Newsletter for our FMCA Chapter
#20 - June 2008
Alfa SeeYa Officers
President - John Bohn - (Phone 513-310-1735) - JFBohn1@mac.com
Vice President - Dave Kiesig - email@example.com
Secretary - Karen Hugo - KHugo@aol.com
Treasurer - Belle Bohn - firstname.lastname@example.org
National Director - Tony Monson - email@example.com
Alt Nat'l Director - Tim Dean - firstname.lastname@example.org
Send US Mail to:
3590 Round Bottom Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45244-3026
Membership Coordinator - Diane Hawley - Dhawley@escapees.com
Newsletter Editor -
Jim Huber - 317BKP@comcast.net
1104 Hampton Rd Washington, IL 61571-1254
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE - Greetings from Alaska! Belle and I have been traveling since April 1 and are now in Denali, Alaska. It has become very obvious to us that RV traveling has definitely decreased this summer, especially in Canada and Alaska. We have never seen a full RV park, and the number of Alaska-bound caravans is markedly reduced. Diesel prices in Canada are extremely high, in the low to mid five dollar range, and up to $6 per gallon in outlying areas. Alaska isn’t much better. Fairbanks was at $4.81/gal when we left there a couple of days ago. We understand it is running about the same in Anchorage. Meanwhile, a quick check of the lower 48 states on the Internet shows that diesel is running around $4.50/gal except in the far west where it is higher. We have heard from many people who are curtailing summer travels because of this and are “staying closer to home”, or just “parking it this summer”. Full-timers are staying in one place longer and not traveling as far between stops. The FMCA, our parent organization, is experiencing reduced attendance at its rallies and conventions, probably because of this. Several motorhome manufacturers have closed their doors, and probably more will follow. Don’t panic. The motorhome business/industry is a cyclical one. This particular “down-cycle” has been exaggerated by inflated diesel prices; I wish I could say how long it will last, but I cannot, because fuel pricing is a very complex geo-political issue that defies prediction. However, by adapting to market conditions according to our individual preferences, we can continue to enjoy our Alfas! Joining other members at our Pre Rallies or Rallies is a great way to do this.
Though we had a great time at the Alfa National Rally in Montgomery, Texas before heading north, we were as surprised as everybody when it was announced about two weeks later that Alfa Leisure, Inc. was closing. There was no hint of this from anybody at the National, and sadly, the employees knew nothing about it either until that fateful day, April 30. All of this has led to many rumors and great speculation, but the truth of the matter is we won’t know the end result(s) until after the fact. As I write this mid-June, the latest development appears to be that all of Alfa Leisure’s assets will be sold at a public auction June 19 and 20. What next? Again, we’ll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, I am confident we have invested in a quality product. You hear from many people that Alfa coaches are the best value when it comes to features for a full-timer’s motorhome. Its spaciousness and open-air feeling due to the high ceilings and large windows are the first thing mentioned, along with generous amounts of storage space. Though we are not full-timers, those features also attracted us to this coach, in addition to its being built on a quality chassis and powered by an excellent engine and transmission; all this at a very competitive price. That said, what about our future ownership, and repairs and maintenance?
As it turns out, very few Alfa parts were actually made by Alfa. There are at least two repair facilities (and Dick Albritton in Louisiana) specializing in Alfa coaches (see their listings at the end of the President’s Message). They have good lists of parts suppliers, so ongoing repairs and maintenance should not be a major problem. All of them are willing to share their sources and information. The two regular repair facilities are located in the west (Utah and California), so we do need a list of facilities elsewhere in the U.S. with whom our members have had good repair/maintenance experiences. I have asked our webmaster to initiate such a page on our website. By the time you read this newsletter, that page should be up and running. Please be aware that due to liability issues, we, as a club, are not endorsing these service facilities. We are only reporting our members’ recommendations. If you have had good service at a facility anywhere in the U.S., check to see if it is already listed on our website. If not, please send the information to our secretary, Karen Hugo (KHugo@aol.com) or me (email@example.com) so we may have it posted there. Please include information in a format similar to what is currently posted.
