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Posts Tagged ‘Tattoo’

I’m not talking about MC ‘cuts’, but the motorcycle publishing business.  On newspapers, the news has gone from bad to worse. It looks like 2008 will be the worst on record with a double-digit drop in advertising revenue and heightens the survival debate of papers. Then add magazines to the list of things us consumers are passing up due to rising costs. Based on the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) sales of U.S. magazines have dipped 6.3 percent.

Readership declines have waterfall to the once vibrant Biker publishing business and subscribers are disappearing.  Motorcycle sales are down so, it’s no surprise that motorcycle magazine sales are down too. Of the Harley rags, the only one that seems to be holding up is American Iron – down 5.9% in sales. Others seem to be getting smoked. Hot Bike down 13.9% EasyRiders down 18.2% and V-Twin down 24.9%!

Even the blogosphere, once an oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of SPAM and affiliate bilge which is “gumming up the system” and we’re seeing people shut down sites.  Troll sites doing wholesale content rip off via RSS feeds without attribution and underground ad marketing campaigns are beginning to drown out many of the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths.

Some examples are, Biker Alley an 8-year-old bi-monthly magazine suddenly stop publishing and Rain Nietzhold (publisher) issues a statement in a letter to her subscribers…HERE.  Then there is France-based Mike Werner of Motorbike.org who informed his readers that a writing contract was suspended with an English language motorcycle magazine (economic downturn is to blame) and he is hawking his skills as a freelance writer/photographer for magazines, blogs or research organizations… HERE.  I received a notice that Motorcycle Blogger International, initially set up to be a motorcycle industry blog award program has now decided to pull the plug.  In the commercial publishing arena Joe Teresi announced that John Lagana would succeed him as Publisher and CEO of Paisano Publications, LLC. Joe is retiring from the day to day business to pursue more leisurely interests.  Must be nice!  Paisano is the publisher of Easyriders, V-Twin, Biker, In The Wind, Tattoo, Tattoo Flash, Tattoo Savage, RebelRodz and Amusin’ Kruisin’ magazines and industry newspaper V-Twin News.  There is a lot of thrash in the publishing industry and some debate about how “massaging” subscription numbers has set up a correction (downward) or consolidation.

The primary long-term threat to magazines is the Internet siphoning away ad revenue, a trend that has been under way for awhile, but has picked up speed. Advertisers have more choices online than in print so only a fraction of the advertising that goes digital ever makes into print.  For those publishers who augmented their print business with online elements seem to draw thousands of new readers.  One of the business models that is complimentary and in my viewpoint on a positive track is – the Official Blog of IronWorks magazine.

While no one magazine or blog will cover all aspects of motorcycling, I do like the complimentary blog/print publishing model.  It provides the ability of  insider breaking news and a certain freshness that has been lacking in traditional print magazine.

 
Full disclosure – I don’t ghost write or work for IronWorks or Paisano Publications.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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This past weekend I rode the OR HOG (Sage-Snow-Surf) Motorcycle Rally.  More than 300 motorcycles arrived in Pendleton, OR.  We started our day from Vancouver, WA and headed East on State Route 14, also called the Lewis and Clark Highway.    It winds its way through the Columbia River Gorge along the river then up over steep bluffs, forest and finally makes it way into grasslands.  It’s about 180 miles and two-lane road after you depart Camus, WA.  You end up at the junction of I-82/395 just across the state line from Umatilla, OR and about 40 miles from Pendleton.

We were most fortunate as the wind was behind us with blue sky and mid-80 temperatures.  We rode past the Stonehenge, the Maryhill winery and near Goldendale we got a great view of the aluminum smelter.  I made a mental note to do a bit of research on this plant as I recalled it belching smells in full production a few years ago, but on this day it looked abandon.  It turns out that Brett Wilcox purchased the plant in 1996 for $67M.  It needed to be temporarily close (as the workers were told) in 2003, however, the owner of the plant sold off the power it purchased from producing aluminum on the open market at a hefty profit that went directly into the pockets of executive management.  Everyone was laid off and retirement funds disappeared. (Source: HERE)

Finally we arrived at the Red Lion in Pendleton and picked up our HOG packet, signed the release forms and then headed downtown.  Pendleton is located in Umatilla County and is situated along I-84.  For reference it’s south of the tri-cities (Richland, Pasco, Kennewick) area of Washington.  Beside being labeled by the National Drug Intelligence Center (PDF) as a major distribution stop for many drug traffickers en route to the tri-cities from the Southwest Border it’s also home of the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT) and home of the famous Pendleton Roundup.  

