WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #34

KJ4KSG IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2017 WHITE AWARD

The recipient of the 2017 White Award will be Lemuel “Woody” Furman KJ4KSG who resides east of Bradenton in Manatee County.  Woody will be presented with the 2017 White Award at the ARRL forum at the Tampa Bay Hamfest on Saturday afternoon.

Woody is the Assistant Net Manager of the Eagle Net, the NTS traffic net of the ARRL West Central Florida Section,, and an ARRL Technical Specialist.  Woody was nominated due to his tireless work in keeping substitute Net Control Stations lined up (often on short notice) for the Eagle Net, helps Dave Rockwell W4PXE the Net Manager with collecting net control reports, and does this work often with ongoing health problems and even in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in which he sustained damage to his home.  Woody also assisted Ed Skalecki NI4MX with Manatee County ARES during Hurricane Irma when Ed was suddenly hospitalized right before Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Florida Peninsula.  Woody is also active in the Manatee Amateur Radio Club and the Bradenton Amateur Radio Club.

Woody is originally from the outer banks of North Carolina and was professionally a plummer.  Woody is also an amateur musician.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #33

MIKE COREY KI1U TO BE THE ARRL HEADQUARTERS REPRESENTATIVE AT TAMPA BAY HAMFEST THIS WEEKEND.

The 42nd Annual Tampa Bay Hamfest and the 17th ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention will be conjointly held on Friday December 8th and Saturday December 9th at the Expo Center on the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City.  The guest from ARRL Headquarters for the Tampa Bay Hamfest and the ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention will be Mike Corey KI1U, the ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager.

Mike has been the ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager since April 2010.  Prior to joining the ARRL Headquarters staff, Mike worked in law enforcement in Indiana and Mississippi. Mike has also served as an emergency management volunteer, disaster response volunteer, reserve police officer, law enforcement academy and public safety instructor, and on emergency operations center staff. Mike, along with Vic Morris, AH6WX, is the author of the ARRL publication Storm Spotting and Amateur Radio.

Mike has been licensed since 1988 and holds an Amateur Extra class license, additionally he holds Canadian basic and advanced qualifications and is licensed as VE9IU. Besides ARES and SKYWARN Mike’s interests in Amateur Radio are diverse; DXing, contesting, CW, satellites, digital modes, and being on the business end of the pile up are a few of his favorite activities.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #32

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY THIS COMING WEEKEND

This coming weekend on Saturday December 2, 2017 will be Skywarn Recognition Day sponsored by the National Weather Service and the ARRL.  Many National Weather Service offices will be participating in this unique operating event.  The operation period is on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 0000 through 2400 UTC, which translates to Friday December 1, 2017 at 1900 EST until Saturday December 2, 2017 at 1900 EST.  For more details on the event nationwide please read the ARRL news release at http://www.arrl.org/news/skywarn-recognition-day-webinar-set-for-november-27.

The National Weather Service Office in Ruskin will be participating in this years Skywarn Recognition Day, running the callsign WX4TOR, as it has done since Skywarn Recognition Day was established in 1999.  The hours of operation for WX4TOR will be from Friday December 1, 2017 from 1900 until 2200 EDT and on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 0900 until 1700 EDT.  WX4TOR will be active on various HF bands and on the NI4CE Repeater System.  To download the PDF news release from the National Weather Service office in Ruskin go to http://www.arrlwcf.org/download/wcfevents/SRD_2017.pdf.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

 

 

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #31

SECTION NET CANCELLATIONS FOR THANKSGIVING, TAMPA BAY HAMFEST, CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS HOLIDAYS,

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday the following Section nets are canceled: (1) The West Central Florida Section (WCF) Technical Net for Thursday November 23, 2017; the net will resume normal operation on Thursday November 30, 2017. (2) The WCF Section ARES and Information Net, held on 3940 KHz., will be canceled on Saturday November 25, 2017; The net will resume operation on Saturday December 2, 2017.

