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Anacortes Senior College

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Thursday afternoon classes

Ham Radio Principles and Operation


with Peter Witheford

In this course you will learn about the functions of Ham radio operators, the principles of radio operation, demonstrations of Ham radios and related equipment, and the FCC regulations. Ham radio, also known as Amateur radio, allows operation of special radios to send and receive voice, digital, and Morse code information over short and very long distances. Ham operators enjoy recreational communication with current friends and often new friends met over the radio. Hams also serve the community by providing communication ability in case of emergencies and disasters. On Fidalgo Island a group of Hams meet weekly to test 10 sites for radio function and operating procedures. These sites include the Hospital, Police and Fire stations, Salvation Army, and the Anacortes maintenance facility.

There is a county radio club that meets monthly and provides various educational and social events throughout the year. The membership of 150 includes men and women of all ages including some children as young as 10 years old and seniors aged up to 90. In the United States Ham radio operation is controlled by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and requires users to have a license. There are three levels of licensure called technician, general, and extra. Each level requires a short written test and provides increasing privileges in radio usage. Morse code is no longer required to become licensed. By the end of the course, you will have obtained enough information to be eligible to take a test for licensure if you wish. In the course there will be no examination. There will be some reading material provided free to course members.


Peter Witheford, FCC Extra License, 50+ years’ experience with electronic equipment and operating Ham radios.

Jay Ham, FCC Extra License, retired anesthesiologist, 45 years’ experience with electronic equipment, 3 years’ operating Ham radios.

Ann Marie Humphreys, FCC Extra License, Community leader in teaching women to operate Ham radios.

Ken Hunting, FCC Extra License, Career Coast Guard officer and longtime sailor experienced in Ham radio techniques on the ocean.

Lea Nichols, FCC Extra License, Managed an electronics business for many years and longtime sailor experienced in Ham radio techniques on the ocean.

Bob Cummings, FCC Advanced License, Career with Raytheon designing and testing antennas.

Ronald Johnston, FCC Extra License, experienced radio operator especially while traveling.

Richard Rodriguez, FCC General License, A marine Captain instructor, well versed in radio communications of all types as well as rules and regulations.

Our Amazing Constitution


with Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

An introduction to the unique governmental system created by the U.S. Constitution of 1787. We will explore the principles and operation of the separation of powers, federalism, individual rights, and representative democracy—all original experiments at the time! We will also examine how and why it has been modified over the last two centuries, and the political crises we face today. This is the basic civics class that should be familiar to all American students, but which will be far more understandable and relevant to those who have lived under its umbrella for many decades. Current events and class discussions included. Pocket Constitutions will be supplied.

Instructor: Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Michael holds a BA in French and an MA in Political Science from the Univ. of Nevada, and a PhD in Political Science from the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright Scholar (graduate study in International Relations) at l’Université de Paris. He was a professor in the Dep’t of Economics, History, and Political Science at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calid. for 30 years. He has found refuge in Anacortes for the last 15 years.

Full Course

Three Good Movies: Truth to Power


with Mark Lundsten

We will watch an international collection of three good movies about bringing truth to power: Woman at War (Iceland, 2018, subtitles), The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006, subtitles), and All the President’s Men (U.S., 1976).

In weeks #1, #3, and #5, we will screen the films. These classes will run about a half hour extra. Then, in weeks #2, #4, and #6, we will review and discuss each of the movies.

Instructor: Mark Lundsten

Mark received a BA in English and then spent many years working as a commercial halibut fisherman in Alaska, during which time he made his first movie. Since retiring from fishing, he has made a few more. His short film The Bath played in many film festivals and won a number of awards. For a few years, Mark also conducted the Second Sunday Film Series in Anacortes.

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