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Author Topic: ARRL Censures Dick Norton, N6AA  (Read 2893 times)
W6EM
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Posts: 1668




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« on: December 01, 2017, 09:03:09 AM »

After having read the Minutes of the special ARRL Director meeting, I was left with nothing more than who voted for and who voted against censure.

I would think that the membership, and the "censured" Director deserve a hearing of the details of what allegedly occurred. Especially with a less than unanimous decision as to his censure.

For all we know, he could have pointed out where, in his opinion, (and perhaps that of others, too) that the League had erred in its policies, activities or actions in a manner that harmed amateur radio.

Without "naming names," the complainant accusation(s) and those from members who supported the Director via submitted written statements should have been posted for members to better understand the circumstances and decide for themselves.   Members deserve to see the details, not just the vote.

At this point, for all we know, this could have been another Kangaroo Court of "Newington-Proportion," where the victim was truly a hero on behalf of amateur radio, yet was vilified in order to discourage anyone else similarly inclined from coming forward or speaking out.  Our former Southeastern Division Director had fought for change, and they bounced his candidacy for re-election.  He was a Director who represented his constituency and fought hard for issues important to his fellow amateurs.  Some of which were not popular with other Directors and officers.

Many times in the past I've seen the League sponsor changes in FCC regulations that don't benefit the majority of amateurs.  The latest being the proposed digital mode bandwidth expansion for digital protocols; so that the League's favorite sole-source hardware, manufactured by SCS-GMBH (alias the Pactor IV Modem) will be permissible for use on US HF bands.  Their recent request and grant of a temporary waiver of existing rules for its Puerto Rican deployment is but another example of getting their foot in the door.


 
73,

Lee

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K0UA
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 10:07:41 AM »

Well I don't know anything about this man or the issues around him. But I do know your blanket statement about the league proposed expansion of the digital segments of bands especially the 80 meter band is not beneficial to amateur radio is wrongheaded.  The taking of the lower portion of the phone segment for digital is sorely needed and should never have been allocated for phone in the first place.  So there.
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W6EM
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 10:44:11 AM »

Well I don't know anything about this man or the issues around him. But I do know your blanket statement about the league proposed expansion of the digital segments of bands especially the 80 meter band is not beneficial to amateur radio is wrongheaded.  The taking of the lower portion of the phone segment for digital is sorely needed and should never have been allocated for phone in the first place.  So there.
I couldn't agree with you more, with respect to allocation.  That particular erred reallocation seriously harming CW space on 80 meters.

Not what I was referring to, though.  Bandwidth not to be confused with band mode allocation.  ARRL wants to expand the amount of bandwidth for certain digital modes, to the taking of overall available space for other digital modes.  There should have instead been a proposal to further limit bandwidth and promotion of narrow digital modes like CW, various JT modes, PSK-31, etc.



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K0UA
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 11:42:14 AM »

Well I don't know anything about this man or the issues around him. But I do know your blanket statement about the league proposed expansion of the digital segments of bands especially the 80 meter band is not beneficial to amateur radio is wrongheaded.  The taking of the lower portion of the phone segment for digital is sorely needed and should never have been allocated for phone in the first place.  So there.
I couldn't agree with you more, with respect to allocation.  That particular erred reallocation seriously harming CW space on 80 meters.

Not what I was referring to, though.  Bandwidth not to be confused with band mode allocation.  ARRL wants to expand the amount of bandwidth for certain digital modes, to the taking of overall available space for other digital modes.  There should have instead been a proposal to further limit bandwidth and promotion of narrow digital modes like CW, various JT modes, PSK-31, etc.





Oh,  Ok.. sorry.  Sounds like we are in agreement.. 73
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KM1H
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 12:53:23 PM »

What put Dick on the hot seat in the first place?

Carl
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W6EM
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Posts: 1668




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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 01:45:27 PM »

What put Dick on the hot seat in the first place?