Pendleton got its start as Goodwin Station in 1865 as a stop on the Oregon Trail.  The town’s name was changed to Pendleton in honor of Ohio senator, George Hunt Pendleton.  The Rainbow is Pendleton’s oldest continuously open and operated bar and restaurant and the oldest doing business at the same location.  Many know that that the Chinese came to the area to work the gold mines and many were employed by the railroad.  As the area grew, they soon became an integral and somewhat hidden, part of the local economy.  The Chinese operated laundries and underground opium dens and were relegated to Pendleton’s seedier side. But I digress.  Back to the OR HOG Rally…

We parked the bikes on main street near Hamley’s Steak House for a little grub and some refreshments.  I introduced myself to Larry (HD head tattoo above), met JT (regional HOG director) and took in some county music in the courtyard.  We headed to the restaurant and order up some fresh Salmon (yeah, go figure!) in this truly amazing steakhouse.  Most notable besides the Western stylized décor are the nude photo’s of famous Western outlaw wives!  We received a Pendleton hat for drinking some and Linda/Lynette of the Kiwanis introduced us to the “save-the-date” for the 2009 Bikers in the Blues motorcycle rally.

Up early Friday and headed South on US 395.  I like to think of this route as Oregon’s “mother road”.  US 395 is a 1400-mile stretch which runs from the Canadian border in Washington state to San Diego, CA.  We rode out through Pilot Rock then in the middle of one of the small gorges there is a junction to OR74 which enters Morrow county and then Heppner Hwy.  Heppner has upgraded from years ago when I passed through on Eastern OR hunting trips.  With the Willow Creek dam you’d think it was a major water recreational resort.

We separated from the “official” OR HOG Rally route which veered off to Condon then on to Welches, OR for an overnight in the “snow”.  Instead we headed directly to the “surf” part of the trip, arriving in Seaside in time for a well deserved happy hour and to meet some friends who rode directly to the coast.

On Saturday we were treated to a one-in-a-million type day on the OR coast.  Mid-70’s, blue sky and NO wind.  Did I say there was NO wind.  Incredible!  It was a rare t-shirt riding day and Santiago invited everyone over to his Manzanita “Villa” for breakfast…there we were…perched high on the sand dune above the valley in the hills we were treated like royalty at the Hotel Piccolo Mondo in Acquappesa, on the Calabrian coast in Italy.  Very Tuscany!

For now I’ll reserve another post/rant about the “Goin’ Coastal” aka the Seaside Biker Fest.  Suffice to say it was most lame.  Sure there was a tattoo artist, bike builder and a couple t-shirt vendors…but, I’ve seen more activity at Taco Wednesday’s than in Seaside.   We manage to have a lot of fun even without vendor booths to spend our money.

Here is what I’ve learned on the OR HOG Rally.

  1. It’s HOT in Pendleton and cold in Seaside.
  2. The smell of wheat fields and ocean air isn’t something you get in a car
  3. Harley riders cannot be stereotyped.  There is the rich and famous to trailer trash and all in-between!
  4. Harley riders are some of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet.

The event was well planned out and Cindy (HOG Director) Wayne Schumacher and the HOG Rally Committee deserves a shout-out.  The rides were long, scenic and PERFECT weather.  There’s no pleasing everyone and I say get out and ride, whether your doing a poker run, rally or just on your own this is the time of year to get into the Northwest riding zone.

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Welcome to Oregon — from the rugged seacoast, to the high mountain passes of the Cascades and everything in between including the Judicial Branch.  Oregon’s beauty is here for all to enjoy.

In April, five months after the first chapter of the outlaw Mongols Motorcycle Club opened in Oregon, the Eugene police arrested three members of the club on felony charges, accusing them of trying to run a pair of investigators off the road during a interstate confrontation.  The Mongols were Justin J. “Mooch” DeLoretto; Nathan A. Cassidy; and Matthew A. Weiss.  They were held on charges of second-degree attempted assault and conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping.  DeLoretto is credited with setting up the Oregon chapters of the club and is identifiable with a “Mongols” tattoo on the back of his head and referenced here in this post.

Oregonian reporter Bryan Denson provides a lot more details, but the quick download is DeLoretto followed two men in a SUV that turned onto his driveway in rural Turner, OR. He was driving a pickup and didn’t realize they were police in a government issue Ford Explorer and followed them into Salem, where the SUV stopped briefly outside a house that once was a Gypsy Joker clubhouse. DeLoretto then followed the SUV down I-5, phoning other Mongols and their associates to join him in the chase.  I’m not going to speculate as to why they wanted to get together and chat…

As the legal wagon wheel turns in Oregon, the Lane County jury acquitted DeLoretto of 8 felony charges, but did find him guilty of misdemeanors last week.  Weiss previously pleaded guilty to coercion and drew a 30-day jail term. And Cassidy, drew 90 days for reckless driving and unlawful use of a weapon (his vehicle). Both were banned from associating with the Mongols.  DeLoretto is fighting this no-association order and trying to protect his free-association rights.  If the state successfully demonizes his actions and the no-association order holds up — will he be in parole violation when visiting his brother?   As it turns out DeLoretto’s has a twin brother (Jeremy) who is filling in as acting president of Mongols Oregon chapters.

