Amateur Radio Parity Act New Video

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The Homeland Security Department brokered the beginning of the Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation initiative in Congress in conjunction with the ARRL

That legislation is now moving with alacrity having gained sponsors in the House and Senate

As you can imagine, HOAs are spewing lies and innuendo to try to stop it.

It has not helped that some hams have opposed this legislation with claims that Hams
who want antennas can just buy a house without an HOA.  Of course, this attitude is not only harmful, it is totally unrealistic since virtually every new home built since 1980 comes with some form of deed restrictions.  (In California, almost 100% of new home are deed restricted)

The ARRL produced and released a Youtube video to explain to HOAs that hams are not all bad people and antennas should be allowed. It shows that the act does not give a blanket exemption but rather it only requires that the HOA negotiate a "Reasonable Accomodation"

You can see the video at:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=parity+act
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Posted 3 years ago

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Sergey, R5AU

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Howard , here in Russia we have several of organizations who are against any HAM radio activities and for sure HAM Ant's is a biggiest issue however on the Federal level any we have regulations concerning installation and usage of the ant's and masts but the key requirement to have an agreement with people in the neighborhood area.
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Steven G1XOW

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Howard,

Is this issue in some way Flex / SDR specific? or are you deliberately misusing this forum for your own purposes?

This is how valuable focus groups get dragged down in to the crud, and good contributors start leaving in droves. Please take it to a more appropriate place.

73 de Steve G1XOW
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Walt - KZ1F

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Howard told me the story. I suggest you ask him.
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DrTeeth

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He told me too.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Howard's antenna "war story" was published in QST or some other ham rag a few years ago, and was on his website last time I looked.  If I remember correctly, part of the story involved abuse of power, bad-faith negotiations, arbitrary enforcement, administrative stalling techniques, and other illegal actions by neighbors and the powers that regulated the zoning in his community (not so much the HOA).  It is an interesting read.  One lesson they learned, which I believe was part of the magazine article, is that when a zoning board arbitrarily and illegally piles up requirements for engineering study after engineering study merely to delay or deny a tower project by burying it under a mound of paperwork, and not to assure the safety of the community, then the individual who DID all those unnecessary studies (Howard) can sue for compensation for the illegally required studies and receive compensation at his hourly engineering rate!  If the individual has the stones, resources, and tenacity to countersue....  Sometimes you CAN beat city hall.

Ken - NM9P
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Walt - KZ1F

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And the fact there was no HOA restrictive covenents in effect at the time.
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Ernest - W4EG

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What I posted was what I understood at the DX club meetings which we are members.
Howard spoke freely of his problems regarding antenna issues. And when the City of Poway and the HOA was  taken to court and the hams won their case to allow towers and antennas in 2015.   
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Walt - KZ1F

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This, even if passed, does not unwind hoa. It merely means one can make their case to the hoa. They could say a small vertical is all you're allowed. Or a wire dipole.
(Edited)
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Burt Fisher

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If this is true there is no point to this legislation, you can do that now. What it really is to impose your desire to play ham radio by erecting monstrosities to disturb the peace in your neighborhood. What if a hobby was fixing junk cars? Unlike ham radio that actually accomplishes a purpose. 99% of hams sit on their butt and cackle. The other 1% are mostly Flex owners who do some good. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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No Burt, we just went through that. When the deed says NO, it means NO. My only point above was that if Howard's experience was a little different, like an active HOA withe do's and do not's, the outcome would perhaps been much different. So the ARPA removes the flat out no. Removing the no does not imply yes to a hundred foot tower with stacked MonsterIRs. Our RI qth was my great aunt's and we bought it from the estate. Our kids and their families live in RI but when we wanted to move back those places we considered all had deed restrictions. So we're just over the line in CT. The development literally abutting our property is still deed restricted. Ours is not. Do not assume people are abrogating agreements they've signed. That is an unfair assumption.
(Edited)
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Ernest - W4EG

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Corey...

