February has already been a busy month. Since it’s the shortest, we’re working hard to bring you new and updated information and more resources in a shorter amount of time!
So far this month, the EC Blog has been updated, we’ve added a new table to our Nets tab for easier reading, we’ve added our new Welcome Packet letter to the About ARES tab, we’ve also added a new banner to thank KDØCNC to the About ARES tab, we’ve added the ARRLs Quickstart Guide for Ham Radio operators under the Quick Reference Guide, and finally, we’ve created a new Benton County, MO ARES frame for anyone to use on our FB page!
We are looking into new layouts and banners for the website for 2018. We hope to keep things moving in a forward direction this year by providing quality content and engaging our members and prospective members in fun and exciting activities. The BC ARES already has a future plan to coordinate with the WAARCI for Summer Field Days!
I will be posting the agenda for the February meeting shortly. Our meeting is this coming Saturday at 9 AM at the Benton County 911 building behind the water tower in Warsaw! We would love to see you there!
I am sitting down once again to do my monthly EC report and I am blown away by the number of people who give the group their time each week/month. Our numbers on the weekly net are holding pretty steady and though we had terrible road conditions/illness hit our monthly meeting numbers hard, we are still doing very well! I would like to say a special thank you to our members who are in other states now, yet still take the time to check in with us on our weekly nets. That shows true dedication and we are glad you are part of our group!
Thank you to those who have forwarded me their FEMA certification emails! I appreciate the time and effort you volunteer to put into our group and your training. The courses aren’t exactly Hollywood Blockbusters, but they are crucial to our members so they will know what will happen in the case of an actual emergency!
Next, I would like to say thank you to KDØCNC. None of us truly know or understand the amount of time he volunteers to our group, the MESN, SHARES, Region A Healthcare, and all of the other things he makes the effort to support. He maintains all of the repeaters our group uses and works tirelessly to help amateur radio operators every day. Thank you, Rick. Words could never do justice to our appreciation!
Finally, I would like to thank the groups who have invited us to work (play!) with them! The Region A Healthcare participants, Region D ARES, Camden County, MO CERT, WAARCI (Warrensburg Area Amateur Radio Club, Inc.), Northside Amateur Radio Club (more on them in an upcoming post!), and numerous other groups and clubs have all generously reached out to the BC ARES or we reached out to them. This is the overall goal of the ARRL’s ARES program and my personal drive for our group. Thank you all for the warm welcome and cooperation!
Faced with an avalanche of criticism from members, donors and major clubs across the country, the ARRL board of directors in January decided not to consider several proposed changes to the League’s Articles of Association and By-Laws. It did, however, establish a process for presenting proposed changes to the membership ahead of time in the future.
The directors also decided to undertake a complete review of the controversial code of conduct they had previously adopted for themselves, and immediately suspended the section of that code that prevented directors from speaking negatively about board actions and telling members how they voted on various motions.
The board also voted to make public the decisions of its Ethics and Elections Committee regarding candidates’ qualifications as well as its reasons for disqualifying candidates from seeking election (unless, in either case, the candidate requested otherwise).
I will hold off my excitement about WFD 2018 for my EC blog post and give you a quick rundown here in this post!
The Warrensburg Area Amateur Radio Club, Inc. hosted members of the BC ARES for WFD 2018 at the new tower site in Holden, MO. Below is a summation of Day one, according to the club’s president, Cary Altman (KB0HV):
“Wow… have you been on the bands today? yuck. Double Yuck even. We are running 3 nice rigs in separate operating positions. Today we used a combination of 4 antennas. We have at least two more antennas on standby. Rick and Robert came out and moved our vertical antenna to the roof to see if that would help! So far, even on the ground in the front yard, that vertical has outperformed both the new sloper and the two crisscrossed G5RV antennas even after Rick and Robert raised them up quite a bit for the contest! Everything should be working well, and except for a little bit of self-induced QRM between our stations because all the antennas are crammed in next to the tower on top of each other, and because nobody but Keith brought headphones. Oops… headphones in the going out to door pile right now while I am thinking about it.
So, we have had a lot of fun today, and a lot of great people came out to visit us! We must have had 30 people there at one point, and it was wonderful to see… I lost track of how many radio-enthused kids were there today too, wanting to see us making contacts. Kennedy and Jayden were there. Davin was there along with his Dad and brother. And there was more activity this morning with Larry and Jack and others working on the repeaters!
It has been a good day for the WAARCI. We will do this more often. Oh… and the Brats and hamburgers were excellent!! Thank you, Terry!