As you probably know, wiring layouts and other things were frequently changed during the production of our coaches. This can make coach repairs a challenging issue. Therefore, another thing we are looking into is establishing a database of coach wiring diagrams and other such technical information that may be of help to our members. There is a mixed variety of this information available, but we are having to check on proprietary issues before publishing it on our website. We will advise you of any progress with this matter in future newsletters.
Finally, even in these troubling times, it is still great to be an Alfa owner, and a member of the AlfaSeeYas. Our club is a superb resource for information, assistance and camaraderie as we travel, live in and enjoy our motorhomes. Right now, take a look at the address label on this newsletter and see if your membership is up for renewal. If so, don’t delay, we’ll appreciate your continuing support.
John Bohn, President
SERVICING YOUR ALFA - Editor’s note We thought you’d appreciate
information on several locations servicing Alfa motor homes. These locations have been highly recommended by our members.
ALFA SERVICE/REPAIR FACILITIES:
Central Valley RV Repair - Dustin Simpson, Owner
110 S. Cherokee Lane Lodi, CA (209) 334-3106
Comment: Has specialized in AlfaSeeYa repairs and customization for several years. Provides a wide variety of services
Charlie’s Service - Charlie DuBose, Owner
1901 Main St. Sunset, Utah 84015 (801) 773-1193
Comment: Has specialized in AlfaSeeYa repairs for several years. Provides a wide variety of services and customization. Charlie and Vicki are Alfa owners.
5048 Hwy 145 Choudrant, LA 71227 (318) 251-0885
Comment: Dick and Trish have been Alfa owners for many years. According to Dick, “I don’t want to be any busier than I am. I am supposed to be retired. I don’t want to become a general repair shop. I prefer to keep doing the things I do and helping with technical items that I can.”
Former Alfa Employees, Sal Flores, Director of Manufacturing Operations SoCal RV Facotry Service - 15875 Santa Ana Ave., Fontana, CA. 92337 - (909) 208-7441
For Slide Problems, contact the manufacturer - RBW Industries, Inc. - Dale Woodward - 5740 Schaefer Ave. , Chino, CA 91710 firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI - Jon Goldstein writes (June 26th) I wanted to say thanks again for the support, if you could please let every one in your group know that we are planning to be open by mid august at the latest. We are currently in the process of finalizing a deal to get part of the building at the same 1612 South Cucamonga address... same as factory was. We are going to be a one stop location and have all the features of our last service center at the factory, with a few new tricks up our sleeve. Just you wait and see !! we are going to be the only distributor for all the specific Alfa parts as well with a much easier online ordering system. The web address is www.alfateersrvservice.com .... The site is still under construction but is operational enough to just browse.
Thanks again... I will post a greeting letter on the yahoo group this weekend and address a few of the major concerns of the Alfa group and tell them how they will be handled on the blister repairs, at our location only !!
ALFA CLOSING! WHAT IS THE PRIMARY REASON FOR ALFA’S CLOSING?
The following is a direct quote from the press release regarding the closure of the doors:
"Ongoing challenges with key supplier Crane Composites further exacerbated the situation. (Crane manufactures the outer skin on the Alfa Motor Home that has been experiencing Osmotic blisters in recent years) Alfa has been fighting an uphill battle and the final straw was certainly Crane’s unwillingness to stand behind their product. There are currently no plans for additional operations and the company shutdown is just one of a growing number of RV manufacturers that have closed their doors. As housing values have dropped, many potential buyers have lost the equity in their homes they had in the past used to purchase big-ticket items". (From the Sunrisers web site.)
WESTERN GENERAL WARRANTY (May 15, 2008) I just got off the phone with the Vice President of Marketing for Western General Insurance, Mark Edmundson, in regard to the 5 year Solid Gold Warranty they provided through Alfa. It covers model year 2005-2006, 5th Wheels & Motorhomes. If you have a contract in hand from Western General, you are covered for the term stated.
If you never received a contract from Western General, and are the owner of a Model Year 2005-2006, 5th wheel or Motorhome, Western General will honor the Solid Gold Warranty, even though they did not get paid by Alfa. In order to have them honor the contract, You
must have proof of owning an Alfa RV that falls in the 2005-2006, model years.
