This file depicts all changes, corrections, additions, etc. that
have been made to the Alachua County SKYWARN and Alachua County EMWIN Project
(and related) web sites.
03 OCT 13
WHOOPS! Caught an error on our hurricane graphics index page and corrected it. We prepare the index page manually and if there's a confusing situation as happened with Hernando - where it died, then reformed again, and the NHC renames the old to TC-8 and starts a completely NEW set of bulletins for a newly-formed Humberto it throws off all the rest of the naming system on our page. So post-Humberto deformation, Humberto became TC-8, Ingrid became Humberto, and Jerry became Ingrid, etc. So we added an additional line of code to handle the TC-8 graphic, and then adjusted the numbering of all the subsequent graphics so that they were correct again. Sorry for any inconvenience. Was a pain in the butt for us, too. :)
Incidently, if anyone is good with web page coding and would like to submit to us some new code which might handle all that automatically and create a page that looks the same way it does now, we'd be glad to use it.
02 OCT 13
For anyone curious, the government shutdown will NOT affect EMWIN operations.
29 SEP 13
Added "Free Text Message" (FTM) bulletins to the Facebook pages of Bradford Co EMA, Gulf County EMA, and the Cape Coral FD. These are notifications sent out by the NWS Field Offices to alert people when their radars go down, are under maintenance, and when they are back up. They're usually short and quick bulletins describing the situation and how long it will last. Thought they would come in handy in helping people to understand why a radar site might not be working at any particular time.
27 SEP 13
Added the Cape Coral Fire Department to our list of "customers". Began providing weather alert notices to their Facebook page. This means we're now serving EMAs in panhandle, north central, and southern Florida. Not bad for an organization that begs no money - dues, grants, or donations - from people to provide to provide the free service that we do. Took us a month to get it going due to a snafu on the part of Facebook which prevented "app" authorization. The problem cleared up mysteriously on its own, and when it did we were finally able to get things going for them.
15 AUG 13
09:15a - Oops! Noticed that on the AC-EMWIN Hurricane Graphics page we'd forgotten to update the storm names on the page. Not too big a problem. Users would have only noticed this if they moused OVER the links to the images, but the graphics themselves actually had theh correct names, of course. We'd forgotten to update the "ALT" statement inside of the "IMG" tag in the HTML coding. This has now been corrected. Sorry for any inconvenience.
10 AUG 13
So proud to see so much use suddenly coming of the ACEMWIN-HURR-L hurricane bulletins listgroup since NOAA listed us as an alternate source for Gulf/Atlantic hurricane bulletins after the shutdown of the GovDelivery bulletin service on July 31st. We jumped from a user base of 36 to now nearly 750 users. And this increases in big leaps and bounds whenever a tropical storm gets named. Very happy to see our efforts get such worldwide attention like this. People are checking in from countries all around the world. We're even getting subscribers in various state and federal government agencies. Nice to see we're providing a good service to so many people.
26 APR 13
09:00am - Heads up Alachua FreeNet users... AFN appears to be down again. ...Mail, web pages, FTP. One of my own personal accounts in one drive actually returns nothing in the dir list, while another account on another drive actually shows an error. The latter one probably being just a dismount. This means the AC-SKYWARN page at AFN will not be accessible. But the mirror AC-SKYWARN page is still accessible without any problems at www.fireline.org/skywarn.
03:00pm - Okay. Admin working on Freenet problem. Admin calling it a "kernel panic, last night". Freenet1 rebooted. Mail working again, but throwing everything since 3/25 out at people. Pages operating again. FTP operating again. Let's hope it remains stable through the weekend at least. Kudos and grateful thanks to Bruce McIntosh as usual, of AFN admin, for effecting the fix.
15 OCT 12
Starting on the 10th, Twitter apparently made a not-too-well-widely-publicized change in how it handled incoming posts from automated servers and this caused a blackout for a few days because EMWIN servers across the country suddenly found that they were not able to get through and make any posts. Most of us didnt' even notice this until a couple of days had passed because it's all handled automatically by the EMWIN server software. After discussions with our EMWIN software author, and doing some beta testing for him of some fixes, the problem now appears to have been fixed, and posts to Twitter are yet again flowing. We'll keep an eye on things for a while to make sure things continue to work without problem.
02 SEP 12
The AC-EMWIN server is now located behind a gas generator automatic backup in case the power goes out. It also has a backup internet line, now. Should one line go out, the other will automatically take over.
