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As we end the fifth week of the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency, I want to share several items with you.

First, thank you for your good wishes for a successful term as your Section Manager. It is a privilege to be able to reach over 3300 amateur radio operators through email messages such as this one. However, email is a poor substitute for face to face interactions. I am sure that each of us longs for the time when we can resume our club meetings, hamfests and other get-togethers. When that day comes, I will begin visiting with as many clubs as I can.

Here are some items you may find these items to be of interest.

Coronavirus Impact on North Carolina. The State of North Carolina has created a portal where you can get authentic information from various state agencies about the impacts on public education, small business loans, unemployment assistance as well as other pandemic–related programs. The site can be found at

Information from ARRL. a. On-Line Exam Testing is Under Consideration.

b. The Volunteer Monitor program is up and running under the leadership of Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH. Reports of malicious interference and repeated rule violations should be referred to Riley at c. There is a new benefit for ARRL members. Your membership dues now provide access to electronic copies of QEX, NCJ, On the Air and QST at no additional charge.

NC Section Information.

a. Club Visits. During the COVID-19 quarantine, I have received invitations to visit with clubs by way of one of the video meeting systems used by various clubs. Send me a message and I will see if we can schedule an electronic visit with your club.

b. Tarheel Emergency Net. Interest and participation in the Tarheel Net has increased substantially in the past two weeks. We are working on developing on-the-air training sessions, along with potentially adding digital sessions. Stay tuned.

c. Volunteers are needed. There are net control slots on the Tarheel Emergency Net that are open, as well as the position of Tarheel Emergency Net Manager. The net meets nightly at 7:30 pm on 3923 khz. It may be possible to rearrange which nights are assigned to particular net control stations. If you are interested, send me a reply and indicate the night that you would be willing to serve. Likewise, if you are interested in becoming a part of the NC Section leadership team, drop me an email and tell me of your interest.

d. Coronavirus Operations. Let me know if your local ARES® group has stood up any special operations in conjunction with local Emergency Management. At the State Emergency Operations Center, ESF-2 has been active for more than five weeks under the leadership of Greg Hauser, W3FIE, Statewide Interoperability Coordinator. Twenty AUXCOMM operators who are ham radio operators have been engaged as part of the State ESF-2 activation, participating along with Cisco Systems, SHP, EM, Spectrum, Sprint, ATT , Verizon and other Public Safety COMU partners.

Other Items.

a. Face Masks. Because she could not obtain any in Pennsylvania, I purchased face masks for my veterinarian daughter at this site. The cost is higher than it should be but I could not find another source that delivered in three days via mail.

b. Silent Keys. When an ARRL member passes away in your area, please send me a copy of the obituary and information on the person’s call sign. I will contact the appropriate person at ARRL to list the ham in a future issue of QST.

c. Severe Weather Preparedness. NC State University just released a prediction of 22 Named Hurricanes in 2020. Last weekend showed us how quickly heavy rains and tornadoes can cause major problems across the state. This period spent under quarantine is a great opportunity to check out your station and portables. Is there an improvement to your antenna you haven’t gotten around to? Severe weather can cause power outages at any time; have you checked your backup generator?

Closing Comments. Remember that the Pandemic is far from over. Stay home except when necessary. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands often, particularly after touching door handles and hand rails. Stay well so you can take care of your family and be able to help your community when called upon.

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

73, Marv Hoffman, WA4NC NC Section Manager 828 964 6626