Maine – Letter to Hams

October 2, 2018

                I’m a candidate for NE England Division Director of the ARRL. You will soon receive, or you may have already received,  a ballot asking you to vote in the election, and I want your vote.

As you live in Maine, I thought I’d talk about Maine.

College in Waterville

                My mother and aunt went to Colby. I went to Colby. My cousin went to Colby. My daughter went to Colby. My sister spent most of her career teaching French and French Literature, especially Quebec literature and drama, at Colby. Her husband, my brother-in-law, also spent most of his career at Colby, teaching American History. I was an Assistant Professor for one semester at Colby, teaching business law, as well as a course in marketing. (I hold a JD from Boston College, and an MBA from Harvard.)

Summers in Greenville

                For about 30 years, my wife and I have vacationed with friends at their house in Harford’s Point outside of Greenville. I’ll always have nice things to say about Moosehead Lake. In fact, I erected a Rohn HDBX-48 at their house for FM and aircraft radio reception. There is no TV reception down by the water.

Business in Wales

                With a few other guys, I bought 24 acres in Wales, Maine.  It is a town next to Sabattus, between Lewiston and Litchfield. We erected a 250-foot tower there on the same ridge as the WCBB Channel 10 tower. Today it is the rent-free home to the W1PIG repeater (145.290, PL 100, TS). I’m pleased to say we have GREAT coverage.

My Car and the Maine Bar Exam

                Back in 1972, I drove up to Bangor in February, took and passed the bar exam. I was young, inexperienced at owning a car in Maine, and the temperature never got above about 10 below zero F for those two days. The two-day bar exam took me three days, because I had to spend an extra day in Bangor to warm up my car in an AAA garage. But I learned a valuable lesson!

                The bottom line:  I have Maine connections, yes, you will see me in Maine!

And now, some questions about the ARRL

  • Should the ARRL promote the Amateur Radio Parity Act? I have significant issues with the wording of the bill. What If you have a camp near a lake and you’re a member of a road association, to plow the roads? As the proposed bill is drafted, you’d have to get prior approval from the road association before you could erect an antenna.
  • Matters concerning candidates for director or vice-director of the ARRL have been considered “personnel matters” and are discussed behind closed doors. The result is that candidates have been disqualified that I don’t believe should have been disqualified. And in the past it has been almost impossible to discern what really happened and the reasons for disqualification. Do you think candidates for office should be disqualified for reasons we may never know? Or do you think the voters should decide?
  •  Should major changes in the governance of the League be circulated to the membership before consideration by the Board, so as to solicit input from the membership? Last year, the ARRL Directors created a Code of Conduct that essentially prohibited directors from criticizing decisions with which they did not agree. When this became public, many members objected, and many of the proposed parts of the Code of Conduct were eliminated.
  • In this modern day, when teleconferencing is easy and inexpensive, should teleconferencing be used in-between full Board meetings?
  • Have you worked on proposals being considered by the DX Advisory Committee? The Contest Advisory Committee? Or any Advisory Committee?  How did that work out for you? Did the Board pay attention to the committee’s recommendations?
  • Two years ago, the ARRL raised dues and raised some fees (if you use the QSL Bureau, you are paying a lot more now). Are there other strategies that should be tried?
  • ARRL Membership has declined significantly over the past two years, and only what I’d call a small percentage of Maine hams are ARRL members. Shouldn’t the percentage be higher? I have some ideas on how to make that happen. 

                As you can learn from my questions, I have opinions about how things are working at the ARRL Board level. I hope you have the confidence to vote from me.  The incumbent has been in office for just short of forever (it has been over 20 years), and I think it is time for a change. I promise that I won’t hold the office for 20 years.

Please cast your vote when the paper ballot arrives for Fred Hopengarten, K1VR.  73,

Fred K1VR