[dropcap]F[/dropcap]irst of all, a huge welcome to our new Webmaster and Social Media Officer J.D. Toony (K5HH). Thanks to him you are reading this new post on our (finally) updated webpage. We can’t thank J.D. enough for jumping in to take over this very important position in the Association.
The meeting was called to order and began as usual with the Pledge of Allegiance, but on this 9/11 anniversary of the terrorist attack on our Country, the Pledge had even more meaning to me than normal. I’m sure every one of us can remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was in law school and we were waiting for the first class of the morning to begin when one of my fellow students came in and said a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. He didn’t have any details and I remember thinking that it must have been a small plane like had happened before to the Empire State Building, I think more than once. Class was about to begin so we didn’t have time to go find out what was being reported on TV, and cell phones in those days would only do phone calls and texts, so we didn’t get any more news until an 1 ½ hour later when class was dismissed. As soon as we walked out of classroom we ran into other students in the hallway who let us know how serious it was. We all rushed to the student lounge downstairs to the only available TV in the building. We, like all Americans, were shocked. Having spent over 25 years in fire, EMS and law enforcement at the time, and with a friend on the New York Fire Department (HazMat 1) as well as another on the New York Police Department (Special Response Team), I couldn’t concentrate in class the rest of the day. I’m sure all of you have similar stories of that day. Anyway, saying the Pledge of Allegiance last Tuesday evening was one of the few times in my life that I actually got chocked up while saying it.
Ok, on to the meeting . . . . Mike McKay (K5DU) presented an excellent power point class on Strategic Planning which included a brief history of CMSARA. He also talked about EMCOMM or emergency communications, especially ARES and RACES. Of concern both locally and even nationally is that there seems to be less and less interest in emergency communications with ham radio. Discussed was the need to continue to be able to provide this valuable service as the more our modern communication system relies on higher technology, it is feared that the more venerable it can become. This was emphasized in this state and even in the metro area during Hurricane Katrina. Mike also talked about the MEMA team that mans the 2m/70 cm as well as the HF radios in the State’s Emergency Operations Center in Pearl.
One emphasis Mike made during his presentation was the need for members to step up into leadership positions within the organization. Nominations opened up this meeting for various leadership positions and will remain open until elections are held during our October meeting. Positions that will be open and need filled next month are: President, Vice-President for Programs, Vice-President for Special Events, Secretary, Treasurer, and two “non-officer” members on the Board of Directors (all officers are on the Board of Directors).
Eugene Wallace (N5CMA) announced that he has more 12 volt batteries for go-kits if anyone needs any, and at the low, low price of $FREE. Eugene has already provided several of us with some of these re-purposed batteries and I have been extremely pleased with the one’s I have. In addition to Eugene, we need to thank one of our newer members, Clinton Frazier (KW5TON), for getting these for us. They are used but, again, the one’s I’ve have had for several months now have worked great in my kit.
One other item that will be presented to the Association next month is a proposed amendment to our by-laws. Presently, Article VII – Section D states that the Board of Directors shall meet monthly on the last Tuesday of each month. Several members have suggested that having the Board meet 30-45 minutes before the Association meetings would be more convenient and eliminate having to meet twice each month. I tend to agree, as have several current Board members that talked to me about this. Should the Association wish to change this it would simply require that the proposal be submitted in writing (done), discussed at a regular monthly meeting of the Association, posted on this website and/or Yahoo group, and then voted on at the next monthly Association meeting. It would require a two-thirds vote to pass. Be thinking about this and we can discuss it at the October meeting.
VE testing was conducted (as usual) and I believe all that tested passed. Thanks again to Brian and the VE Team!
I hope everyone has a great month and I’ll see y’all next month on the second Tuesday!