The bands, however, were not excellent. Aaron and Keith managed one CW contact and got several VHF/UHF contacts. I managed 2 40 meter contacts. 20 was a graveyard all day and totally closed at sunset… I think the MUF must have been less than 10 MHz all day. Terry and Sam did the best of all of us… managing 4 contacts on 40 and 80!
We have learned a lot. We have had a lot of fun. We decided to go home and we will regroup in the morning… the charts say that 20 might actually open up tomorrow.
I love contesting.
I love contesting with friends even more.
The second day was significantly better with band conditions improving greatly in the morning hours. While overall numbers were low, we were encouraged by what we learned and by our ability to still pull contacts “out of the weeds” on both days! Some of the things we learned included: BRING A HEADSET!!!!, crossed wires/antennas make for lots of interference, have a station calling CQ AND a station working the bands for other contacts, and burgers, brats, and pizza for lunch/dinner and donuts for the next morning are mandatory!
Overall, the experience was excellent. We were excited for each other when we secured contacts, helped each other with problems and technical issues, and had a blast both on the air and off with visitors who took the time to drop in and check on us! Thank you to WAARCI for being such gracious hosts! We can’t wait for Summer Field Day!
We’re very excited to be invited and included in the Tactical Storm Spotter Training in Warsaw! This training will be held on February 15, 2018 at the Warsaw/Lincoln Ambulance building located at 1205 Medic Drive from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. This training is provided by the National Weather Service and is for police, fire, ambulance, 911, and amateur radio operators (those equipped with radio communication)!
We would love to have a strong BC ARES presence at this training and hope to hear from our members on their ability to attend!
In the last few weeks, the ARRL’s Board of Directors has been the subject of an organized misinformation campaign. It is being orchestrated by a group of hams, some of whom are well-intentioned but have been misled. This effort, which consists of a series of mis-characterizations, initially dealt with (1) the ARRL Board’s censure of an ARRL Director, and (2) some proposed revisions to ARRL’s Articles of Association and Bylaws that are likely to be considered at the upcoming ARRL Board meeting and which were circulated by a member of the Board. None of the proposed Article and Bylaw changes has yet been addressed by the Board of Directors. More recently, other equally erroneous and false statements have been made with respect to completely unrelated issues, in an effort to draw into question ARRL’s decision-making processes. The principal suggestion is that ARRL operates under some “cloak of secrecy.” The criticism is unfair and undeserved.
ARRL’s representative system of governance, which has worked exceptionally well in the advocacy and promotion of Amateur Radio and the interests of ARRL members for more than 100 years, is unchanged. And the legislative and other advocacy positions currently being pursued are critical to the long-term survivability of the Amateur Radio Service.
The ARRL Board does seek thoughtful, informed input on policy issues concerning Amateur Radio from its roughly 150,000 members. ARRL’s governance structure provides that regionally elected, volunteer Directors will represent the interests of the members in their respective Divisions, working collectively and collegially within our Board to make policy and to advocate their constituents’ interests. ARRL’s Board members hold cabinet meetings and forums at hamfests and conventions, and they staff ARRL booths at hamfests and conventions in order to find out what interests and concerns you have as ARRL members. They take this feedback from you, and they come to Board meetings twice a year to make policy for the organization. They work together collegially to develop the best policy decisions. This structure presumes that the Board’s collective wisdom is far greater than that of any one Board member, and each Board member is obligated by our Articles and Bylaws to come to meetings with a good idea of what the members need and what is best for Amateur Radio as a whole.
As is the case with most large, national nonprofit associations, ARRL Board meetings are not open to the public. It has always been that way, as a matter of necessity. That is because, at all such meetings, confidential issues such as spectrum protection, employee compensation, financial information, and FCC submissions are candidly discussed, and the members’ interests at those meetings are advocated by the Directors on a representative basis.
Unfortunately, it was necessary for the Board to take the highly unusual action of publicly censuring one of its members recently. The Board heard the allegations made by an ARRL member of what transpired at an Amateur Radio event; it heard reports from other amateurs who were there, and it heard all the information that the Director involved chose to present. Everyone had a chance to speak and to evaluate the presentations. The Board, in an 11 to 3 vote with one abstention, took action to protect the organization’s integrity based on the information presented. This process and procedure are what nonprofit associations have to be prepared to employ, and do employ, to maintain order within their organizations and to ensure that the interests of the affected Director are protected as well. This is not a procedure that any nonprofit organization would conduct publicly.