Due to the concurrence of the Tampa Bay Hamfest and the West Central Florida Section Convention on Friday December 8, 2017 and Saturday December 9, 2017, the WCF Section ARES and Information Net, held on 3940 KHz., will be canceled on Saturday December 9, 2017. The net will resume operation on Saturday December 16, 2017.

In observance of the Christmas and New Years holidays the following Section nets are canceled: (1) The WCF Section ARES and Information Net on 3940 KHz., for Saturday December 23, 2017 and Saturday December 30, 2017; the net will resume normal operation on Saturday January 6, 2018; (2) The WCF Section ARES and Information Net on the NI4CE Repeater System for Monday December 18, December 25, 2017 and Monday January 1, 2018; the net will resume normal operation on Monday January 8, 2018.

The WCF Section Technical Net on the NI4CE Repeater System on Thursday evening will operate as scheduled in the month of December. The Eagle Net, the NTS traffic net for the WCF Section operates 365 days a year, on the NI4CE Repeater System, emergencies pending.

For a list of the Section Net schedule you may go to the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/home/wcf-section-nets/

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #30

NEIL LAURITSEN W4NHL IS A SILENT KEY

On Friday September 13, 2017, Neil Lauritsen W4NHL became a Silent Key.  Neil was previously the Section Emergency Coordinator for the ARRL West Central Florida Section from 2005-2014, and had served for a number of years as the Emergency Coordinator for Pinellas County ARES/ACS and a District Emergency Coordinator.  After retiring as Section Emergency Coordinator at the end of 2014, Neil continued to be involved in Pinellas County ARES/ACS, served as an Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator, and was active in NAVY Mars and SHARES.  Neil in his working career had been in Fire Rescue services in the state of Maryland.

There will be a memorial service for Neil on Monday October 30, 2017 at 1330 (1:30 P.M.) at Bay Pines National Cemetery at 10000 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg, FL 33708.  Please remember the family of Neil in your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #29

MIKE DOUGLAS W4MDD APPOINTED AS AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR

On Sunday October 1st, Darrell Davis KT4WX, Section Manager for the ARRL West Central Florida Section appointed Mike Douglas W4MDD as the Affiliated Club Coordinator for the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Douglas, originally from the Chicago area and first licensed as N9OEV,  is retired from a career in commercial bus driving and also had an extensive volunteer background in the elections system of Lake County, Illinois.  Douglas is currently involved with the Hardee County ARES program and recently became an Assistant Emergency Coordinator and an ARRL Official Emergency Station.

Rich Kennedy N4ESS, who has served as the ARRL West Central Florida Section Public Information Coordinator and the Affiliated Club Coordinator is continuing in his capacity as Public Information Coordinator.  Douglas is now traveling to various Section hamfests during the fall hamfest season and is planning on getting out to more local club meetings in the coming months.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section welcomes Mike Douglas W4MDD on board as the new Affiliated Club Coordinator.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #28

SECTION HF NET CANCELLATIONS FOR OCTOBER

The HF edition of the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES and Information Net has been cancelled for Saturday October 14 and Saturday October 21.  The cancellations are due to the ARRL forum and Florida Tri-Section ARES meeting being held in conjunction with the Melbourne Hamfest on Saturday October 14 and the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Luncheon and the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting being held on Saturday October 21.  The HF edition of the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES and Information will resume normal operation on Saturday October 28 at 0730 or immediately following the Florida Phone Traffic Net whichever is later, on 3940 KHz.  All other Section nets will continue to operate as scheduled.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #8 – 1100 EDT – 9/11/17

SITUATION:  As of 1100 EDT, Tropical Storm Irma was located about 65 miles east of Tallahassee.  Irma is now downgraded to a Tropical Storm. and is currently moving north-northwest at approximately 17 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH, a Category 3 hurricane.  The minimum central pressure is 28.80″.

