BAA Marathon Call For Volunteers

BAA logoThe Marathon Amateur Radio Communications (MARC) consortium is looking for ham radio operators to assist at the 2008 Boston Marathon. The Marathon is held annually on Patriots Day, this year that’s Monday, April 21. We need people to provide communications is support of three areas:

START LINE (Hopkinton)
Runner & observer safety & security, parking lots, VIP escorts

COURSE (Hopkinton to Boston)
First Aid & Water station coordination

FINISH LINE (Boston)
First Aid, safety & security

If you are interested in any of these positions, please visit the MARC website to sign up:

http://marc.amateur-radio.net

73,
Bob – K1IW
MARC Recruitment Coordinator

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PART To Hold Rock-mite Kit Building Project

The Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford is conducting a kit building project on Saturday, February 23, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 10 Church Street, Westford, MA. The all-day event is aimed at both beginner and seasoned kit builder alike with an emphasis on mentoring, learning, and fun. The club-sponsored kit for this event is the Rock-mite by Small Wonder Labs, a 40m QRP transceiver with built-in keyer.

Just $75 covers everything for a whole day of fun. You get the radio kit, all that hardware, paperwork, and food for that one low price. Seating is limited so reserve your spot soon. Please contact Rich, AB1HD at ab1hd ‘at’ wb1gof ‘dot’ org for reservations or questions.

For further information, visit http://www.wb1gof.org/F_activities/Kit/page27.html.

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Whitman CERT Participates In Multi-agency Exercise

Whitman CERT members at WEMA operating consoleMembers of the Whitman Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) participated in a multi-agency training exercise on January 19, 2008.

A simulated hostage situation at a school involved the use of reverse-911 to inform citizens of the drill and associated road closings. The resources of a dozen nearby towns and communities, along with county and state apparatus and personnel were utilized. Mock hostages and victims were extracted and cared for at a medical receiving area. The town hall was used for a staging, briefing, and rehabilitation center.

Whitman Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) Director Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY activated the Whitman’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 7:30 a.m. where CERT team members assembled and were given assignments. Ten of the 16 CERT participants were licensed Amateur Radio operators.

During the day, radio contact was maintained between the EOC, CERT participants, and fire and police personnel at the drill scene. As many as 30 VHF and UHF radio frequencies were constantly monitored at the EOC during the exercise.

The response of the trained CERT volunteers aptly demonstrated WEMA/CERT and Whitman ARC’s abilities to help when called upon in time of need.

CERT volunteers included: Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY WEMA Director; Bill Hayden, N1FRE, EOC-Radio Control operator; Mike Supple, KB1OEP; Susan Supple; Stacey Supple; Paul Moss, KB1MTW; Ron Stundze, KB1OEQ; Gloria Chiaramonte, KB1OAV; Skip O’Malley, KB1MTZ; Cathy Costello, KB1MTX; Erika LaFlamme, KB1MTV; Rick Peterson KB1OEU; Joan Peterson; Mark Huska; Ted Petersen and Don Taylor.

Photo: Paul Moss, KB1MTW and Mike Supple, KB1OEP operate from Whitman EMA

Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, January 2008

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Venture Crew 47 To Run License-In-A-Weekend

North Shore Radio Association logoVenture Crew 47 and the North Shore Radio Association have announced a License In A Weekend event in April. The class will be held on a Saturday and a Sunday and “will instruct applicants on topics they will need to know for their Technician Class license.” A special VE session will be conducted for students at the conclusion.

The class will be open to any scouting-related groups or friends and family of NSRA members. More information will come in the next few weeks; check the Crew’s website at http://crew47.nsradio.org/ for the most up-to-date information.

Venturing is a co-ed branch of the Boy Scouts and is open to anyone who is 14 years old and has completed the 8th grade and is under 21 years of age. Crew 47 is chartered to the North Shore Radio Association and meets at 7 p.m. before the NSRA meetings. Anyone interested in joining the crew should send an email to
crew47@nsradio.org.

Thanks, KB1OHZ, and North Shore RA News, Winter 2008

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ARRL Foundation Scholarships Available; Deadline is Feb. 1

ARRL Foundation logoThe ARRL Foundation announces a number of scholarships available to students in Eastern Massachusetts and elsewhere who hold a valid ham radio license. Many generous private individuals and clubs sponsor these scholarships to allow fellow hams the opportunity to further their educational goals. All ARRL Foundation-administered scholarships are intended exclusively for educational use, to provide assistance with costs of tuition, room, board, books and/or other fees essential to the advanced education of the recipient. Some are available in certain regions; others are available to candidates nationwide.