I am sorry to tell you....YOU DON'T WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT...
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Bob G W1GLV

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Walt, that's better than nothing. Some of these HOA are very unforgiving if you break the covenance rules. Not fair to a person who spent thousands for a home. The covenance most of the time is crafted by the developer so he can continue building homes without having to spend time acquiescing to the present homeowners. These rules are often unable to be changed because of a quorum rule. 
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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Bill Gross (bond guy, not a ham guy-at least as far as I know) says that investors today should be looking for a return of their money and not a return on their money.  It sounds like you are right on track there.  I'll be 62 when my son enters college so I can empathize with you regarding the finances.
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DrTeeth

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Ken, #8 will be a limiting factor, especially as you have written two of them ;-). I reckon the second #8 will be the limiting factor.
Children at University + working parents = erosion of parent's funds.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Oops! I added the first #8 in front of the other one and forgot to change it to #9! In any case, we have already saved about one year's worth of tuition, room, board and fees. Only three more to go! I am praying that David will be dedicated enough in high school to earn at least partial scholarships!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Ken
If such a Ham Radio paradise exists.. i really hope you find it.....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Ha!  I like some places in California, but could never afford a house there, not to mention the cost of living and taxes!  But I would love to move somewhere out west.  I love ND & SD in the summer, but I need somewhere I can live for more than two months!  We are very find of NW Montana and the Glacier NP region.  But the same thing applies.  We love the mountains and would like to be near them, to see them, but not right IN them.  WY, UT, ID might be interesting places.  I like CO, but don't think I would survive politically.  OR and WA have too many environmentalist obstacles, but they are beautiful.  

I still have plenty of time to dream!  Part of our vacation travels lately include observation of potential retirement friendly towns.  
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Burt Fisher

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Someone tell me why I had no trouble finding housing on Cape Cod with no restrictions? However unlike many of the respondents here when I give my word, I keep it.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Because you live in Cape Cod which has numerous Older Areas that were built before the Banks demanded HOA Deed Restrictions as part of their developer financing process...you were able to easily find a home without an HOA

Such is not the case in most of the rest of the USA and especially for most homes built after 1980 ...   today it is almost impossible for a young person to buy an AFFORDABLE Home with Deed Restrictions..

I suspect that if you lived in California where unless you are rather wealthy you cannot find any homes without deed restrictions you would quickly fall off your high horse about "keeping your word" and be the first one on the band wagon to pass the Parity Act.
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Burt Fisher

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I am aware of your desire for correctness. No one lives IN Cape Cod, they live ON Cape Cod.

It is amazing you know more about an area than I do. I first lived here in 1964. I was taken to an HOA and made a CHOICE to not live there. There are areas that are old but not many. Very few residents are born Cape Codders. A common question is, "Where are you from?"

That said only those with no honor would sign an AGREEMENT (get it AGREEMENT) and then try to abrogate it. I would like to live on the French Riviera but they probably won't allow towers, so guess what I live where they do.


You would be complaining from the highest tower of someone made an agreement with Howard and then tried to welch on it.


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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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FYI -

1. Lots of Antennas on the French Riviera... I use them all the time when I am there..
2..You have obviously never been in Business... People, Companies and especially Governments abrogate agreements all the time...even with me.. ...
3.  there is a significant difference between an voluntary agreement and an agreement in which you have no choice but to accept if you want to live there such as a HOA Deed Restriction
4.   You clearly have failed to watch the video or read the legislation.  it only requires that HOA provide "Reasonable Accommodation" for the possibility of a negotiated settlement not blanket antenna approval.
5.  HOA can and do change their agreements all the time.  This legislation just opens up the previously closed Antenna Restriction clause for negotiation NOT removal.
6.  So if and when the HOA negotiates a new agreement with the Ham  NO ONE is going back on their word.
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Walt - KZ1F

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And it also proves for someone who was not a ham when they bought in to become one without having to move out.

Burt, do you live on Massachusetts too?
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Burt Fisher

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Howard there you go again. I ran my own TV repair and computer business, I was also President of a large union where the thought of abrogating an agreement was abhorrent to both parties because we were people of honor. I watched the propaganda Communists of old would be proud of. It is amazing you know what I watch. If this bill is just about getting parties talking, they can do that without a bill. The bill is about hams trying to foist their will on others with no redeeming reason. 

Walt I think I mentioned I was on Cape Cod.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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For the First Time in 4 Years...It's actually raining in Southern California - No more Drought!!

@Steve Wragge G1XOW
Yes I believe that the Parity Act and the associated video is totally appropriate to this forum because if USA Hams do not do support the Bill to mitigate HOA Antenna Restrictions with some form of "Reasonable Accommodation" soon no NEW Hams in the USA will be allowed to have antennas and companies like Flex and Elecraft will cease to exist due to lack of sales.

It is important to you that the largest by $ sales market for Ham Gear remain healthy and vibrant. HOA Deed restrictions are doing serious harm to hams,  Further the USA tends to set precedents..if we can mitigate HOA Deed Restrictions then hams around the world could point to the USA when negotiating with their powers that be.

