Use a radio!!! Dozens of local ham radio operators and enthusiasts descended recently on La Honda Gardens to participate in Field Day, an annual, national event promoting emergency preparedness and communications. The goal is to quickly set up power, radios and antennas off-the-grid to communicate with outside areas in the event of a large scale emergency. Our La Honda club, SC4ARC, has participated every year since 2008, just after the club was formed.
Nearly 300 contacts were made to stations around the country and in Canada with similar field set-ups. In addition, we made an antenna from PVC pipe and bits of a tape measure to contact the International Space Station on its flyover of the area. (photo)
The weather was perfect, and we were fortunate to have Charlie Catania’s permission to use the gardens for the event. This location makes it easy for the community to stop by, ask questions, and play with radios themselves. Many are surprised how many of their friends and neighbors are already involved in this fun, easy, and important activity.
Our group mostly uses local communication on the 146.730 and 440.100 repeaters. We keep each other updated regularly on road closures, lines down, power outages, etc., but also provide radio communications for simulated emergencies, drills, bike races and marathons. Our 2m and 70cm radios cover a large area including La Honda, Skylonda, South Skyline, Butano, Pescadero, San Gregorio and Half Moon Bay. Quite impressive for inexpensive hand-held radios! On Field Day, we use bigger antennas and more powerful radios to reach distant stations.
Our thanks to Charlie, and the many volunteers who made this recent weekend such a success. These same folks also deserve thanks for their efforts throughout the year building and maintaining the communications system that keeps the community informed and prepared for storms and other unexpected events.
Tim Hilborn and son with Zanzibar at last years fair
by craig eddy
Seems like I just wrote an article about the upcoming La Honda Fair! My how time flies. Yet here we are looking forward to the number one annual community event in La Honda. I have been a fan of the festival scene for many years and even though the La Honda Fair is tiny compared to some, it rivals most in quality of good vibes, great music, and location. Speaking of location if you haven’t had a peek at the La Honda Gardens you should. Owner Charlie Catania has redone the whole area with stone retaining walls, new buildings for weddings and events, and new landscaping. The Garden was his mother’s favorite place so Charlie has made the effort to restore and improve it. It is really an amazing new look. Please respect the wonderful work Charlie and Pedro have done in the garden by keeping the kids from damaging the new stonework and landscaping.
Kicking off the event this year on Saturday will be the parade with Christian, Rob and Todd playing music to fill up the time between the end of the parade and the first main act at noon. On Sunday the school will be hosting its pancake breakfast so come on down for breakfast and some early morning music with local favorites Cryin' Shame.
Now let’s go over a few guidelines for attending a festival. First for maximum enjoyment you should plan on committing the whole weekend. Bring a blanket or tarp, lawn chairs, cooler, sun protection and most of all bring a smile and a few dollars for the latest Dan Newitt designed tee shirt (it is awesome)! Invite lots of your family and friends as proceeds go to support the music and art programs at the La Honda school. There will be lots of local arts and crafts as well as food. This year we will have three first time bands on Sunday. Chinese Melodrama, Scott Cooper and the Barrelmakers, and Wavelength along with the familiar local bands will keep the crowd dancing throughout the weekend. Saturday bands include Lighthouse, Point of Order, This Way Up, Bundy Browne, and Zanzibar. Sunday lineup consists of Scott Cooper, Chinese Melodrama, Wavelength, Pathetic Honey and The Gary Gates Band.
I love being a part of a small community like La Honda and surrounding area and the La Honda Fair is a great chance to spend time with neighbors and friends and share in the sense of community we have here. See you there!!