The deadline for ARRL Foundation scholarship applications is February 1, 2008. Applications must be postmarked on or before February 1 and must include the student’s most recent transcript.

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H-4477 + Amendment Passes In The House

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 23, 2008 at 1930 ET:

Some encouraging news…

I have been forwarded a message from a staff member of Representative Hynes (see below.) Representative Hynes’s amendment was indeed approved by the House. Pending confirmation of the precise text of the amendment, we can declare a tentative victory.

If we have succeeded, our next order of business is a measured campaign to ensure that our exemption survives Senate deliberations.

–Shawn

Thanks to Gordy Bello, K1GB, for forwarding the message from the State House.

At 6:01 PM -0500 1/23/08, bello wrote:

From: Verseckes, Michael (HOU) [mailto:Michael.Verseckes@state.ma.us]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:13 PM
To: gge1@comcast.net
Subject: amateur radio

Hi Gordon,

My name is Mike Verseckes and I’m an aide to Rep. Frank Hynes.

I wanted to let you know that the amendment Rep. Hynes filed that would exempt ham radio operators from House Bill 4477 was adopted and the bill was engrossed today. So now it’s on to the Senate where they should take it up some time soon.

Thanks for contacting us.

Mike

[See also: H-4477 Back In The House, Wednesday, 23 January]

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MEMA To Utilize ‘211’ During Emergencies

MEMA logoTHE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY
_____________________________

MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
400 Worcester Road Framingham, MA 01702-5399
Tel: 508-820-2000 Fax: 508-820-2030
Website: www.mass.gov/mema

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Peter Judge
January 22, 2008
(508) 820-2002

MEMA & UNITED WAY PARTNER TO PROVIDE NEW CITIZENS HELPLINE
The Easy to Remember 2-1-1 to Provide Non-Emergency Information

FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Council of Massachusetts United Ways (COMUW) have agreed to utilize Mass2-1-1 as the Commonwealth’s primary telephone information call center during times of emergency. The easy to remember 2-1-1 telephone number will be utilized as a resource for human service and public safety/disaster response and planning agencies. It was designed, in part, to reduce the number of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1.
“Up until now, MEMA has utilized an ‘800’ number staffed by the Citizen Information Service of the Secretary of State’s Office,” stated MEMA Director Don Boyce. “That particular telephone number was activated only during emergency situations.”

With the change, the Secretary of State’s Citizen Information Service staff will now have the responsibility to serve as liaisons between the Mass2-1-1 staff and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Team (MEMT) when the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Framingham is activated for an emergency situation. Mass2-1-1 will provide the latest emergency information and response to rumors through their call center and website.

This new partnership will offer citizens the opportunity for ‘one-stop-shopping’, with access to vital updated disaster information, numerous post-disaster programs, interpreter services, and call tracking of caller locations. Mass2-1-1 will also have the ability to act as the registration site for spontaneous volunteers and donations from the public
during an emergency or crisis.

“The Council of Massachusetts United Ways and Mass2-1-1 are thrilled to be working with our colleagues at MEMA and the Secretary of State’s Citizen Information Service to ensure that the people of the Commonwealth have access to timely and accurate emergency information” said Paul Mina, Executive Director of Mass2-1-1.

Mass2-1-1 was created by The Council of Massachusetts United Ways on behalf of 22 local United Ways serving every community of the Commonwealth. Seven years ago, COMUW embraced the national 2-1-1 program, as established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and initiated by the United Way of America. The 2-1-1 phone number was established by the FCC as a nationwide number to call for non-emergency information and referral services. Currently Mass2-1-1 operates its call center Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 8:00pm with the ability to activate 24-7 during times of emergency in the Commonwealth. More information is available at www.mass211.org.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA, go to www.mass.gov/mema.

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H-4477 Back In The House, Wednesday, 23 January

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 22, 2008 at 1457 ET:

H-4477 is scheduled to be considered again by the full Massachusetts House tomorrow. I understand that a number of amendments to the original bill–at least 16 by one rep’s count–have been offered on the bill.

I received reports from several hams whose representatives claimed to have proposed an exemption for us. So a couple of the amendments probably say the same thing. Still, there may be enough amendments attached to the bill to sink it. We’ll know more by tomorrow afternoon, if they keep to their schedule.