ARRL Directors are volunteers. They are smart, dedicated radio amateurs who each devote thousands of hours per year of their own time to representing you as best they can. — ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR
The ARRL Policy on Board Governance and Conduct of Members of the Board of Directors and Vice Directors has been drawn into question, probably as the result of the fact that the Board’s censure decision was based upon a violation of that policy by the Director involved. The Policy is intended to protect the democratic decision-making processes by which ARRL has operated effectively for so long, and to set forth principles to guide an organization’s decision making and the behavior of individual board members when acting on behalf of ARRL. When it was adopted by the Board a year ago, it was posted for ARRL members to read. The policy calls for honesty, integrity, transparency, confidentiality, and equity. The purpose of adopting such a statement formally is to provide employees, volunteers, and board members with guidelines for making ethical choices and to ensure that there is accountability for those choices.
When board members of a nonprofit adopt a code of ethics, they are expressing their commitment to ethical behavior. It is intended to protect the Board’s deliberations and to protect the staff from inappropriate actions by Board members. It seeks to preclude precisely the type of selective disclosures and unilateral and subjective characterizations of proposed Board actions that have happened recently. There is nothing at all insidious about the policy, which is subject to regular review and modification, as are all other ARRL organizational documents.
As to the criticism of the proposed Articles and Bylaws changes, the Board has not yet considered them. It may or may not adopt some or all of the changes recommended by its Executive Committee or by an individual Director. Any responsible Board of Directors regularly reviews, amends and updates its Articles and Bylaws. And ARRL member input is welcome on all such subjects. Indeed, the recommended Article and Bylaws changes were not considered to be Board confidential. The problem, however, is that it is not fair to members, or to the representative Directors who have yet to evaluate them collectively, to have the proposals mischaracterized or misrepresented.
ARRL Directors are volunteers. They are smart, dedicated radio amateurs who each devote thousands of hours per year of their own time to representing you as best they can.
To those who try to suggest that the Board has abandoned its obligation to the members in favor of the organization — you draw a distinction that doesn’t exist. The Board absolutely understands that the members are the organization. The members of ARRL are always best served by an informed Board that works together to make policy that is in the best interests of the organization. The divisive tactics that are being used now, commenced through disinformation and a lack of candor, are harmful not only to the organization, but to Amateur Radio operators everywhere, the good work of the ARRL staff, and the Service that we love so much.
Under the BC ARES Library Quick Reference Guide (here), we’ve added the ARES Field Resource Manual.
Under our newest affiliates, we’ve added links to the Cities of Lincoln and Cole Camp.
We’ve also added more nets to the Regional and Local Nets tab. We would like to increase interest in the monthly nets held in our region to ensure communications with amateur radio operators in the area and local hospitals and emergency management offices. Have a look here to see when the daily, weekly, and monthly nets are held in our local and regional area!
Our 1st Healthcare Coalition Communications Test in 2018 is next week. I want to encourage all facilities to participate. It appears we should have good weather conditions for the test. My primary goal for 2018 is to continually grow the list of Healthcare facilities that are taking advantage of these communications tests within Regions D, G, and I. The secondary goal is to increase the rotation of net control among facilities. And, the third goal is to find and test additional ways to communicate among facilities using other than voice means. If amateur radio is to be a backup or alternative means of facility communications, we need to grow and improve the tools we have available.
10:00 am on the SW MO Regional SKYWARN System
10:30 am on the SMLRS and Nixa ARC Linked Repeater System
11:00 am is the End of Test. Our test in October 2017 went over the 10:20 ending for the SKYWARN System test so we expanded to 30 minutes on each linked system.
You are asked to check into the repeaters that your facility can access. If you can access a repeater in both systems, please check into the SKYWARN system at 10:00 am, then the SMLRS system at 10:30 am. Net Control will open for check-ins at the time specified for each linked system. The repeaters and their locations are as follows:
The last two days have been busy! After speaking with KDØCNC, KØRWL, and KF4MXF (in person, in an email, and over the phone, respectively), I have been given instruction on the need to make my monthly reports over the radio on the Missouri Traffic Net and how to do so! This is great news for you, our members, because you can tune into the MTN and hear real traffic passed, not only by me but also by other groups in the area!
5:45 PM 3.963 LSB Missouri Traffic Net
6:30 PM 3.963 LSB MESN – Missouri Emergency Services Net
*These times sometimes change to an hour earlier in the winter due to band conditions.
In response to this next stage of learning, I have put two pdf files under the BC ARES Library Quick Reference Guide. They are the ICS-213 and the ARRL Radiogram! This brings our website another step closer to being a place you can go for all of your radio communication informational needs!
I appreciate the help I receive from all of the hams I talk to during this learning period! Thank you also to our members who make the time each week to check into our Sunday night BC ARES net and each month to attend our meetings on the second Saturday of the month. Without each of you there, volunteering your time, our group simply wouldn’t exist!
We are always on the lookout for new members and would LOVE to meet more local amateur radio operators!