Field Day 2012: Section Manager’s Report

ARRL Logo Field Day is now history. For many, it was the culmination of weeks of hard work and planning. For others, 24 hours of all-out contesting, or a last-minute decision to drop in to the local club’s site to socialize with old friends and to make new acquaintances. And for many non-hams, this last full weekend in June was their first opportunity to taste the allure and wonder of Amateur Radio.

On June 23-24, 2012, I and other members of the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL Section and ARES staff traveled throughout Eastern Massachusetts to visit with many of the radio clubs participating in the annual radio event.

Although I was unable to fit in all of the participating area radio clubs over the course of the weekend, I was privileged to visit personally with eleven. I wanted to share some observations and thoughts about the weeekend.

(Click on each thumbnail image, below, for a site album.)

 

Genesis Amateur Radio Society, Plymouth

Genesis ARS

I began my travels with a visit to the folks at the Genesis ARS at the Plymouth Airport. Although I arrived at mid-morning, already twenty or so individuals were already hard at work with setup. Their club president and vice president were gracious to interrupt their activities for a few minutes to chat with me about Field Day and GARS’ activities.

Their efforts involved a number of scouts, and featured several homemade publicity displays (see photos) including one describing the ARRL, spearheaded by Judy, KB1SRO. I was most impressed! I was also pleased to hear that GARS offered a VE testing session during Field Day.

 

 

Barnstable ARC/Explorer Post 73 ARC, Yarmouthport

Barnstable ARC/Explorer Post 73 ARC

When I arrived at Camp Greeough in Yarmouthport, the folks at BARC/Explorer Post 73 ARC were also heavily involved in setting up. BARC members Rob, Mark, Tam and the rest of the gang had an elaborate 3A+GOTA operation housed underneath a large, open-air shelter. They specifically advertised for scouts and members of the general public to come and visit.

They all paused briefly as I took a group photo, holding Gov. Patrick’s official Amateur Radio Week proclamation, then it was back to work.

 

Falmouth ARA, Falmouth

Falmouth ARA Field Day

After a lunch break, I pulled into the Barnstable County Fairgrounds, the site of the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association’s Field Day site in Falmouth. Then entrance was well marked with excellent signage. FARA typically sports one of the largest and best-organized operations in the section and this year was no exception. This 2A operation also included a satellite station as well as two separate 1B operations being conducted from nearby Airstream trailers. All told, I counted six separate towers. The unique layout grouped together all operating positions in a “central hub.”

FARA president K1MGH introduced me to one of their special visitors, Jim McGuinness,

the elementary school teacher who is working with FARA for the upcoming ARISS school contact from Falmouth Elementary School in October.

Pilgrim Amateur Wireless Assocation/Taunton Area Radio Group/South Coast MA Amateur Radio Group, Swansea

Pilgrim Amateur Wireless Assocation/Taunton Area Radio Group/South Coast MA  Amateur Radio Group, Swansea

I’m told the combined Pilgrim AWA/Taungon ACG/South Coast MA ARG 2F operation garnered some great publicity, with television coverage from Channel 6 in Providence as well as the New Bedford Standard Ties and the Herald News. A great-looking bucket truck/tribander beam dominated the scene, and a friendly crew welcomed hams and non-hams alike.

All too soon, however, it was time to head down the road to the next site.

Bristol County Repeater Association/Fall River ARC, Freetown

Bristol County Repeater Association/Fall River ARC

The Bristol County Repeater Association/Fall River ARC crew were set up in their traditional location in the Freetown State Forest next to a busy recreational area.

Roland, Dave, and the rest are certainly practiced in deploying the famous HamCow quickly, along with its antennas and gear, thanks to practice from numerous past Field Day and Martha’s Vineyard operations. The seasoned crew had four different operating positions on the air and buzzing with contacts.

 

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC, N. Attleboro

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC Field Day site

I arrived at the Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC site in North Attleboro just as a storm was ominously threatening to hit. As luck would have it, the rains held off and only a few sprinkles could be felt.

