Why we use GMRS

Many of our members are Amateur Radio Operators. Many interested in our group are as well. We have been asked by both members and perspective members why we use GMRS. It boils down to this. HAM radio is great. It’s a great resource and we all love it, but it’s not for everyone. Some people don’t have the knowledge, skill, or desire to get a HAM license. We of course encourage everyone to get one, and will help in any way we can. But GMRS is a great alternative.

GMRS is a paid license, not an earned. You simply pay your money and fill out a form and you have a license. To become a HAM, you must take a test and learn a lot of information. It also is a great resource because one license covers your whole family for 10 years.

Once licensed it’s quite similar to the HAM resources we use locally. We can put up repeaters, we can use 50 watt mobiles, we can even use CTCSS/PL Tones.

We do everything we can to include all of our members in everything we do. Communications is a large part of our mission, but we want to be as versatile with those communications as we can be. We us other methods as well.

It’s important to note though, that you must have a license to use GMRS. The rules have changed a lot lately, but there are rules which must be followed. Some like to demean GMRS as something for kids or something that which is on the fringe of legality or even that it is a lessor method of communication. HAMs (myself being one) can be stuck up at times toward other methods of communication such as GMRS, FRS, CB, etc. Our group frowns on this mentality. We try to practice and teach all methods, because in a true emergency, you never know what you might need to use.

In a true emergency you use what is available and has the best chance of getting through to deliver your message. All bands will be crowded in an emergency. Each has it’s power restrictions as well as limitations based on frequencies.

December 2019 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

December 15, 2019

Call to order: A Board of Directors meeting of the Ready Alliance was held on December 11, 2019 at the home of Will Studer, Secretary in Hermiston, OR. The meeting convened at 3:35 PM Pacific Time. Meeting was called to order by Mike Gemelke, Acting President. After calling the meeting to order it was turned over to Will Studer, Acting Secretary.

Members in attendance: Mike Gemelke, Acting President; Bill Quick, Acting Vice President; Will Studer, Acting Secretary; Andy Jones; Dennis McKenry; Joey Powell

Old Business:

  • Minutes from the November Board Meeting
    • Previously distributed via Google Group Online

Motion: Moved by Bill that we accept the previous minutes as presented. Seconded by Joey.

Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.

  • Repeater Committee Report given
    • Must have internet access to use Google Sheets. Script was distributed just for information.
    • Will is making a schedule for 2020 for net control. They will be done quarterly.
    • Nets will not be held when there is a holiday on the night of a net or the day before or after.
    • Will is going to get an MOU in place with repeater owners for our nets.
    • Once the paperwork is in place we will add a net on Jump Off Joe 145.410.
    • The new net schedule will be every Wednesday other than club meeting nights. The snowboard net will be moved to 7PM and the new Jump Off Joe net will be at 7:30PM.
    • The goal is for authorization to be given to use Jump Off Joe linked to the Walla Walla repeater. This would give us access to both Tri-cities and Walla Walla areas for our nets.Explanation of how Nets will be done was given.
  • Land Mobile Radio (Private) Repeater Update:
    • Location found. We have been given preliminary approval by Craig Coleman to place a repeater on his water tower at Ordinance. The Elevation is 606ft and the tower is 125ft. The site already is being used by Verizon and a wireless internet provider.
    • Will explained rules and coordination process and fees.
      • Application is FCC Form 601, it is 129 pages.
      • Paid frequency coordination is required by the FCC.
      • buytwayradios.com offers coordination for a repeater for $550 and an additional simplex channel is $140. They were selected due to the fact that they sell Kenwood and Icom NXDN equipment and that is what we have.
      • An LMR License is for a location or locations, for a set number of radios and repeaters at specified output power. The frequencies would be licensed solely to our organization within our geographic area. No other individual or organization would be permitted to use those frequencies in the specified geographic area. It doesn’t work like HAM or GMRS licensing does.
      • Any person Ready Alliance authorizes to operate under our license may use that frequency. No individual licenses are required.
    • Lynn Wilson is going to donate 150 feet of RG-214 Coax for our Ordinance project.
    • Other site locations update:
      • Carney Butte: Never Called Back
      • Black Mountain: In Progress
      • Wheeler County: In Progress
    • We are now capable of tuning our own duplexers through training and equipment purchase.
    • Will was appointed chair of the repeater committee by President Gemelke.
  • Events Committee Report
    • Winter Dinner coming up on the 21st of December
    • Winter Field Day
      • Planning is in progress
      • Andy will be making antennas
      • Information will be distributed after December 21st
      • Winter Field Day is January 25th and will be held at 3 Mile Canyon
      • We will post an invitation on Facebook

Motion: Moved by Will that the board authorize the events committee to create events, so long as there is a minimum of 2 weeks notice given and no financial appropriations must be made. Seconded by Joey.

Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.

    • Andy was appointed chair of the events committee by President Gemelke.
    • President Gemelke ordered that the events committee will now be a permanent standing committee.

New Business:

  • Regular Meeting Location & Time
    • It was discussed and agreed that as long as the senior center is available our new meeting day and time for Regular Monthly Meetings will be the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7PM.
      • If we are holding an event for the meeting which can’t be done at the senior center we will announce that location no less than 2 weeks before a meeting.
    • The new location for the Regular Monthly Meetings had already been set for the Harkenrider Senior Center in Hermiston
      • Will and Bill will get the paperwork handled and verify that the day and time of the month works and see if we can reserve several months in advance.
  • Board Meeting Locations & Time
    • It was discussed and decided that since our board meetings aren’t open meetings that we would continue to float the time to fit the schedule of each member.
    • There will always be a board meeting prior to a business meeting.
    • The location will change every month so that it is hosted in one of the towns for each board member. At present that is Boardman, Hermiston, Irrigon/Umatilla, and Stanfield. Mike waived having meetings in Stanfield as he is the only resident and there is no suitable meeting place.

Board Oath of Office

The following oath of office was presented for use, it was adopted from congress:

“I, [your name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Charter and Bylaws of this Organization, the Constitution of the United States and the State in which I reside against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

Motion: Moved by Mike that we accept the Oath of Office as presented. Seconded by Joey.

Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.

  • Annual Meeting in January
    • The Annual Meeting will be held January 15
    • This meeting will begin by being presided over by the 2019 President (Mike)
    • As always, we will begin with Old Business.
    • Between Old Business and New Business the previous (2019) president will swear in all members of the board
    • The previous (2019) president will then pass the gavel to the new (2020) president which symbolizes the transfer of power. Then the new (2020) president will swear in the previous (2019) president as the immediate Past President who is also a member of the board. At this time, the new (2020) president will assume his duties and carry on the meeting.
    • At this point will will move forward to New Business.

It is important to remind everyone that the new location is technically on school grounds. No Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms (including concealed) are permitted on the property. The firearms part is state law so it is important to not break that rule or you can be charged with a crime.

  • Press Releases
    • Press Releases will be issued by the secretary after approval from the board.
    • Press releases will be published on the club site, all club mailing lists, all club social media, and submitted to local news outlets.
    • A general release will be issued at the beginning of the new year for the club in preparation for our annual meeting.
  • Policy for Inclement Weather
  • If the weather is bad, meetings will be canceled.
  • The secretary shall be charged with contacting board members to get a decision.
  • At least 2 board members must authorize the cancellation.
  • If a cancellation is to be made, it will be announced on the website, on any repeater which the club officially uses for nets and through the Google Groups email list.

Policy & Procedure for Ballot Votes

The following shall be the policy for Ready Alliance on Ballot Votes:

At times it is necessary for a vote to be secret in order to get an honest response from a member who does not wish to publicly take a side. It is for this reason we implement the following. A “secret” ballot vote may be called for by any member with a right to vote in the matter in question by requesting unanimous consent at the time any matter is put before him/her. This matter is undebatable.

Matters which REQUIRE secret ballot by default are:

  • Elections
  • Locations of Secret Meetings
  • Any other vote which might be about classified information
  • Disciplinary measures (votes to initiate and votes on decisions)
  • Removal of any member

The duly elected secretary presides over ballot votes. The secretary is the official ballot counter for these votes and the organization vests all authority in each such matter in him/her. The secretary shall make all decisions about such ballots and their legitimacy. The board of directors may make policies about the legitimacy of ballots and what rules govern them. The secretary may assign others to assist, only if necessary. As ballot votes are secret, it is important to keep as few eyes on the actual materials as necessary. It shall also be the duty of the secretary to maintain the secrecy of the ballots however he/she deems appropriate.

In the event there is a question about the faithfulness of the ballot vote as presided over by the secretary, a simple majority vote by the membership may authorize the President to investigate has he/she deems appropriate.

In order to reduce the risk of ineligible ballots, when a ballot vote is known to be on the agenda, a printed ballot shall be produced in which those voting, only must circle or check a box for their vote. When appropriate there will also be a blank for write-in such as when a candidate must be selected.

The only items which may be combined on a single ballot are candidates for multiple offices. Other measures which are up for vote via ballot must be separated. The secretary shall keep physical ballots for a period of one year from the casting of such votes.

