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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 33
August 21, 2009


* + Santa Cruz Hams Provide Support During Wildfires 
* + Hurricane Bill Downgraded to Category 2; Amateur Radio Hurricane
Nets Ready 
* + HPM/140 Birthday Celebration Event Coming Next Month 
* + ARRL Section Manager Election Results 
* + The Local Club Resource 
* + ARRL Membership Newsletters, Bulletins and Notifications 
*  Solar Update 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + 7O1YGF Now on Logbook of The World 
    + FCC Blogs, Twitters 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<>, then e-mail

==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA


As wildfires threaten the central California coast near Santa Cruz --
located between San Jose and Monterey -- area radio amateurs have been
providing support to law enforcement and fire authorities. According to
Santa Cruz County Public Information Officer Bill Conklin, AF6OH, the
Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center requested support from
ARES on Wednesday, August 12: "We activated and established an informal
Net to provide fire support resources." Just two days later, Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a State of Emergency for Santa Cruz

On Thursday, three amateurs staffed the County's Emergency Operations
Center for the ARES Net, beginning at 5 AM and going for 16 hours.
Monterey County ARES District Emergency Coordinator Dave Burbidge,
W6IIQ, also helped to provide coverage.

"Once we were activated, about 30 amateurs signed in to a Resource Net
on a local repeater managed by Bob Wolbert, K6XX," Conklin said. "These
hams were assigned various duties, including providing support for
animal rescue operations. Some were assigned to specific locations in
order to support law enforcement and fire authorities. The Santa Cruz
Chapter of the American Red Cross initiated staffing and evacuation
centers on Wednesday night, and we deployed the ARES Step-Van to support
a shelter in Davenport, about 15 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1.
Due to the low volume of shelter clients, these facilities did not
require further staffing by local ARES team members."

Officials declared a mandatory evacuation in the affected area on
Thursday, namely for the towns of Swanton and Bonny Doon; an estimated
2500 people were evacuated from their homes. On Sunday, officials
allowed residents from Bonny Doon who had been evacuated to return to
their homes, but warned them to be on a state of alert and to be ready
to move as needed.

Dubbed the Lockheed Fire, the blaze was 90 percent contained on Friday,
August 21. More than 7500 acres are affected by the blaze; the cause of
the fire is under investigation. Approximately 2000 firefighters --
equipped with almost 300 fire engines, 14 helicopters, 30 bulldozers,
six air tankers and 21 water tenders -- were trying to get the fires
under last weekend. As of August 21, there are 1595 fire personnel on
site with 125 engines and five helicopters. To date, no homes have been
destroyed by the fire, but 13 outbuildings were burned to the ground.
The damage is estimated at $21.4 million.

Conklin said that the Santa Cruz County Equine Rescue Team was activated
in response to the fire, providing large animal rescue support. "In the
past year, many members of the team received their Amateur Radio
license," he explained. "They were instrumental in organizing and
rescuing horses, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks, as
well as arranging transport for 100 head of cattle. Working in
conjunction with County of Santa Cruz County Animal Services, they were
able to transport and relocate the animals to safety at two sites within
the county."

Volunteers staged an equine and large animal rescue at the cement plant
in Davenport. A shelter for smaller animals was established at the Santa
Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, about 15 miles south of the City
of Santa Cruz.

The weather continues to be a major concern, as do the steep terrain and
limited access to the fire's perimeter, Conklin said: "Conditions
continue to be very fluid and may change quickly based on weather
factors. Firefighters will continue to construct fire line around the
perimeter of the fire." Governor Schwarzenegger visited the Fire
Operations Center in Watsonville and thanked all of the firefighters for
their assistance.

"Once again, Amateur Radio and ARES proved to be an essential resource
in times of emergency," Conklin said. "The citizens of Santa Cruz County
are fortunate to have this trained, technical resource available to
provide these essential communications resources."


Now that Tropical Storms Ana and Claudette have dissipated, Hurricane
Bill -- downgraded from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2 storm -- is
churning its way across the Atlantic with sustained winds near 110 miles
per hour. Even though the storm's projected path does not make landfall
in the US, hams affiliated with the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the
VoIP Hurricane Net (VoIPWX) are ready to provide communications support.

