Phil Temples, K9HI, Appointed as New England Division Vice Director

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has appointed Phil Temples, K9HI, of Watertown, Massachusetts, as New England Division Vice Director. He succeeds Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, who was elected earlier this year as ARRL First Vice President. President Roderick made the appointment after consulting with New England Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, and the region’s Section Managers. 

“I want to thank all of those who forwarded their recommendations to Director Hopengarten,” Temples said. “Mike Raisbeck left some big shoes to fill. I look forward to working with Fred, and to advise and assist him with various tasks and board committee assignments. One task I’m especially eager to tackle is launching a New England Division website.”

An ARRL Life Member, Temples has been licensed for 50 years, initially as WN9EAY in Indiana. He has written articles for QST and contributed articles for the ARRL website. He also recently co-authored a chapter in the Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook.

Temples served three terms as Eastern Massachusetts Section Manager and now is an Assistant SM and an Assistant New England Division Director. He’s also held ARRL field appointments as Affiliated Club Coordinator and Public Information Officer and currently serves as program chair for the ARRL New England Division Convention.

Temples has been active in MARS, the National Traffic System, and as an Emergency Coordinator, and he enjoys CW. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Temples has actively promoted instruction and licensing and is a Volunteer Examiner under the ARRL, W5YI, and Greater Los Angeles ARG Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. He’s currently involved with New England Amateur Radio, Inc. in administering remote exam sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temples is employed at Boston College as a computer systems administrator.

KB1LRL Featured on Tomorrow’s Ham On! Show

Every Wednesday at 9:00 AM, Peter Mattice KD2JKV hosts his show / podcast on Pittsfield Community Radio WTBR 89.7 FM called Ham on!

Tomorrow morning’s show (February 12), Peter will be talking with Western MA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL. In particular, they will be talking about the secton’s new mentoring program that Ray and section’s technical staff is starting, as well as ARES in within the section and other happenings.  You can listen live on wtbrfm.com.  Past recordings of Ham on! are also available at https://anchor.fm/peter0190.

Peter is also one of our section’s Assistant Section Traffic Manager and is highly involved in the local amateur radio community in many ways in the section.

Please tune in for Peter and Ray’s show tomorrow!

New WMA Club Presenters List Published

I’m happy to report that, with the help of many others, I’ve compiled a list of known good club presenters and topics.  The purpose of the list is to help clubs in the section in selecting and asking people to come to their club meetings to speak and present on a variety of interesting topics.

The list can be viewed by going to What We Do > Clubs > WMA Club Presenters List in the main navigation menu above.

If anyone has any additions or changes for the list, please let me know.  Otherwise, I’d like to thank everyone that helped me putting this together, and especially everyone that elected to be on this list.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
WMA ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator

Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, Elected to ARRL First Vice President

Editor note: This article was first posted on the EMA ARRL website.

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts as First Vice President during its recent meeting January 17-18, 2020 in Connecticut. Mike has served as the ARRL New England Division Vice Director since July 1998.

According to the League’s web site, “[Mike] was first licensed in 1961 as KN1TWF, becoming K1TWF in 1962, and has held that call ever since.  His home club is the Billerica Amateur Radio Club [sic], where he has held various posts.  On the air activities include DXing, contesting, and recently, caring for a DMR repeater in the attic. He is a Volunteer Examiner and a Volunteer Counsel.

“Of particular interest to Mike are the social and organizational aspects of the Amateur Radio.  For over 20 years he has been serving on the Board for the ARRL New England Division Convention, and he is currently president of that organization, which runs an annual convention and funds a number of scholarships to young hams every year. ”

When the President is unable to attend a Board meeting, the First Vice President presides over the meeting.  

Raisbeck’s election to his new post leaves the office of New England Vice Director–a position in which he previously served–vacant for the present.

You can read more about K1TWF on the League’s web page at:  http://www.arrl.org/first-vice-president.

Important Info on the New Distracted Driving Laws

Back in November, it was reported on this website and on Eastern MA section’s website that new changes to the Commonwealth’s distrcted driver laws were being considered.  These changes would include holding any electronics communications device, even with just one hand, while driving. 
 
These changes will go into effect on February 23, 2020.  There will be a grace period until the end of March 2020. So if you’re stopped, only expect a warning. But after that, a first offense will mean a $100 fine; second offense $250; and a third or any subsequent offense will cost you $500. Habitual offenders could also be subjected to auto insurance surcharges or driver training. 
 
Also, as previously posted here and on the EMA website, section management from both sections approached state legislators about this bill with the goal of having an amendment made to the bill to excempt radio operations by licensed amateur radio operators.  They were successful.  The new law states that it “permits use of a federally licensed 2–way radio” provided that “1 hand remains on the steering wheel at all times.”.
 
The best ways to avoid being ticketed for your lawful use of amateur radio while mobile is to have the appropriate documentation in the vehicle with you.  The idea is that you provide the police officer in question with this information, your chances of the officer giving you a ticket for what is clearly legal exempted radio operations will be substantially reduced.
 
The first item to print out and have with you in the car is the actual text of the Massachusetts General Law on the subject.  That would be MGL Part 1, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 13.  It is recommended that you also highlight the relavant statement in the law that reads: “a person may operate a motor vehicle while using a federally licensed 2–way radio or mobile telephone, except as provided in sections 8M, 12A and 13B, as long as 1 hand remains on the steering wheel at all times”.  In these situations, only the exact text of the actual MGL in question will suffice.  Do not use any type of summarization of the law, just print the entire Section 13 per the page at the link above.
 
