As Commander of Post 291, I want to thank all Post 291 members for your support as we, together, have taken actions which have made Newport Harbor Post 291 now the largest active American Legion Post in the nation. That has taken a lot of very hard work by members dedicated to make Post 291 not only the largest active Post in the Country, but, in my opinion, the best Post in the country based on all we do in support of veterans, through our programs.
Unfortunately, amidst that success, a conflict has arisen between the Post, and one of our programs, the American Legion Yacht Club (ALYC). All efforts to resolve the conflict by good faith negotiation having failed. The Post 291 Executive Board on Dec. 6, 2018, reluctantly but necessarily voted to terminate the ALYC as a program. This action is necessary due to ALYC’s refusal to comply with the National American Legion’s “Five Rules Of Subsidiary Corporations Or SAL And Riders Or Semi Independent Programs,” referred to as the “Five Rules” of the parent National American Legion. [The “Five Rules” are attached separately.]
Most members have heard about the dispute, or rumors about it, and misrepresentations about it, including articles in the newspaper. Misrepresentations have spread that “the Post is trying to take over the yacht club,” and “the Post is trying to grab the assets of the yacht club.” All false, malicious misrepresentations.
As Commander, I have established a policy of attempting to resolve this problem through good faith negotiations among us as veterans and members of Post 291, and not responding to these false misrepresentations. The Post has made no public statements, and has declined to comment to the media—or to plant stories with the media. Others have, denigrating Post 291. We have not retaliated.
However, all attempts to resolve the problem by negotiation have failed; the ALYC has opted for litigation, suing the Post and all members of the Executive Board: and the ALYC continues to refuse to comply with National’s “Five Rules.”
There can be no doubt that the ALYC, as a Post program, has enhanced the image of our Post and done some good things for our Post, as have all our programs.
But all Post programs are required to comply with the rules of the National American Legion as well as Department and Post rules. The ALYC, however, asserts that because it is incorporated as a “Social Club,” it is not subject to oversight and control by the Post and refuses to comply with the “Five Rules” of the National American Legion which all Post programs must obey.
All Post 291 members have to understand that the “Five Rules” are not Post 291’s rules—they are the rules of the National American Legion which is imposed upon all programs in all the more than 13,000 Posts in the country. Post 291 cannot change National’s “Five Rules,” only National can. Post 291 cannot refuse to enforce the Five Rules. Post 291 has no choice but to obey those rules at risk of sanctions of the Post by the National Legion; and no choice but to terminate the ALYC, or any other program, which refuses to obey the National American Legion’s “Five Rules.”
As Commander, I have not put out statements about the controversy during more than a year of efforts to resolve the problem by good faith negotiation. I have done that so as not to poison the atmosphere to such an extent as to impede or preclude resolution by negotiation.
But, negotiations have failed. The ALYC refuses to comply with National’s “Five Rules, and has been terminated as a program.
Therefore, I want you, the members, to have the facts of what has happened, and why. I provide you with that information by providing a copy of the notice of termination of the ALYC as a program which I directed to ALYC Commodore Doug Green. It is attached below. The facts, the truth, is provided there.
It is unfortunate that the ALYC has had to be terminated —but it had to be done because of ALYC’s continuing refusal to comply with the “Five Rules” of the National American Legion.
This does not mean that Post 291 will be without a yacht club. A new Newport Harbor Post 291 Yacht Club is being established which will comply with National American Legion policies, including the Five Rules, and will function as a program, part of the Post 291 Legion Family, subject to the rules required of all programs, and not as an incorporated “social club” separate from the Post.
Doug Nye, Commander
Newport Harbor Post 291
Congratulations to Brian Fleming Jr. and his Color Guard Competition Team who placed in the top 3 in both Advancing/Retiring of Colors Class and Military Open Class, held at National Convention in Minneapolis August 24.
Another coup for Post 291––first time the Post sponsored a Boy’s State delegate to California Boys State who went on to represent 291 at Boy’s Nation in Washington DC, and then won election for President of Boys Nation 2018, representing not only California but 291.
Congratulations Josh Cheadle! American Legion Children and Youth programs are under the direction of our 3rd Vice Commander, Sandy Schneeberger. This is a huge national program for high school junior boys and a big thank you to her and her committee for selecting Josh from Sage High School in Newport Coast. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, you represent the best American Legion in the country and I’m proud to be the Commander of Post 291.
Labor Day Weekend ends the official summer season at the Post. Enjoy the rest of the summer by coming out and enjoying the weekend bands, Tuesday Hootenanny, Friday night Dinner and Dancing to live band music, and sailing activities with the Yacht Club. The Post has had a terrific summer with full crowds enjoying the special amenities that only Post 291 can provide. Thanks to all the Veterans and their families who support the Post, keeping it a viable business operation by using the Bar and Restaurant, and attending special events.