The W1SMH crew were camped in the pleasant, wooded (and high) location at Veterans Park. They sported some nice wire antennas and towers with beams. They also employed a GOTA station that was being put to good use. I took a photo of their excellent club banner.

The crew also posed for a group photo for me, holding the Governor’s proclamation.

 

Wellesley Amateur Radio Society, Needham

Wellesley Amateur Radio Society Field Day site

After a dinner stop, I pulled into the center of Natick and dusk, catching the crew from the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society as they were breaking off operations for the evening. Dan, Barb, and the rest of the crew were kind enough to stop and chat for a few minutes and recap their day.

Their site is situated at the Town’s gazebo situated next to the high school. W1DAN explained to me that the majority of their contacts were made via solar power. However, the group also featured a “vintage” station consisting of a Heathkit DX-60 that operated under commercial power.

 

Clay Center ARC/Waltham ARA, Brookline

Clay Center ARC/Waltham ARA Field Day site

I began my Sunday visits by traveling to the Dexter School in nearby Brookline, site of the Clay Center ARC/Waltham ARA’s 3A operation. Excellent signage and directions were posted for visitors to follow.

Their Field Day featured a cool 3-element wire antenna for 40 meters, designed and built by one of the students. It was refreshing to see the younger ops dominating the event.

ARRL PIO KA1MOM had put together an impressive PR table with literature. The school’s science and technology director, K5TEC, told me that he had conducted tours for at least ten families and their children.

 

MIT Radio Society/Harvard Wireless Club, Cambridge

MIT Radio Society/Harvard Wireless Club Field Day site

The MIT Radio Society/Harvard Wireless Club Field Day site was situated directly in front of the MIT Student Center, just off busy Massachusetts Avenue.

The 2A operation featured a GOTA station under a large tent. Although a skeleton crew was present Sunday morning when I arrived, the two clubs kept the station staffed all night long. The group had, in fact, weathered heavy downpours the previous evening.

 

North Shore Radio Association, Danvers

North Shore Radio Association Field Day site

I arrived at around eleven a.m. at Endicot Park in Danvers, the traditional Field Day site of the North Shore Radio Club, NS1RA.

The various stations (including a GOTA) were busy making QSOs but I had a chance to chat with several of the folks who were “off duty” including Al, W1DUW. The group always puts on a great meal for its partipants. Safety is also very much a priority at their Field Day event.

Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association, Gloucester

Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association Field Day site

My last stop of the day was in Gloucester at the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Assocation’s Field Day at the Fuller School.

The group survived some nasty weather visited upon them by Murphy, as well as bad electrical noise from a nearby power line. But on a brighter note, CAARA was also visited by the Mayor of Gloucester, as well as Sen. Bruce Tarr (N1UIU).

Final Thoughts

US Flag I’d like to leave you with a few final thoughts–thoughts I expressed in a Field Day report ten years ago but which are no less relevant today.

As a group, hams can be very innovative and flexible. When equipment breaks or last-minute plans change, we take it in stride. We are adaptable.

We like to stick to plans and strategies that have worked in the past, but we’re not afraid to try new methods, either.

We’re quick to set aside the “contest” aspect of Field Day to give a helping hand to hold a rope, to hammer in a ground rod, or spend a few minutes explaining ham radio to a visitor.

We come to Field Day to be with one another. We’re sociable. We want to achieve and to accomplish.

We’re patriotic. We realize that when we invest our time and energies in this weekend event, we are making our communities and our nation a safer place to live. But above all, we genuinely respect each other, and we enjoy one another’s company. We share a mutual interest in a hobby and service known as Amateur Radio. And as a result of our efforts, the world is a little better off than it was before.

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Genesis Amateur Radio Society Offering Ham Radio Class

The Genesis Amateur Radio Society, in Cooperation with Jordan Hospital, will be holding Amateur Radio – Technician License Classes and Exam sessions on the following dates.