Hurricane Watch Net

As Bill approached, HWN Manager Dave Lefavour, W7GOX, told the ARRL that
Net members are "limbering up their microphones and checking their
antennas. We're all very carefully watching the storm. We could activate
sometime during the next few days, based on the forecast tracks and
intensity. We always ask all of our Amateur Radio friends and any new
stations that might have data for us in the Atlantic, Caribbean, the
Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf coastal areas to dust off their weather
instruments. We'll probably need to establish communications with them
very soon."

The HWN -- operating on 14.325 MHz -- relays real-time weather
observations to WX4NHC <> at the National
Hurricane Center (NHC) <>. "We want all of our
reporting stations, especially those closer to the US, to keep in mind
that we're also prepared to operate the HWN on 7.168 MHz or 3.668 MHz,"
Lefavour explained. "If propagation is such that we cannot maintain
contact with reporting stations on 14.325 MHz, we'll open a Net on one
or the other of those frequencies. Plans are to try 40 meters first,
with 80 meters as our last choice of bands."

Lefavour encouraged hams to monitor the HWN Web site
<> for Net activation plans: "We have placed data
products from the NHC on the HWN Web site, including maps and charts of
tropical storm activity."

VoIP Hurricane Net

The VoIP Hurricane Net -- which meets weekly during the hurricane season
months of June-November and monthly from December-May -- has also been
monitored Tropical Storms Ana and Claudette last week and is closely
monitoring the progress of Hurricane Bill this week

"We are continuing to closely monitor the storm's progress," said VoIP
Hurricane Net Director of Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "Since 2002, we
have been gathering surface reports to help WX4NHC save lives," he said.
"The Net activates whenever there is a landfalling hurricane and will
review any and all sources to gather surface data for WX4NHC as

The weekly VoIPWX Net had a surge in activity last week as Tropical
Storms Ana, Bill and Claudette formed almost right on top of each other.
Macedo told the ARRL that hams, many of whom are in hurricane-prone
areas, were informed of the advisories for each tropical system. "The
Net also informally activated as Claudette made landfall as a tropical
storm in the Florida Panhandle," he explained. "The VoIP Hurricane Net
Activation Policy <> is to activate during
hurricanes, but will sometimes activate in the event of strong tropical
storms that are near hurricane strength."

The VoIP Hurricane Net meets every Saturday evening at 8 PM EDT (0000
UTC Sunday) on the *WX-TALK* EchoLink Conference Node: 7203/IRLP
Reflector 9219 system. When hurricanes threaten land, the Net meets and
stays active as long as required on the system with listen-only EchoLink
conferences and IRLP systems and streaming audio systems available.

From the National Hurricane Center 

At 1800 UTC on Friday, August 21, the center of Hurricane Bill was
located about 290 miles (465 km) south-southwest of Bermuda and about
695 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Bill is moving
toward the northwest at a speed near 18 MPH (30 km/hr). This track is
expected to continue through Saturday. The core of Hurricane Bill is
expected to pass over open waters between Bermuda and the East Coast of
the United States early Saturday. Large swells generated by this
hurricane are affecting Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas and
Bermuda, moving to East Coast of the US and the Atlantic Maritimes of
Canada during the next day or two. These swells will likely cause
extremely dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents.

The Bermuda Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch and a tropical
storm warning for Bermuda. A hurricane watch means that hurricane
conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36


The Hiram Percy Maxim Birthday celebration is back! This year, the ARRL
is honoring the 140th anniversary of the birth of the League's first
president and cofounder. Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, was born September 2,
1869 and died February 17, 1936, in a Colorado hospital of complications
stemming from a throat infection; his widow died just nine days later.

The operating event is open to all amateurs, and the goal is
straightforward: Find the stations adding /140 to their call signs, and
contact as many as possible during the event period, September 2-9. Who
is eligible to sign /140? ARRL members who hold ARRL appointments, ARRL
elected volunteers (such as ARRL Directors and Section Managers), ARRL
Life Members, ARRL Headquarters staff and VEs, AECs, QSL bureau workers
and awards managers (who are ARRL members). The complete list of
eligible positions can be found on page 20 of the September 2009 issue
of QST. If you work at least 25 /140 stations, an attractive certificate
can be yours! The certificate can be endorsed in increments of 25 QSOs,
up to 100.

