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The ARRL Letter
January 19, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ ARRL Board of Directors Holds 2012 Annual Meeting, Okays Electronic Balloting for Division Elections

ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, (in red), presided over the 2012 ARRL Annual Meeting, held January 13-14. She was re-elected to a second term as ARRL President. [Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Photo]

The ARRL Board of Directors held its 2012 Annual Meeting January 13-14, 2012 in Windsor, Connecticut, under the chairmanship of President Kay Craigie, N3KN. Newly elected Delta Division Director David Norris, K5UZ, attended his first Board meeting as Director. In addition, two recently elected Vice Directors -- Glen Clayton, W4BDB, Delta Division, and Dale Williams, WA8EFK, Great Lakes Division -- attended their first Board meeting.

After viewing a demonstration of electronic balloting, the Board adopted amendments to the ARRL Bylaws that will permit the implementation of electronic voting in the 2012 fall elections for Director and Vice Director of the Central, Hudson, New England, Northwestern and Roanoke Divisions. Plans call for paper ballots still to be mailed to those members who have not shared their e-mail addresses with the ARRL, or who simply prefer to cast their votes by mail. Supervision of the balloting is the responsibility of the Ethics and Elections Committee. Read more here.

+ ARRL Bestows Awards at 2012 Annual Meeting

The ARRL Board of Directors had the pleasure and distinction of bestowing three annual awards on six recipients at its 2012 Annual Meeting: The George Hart Distinguished Service Award, the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award for print, audio and video, and the ARRL International Humanitarian Award. Read more here.

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+ ARRL Board Welcomes Rick Niswander, K7GM, as New Treasurer

When ARRL Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU, announced last year that he would retire after more than three decades of volunteer service to the ARRL, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, appointed a search committee to find a suitable replacement. The committee received many resumes from League members, and after interviewing several applicants, selected Rick Niswander, K7GM, of Greenville, North Carolina. At the 2012 ARRL Annual Meeting, Niswander was elected by the Board of Directors as the sixth Treasurer of the ARRL.

Rick Niswander, K7GM, of Greenville, North Carolina, was elected as the sixth ARRL Treasurer at the 2012 ARRL Annual Meeting.

Niswander -- an ARRL Life Member -- has been the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance for East Carolina University since 2010, where he is the senior executive responsible for all financial, administrative, and operational activities at the university. Prior to that appointment, he served as ECU's Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and Dean of its College of Business. He is also a Professor of Accounting at the university. Niswander is also the Executive Treasurer for the ECU Foundation, the ECU Medical Foundation, the ECU Alumni Association and the Pirate Club (the ECU athletic booster club). A Certified Public Accountant since 1981, he holds a BBA in Accounting from Idaho State University and a PhD in Accounting from Texas A&M University. Read more here.

+ A Reminder: Postage Rates To Rise this Month

Beginning Sunday, January 22, it will cost more to mail first class letters, postcards and packages within the US. The cost to mail a first class letter will be 45 cents, an increase of 1 cent. According to the USPS, this is the first increase since May 2009. The cost of mailing a postcard will be 32 cents, an increase of 3 cents. This is the second increase for postcard postage in less than a year; in April 2011, the USPS boosted the postcard stamp price from 28 cents to 29 cents. You will also pay more to send letters to Canada, Mexico and other international destinations. Click here for more information on all the postal increases.

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+ Army MARS Resumes Use of Winlink 2000

According to Government Liaison for Army MARS Pudge Forrester, AAA9GL, Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence has reversed the decision to phase out the use of the Winlink 2000 global radio e-mail system by Army MARS members. General Lawrence stated that the Army -- after reviewing its capabilities -- had decided that the continued use of Winlink 2000 was a valuable asset to Army MARS members and to the agencies that were using the service. She issued a statement to that effect on December 21, 2011. On January 5, 2012, the Chief of Army MARS officially notified his membership that the phase out notice had been rescinded. Army MARS members and agencies who had been using the service hailed the decision by General Lawrence and resumed use of Winlink 2000.

+ US District Court for Maine Issues Order Granting Summary Judgment against Glenn Baxter, K1MAN

On January 10, the US District Court for Maine issued a ruling in the FCC's lawsuit to collect monetary forfeitures issued to Glenn Baxter, K1MAN, of Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The FCC had assessed forfeitures in the amount of $21,000 against Baxter on three asserted violations of the Communications Act of 1934 and its regulations: Failure to respond to an FCC inquiry in violation of Title 47, Section 308 of the US Code, willful or malicious interference with other radio transmissions in violation of Section 97.101(d), and engaging in communications in which he has a pecuniary interest in violation of Section 97.113(a)(3).

Chief US District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr, in writing for the Court, agreed with the FCC on the first two counts -- willful or repeated failure to respond to FCC requests for information, and willful or malicious interference -- and granted summary judgments to the FCC in the amount of $3000 and $7000, respectively. On the third claim -- communications in which an amateur station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest -- the Court declined to grant a summary judgment to the FCC, holding that there were issues of material fact to be litigated in the Court in later proceedings. Find a link to the complete decision here.

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Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, January 19, 2012 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager) image was taken in the continuum near the Ni I 6768 Angstrom line. The most prominent features are the sunspots. This is very much how the Sun looks in the visible range of the spectrum.

Tad "Fooling me like the Sun in the winter" Cook, K7RA, reports: New sunspot groups appeared on every day over the past week. On January 12, new sunspot group 1396 appeared, and the next day two more -- 1397 and 1398 -- popped into view. On January 14, four new sunspot groups appeared: 1399, 1400, 1401 and 1402. January 15 saw group 1391 vanish and new group 1403 emerge. Two more appeared January 16 -- 1404 and 1405 -- while 1397 vanished. On January 17, 1406 appeared and 1395 disappeared, while 1407 emerged on January 18. The average daily sunspot numbers rose this week, from 90.6 to 116.9, while the solar flux stayed about the same, changing from 134.9 to 133.4. The latest predictions have a solar flux of 150 on January 19-20, 155 on January 21-22, 160 on January 23-25, 155 on January 26, 140 on January 27-29, and 135 on January 30-February 6; we are still looking for a solar flux peak of 165 on February 17-21. The predicted flux values of 160 on January 23-25 are markedly higher than the 145 predicted last week for the same dates. The predicted planetary A index is 6, 8, 5, 8 and 12 on January 19-23, and 5 on January 24 through the end of the month. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, January 20. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Max Graham's Sun in Winter.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • January 20 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • January 21 -- Feld Hell Sprint; LZ Open Contest
  • January 21-22 -- North American QSO Party (SSB); Hungarian DX Contest; YL-ISSB QSO Party (SSB)
  • January 21-23 -- ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes
  • January 25 -- SKCC Sprint
  • January 25-26 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • January 27 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint; NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • January 27-29 -- CQ 160 Meter Contest (CW)
  • January 28-29 -- BARTG RTTY Sprint; REF Contest (CW); UBA DX Contest (SSB); SPAR Winter Field Day
  • January 28 -- WAB 1.8 MHz Phone Contest
  • January 29 -- QRP ARCI Fireside SSB Sprint
  • January 29-30 -- Classic Exchange (CW)

All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more information. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Stations Web page.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

To find a convention or hamfest near you, click here.

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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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