The classes are broken up into 3 days. Day 3 will also include testing.

The Classes will be held at Jordan Hospital Conference/Class Rooms as shown below.
ALL CLASSES IN THE BOYNTON
Fri March 9, 2012 6:30p-9:30p
Sat March 10, 2012 9a-5p
Sat March 17, 2012 9a-5p

The 3rd class date also includes the test session going from approx 3:00p – 5pm.
Walk-ins registration allowed for testing ONLY starting at 2:30pm-3:00pm.

It is recommended to take all 3 classes, but not Mandatory.
Registration is a must due to limited seating.

If you attend the last class only, please download the Study Guide Below <http://genesisars.org/education/handouts/Tech_Study_Guide_2010.pdf> and study it for the testing session.

Any one and everyone is allowed to attend the last class from 9am-2pm on Saturday Aug 27. Please notify Education.Registration@genesisars.org

that you are planning on attending. There are at least 8-12 seats available.

If you are interested, please drop Joe Reynolds or Chris Johnson an email at
Joe: ka1gdq@gmail.com Voice-mail of 508-296-3622 Cell: 774-222-2542
Chris: n1ir@arrl.net

<=You will need a copy of the ARRL Q&A Technician Manual

The Technician License Manual is an Optional Book to help you with your studying.; More in-depth information. Ask how to obtain your book when you email or call Joe or Chris. =================================>>

Testing (paid on date of testing) will be $15.00 per ARRL Testing Guidelines.

Please download this registration <http://genesisars.org/Forms/TECH%20CLASS%20FORM%20March%202012.pdf> and email it to education.registration@genesisars.org <mailto:education.registration@genesisars.org>

TECH REGISTRATION FORM <http://genesisars.org/Forms/TECH%20CLASS%20FORM%20March%202012.pdf>

STUDY GUIDE MATERIAL <http://genesisars.org/education/handouts/Tech_Study_Guide_2010.pdf>

(if you know of a good place to post this, get the owners permission first. Thanks)


Joe Reynolds
KA1GDQ
PO BOX 10
BUZZARDS BAY, MA 02532
ka1gdq@gmail.com
http://ka1gdq.us/

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Framingham ARA Demos Ham Radio to Local Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts at W1FY shack, Oct. 2011Members of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association were on hand last week at the club station to demonstrate Amateur Radio to a local cub scout troop.

According to Jeff Piazza, Cub Master of the Wellesley Cub Scout Troop, the evening was a great success for all the participants.

“Thank you for a great evening for the boys. As you can appreciate, keeping a group of boys this age engaged and not bouncing off the walls can be a significant challenge, but this was not an issue with last night’s event. Clearly you were doing something right!”

“I want to thank Ed, W1NXC, Mary, KA1HGL, Sumner, W1VIV, and especially Jim, W1EQW who operated from his QTH on the FARA repeater for over an hour to give the scouts the thrill of talking with someone on the air,” added Framingham ARA President Gordy Bello, K1GB.

Additional photos from the cub scout event at W1FY are available for viewing.


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K1USN RC Featured in Braintree On-line Publication

K1RV operating K1USN RCMembers of the K1USN Radio Club were featured in an article in the on-line newspaper Braintree Patch.

Entitled Braintree Radio Group Offers Window on World, club member Harold “Pi” Pugh, K1RV and others are quoted describing the Amateur Radio hobby and the K1USN Radio Club. Pi is shown operating the club station, situated at the Watson Library and Research Center.

The article also describes the club’s past participation in the International Museum Ships Radio Weekend.

 

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Pilgrim ARC Receives 35-Year ARRL Affiliation Award

PARC 35th anniversary of ARRL Affiliation plaque award

The Pilgrim Amateur Radio Club received a special plaque commemorating 35 years of ARRL affiliation at the club’s July 12 meeting in Provincetown.

On hand to present the award was ARRL Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI. Temples thanked the membership for their years of dedication to the League. Almost 100 percent of members present indicated they belonged to the League.

