Category Archives: BASE Jumping

Bridge Day 2015

WV Bridge Day

WV Bridge Day

I set out a month ago to write an article about the injustices being placed upon BASE jumpers, Vendors and Rappellers at the West Virginia Bridge Day Festival.  I did so at the request of my good friend, Alan Lewis who was leading a boycott of the event by BASE jumpers via social media.  I interviewed Alan for his reasoning of the boycott and what he had hoped to do in the long run for BASE.

I wrote an article that basically asked the question, “Did the BDC live under a rock?  How could they insist on fingerprinting people?  What had this nation become when such invasions of privacy are becoming acceptable and the norm?”

I turned the article into Lara Kjeldsen, the co-founder and editor of Blue Skies Magazine for consideration for publication.  It was returned to me stamped, “rejected”.  The notations explained it read as if I was being bias and overly supportive of the BASE jumping community without speaking to the other parties involved.  I had place a call to the BDC, but hadn’t heard back, so I assumed they had “no comment”.  I was wrong.

In truth, they were waiting to hold this months BDC meeting to revise the options for security checks and wanted to be able to give me updated information.

Turned out everything I had read or been told via social media, or by jumpers, everything that had been explained to Alan  or read, really wasn’t the truth of the matter.  

When I confronted Alan with the documents, the cold hard truths, I asked him if he thought I should just kill the article.

He replied, “No, the truth has to come out.  The BASE community will be better off in knowing the truth and can move forward in building a relationship with the BDC.”

Here is a snippet of what’s to come  in the May issue of Blue Skies Magazine.

According to the BDC, Vertical Horizons only communicated twice with them in an email  back in January 2015 requesting the withdrawal of the company’s application as BD BASE coördinator and an email asking for information on the scanner.

Sharon Cruikshank has gone on the record to state once Mr. Bell posted the photo of the jumpers exhibiting the “fuck you” hand gesture, the relationship had already begun to deteriorate.  A October 2014 meeting was the last time they had any face to face discussions with Bell.  Director Cruikshank has also gone on record to state, “She has never had any discussions or has it been brought before the board that Fayetteville work with the BASE community to set up 365 days of jumping.”   If such a discussion had taken place it would be recorded in the meeting minutes or archived in emails.

She further provided BDC meeting minutes showing that Vertical Horizon’s failed to attend the board meetings as specified in their contract.  “There is no communication if one of the parties is not present at the table.”, she clearly pointed out.

BASE, Rappelling, Staff and Vendors personal data was collected background checks , then turned over to the 911 call center to be processed and the files stored and retained by the respective coördinator’s.

At no time was the BDC, WV State Police, NPS or other coordinators privy to that each others data.  The contract between the coördinator and the BDC gives specific directions on the handling of background checks and no where do they ask for participants personal information collected by the coördinator. They only give instruction to provide it to the 911 call center/sheriff for processing.

I interviewed Benjy Simpson, the owner of the Bridge Walk and coördinator for Rappelling at the event.  He says, “he has never been asked to turnover personal data collected on participants, other than to the sheriff’s 911 call center to process the security checks”.

He made the point that if agencies didn’t want BASE jumpers at the event, they could merely not schedule BASE, the NPS could deny the permit and put an end to it just like that. He suggested, “For anyone to think BASE jumping is profitable for the BDC, you need to check your ego at the door and look at the big picture”.

“There are no lists of jumpers, there is no evil plot to harass jumper’s, it’s all just “urban myth” created by the jumper’s themselves, including Jason Bell”, he pointed out.

The BDC, WV State Police, NPS have all taken a beating on social media without firing a shot back as to not given validity to the statements being made.

However, now that the dust has cleared, they continue to work towards making BD a successful event this year; they granted me an extensive amount of their time in interviews and providing black and white data/information.

Be sure to check out the May issue of Blue Skies Magazine for my article, Bridge Day 2015: Communication Breakdown

Be kind to yourself and one another, Peace.