Carl
My purpose for starting this thread.....  Since ARRL would not say anything besides the meeting decision.  We, as members, deserve to hear more.
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N9AOP
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 08:04:06 PM »

Too bad Wayne Green is SK.  He would have quite a bit to say about this.
Art
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DRBEN
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Posts: 324




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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 09:56:23 PM »

After having read the Minutes of the special ARRL Director meeting, I was left with nothing more than who voted for and who voted against censure.

I would think that the membership, and the "censured" Director deserve a hearing of the details of what allegedly occurred. Especially with a less than unanimous decision as to his censure.

For all we know, he could have pointed out where, in his opinion, (and perhaps that of others, too) that the League had erred in its policies, activities or actions in a manner that harmed amateur radio.

Without "naming names," the complainant accusation(s) and those from members who supported the Director via submitted written statements should have been posted for members to better understand the circumstances and decide for themselves.   Members deserve to see the details, not just the vote.

At this point, for all we know, this could have been another Kangaroo Court of "Newington-Proportion," where the victim was truly a hero on behalf of amateur radio, yet was vilified in order to discourage anyone else similarly inclined from coming forward or speaking out.  Our former Southeastern Division Director had fought for change, and they bounced his candidacy for re-election.  He was a Director who represented his constituency and fought hard for issues important to his fellow amateurs.  Some of which were not popular with other Directors and officers.

Many times in the past I've seen the League sponsor changes in FCC regulations that don't benefit the majority of amateurs.  The latest being the proposed digital mode bandwidth expansion for digital protocols; so that the League's favorite sole-source hardware, manufactured by SCS-GMBH (alias the Pactor IV Modem) will be permissible for use on US HF bands.  Their recent request and grant of a temporary waiver of existing rules for its Puerto Rican deployment is but another example of getting their foot in the door.


 
73,

Lee



The ARRL has published details about its decision:

http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-board-of-directors-publicly-censures-southwestern-division-director

There is also a loooooong thread about the matter on a QRZ forum.

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W6EM
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Posts: 1668




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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 06:30:20 AM »

................

The ARRL has published details about its decision:

http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-board-of-directors-publicly-censures-southwestern-division-director

....
You call that "details?"  Not really.  Let's hear exactly what Norton said at the last Visalia DX conclave which struck a nerve.  Perhaps [that] he could no longer share his positions with his Division on items at future Board meetings.  And, yes, also that he stated publicly that he SUPPORTED the Code of Conduct.  Overwhelming opposition to the new Code of Conduct by attendees...... Not something N6AA solicited.

Since I started this thread I have heard true details of what prompted Newington to barbeque N6AA.  It was, just as I speculated, a Kangaroo Court.  (Meant to quash Mr. Norton and any and all Directors and Vice Directors from individually sharing their participation at future Board meetings)  And, from sharing their personal feedback and collective opinions of their Division membership as well.

Yes, there is a thread on QRZ, but it doesn't contain the true details of what happened, where it happened, and just what all the fuss was about.  Too bad, in that it instead delves off into the pros and cons of creating a competing organization to replace the League....  When the subject should have been "How to Straighten Out the League."

I have encouraged the amateur who shared with me what happened to post it, perhaps as a separate thread, in order to allow all ARRL members to learn,truly, what the details were, including the misguided, malevolent motivations of ARRL leadership in stuffing "gags" in the mouths of Directors.....
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W6EM
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Posts: 1668




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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 07:11:02 AM »

The following is posted with permission from authors:


From: Lee McVey [*********]
Sent: 3 December, 2017 5:51 AM
To: Mark
Cc: Doug Rehman
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct & Censure of Dick Norton
 
Mark:
Thank you very much for sharing.  This all fits, now, into my previous belief that a cloak of secrecy was/is desired by ARRL leaders.  Those above and beyond the Directors.
 