September 11, 2001. Where were you when the Towers fell and the U.S. lost over 3000 citizens in a terror attack seventeen years ago? Please take a moment to remember that day, now called Patriot Day, Tuesday, September 11. Hootenanny, Taco Tuesday and Line Dancing will still be scheduled.
We swing into Autumn with Country Night Friday September 21. And you can’t forget our famous Halloween Costume Party Friday, October 26. Reservations only so call the office because it’s always a sell out. Thanksgiving Buffet and Christmas festivities and Boat Parade are right around the corner.
2018-2019 goals are as follows:
- VETERANS FIRST. Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291.
- Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs.
- Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future.
- Put programs together so our younger Veterans can get involved to reach these goals.
Remember our mission statement of “Veterans First”. If you love your freedom, “Thank a Vet”. Our commitment to all veterans, our members, veterans’ programs or veterans-in-need alike, will reflect in all we do as we strive to honor all who served. The Post is not a “Club”, but an American Legion Post for Military Veterans who share common experiences. The Security staff is made up of SONs who are SONs of the Post. Please show respect to the Post, Volunteer Security staff, all veterans and guests.
Remember: “Veterans First”.
Attitude is the Altitude of Success at the American Legion Post 291.
Let’s all work together to make that happen.
Post 291 ushers in the new 2018-2019 Command year and my officers and Executive Committee members will all do another great job. Welcome all the SONs and Auxiliary officers this year and wish them a successful year ahead.
Congratulations to Post 291 Honor Guard Commander Brian Fleming Jr, and his competition team who, once again, placed 1st at the American Legion Department of California convention held in Sacramento the last weekend in June. They now go on to compete at National in August to retain their 1st place title as the best Honor Guard in the nation. Way to go guys!
Congratulations to Sandy Schneeberger, our 3rd Vice Commander who is in charge of our Boys State program. Post 291 sent 27 delegates, the most from any single Post in the state. Our district also lead by sending the most (86) delegates for the State. One of our own delegates, Viren Abhyankar from Northwood High School, Irvine, was voted 2018 Boys State Governor during their week in Sacramento June 16-22 and an Alternate to Boys Nation as well as our other delegate, Josh Cheadle from Sage High School selected Senator for Boys Nation. This is a huge deal, and a real coup for our Post, the second time it’s ever happened in over 50 years. This has been a great year for our Post to be recognized with these awards and achievements as The American Legion begins its 100th year.
As I start my fourth term as your Commander, my 2018-2019 goals are as follows:
- VETERANS FIRST. Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291
- Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs
- Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future
- Put programs together so our younger Veterans can get involved to reach these goals
We are a very large Legion Post, therefore, have policies & procedures in place that are different from others because of our vast membership roll of 7000 members within the Legion family. My goal is to continue to run this Post in a positive direction and have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all the members.
Reminder to all members, especially new ones: Summer has arrived on the Peninsula. Traffic is heavy and parking is at a premium. The Post is very crowded and kids are playing by the water. PLEASE observe the rules while at the Post. They are posted on the railings, white boards and outside, plus on the website. There is no lifeguard so ALL parents must watch their kids while on the beach, and no bare feet once back on Post grounds. We want everyone to have a safe summer. Security staff is made up of SONs who are SONs of the Post. Please show respect to the Post, Volunteer Security staff, all veterans and guests.
Members MUST show current membership card before entering the parking lot and you CANNOT leave your car in the lot and go elsewhere such as the beach, bike riding, etc.
We are continuing to make improvements to the Marina, repairs to the seawall and inside our Post facility. We have begun a Building fund to raise money to remodel/rebuild our Post so that the future generations of veterans for many more years.
July 4th was another huge event at the Post. Thanks to all the volunteers that made it so successful. All our members really helped our donation goal for the 2018-2019 year. With your generosity, this event helps support the American Legion’s Boys State program, VA Hospital visits, plus many veteran, community, and youth programs. Visit al291.com for all the programs that Post 291 fosters. Helping your Post to help others.
Check the website and white boards for more information regarding our Summer events like Dance Party Friday Nights, Jazz Nights, Weekend Bands on the Patio, and our WW2/ Korean War Vet lunch held July 28 honoring all our vets who served in those theaters.
Remember our mission statement of “Veterans First”. If you love your freedom, “Thank a Vet”. Our commitment to all veterans, our members, veterans’ programs or veterans-in need alike, will reflect in all we do as we strive to honor all who served. The Post is not a “Club”, but an American Legion Post for Military Veterans who share common experiences.