@Burt
We all realize that you like to take controversial positions even when have no stake in the game and you likely know that your actions (such as writing letters to Congress opposing the Act) will cause  harm to other hams just  to raise the ire of people in this community.

@Ken
We were fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy our retirement home on a street without an HOA and paid at more than twice as much for the property  as the next street behind us that had an HOA.  ((FYI - it is well documented that HOA Deed Restrictions actually harm the value of property by limiting what you can do with your own property)

FYI - I did not get it in a RF Quiet Zone.... you can't get everything...


@My Antenna Wars
After 9 years in the courts I have unwillingly become quite knowledgeable about antenna regulations.   

HOA's came into being because the Banks which funded developers desired to have some conformity in their financing products so it would be easier to package their loans for resale. Fact of life, virtually every new home built in the USA since the 1980's has some form of bank imposed deed restriction.  So the argument they hams should buy a home without an HOA is really facetious because unless you have unlimited funds it is just not realistic to be able to find such a property.  

Starting in the late 1960's, Antenna Deed Restrictions were added to HOA Agreements because Cable Companies PAID Developers to include them so that new homes would need to purchase cable to have TV.  Unfortunately the deed restrictions were overly broad and came to include ham antennas.   

in 1995 Congress removed the HOA Antenna Deed Restrictions for Over The Air Receiving Devices (OTARD) to allow homeowners the freedom to install their own TV and Satellite Antennas.. What further compounded the issue is that the banks still use the same old HOA Antenna Restriction documentation requirements to fund developers even though they no longer are applicable.. So basically the Antenna Deed Restrictions now only apply to Ham Antennas, hence the need for the Parity Act to right a wrong perpetrated on hams who cannot afford to live elsewhere.

My own antenna wars are well documented, 

I bought a property without antenna deed restrictions,  I obtained building permits - after fighting though the expense of 13 major engineering  plan revisions  clearly designed to discourage hams of lesser means...the tower and beam were installed and passed all legal, engineering and final inspections.  ( In my professional career my companies have build hundreds of communications tower all over the world but the one at my house was perhaps the most over engineered and safest tower I have ever been involved with)

Then the wars started.. a group of "Entitled" neighbors funded a local councilman (he is now a Congressman) who ordered the City to "I don't care if it is totally legal... find something wrong with it and get it taken down"... I said "Entitled:" because when it became known that I had helped rescue some people during Katrina.. one of them actually said "He should not be allowed to save the lives of anyone outside of La Jolla"

Fortunately I had the means to hire good attorneys - when the City took up the neighbors cause and started to harass me and my  totally legal tower, my lawyers preemptively sued the City.  The cases dragged on in the courts for years.. and consumed vast amounts of $$... at one point we counted 43 different people on the CIty's side who were involved in the case.   

Cities do not play fair.. they lie to the courts, they withhold documents that are in the public domain with the clear intention of making you give up the case because you can't afford to continue to fight City Hall...Well I did continue to fight for 8 years ... We ultimately won mainly because the City was caught lying to the judge too many times.... and I received significant financial judgments because the City was sanctioned for lying..

Along the way the City of San Diego, with new legislation from the Councilman, tried to implement new ultra restrictive ham antenna permitting rules.. But Hams in the city banded together, hired professional lobbyists and attorneys and successfully defeated the measure.


Not to give up.. in the 9th year.. 3 neighbors tried to sue us and the City to force me to get an $30,000 California Coastal Permit..because my antenna can been seen from the Pacific Ocean.  Even though it initially cost more than the permit to fight . this time the City was on my side in the case and I won financial judgments against the 3 neighbors. 


FYI - the tower and MonstIR beam have been up continuously since 2005 during the entire time of the wars....and played a role in saving lives and property during Katrina and the 2007 San Diego Fires as well as several other disasters...

Bottom Line:  Today any ham can get easily a tower building permit in City of San Diego as the City does not ever want to incur the expense of fighting hams again...


So why do I support the Parity Act when it does not apply to me directly?

Because I strongly believe that as long as Ham who cannot afford to or due to other circumstances are not able to purchase a home outside of an HOA continue to be discriminated against then Ham Radio in the USA and perhaps the world is doomed to die due to lack of antennas... 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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If I remember correctly, at first the exemption had a rule that said that HOA's and CCR's cannot prohibit a home TV receiving antenna that is no more than 18 inches in diameter - a clear nod to DirecTV and Primestar, the forerunner to Dish Network.  Then the TV Broadcasters said "Hey, we want a piece of that pie, too."   So the preemption was extended to include OTA TV antennas.  I remember reading an article from a ham who purchased the largest, ugliest, fringe area TV antenna he could find and put it up.  The HOA was forced to allow it, since it was an OTA TV Antenna.  Then a few months later he told them that we was going to replace it.  He replaced it with a 13 element 2 meter yagi and they were happy, because it was so much smaller and more attractive....