When a ballot vote is called for the secretary will have a printed ballot prepared or if it is requested, spur of the moment it can be recorded on plain paper. The secretary will have the roster of those who are eligible to vote in his/her possession at each meeting, and will check off members as they return their ballots in order to ensure no member casts more than one ballot and that no person who isn’t eligible to vote does so.

Members entitled to vote shall stand and retrieve a ballot from the secretary.

Each ballot shall be returned to the secretary folded in half to maintain secrecy. For an in person vote to be legitimate, it must be placed in the hand of the secretary or whomever he/she has assigned. The secretary or assignee shall take extra care to make sure he/she doesn’t accidentally place two ballots inside each other, as it will invalidate both.

Once the secretary believes all have voted, he/she shall inquire to the body, “Have all voted who wish to?” if there is no response, he/she says “The polls are closed,” whereupon he/she proceeds to count the ballots.

If in unfolding the ballots it is found that two have been folded together, both are rejected as fraudulent. Misspelling is not grounds for disqualification so long as the meaning of the ballot is clear.

The secretary or assignee shall prepare a written report listing the vote counts in the proceeding form. Blank ballots aren’t reported and are considered waste paper. Disqualified and Ineligible votes should be listed as ineligible.

Matter Being Voted Upon (Election, Measure, etc.)

Number of votes Cast .......................... 50
Number of Proxy Votes .........................  2
Necessary for Election or Passing ............. 26

Person A [Actual Name] or "Yes Votes" ......... 27
Person B [Actual Name] or "No Votes" .......... 20

Illegal Votes
Person C (ineligible) .......................... 1
Ballots rejected as fraudelent ................. 2

The secretary or assignee, standing, addresses the chair/president, reads the report and hands it to the chair/president and takes his/her seat. The chair/president then states the winner(s) or pass or fail of measure.

November 2019 Regular Meeting Minutes

Regular Membership Meeting Minutes

November 17, 2019

Call to order: The regular monthly meeting of the Ready Alliance was held on November 17, 2019 at Joey Powell’s home in Boardman, OR. The meeting convened at 3:22 PM Pacific Time. Meeting was presided over by Mike Gemelke, Acting President.

Members in attendance: Mike Gemelke, Acting President; Bill Quick, Acting Vice President; Will Studer, Acting Secretary; Andy Jones; Dennis McKenry; Joey Powell; Dennis Wall; Jim Carlson; Carl Burgus; Sandy Powell; and Heather Studer.

Guests in attendance: David Richards

Old Business:

  • Minutes from Nov. 1 Board of Directors meeting summarized by Will

New Business:

  • 6 meter net

Plans are underway for a 6m net, but we first must check communications. The following people have 6m capabilities:
Dennis W.
Dennis M.

  • Weekly VHF HAM Net

The net will begin this week. Everyone agreed after some discussion that we will have it on the snowboard repeater.

  • Winter Party

The party is the 1st from 2pm to 6pm at my house 676 E Oregon Ave. in Hermiston, OR.

You don’t need to bring anything, however it is encouraged that everyone to invite a friend who might be interested in our group. The purpose of this party is to chat and introduce others to our group.

  • Winter Dinner

After discussion of when other events are being held in December by other organizations it was decided that the winter dinner would be held on December 21st. Will will call around to the following to find out who can host us:
Ye Ole Pizza Shop
Rae’s Dayz

This event will be our December Regular Meeting

  • Election of Board & Officers

Volunteers were as follows:

      • Joey Powell – President
      • Andy Jones – Vice President
      • Will Studer – Secretary
      • Bill Quick – Member-at-Large

Dennis McKenry agreed to run as a write-in for member-at-large since ballots had already been printed. Instructions on filling out ballots were given and ballots handed out. Ballots were read aloud by Bill Quick and recorded by Will Studer. Results are as follows:

      • Joey Powell – President 11/11 Votes
      • Andy Jones – Vice President 10/11 Votes
      • Bill Quick – Vice President 1/11 Votes
      • Will Studer – Secretary 11/11 Votes
      • Bill Quick – Member-at-large 10/11 Votes
      • Dennis McKenry – Member-at-large 10/11 Votes
      • Dennis Wall – Member-at-large 1/11 Votes
      • One vote for Member-at-large was deemed illegible or for a non-member

Adjournment: The Business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 4:13 PM

Event: A special event was held for this meeting. The event was a bonfire hosted by Joey and his family. A demonstration was given by Dennis McKenry on how to make “char-cloth”. A pot luck was held along with a weenie roast. Members left on their own schedules. Many stayed to chat around the fire. We took our first group photo as all members were present.