The following items constitute proof, and should have been in your rig when purchased.
A sample letter with specimen contract.
A Western General brochure.
There should also be a sticker in the rig stating that the Solid Gold Warranty is provided by Western General.
There may still be some model year 2005-2006 5th wheels & Motorhomes on dealers lots. Dealers are being instructed by Western General, to remove those materials referring to the Solid Gold contract from those rigs, and they will not be covered by Western General.
There has been some confusion and some folks have been told by Western General, that they are not covered. Mark assured me that they have all their people on board now, and as long as the above proof is shown, they will honor it.
Bruce & Corinne Mitchell, President, Alfa Owners Sundancers Club
From one Owner…“WE PLAN TO CONTINUE“…“This message is being sent to all the addresses in my e-book I can identify as Alfa owners and/or those who might have an interest.
We are truly sorry that Alfa has ceased production. Glad we spent two and a half weeks last August in sweltering greater Los Angeles at the factory, in which our minor 'osmotic delamination' was repaired. Sorry that all other coaches so afflicted didn't have the same opportunity and concerned for those new owners who may be at risk for 'first year' repairs.
However, we choose to look at this development as mostly an inconvenience. We intend to keep on RVing. We may not go as far, but we'll just stay longer to make up for it. And actually, this is probably more a product of the cost, and maybe even the availability of fuel than lack of a parent company's support.
Perhaps we won't be able to trade for a new Alfa in the future, but perhaps we'll become a 'Classic Motor Coach' club like old Hudsons or Model Ts.
Anyway, our affiliation with the members of these two clubs has enhanced our RVing experience far beyond what we could have imagined. We expect to stay connected to those who will accept us and may even have the opportunity to expand our numbers to those S. O. B.s who missed out on the Alfa experience first hand.
We have registered for the Sunriser's Hatteras, N. C. rally and intend to go to the events planned for Crossville, Tenn. and St. Augustine. Additionally, all thing being equal, I expect we'll attend the Tampa Super Show in January, and the FMCA Rallies in Brooksville and Perry next year. The two clubs can survive this. Please join us in keeping them active. Take care and be safe.” Mary & Douglas Perkinson 'See Ya - Nex Tyme' -- May 2008
LET’S GO CAMPING - (from Travel Country Web Site……
Average Motorhome RV Mileage is only 3500 Miles with an average mileage Figure of 10 MPG. @$3.00 per gallon = $1,050/year; @$3.50 per gallon = $1225/year; @4.00 per gallon = $1400/year and at $5.00 per gallon = $1750.
ALFA GRAPHICS - My Company supplied Alfa with the outside Graphic's for many years and would be happy to help any members in need of Graphics for repairs or insurance needs.
Our business relationship goes back about 8 or 9 years so we have a long list of parts that we could produce for them. Some of these parts are in stock and all can be reproduced from our records.
Bernard & Janet Erickson #4729 West Shore Drive Bremen, IN 46506
Phone (574) 546-3770 Business (574) 546-3606 Home (574) 248-1088 Cell
ANOTHER REASON TO MONITOR THE YAHOO ALFA SITE! Since the closing has been announced members are adding parts information, etc. to this web site. If you have questions about your coach or need advice knowledgeable members are willing to share their knowledge.
The web site is owned by RV Consulting and designed and used exclusively by Alfa RV Owners. The site is for sharing of information regarding Alfa Leisure RV products. Owners benefit from information shared and have the ability to ask for advice when they encounter problems. If you are interested in joining this group....
- Go to www.groups.yahoo.com
- Enter AlfaSeeYa in the search box
- Enroll in the group
- Choose either daily messages or daily digest to read messages off-line.
There is a section in the upper left titled “Files” that contains numerous sources of information which may be useful to you should you have replacement part needs, etc. For example: Manuals, Parts Picture Catalog, 12 volt DC Electrical System, etc.
ELECTION RESULTS The following members were elected to serve on the Nominating Committee…….Gene Lasater, Don Rowe and Rhonda Dean.
