Connecticut–Letter to Hams

                I’m a candidate for New 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 Connecticut, I thought I’d talk about Connecticut.

Woodbury, Southbury, Stratford, and Farmington

                As president of Channel One, I was the guy who ran the cable TV company serving Woodlake (Woodbury), Heritage Village (Southbury), Oronoque Village (Stratford), and Farmington Woods (Farmington). I retired from Channel One when we sold the company to what is now Comcast, but I did spend a lot of time in Connecticut building those systems, including towers and dishes, as well as marketing to residents. If you were one of my customers, I hope we served you well. If you’ve had any cable TV problems there since 1990 – not my fault!

Yale and UConn

                My wife lived in New Haven for about six years, while getting her Ph.D. at Yale (psychopharmacology), and her M.D. at UConn in Farmington. Whenever we drive Route 95 in Southwest Connecticut, she insists that we stop to eat in New Haven – so that she can reminisce. Curiously, my wife and my sister overlapped some of their time in New Haven. My sister also got a Ph.D. (French Literature) at Yale. While I didn’t know my wife when she lived in New Haven, I used to visit my sister there often. I grew quite used to arguments about where to get the best pizza in New Haven. Would you like to contribute to that controversy? Actually though, I’d rather you suggest a restaurant we should try in New Haven that is not a pizza joint (as I want to stay married and my wife is not a pizza fan).

 Work in CT

                It was my pleasure to represent W1UK, of Coventry, in his case at the zoning board level. He’s a smart dude who created some great exhibits which proved to be very helpful in the case.  Despite opposition from neighbors, his permit was granted. It was covered by the Journal Inquirer at the time, if you’d like to read about it.

                For lack of space, and privacy reasons, I’m not mentioning my work for other radio hams in CT, in at least five other towns (but they never made the papers).  Bottom line:  I have Connecticut connections, and yes, you can invite me to your club, or see me in New Hampshire where I will have a table at NEAR-fest.

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 Connecticut 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 for 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.

                Check out www.Hams4NewEngland.org. Seek me out at NEAR-fest if you’d like to chat, as I’ll have a table there. And please, cast your vote when the paper ballot arrives for Fred Hopengarten, K1VR.

                                                                                                                73,                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                Fred K1VR