With Bradford County EMA (Facebook page and Bradford area cellphone/email users) and Gulf County EMA both now being supported by our system, things are starting to take on much more serious tone. Under our old setup, had the power gone out, that would have been it, and it would have been extremely embarassing. Under this new setup, should the power go out, our system will keep operating for as long as the gas holds out. And should one internet line go out, we'll have at least one backup opprtunity for things to continue.
14 AUG 12
Now providing severe weather bulletins to Gulf County area Facebook page. Impressed with what they saw at the Bradford County EM Facbook page, Gulf County EM contacted us and asked us if we could provide them with a similar service to their own Facebook page. We, of course, were only too happy to oblige.
07 JUL 12
ISP Server Maintenance. On July 5th our web site ISP upgraded their server software. After a couple days of working out some kinks which caused some odd behavior with the AC-SKYWARN and AC-EMWIN web sites, the kinks have been worked out and things are again back to normal with all web pages.
24 JUN 12
Web Site Watch/Warning Map Working Well. Nicely impressed with how the watch/warning map is working out on the AC-SKYWARN home page since making the changes. The marine zones are working fine. The tropical-related statuses are showing up where they're supposed to. Good deal.
20 JUN 12
Now providing severe weather bulletins to Bradford County area users. In the spirit of public service, we're expanding our services to now provide severe weather bulletins to email and cellphone for Bradford County area users. Sponsored by Bradford County Office of Emergency Management, Alachua County SKYWARN, and the Alachua County EMWIN Project. What makes our service different is the customizeability that most other services don't offer, such as the ability to either BLOCK/TRASH bulletins during certain time periods, like say, overnight; or to HOLD bulletins after hours and still send them in the morning anyway if users wish, maybe because they still want to know what happened overnight. We've already been providing these bulletins to BCEM's Facebook and Twitter pages, too, for quite a while, now.
26 MAY 12
Update of AC-EMWIN Hurricane Graphics Page. Time to update the hurricane graphics page. Removed old hurricane graphics and replaced them with generic "NO ADVISORIES YET ISSUED FOR THIS STORM" graphic for storms not yet having formed. These will automatically become overwritten as the first advisory is issued for each respective storm.
Facebook Hiccup - HLSJAX Bulletin Short Links Not Working. Thanks to Kevin Rulapaugh for pointing out that the HLSJAX shortened links were not working. I forgot to actually CREATE a link for that bulletin, and of course it went undetected until the HLSJAX bulletins actually began being issued. Problem fixed.
Fireline Server Hiccup. Noticed almost as immediately as it happened that Fireline suddenly stopped painting the ACS web page. I also checked FTP and it was not responding either. Called Fireline admin and advised them of the problem. Turned out to be a loose line connection not completely pushed in after installation of some new server equipment. After pushing in all the connections, the server suddenly began responding again. Problem solved within 5 munutes of occuring.
Minor adjustment to AC-SKYWARN Alert List (Yahoo). Stopped sending TCVAT hurricane bulletins to the listgroup and replaced them with the TCPAT. The TCVAT pretty much just lists the affected areas while the TCPAT has the detail of the situation that everyone wants.
Fixed Minor Map Zone Painting Problem. Didn't realize that the TCVAT product list is limited to just the NHC-issued watches and warnings, and that it didn't include additional watches/warnings issued by local agencies. So I included watches/warnings issued in the HLSJAX bulletin, as well. Now the map should paint the Florida situation more accurately.
Marine Zones On Map. Turned on Marine Zones on the map graphic so that their outlines appear in very light blue against the ocean, hinting where they are. Now those zones should be painted in the approrpiate colors for watches or warnings as they are issued.
05 MAY 12
Server Maintenance. Since we had to move EMWIN product file handling to the alternate server, the Bitly URL pointers attached to some Facebook messages no longer worked. :( Set up new service at v.gd.
30 APR 12
Web site maintenance. Gave the ACS mirror site some attention. We'd started to create a mirror site some years ago. But due to some incompatibilities between AFN and Fireline, we were unable to truly mirror the AFN website at Fireline, and the mirror was left abandoned for some years. A few years having gone by now, and servers and softwares having been upgraded, we've begun work on getting mirror site going again. This way, if there's a major crash at AFN, the Fireline mirror site can still be used, standalone, in it's place, until the AFN problems - whatever they might be - are fixed. (And vice-versa, of course.)
Also began work on creating AC-EMWIN mirror site, too.