The Standing Rule Proposal re: business meetings was approved.
Editor‘s Note: (For details see your copy of the March 2008 newsletter or review that edition on our AlfaSeeYa web site.)
In addition, Tim Dean (email@example.com) accepted the position of Alternate National Director and Diane Hawley is our new Membership Coordinator (Dhawley@escapees.com). Our thanks to Bill Harju and Hannah Dubuc for their service to the chapter in these positions. And to the previous members of the nominating committee.
ARE YOUR DUES DUE? - If the date on your address label is ‘highlighted” and you have a red sticker here (Your Dues are Due!). Please send your check - $10/year - multiple years encouraged - to: Treasurer AlfaSeeYas Chapter 3590 Round Bottom Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45244-3026
Help! DID YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGE? Recent attempts to communicate to members about Alfa’s Closing met with many “bounced emails”. In order to keep you informed about items such as your warranty, parts, service, etc. It is important we have the correct information.
If you change your email address, your ISP, your home address, etc please notify our secretary Karen Hugo at KHugo@aol.com.
OWNER’S CLUB NEWS - at the 2008 National Rally the Sunchasers were dissolved and members transferred into the Sunrisers. Originally the Sunrisers were owners east of the Mississippi later changed to two organizations to encourage participation and friendships. If you have any questions you can contact: Frank Ayers 15125 U.S. 19 South PMB 346 Thomasville, GA 31792 229-224-4355
NOTE: The listing of member’s names, city & state, and e-mail addresses that would normally be listed at this point in the newsletter are not included on this web site. For information on Changes, Corrections and Welcome new members you will need to refer to the e-mailed or regular mailed copy of the newsletter.
Thank you, Tony Monson, Web administrator. firstname.lastname@example.org
TIPS, TRICKS, MAINTENANCE
WANT TO PREVIEW YOUR MAIL BEFORE IT IS FORWARDED?? Many of our members use a mail forwarding service from USPS or Livingston, TX; or Cincinnati, OH; or Sioux Falls, SD; or Pensacola, FL. These services collect your mail and forward it to you when you request it!
One of our members reports a new service available from Green Cove, Springs, FL. with a new feature called Mail Scan Pro. You can read and view your mail online!! If interested call St. Brendan's Isle Mail Forwarding Services 904-284-1200 for details. Or go to their web site https://www.sbimailservice.com/index.htm
SKYPE at www.skype.com.
We installed Skype on our computer and can now talk via Skype on the Internet with our daughters and other friends in Europe FREEEEEE!
We also have used it to call relatives in California while we're in Canada for about 2 cents per minute. (69 cents per minute for Verizon) We can call land lines or cell phones! WiFi is widely available here (in Canada), so keeping in touch with friends and relatives has been a snap.
Check it out...it is truly amazing! (Courtesy of John Bohn)
PROTECT THE FRONT OF YOUR COACH FROM ROCKS, BUGS, ETC.
(Courtesy of John Bohn) -- We met a caravan group with www.rvalaskatours.com in Whitehorse. The tailgunner for the group is Dean Price, a member of the AlfaSeeYas. When I saw his coach I thought he had experienced damage to the front, but as it turned out, he and all the other coaches have a saran wrap-like
material called TransitShield applied to their units. This is to help protect against bugs, gravel, etc.
I bought a roll of it from them to put on our coach before we go to Chicken on the Top of the World highway, which is pretty rocky! I'll let you know how it works.
I went to the maker's website and rolls sell for $99, each 2' by 200'. Go to www.transitshield.com
TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY (From Dave Kiesig) Excerpts from an article by Doug Copp Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI)
The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.
Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.
1) Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
2) Curl up in the fetal position. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves and if it does collapse, large survival voids are created. Wooden building have less concentrated, crushing weight.
4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. sofa, or large chair.
5) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
6) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place.
8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible - It is much better
to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. .
10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
Spread the word and save someone's life... The entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!
CPR - Speaking of being prepared …… many of you probably heard or read the announcement of hands only CPR announced the end of March 2009.