Shown here (l-r): President Bob Angelelli, KC2BDB; Founding President Dana Henrique, WA1KYU; Phil Temples, K9HI.

 

 

 

 

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Volunteer Exams At Cape Ann ARA Field Day

ARRL Field Day 2011 logoDean Burgess, KB1PGH writes on CAARAmail list:

The Caara VE team will hold an FCC Amateur Radio license exam session at this year’s field day event site at the Fuller School in Gloucester. The VE session will be on Sunday June 26th, from 10 AM until noon.

If you are planning to take a test please bring two forms of ID. One must be a picture ID and the other your Social Secuity number. Please bring $15.00 as well for the FCC testing fee. You may reserve a spot by e-mailing CAARA VE team leader Bob Quinn, WV1A at bquinn32 at comcast dot net.

We will also welcome walk-ins as well if you want to become a ham or upgrade your license at the last minute.

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EMA ARRL Speakers List Update

EMA ARRL logoThe Eastern MA ARRL Speakers List, Revision 20110310 has been posted. Compiled by Affiliated Club Coordinator Bo Budinger, WA1QYM, the list is a resource aid for ARRL affiliated clubs in finding topical speakers and presentations.

A permanent link to the list can be found in the main menu under “EMA Club Speakers List”. Corrections or new entries are welcomed and may be sent to Bo at his arrl.net address.

 

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EMA ARRL Speakers List Redebut

EMA ARRL logoThe Eastern MA ARRL Speakers List redebutes today after a long absence. Compiled by Affiliated Club Coordinator Bo Budinger, WA1QYM, the list is a resource aid for ARRL affiliated clubs in finding topical speakers and presentations.

The list can be found in the main menu under “EMA Club Speakers List”. It is in PDF format. Corrections or new entries can be sent to Bo at his arrl.net address.

 

 

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Halloween and PART Pumpkin Patrol, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

PART of Westford logoTerry Stader, KA8SCP writes on PART-L:

As we have done for many years, [the Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford] will once again be providing the Pumpkin Patrol service to the Town of Westford. Many of you are veterans and others may be volunteering for the first time… which ever you are… thank you in advance for your help!

Pumpkin Patrol involves the use of Amateur Radio volunteers providing additional eyes and ears to the Town of Westford during the annual Trick or Treat event. Our purpose is to observe and report any potential safety concerns back to the PART Pumpkin Patrol Net Control Station which will be located at the Westford Police station. A report from one of our patrols will get handed off to the Westford PD dispatcher and addressed by the Town’s public safety services. Our role is ONLY to report what we see and provide input to our Town’s public safety departments.

We normally require 5 – 8 radio operators per “shift” that will patrol various geographical sections of town. Maps and a checklist of locations to watch will be provided when you check-in for your assignment. Check-in occurs at the Westford Police station where we record your call sign and your vehicle information. You do NOT need to be a resident of the Town of Westford to volunteer, but a basic familiarity to the town’s geography is a plus!

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Nashoba Valley ARC’s “Lantern Battery Challenge” Begins in October

W1XP lantern battery setupThe Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club is continuing a neat tradition that encourages on-air activity by its members: the second annual NVARC Lantern Battery Challenge. This operating event begins at the end of the October meeting and runs until March 1, 2011. The goal is to contact as many stations as possible using a pack of lantern batteries as the sole power source. An entry fee is charged to cover the cost of the batteries. Complete rules and an entry blank will be available at the September NVARC meeting.

According to NVARC’s Bob Reif, W1XP, the Lantern Battery Challenge “is primarily a QRP event but the actual power is not specified.” There are several classes of entry, including: CW, SSB, digital, and mixed modes. Additionally, participants are restricted to using wire antennas or verticals no more than 50 feet in height. But, says Reif, “there is an unlimited category that you can compete in with your big antenna farm if you desire. The main purpose of this event is to have fun. And everyone that entered last year said they did.”