Cynthia Lynn

Quadriplegic’s Adventure Dream

Quadriplegic Pete Bonser, http://www.petebonser.com, has a dream to BASE JUMP. We intend to that dream come true and film a documentary.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/598162734/quadriplegics-adventure-dream

About this project by Dr. Spatula

Pete’s dream is to go to the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls Idaho and make a BASE jump.

Sean Chuma of http://www.TandemBASE.com is donating his time to make this dream come true.

Because of Pete’s condition, and the amount of pain he is in, he cannot just get on a commercial flight or take a 12 hour road trip.

Most of this documentary will be made with donated time and resources but We need to cover the cost of using a Cessna 206 or better to transport Pete and a couple of caregivers as quickly as possible. We will start the adventure in Santa Rosa California, and document everything about the trip to Twin Falls, the set up, the jump, the people involved, and try to capture the feeling of a dream come true.

I am a pilot and will most likely be flying the plane myself.

Please visit http://www.PeteBonser.com

Risks and challenges

The largest obstacles right now are safely transporting Pete with minimal complications and designing and testing a custom harness to make sure the BASE jump goes without a problem.

A word from Sean Chuma:
I have had a huge vision for a while that is fueled by jumping and being part of the dreams of Lonnie Bissonnette, and by the spinal cord injury of one of my very best friends, Chris Scott. It is starting to become a reality by combining visions with Pete Bonser, a quadriplegic, who I will be taking on a Tandem Base jump on the weekend of April 18-19. This is the start of a whole program, I envision, to help people with spinal cord injuries, etc. experience the absolutely amazing activity of BASE jumping. Give someone a dream and they can take it farther to create miracles within, to change their life for the better. I see it, in a way, as a form of healing therapy. It is something that seemed impossible. Now it is going to become a reality. This is turning into something bigger than life. It’s a story unfolding and telling itself and manifesting through us. We are looking for financial help, so if you are able to help, we would be more grateful than we already are.

Donate to the cause: Let’s help Lori do great things!

Hi All,
I had the pleasure to meet Lori back in 2012 in Norway during BASE season.  I was very fortunate indeed, for when I fell ill at a jump site, she quickly drove me back to the hotel for care.  She didn’t hesitate for a moment and I will forever grateful for her caring ways.

If you can help, please make a donation to her fund enabling her to do great volunteer work.  No donation is too small as they all add up.

Thanks!

Cynthia Lynn

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A message from Lori Butz:

Hey Guys,
I’m fixin’ to go help with some Ortho surgery here in a little bit, but we need money for the plane tickets. Please donate a little if you can, seriously $20 would be great. It will go directly to pay for my flight to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. There i will assist really good Orthopedic Surgeons doing life changing operations on very poor and deserving patients. We average 60 cases in the 4 operating days we have down there. (i’ve done this 8 times already). Congenital Hip Dislocations, Malunions, Club feet, yeah, that’s life changing when you can walk!!! Seriously!! You should do this! It will make you happy! Personally, i will be sacrificing a few weekends packing for this trip, unpacking from this trip, and being on this trip. I am covering my own room and board. I am taking time off without pay from my job to go on this trip. I am selfish with my time and money and i could easily spend it climbing or skydiving or drinking cocktails on the roof. I do this because I can and when you can you should. That’s how we make the world a better place. We act respectfully to neach other and we help out people who need it. And you can do this right now . . . click the link . . . . click the link

Awesome Fundraiser Link 

This donation site has been set up to make it easy for you to do an awesome thing that will make you feel good. Namely, chipping in to pay for the cost of my airfare to Guatemala where I will be assisting the Operation Rainbow team under Dr. Gus Giamalas for my 9th straight year in a row! We work hard and we change the lives of nice people you will probably never meet, but still, isn’t it nice to think “my $50 helped a little girl with club feet to walk normally. How life changing. How rad. I feel good about myself!” Yes, these warm feelings can be yours!! Donate now! Please. :-)