delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 5
Ham Radio News
...because we don’t live in a vacuum.
ARRL Counting Down to Hamvention® 2018Hamvention® 2018, May 18-20 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio, is largest annual Amateur Radio gathering in the US, and sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. ARRL EXPO -- a large exhibit area in Building 2 ("Tesla" Building) -- will serve as the hub for ARRL activities, booths, and program representatives. More than 90 team members will support ARRL EXPO, including 18 ARRL Headquarters staffers. Recent additions to the ARRL EXPO guide include schedules for the ARRL Stage and "Meet the Authors" table.Hamvention's theme this year is "Amateur Radio...Serving the Community." ARRL will reflect that spirit by sponsoring four forums on Friday and Saturday that will comprise a Public Service Communications track. Convention goers attending three or more ARRL-sponsored Public Service Communications forums will earn an ARRL certificate in recognition of their commitment to ham radio public service training and development.At the always-popular ARRL Membership Forum at noon on Saturday in Room 3, Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, will share an update on proposed new guidelines for Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers. He'll also discuss plans for a new volunteer management software system, ARES Connect. Willams is leading a team that is seeking to upgrade ARES training and ensure the service continues to be a valuable partner for its served agencies into the future.Amateur Radio Case Attracts Attention of FCC CommissionerFCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly has used the latest chapter of an Amateur Radio proceeding to reiterate his call that the Commission abolish its Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) system. The long-standing case involves efforts by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Spring, California, to renew his license. Late last week, the FCC denied reconsideration of Crowell's petition to have the Commission assign a new ALJ to his case, arguing that the current ALJ, Richard L. Sippel, is biased against him. Attaching his own comments to a Memorandum and Opinion Order (MO&O) released on April 26, O'Rielly said he approved the Commission's opinion that Crowell's appeal was justifiably denied, but he expressed concern that the ALJ "took unnecessary actions" in Crowell's case and in another unrelated proceeding."On a larger scale, complaints about the ALJ process are not isolated incidents, but paint a picture of questionable decisions coupled with an elevated level of inefficiency," O'Rielly said in comments attached to the MO&O. "It seems to me that, too often, the Commission has had to reverse the decisions of the ALJ or address one ALJ decision or another. This reality only reaffirms my call to consider eliminating the ALJ process altogether."-ARRL Letter
Report: Former Hamvention® Home Hara Arena
Getting a New Owner
The Dayton Daily News reported this week that a Louisville, Kentucky-based developer, Michael Heitz, of Garrett-Day LLC Properties, is in the process of buying Hara Arena, which served as home to Dayton Hamvention® from 1964 until 2016.Heitz told the Dayton Daily News that he bought out income tax liens on the property from Montgomery County and is hoping to close on some bank liens later this week. It's not known how much Heitz has invested in the property so far. The purchase includes the six-building Hara Arena complex and some 120 acres of real estate, 25 of them devoted to parking. Heitz said his priority is to "clean it up and secure the property." Since its closing in 2016, Hara Arena has been visited by camera-carrying urban explorers as well as by vandals who have trashed the building and its contents.The IRS put the Hara Arena complex on the auction block last August to satisfy a federal tax lien, but no successful bidder came forward. An IRS staff member involved in the 2017 auction told ARRL early this year that the agency would not try again to auction the parcel, but suggested that other lien holders, including a mortgage lender and the Town of Trotwood, might go that route. At one point, the asking price for Hara Arena was $775,000.The Dayton Daily News reported in March that Hara property owner-trustees owed back taxes plus around $350,000 to banks. Heitz is known for buying distressed properties and getting them "shovel ready." He plans a Monday news conference to discuss the purchase and his plans.According to the Dayton Daily News, Heitz has purchased other properties in the area by buying up tax and property liens, and his reputation for acquiring derelict properties and turning them around goes back several years. A former West Virginia University basketball player and distance cyclist, the 7-foot-tall Heitz is said to be a fearless investor.The Wampler family had owned and operated Hara Arena since its humble origins in the 1950s, when Wampler Ballarena -- then a dance hall and now an exhibit hall familiar to Hamvention visitors -- was built in what had been a family-owned orchard. When Hara closed in August 2016, the economic hit to the Dayton area was estimated to be $36 million a year.-ARRL LetterARRL Online Training Source is Closed ARRL has been informed that the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), the provider of the online platform though which ARRL offers its EC-001 course, is being dissolved, effective July 1, 2018. That decision was announced today by Charter Oak State College, the parent organization of CTDLC. CTDLC officials cited the fiscal challenges faced by the Connecticut State College and University System and the State of Connecticut as a whole for the decision to close the CTDLC platform.ARRL is working on steps to address the dislocation that this decision will cause our members and others who planned to take this course. While we look at moving our course content to a new delivery mechanism, new registrations for EC-001 will be suspended effective immediately. Those who signed up for the EC-001 session starting on May 30 will receive a refund.ARRL had already been in the process of developing new content for the EC-001 course, and now we will intensify the process of selecting a new platform on which to post this material. More information on the new course content and new host site for the EC-001 course will be available in the near future as soon as a decision is made on an alternative delivery mechanism.-ARRL Staff Steve Ewald