The second item is your valid FCC amateur radio license.  Although the FCC went to paperless licenses in February 2015, there are instructions available for obtaining an official copy of your license.
 
As recent related post to the CMARA email list mentions: “Lest you think this isn’t going to be aggressively enforced please note that a CMARA member was pulled over in early December by a policeman that a) thought the distracted driving law was already in effect, b) didn’t know the provisions for mobile radio operators. Even with this information you may still receive a ticket but the law is on our side and you should be OK if it goes to court.”
 
Please continue to use your best judgement regarding your safety and the safety of others on the road with you and don’t operate your radios unless it is perfectly safe for you to do so.  However, be prepared to ensure that all our hard work to get this amateur radio related exemption codified into the law isn’t wasted by making sure you are ready with the correct documents if you are pulled over for this reason.

Official Observer Program Sunset

ARRL

As announced recently on the ARRL HQ website, on September 30, 2019, the Official Observer program was sunset and replaced with the new Volunteer Monitor program.

As the last Western MA Official Observer Coordinator, I would personally like to thank all of the OOs that have worked in the section over the years and have helped the community by helping bring innumerable issues to resolution over the years, and sent out plenty of Good Operator cards to let our fellow hams know when their good operating has been noticed and appreciated by others.  I’d also like to thank those that have become the new Volunteer Monitors and whom will work directly with the FCC and their continued support of the amateur radio community.

For everyone going forward, for the near future, if there is a need for Volunteer Monitor assistance somewhere, please contact Volunteer Monitor Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH by email.  Mr. Hollingsworth once handled Amateur Radio enforcement as an FCC employee and is now the liaison between the FCC and the ARRL in regards to the Volunteer Monitor program.

Thanks again and 73,
Gil WK1H

ARRL HQ Seeking Emergency Management Director

ARRL

This is a repost from the national ARRL website.  We’re reposting it since it might be possible for Western MA to be employed at League HQ and commute in to work each day.

ARRL is seeking an emergency management director to oversee a team responsible for supporting ARRL emergency communication programs and services, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) and National Traffic System (NTS), and to work with staff to develop standards, protocols, and processes designed to support the Field Organization. This is a full-time, exempt position at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut.

This individual would serve as the official point of contact and liaison to key partners and other served agencies at the regional and national level. Duties would include representing ARRL at served agency and partner meetings, conventions, and exercises as well as organizing and providing presentations for various relevant audiences.

The emergency management director will oversee and manage the ARRL Emergency Preparedness Department and its support of the Field Organization that includes but is not limited to soliciting, training, and maintaining an ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team; creating, soliciting, or editing content for publications and electronic media; administering the Ham Aid program, and working with key partners to establish plans, protocols, and procedures for incorporating Amateur Radio in their emergency response plans.

Applicants should possess leadership ability as well as excellent written, interpersonal, and communication skills, and should hold an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher. Applicants should have at least 10 years’ experience in emergency management or equivalent. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in emergency management is required. Certifications from NIMS, FEMA, or International Association of Emergency Managers are preferred.

Frequent domestic and occasional international travel would be required.

See the job posting for complete details on this position and how to apply.

Nominations Open for Section Manager

WMA ARRLNominations for Western Massachusetts Section Manager are now open!  The term is for two years starting on January 1, 2020.

Any candidate for the office of Section Manager must be a resident of the section, a licensed amateur of Technician class or higher, and a full member of the League for a continuous term of at least two years immediately preceding receipt of a petition for nomination.  All nomination paperwork must be received by ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT by 4:00 PM on Friday, September 6, 2019.  The nomination forms and other associated information are available on ARRL HQ’s website here.

Massachusetts Hand-free Mobile Device Legislation Update

This is a re-post from the EMA ARRL website:

Hands-free mobile device legislation moved one step closer to becoming law, passing in the Massachusetts House on May 16. But by all accounts amateur radio operation while driving will remain unaffected.

Eastern Massachusetts section staff who have been in touch with legislative aides in both the House and Senate have learned the language that defines mobile devices will continue to exempt “federally-licensed 2-way radios.”

“MGL Chapter 90 Section 13 provides for the use of a federally licensed 2-way radio while driving. The hands-free bill being considered (House Bill 3793) does not alter this provision,” according to a staffer in Rep. Ferrante’s office. Another staffer from Rep. Hecht’s office also confirmed the preservation of the existing language in Chapter 90 Section 13 pertaining to federally licensed 2-way radios.

The full text of the H.3793 can be found at
<https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H3793>.

The text of General Law Part I, Section XIV, Chapter 90, Section 13 can be found at <https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section13>.

The Massachusetts Senate is expected to take up the measure in June.

Employment Opportunities at ARRL HQ

Just wanted to remind every ARRL member in the Western Massachusetts section of a ham radio employment opportunity at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT. Newington is not that far away for some of us in this section, especially for what could be a dream job for a lot of us.

The League is looking for a Contest Program Manager is responsible for all aspects of ARRL’s Contest program, including receipt and processing of entries, quality of results, awards fulfillment, public outreach, program development and promotion, and volunteer coordination and management.

They are also looking for an IT Systems Engineer. This person would be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization’s information infrastructure including desktop clients, server systems, LAN, WAN, e-mail, network storage and printing. This infrastructure supports both local and remote users.

For more information on either of these positions at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT, please see the ARRL Headquarters Employment Opportunities page.