Time Period: 0000 UTC September 2 until 2400 UTC September 9.

Exchange: All stations signing /140 send RS(T), their appointment and
their name; others send RS(T) and their name.

Eligibility: All amateur stations may participate. ARRL Life Members,
and those persons holding ARRL appointments, elected positions or ARRL
HQ staff, may add /140 to their call signs for the duration of the
celebration. Volunteer Examiners, Assistant Emergency Coordinators, QSL
Bureau workers, Registered Instructors and Awards Managers who are ARRL
members are also invited to participate.

Miscellaneous: /140 stations may be contacted on any band or mode for
credit. You can work a station once per band and mode. Repeater contacts
are valid for credit, but please be considerate of the users during a
repeater's busy periods. All /140 stations are encouraged to be as
active as possible on local repeaters and nets. The certificate is
available for making at least 25 contacts with /140 stations, with
endorsement increments of 25, and a maximum endorsement of 100. To
receive the award, send in a log extract with the date, time, band, call
sign worked and exchange for each /140 contact. Include your name, call
sign and address, and tell us how many /140 stations you worked. Mail
everything to HPM/140 Celebration, c/o W1AW, 225 Main St, Newington, CT
06111-1494. You can also send in your entry on a disk or CD in regular
text format. All entries must be accompanied by a check or money order
for $5 (US) payable to ARRL. Please make sure your entry is postmarked
by October 9, 2009.


Of the nine Sections holding Section Manager elections this month, three
will be getting new Section Managers: Los Angeles, South Texas and
Georgia. The Sacramento Valley, Eastern Washington, Colorado, Western
Washington, West Virginia and San Francisco Sections will keep their
incumbent Section Managers. The new terms of office start October 1,
2009. Ballots were counted at ARRL Headquarters on Tuesday, August 18.

In Los Angeles, David Greenhut, N6HD, of Woodland Hills, was elected as
the new Section Manager with 838 votes. He defeated incumbent Phineas
Icenbice, W6BF, who received 149 votes. Icenbice has been the Los
Angeles Section Manager for 11 straight terms of office since October 1,
1987. Greenhut, a licensed radio amateur for 35 years, has a strong
interest in ARES and emergency communications; he has served as the
District Emergency Coordinator for the Northwest District of the Los
Angeles County since 2006. 

With 647 votes, Lee H. Cooper, W5LHC, of Leander, was elected Section
Manager of the South Texas Section. Challengers Lou Everett, Sr, WA5LOU,
of Kennard, received 601 votes and Gary Tangrady, K5GST, of San Antonio,
received 142 votes. Cooper, presently the South Texas Section Public
Information Coordinator, is active in emergency communications,
representing ARES on the newly formed State Communications Coordination
Group. He was also the Travis County Emergency Coordinator from
2000-2004. Cooper will be taking on the Section Manager's role from Ray
Taylor, N5NAV, of San Antonio. Section Manager since 1997, Taylor
decided not to run for another term of office.

In Georgia, Eugene "Gene" Clark, W4AYK, of Albany, will be stepping into
the Section Manger's position. He will be taking over from Susan
Swiderski, AF4FO, who has been Section Manager since 2002. Swiderski,
co-recipient of this year's Joe Knight Distinguished Service Award,
decided not to run for another term of office. Clark has been the
Georgia Section Emergency Coordinator for the last year and was a
District Emergency Coordinator prior to that appointment.

The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition
and were declared elected for their next two year terms of office
beginning October 1, 2009: Ron Murdock, W6KJ, Sacramento Valley; Mark
Tharp, KB7HDX, Eastern Washington; Jeff Ryan, K0RM, Colorado; Jim Pace,
K7CEX, Western Washington; Ann Rinehart, KA8ZGY, West Virginia; and Bill
Hillendahl, KH6GJV, San Francisco.


Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, shares his views on how clubs play an important role
in Amateur Radio. Fusaro is Assistant Manager of the ARRL's Membership
and Volunteer Programs Department. He is also the ARRL Affiliated
Club/Mentor Program Supervisor.

