First, let me open by stating that I really enjoyed my time at the Salem
Hamfest at the end of February, and the Mike and Key Hamfest up in
Puyallup, WA this month. It was wonderful to peruse the treasures
vendors brought to the events, and meet and talk to quite a few hams;
quite a few I hadn’t seen in person since the pandemic began in early

  1. It seems that things are slowly getting back to normal, and now I
    can’t wait to get to Seaside, OR, and our ARRL Northwestern Division
    Convention at SEA-PAC in June. I’ll be all over the place there, so if
    you see me, say HI! (The latest news regarding ARRL attendance at
    SEA-PAC later in this newsletter.)


On February 22nd ARRL Legal Counsel, David Siddall, K3ZJ informed us
that the US Forest Service has sent a Notice to the Federal Register
announcing that they have re-opened the window for comments on the
proposed new $1400 annual administrative fee for amateur repeater sites
on their land, and in fact, all users. This means that amateurs that may
have missed the earlier comment period, or who wish to file additional
arguments and information, can submit new filings between now and March

  1. A copy of the Notice published on March 1 is here: Please note the proposed fee is a new and separate fee, not an increase
    to fees (such as rent) already being paid. If adopted, the existing
    fee(s) – which generally have been around $130-140 annually for
    amateur uses – would have to be paid in addition to the new proposed
    annual administrative fee of $1400. This would put amateur installations
    on par with those of commercial wireless entities such as broadcasters,
    cellular providers and broadband entities.

Also on February 22nd the ARRL filed their official comments in strong
opposition to the new fees. The comments may be accessed here:
The ARRL will most likely be filing a second set of comments prior to
this new deadline.


I received notice from ARRL Honorary VP and Foundation Scholarship Chair
Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, today that after several month of delays due to
moving to a new web-based application and vetting process, we will start
the long process vetting for the 100 plus scholarships in a few days. In
addition, it’s expected that at the end of April the first application
window will open for the new ARRL Foundation Club Grant program. We
expect to start vetting for those applications in the late June/early
July timeframe. As a member of the Scholarship Committee, and recently
named as Chair of the new Club Grant Application Scoring sub-committee I
see lots of work in my future, as if I don’t have enough already!

While we are on the subject of grants, lots of interest has been raised
on the new ARRL Club grant program that will soon be available for both
ARRL affiliated, and non-ARRL affiliated organizations. Grants are a
great way to fund small and large projects that your club might be
interested in. There is also a bit of confusion about just what some of
them are, and what the differences are. Spend a few minutes to look over
the websites and talk with your club, as this is a valuable resource
that clubs can use to build amateur radio’s future in an ever-changing
technology world. Let’s look at the details of the two major ARRL
programs available:

ARRL Foundation Grants: These grants are awarded by the ARRL Foundation
to clubs and organizations promoting amateur radio. The maximum grant is
$3000, and the specific uses of the funds are restricted to specific
projects. The details of just what you can use the money for and how to
apply are on the ARRL website at Amateur Radio Grants ( There
are specific times during the year to apply, and all the information is
on the website.

ARRL Club Grant Program: This program is new and still in development
having just been announced in January around the time of the ARRL Board
of Directors meeting. This program will allow clubs to apply for up to
$25,000 for specific projects, and is funded by a $500,000 grant from
the Amateur Radio Digital Communications group (ARDC). The details of
how the funding can be used and how to apply have not been formally
announced yet. Stay tuned for more information on this program.

Related to the new ARRL Club Grant program, the following is from ARRL
Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, and is lifted from the ARRL
Club Newsletter published on March 22nd:

“You may have heard of the ARRL Foundation Club Grants Program. More
information is coming on that, but one part of the program that you may
not have heard about, is a new project to provide help to clubs who are
seeking grants. This is being launched along with the grants program. It
entails two distinct types of club mentors.

The first is the “Club Grants Coach”. This is a person that can
collaborate with a club to help them create or refine a grant
application. As grant applications come in there will be some that need
assistance with the process. This person should be able to work with a
club to help visualize and present their ideas for a grant. They will
not be responsible for writing the applications, but they will be
helping the clubs get organized and through the application process.
Grants Coaches will start work after the first round of applications.