The former Southeastern Director, Doug Rehman, K4AC, was unfairly removed as a candidate for his own re-election at the last election, and a former Director, Greg Sarratt, was "declared elected" by the Ethics and Elections Committee.  Doug was unique in that he shared with the Division members a good deal of topics being considered, and some initiatives of his own, as I believe all ARRL Directors should do.  Doug did nothing wrong.  He was victimized by perhaps the same cadre who wished to censure Dick inappropriately.
 
I can see now that Doug was ushered out for wanting to be what you and most other members would like to see in their League: leadership openly sharing discussions and concepts from meetings, and where they stand on them.  Minutes will likely now only include what Directors wish members to know.   A sad day.
 
I would like to know what my Division Director is doing (or wants to do) on behalf of members.  And, I expect him or her to push back on items that would be unpopular with the majority of members.  With the new policy, (and a hand-picked good old boy here in the SE Division) that certainly won't happen..
 
What you've shared with me deserves to be shared as widely as possible.  Please post as a thread on Eham and QRZ; and perhaps with AR Newsline, so that we can understand the ill-conceived mindset that was behind the new Code of Conduct and Dick Norton's inappropriate censure.  His reputation has been harmed, and he deserves to be defended.
 
73.
 
W. Lee McVey, PE Ret.
W6EM
Life Senior Member, IEEE
 
 
 
 

On Sunday, December 3, 2017 6:59 AM, Mark <*************> wrote:
 

Hello Lee,
 
The following is a copy of an email I recently sent around.  It expresses my outrage at the current ARRL situation.
 
73,
 
Mark, K6FG
 
-----
 
November 22, 2017
 
Actions taken this year by the ARRL leadership have undermined my admiration and respect for the League, its officers and directors.  As a long time ham, I grew up in the hobby with the understanding that I could always count on the League to be a fair and democratic national organization devoted to the best interests of amateur radio.
 
Well things apparently changed in 2017.
 
The Code of Conduct is one of the most outrageous pieces of legislation that I could imagine.  The gag order that binds the directors to secrecy offends my sense of ethics and propriety.  What possible harm can result in allowing a director to share with his or her division’s hams the vote taken by that director on any Board resolution that passed or failed?  Without that information, how can the members evaluate whether or not he or she deserves another term?  Members will simply have no basis upon which to reelect (or throw out) a sitting director.  Worse yet, a challenger can freely slander and attack the existing league administration; but the sitting directors will not have the right to counter false and malicious attacks.
 
The Code of Conduct is something I would expect to be enacted in countries that have totalitarian despotic leaders who strive to maintain a government without opposition or dissent.  Shame on the ARRL; it should be better than that!
 
As for Norton, he was convicted by the League in the absence of evidence against him.  Apparently the ARRL’s sense of due process does not require evidence.
 
Since the Board’s groundless censure of Norton, I have attended several amateur radio gatherings.  Response to my negative comments about the Code of Conduct and about Norton’s censure has been 100% supportive of my strongly felt opinions.
 
Please review the copy of my November 9, 2017 email that I sent to the ARRL directors and officers.  In that email, I clearly stated (at the 2017 Visalia DX Convention) that it was the membership that expressed strong disagreement with the Code of Conduct, not Norton.  Norton clearly stated that he fully supported the League and its actions.
 
Please also review the copy of November 8, 2017 email to the officers and directors of ARRL from Tim Duffy, K3LR.
 
You are authorized and encouraged to widely share and publish this email (and the incorporated emails) throughout the ham radio community.  Maybe responsive chords will resonate.
 
Thank you and 73,
 
MARK A WEISS, K6FG
 
-----------------
 
Verbatim copy of November 9, 2017 email sent by K6FG to the ARRL officers and directors:
 
November 9, 2017
 
Dear ********,
 
This email is sent to you in response Director Dick Norton’s request that I provide you with my recollection of some events that took place at the ARRL Forum during the 2017 International DX Convention in Visalia, California.
 
For your consideration, at the end of this letter I have included a brief statement of my relevant background information.
 
I don’t recall the identity of all of the members of the Visalia ARRL Forum’s panel, but Dick Norton appeared to be the primary speaker.
 
