NW Division Newsletter– August 20, 2020

I hope this finds you all well, and continuing to successfully dodge the
COVID-19 bullets that abound around us. More and more of our NW
Division events and hamfests are getting canceled, but it’s not all
bad news. I did hear a report that the Glacier Hamfest in Montana went
off as planned last month, and the Hell’s Gate Hamfest in Clarkston,
WA, also went on as scheduled a few weeks ago. Those are just about the
only events I’ve heard about that have actually happened since March.
The annual N7YRC Tailgate Party, held in Yakima, WA, on September 12th
has just been approved for ARRL affiliation; it’s one of the only
events still on the calendar for the rest of the year, other than the
Matanuska Amateur Radio Association Hamfest up in Wasilla, Alaska the
same day. Let’s all hope for a much better outcome in 2021!

Last month the ARRL Board of Directors held most of their annual July
meeting for the first time virtually via a Zoom teleconference session,
rather than “live and in-person” at ARRL HQ in Newington. Nobody
really knew what to expect with the virtual meeting format, but in the
end I think it went very well. There was not much real interaction
between Board members, as nothing can beat a real “live” meeting.
However, given the circumstances we made fairly tasty lemonade from some
pretty nasty lemons. Congratulations to the ARRL staff, and President
Roderick, K5UR, for pulling this off!

Since Vice Directors and invited guests do not normally interact from
the back row during the “normal” in-person Board meetings, they
participated in the virtual one with their cameras suppressed, and were
muted for the duration of the meeting, (except during breaks). On my
laptop screen I could only see the other Directors, (except for one that
had to connect via telephone), the ARRL Officers, the ARRL legal
counsel, and the meeting Secretary. Of course, the Vice Directors and
invited guests could see all of us on their screens. The Zoom “chat”
feature was utilized to get questions and comments in, and provided a
neat mechanism for them to participate. That feature was actually better
than the live meeting versions, as everybody, including Vice Directors
could comment to everybody via chat.

Part of what was supposed to happen in the July meeting were a series of
live interviews between the ARRL Board Directors and the finalists for
the open CEO position. That couldn’t happen as planned, so at the end
of the day President Roderick suspended the virtual Board meeting, and
called for it to resume again as a hybrid meeting on August 15th, in
Denver, CO. (Chosen because it’s in the middle of the country, and is
a single-hop plane, or one to two-day road trip for most Directors.) In
a tightly controlled COVID-aware environment two things took place:

First, the CEO finalist candidate interviews occurred, in a hybrid of
live meetings with those Directors and candidates that could make it to
Denver, and Zoom virtual meetings with those Directors and candidates
that could not make it. About ½ of the Directors chose to attend
“in-person”, and the vast majority of the candidates also appeared
in person.

Following the interviews, we tackled the rest of formal Board business
that was not completed from the last meeting, including the
all-important task of actually voting in a new ARRL CEO. (I expect a
formal announcement from the ARRL within the next week or so, after
contract negotiations are complete.)

(As a note, I was one of those choosing to attend “in-person”. One
may ask: Given the COVID-19 situation, why risk it? My rationale: The
selection of the next leader of the ARRL is one of the most, if not the
most critically important tasks I will ever have the opportunity to
participate in as an ARRL Director, and in my mind was worth the risk of
being there “in-person” for the live interviews. Rest assured, I
took ALL virus prevention precautions seriously!)

Speaking of virtual meetings, in either late September, or early October
I plan on conducting a virtual “Northwestern Division ARRL Forum”,
along with our Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX, and several special
guests from ARRL HQ. It will be held using the familiar Zoom format, and
we’ll have space for at least 500 Division member participants to
attend and ask questions. In the meeting we’ll let you know about the
latest ARRL initiatives, program updates, and happenings at ARRL HQ, and
also provide updates on what Vice Director Tharp and I are doing as
members of our various committees. The new CEO should be on-board by
then, and I hope to be able to introduce them to the NW Division, so get
your questions ready. Stay tuned for further developments on this.

On the ARRL Foundation front, the Foundation Board Scholarship Committee
has finally completed the very arduous task of matching scholarship
applicants with scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic school year. As
a bonus for those worthy recipients, for this year only, each ARRL
scholarship being awarded is being matched dollar-for-dollar by funds
generously donated by the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
group. Including those monies, a total of $287,900 will be awarded to
102 scholarship recipients from all over the country. Of those
students, a total of ten from our own Northwestern Division were awarded
scholarships! Congratulations to all the 2020-2021 scholarship
recipients, a special THANKS to all the scholarship donors that made it
possible, and a very special THANKS to the ARDC for their generous

Next, I have been asked to send out a reminder to our Division hams
about the 7th Area Incoming QSL Bureau. With a lot of our amateurs
working the world on FT8 these days, there is a noticed uptick in
incoming QSL card activity from overseas, and a lot of new and
“recently active” hams that are now earning DX QSL cards do not yet
have an account set up with the ARRL Incoming QSL Bureau to actually
receive them. Having an account with the Bureau ensures cards being
received in mass shipments from DX bureaus overseas, either direct to
our 7th Area Bureau or through ARRL HQ, will be forwarded to you. So,
what is the “Bureau”, and how does it work?