Please pass the word–any hams who haven’t already contacted their representatives may want to do so early tomorrow. 617 722 2000 is the switchboard number.

I’ll distribute news tomorrow as soon as it becomes available.

–Shawn

[See also: QST — H-4477 on hold]

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Cape Cod ARES to Hold Exercise on Saturday January 26th, 2008 from 10 AM-Noon

Hello to all….

The following is from Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O, Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator.

The Cape Cod and Islands ARES district will hold its Winter field exercise on Saturday January 26th starting at 10am. In addition to the normal VHF/UHF/ NVIS operations, We will be attempting Winlink operations from the field on a small basis. Messages will be sent via Airmail packet client up the chain during the morning.

We are also looking for any HF voice stations willing to participate on 40m 7232khz and 75m 3925khz. We will have NVIS stations on the air from the Cape and Nantucket. I know band conditions have been flimsy at best and that 40m is likely to be bad. Try 75m after 10:20am if 40m is unusable (pretty likely)If anyone is around on Saturday, please feel free to try contact on 40/75m. Thanks!

In addition, 146.955 Simplex will be utilized for this exercise and maybe another means for folks to participate who may have 2 Meter/440 gear and not HF. The following is a link to the exercise document Frank-WQ1O put together in PDF format:

Cape Cod ARES Exercise Document

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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PART To Commemorate Patriots Day With Special Events Station

“Bo” Budinger, WA1QYM writes on PART-L:

The Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford will be operating a Special Events Station (K1P) in Westford on the Sunday and Monday of Patriots Day Weekend in April. This operation is in the planning stage. Scott (NE1RD) has volunteered to be a co-chairman but we desperately need another co-chairman. Our present thought is that we would operate out of our SUV somewhere in Westford.

Please contact me if you are interested in co-chairing this event. Scott has laid the groundwork and will be supplying equipment. A co-chairman would be involved in lining up operators and loggers, making sure that we have a secure location and making sure we have publicity for this activity.

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QST — H-4477 on hold

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 16, 2008 at 17:11 ET:

This afternoon, WBZ Radio reported that the House suspended debate on the cell phone bill to consider amendments.

This does not mean that the bill is dead, or that it will be altered to our liking–only that we have more time to be sure that any change to the current law does not affect us adversely.

Some hams have been informed that the current bill does not apply to amateur radio operators. My representative, who contacted the authors of the bill on the Transportation Committee, passed along the same reassurances to me. But in making the point, her staff member cited the passage in law that exempts Citizens Band radio. So I suspect that there may be some confusion about CB vs. amateur radio among a few key staff members.

If we could count on consistent regulatory confusion, we might be tempted to leave things as they are. But some day, someone will discover that ham radio is not CB and impose the law on an amateur. So we should continue to ask our representatives to single out FCC-licensed amateur radio operators from the various unlicensed Citizens Band services.
Thanks to all who wrote or called their representatives. I have no doubt that amateurs were key to slowing the progress of this bill. Let’s see this through to a satisfactory resolution, whatever conclusion the legislature reaches on this matter.

Shawn O’Donnell, K3HI
k3hi@arrl.net
ARRL State Government Liaison, Massachusetts

Please pass along. Thanks for helping spread the word.

Tomorrow AM, I’ll try to get a message to the lawyers on the Transportation Committee staff with an explanation of the difference between CB and Amateur Radio. –Shawn

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Massachusetts Legislation Update: H3679 Is Now H4477

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 16, 2008 at 1145 ET:

Massachusetts Legislation Update: H3679 is now H4477

Today, the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Legislature may vote a ban on cell phone use while driving.

Yesterday, when the Joint Committee on Transportation met to discuss the cell phone restrictions, the members made significant changes to the bill. The new draft is identified as House, No. 4477. The H4477 leaves in the existing exemption for citizens band radio, but does not mention any other radio service, including amateur radio.

I know you may be tired of explaining the difference between CB and amateur radio, but now’s your chance to do it again.

The new bill’s SECTION 3 goes as follows:

SECTION 3. Section 13 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words, “or mobile telephone”.

The easiest thing for us to ask is that the SECTION 3 be re-written to say:

SECTION 3. Section 13 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by replacing, in line 6, the words, “or mobile telephone” with “or amateur radio”.

If you want to sound precise, you can mention that they can say, “amateur radio, as defined in 47 CFR Part 97.” CFR = Code of Federal Regulations, by the way.

