QRZ Logbook

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mt. Pleasant, WI is not kind to ham radio

If you're a ham operator, or the father of one, and you or a member of your family have special needs, stay away from Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin.

The town's planning commission ordered that a tower belonging to the Markstrom family was to be taken down after it was determined that the Markstroms did not secure the proper permits to erect it.

But it's not so much the planning commission, as it is the neighbors who all of a sudden claim that the tower's interfering with their TVs. The complaints were brought on after Jim (KB9MMA) and his son Samm (KC9POP) had their community service during severe weather attract unwanted attention by local officials and neighbors. Samm is 10 and has issues with Cerebral Palsy.

Granted, I don't live there, and I'm certainly biased when it comes to ham radio towers and the right to have one (I will NEVER live in an HOA thanks to their micro-plutocracies that base their "laws" on the almighty $$$ at the expense of individuality and the freedom of expression) but when the neighbors call a ten-year old a "media puppet" and are indifferent to the public service he's been awarded, the negative attention given to the neighbors is warranted in my opinion.

It looks like several media outlets have reported the story and there's even a facebook page dedicated to the cause.

However, now that the commission has spoken, it looks to be a lost cause. Jim has said he may sue to keep the tower, but at this point, why bother? Get the hell out of there, and move to a place that has wide open spaces, and welcomes the community service that Samm employs in order to get out of his shell that his disability has encased him.

And if Mt. Pleasant, God forbid, gets hit with a tornado, I would certainly hope they have ample warning. They would, if they'd allow one ham and his son to keep their tower.