26 APR 12
Web site maintenance. Made some changes to the way that the web site pulls EMWIN information. The AFN ISP has been experiencing a lot of FTP failures laterly and when it does the EMWIN server is not able to connect and to throw over any updated bulletins. The web pages usually still work while FTP is down, but no new information is able to be transferred. To avoid this problem, we've moved the EMWIN data over to another server and the AFN pages point to the data on the other ISP's server. Now, if AFN's FTP processes go down again, the EMWIN processes shouldn't be affected.
20 APR 12
AC-EMWIN Gets New Server Machine. Placed a new, much faster server unit into operation. Placed the old AC-EMWIN server into backup/standby status. More information here.
16 APR 12
Storm Spotter's Field Guide Upgrade - Satellite & RADAR Animations Added. Added satellite and radar imagery animations to the ACS Storm Spotter's Field Guide. Now when researching past events within Alachua County, spotters will be able to also view the satellite and radar data for that day. Took me a couple weeks to learn the data handling software, and to download the data, and to create the animations. Yer welcome. :)
24 MAR 12
First Alachua County Tornado Photo Captured! Jonathan Baker was on break at the Walmart Distribution Center in Alachua today when an EF-0 tornado skimmed by the business - and he captured it in photo and video on his iPhone4! We've been researching tornado photography in Alachua County and haven't been able to find anything. So Jon's photo could very well be the first ever taken here in Alachua County. More on the story here!
25 SEP 11
Spent past few days trying to figure out why the EMWIN software has not been
painting flood-related products to the Watch/Warning map on the ACS main front
page. After a lot of time spent on it, the problem was found and fixed. The
map is again painting flood-related products properly.
27 AUG 11
Readjusted AC-EMWIN server software to only paint the map for tropical-related
watches and warnings which affect FLORIDA and the
immediately-surrounding states. Otherwise, the software continues to
paint the legend for watches and warnings which are occuring all up and down
the eastern seaboard - even when we're actually experiencing nothing here, at
25 AUG 2011
Updated the AC-EMWIN software's map database to allow inclusion of tropical
and marine-related watches and warnings to be painted on the map. Up until
now, only land-related watches and warnings had been painted.
17 AUG 11
Rrr. Found another error in my HTML templates. Fixed it. I'd forgotten to
make a change in the EMWIN software so that it would rename the main web page
template to MAIN.HTML instead of INDEX.HTML.
08 AUG 2011
Corrected HTML error in main page. Noticed that the GRA metar graphic wasn't
updating. I'd created a pointer to a JPG that didn't exist when the graphic
was actually a PNG. The graphic now works properly.
04-06 AUG 11
Busy fine-tuning all the relevant pages, debugging, tweaking. Think I've got
most of it worked out, now.
03 AUG 11
Updated ACS main page with new design. Was getting irritated that every time
I needed to make a change to the navbar, or to the main body, I had to make
this adjustment across something like 10 other duplicate pages with the only
thing being different between them being what the marquee displayed regarding
spotter activation. I needed a way to be able to update ONE navbar, and have
it shared between ALL of those template pages, and update ONE body, and have
it update between ALL of the template pages.
Inserted IFRAME sections into the main index page templates which now CALL
upon an external navbar file, and an external main body file. This way, the
spotter activation status marquee templates can still be changed by the EMWIN
software, while all I have to do is update the navbar once, or the
main body once, in one file. This saves me a bunch of work.
Unfortunately, Alachua Freeenet has everything important that matters turned
off: CSS, PHP, SSI. so none of that can be utilized.
27 MAY 11
Updated this "What's New!" subpage. Reformatted it. Removed old background.
Brought it up to date with other subpage designs.
Finished editing Waldo Wall Cloud video. Added captioning. Added starting
title and end copyright. Included section showing what happened after
the wall cloud passed over, when Jim and Penny chased behind it and ended up
effectively doing something close to "core punching" and ending up in driving
winds and rains.
26 MAY 11
Neatened up the subpages so that the side navbars all matched.
Removed the "fairsky" background from some of the pages and made them all match
with the "Alachua County SKYWARN" background.
27 APR 11:
A common question people are asking of late, especially now that the shuttle
era is winding down, is whether one can actually see a shuttle launch from
Gainesville. The next natural question that goes along with it is WHERE
you can go to see a launch. The answer is "yes". You CAN see a shuttle launch
from Gainesville. See this page
for some examples of what a launch looks like from here, as well as the
answer as to where to find a good location to view a launch.
Took AC-EMWIN server down for clean-up, maintenance, and software upgrade.