For your reference, the current Section 13 or Chapter 90 reads as follows:

“Section 13. No person, when operating a motor vehicle, shall permit to be on or in the vehicle or on or about his person anything which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle or any equipment by which the vehicle is operated or controlled, except that a person may operate a motor vehicle while using a citizens band radio or mobile telephone as long as one hand remains on the steering wheel at all times.”

Remember: even though there’s an ‘amateur’ in our name, we can still impress with our professionalism. So be patient with staffers who aren’t familiar with the fine distinctions of radio regulation.

Call today if you can. If you don’t know who your representative and senator are, go to

http://www.mass.gov/legis/

and search by city/town or by ward/precinct. Or call your local city/town hall for help.

More details to follow.

Any questions or comments? Contact your ARRL Section Manager or the League’s State Government Liaison, K3HI.

Shawn O’Donnell, K3HI
ARRL Massachusetts State Government Liaison
k3hi@arrl.net
508 561 4045 (before 10PM)

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Massachusetts Cell Phone Bill H-4477 Passes House

Hello to all….

The following is an update from Shawn O’Donnell-K3HI on Massachusetts Cell Phone Bill H-4477, which passed the State House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed H-4477 today by a vote of 107-47. The members passed several amendments to the bill before the final vote and some encouraging news…

I have been forwarded a message from a staff member of Representative Hynes (see below.) Representative Hynes’s amendment was indeed approved by the House. Pending confirmation of the precise text of the amendment, we can declare a tentative victory.

If we have succeeded, our next order of business is a measured campaign to ensure that our exemption survives Senate deliberations.

–Shawn

Thanks to Gordy Bello, K1GB, for forwarding the message from the State House.

At 6:01 PM -0500 1/23/08, bello wrote:
From: Verseckes, Michael (HOU) [mailto:Michael.Verseckes@state.ma.us]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:13 PM
To: gge1@comcast.net
Subject: amateur radio

Hi Gordon,

My name is Mike Verseckes and I’m an aide to Rep. Frank Hynes.

I wanted to let you know that the amendment Rep. Hynes filed that would exempt ham radio operators from House Bill 4477 was adopted and the bill was engrossed today. So now it’s on to the Senate where they should take it up some time soon.

Thanks for contacting us.

Mike

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Restrictive Massachusetts Cell Phone Bill On “Fast Track”

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes:

QST Massachusetts amateur radio operators:

There is a bill making its way through Beacon Hill that would restrict the use of cellular telephones while driving. You can read the text of the bill, House 3679 (H-3679), on the Massachusetts government website:

http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht03/ht03679.htm

While the bill does not explicitly prohibit the use of amateur radios while driving, its definition of “cellular telephone” is rather vague. Hams could easily get tangled in this broadly-cast net. It is in our interest to ask the legislature to include an explicit exemption in the law to permit amateur radio operators to use their equipment while driving.

This bill appears to be on the fast track. After sitting around for over a year, it is suddenly being rushed through the legislature. We need to act quickly. It is still a few steps from becoming law, but when a bill has been given the green light, it can move rapidly. Hence the urgency.

If you don’t know who your representative and senator are, go to http://www.mass.gov/legis/
and search by city/town or by ward/precinct. Or call your local city/town hall for help.

When you call your rep, ask that H. 3679 be amended to explicitly state that the new anti-cellular laws are not meant to apply to Federally-licensed amateur radio operators. Also mention to your representative and/or senator that, if these anti-cellular bills fail due to opposition from the industry and/or cell phone users, you would still appreciate any help they could offer to insure that the amateur service is not painted with the same broad brush that’s being applied to cellular telephone users.

Feel free to mention amateur radio’s public service aspect (as spelled out in the Federal regulations that authorize the service,) but don’t get carried away. Do mention that training is essential to the public service we provide, and that casual operation and training exercises help prepare us for emergencies.

As always, remember to be polite with the people you speak with on Beacon Hill. Be calm and make sure they record your opposition to the bill as-is, and the nature of your request for an amendment. The main number for the State House is 617 722 2000. You can find a list of direct telephone numbers for legislators at http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm.

Any questions or comments? Contact your ARRL Section Manager or the League’s State Government Liaison, K3HI.