One of the topics addressed was the new Code of Conduct.
 
Dick Norton began the program by stating that he, as a Director, fully supports the actions of the Board of Directors. He covered some points of the new code that impact his relationship with the membership.  Dick then inquired of those present if there were any questions or comments from the floor.
 
In response to Dick’s inquiry, several of us raised our hands and were recognized.
 
When I spoke, I was very direct in my strong opposition to enactment of the confidentiality provisions contained in the Code of Conduct. My expressed thoughts included, but were not limited to the following:
 
1. I acknowledged that Board member loyalty and commitment to the League was
properly mandated; but the gag order contained in the Code of Conduct is clearly contrary to my sense of serving the best interests of the ARRL members.
 
               2. I stated that contrary to the view expressed by the current ARRL administration, ARRL is a representative organization.  That is, our districts elect directors and vice-directors to create and implement policies and rules that best represent the interests of amateur radio in general, AND THE INTERESTS OF OUR DISTRICT IN PARTICULAR.
 
               3. It is my understanding that directors and vice-directors are precluded from informing their district members of the various (and conflicting) views expressed by the directors during the legislative process.  If my observation is correct, I fear following will occur:
                              A. I may never be provided with information upon which I can evaluate the propriety of the Board’s action.
 
                              B. I will never know the positions advocated or supported by my director at the Board meeting.
 
                              C. I will never know if my elected director acted in furtherance of the best interests of the hobby in general, or in the best interests my district in particular
                             
                              D. I will have no factual basis upon which to support or oppose my director’s bid for reelection when his or her current term ends.
 
Much to my surprise, as I was sitting down after I finished delivering my brief remarks, there was unanimous and very loud applause. I was shocked because I had not intended to stir up widespread opposition to the ARRL leadership’s action; it was my intention to simply express the reasons for my opposition to the Code of Conduct.
 
It was immediately apparent to me that my remarks resonated with nearly everyone in the room. In fact, at the conclusion of discussion of the issue, the call for a vote in support or opposition to the Code of Conduct resulted in an overwhelming condemnation of the Code.
 
The Code of Conduct has been discussed at meetings I attended this year at our local radio clubs. The consensus among the club members was always consistent with the reaction to my comments at the Visalia ARRL Forum.
 
It is my fear that the League is heading down the path of becoming a secret “Star Chamber” organization without the transparency to which our membership is entitled.
 
Please do not form the impression that I believe Board disclosure to the membership is absolute. I indeed recognize the need to maintain confidentiality of proceedings in appropriate circumstances.
 
The Code of Conduct is already generating adverse consequences to the League. I personally know of valuable bequests that have been withdrawn as a result of the new disclosure rules. If this action is a trend, the League will definitely be harmed
 
It is my opinion that the League’s leadership made a major mistake in adopting the Code of Conduct. Please do what you can to cause the Board to revisit the Code of Conduct legislation. Please remove the “gag order” provisions.  Please freshen the air the surrounds the ARRL leadership.
 
Thank you & 73,
 
 
 
MARK A WEISS, K6FG
 
 
P.S. The following is a brief summary of my background:
 
           Amateur Radio
                       ARRL life member
                       Former chair of IARU Region 2 Band Plan Committee
                       Former member of ARRL Band Plan Committee
 
           Employment:
                       1967-1968: Litton Data Systems. Engineer
                       1969-1985: Attorney
                       1986-2006: Los Angeles County Superior Court
 
-----------------
 
Verbatim copy of November 8, 2017 email sent by K3LR to the ARRL officers and directors:
 
Dear Officers and Directors of the American Radio Relay League, Inc.;
 
I attended the ARRL Forum held at the April 2017 International DX Convention in Visalia, California, as I do every year. Dick Norton, N6AA has asked me to report on two of my observations during the ARRL forum.
 
