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Tim and Bonnie King Receive 2011 Silver Spoke Media Award in Albuquerque (VIDEO)Salem-News.com
We do not take this amazing honor lightly.
(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) - The Silver Spoke Awards Banquet at the 26th Annual National Coalition of Motorcyclists Convention was an honor for Bonnie and I to attend. Held at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the political event was full with camaraderie and peaceful relations between so many American motorcycle clubs that we never were able to count them all.
Many are the traditional clubs that date back to the 1940's and 1950's. These organizations represent an undeniable aspect of America's post-WWII culture. Others are newer clubs that are based around specific ideologies like Veteran unity, female clubs, and several are Christian based groups.
They hailed from all over the nation, and almost all of these men and women gathered for this professional event that delves deeply into the mechanics of the national and state political structures, arrived on shining Harley Davidsons, wearing their colors proudly.
The yearly gathering of several hundred club representatives was the latest accomplishment of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, or NCOM, which, along with the International Coalition of Motorcyclists, hosted this extensive schedule of programs, seminars, round table discussions, and meetings.
EMcee'd by Doc Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman, the event was designed to raise rider awareness and organize political activism geared toward protecting biker's rights.
Many were honored, some were bikers and others support bikers through art and journalism.
Silver Spoke Winner, Bill Hayes, is an author, writer for Easyrider Magazine, and Boozefighters MC member.
And one of the original female riders from New York City; Sharon, 'Lady Ninja' Cancel, also received a Silver Spoke award.
Richard Lester, founder of the group of bikers and lawyers united for justice, and all of the group's officers and members, have a steadfast dedication toward preserving their rights as motorcyclists and American citizens.
The video below of the award banquet explains some of the reasons why the NCON presented the media award to Bonnie and I, and below the video you will find a roundup of some of the stories about bikers that we have written and produced.
It comes at a time when mainstream media casts discrimination against club riders in the U.S., along with police and politicians. The idea collectively threatens the Civil Liberties of all riders.
These high caliber people are having to fight gang laws to protect themselves as club members. It seems fairly ridiculous that these men and women; ranging from their 20's to their 70's and beyond, many among them highly accomplished professionals, riding motorcycles that cost a great deal of money, should have to spend time in this way.
All because they belong to a club that likes to get together on weekends and ride motorcycles?
All because of skewed and flawed public perceptions that are often embellished by reporters and writers and documentary producers?
It is an especially frustrating concept to journalists like Bonnie and I, who have dedicated our lives to helping educate the American public about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Salem-News.com has interviewed soldiers and Marines on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan about this problem that affects so many hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served their nation at war.
Our mentor writer Dr. Phil Leveque, has suffered PTSD since his service in WWII. Collectively, we have written hundreds of articles and produced many videos about PTSD.
Combat survivors find support in the unity of motorcycle clubs. The notion of taking care of your fellow soldier or Marine continues here. For Combat Veterans and those who live with PTSD, motorcycle club activities are a survival tool.
And this unity is what the nation is trying to outlaw.
We do not take this amazing honor lightly, and this award gives us confidence and helps us believe we are taking the right steps as a news agency that specializes in these largely unaddressed subjects like motorcycle culture and challenges that face American veterans. Our firm position is that neither riding a motorcycle or belonging to a club in any way constitutes a crime.
The NCOM Silver Spoke Award causes us to believe that other projects, like our PTSD documentary, and another program we would like to produce about Civil Rights and police abuse, are indeed very possible and very necessary in our society where people are all very unique and different, and sometimes belong to clubs.
We believe the political organization of motorcycle clubs is the only answer for the preservation of real freedom, here in the land of the free, home of the brave.
Our most sincere gratitude to NCOM,
A few of the stories that led to Salem-News receiving the Silver Spoke Award
Publisher Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04. Bonnie has a wide ranging media background and in her career she has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and NIE/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King
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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience in broadcast and Internet news. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with the U.S. Army and Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim is a member of the Orange County Press Club in Southern California, you can send Tim an email at this address: email@example.com
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