Participants operate for the event duration from October to March, or until his or her lantern battery is exhausted. They can run as much or little power as they wish, but all sending and receiving must be powered by the battery, comprised of ten lantern battery cells.

Logs will be due at the March meeting. Awards will be given out at the April NVARC meeting. Spreadsheets, computer logs or even paper logs on ARRL log book format are acceptable. A summery sheet is required and the exact form will be provided. QSLs are not required but verification by the judging committee is possible.

The idea is to have the period of operation cover the usually good HF conditions of fall and winter. All contacts must be made on the normal “contest” bands of 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Work any station only once per band, per mode.

Good luck in the “contest!”

Thanks, Nashoba Valley ARC Signal, August 2010, Volume 19, Number 8

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MMRA, QRA To Host Joint Fox Hunt, July 18, 2009

Minuteman RA logoQRAKevin Paetzold, K1KWP writes:

The Minuteman Repeater Association and the Quannapowitt Radio Association have scheduled a joint hidden transmitter fox hunt on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

– The fox will be a stationary ham radio operator in a  vehicle transmitting on 146.19 MHz PL 146.2.  This is the input frequency of the MMRA Weston repeater (146.79 PL  146.2).

– The fox will be located within 10 miles of the Weston  repeater which is at North 42deg 22.8′ West 071deg 19.2.

– The signal from the fox must be strong enough so the fox  can be understood on the repeater output.

– The fox will transmit for at least 30 seconds of every  five minutes during the fox hunt.  The fox hunt begins at
10:00AM and ends when either there are no more hunters who  have not found the fox or noon.

– The fox must continue to transmit on the hunt frequency  throughout the hunt.  However, hunters are prohibited from
transmitting once they have located the fox.

– The fox must not be on private property.  In order to be  found the fox must not require driving on private roads.

– Cooperation among the hunters is encouraged.  Sharing  initial direction bearings and signal strength
observations is necessary to allow some localization (for  example the town where the fox in located) so that finding
the fox within the time limits is more likely.

– Home stations are also encouraged to participate and share  their readings.  As the hunt progresses, information
sharing is less valuable.

– Information is generally shared via the 2M repeater used  for the hunt (in this case 146.79 MHz PL 146.2).  Many
hunters use 70-cm to talk and to hear what others are  saying as their 2-Meter radio may be dedicated to RDF on
the repeater input frequency.

The MMRA 70cm HUB1 repeater in Marlboro will be linked to  during the hunt.  Hunters therefore may transmit on either
2-meters or on 70-cm to join in the conversation.  HUB1  repeater output is 449.925 PL 88.5 and the input is
444.925 PL 88.5.

As the hunters approach the fox conversations often shifts  to 446.0 MHz FM simplex.

– We plan to have lunch at a restaurant near the fox  location after the hunt.  Lunch location will be a
consensus decision of those hunters who have found the  fox.

– Ham radio operators who do not have equipment or who would  like to gain experience from riding with an experienced
fox hunter are invited to ride along.

It is expected that each hunter will start from separate  locations (as determined by the hunter).

Contact k1kwp@mmra.org (Kevin) and n1be@mmra.org (Bob) to  coordinate ride alongs if needed.  Those hunters who have  room and are willing to accommodate riders are also asked  contact K1KWP and N1BE.

This information is also posted at: http://www.mmra.org/foxhunts.

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Genesis Scores Big With Field Day PR!

The Genesis Amateur Radio Society made some impressive inroads in the publicity department from last weekend’s annual Field Day exercise. The club operated from their usual location at the Plymouth Airport in the 3A category. In addition, they operated a GOTA (“Get On The Air”) station for beginners.

“We had media publicity before and during [Field Day] and we are waiting for [one more] after the event,” reports GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY.

“A couple of weeks before Field Day, we were invited to meet with a reporter from the Plymouth Colonial. The story was published in print and also on their web site.”

Williams reports that radio station WATD (95.9 FM, Marshfield, MA) ran numerous promotional spots during the week of Field Day. Ten of those spots alone were aired on Friday. WATD also conducted a live interview with Williams on Saturday!