I am very fortunate to be in a position at ARRL which allows me
significant interaction with our members. It is very fulfilling to be
able to put a smile on someone's face by helping them find a solution to
their problem, regardless of the complexity. Sometimes it is not
possible to be as helpful over the telephone or with e-mail, so I will
try to direct the individual to a local club where they may be able to
get some side-by-side coaching. The local radio club is without a doubt
the place where most of us received our ham radio education. The club is
where we learned the jargon and techno-speak used on the air and where
we met folks to emulate and folks whom we swore we would never be like.
Everything that we know about ham radio that didn't come from a book was
probably learned at club meetings or late night Field Day chats over
burnt coffee. Personally, I have made many longtime friendships from my
involvement in local radio clubs and I am sure many others can say this
as well.

Clubs, by definition, are groups of like-minded people who share a
common interest. In reality a club is an eclectic assembly of
individuals, each with a unique perspective of their activity. The
dynamic of a club is no different than that of a large family. Think of
your last family get-together and then take a look at your radio club.
If everybody was the same, life would be very boring. In every club,
there is the usual cast of characters who add their distinctive flavors
to the stew and make things interesting. It is diversity that makes a
club work well. I have seen that no matter how varied the personalities
are in a club, most of these personalities are also eager to help.
Helping each other is characteristic of radio amateurs.

How often have you experienced something like this? Two hams will be in
QSO -- perhaps discussing an antenna installation or radio repair --
when another radio operator will break in with a helpful suggestion.
This situation may have happened to you, or you may have even been the
breaking station. The same thing happens (or should happen) at club
meetings. If you need help with something, the closest resource is your
local club. On the surface, the club may appear to be dysfunctional, but
once you are involved, you will find that it is actually very

The Pareto principle, commonly known as the 80-20 rule is a simple
expression that 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the
causes. As applied in the business world, this would be 80 percent of
the sales are driven by 20 percent of the customers. In a club, the
percentages may be slightly different, but the fact remains that a small
percentage of the membership is responsible for making things happen.

This is not to suggest that 80 percent of the members do not
participate, but without a "sparkplug," some things would never get
started. These people are the doers. The doers don't take no for an
answer and are always willing to take on more responsibility. But where
is the fun in jump-starting a project without someone telling you it
would never work? Of course, it would be much more fun without the
negative comments, but that goes against human nature. Ever since man
tried to open a coconut with a rock, someone was right beside him
offering a thousand excuses why it won't work: "You'll smash your
thumb." "The rock will break." "You should invent a wheel and roll it
over the coconut." "Let's just eat the bananas." The cynics of the world
are an essential part of society -- and of our clubs. They challenge us
and make us work harder to prove them wrong. Learn to accept these
people but never let them distract you from moving forward.

You only get as much from a club as you put into it. A majority of the
club bashers tend to be long time hams with a "been there, done that"
attitude, asking what a club has to offer them for them. To borrow from
President John F. Kennedy, "ask what you can do for your club." Of
course, we took more than we had to offer when we were younger and
inexperienced. But over the years, we have gathered knowledge that we
can share with the newcomers. Based upon my countless interactions with
hams of all levels of experience, the novice has much to offer the
old-timer, even if it is just reliving the joy of discovery. The local
radio club has something for everybody who is willing to get involved.

Don't know where you local club is? Use the ARRL Affiliated Club search
<>. You can reach
Fusaro by e-mail <>;.


Did you know the ARRL offers more newsletters than just The ARRL Letter?
One of the many ARRL membership benefits includes other newsletters,
such as the ARRL Contest Update (a bi-weekly contest newsletter), the
ARES E-Letter (sent monthly, containing public service and emergency
communications news), the ARRL Club News, the ARRL Instructor/Teacher
E-Letter and the VE Newsletter, just to name a few. 

You can also elect to receive news and information from your Division
Director and Section Manager (keep in mind that not all
Divisions/Sections send notices), as well as W1AW bulletins that relate
to DX, propagation, satellites and Keplerian reports. The ARRL also
offers a free notification service to members, letting them know when
their membership and license are due to expire. 

