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AARA May 020 Newsletter

The May 2020 AARA Newsletter

The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association             May 6, 2020

The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association
Virtual Club Meeting (via Adobe Connect)April 02, 2020:
Virtual Meeting Attendance (via Adobe Connect):

Dave Deschesne; not present – Seth Thomas covering minutes

  Name Callsign Notes
01 James Jalbert KC1ECV  
02 Roy Woods KB1WGN  
03 Sam Barrett W5KF  
04 Dina Harding KC1ECW  
05 Bill Johnson K1WLJ  
06 David Berry KV1S  
07 Seth Thomas KC1MTT  
08 Steve Sandelier N1NXU  
09 John Hotelling KC1DRW  
10 Zach Reece KC1MTK Voted in as new member 04/02/2020
11 Alan Mulherin KR0ZAL  
12 Nelson Ketch K1ANK  
13 George Jones W2GPJ Guest Speaker presenting MAR Foundation
14 Mike Lawler K0LDO AARA Member and MAR Board Member

Meeting called to Order @ 18:36 Eastern Daylight Time

Introductions:

Per James, based on the COVID-19 situation he wanted to try a virtual meeting and is glad that so many are able to attend, even though we can’t meet in person.  Introduction of tonight’s speaker, George Jones, that he met at the Can-Am to present MAR Foundation. 

Presentation – Maine Amateur Radio Foundation, George Jones:

George is here as he was invited by James as they met at the Can-Am; George is the treasurer of the Maine Amateur Radio Foundation (MARF)http://www.mar.foundation/; and would like tell us about the foundation and also seek our membership and support. 

MARF is comprised of Maine Amateurs that are there to assist other Maine Amateurs.  The foundation started about 5 years when Dave Hawke(KQ1L) started to get the statewide network moving forward at great personal expense and came to leadership in the old Yankee Club.  This used to be his go-to club/channel and the reality is that the club was sinking rather rapidly in terms of vitality, leadership, and interest.  Gary Gilman (N1ZNJ) also helped to pull together the first meeting that was held in Augusta.  The purpose of the group coming together was to do some end-of-life planning; with the group aging out and they wanted to be certain that there would be default place for the network that had been created to go and continue on.  This is the core of what drove the initial start of the foundation, then starting as MARCs. 

Then, the next steps were to look at how they would function and what would be the best way to go forward, thereby morphing into the MARF. 

Purpose:

The purpose of this organization is to support amateur radio throughout the state of Maine.
This will be accomplished by providing technical, physical and/or financial assistance to those persons or organizations, residing within the State of Maine, who operate amateur radio facilities, support services or operator training open to the amateur radio community or in support of community emergency response or non-emergency events.

During the 2019 fiscal year, they transitioned to a non-profit corporation, under the laws of the State of Maine, with recognized status and then following up with federal approval as a 501(c)(3) organization; thereby making contributions tax deductible expenses. 

Another key thing that was done in 2019 was to develop start developing processes to create revenue and related processes to make grants within the state.  These processes are not fully completed; however, it is still in the works. 

They MARF is concerned about the longevity of the HAM Radio hobby and who will support this going forward, as well as maintaining and expanding the existing infrastructure.  How can the interest from various groups, ages, cultures, etc. be expanded going forward, away from what has been the typical norm for the hobby, while also reinvigorating the hobby for the next generation.  The dues to the MARF take care of spaces, publications of brochures, and looking for things that will produce on-going revenue.  Steve, in Bangor is looking to drive an Amateur Radio Vehicle Plate registration in the state as a key to revenue.  Many HAM operators currently do this via personalized plates, so they believe there is good interest; however it’s not on an official Maine State Amateur Plate.  This would help not only show unity but drive ongoing revenue.  This does require approval from the Maine State Legislature.  However, with the current crisis and timeline; this is not currently being pushed as hard as it was but is still a focus going forward.  The revenue from these plates would help to support various infrastructure around the state, or things like a “youth club” could be funded to help get it underway.  Or, even to partially fund such a club via an ongoing basis.  Other major projects in the state would also be a focus (re: infrastructure).  This would be done by an established grant process; again, not fully established.  A simple outline of the process would be to make a public announcement where proposals would be accepted, reviewed, and prioritized where the foundation would see the most bang for the buck.  These grants would likely be made annually and possibly even semi-annually (based on how the revenue stream looks).  The group also wants to function as a source of expertise for setup of a new repeaters, equipment grants to help support civic event support, etc. 


What can you do to help with this?

  • You can become a member of the association!
    • Membership fee is $10, or subsequent in household are $5/person
  • When the time comes, get one of the plates
  • Be and stay involved; and consider taking a leadership role
    • Foundation is led by 5 board members that rotate

MARF Q&A Session:

  • (Dina) Will the foundation have anything, or will it be planned to have a scholarship or the like that may be available for college members. 
    • Yes, there is interest in this, however most of the interest is newly formed amateur clubs, or school groups that would like to put together a new club, or have their club supported. 
  • (James)Are you expecting clubs to join, or should it just be individuals; and with a number or members; how will this influence? 
    • They would not be opposed to a club level type of membership as well and yes, that would likely help to provide some influence in decisions.
  • (Roy)Where is the annual meeting held; will it be in Kennebec County and can be held anywhere in the county?
    • This is based on the bylaws, etc.
    • Do the members have to be present to vote?
      • MARF would like to have use of virtual or other systems as well.
    • Board is elected for 5-year terms (why so long)? 
      • Continuity.  The board members are on a staggered, rotating 5-year term. 
    • Can the board members meet at any time, or place without prior notice?
      • There are provisions to do so for emergencies. 
    • Can the board members be reimbursed for expenses?
      • Currently just volunteer time, etc. (Currently self-funded by board.)
    • In the purpose; it seems to align with RACES, is this intentional?
      • No that is not the pattern planned or used, nor intentioned. 
  • (Dina) With only HAMs being able to buy the plates; won’t that limit the fundraising?
    • Yes, they are acutely aware of the finite number of HAMs and they really want others to buy these type of plates (4K must be maintained each year)
  • (Seth) What has been done to help ensure that this will be around in perpetuity
    • That’s why the foundation has been established as an initial step as corporate structure has a way to continue.  More things to come once better established.

