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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Hello? Metro Skywarn? You still there?

God I love lurkers on my blog and the ability to trace IP addresses. Looks like a bunch of the old boys at MSW have their panties in a bunch now after stopping by for a read. PERFECT! Exactly what I was counting on to happen so let's turn up the heat another notch!

Some quotes from emails I have received from others involved on both sides of this issue:

The post on Metro was a long time coming and needed to be vented! I am just damn happy they did not get a sugar coated treatment this time and just might take off their rose colored glasses.

Okay, I think I love you. Seriously. Not only have you hit the nail on the head accurately with MSW but you've decided to speak up about it.

well, I think some work can be done but as long as they keep taking everyone, no, it won't get much better.

MSW has had to hear this for a long time. It's about time someone had the balls to say it.

There are more. A lot more. Not just from the MPX CWA either. NWS mets, NCO's, fellow chasers, and even some guy in KS who claims to have been a spotter for 35 years. Bottom line is everyone seem to have the same message of "now is the time for change".

It is also worth pointing out the lively threads on this subject over on f5chaser.com HERE and HERE.

Let me refer to the comments section on the FIRST entry regarding MSW's failures.

Lets make one thing perfectly clear here. I am the voice for what no one else has been willing to say for the past 5 years. I have never minded a good old fashioned brawl and I don't mind throwing the first punch when someone else has it coming. In this case, MSW needed a good straight left right in the mouth as a wake up call.

First off, thank you Dave, for having the guts to address my accusations. I respect you for taking the time to be the one and only MSW member (so far) to man up and open some dialog.

Don't like my tone? Wow, stir the pot and get a response. That was the plan and I am still holding the spoon. It's unfortunate it has come to this but MSW has a reputation for having deaf ears and being able to table problems until they go away. Yup, that approach has always worked within successful organizations (volunteer or otherwise). I know it isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison but you yet the idea.

Don't like the way I categorized MSW's spotters? Huh, it's nothing more than I have heard from several MSW trainers for the past 5 years. It's there. It's real. Deal with it.

Stepping up? Easy to knock a volunteer organization? My gawd, quit playing the pitty card already. Other Skywarn groups don't have the repeated issues MSW does. If it looks and smells like a dead fish, it's a dead fish. Call it like it really is. This is a problem within the hierarchy of MSW and MSW only. I never have taken a shot at The Red Cross or the Salvation Army as there is nothing wrong with the way they are run and most importantly HOW THEY RESPOND to a situation.

Will I contribute to the fix? Do you have any idea how much of my time and expense (and other Minnesota/Wisonsin based chasers) has already been spent compiling Skywarn training material for MPX, DLH, ABR, FSD, FGF, ARX, MKX and DMX over the years? It's more than an hour and a dollar. I'll tell you that. In the same breath, I know MSW is trying (to some extent) but they are failing. If I didn't give a ****, I would have never said anything in the first place. Here is the caveat...old boys at MSW need to open their eyes and EARS. If MSW is willing to instill a testing system which EXCLUDES unqualified individuals from being a spotter, I am in. If MSW goes about their future by using their past for guidance, forget it. That trail is so riddled with failure it is obvious the current operational model doesn't work. I see complacency as a festering sore at every Metro Skywarn class I have attended with the exception of ONE. The trainers are frustrated and most of the spotters are bored. I need to give credit to the trainers who really do try and not just go through the motions as most do.

Would I consider being a trainer? Not a chance with the current system and the current MSW leadership (refer back to my original post of what I believe to be the biggest problem right now). I REFUSE to be part of the problem by either being knuckled under (which seems to be THE complaint by several of the current trainers), or just pumping out garbage spotters.

As far as attending a MSW board meeting, bring it. If this is some lame-ass attempt at calling my bluff to appease the criticisms being voiced then forget it. If MSW is genuinely looking at implementing a REAL testing system (as of now I highly doubt it) I would welcome the opportunity to discuss.

In the mean time, I am off for a midnight rendezvous in a blue box with some lightning producers. Have a good weekend all.


Craig said...

Couldn't agree more with all your comments about MSW!

I wonder if paying to take the class would cut down on the number of idiots ($5 registration fee)???

I wonder if the pleas for more spotters will stop. Seriously, do we really need more, really?

Also, I think that MSW should start "revoking" memberships. Perhaps those that can't figure out how to use the radio, or those that call in lightning reports. They have a database of spotter info. If they pass the test and still cannot prove their abilities at a reasonable level on the radio, then away with them!!! SpotterNetwork has figured that out.

Keep it going Bill. I'm with you.

Dave said...

I'm sure you and most other's don't realize that the issues you have identified, accurately or not, have been discussed and rediscussed probably hundreds of times in the nearly 20 years I've been involved. The idea of a small group of "super spotter" was done and done well in the 70's and 80's in the Twin Cities. That is until they all quit about the same time for various reasons. At that point, Skywarn in the TC was all but dead.
I was determined then as I am now to be sure that doesn't happen again. If you want to ensure longevity, you must sacrifice some things. It's a constant battle to keep a balance, one that has been fought way too long by the same people.
We need more people actively involved. Those folks not only have to have a commitment, they have to be able to work collaboratively. Harsh words won't get the job done. Only hard work and good communication skills will.
Metro Skywarn board meetings are held five times a year and open to the public. The time and date are posted to SWInfo mail list prior to the date. You are always welcome to attend.

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