Sign up for these newsletters, bulletins and notifications on the Member
Data page of the ARRL Web site


Tad "Suspended in the blinding, sunlit blue" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: The quiet Sun continues to baffle us. If there are no sunspots
today -- and I don't expect any to emerge -- this will be the 42nd day
in a row with no sunspots; July 10 was the last day we saw any spots.
There is really no way to predict when the next sunspot will appear. If
we see no sunspots through the end of the month, then nearly 80 percent
of 2009 so far will have been spotless. Sunspot numbers for August 13-19
were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 67.2,
67.6, 68.1, 68.8, 68.1, 67.4 and 67.1 with a mean of 67.8. The estimated
planetary A indices were 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4 and 10 with a mean of 4.6. The
estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 2, 1, 0, 2, 2 and 8 with a mean
of 2.6. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page
<>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by Dana Gioia's "California Hills in August"



* This Week on the Radio: This week, look for an NCCC Sprint on August
21. Check out the Hawaii QSO Party and the Ohio QSO Party on August
22-23. The SKCC Sprint is on August 26. Next week, there is another NCCC
Sprint on August 28. The Kansas QSO Party is August 29-30. All dates,
unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<>, the ARRL Contest Update
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info. Looking
for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event
Station Web page <>. 

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, August 23, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, September 4, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 1; Antenna Modeling; Radio Frequency Interference;
Antenna Design and Construction; Ham Radio (Technician) License Course;
Propagation; Analog Electronics, and Digital Electronics. Each online
course has been developed in segments -- learning units with objectives,
informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses are
interactive, and some include direct communications with a
Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may
be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the
course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons
and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors
assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and
activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with
mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the
student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student
to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE
Course Listing page <> or contact the
Continuing Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* 7O1YGF Now on Logbook of The World: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L
reports that the logs for the 2000 DXpedition to Yemen, 7O1YGF, have
been uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) <>.
Last week, Moore announced that after more than an eight year delay, the
DXCC Desk approved the operation after a review of "recently received
information," as well as "additional dialogue" with the DXpedition
leader <>.
Moore outlined the process to receive credit via LoTW for 7O1YGF:
* As with paper applications, if you submitted 7O1YGF in the past and
had it rejected, we will accept an e-application via LoTW; you will not
be charged a submission fee for the 7O1YGF submission only.
* Make sure you have uploaded your QSOs. DXCC cannot open and search the
logs for your QSO, since doing this will not show the match that is
required for an LoTW confirmation.
* Access your account and begin the application process.
* If you select only 7O1YGF QSOs, you will not be assessed the fees that
LoTW will report back to you. If you choose other QSOs, a regular
submission fee will apply;
* Complete the application (all four parts) and DXCC will place your
e-application on the list for processing.
* A special note for 7O1YGF applications only: On Part 4 of the LoTW
application, click "Payment by mail." This step is very important to
assure proper handling. If you clicked on Part 1 for any QSOs other than
7O1YGF you must make proper payment. This is only for 7O1YGF
submissions. Applications with other QSOs will be handled and charged as
a regular submission.
* DXCC will not acknowledge completion of the application. When
finished, your numbers in LoTW will reflect the completion of your
* If you achieve Honor Roll or Top of the Honor Roll from this
submission and you would like to order the wall plaque, send Moore an
e-mail <>;, or you can fax your order or send the order form
by regular mail.

* FCC Blogs, Twitters: On Tuesday, August 18, the Federal Communication
jumped on the technological bandwagon and began "Twittering." Twitter
<> allows text-based posts of up to 140 characters
displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's
subscribers; to date, the FCC's Twitter page has almost 1900 followers.
The FCC has also started a blog called Blogband
<>. According to Chairman Julius Genachowski
(who made the first post), "Blogband is part of the FCC's commitment to
an open and participatory process. Blogband will keep people up-to-date
about the work the FCC is doing and the progress we're making. But we
want it to be a two-way conversation." Readers may leave comments after
each post, but comments will be monitored during normal business hours
and will be reviewed as "speedily as possible" before posting. "As this
blog demonstrates, the Internet is changing and expanding the way
Americans communicate, providing them with unparalleled access to
information." Genachowski wrote. "So visit Blogband often to keep up
with the latest news and -- more importantly -- get involved." The FCC
pointed out that commenting in the blog "is not a substitute for
submitting a formal comment in the record of a specific Commission
proceeding." Find the FCC's Twitter page at

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
<> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news
updates. The ARRL Web site <> also offers
informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
<> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a
podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be
given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
==>ARRL News on the Web: <>
==>ARRL Audio News: <> or call

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these

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Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

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