Interesting to note that the FCC's PRB-1 declares a federal preemption for municipal regulation of AMATEUR radio antennas, but NOT CB antennas, which are far more prevalent in some parts of the country.  But since CB's are no longer licensed, (and are not a recognized vital emergency communications service) they get no protection from PRB-1.

Ken - NM9P
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Burt Fisher

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Howard said, "So you are wrong because you are trying to continue the rules harming other hams" So I am supposed to help the almighty ham regardless of what is best for people who intend to keep agreements? On the list of groups and people that are important hams rank well below almost all others. Hams as you and most others in this thread have demonstrated are all about me, me, my, my, I, I. Self, self, self. " I need my tower" " I am king" "My wants (not needs) trump your peace and tranquility."

(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I could have compromised with the city and saved a lot of money as well as years of agony in the courts but instead I fought the very expensive antenna wars so that hams who did not have the means to fight city hall would not have to fight city hall ever again. I was lucky on in the fact that the judge awarded me significant monetary damages or I would have been out of pocket a lot of money.

I personally funded much of the cost of fighting the 2008 proposed legislative restrictions on ham antennas even though my tower was grandfathered in 2005.

Do I don't think anyone could say it was about me.

@Burt.

You continue to fail to read the proposed Parity Act or watch the video or you,would realize that the act is not going to breach any existing agreements but rather it only requires the HOA to come to the table to NEGOTIATE REASONABLE ACCOMODATION.

This is no different than when you ask your HOA to allow you to remove your required very expensive water sucking grass and replace it with drought resistant plants.(As of Jan 1, 2016 California HOA had to reasonably accommodate drought resistant plants.). Such changes to HOA a agreements are nothing new. They happen all the time. No one is abrogating agreements. Rather the various parties are coming together to reasonably accommodating each other

Please watch the video and read the Act before you continue to make your totally unsupportable claims about anyone not keeping agreements. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Burt Fisher

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Tell me how you know I neither watched the video or read the act? I have done both.  I applaud your fight with authorities by the way.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Burt, why do you insist people are abrogating their agreements?
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Ken, maybe you should look at Iowa.  Lots of places and few HOAs outside of the major cities..  Take a look at W0GJ's page on QRZ.com if you want to see what is possible.  One of my best friends is a retired pastor (not a ham, however) and they bought a nice acreage up near the Mississippi river.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I dream about a plateau in Arizona, or somewhere near the Prescott Valley, or at about 5000 ft. altitude in New Mexico.   But I probably wouldn't be able to afford housing.  My budget will probably allow between $165K - $250K for a house, unless the market takes off dramatically in the next couple of years and my pension account grows.  I will need to pull it back to a safer, more diversified, more stable investment portfolio in a few years to hedge against another 2008 style crash. So if it is going to grow a lot, it better do it quickly! 

Regardless of what my own preference is, I might never get my XYL out of Indiana because she will be so very tied to family that is here.  I keep joking that they can come to see us anytime they want.  But the older she gets, the more tied she is to "home" even though we have lived in church-provided parsonages in various parts of the state for the past 32 years.  
We may end up in Tennessee, near the foothills of the Smokies, or Western KY.  Or perhaps stay in Southern Indiana and get a cheap place for wintering in South TX.  I don't really want to go to Florida.

I dream of having my own place with no need to get approval from a board of Trustees in order to put up an antenna or punch a hole in the wall for antenna feedlines.  Most have been cooperative, but I was at one place for 4 years and was never able to present a plan that didn't get nixed by one of the patriarchs who was afraid that it would devalue the property if I drilled a little hole in the brick wall or a soffit to feed my RG-8.  They didn't have a problem when I needed to do the same thing for the DirecTV dish.  Same sized hole! Go figure.  I practically did without Ham radio for four years, except from my mobile.  It was an RF noisy neighborhood and indoor antennas were useless.

Ken - NM9P
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James Del Principe

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Ken, the Smokies are a great place to be. I can't wait to get back for another visit. Think long and hard about taking a woman away from her family. I did that twice with disastrous consequences.....For now, my HOA of which I sit on the board, has no problem with wires in trees.....a tower? I don't wish to push my luck.   73, Jim
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I think the intent of this post as a PSA has reached its intended audience and the secondary personal discussions have no real benefit to the community as a whole, so I am closing this topic. 

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.