The second is a “Club Mentor”. This person will work with a club
that may be struggling to survive, helping them reorganize or structure
programs to help the club grow. Some clubs are on virtual life support
and can benefit from a Mentor to help them develop new outlooks and
ideas and execute a rebuilding program for their club. Both positions
will receive training in the processes that they will need to do the
jobs and will be supported by the Field Services Team at ARRL. The
expected formation of these positions is planned for over the course of
the next several months as the grants program develop. If you are
interested in either of these volunteer roles, please let me know at I am starting a list for future teams.”

START APRIL 19, 2022

ARRL FCC Counsel David Siddall, K3ZJ sent an e-mail today out announcing
that the FCC has now set the date for when it will require the new $35
fee to be collected for all amateur radio license applications that are
not an administrative change, such as a change of name or mailing
address. That date is April 19, 2022. The official release from the FCC
is below:

“MD Docket No. 20-270

On December 23, 2020, the Commission adopted a Report and Order
implementing a new application fee schedule which significantly updated
the Commission’s previous fee schedule.

As indicated in the 2020 Application Fee Report and Order, the new
application fee rates will become effective when the Commission’s
“information technology systems and internal procedures have been
updated, and the Commission publishes notice(s) in the Federal Register
announcing the effective date of such rules.”

On July 6, 2021, the Commission announced the new application fee rates
for the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Media Bureau would
become effective on July 15, 2021 and on December 15, 2021, the
Commission announced the new application fee rates for the Wireline
Competition Bureau, the Enforcement Bureau, the International Bureau,
and CALEA Petitions would become effective on December 15, 2021. This
Public Notice announces that the new application fee rates for the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, codified at 47 CFR § 1.1102, will
become effective on April 19, 2022.

Wireless application fees can be paid through the Commission’s
Universal Licensing System (ULS) at”

Three things you need to know:

  1. All fees collected can be submitted only via the FCC ULS website by
    the applicant, or by somebody on their behalf. The VECs and their test
    examiners themselves will not be collecting any FCC fees when tests are
    administered. Once you pass a test you will have a certain amount of
    time following the application submission by the VEC to log into the FCC
    ULS website and pay your fee.
  2. Fees will now be collected for each vanity call application, and NOT
    refunded if you do not win a competitive bid for a particular callsign.
  3. If you are considering a vanity callsign at all, NOW IS THE TIME TO


The ARRL has just released rules for a new digital HF+ contest! (The
“+” because it includes six meters). As part of removing the FT-x
modes from the ARRL RTTY Roundup contest for 2023 and beyond, (making
the contest RTTY only), the ARRL has created a new contest aimed for
fans of the FT-x, and other “non-RTTY” digital modes. This contest
has a few twists in it, including the use of “distance base
scoring”, where the stations you work in the contest that are farther
from your grid square are worth more points. Unfortunately for us here
in the Northwest it falls on the same weekend as SEA-PAC, but it’s
hard to find a weekend that doesn’t have a big contest in it.

This new contest came from a collaboration between the Program and
Services Committee, (PSC), the Contest Advisory Committee, and ARRL

For more information on the new contest check out the ARRL website


The Clark County Amateur Radio Club, out of Vancouver, WA will be
hosting a new event, “The Lewis and Clark Trail on the Air”,
(LCTOTA) to start this June 2022. The Lewis and Clark Trail OTA is being
organized by a committee of CCARC members, and will be active from June
4-19, 2022.

Lewis and Clark traveled through 16 states, and the club is working on
getting a club from each state to activate. There will be certificates
sent out for those that contact all 16, and another certificate for
those that contact less than 16.