Please - learn CPR for the benefit of your loved ones, friends and others. For more information go to http://handsonlycpr.eisenberginc.com/
BEWARE OF NEW SCHEMES BEING USED.
CHEATING AT THE PUMPS???? How to check a diesel/gasoline pump to assure you are not being fleeced! Whichever grade you are using, put EXACTLY 10 GALLONS in your tank then look at the dollar amount, if the dollar amount is not EXACTLY 10 times the price of the fuel you have chosen, then the pumps are rigged. If you do find a station is cheating, contact the State Department of Agriculture…… you may also want to notify the police!
BEWARE OF PAPER ON THE BACK WINDOW OF YOUR VEHICLE--NEW WAY TO DO CARJACKINGS
Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating... You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into Reverse. When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car. So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!
If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you read this you will tell your friends and family, especially to women. A purse contains all kinds of personal information and identification documents, and you certainly do NOT want this to fall into the wrong hands.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR LICENSE PLATE? With the dramatic increase in the price of fuel thieves are stealing license plates from vehicles - attaching them to their vehicle, filling up their vehicle’s fuel tank then driving off. What gets reported? The license plate number of that vehicle - YOUR PLATE NUMBER!
Should you find your license plate stolen report it to police immediately.
JURY DUTY SCAM (courtesy of Tom Ingalls)
This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.
The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.
The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado . This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
Check it out here: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm
And here: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp
GAS PRICES - Enter your zip code in the site below, it tells you which gas stations have the cheapest prices (and the highest) gas in your zip code area. It's updated every evening.
This maybe a favorite.. Click on the link below....
ATTORNEY'S ADVICE - NO CHARGE Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice!A corporate Attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."
2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card Accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead , just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home Phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to Call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a Photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards. Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my Wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve( S) ordered an Expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had A credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card Numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit Providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an Investigation (if there ever is one).But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations Immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over The Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your Credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by Phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the Credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks. Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, etc., has been stolen:
Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
Trans Union : 800-6807289
Social Security Administration (fraud line):800-269-0271
PASSPORT RULES Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
Areas that fall under the WHTI:
The Caribbean region (includes 17 regions)
ALL PERSONS traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.
LAND AND SEA TRAVEL
The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website
U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (available in spring 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.
Note: The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.
U.S. PASSPORT AND WHTI COMPLIANT DOCUMENTS:
U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea between the U.S. and the aforementioned Western Hemisphere countries.
The Passport Card: Passport card applications are currently being accepted in anticipation of land border travel document requirements. Based on current projections, we expect to begin production of the passport card in June, and be in full production in July. We will provide additional updates as available. Once in production, the passport card it will only be valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.
WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:
Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
Form I-872 American Indian Card
For further information see U.S. Customs and Border protection.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a result of the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.
RALLY REPORTS & SCHEDULE
Alfa Owner's Club 2009 Annual National Rally???? Whether there will be future Alfa National Rallies is obviously in question at this time. When information is available we will share it with you.
As of the last National Rally in April 2008 this was the schedule:
Future National Outings Host Chapters:
2009 Mavericks Chapter (Mid-California)
2010 South Loafers Chapter (Southern California/Arizona)
2011 Sun Seekers Chapter (Washington/Northern Oregon)
2012 Sunrisers Chapter (South East)
2013 Road Runners Chapter (full-timers)
The Rally Masters for the Mavericks in 2009 are Ernie & Emily Burr.
FMCA St. Paul International Convention Pre-Rally at St. Paul, MN -
A pre rally is being planned for the St. Paul, MN FMCA Convention, which runs from July 14 thru July 17, 2008. The pre-rally will be at Tilly’s RV Park in Oronoco, and is scheduled for July 8 thru July 11, leaving in caravan for the FMCA Convention on July 12. You do not have to go to the Convention to attend the pre rally. If interested contact Larry Thoma at 602-246-8424 or LThoma9110@aol.com.
We hope you will read information on upcoming AlfaSeeYa and FMCA rallies and conventions. We've listed them in this newsletter for your convenience.
