Issue 66: AKA Corner

May this find you well and thinking about, or doing things with, kites. Here in northeast USA the Indoor Kite Flying and kite making workshop season has slowly come to an end and the kite festival season is in full swing. Here is the latest from the AKA.

Here is a little story about a simple request: Sometimes, big things start with a simple request. This is an example of that. A group of eleven AKA Members find themselves in an odd corner of their Region. They spend most of their kite flying time in a neighboring Region. They have made a simple request that their state be moved from one Region to another. Simple, right? How hard can it be? Just move one state, which has 11 Members who are geographically closer to another Region’s kiters, from one Region to the other.

Changing boundaries of Regions is called Reapportionment and it is clearly defined in the AKA Bylaws. The Bylaws say that Reapportionment can only happen once every three years. In another Section, the Bylaws say that Regions should be approximately equal in voting member population. In theory, if not in practice, reapportionment should be more about equality of numbers in Regions and less about geographical convenience.

If all the voting AKA Members in all 12 Regions in the USA are added up, then divided by 12, it comes out to 250 per Region. Region 10 has 409 Members. So, a case can be made that Region 10 needs to be sliced and diced to bring its numbers closer to every other Region in the country. How would you feel if the AKA waved its magic wand and that you were suddenly in a different Region, and the folks you fly with every weekend are still in the old Region?

Let’s be clear: No one is talking about slicing up Region 10. That is not an objective. It is just that reapportionment can only be done once every 3 years, the same amount of time as a Regional Director’s term.  Making one simple change now locks the AKA to that result for three years. That means we need to do everything possible to do it right. A committee has been formed to look at all aspects of making this ‘simple’ change. They have been provided with the boundaries of each Region, the number of Members in each Region, and the number of Members in each state.

Elections: It is not too soon to be thinking about AKA Elections. The next issue of Kitelife hits the Web August 1. Requests for Nominations will go out July 7, 90 days before the Annual Business Meeting. All nominations are due back by August 7, 60 days before the ABM. Ballots will be sent out on August 22, 45 days before the ABM.

So it is time to begin to start to think about the people who you want to be in the important positions in the AKA. This year there will be elections for Regional Director in Regions 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. The President is up for election every year. If you would like to run for Regional Director of any of those Regions, let the AKA Nominations Committee know by August 7.

Convention: Early Registration for 2009 Convention starts July 1. It is less expensive to register early. Many if not most AKA Members have not been to Convention. Some people seem to think that Convention is all about competitions. The truth is that most people who attend Convention don’t compete at all. Last year, out of 300 people at Convention, less than 70 competed in the Nationals. Most people who go to Convention are there for the friends and the sharing and the learning and meeting new people. Convention is a 5-day party with all the best kite flyers from around the world.

At Convention there are workshops every morning on all kinds of subjects. Usually there are six different workshops in three different rooms (two sessions) each morning. One of the workshops I am looking forward to this year is the one on AKA’s Fiscal Year.

Every day at Convention there is a Mass Ascension of a particular type of kite. A hundred or more people gather on one field to fly their delta kites, or their cellular kites, or Rokkaku fighter kites. There are pins given out each day for each ascension. All 5 pins fit together in to a shape.

Bag Raffle: No description of Convention is complete without talking about the Great Convention Bag Raffle. Somewhere at the hotel there will be a room, jam-packed, floor to ceiling with kites, books, apparel, accessories of all kinds. Tickets can be bought at (nearly) all times and there is no limit to how many tickets you can buy or how many can be dropped in any bag for any item. There is great stuff to be had!

Two little known aspects of Convention are the Board Meeting on Tuesday morning at 9 AM and the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday night. Both meetings are open to everyone, but ALL AKA Members are very much encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday night. The Annual Business Meeting is where AKA Members get to decide policy, including the Officer positions on the Board.

Let’s not forget the Auction. The AKA Auction on Friday night is a wonderful opportunity to obtain unique kites, collector kites, interesting accessories, hapi coats and much more! Auction donations are being accepted now. If you have an item for the Auction, contact Maggie Engvall at .

Raffle tickets are on sale for a Full Registration to the Rochester Convention. A $1.00 ticket could get you a paid registration to the 2009 Convention in Rochester, MN. Contact your Regional Director or your favorite Director at Large now to get as many tickets as you like! You can’t win if you don’t play!

But wait, there’s more!

The Great 2009 Convention Lodging Raffle.

Win six nights at the Kahler Grand Hotel! The Kahler will host all of our meetings and indoor events with the exception of the Indoor Fly. The Kahler Grand has direct access to the downtown area via a climate controlled pedestrian skyway and subway. The skyway also connects you to over 60 boutiques, novelty shops, and restaurants. Room nights are October 5-10, 2009.

Raffle tickets are $5.00 each and are available from the AKA office at or 800-252-2550.

You can purchase your tickets using checks, all the major credit cards, or PayPal. You can also arrange for tickets by grabbing hold of any AKA officer or director you might meet on a flight field near you.

Our thanks to the Kahler Grand Hotel for making this raffle possible.

Thanks for listening. See you out there somewhere.

good heavens;

gary engvall