accused of a crime to being convicted of one is a life-changing event no one in his right mind would accept willingly.

Look, you critics are welcome to bend over in the face of every tripwire you encounter in life. Just spread your cheeks, then wonder “Why me?”, as most people do. I have chosen instead to fight for the freedoms God and/or my nation’s forefathers intended, and the payoffs have been astronomical in terms of career(s), individual freedoms, free private WSing launch and camping sites (often with power), income, superior medical care, getting laws changed, garnering some BIG rewards for other people, bringing others down for their criminal activities, opening state and federal lands to recreation, conceiving and getting federal approval for the original Arlington launch beach, and SO much more. Attacking someone whose hard work and diligence set a good example in a free country looks to me like mere displaced jealousy. “Displaced”, because everyone has the same opportunities to manage their lives, but most would rather watch TV and swill beer and then can’t figure out, “Why me?”
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 4810
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

../
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ramps



Joined: 07 May 2000
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One should also look at this from the railroad's point of view. In today's litigious society, if someone gets hit by a train while trespassing on RR property, guess who is likely to win that lawsuit? I used to ride my bike on UPRR property because it was a straight shot to work and avoided a bunch of additional exposure to car traffic. Lots of us did, and I know of at least 2 persons who injured themselves from crashing while crossing wet train tracks. Fortunately they did not sue the UPRR! After I got stopped a second time for trespassing and was again let off with a warning, I stopped cutting through the train yard. The railroads have to go to a lot of trouble and expense to keep people from getting hit by their trains. It took me a while to see it from their point of view.
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that had to be a relief.

Glad it worked out for you Iso.

KMF
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The railroads really have no choice except to enforce their right-of-way to the max. There seems to be lots of people with little or no regard for their safety or the property rights of others wandering around. I live a mile away from a popular sketchy kite launch on the Columbia river, the White Salmon River delta. There is a RR bridge that the kiters and fishermen walk under to get to the delta and a great viewing area of the entire Hood River sailing area just to the west of the bridge besides Washington SR-14. RR no trespassing signs everywhere. It is common to see people walking down the middle of the tracks watching the action, or standing in the tracks with a camera, nowhere to hide if a train comes around the corner, and they travel around 50mph in this area. I have lived here for 11 years and I believe there have been at least two people killed by trains in this area in that time. Sigh....just the way it is I guess. Darwin's law???
Yesterday afternoon as I drove by on errands, there was a man, woman, and their dog strolling down the middle of the tracks, RR fence on one side 10 feet away from the tracks, 30' of RR Rip Rap on the river side of the tracks, nowhere to go when a train comes. Totally oblivious to the situation or to the property rights of the RR. Angels watch over fools.......
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18664

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that was a big relief, especially considering Goiner's experience. My biggest concern was how I was going to persuade the court to let me take boxes of needles and drugs into my cell for daily injections and travel to LA every month ... all for the many drugs that are keeping me alive.

Any train that hits someone on the road I was on is already >75 feet off the tracks, and has bigger alligators than whether I'm going to sue for injuries.

Properly posted No Trespass signs protect a landowner from liability unless the landowner sets up traps intended to harm trespassers.

The RR do have some choice, especially when no safety risk exists because track crossing is not involved. That's one reason they delegate enforcement to the communities they pass through.

Remember Doug's West, where we had to schlep everything across the tracks rapidly because trees and a curve obscured the frequent, full-speed train traffic, giving us just seconds to rush out of the way when a train appeared? I once saw a couple of people set something down between the rails, then wander down towards the water and start rigging.

Their "something" was a swaddled infant.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 4810
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

./.
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surfersteve



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject: priorities Reply with quote

I have disagreed with ISO on several occasions over the years. I am very grateful everyone is ok when you look at the big picture. Someone could have drowned. Like a person or not, no one deserves to die that way. Respect.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1086
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't have a plan to get back to shore if you get separated from your rig, maybe you shouldn't be out there in the first place.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18664

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plan is always the same and has never failed me: dress for the swim and start strokin' when it becomes necessary.

But would you refuse a tow when offered one in gale force winds? FORTUNATELY, I'll never know whether I could have swum to shore that day wearing all that cold-water crap; I'm hoping most of it is history until November.

If we didn't disagree on some or even many things, Steve, one of us would be redundant. The news media, the government, brand competition, and forums would cease to exist, and we'd all be sailing the same frigging WSing gear in the same way. That's not life; it's automation.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJPpW1bBTRI

Why some people dislike someone -- ESPECIALLY if that leads to libel or banishment -- just because their opinions differ escapes me.
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