The only watches or warnings that are still in effect is the Tropical Storm Warning for Pasco County and should be cancelled later today.  There are Flood Warnings for some area rivers in Hardee, Desoto, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.  Tropical Storm Irma is expected to continue on its current path into southern Georgia this afternoon and northern Alabama by tomorrow morning.

Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml

Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents

ACTIONS:  Many West Central Florida Section counties have shelters open at this time.  Some ARES groups have been given permission to stand down..  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are requested to continue to closely monitor the National Hurricane Center latest advisories on Tropical Storm Irma and also on the status of Hurricane Jose, whose path is not totally certain as of yet.  ARES Groups in several WCF Section counties have put in request into State of Florida Constellation system for mutual aid after the passage of Tropical Storm Irma.  Amateur Radio operators that are available and have stood down should be prepared to offer assistance, if requested to do so.  However, please do not self-activate as any mutual aid request must come through the State of Florida Constellation system from the local EOC that is requesting assistance for their ARES or ACS group.  Please stay in touch with your local ARES or ACS leadership in case your local ARES group is invited to provide mutual aid in another county.

The Regional SKYWARN Net that was being held on the NI4CE Repeater System closed at approximately 0200, once the severe weather threat have alleviated.  The State of Florida SARNet is currently available for coordination and to help communicate between the county EOC’s and the State EOC and to provide assistance to amateur radio operators in other ways, time permitting.  A conference call is scheduled this afternoon between the Section Emergency Coordinator and the ten ARES Emergency Coordinators.  There will also be a Section ARES Net in the normal time slot this evening at 1930, to assess status and any unmet needs.

Right now the priority is tactical shelter communications that are still open and any EOC Communications, as we are currently in post-storm phase of operations.  Any health and welfare inquiries should go through the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website.  The link to the ARRL Press Release on this is http://www.arrl.org/news/hurricane-irma-amateur-radio-emergency-and-priority-traffic-is-moving-health-welfare-traffic-queued.  Also the ARRL has release a press release concerning frequency usage during the Hurricane Irma response.  The link to that ARRL press release is http://www.arrl.org/news/operating-procedures-during-hurricane-irma.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Irma will be issued tomorrow at 1100 EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #7 – 1100 EDT – 9/10/17

SITUATION:  As of 1100 EDT, Hurricane Irma was located about 80 miles east south-southeast of Naples and 125 miles south-southeast of Fort Myers.   Irma weakened some late yesterday and reintensified slightly and is currently moving north at approximately 9 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH, a Category 3 hurricane.  The minimum central pressure is 27.55″.  Hurricane Irma finally made the northward turn late last night and early this morning and made its first landfall around 0900 in Cudjoe Key in the Florida Keys.

The forecast track is basically unchanged.  Irma is expected to continue its current track to the north as it is going around the western periphery of the mid-Atlantic ridge of high pressure.  Hurricane Irma is forecast to make its second landfall in the Fort Myers area in Lee County as a Category 3 or 4 Hurricane and move north along the west coast of the Florida peninsula and going inland for a final time in the big bend area between the Florida peninsula and the Florida peninsula tomorrow morning as a Category 1 Hurricane and moving into southwest Georgia by late afternoon as a Tropical Storm.  However, Tropical Storm force winds will impact almost all of the state of Florida.  Hurricane force winds will impact the western side of the Florida peninsula and the big bend area.

Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml

Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents

ACTIONS:  At this time, all West Central Florida Section counties have shelters open at this time.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are requested to continue to closely monitor the National Hurricane Center latest advisories on Hurricane Irma.  ARES Groups in several WCF Section counties have put in request into State of Florida Constellation system for mutual aid after the passage of Hurricane Irma.  Amateur Radio operators are continue to be in communications with their respective team leadership in case their assistance with communications support is needed following the passage of Hurricane Irma.  All amateur radio operators and their families should have already completed any preparedness actions and have gone to a shelter, either public if it is not safe to shelter in place.  Pay attention to the latest watches and or warnings as issued by the National Weather Service.

