Despite the travel problems presented by washed out roads and bridges, 13 people managed to make their way to the La Plata Train Station Museum for the September 2011 meeting of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club.
KB3KOW Boy Scout Bob
KB3OSF Tim (Accompanied by Melissa)
N3SLK Steven (Accompanied by Debbie)
W1BJC Bridge Bob
The meeting came to some semblance of order @ 7:36PM
With no presentation slated for this month we immediately started with the business meeting.
President: First, let let me offer a big “THANK YOU” and a tip of the CCARC cap to all of those members who participated in radio support during Hurricane Irene. I was out of town, and without Internet access during this time period, but I read all of the emails and appreciate everyone’s efforts during this event. Thanks for helping the CCARC put on another good showing of community support.
I received a telephone call from Mike (KA3GRW) just prior to the start of the meeting. Mike informed me that there was no shelter activity in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee and that it was highly unlikely that CCARC would be needed so that there was no reason not to have the meeting.
A second big thanks to KA3GRW and especially KB3KOW who kept us up to date on road closures and flooding reports relating to Tropical Storm Lee.
I mentioned this last meeting but thought I would bring it up again-the August/September 2011 issue of the La Plata “Town Notes” contains an article soliciting inputs from residents for the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the La Plata Tornado which struck on April 28th, 2001. I’ve long thought that the efforts of the CCARC were overlooked, particularly as they applied to the immediate response after the tornado devastated downtown La Plata. KA3GRW (Mike), KB3HNP (Joe), N3YRZ (Michelle), N3YWZ (Lee), W3TOM (Tom) and yours truly (Anyone else I’ve forgotten in the ensuing 9 and a half years?) all provided played a big part in the rescue and recovery efforts as cell phone towers were damaged and those that remained were immediately overloaded.
Here’s a link to the La Plata “Town Notes” for August/September. The solicitation for inputs can be found on page #10:
I’d like to get everyone’s inputs and submit them to the town as a “group package” from the CCARC. Thoughts?
Vice President: Absent (Still on travel)
Treasurer: There were no expenditures for the month of August. We received one late dues payment so we have $24.00 more in the treasury than we did last month. (Fine job Andrew!)
Activities/Membership: With the rescheduling of the Indian Head Century bike ride due to flooded and damaged roads from Tropical Storm Lee, September appears to be a fairly quiet month, however October promises to be quite busy.
Sunday, Oct. 2nd: Indian Head Century 100 bicycle ride (Rescheduled from Sep. 11th) Setup @ 6:30AM, ride starts at 7AM.
Tuesday, Oct. 4th: Quarterly drill at the Civista Hospital
Saturday, Oct. 15th: Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) combined with Parks On The Air (POTA) at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site on Rose Hill Road. All day event. Bob notes that there are plenty of trees available for stringing antennas. Your assistance in this event would be appreciated.
Wednesday, Oct. 19th: Exercise “Capital Shield” at Civista Hospital.
Sunday, Oct. 30th: Potomac Heritage 100 (Formerly Civista 100) bicycle ride. KB3KOW will be obtaining a listing of the proposed rest stops and start coordinating with members to man the sites.
Flyboy Bob (KE3GG) has contacted the Charles County Board Of Education (CCBOE) about the possibility of using a room in one of the local schools for a monthly “Kit Building Night”. Nothing heard from the CCBOE to date-more to come.
Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) discussed CCARC’s participation with comms support at shelters during Hurricane Irene. There were some “lessons learned” and room for improvement.
Bob also mentions a new effort by the Boy Scouts-a STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics and Math) program and possible tie-ins to amateur radio as part of the radio merit badge.
From the members:
N3SLK-Steven notes that they were without power for over 2 days and discussed the travel difficulties in lower Prince George’s County in the wake of TS Lee.
David Tenhoff-David stated the he’s been studying and is heading to Davidsonville on Saturday (Sep. 10th) morning to take his Technician Class exam. Good luck David!
KB3HNP-Joe discussed his part in manning the shelter during Hurricane Irene and mentioned further “lessons learned” and how CCARC’s support could be improved during future events.
W1BJC-Bob continued the discussion of Hurricane Irene and activities at the Charles County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Melissa M.-I asked Melissa if Tim had “twisted her arm” and tried to encourage her to obtained her amateur radio license. When she replied “Not yet” KB3KOW graciously passed on a copy of the most recent ARRL Technician Class study guide to her.
KB3OSF-Tim mentioned the water problems at his new residence at Cliffton on the Potomac-not enough water from the public water supply for drinking or bathing but too much on the roads hindering access to his home. He also detailed his and Melissa’s misadventures while in search of a shower and a place to sleep during TS Lee. Tim and Melissa don’t give high marks to one of La Plata’s hotels.
Tim also mentions problems with Southern Maryland’s now pretty much dormant Linked Repeater system. There are both technical and personal issues that may see a couple of repeaters looking for new “homes” in the near future.
N2OMC-Discussed his exploits during Hurricane Irene. Rob stated that the Baltimore area, where he was during the hurricane, was pretty much unscathed. However, when he returned to St. Mary’s County the after-effects of the storm were most noticeable.
KB3UYZ-Pat mentioned his experience during the recent earthquake. He also said he’s about ready to start stringing an HF antenna. We told Pat to pick a date, send out an email to the group and put on a pot of coffee (And maybe some chili if the weather’s cool.) and he shouldn’t have any problems attracting a few willing volunteers.
Reminders: If you have a new project or radio or communications acquisition that you’d like to show off you’re welcome to do so at any of our meetings. I’m hoping to have someone from the Coast Guard Auxiliary who stands radio watch at the Cove Point lighthouse come to a future meeting to discuss their duties and areas of responsibility. However, boating season is still active on the Chesapeake Bay and this most likely won’t happen until things slow down. In the interim, if you have an idea for a program/presentation or have a presentation you’d like to put on, please contact KB3KOW at email@example.com
Hard to believe, but our annual Christmas dinner is just 3 months away. The October meeting will be held Friday, Oct. 7th with November’s scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4th. If you have a suggestion as to where to hold this year’s dinner please contact Bob at the email address listed above.
My thanks to KB3KOW for typing up notes for me to base this month’s follow up report on. (Obviously Bob has seen first-hand my poor note taking skills during the course of our meetings.) If anything was left out or overlooked the fault is mine.
The meeting adjourned at 8:57PM.
Next meeting: Friday, Oct. 7th at 7:30PM-I hope that many of you will be able to attend. 73, de AA3RT