Hello everyone, and welcome to Spring - sort of. At this writing, we are expecting a late April snowstorm after some unusually high temperatures. Let's hope this all ends soon so that we can once again schedule tower and other outside work with some degree of confidence. It's one thing to have a spring tower climb put off by rain, quite another when it's snow, and May is here!
There has been a little news in the past two months. One of the more interesting news stories has a peripheral amateur packet radio ingredient. As you may have heard, Joseph Konopka (also known as "Dr. Chaos") was arrested in Chicago in the past month.
Mr. Konopka was arrested as a fugitive from the State of Wisconsin, where he had been arrested, jailed and accused of vandalizing power poles and substations, as well as several radio transmitter sites. In addition to being a fugitive from the State of Wisconsin, he also was arrested with a quantity of cyanide, which he allegedly planned to use in a terrorist activity. Due to the nature of his alleged offenses and his potential plans for using the cyanide (not to mention his fugitive status), he is being held without bail.
Amateur Packet Radio is involved in this because one of the radio transmission facilities that Konopka was alleged to have destroyed was one that the Door County Amateur Radio Club had been using for it's WISTB node site. Although the vandalism and fire that it spawned happened about 2 years ago, the node has yet to return to the air.
This is an example of how one apparently misguided individual can destroy years of hard work with one senseless act (if indeed Konopka has done what has been alleged). The public reason for these acts of vandalism has been "anarchy"; Konopka has told others that he is doing all of this as a form of civil disobedience to protest certain actions by the government. Others feel that this is merely misplaced justification for his acts. Those who have known him in the past have made statements like "He's very smart, even brilliant, but just mean and enjoys being a jerk. The `Anarchy' thing is a bunch of bull".
While we may never truly know the motivation behind these senseless acts, we do know one thing. It has seriously crippled packet network access in the northern Door peninsula. Should a wide-scale emergency break out that requires our services and packet radio, we will be in the unenviable position of having to make do with whatever is available. While it's great that we can do this when we need to, we certainly don't need a so-caled "anarchist" to help us test our ability to improvise.
Let's all hope that the good folks in Door County can get their node back on the air soon, and that they see some measure of justice in the legal proceedings that will surely get underway soon.
Here's some news that's bound to make you feel a little better, though. Leroy N8WQG hs reactivated the MIIRN node in Iron River, Michigan and the backbone node that feeds it. As I reported in the last news report, the Crivitz node stack (WIMAR:KE9LK-8) is once again active. This means that our neighbors to the north are connected back into the Wisconsin Packet Radio network. So look for some 8-land calls on your local node. Or drop on up and leave a message with one of the locals. The Iron Mountain LAN node is MIIMTB, the Iron River/Northern Wisconsin border node is MIIRN. Most of the locals use -1 as their mailbox SSID.
As was mentioned last time, we are still planning the coming WAPR meeting. This will be an important meeting, as new officers will be elected. Our current chairman, Joel Papke N9BQM, has announced that he will not seek another term. WAPR treasurer Al Schnepf, N0GMJ would like you to now that he is anxious to be replaced. He took the job on after Larry, WD9ESU resigned. Al took it over only as an interim measure and would like to turn the job over to someone that may have more time available than he has for the job. And I would not mind being replaced as well. Perhaps someone else can bring a new perspective to this space we have in the BSSS?
We do know two things about the meeting - it's going to be in the Fon-Du-Lac area and we'd like to get as many folks to this meeting as possible. Do look for the meeting announcement on your local BBS, or at the WAPR web site.
Speaking of the web site, it has a new address - although the old one will work for a while yet. The new URL is:
It is my hope to get a much shorter one in the near future. I also will be doing some much-needed updating to the site in the very near future, so check in every once in a while and check out the changes and new features we'll be putting on there.
And that's all for this time out. Until next time, 73 from Andy.
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