One item discussed at the ARRL forum was the new ARRL code of conduct for ARRL Directors. Dick Norton covered items contained in the code of conduct. It was clear that the audience was not happy about what was being told to them. A number of forum audience participants spoke in strong opposition to certain aspects of the code. My own personal attorney (and ARRL volunteer counsel) K3LA was surprised by what N6AA presented. K3LA is also opposed to the code and seeing the audience was clearly upset by Dick's presentation concerning the code, he walked out of the room. The opposition came from the upset audience, not from Dick Norton. Norton specifically pointed out that he supports the board's positions. I have previously discussed this code and other ARRL topics with Dick. I was not surprised by the audience's strong negative response to the code. Their reaction also mirrors my own feelings.
 
Second, I have been asked to report that there were many other topics covered at the forum. That is true. The code of conduct was only a part of the agenda that Dick discussed at the ARRL forum.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have questions.
 
Very 73,
Tim Duffy K3LR
ARRL Maxim Society & ARRL Diamond Club Member
ARRL Life Member
 
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LITTLEWALKERTALKER
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2017, 07:31:57 AM »

It's stuff like this, and going to my first club meeting last month shortly after getting licensed through that clubs testing only to spend an hour listening to them discussing and voting on having to pay $100 a month rent for their club facilities, and then getting stuck listening to a fired vice director spew about the organization (I had enough after about half an hour and walked out), that has killed any interest I would have had in joining the ARRL or probably even a local club.  They send me a lot of mail looking for 45 bucks, but with all this BS going on, there's not a snowballs chance in heck they're ever going to see a penny from me.

Might still join a local club because one has cool hats and I could really use an Elmer, but the ARRL? No way.

When you long time hams talk about what's killing the hobby, you should look at stuff like this.  From the newbie perspective, it's quite off-putting.
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N8YX
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2017, 07:41:16 AM »

When you long time hams talk about what's killing the hobby, you should look at stuff like this.  From the newbie perspective, it's quite off-putting.
I was first licensed in 1980.

It was that way then. Old habitstraditions die hard with some, and along with them goes the ARS.
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N0YXB
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Posts: 1144




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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 08:00:49 AM »


When you long time hams talk about what's killing the hobby, you should look at stuff like this.  


Nothing is killing the hobby, that's a myth propagated by those who hate change. as far as Dick Norton, I'm still a bit confused...
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DRBEN
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Posts: 324




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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 08:08:04 AM »

“ARRL POLICY ON BOARD GOVERNANCE AND CONDUCT OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND VICE DIRECTORS
Being elected to serve on the ARRL Board of Directors is an honor and privilege bestowed by the membership.” (Emphasis added.j

The solution is to find suitable candidates and VOTE them into office. In the meantime, try to find someone on the current board who is willing to speak off the record and leak details about board activities.

Except for matters that properly require dicussions in executive session, all board meetings should be public and the final vote on executive session matters should be public. In the 21st century, public means recorded meetings available online and detailed public minutes of proceedings.

Just carping and belly-aching won’t bring about change unless accompanied with activism and involvement.
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KM1H
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2017, 02:09:30 PM »

Quote
I was first licensed in 1980.

It was that way then. Old habitstraditions die hard with some, and along with them goes the ARS.

1955 for me and Ive been thru a lot of changes.

At one time the ARRL actually stood for something and led many to an electronics career.
That started to change when SSB came along in the early 50's with affordable low power gear, kit or all built. The ARRL was pro AM at the time. Move forward a few years and the big advertisers started offering SSB gear and the ARRL flipped in an instant and forced any AM gear advertised in QST to have a restricted audio bandwidth.

Ever since it has always been about money with them and the hell what members think. They now have a publishing empire with choices similar to MFJ products......from pure junk to very good. Not a bad move IMO but you had to have been at least a General to understand what it was like to operate AM then on HF.....wall to wall hetrodynes and modulation distortion that would make a CBer proud Shocked

Also realize that only a minority of hams are now ARRL members down from almost 100% at their peak; that alone tells you something.

Carl
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