On Thursday, October 4, I had a chance to visit and speak with the boys at SEMARA, the Southeastern Massachusetts ARA, W1AEC. The club owns ~three acres with a club house (originally purchased in the 1950’s) and they have a 180′ cell tower in their backyard to produce income for the club and their scholarship fund.
This is a great group of guys, and they had a few interesting ideas for ARRL 2.0.
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 Vermont,
I thought I’d talk about Vermont.
K1 Vermont Radio
did I get the call K1 “Vermont Radio”? Around
1975 I bought 10 acres, plus a piece of 50 acres of common land (my share = a
total of 18 acres), in Roxbury, VT. This is on the Eastern side of what is
known as the Roxbury Gap Crossing. That’s the road to what some people call “sin
valley,” where Sugarbush is located. Basically, I’d done a lot of skiing in
Warren, and figured that someday I’d build a tiny house on a hilltop (Cram
Hill) for weekends. I still own that land, but life intervened.
married a girl from New Jersey. You know where New Jersey is – it is right next
to New York, where so many Vermonters come from! (Ooops. I didn’t mean to step
on that sore toe.) But my wife never took to the camping on that hilltop that I
so much enjoyed, and my small house in Roxbury never came to pass.
did once drag a bunch of friends up that hill to operate field day in the two
transmitter, battery operated class, with all wire antennas. We had fun!
recently as last year, I was invited to Ham-Con and spoke about strategies for
hams with CC&Rs (Common Covenants and Restraints) that they must live with,
if they live in a situation with a homeowner association. My advice was, and still is, DON’T DO IT. But
I’ll gladly send a copy of the PowerPoint to anyone made the mistake and who
asks for a copy.
event, I’m itching to go back to Al’s French Frys.
this case was brought before the (no longer existing) Vermont Environmental
Board, claiming that it presented the possibility of poisonous RF
transmissions. Though we lost every motion along the way to limit the
submission of crazy articles and evidence, after an extensive hearing in
Charlotte, WIZN prevailed (9-0). I still have, and proudly wear, my WIZN
Other Work in VT
also done other commercial work on antenna systems in Vermont, in places like
the Northeast Kingdom, Bennington and Springfield.
my great pleasure to represent N1CIV, in Hartford, VT, in winning a tower
permit. And I worked with W1SOV and
others to draft what became 24 V.S.A. § 2296, Vermont’s statute on the
regulation of amateur radio towers, a Vermont version of PRB-1.
bottom line: I have Vermont connections,
and yes, you will see me in Vermont!
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?
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
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 Vermont 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,
YES! The Ethics & Elections Committee has approved my “ballot statement.” Here it is:
I’m running for ARRL New England Division
Born and raised in the Boston area, I’ve been
an active ham since 1956, with stops at Colby, BC Law and Harvard Business
School. Throughout, the ARRL was there for me; I’ve been a Life Member since
1975 and Diamond Club-level donor to the League. I wrote Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur – one of ARRL’s most
highly-acclaimed books. As Volunteer Counsel, I’ve helped hams get tower
permits all over the country. I’ve guided hams throughout our hobby – in EMCOMM,
experimenting, contesting, and public service.
In my view, the ARRL Board has not
delivered on its historic mission. I
is a culture of Board secrecy,
in the National Traffic System were badly handled,
ARES has troubles,
Amateur Radio Parity Act was a mis-guided initiative,
should attract more new members, and
radio could retain more Technicians.
Membership is declining and aging,
indicating a failure of leadership, perhaps an alienated membership. I fear our
future is not secure.
We must get ARRL back
on track – embracing transparency, becoming member-driven again, and focusing
on issues that are critical to the future of our hobby.
Amateur Radio should be a modern, relevant,
vibrant and nationally important resource – with new leadership from an
enlightened Board that is open and invites membership participation on
I will use my ham radio and professional
background to transform a failing ARRL Board into a healthy and viable
organization for the benefit of Amateur Radio. Together, we will chart a new
path for the ARRL – an organization that must succeed for ham radio to prosper.
To vote for ham radio’s future, please vote for me as New England Division