The club sees this as a chance to promote the Lewis and Clark Expedition
and honor them for their achievement by bringing them in to the amateur
radio world of 2022. Mark your calendars for this special event and see
how many contacts you can make. More information can be found on their
website:, or their Facebook page:


At this point in time, SEA-PAC is still a GO, and everything is looking
like it will be a great success. ARRL HQ is sending out a top-notch team
to man the ARRL booth, and some HQ officials will also provide training
seminars this year. The ARRL Team from HQ:

Rick Roderick, K5UR, ARRL President

David Minster, NA2AA, ARRL CEO

Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, ARRL Director of Emergency Management

Kathleen Callahan, KC1MBY, Director of Membership, Marketing &

Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, ARRL Director of Public Relations and Innovation

In addition, both Mark and I will be attendance, along with several of
the Division Section Managers.

In the Friday EMCOMM workshop Josh will be presenting “ARES® and the
Local Disaster: a discussion of the role of the Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES) and some ways and ideas to work with and support the
local served agencies” As a Saturday seminar, Josh will also present
“Technology in EMCOMM: a look at some of the proven and emerging
technologies in emergency communications.”

My understanding at this moment is that I will be doing three
presentations on “Mitigating FCC RF Exposure Limits”, to differing
audiences during SEA-PAC, two on Friday as part of both the DX and
EMCOMM seminar tracks, and one on Saturday for the other SEA-PAC

On Saturday morning there will also be an ARRL Forum, with myself as
moderator and panelist, along with Vice Director Tharp, ARRL President
Rick Roderick, CEO David Minster, and Bob Inderbitzen and Kathleen
Callahan from HQ as probable panelists. Based on what we had in 2019
I’m sure it will be a “standing room only” event, so get there
early and bring your questions and complaints! (Of course, kudos will be
accepted also!)

It’s my understanding that President Roderick will most likely be
doing a presentation at SEA-PAC as well, and CEO Minster is set to be
the keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet.

If you’ve not already signed up for SEA-PAC, you can easily via their
website:, and click on the REGISTER button on the left. I
really hope to see you there!

73 and Stay Safe!

Mike Ritz, W7VO

Director, ARRL Northwestern Division
Vice President, ARRL Foundation

Now, let’s hear from Vice Director Tharp!

Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 4, March 2022

A different twist to the diary this month, an actual diary. Well, sort

Rather than summarize the month, I actually kept track. When you start
putting it all down on paper it adds up to more time than I thought.
Good thing I’m still working so I have time for all,,,,, wait, back
that up a moment. HA!

Feb 1
Coordinated with ARRL staff to add the new members of the ARISS
committee to the email group.
Sent welcome email to the new members of the ARISS committee.
Corresponded with Ms. Rosalie White, K1STO on various ARISS matters,
including the new members.
Emailed with CEO Minster, and FS Manager Walters about the club database
being wonkey with respect to the assigned section. HQ is working out a
solution. Follow up emails with WWA ACC, N7CFO.

Feb 2
Email with K1STO on the upcoming fundraiser and status of the MAREA
documentation for the STAR project.
Emails with CEO Minster, Mr. Goodgame, (HQ) Mr. Inderbitzen, (HQ) and
Mr. Bauer (ARISS/NASA) about the MAREA files.
Phone call to Sal about Wenatchee Hamfest, follow up call to be held
later in day.
Email to Spokane group on status of September Hamfest/Convention.
Wrote January/February newsletter.
Received information from Rosalie on number of ARISS ground stations,
and activity from 2021 for upcoming report.
Investigated an email about a personnel matter for the EWA SM and SEC.
Phone call with Idaho SM Marler.
Reviewed committee assignments posted to ARRL web.
Reviewed email from HVP Fenstermaker about upcoming ARRL Foundation
Scholarship selection process. (I was asked to be part of the team to
review scholarships this year)

Feb 3
Set up new dropbox folder for MAREA project and emailed with Frank B.
Reviewed email from EWA SM and EWA SEC about a personnel issue.
Reviewed an email from W7VO about application for affiliation of the
Idaho Mountain Amateur Radio Society.

Feb 4
Took call from Wenatchee Jim about Hamfest in June.
Sent email with link to Hamfest application to Wenatchee Jim.
Participated in all Idaho ZOOM call hosted by SM Marler along with Dir.

Feb 7
Emailed CEO and Ms. Stemmer about upcoming ARISS project
Reviewed email from Melissa S about same.
Emailed Frank and Rosalie about same.
Reviewed email from HQ about Kamiah Id Hamfest in April.
Reviewed and digested email about form 4 and form 2 re: ESFSC committee.