Shown, below: WATD’s Sam Kooper interviewing GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY at Field Day; Genesis ARS Field Day group photo

WATD's Sam Kooper interviewing GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY at Field DayGenesis ARS Field Day 2008 group photo

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QRA Fox Hunt 3/27/08

fox photoTom Charbonneau, NZ1X writes on the QRA mailing list:

The next [Quannapowitt Radio Assocation] fox hunt will be held Thursday night, March 27, starting at 7:00 PM from the Senior Center in Reading. Alex Svirsky, N1PRW, will be in place as the fox at that time using his new foxbox transmitting on 146.565 MHz. We will talk with the fox as necessary on the 145.290 repeater in North Andover. This should be more enjoyable than previous hunts because the foxbox will automatically transmit periodically (and fairly frequently), and we won’t have to keep making requests for the fox to start yapping so we can get a fix on him.

Hope to see you there,
Tom, NZ1X

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Cape Ann ARA To Hold Winter Field Day Exercise

Cape Ann ARA logoThe Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association will hold a 24-hour “winter” Field Day exercise beginning at noon, January 26, 2008, according to CAARA’s Briggs Longbothum, AB2NJ.

“CAARA will exercise and demonstrate our capability to deploy and communicate under emergency conditions using portable/battery power. This event is similar to the ARRL’s well-known Field Day event held every June but will be conducted in January inside our club house but using non-permanent equipment and off-grid power,” says Briggs. “All are invited and welcomed to stop by and visit, operate, or enjoy a snack and some camaraderie at the clubhouse.”

AB2NJ says that this is the second annual winter Field Day, and the first time they’ve operated it in conjunction with the Society for the Preservation of Amateur Radio‘s Winter Field Day.

CAARA News, January 2008

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Clay Center Weather Festival 10/27/07

Clay Center ARC logoThe Clay Center in Brookline will hold weather festival events in collaboration with the Blue Hill Weather Observatory and the National Weather Service on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Many activities have been planned for families and children. Admission is free, although some activities require purchase of tickets or kits.

Activities planned include: demonstrations, planetarium shows, lightning shows, kite-building, rocket launches, hands-on educational activities, educational displays and handouts for all ages. Ride a Segway! Make Instant Snow! Talk on Amateur Radio!

For additional information, see Weather Festival Public Event.

[See also: Southern New England Weather Conference]

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QRA Fox Hunt, Oct. 10, 2007

fox photoTom Charbonneau, NZ1X writes on the QRA mailing list:

[The Quannapowitt Radio Assocation] will have a 2 meter fox hunt on next Wednesday, October 10, starting from the Senior Center in Reading at 7:00 PM. It usually takes about 15 minutes to line people up in cars, so that we should get rolling by 7:15. That means that if you arrive later than that time the parking lot may be empty, so please try to get there by 7:00.

(If you don’t have a radio and/or directional antenna, you’ll want to go in a car with someone who does.)

We will use the frequency of 146.500 as usual (simplex of course). A compass and a map of the area will help. My cell phone number is 781-258-0625 if you need to call me. Also, I’ll be monitoring the 145.290 repeater prior to the fox hunt.

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PART To Conduct Annual “Pumpkin Patrol”

The Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford will conduct its annual “Pumpkin Patrol” on Wednesday, October 31, 2007. Participants will patrol various neighborhoods of Westford during and after “treat or treat” time, and radio any unusual activity to the police. PART conducts this activity with the cooperation of the Westford Police Department.

“This is an activity that PART has been doing since its inception back in the late 1970’s,” writes PART President Art “Bo” Budinger, WA1QYM.

“It is mainly a mobile operation but indeed we can use people with handi-talkies and people to help out at the police station,” Bo adds. “We don’t have a coordinator for this event yet, but when we do I will let you all know and you can volunteer directly to that person.”

–Thanks, PART Particles, Vol. 12 Number 7

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