A Regional SKYWARN Net is being currently held on the NI4CE Repeater System to take reports of severe weather.  The State of Florida SARNet is currently running a coordination and assistance net to help communicate between the county EOC’s and the State EOC and to provide assistance to amateur radio operators in other ways, time permitting.

Right now the priority is tactical shelter communications, EOC Communications, and even SKYWARN Nets as Hurricane Irma approaches.  Any health and welfare inquiries should go through the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website.  The link to the ARRL Press Release on this is http://www.arrl.org/news/hurricane-irma-amateur-radio-emergency-and-priority-traffic-is-moving-health-welfare-traffic-queued.  Also the ARRL has release a press release concerning frequency usage during the Hurricane Irma response.  The link to that ARRL press release is http://www.arrl.org/news/operating-procedures-during-hurricane-irma.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Irma will be issued tomorrow at 1100 EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #6 – 1400 EDT – 9/09/17

SITUATION: As of 14:00 EDT, Hurricane Irma was located about 65 miles east of Varadero, Cuba or about 145 miles southeast of Key West.  Irma has weakened some and is currently moving west at approximately 9 miles per hour, has maximum sustained winds of 125 MPH, a Category 3 hurricane.  The minimum central pressure is 27.79″.  Hurricane Irma has recently weakened due to proximity and interaction of the storm with the mountains in Cuba.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for all the counties in the West Central Florida Section.  A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for all the coastal counties of the West Central Florida Section.

The forecast track is basically unchanged since yesterday. Irma is expected to continue its west-northwest track going around the southern periphery of the mid Atlantic ridge of high pressure. Once it reaches the southwestern side of the high, Irma is forecast to turn northwest, then north and toward Florida in response to a trough of low pressure coming out of the continental United States heading towards Florida, which will erode the mid Atlantic high pressure ridge slightly. The center of the track is forecast to now move over the eastern part of the coastal counties on the Florida west coast instead of moving up the middle of the state or up the east coast as previously forecast.  However, Tropical Storm force winds will impact all of the peninsula with the exception of the panhandle.  Gale force and hurricane force winds could still impact the west side of the state of Florida as Irma moves northward.

Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml

Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents

ACTIONS:  At this time, all West Central Florida Section have already opened shelters as of this time.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are requested to continue to closely monitor the National Hurricane Center latest advisories on Hurricane Irma and to be in communications with their respective leadership in case their assistance with communications support is needed.  All amateur radio operators should have already completed any preparedness actions at this time.  Remember you and your family safety is a primary concern.

A reminder to all ARES Emergency Coordinators:  The Section Manager and the Section Emergency Coordinator will conduct a conference call at 1700 this afternoon via GoToMeeting.  Invitations have been sent via email to your email address.  Please participate if at all possible so the Section ARES Staff can be informed of any unmet needs you have and your current status.  WCF Section ARES will hold another special session of the West Central Florida Section ARES Net tomorrow evening at 19:30 hours on the NI4CE Repeater System to assess any unmet needs of any ARES or ACS groups operating in our ten counties and collecting reports from these ten counties.  The State of Florida SARNet is currently running a coordination and assistance net to help communicate between the county EOC’s and the State EOC and to provide assistance to amateur radio operators in other ways, time permitting.

A reminder from ARRL HQ and your Section leadership is that right now the priority is tactical shelter communications, EOC Communications, and even SKYWARN Nets as Hurricane Irma approaches.  Any health and welfare inquiries should go through the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website.  The link to the ARRL Press Release on this is http://www.arrl.org/news/hurricane-irma-amateur-radio-emergency-and-priority-traffic-is-moving-health-welfare-traffic-queued.  Also the ARRL has release a press release concerning frequency usage during the Hurricane Irma response.  The link to that ARRL press release is http://www.arrl.org/news/operating-procedures-during-hurricane-irma.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Irma will be issued tomorrow at 1100 EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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