07 APR 11
Performed yet another links check on the
Index To SKYWARN Web Pages On The Internet.
AWFUL lot of broken and missing links. DO have to tell yuh...keeping that page
up and current is a neverending job. Someone will come along and beg me to add
thier new web page to the list, and I SWEAR...THREE MONTHS LATER...the page is
already missing. That happens a LOT.
I'm also adding something new to the site. I've decided to go ahead and start
adding related Blogspot, Facebook, and Twitter pages that any organizations may
have, as well. Haftuh keep up with the times! If you have a link you'd like
me to add to the Index,
let me know.
23 OCT 10
Added news about Dec. 9th spotter training class to News & Announcements page,
main index page, ACS blog, ACS Twitter page, AC-EMWIN blog and Twitter pages.
30 MAY 10
Centered NWR information in left-side sidebar.
Added four new buttons to left-side navbar for AC-SKYWARN Twitter, Blogger,
Facebook, and Yahoo links.
Added same to AC-EMWIN main, graphics, and text products pages.
Gave AC-EMWIN graphics products main page a facelift so that it matched the
Per Dave Donnelly, the May 14th spotter training class has been cancelled. The
official reason given was "...due to unforeseen circumstances." Alternate
date is now (sigh) October 15th.
24 APR 10
The EMWIN transmissions on GOES-East have now been transitioned to EMWIN-N.
Users not able to receive EMWIN-N transmissions should re-point to
GOES-West. More information on the AC-SKYWARN
News & Announcements page.
23 MAR 10
There will be a Basic & Advanced SKYWARN spotter training class for Alachua
County on Friday, May 14th, from 6 to 9pm, at the Alachua County EMA, 1100 SE
27th Street, Gainesville, FL. Contact is Dave Donnelly, (352) 264-6500, or at
email email@example.com. Instructor will
be Angie Enyedi.
17 MAR 10
Uploaded a ton of weather-related videos that I've taken over the years and
I've made them now available, online. They include videos of downburst events,
hail events, a wall cloud seen in Waldo, and more. They can be found under
"Weather-related videos" at Todd Sherman's Video Pages. While there feel free to also browse
other videos I've taken - including space shuttle launches, various vacations
videos, and more. Enjoy!
As for the weather-related videos, if you'd like to use any for educational
purposes, let me know.
23 FEB 10
There will be a Basic & Advanced SKYWARN spotter training class for Columbia
County on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, from 6 to 9pm, at the Shiloh Baptist Church,
173 SW Shiloh Street, Ft. White, FL. Instructor will be Angie Enyedi, from NWS
Jacksonville. Event will be sponsored by the Columbia County Emergency Services.
Pre-registration is preferred so that they can plan on the number of handouts
to bring, as well as how much FOOD to bring. (Their group likes to bring food
like subs and stuff for attendees.) :o)
Please try to register by March 18th, if possible.
For more information and to register, please contact Leila Lindsey at (352)
339-4018 (preferred), or (386) 454-2872 (leave a message and she will return
18 DEC 09
Fixed problem with map legend not updating on the main front page. A bug in the
EMWIN software (being worked on) was preventing upload of the image to the web
site. Apparently it hasn't been fixed as thought. Created a temporary workaround.
It's working again.
Problem with RADAR images not FTPing over also fixed.
10 DEC 09
Sent reminder email to John re traffic reports to EMWIN
bulletins. John said he's still having meetings with the powers that be about
07 DEC 09
Created new blog entry in my personal Blogspot page which goes into GREAT
detail on the stalking and harassments that I've been having to endure for
many, many years at the hands of a handful of local ham radio operators, and
the problems they've caused me, and other people, and other organizations and
agencies. I've been doing a lot of research and I've been uncovering a great
many shocking things about these hams - who many people look up to. They've
been involved in stalking, harassment, computer hacking, domestic violence,
threatening officers, arms-related violations, check forgery, etc. These are
not good people. More information on my
Blogspot Blog, under "Where'd Todd Go?...", a December, 2009 entry.
27 NOV 09
EMWIN software author came out with upgrade to software, today. Should correct
problem with map legend in map client where I was not able to save the map
legend to the web site without unorthodox thinking/measures. I was also not
able to view it inside the viewer software, or save the file to other
additional places. It should all work properly now. Upgraded server software.
10 NOV 09
Can't figure out why the Base Velocity and Storm Motion RADAR images won't FTP
over to the AC-EMWIN site. All the other RADAR images do.