Shawn O’Donnell, K3HI
ARRL Massachusetts State Government Liaison
k3hi@arrl.net
508 561 4045 (before 10PM)

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New MEMA Courses Offered

MEMA logoTom Kinahan, N1CPE writes on mras_general list:

The following new courses have been added to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s training calendar:

* Ice & Cold Water Safety Awareness at MEMA Headquarters-Operations Room on January 26, 2008

* Incident Command System 200 at MEMA Region III HQ on February 18, 2008

* Incident Command System 300 at Brimfield Elementary School on February 9, 2008

* Incident Command System 300 at Fall River Fire Headquarters on February 13, 2008

* Incident Command System 300 at Grafton Police Station on February 26, 2008

* Small Animal Handling & Pet First Aid at MEMA Headquarters-Operations Room on January 19, 2008

* Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Standardized Awareness Course at Mass Highway District 2 Classroom on February 18, 2008

Visit our web site for more details.

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New England Public Service List 12/23/07

Listing public events at which Amateur Radio communications is providing a public service and for which additional volunteers from the Amateur Community are needed and welcome. Please contact the person listed to identify how you may serve and what equipment you may need to bring.

The most up-to-date copy of this list is maintained as http://purl.org/hamradio/publicservice/nediv.

**** Every event listed is looking for communications volunteers ****

Date      Location     Event                       Contact        Tel/Email

Feb  8 Laconia     NH World Champ Dog sled races   Dave KA1VJU   603-398-3667
                                                            ka1vju@dmegin.com
Feb  9 Laconia     NH World Champ Dog sled races   Dave KA1VJU   603-398-3667
                                                            ka1vju@dmegin.com
Feb 10 Laconia     NH World Champ Dog sled races   Dave KA1VJU   603-398-3667
                                                            ka1vju@dmegin.com
Feb 16 Laconia     NH Sandwich Notch 60 sled race  Dave KA1VJU   603-398-3667
                                                            ka1vju@dmegin.com
Jul 12 Woburn      MA New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
       see http://www.newenglandclassic.org                    k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 13 Durham      NH New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 14 Biddeford   ME New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 15 North ConwayNH New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 16 Northfield  VT New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 17 Killington  VT New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net
Jul 18 Rindge      NH New England Classic Tour     Mike K1LJN    978.244.0417 
                                                               k1ljn@arrl.net

This list is published periodically as demand warrants by Stan KD1LE and Ralph KD1SM. Our usual distribution is via Internet mail to the arrl-nediv-list and ema-arrl distribution lists, and on the World Wide Web. If other mailing list owners wish us to distribute via their lists we will be happy to oblige. Permission is herewith granted to republish this list in its entirety provided credit is given to the authors and the Web address below is included. Send comments, corrections, and updates to:

kd1sm@arrl.net.

We make an attempt to confirm entries with the coordinator unless the information is from another published source. We very much appreciate the assistance we have been receiving from our ‘scouts’; everyone is welcome to send us postings.

Refer to http://purl.org/hamradio/publicservice/nediv for the most recent version of the PSLIST.

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Belmont HAMsters Experiencing Ham Radio Adventures

Winn Brook HAMsters visit 06/02/06, photo #1Elementary school teacher Ms. Donna LaRoche, KB1LWY is introducing Amateur Radio to another class of eager first-grade HAMsters at the Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont.

“In addition to all of our exciting ham radio learning adventures and QSOs that we make from our classroom shack, and all of the fabulous guests who come and share their ham radio expertise/passion with the HAMsters, Dr. Chuck Counselman and I are going to teach CW to the HAMsters this year, too,” writes LaRoche. “I’ll be learning it right along with the 6 and 7 year olds in our class!” she adds.

The HAMsters have received visits from Dr. Chuck Counselman, W1HIS, and Mr. Bill McIninch, KA1MOM, who came just before the holidays.

“[KA1MOM] was dressed in red with black boots and his fluffy white beard and the kids thought he was no other than Santa!” says KB1LWY.

Dr. Martin Bayes, AA1ON, is one of the class’s special friends who sends the children post cards from the “four corners” of the world. LaRoche hopes that Bayes will be back to visit the HAMsters “in between his frequent visits to Hong Kong.”

ARRL Headquarters surprised the HAMsters with a recent gift of a 2007 Handbook. To thank the staff, the children created and sent a home-made “thank you” note.

The Winn Brook program is officially a part of the League’s Amateur Radio Education and Technology Program; a.k.a. “The Big Project.”

Shown here: a past visit by Mr. Phil Temples, K9HI and Dr. Ariel Cohen, K9ERA.

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