I don’t condone this or any interstate chase, but I’m thinking the state is a bit hyper-sensitive about anyone associating with the Oregon Mongols.  Maybe I have it all wrong?

UPDATED All UPDATES BELOW ON — April 6, 2017

UPDATE: June 20, 2008 — Accused of a litany of felony and misdemeanor crimes, Justin “Mooch” DeLoretto, (27), took his case to trial.  A Lane County jury found him guilty of reckless driving and other misdemeanor charges from the April 23 incident in which he was accused of trying to run two biker-gang investigators off Interstate 5 during rush hour. The jury acquitted DeLoretto of eight felony charges, including conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping.  Circuit Judge Debra Vogt sentenced the president of Oregon’s Mongols Motorcycle Club to a year in jail and ordered him not to associate with other Mongols — including his twin brother Jeremy, who was at the time acting MMC President — or any outlaw biker gangs.  The judge ordered Mr. DeLoretto, to serve six months for each of two counts of menacing. She also suspended his driver’s license and ordered him to serve five years of probation in which he can neither associate with the Mongols nor wear their insignia.

UPDATE: June 24, 2008 — One day after Lane County Circuit Judge Debra Vogt sentenced Justin “Mooch” DeLoretto to a year in jail, he was released to make room for more serious criminals.  The Mongols Oregon Chapters president remained in jail before and during his trial which had his bail set very high.  He served 62 days  and was released because of jail overcrowding.

UPDATED: June 25, 2008 — More HERE, but DeLoretto was sentenced Monday (23rd) to one year in jail on two counts of menacing (misdemeanor).  The real kicker is that the DA influenced the judge who order DeLoretto not to associate with the Mongols or wear their insignia for 5 years.  Essentially striking down his constitutional right of freedom to associate.  He was processed into Lane County jail after sentencing and then promptly released 24 hours later due to jail overcrowding!  In total, DeLoretto served 62 days in Lane County jail — 61 of those while waiting trial and unable to post a very high bail.

UPDATE: September 30, 2008 – the Oregonian reported that Justin “Mooch” DeLoretto, the founder of the Mongols Motorcycle Club‘s Oregon chapters, who was ordered not to associate with the organization after a June conviction for menacing a pair of outlaw biker investigators, has left secretly to California.  According to Detective Dave Burroughs there will be a warrant for his arrest.  Mr. DeLoretto, joined the San Diego Mongols chapter and went to work in a tattoo parlor owned by a member of the motorcycle club.

UPDATE: October 2008 — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) raided all people, places and things Mongol in October and they raided that tattoo parlor. DeLoretto was detained and investigated. And, so Lane County, Oregon learned that he had violated his probation by leaving the state. Oregon issued a warrant for his arrest and asked him to please return to account for his misdeeds.

UPDATE: January 2009 — Justin “Mooch” DeLoretto, turned himself into the Lane County Jail again.  He was being held on $50,000 bail, but according to Lane County Sheriff Captain Doug Hooley commented to the Eugene Register-Guard, that there was nothing with his risk assessment score that keeps him from getting out.  He was eligible for release later that day.

UPDATE: April 4, 2017 — According to Oregonian news reports, Mr. DeLoretto is a George Fox University graduate student, who is required to complete an internship at a social service agency to obtain a master’s degree in social work.  He started an internship a year ago at the Oregon Youth Authority and would of course use what he learned to work with gang-affected youth in the criminal justice system when he completed his studies.  But, four months later, the state agency ended his internship after learning he was a founding and member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

At any rate, as of this week Mr. DeLoretto has filed a federal lawsuit against the Oregon Youth Authority, claiming his internship was terminated solely because of his club “membership” which violated his constitutional rights of free speech and due process.  DeLoretto, (now 35), is seeking undetermined monetary damages for the loss of the internship and punitive damages.

History — Justin “Mooch” DeLoretto was a founding member and President of the Mongols Motorcycle Club in Oregon. The Mongols established chapters in Portland, Eugene, Medford and Bend in 2008 and there were reports the club was determined to provoke virtually every other motorcycle club in the country.  It should be noted that for many years, the best known motorcycle club in Oregon was/is the Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club. The Mongols and the Gypsy Jokers both wear a black and white patch and do not attend each other’s “gatherings.”  In addition, the Oregon Mongols did not appear to be particularly close with either the Free Souls Motorcycle Club or the Outsiders MC. Both of those organizations predate the Mongols arrival in Oregon.

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