Pulling new version of the National Threat Level graphic. Now visible in the
AC-EMWIN graphics page,
Revamping the AC-EMWIN weather bulletin product lineup. Creating pre-set
"packages" that people can now pick and choose. Rather than letting people
just pick and choose random bulletins, I'm laying down pre-set groups of
bulletins. It's complicated to explain, but this will save me a TON of extra
work by doing it this way. Had first subscriber using the new method, today.
Users may now pick from a number of packages dealing with watches/warnings,
forecasts, civil emergency messages, etc. And they can pick which counties they
wish to receive them for. More information can be found
17 OCT 09
Added a few more new image pulls to the EMWIN lineup. These will be available
off of the EMWIN Graphics page. They include a couple of GOES Surface Wind
Composite images of the southeastern US and Gulf Hurricane sector, and the
current Dept of Homeland Defense National Threat Level graphic.
10 OCT 09
Email to John Fleming regarding an idea about going back to getting the NWS to
handle civil messages like the CEM and CAE again. JAX sort of has an unspoken
policy against it because they didn't like how in the beginning they were kinda
being abused, especially out in TX. Things have become more stabilized, now,
and it's probably worth another look.
Also threw a brand new idea at John: I noticed how other states had Road
Condition reports which some states also used to disseminate traffic accident
and such-like information. Since the bulletins were already available in the
EMWIN datastream, I asked John if it wasn't possible for FHP/DHSMV to spit the
information now available on the FHP page to EMWIN bulletins, too. Then we can
actually send out live traffic reports to pager and cellphone to the public! I
thought it would be a GREAT idea. John is looking into it in meetings with FHP
and Fla. DHSMV.
20 JUN 09
Corrected a few broken links on the AC-EMWIN Graphics Products page. Removed
some older products that are no longer being issued. Added a couple of new GOES
satellite images - visible and water vapor images of the Gulf region.
17 JUN 09
Authorized UF Listserv management to create three new listgroups:
ACWIN is a new acronym that will now stand for the "Alachua County Weather
Information Network". The "FL" identifies the listgroup as serving the state of
Florida. (We may branch out in the future. We'll see. I reserved the state
abbreviation in the listname for just that reason.) The county name identifies
the county that the listgroup serves. The additional identifier on the end of
the listgroup name identifies the alternate specialized purpose of the
listgroup: "SEVERE" for severe weather bulletins, and "CIVIL" for local area
civil emergency bulletins.
The "master plan" is to eventually end up duplicating these lists for other
northern Florida counties, as well. The following counties are in my mind as
possible candidates for service:
...ALACHUA, BAKER, BRADFORD, CLAY, COLUMBIA, DIXIE, DUVAL, FLAGLER, GILCHRIST,
HAMILTON, LEVY, MARION, NASSAU, PUTNAM, SUWANNEE, UNION, and VOLUSIA. I include
the beach commuities because many students and other Alachua County area
tourists like to go to the beach for a break now and then.
These lists will be archived, as well, for those who wish to do past storms
The bulletins provided to the list come from the
Alachua Co. EMWIN Project's
server, which sends bulletins and alerts to cellphones, pagers, PDAs,
listgroups, websites, and more. Benefits of using the AC-EMWIN service as
opposed to other more widespread commercial services include faster bulletin
dissemination (we download directly from the GOES satellite), we don't have
tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of users to disseminate to, because
we're a local operation. Again...faster dissemination results. We don't cookie
you to death, track you, ask for any personal information, SHARE your
information with other sources, etc. We live here in Gainesville. We're well
known. We're easy to reach. But most of all, it's all provided FREE, as a
Modified the ACEMWIN-HURR-L Hurricane Bulletin Listgroup to allow users to be
able to add or remove which bulletins they want. Previously up until now, users
were forced to subscribe to all of the bulletins that were being sent to the
list, and when hurricanes came, and things got busy, people would get
overwhelmed. This is no longer a problem. Each hurricaqne bulletin has now
been assigned to it's own "topic", and as a result, users can now turn topics
on or off at their own will. This is a vast improvement that we think users
Turned on archiving for the ACEMWIN-HURR-L listgroup. Users can now peruse past
bulletins for research.
Now to begin work on my next grand idea: creating weather bulletin listgroups
for Alachua and all surrounding counties. Each county will have lists for:
general weather bulletins (current weather, forecasts, public info statements),
severe weather, and civil emergency bulletins. Each counties bulletins will be
customized for that county. Users will have the ability to choose which
bulletins they want, and to turn them on or off at their own will.