As mentioned earlier, if you would like to suggest a local rally, please contact our President John Bohn. A group of AlfaSeeYas can get together very easily for a few days during the week, or over a weekend.
Please check the scheduled rallies and add some of them to your schedule. NOTE: THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF SITES AVAILABLE AT MOST EVENTS. You can insure a
spot by reserving now. Your early reservation FOR PRE & POST RALLIES saves you $15 and lets the Wagon Master know if additional sites are needed. Sometimes it is possible to accommodate more than the number originally planned.
Note: The cost of Alfa See Ya rallies is for two adults in one Alfa motor home.
ALFASEEYAS PRE/POST RALLY IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS Sep 2009 - Christian and Carolyn Eck are in the initial stages of planning a pre or post-rally for AlfaSeeYa members planning to attend the FMCA Sep 24-29, 2008 South Central Area Rally at North Shore Riverwalk Park & Dickey Stephens Park in North Little Rock, AR.
Depending on the SeeYa's interest we can arrange a pre rally or post rally there at the site and I have also been in contact with BURNS PARK, another nearby RV site, that could accommodate 15 to 20 or so. The manager will contact me Wednesday to tentatively "block" some pre or post sites there.
MEMBERS ARE URGED TO CONTACT CHRISTIAN and CAROLYN ECK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST. They can be contacted at HLCabins@centurytel.net or 870-297-8764 (home) or 501-626-4237 (cell).
Editor’s Note: Christian Eck belongs to a military RV group ( S*M*A*R*T Special Military Active Retired Travel club) and is planning a Spring 2009 for that group in North Little Rock.
Here is additional information from Christian….
" I have been in touch with a Mr. Bob Majors, Marketing Director for the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. The City is developing a large RV park and facility right on the Arkansas River , adjacent to the Alltel Arena ( but down on the River side ) called "The North Shore River District RV Park" . It will accommodate 350 rigs initially.....first use will be in September 2008 will have some 50 amp sites and additional 30 amp sites plus "dry camping". No sewer as the park as it is located in the flood plain and sites are on the river bank outside the levee. There is an open sided pavilion as well as a 2 lane double drop waste dump station. If we have upwards to 100 rigs or more ( and we can negotiate for less ) he will have reduced rates, assistance with a number of ''helps' in food, transportation, attractions etc. Also includes free all day electric trolley transportation from the site to little Rock across the river. It will pass the Clinton Museum and other downtown LR venues ( shopping, eating and sight seeing ) for Rallies / Musters . He would also direct us to NLR businesses through the NLR Convention and Visitors Bureau that are willing to support and donate door prizes etc. for such events as ours. Later they will be taking day, weekly and longer visitors in single or group reservations. I will have more info on their web site and contact names / numbers etc. later. ..sounds like quite a good bunch of people.
The FMCA 6 states SE Region Rally will be there with 350 plus rigs 24 - 28 September 2008 As of today (June 22nd) they had 302 reservations."
ALFASEEYA’S AND SUNCHASERS CENTRAL ILLINOIS RALLY
Dates : September 11 thru September 16, 2008
Campgrounds: Three days at Kentuckiana Campground in Mackinaw, IL and three days at Double J Campground in Chatham, IL (Springfield area) .
Directions to the campgrounds will be sent to registrants before the rally begins.
Send Registration Form (last page of the newsletter) and Wagon Master Fee of $25.00 payable to: Karolyn Lippert -- Karolyn Lippert 16 Geenbriar Road Mackinaw, IL 61755-9372 Phone (309)360-5720 Email - Klippert43@msn.com
Registration Deadline is September 1, 2008
Members must make their own reservations with the campgrounds. Please tell the campground you are with the AlfaSeeYas Group.
You may participate at one or both locations. We will caravan from Mackinaw, IL to Chatham, IL. On Sunday!
Registration form is on the last page of this newsletter!