The Willamette Valley DX Club, (WVDXC), based in Portland, OR, is the
ARRL Affiliated Club that’s responsible for handling the ARRL incoming
QSL Bureau activities for the entire 7th call area, and has since 1960.
There is a FAQ page on their website, located here:
http://wvdxc.org/Club/Bureau%20FAQ.pdf that will provide you with
information about exactly how the Incoming Bureau works. To start
receiving your DX QSL cards that arrive via the Bureau, all you need to
do is set up an account via the WVDXC website:
http://wvdxc.org/joomla/index.php/test-page, and deposit a small amount
of postage funds in the account via PayPal or check. Then sit back and
wait for those rare cards to arrive in the mail!

Finally, I wish to congratulate the Radio Club of Tacoma, W7DK, (Tacoma,
WA), for their milestone 100 years this month as an ARRL Affiliated
Club. They are one of only a very few clubs in the country that has that
distinction, and I had the great honor of awarding them a commemorative
plaque during a virtual Zoom celebration earlier this month. So, what
also of significance happened in radio this month, a full hundred years

For one, the very first commercial US radio station, 8MK, (later WBL,
now WWJ), the “Detroit News Radiophone” went on-the-air, with a
DeForest OT-10 transmitter broadcasting to an estimated 30 homes.

Also, the first wireless radio transmission from the world’s most
powerful station at the time, the Lafayette transmitter in France, was
made. Listening in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus
Daniels was among those to hear the initial transmission, and
proclaimed: “This is the first wireless message to be heard around the
world, and marks a milestone on the road of scientific achievement.”

One hundred years of affiliation with the ARRL is also both a milestone
and an achievement, and radio itself has changed a lot in the years that
have ensued since. Here’s to a hundred more!

Until next month, stay safe, and get on the air!


Now, the latest from Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX

Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 2, August 2020

Welcome to August, Northwestern Division! Can any of you believe it’s
August? Time seems to be flying by this year and I’m not sure if
it’s due to stuck at home, nothing to do, or that time actually moves
faster when binge-watching 8 seasons of the Walton’s.

Mike and I survived the first half of the July board meeting as well as
the second half on August 16th. I attended from home via ZOOM, in my
shorts and flip flops, and Mike was in Denver wearing a Tyvek suit,
goggles, and N-95 mask. The board had a number of motions to finalize as
well as voting on the new CEO.

The in-person meetings at HQ in Connecticut are still preferred in my
opinion. The board member interaction “out in the hall” was very
absent during these two meetings and I think most of the board shares
the same feeling. It was a disadvantage for those who did not travel to
Denver as they missed out on the face-to-face conversations those who
did travel were able to have. I am hopeful we can get back to normal
next January.
Speaking of “normal” ARRL HQ is still running in a reduced staff
mode in the building due to Covid restrictions in CT. If you have
business to do with HQ, please have patience as the phone my not get
answered as fast as normal. If you have the contact to email your
question to it would be preferred. If you need help finding out who to
send your question to, feel free to call, or email Mike or I.

As I alluded to last month, the Emcom search committee has now selected
the final candidate, and that person has accepted our offer to become
part of the ARRL family. His first day of work was Monday the 17th. It
will be a bit challenging for the first few months as Covid restrictions
are going to require working remotely. The announcement was posted on
the ARRL web however if you missed it, I’m pleased to tell you Paul
Gilbert, KE5ZW from Cedar Park Texas is our new Director of Emergency
Management. Paul has an extensive background both professionally and in
Ham Radio. He has served most recently as Section Manager and has held
other ARRL Field service appointments over his 30 years in Emcom. The
search committee worked many hours on this and we came to a unanimous
decision on our final selection. The committee received 42 resumes for
this position and I can tell you first hand it was hard to pick one. A
number of very experienced, qualified, and talented people applied and I
am grateful to have been part of the process.

I would like to congratulate the Delta Amateur Radio Club, KL7DRC as the
newest Amateur radio club in Alaska. They have also received ARRL
approval as an affiliated club and are in the process of acquiring a
501(c) (3) status. They are an active group of Hams and I wish them the
best of luck in the future. You can learn more about the club by
visiting its website at https://kl7drc.org/

And while on the subject of clubs, I would like to join Mike in wishing
congratulations to W7DK, The Radio club of Tacoma, for holding, and
maintaining active status as an ARRL affiliated club for 100 years! You
can visit the club web site at https://w7dk.org/

Division statistics:

226 new licenses issued and 40 upgraded licenses.

12,608 ARRL members in Division (+ 1.9% from 2019)

146 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.

If you have any questions or input, an email to kb7hdx@arrl.org is the
best way to contact me.


Mark, KB7HDX

Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
Northwestern Division.

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO

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