Archive for June, 2008

June ARRL VHF+ Contest this weekend.

Posted in Contesting, Ham Radio with tags , , on June 13, 2008 by WA4ZKO

The first big VHF+ contest of the summer is upon us this weekend. The ARRL’s June VHF+ Contest (they call it the “ARRL June VHF QSO Party”) is this Saturday and Sunday.  Info/rules can be found here.

This usually has a pretty good turn out and propagation conditions. I’ll be in EM78PP for this one and active on 6m, 2m, and 432 during portions of the contest.  Personally I prefer the CQ WW VHF Contest in July over the June contest, but both are a lot of fun and usually toss in a surprise or two.

Wx looks good for around here after some storms pass through later tonight. Tropo forecast looks like we could see at least some light enhancement to the SW and maybe the NE directions form here.


Help save SBFD’s Arson Dog “Diesel” from budget cuts.

Posted in California, Law Enforcement with tags , , , on June 2, 2008 by WA4ZKO

UPDATE: June 7th- Diesel has his own website here. Check it out!

For the dog/public safety working dog lovers out there….

Budget cuts suck, but this one could really suck for the department and community. A 20 million dollar budget shortfall in San Bernadino, California may put one of the city’s top arson investigators out of a job. Diesel, a Lab/Golden Retriever mix, is the San Bernadino Fire Dept’s only arson dog. Unfortunately in the department/city’s list of priorities (which I’m not going to debate) the arson dog program is on the list of programs they can’t fund this time around.

Chief Michael Conrad has given the dog’s handler, Arson Investigator Michael Koster, a chance to raise the funds to support the program. Koster has even offered to give up any overtime pay to help out, but for legal reasons that isn’t an option. They need about $20,000 to save the program and apparently they are at least a quarter of the way there.

So instead of flipping your $20-$50 donations to useless (IMHO) politicians, consider sending a few bucks to a good cause. If you wish to donate, send a check to:

  • San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters Union Local 891
  • Attn: The Arson Dog Program
  • 371 W. 14th Street
  • San Bernardino, CA 92405

For more info you can check out this story.

The departments web site can be found here.

UPDATE: June 7th- Diesel has his own website here. Check it out!

PS – I know several public safety dog handlers and know first hand how much they adore these dogs, care for them like a family member, and these dogs love what they do. My family has a 6 month old lab/collie mix (mostly lab) named “Rascal” and he is truly one of a kind.