Letter 8/2015

--This has been a busy year as Dir. Pace and V Dir. Altus travel to club
meetings and Hamfests, in addition to ARRL Board meetings and various
committee meetings. Busy but lots of fun, as we meet the membership
and listen to their input. These are exciting times for ARRL as we
begin our second century of continuous service to this great hobby of
Amateur Radio. I hope it is as much fun for you, as it is for us.

We want to thank Assistant Director Lynn Burlingame, for representing
Division Staff at the Montana State Convention. Unfortunately, that
event seems to always fall on the same weekend as ARRL Board and
Committee meetings. Lynn had a great time and encourages all of us in
the Division to consider attending the Montana Convention, in the
future.

Once again, the Northwestern Division leads the nation in new and
renewed memberships. The importance of ARRL to the members of the NW
Division is quite apparent.

--W7SIC/SK: Al Berg, W7SIC, became a silent key on July 22, 2015. Al
was the founding chairman of Sea-Pac, (the NW Division Convention) a
founding member of the Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club
(OTVARC), a member of the Clark County Amateur Radio Club and a
Northwestern Division Assistant Director. Al arranged for the ARRL
National Convention that was held in Portland in 1988. He will be
missed in all his ham radio activities.

--July ARRL Board Meeting Results: Director Pace and Vice Director
Altus represented the Northwestern Division at the ARRL Board meeting
in July, in Hartford and Newington Ct, where many actions took place:
--Chief Executive Officer Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, has set a target date for
retirement of May 1, 2016. He has been a part of the ARRL headquarters
staff since 1972. Director Pace is on the search committee and was
selected by the committee to assume the position of committee chair. A
job posting will be coming out soon. Watch QST and weekly eLetters.

--One exciting event that was approved by the board was the National
Parks On The Air (NPOTA) for 2016, as we help celebrate the 100th
Birthday of the National Park System. More information will be
forthcoming; the operating format will resemble SOTA, with activators
and chasers. If your club organizes an NPOTA event, please let us
know. We would like to visit some of these sites, schedules
permitting. Web based spotting of activations is being worked on as we
write.

--The ARRL has created new display pennants for affiliated clubs and
special service clubs. The board voted in favor of providing a
complimentary Special Service Club pennant to every ARRL affiliated
club that achieves SSC status. These are small, attractive and easy to
display at your meetings, whether you have a permanent location to hang
it, or if you need to bring to each meeting to display. More will be
posted soon and Director Pace and Vice Director Altus will make
arrangements for the pennants to be presented to the SSC’s.

--Many of you have been hearing about the possibility of a dues
increase. The basic dues rate for ARRL membership will be $49.00 per
year effective January 1, 2016. The dues have not increased in the
last 14 years. Since that time, many new services have become
available to members. Some of these include Logbook of the World, a
digital edition of QST, expanded product reviews, ARRL publications
available on Kindle, Online Exam Review, free license renewal
assistance and more. Along with that, the ARRL has kept the increase
in expenses significantly below the inflation rate. From this time
forward, dues increases will be tied to a specific inflation index, to
avoid any large increases delayed by long periods of time; which is
what most dues organizations do when evaluating their dues increases.

--Some amendments were approved for the ARRL HF Band Plan. The report
anticipating this was published in the April 2015 QST. The only
significant change from the published proposal was to set the upper
RTTY/data limit at 14.125 MHz. This is consistent with the IARU Region
1 band plan.

--The board authorized the preparation of a petition for FCC rulemaking
to make some changes in the 80 and 75 meter bands. A survey was
distributed to obtain input from the membership and more than 1,000
responses were received. Again, these changes will not occur unless
approved by the FCC. More information will be available later about
this process. At some point, there could be opportunity for additional
comment to the FCC when it gets to the point of proposed rule making.

--The board directed the CEO, ARRL staff, General Counsel and Executive
Committee to develop and execute a plan to improve the timely and
visible enforcement in the Amateur Radio Service. The areas of RF
interference from power lines, Part 15 and 18 lighting devices and
malicious interference to HF net operations and VHF/UHF repeaters is of
concern in this area. The board is interested in new strategies to
handle these issues.

--Thanks to 'Ted Antanaitis WA7ZZB’s suggestion, the Program and
Services Committee will be adding some new Field Day bonus points
beginning FD 2016. Bonus points will be given for FD operations that
appoint a Safety Person, who will not only help to keep the site safe,
but will do the important RF Exposure rates for each antenna. Thinking
of operator safety and public safety – thanks Ted.

--The Strategic Planning Work group is continuing to work and refine
the strategic goals after preliminary approval from the board regarding
the general direction and progress of the work group. The final
strategic plan is expected to be approved at the January 2016 board
meeting. If you have comments about this process, please send them to
strategicplan@arrl.org. All members of the work group have access to
view emails received at this address. Vice Director Altus is a member
of this work group.

--The Hamfest season is not over yet, with State Conventions and
several smaller gatherings. Dir. Pace and V Dir. Altus will be
traveling a great deal in the next few months and are anxious to talk
with you about Ham Radio in general and ARRL activities and services.
Drop by the tables and say hi!

A special thanks to Vice Director Altus for putting this newsletter
together, as Director Pace is tied up with the CEO Search Committee.

73 and good Hamming

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ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: James D Pace, K7CEX
k7cex@arrl.org
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