Forwarded to new ECFSC committee chair, Dir. Williams.

Feb 8
sent email to SK and JP (HQ) about the passing of John Zantek, W7CD.
Also posted same to EWA FB page.
Reviewed minutes from January board meeting.
Sent email to CFO, Ms. Middleton, and ODV with minor corrections to the
Replied to Dir. Williams email about ECFSC committee tasking.
Emailed with CFO about minute revisions.
Reviewed email response from Ms. White about possible options for the
ARISS fundraiser.
Scheduled ZOOM meeting with Rep. Dent, and Sen. Warnick about DNR
matters in Washington
Reviewed email from Ms. White on ARISS fundraiser plans.

Feb 9
Email with ECFSC committee chair on various matters.
Phone call with Director Stratton about various matters
Email ARISS committee to set up a meeting on ZOOM
Email with HQ IT about mail list server settings
Reviewed email from Former Dir. Hippisley about NTS and list of
committee tasks.

Feb 10
Emailed Dir. Williams on ARES form 4 information the ECFSC has been
working on.
Reviewed six documents sent to Dir. Williams from VD Cooper about topics
the ECFSC is considering.

Feb 11
Continued with reviewing BoD minutes, and offered another round of
suggested corrections.

Feb 14
Email and phone call with VD Morine.
Phone call with CFO Middleton.
Posted to ODV and EWA social media the fact former SM Pugh passed away
on Sunday.
Sent email about above to SK and JP at
Reviewed email from HVP Fenstermaker about foundation grant progress.
Email with Pres. Rodrick.
Reviewed email from CEO about upcoming National conventions.

Feb 15
Reviewed email from Dir. Ritz on minor changes to minutes.
Participated in ZOOM meeting with WA. Senator Warnick and staff about
DNR matters involving Amateur leases in the state.
Penned a letter to Senator Warnick about above and sent.
Reviewed a 125 page document pertaining to the Foundation Scholarships
and emails from HVP



Feb 23
Participated in ECFSC ZOOM meeting via less than optimal satellite
connection while on Vacation

Feb 27
Reviewed minutes from meeting on the 23rd
Replied to many emails from past week.
Reviewed final BOD meeting minutes.
Phone call with past Director Pace.
Reviewed and processed email from HVP Fenstermaker about foundation
scholarships and grants.

Feb 28
Reached out to ARISS about possibility of attending SEAPAC on behalf of
Delvin and the SEAPAC committee.
It truly adds up when you keep track of the time spent working on ARRL

I hope all had a great month and it was great to actually SEE people at
Mike and Key on the 12th.

Second annual Kamiah Hamfest!

While attending the Mike and Key swap, I ran into the folks from Kamiah
and they asked to pass along the event will be up and running for it’s
second year on April 23rd. I made the trip last year and it was a great
event. It’s a long drive for some, but the trip up the Clearwater
River in Spring is worth it. Information for the fest can be found here:

The most current list of Hamfests, Conventions, and other gatherings,
can be found at the website maintained by Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO at:
A link to this page is also on the Division website at:

Events I am currently planning to attend are:
Kamiah Hamfest April 23rd (I’m hoping to make this)
SEAPAC June 3-6
Wenatchee Hamfest June 10-12
PNW DX Convention (Spokane) August 5-7
N7YRC Swap (date TBD)

Mike and I are always looking for information to share with the
Division. If you have a news item you would like to offer, please send
us a note and we would be glad to include it here. It is always good to
hear from members.

Division statistics:
265 new licenses issued.
12,712 ARRL members in Division
149 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
56 Amateurs upgraded their licenses in February

Our challenge from President Rodrick to pass the Atlantic Division in
membership looks like this.
The Atlantic Division had 12,675 members. (a friendly competition of
course) We are ahead by 37!
Roanoke however has now grown to 12,875 and has taken the #2 spot behind
the Southeastern Division with 15,656 members.

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


Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX

ARRL Vice Director
Northwestern Division

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO

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