Colorado, California and Oregon have been experiencing major forest fires for the past couple of months. There was heavy smoke in the Front Range city of Boulder on occasions when the wind was right. Fire hit Boulder County on October 17 at mid-day. The Cal-Wood Fire broke out in the mountains north-west of the City of Boulder, near the town of Jamestown. The fire moved rapidly during Saturday afternoon. As of Sunday morning, October 18, 8 AM, the fire had already consumed over 7,000 acres of forest, along with an outbreak on the prairie at US-36.
The Boulder ATV repeater, W0BTV, has been transmitting views of the forest fire. The camera is located at the home of KH6HTV, south-east of the city of Boulder, and 13-15 miles from the fire. Using a long telephoto lens, the KH6HTV TV camera has been able to view the fire along the Front Range as it approached the first ridge of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The TV images are being received at the Boulder County ARES (BCARES) command post in the Boulder County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). There they are then being displayed on a large-screen video monitor for the EOC staff.
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, urged member-societies attending the virtual Region 1 General Conference on October 16 to keep an eye on future issues affecting amateur radio and IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, and the Mideast). In closing the 6-day meeting, Beattie said he looked forward to the planned in-person workshop on the future of amateur radio, set for next year, and expressed the hope that the COVID-19 situation would allow the event to go forward as early as possible.
Beattie also challenged member-societies to increase their focus on "'tomorrow' issues -- tomorrow's people, tomorrow's technologies, tomorrow's activities, and tomorrow's ways of communicating with those we represent." He also asked member-societies to communicate with their younger members and "take account of their views to help reshape their societies for the future."
The week-long virtual assembly included discussion of papers submitted by member-societies, the Executive Committee, and other IARU components. This resulted in some 50 recommendations to the Final Plenary Meeting in areas of finance, HF, VHF, EMC, youth, and IARU Region 1 governance. Some 120 delegates were present for the Plenary, and heads of national delegations considered and voted on these recommendations, which will result in actions and policy changes in IARU Region 1.
FCC Headquarters has moved. The new address is 45 L St. NE, Washington, DC 20554. The change is effective immediately. The FCC announced plans to move last spring, but the transition was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FCC, like many federal agencies, has its own ZIP code, so there will be no disruption in mail delivery sent by USPS to the former address. The FCC still prohibits the delivery of hand-carried documents, and all COVID-19 restrictions or instructions regarding access to FCC facilities remain in place at the new location.
"The FCC continues to balance its efforts to be accessible to the public with the need for heightened security and health and safety measures and encourages the use of the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to facilitate the filing of applications and other documents when possible," the FCC said in an October 15 Public Notice.
Due to the pandemic, the move was accomplished by professional movers without the presence of any employees, all of whom had been working from home. An attempt was made during the summer to let employees back into headquarters for a day to pack up their offices and remove personal belongings, but that plan had to be scrapped after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.
Most FCC staff continue to work from home and are not expected to be physically present in their new offices before next June.
In anticipation of the planned move, the FCC last spring also announced the adoption of a new FCC seal. The redesign is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from employees and contractors.
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by W5AJ, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.
TUNISIA, 3V. Ash, KF5EYY will be QRV as 3V8SS from Sousse in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry. QSL via LX1NO.
GEORGIA, 4L. Vaho, 4L8A will be QRV from Tbilisi in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY contest as a Single Op/Single Band entry. QSL via M0OXO.
BARBADOS, 8P. Dean, 8P6SH plans to be QRV as 8P2K in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY contest. QSL via LoTW.
CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Station EA8AQV will be QRV in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry. QSL to home call.
ETHIOPIA, ET. Members of the ET3AA club plan to be QRV in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY contest. QSL direct.
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations — individually or working together — to host an amateur radio contact with a member of the International Space Station crew. The deadline to submit proposals is November 24. Proposal information and documents are on the ARISS website. An ARISS introductory webinar is set for October 8, 2020, at 8 PM EDT (0000 UTC on October 9 in North American time zones). Registration for the webinar is required. ARISS anticipates that contacts would take place between July 1 and December 31, 2021. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine specific contact dates. To make the most of these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.
ARRL met via telephone with FCC staff members this week to emphasize its opposition to the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Docket 19-348 to delete amateur radio from the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz band. The FCC will take final action in the proceeding when it meets on September 30.
In comments filed earlier this year, ARRL urged that the secondary status for amateur radio in the band be continued. In a series of meetings with Commissioner legal advisors and staff members, ARRL explained how continued secondary use by radio amateurs will not impair or devalue use of this spectrum by future primary licensees, including those intending to provide 5G or other services. ARRL also stressed the various public-benefit uses of the spectrum by amateurs, including ongoing use of television and mesh networks on the west coast of the US as part of efforts to contain wildfires.