This is an outcry to the amateur radio community, even to those not in this area and even other parts of the world.
The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society needs your assistance.
They have been asked to remove the multiple repeaters (53.63, 145.190, 224.54, 442.225, 443.600) from the Mt. Mitchell location by July 31, 2009. The reason for this is quite stunning.
I quote... from the letter I received:
"The only explanation given was that Amateur Radio was outdated technology and it no longer fit with the direction the station was going and that the only equipment that will be permitted would be FBI, CIA or Homeland Security UNLESS, they wanted to pay $1,000 per month per antenna at the site."
**Could someone please explain how radio waves are old technology?!?**
I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here, so you can read about this on this forum:
And I'll add part of the letter I received at the end of this post. It's too large to add it all really. I'll post the important parts.
These repeaters have been in operation since 1982. They have an AMAZING coverage, with the 2 meter repeater being the highest repeater in Eastern America, and located specifically on Clingman's Peak. I don't think I've ever tuned into the 2 meter repeater and not heard someone.
I just wanted to pass it along. You can help, possibly, by public outcry. Be courteous, and email Mr. Franklin Graham by his secretary, here: firstname.lastname@example.org
He's not the cause of this, so don't be rude. He's quite possibly the only person with any pull on the subject.
Thank you, all of you, for assisting.
Here's the letter I received:
Ladies & Gentleman,
There have been a lot of phone calls and emails today regarding the pending demise of the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.
Some of you may be hearing this for the 1st time.
Let me summarize the facts and then suggest some action items for everyone.
1. To recap, regarding the amateur radio repeaters on Clingman's Peak (Mt Mitchell), WMIT General Manager, Alice Knighten has informed Ken Woodard, WA4BVW to..."Please plan to remove all of your equipment from the site and return the access keys to our office by July 31, 2009."
2. Randy Johnston, KE4RQL who maintains the 3 WA4BVW repeaters and Jimmy Johnson, K4YR owner of 2 other repeaters located there have attempted to discuss the matter with Ms. Knighten. Her decision seems irreversible and there is nothing to discuss about the issue except to remove the repeaters.
3. I have spoken with Randy and Jimmy and they are appreciative of any assistance the amateur community can bring to bear to reverse this decision and have requested WCARS take a lead in coordinating assistance. We have the support of NWS, SKYWARN, ARRL and WCARS and I believe EOC managers.
From my conversations today, the consensus seems to be:
1. Find an alternative site with the Forest Service on Clingman's Peak. No guarantees this is possible and would be Plan B.
2. Generate enough attention to this issue with the people who may be able to appreciate the value of amateur radio on Mt. Mitchell and reverse this decision.
We think Franklin Graham is the person who can resolve this issue.
Jennifer Mauney, KC4LWX has obtained the contact information for Franklin Graham's executive secretary who screens his email. She spoke with her today about this issue and believes that he is not aware of this decision, and that we should contact him.
We need County EOC directors, ARRL representatives, SKYWARN representatives, NWS representatives and Amateur Radio Affiliated Club Officers to respond. Anyone with or without adjectives after their name needs to contact Franklin Graham.
I have attached a letter that you might consider using as a template to send. However, nothing will substitute for your own words.
Please keep your communication professional and to the point. There are no personalities in this issue. Simply a great deal of lost value to the amateur community if these repeaters go away. Lets keep that our message.
Time is of the utmost importance.
Dean Blair ~ K2JB