Registration fee for Kenuckiana Kampground is $22 plus tax and includes W/S/E and tickets to their Saturday night Opry. Send your check (no credit cards) to Kenuckiana Kampground 27585 Kentuckiana Rd, Mackinaw, IL 61755 (309) 449-3274
Registration fee for Double J Campground is $27 plus tax and includes W/S/E. cable and Wi-Fi. Send check (credit cards accepted) to Double J Campground 9683 Palm Rd, Chatham, IL 62629 (217) 483-9998
Area Opportunities - at Mackinaw ---- Pekin, IL Marigold Festival, Tour of Caterpillar’s Engine Assembly and Track-Type Tractor Assembly, Kentuckiana Opry, Par-A-Dice Casino, Mackinaw Winery.
At Chatham, IL (Springfield) ---- Lincoln’s Presidential Museum, Other Lincoln Sites, Frank Lloyd Wright House.
NEED HELP PLANNING A RALLY? John Bohn, our chapter president has created several documents to help those interested in planning a pre, post or other rally for our members. You can contact John (see page one) and ask for any or all of the documents.
Rules of Thumb for Estimating Costs
Planning a Pre or Post Rally in Brief
July 8 to 11, 2008 - AlfaSeeYa Pre- Rally at Tilley’s RV Park in Oronoco, MN
Sept 11 to 16, 2008 - Combined AlfaSeeYa and Alfa Sunrisers Rally in Central Illinois. (Details in this newsletter)
Sep 2008 - either pre or post FMCA dates listed below. AlfaSeeYa Rally in North Little Rock, AR (Details in this newsletter)
Feb 1 -3, 2009 - Brooksville, FL SeeYa Pre-Rally - more information later!
For FMCA Rallies - Members should reserve General Parking for FMCA Rallies by calling FMCA reservations (1-800-543-3622) or using the FMCA web site http://www.FMCA.com.
July 14 to 17, 2008 FMCA 80th International Convention at Minnesota State Fair Grounds in St Paul, MN
Aug 7-10, 2008 Northeast Area Rally at Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, VT
Sep 24-29, 2008 South Central Area Rally at North Shore Riverwalk Park and Dickey Stephens Park in North Little Rock, AR
Oct 15-18, 2008 Rocky Mountain Area Rally at San Juan County Fairgrounds, McGee Park, Farmington, NM
Feb 4-6, 2009 - FMCA Area Rally at Brooksville, FL
March 16-19, 2009 FMCA’s 81st International Convention at Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agriculture Center in Perry, GA.
July 20-23, 2009 FMCA’s 82nd International Convention at Bowling Green State University, Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, OH
A LITTLE HUMOR…..
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2008 when...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own drive and use your mobile phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7 Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your mobile phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
9. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
10. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
11 You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
12. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
13. You are too busy to notice there was no number 9 on this list.
14. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a number 9 on this list.
LIVING TO BE 80? Some times you just have to ask yourself " Will I live to be 80?"
I recently chose a new primary care physician. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing "fairly well" for my age.
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, DO you think I'll live to be 80?"
He asked, "Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages?"
"No," I replied. "I don't do drugs, either."
Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"
I said, "No, my other doctor said that all red meat is unhealthy!"
"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, fishing or relaxing at the beach?"
"No, I don't," I said.
He asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"
"No," I said. "I don't do any of those things."
He then looked at me and asked. "Then why do you even care?
SOME HELPFUL HINTS….
1) Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy
things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
2) Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave
them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
3) Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with four bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
4) Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the
grease away from the meat while cooking.
5) To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of
sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
6) For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in
double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty
7) Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the
end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
8) Reheat Pizza --- Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove,
set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy
9) Easy Deviled Eggs --- Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till
they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it
up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just
throw bag away when done easy clean up.
10) Expanding Frosting --- When you buy a container of cake frosting from the
store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size.
You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less
sugar and calories per serving.
11) Reheating refrigerated bread --- To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that
were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The
increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
12) Broken Glass --- Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of
glass you can't see easily.
13) No More Mosquitoes --- Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the
14) Squirrel Away! --- To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your
plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and
the squirrels won't come near it.
15) Flexible vacuum --- To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge
add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can
be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
16) Reducing Static Cling --- Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and
you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that
cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da –
static is gone.
17) Measuring Cups --- Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup,
fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your
ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
18) Foggy Windshield? --- Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and
keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the
eraser! Works better than a cloth!