ARRL Northwestern Division Newsletter
Greetings to Northwestern Division ARRL Members. The hamfests and
other meetings are concluded for 2011 and many groups are gearing up
for the upcoming 2012 events. For those who anticipate ARRL
Affiliation for hamfests and conventions, please go to the ARRL Web
Site (http://www.arrl.org/hamfest-convention-application) and fill out
the request form. Your completed application goes to ARRL HQ and is
returned to me for approval before the Executive Committee votes on the
For the past three years, I chaired the ARRL’s Finance and
Administration Committee. This activity has been both a challenge and
an honor to serve. There are only a few “standing” committee chair
assignments available. Being selected as chair for this length of time
was a real honor. During my 12 years on the ARRL Board (6 years as
Vice Director and 6 years as Director), I served on this committee for
a total of six years. Currently, I am assigned to the Program and
Services Committee (PSC) which is charged with overseeing most of the
activities with which the League is involved other than administration.
Areas the PSC is reviewing is the Affiliated Club programs and the
Special Service Club designation, emergency communication, DXCC,
contesting, and education to name a few.
ARRL Board Meeting in January 2012
Both Grant (Vice Director – KB7WSD) and I are attending the ARRL
Board meeting in Hartford, CT. We plan to report on this meeting soon.
In the meantime, if you have any issues, questions, or concerns
regarding ARRL activities, please contact Grant or me.
“All the ARRL is interested in is money” is a statement I
occasionally hear. This causes me to question the understanding of
business by those who say this. As most of you recognize, revenue
(cash) funds all the programs and services the League provides. The
ARRL is a non-profit organization. There are no “stockholders” to
whom dividends are paid. Rather, monies exceeding expenses are folded
back into the organization to provide additional services or to enhance
services to members. ARRL Dues will not increase in 2012. It has been
over ten years since the League has increased the general dues. This
occurred during a time of increasing costs and salary adjustments. How
has this been accomplished? A combination of active cost control,
review of programs that add little or no value to members, volunteer
efforts, and donations to the various ARRL programs (Diamond Club,
Defense of Frequencies, etc.) have been instrumental to this
achievement. We are proud that the ARRL has been able to improve our
mission without raising dues. Speaking about improving delivery, look
for an announcement concerning a digital version of QST sometime soon!
There will also be additional Log Book of the World functions.
DIY and Helping New Hams
Another area of focus is the integration of the DIY (do it yourself)
movement into league and club activities (see December 2011 QST.)
Those of us who have been around for awhile know that this is one of
the ways we developed our interest in the “radio art.” Recently,
Heathkit announced a return to production of electronic kits – the
first time in over 25 years! What might be available for amateur radio
use is still under discussion. One challenge is for clubs and local
groups to work with new hams and mentor and explain the many aspects of
Amateur Radio. I spoke to a group last week, many of which received
there amateur radio licenses in the last ten years. They are
contemplating if they really want to renew their tickets. Why???
Apparently no one has mentored them and demonstrated many aspects of
our hobby and explained there is much more other than 2 meter repeater
activities. The challenge is to get with these folks and show them
the various activities available within our hobby. In the January 2012
issue of QST, the ARRL’s involvement is described on page 75.
Education and the ARRL Foundation
Looking toward the future, the League continues to sponsor the
“Teacher’s Academy. This program resulted from a FL ham’s
donation with a stipulation to focus on education. For the past 5
years, the ARRL has sponsored this program designed to introduce
science and technology (including but not limited to amateur radio)
into the classroom. If you know of teachers who are involved in these
activities encourage them to apply for this scholarship. Details will
appear in the February issue of QST. In addition, the ARRL Foundation
(on which I also serve as a board member) awards over 50 scholarships
in the spring. This committee is always looking for donations and a
way to increase the number and amount of scholarships. As you review
your giving efforts, please keep the ARRL Foundation in mind as well as
needy students that might apply. Contact Grant or me for further
information about these scholarships.
The on-going question…how can the ARRL assist local hams and
organizations to recruit, teach and retain hams. Most all the work is
and will be at the local areas. But, the League can assist if we know
what is needed on a global sense. Let us know what you need that could
be developed for nation-wide use.
Sections and Section Managers and their staffs
Please support your Section Mangers and their respective staff. These
folks have the most difficult job in the League hierarchy. They are
dedicated to Amateur Radio and the role it plays for communication and
assistance in your local areas. By working together, we can all
accomplish our ability to support local governments and other entities
in emergency and public service activities. Thanks to all our
volunteers who work in these areas.
We are considering topics for future newsletters. Potential topics
include the ARRL Leadership structure, FCC actions and the effect on
amateur radio, assistance to clubs regarding programs. Please give us
Finally, thanks for your interest and involvement. We value your
membership and input as we strive to make Amateur Radio the most viable
and interesting avocation in the world. Your feedback and ideas are
important to us.
Our best wishes for 2012.
Jim Fenstermaker K9JF Grant Hopper KB7WSD
ARRL Northwestern Division Director ARRL Northwestern Division Vice Director
Vancouver, WA Everett, WA