Chatter April 2016
Our March club meeting was both informative and entertaining. Tom Ginsburg, K6TG, put on a great show for us, discussing the actions of our 911 Center here in Santa Cruz. As Tom began his lecture, it came to me that when he was our club president years ago he opened every meeting by introducing each member by their name and call signs. There were usually 40 members or more present and he didn't miss anyone. There were often a few fresh faces at each meeting and he didn't miss those either. He attributed that skill to his years at UCSC getting his BA degree and time spent as a mail carrier for USPS. Tom gave us an insight into the inner workings of the 911 dispatch center where approximately 40 dispatchers work to ensure our safety and well being. Many of the dispatchers are bi-lingual English-Spanish speaking. Tom entertained us with stories of actions of the 911 operators and invited club members to do a sit-along to observe the workings of the center. Contact him to make an appointment. This would be good training for our ARES members as well as club members in general. During times of emergencies, club members will supplant ARES members when the need arises. In the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake, many club members were needed to stand around-the-clock communications needs. We even used a few non-licensed (prospective hams) as watch standers under the control of licensed operators. One of our unlicensed operators, my son Randal (later, N6UZI), stood watches on the HF Emergency net between Sacramento and Santa Cruz. It worked out fine to fill in a spot or two on the "all nighters." He was then a Navy lieutenant and navigator aboard Navy P3 aircraft. A bilingual story: When he was a UCSC student years earlier, he took classes in Norwegian. In high school in Honolulu he took Spanish for four years and was proficient in that language. When he applied for jobs advertising for bilingual capabilities, he marked the "yes" box. When he was interviewed he claimed that distinction as English/Norwegian speaking. Needless to say, the point he was trying to make did not get him the job. "If you really mean Spanish speaking, you should say so," he claimed to no avail. He was relieved to not be hired as that would have interfered with his activities with the UCSC Sailing Club.