James thanked George and Mike for joining us, the presentation, and the Q&A session. 
MARF presentation completed.  Moving on to regular AARA reports. 

Treasurer’s Report (Steve):  Only charge is election night pizza $66; collected dues in through PayPal and moved to AARA – $159.12 moved into the account.  Account interest for the month $0.39.  Current balance with interest $4,633.96.  There is $300 in holding that needs to be deposited.  [Seth made motion; John seconded – all accepted unanimously]

Secretary’s Report:  James asked if report had been received.  Dina noted that Jim Cerrato had been left off attendees list; with that correction, motion to accept. 
[Dina made motion; Bill seconded – all accepted unanimously]

EMCOMM/ARES Report (Roy): No written report this month as activities are extremely limited with the COVID-19 situation.  NWS is currently doing their own radio testing, all others holding-off on testing for now.  As always, ARES team open to anyone, please consider.


Field Day: Jim not present; no report

 
Public Information (Dina):  Newspaper article with the picture is being submitted this week from the annual club meeting.  Would like to request a discussion to have an info flyer to be inserted into the newspaper.  Cost to add to the newspaper is unknown.  She will inquire about the cost if we all agree.  James/Seth, does not hurt to look into this to see what the cost would be; go ahead and check, then report back for club consideration.  Dina is also still checking with Radio and Katahdin. More posters have also been distributed with the staff at Harbor Freight.

Inputs to Public Information:

  • Per John, perhaps they would do a story. 
  • Per Alan; if we word it just right, perhaps we could slip this in as a public service announcement. 

Additionally, the WAGMTV County Calendar and Radio are still in progress. 


PRESIDENT’S REPORT (James): Presentations have been scheduled and are still under consideration.  Maine Amateur Radio Foundation (took place tonight as announced at the last meeting.) Steve Vance presentation Linux in ham shack pushed ahead until May. (Still coming). 

Hoping that by perhaps by this time in May, the COVID situation is more under control so that we can have our normal meetings, etc.  We will play presentations by ear for now and address accordingly. 

New Member Application for consideration.  Zachery Reece KT1MTK; has submitted new application and $20 in dues for the club. 
[Seth made motion; Roy seconded – vote passed unanimously]

Zach, welcome aboard to AARA.  We’ll add you to the mailing list, etc. 

James was emailed a letter from Sam that he wants to read to the club:

From Sam Barrett:(Generalized summary recorded)
Thanks for awarding me the recognition plaque.  It’s an honor to have received it When moving to the county this was one of the first things he did and very valuable.  He urges all members to do whatever they can to assure that the AARA continues and thrives.  Once again thank you, regards, and -73 Sam Barrett W5KF. 

(James can provide specific email/letter)

OLD BUSINESS:
Repeater interference
continues.  James has been hearing a lot of the interference of late and seems to be coming in on the 146.730 input and very strongly at his house.  Not hearing anything on 146.130. 

  • Dave Yesterday somebody at 15:55 and 19:30 as well
  • Bryan was not hearing on the input either. 
  • Dave will also setup one of his HT’s to monitor
  • James programmed a radio as well to listen to input/output
    • Will check with Dave to do a fox hunt later in year
  • Seth reported multiple days/times as well from Tuesday-Thursday of this week
    • Tues: 17:39-17:40, 17:42, 20:18-20:20, Wed: 10:54, Thur: 15:40
  • John thought it sounded like a call in to activate Echolink
  • Keep monitoring and report to Tammy(@Tammy Deschesne – see above)

Repeater lease on hold until moved up to the weather service; likely will not be until spring and until the entire COVID-19 bit is done. 

Insurance Agent Meeting: Did any of the members come up with any additional questions, etc. at this point.  None received.  Please send to Roy/James via email for the meeting. 

NEW BUSINESS:

  • James does not have anything new
  • Dina is mentioned there are some local groups for COVID-19 help and updates locally.  HAM could promote itself there to help and to promote membership locally.  

[Sam made motion to adjourn; Bill seconded – motion carried.]


Next AARA meeting:
James will advise about how the next meeting will transpire closer to the date.  The next meeting of the AARA is scheduled for May 7th at 18:30 Eastern Time. 
Contact James if you have any questions – kc1ecv@gmail.com

Coming Events:

Mondays 2000 Aroostook Emergency Net 146.730

May 7th. AARA meeting via Adobe Connect.

AARA meeting:

We will be using the same link as last time:

http://aroostookema.adobeconnect.com/aara

I am also including the link to the video I made to help anyone with installing the software. If you attended last months meeting, you do not need to install the software again. If you could not attend last month and need to install the software, hopefully this video will help

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14c_L5Qm_uA9az8IiUUqFKhuYnWNLW06o/view

See you all Thursday at 1830!

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