06 MAY 09
Created Alachua County SKYWARN Blogspot blog
- This will be used for news and updates about Alachua County
Created Alachua County SKYWARN Twitter page
- This site can be used by AC-SKYWARN members to keep in touch, and maybe even
as a secondary means of relaying spotter reports, locally.
Created Alachua County EMWIN Project Blogspot blog
- This will be used for news and updates about the Alachua County EMWIN Project.
Created Alachua County EMWIN Project Twitter page
- This is a special use project allowing local area users to receive Alachua
County severe storm-related weather bulletins for free as a public service,
provided by the Alachua County SKYWARN and the Alachua County EMWIN Project.
16 FEB 09
Caught someone remoting into the AC-EMWIN server without authorization. Short
version: Reported incident to UF police. UF PD blew me off. Gator ARC Faculty
Advisor Dr. Jay Garlitz blew me off; wanted AC-EMWIN system removed from club
station and rooftop.
Then, oddly, Dr. Garlitz changed his tactic. He suddenly began trying to make
my life difficult; tried to take AC-EMWIN equipment, calling it "UF property."
Then tried to give ACOEM a chance to lay claim to the equipment. Dave Donnelly
sent email demanding immediate removal of equipment and delivery to ACOEM.
After arguing with Jay that this was a civil matter and that he did not have
right or authority to decide the fate of the AC-EMWIN system. I threatened a
lawsuit against GARC and threatened to call attention to illicit project
handling practices that Jeff Capehart had engaged in and apparently kept secret
from me during installation of the EMWIN system on the DSB rooftop. (The
system was placed into my possession by John Fleming of the Florida Division of
Emergency Management. Apparently, to get approval for the system to be placed
in the club station and on the DSB rooftop, Jeff had done an end run around me
and signed paperwork with DSB admin and without my knowledge put responsibility
and ownership claim into the hands of the Gator ARC, and he never told me about
this. Thus, I was never shown any documentation regarding it, or regarding any
UF rules that claimed that anything placed on UF property became UF property,
and there are no signatures with my name on it anywhere to prove such a
transfer legally took place. Jeff signed these documents in his own name. When
I brought this to Jay's attention, he decided not to give system to Dave
Donnelly and ACOEM, and backed off copmpletely. He did not wish to bring this
kind of attention to his club. I also sent Dave an email myself, threatening
lawsuit and exposure of his previous involvement in causing a GPD cop to
sabotage a previous harrassment case I'd filed in the past against Melissa
Royce. (Someone in emergency management apparently convinced the cop who was
investigating the harassment case that I was a "problem", and the cop
deliberately delayed subpoenaeing IP logs from Bellsouth and Yahoo for six
months to prevent me from discovering who had sent me a harassing email.
Emergency Management had engaged in a matter of personal opinion based
completely on gossip and did not verify anything in the rumor or do any
personal investigating to prove or dispel it. I'd also complained to Dave
Donnelly on earlier occasion during a personal meeting with him that I had
about six different ham radio operators harassing and stalking me, who were so
bad that I had been forced to go into hiding from the public. For some time, I
stopped attending meetings in public, I produced very little email traffic to
listgroups to "remind" these nutcases that I existed, I stayed away from
hams...hoping that by being out of sight I would be out of everyone's thoughts.
Dave's own advice was that if I was being harassed and stalked, that I needed
to go to the police. He offered no other help or effort than that. The
harassments only continued even worse after that, because my harassers saw that
government wasn't doing anything to help me.)
Jeff caused me SO much trouble, here! ...SO much unbelievably unnecesary
trouble. And it called to my attention hos he is so readily willing to break
rules to do things. ...Things which can get a whole BUNCH of people into a
SHITLOAD of trouble and he NEVER thinks about the future consequences that his
rash actions could cause! It's just not a concern with him!
Flash back to today... Not wanting any attention on this matter, Dave backed
off on making attempt to obtain the EMWIN system. He sent Dr. Garlitz an
additional email advising that he was suddenly no longer interested. (They
already HAVE an EMWIN system of their own, anyway. They don't need another one,
and there was no point or REASON for trying to take our's.)
Since we were the only ones who had taken rooftop safety training, I was forced
to remove the EMWIN equipment with my stalker - Jeff Capehart. (!!!!) As we
removed the equipment alone, Jeff Capehart admitted to me that it WAS him who
had hacked into the AC-EMWIN server. His reason? "...You PISSED me OFF!!!
You were taking too LONG!!!"
There was a problem in early February with Jeff's pager and someone else's. On
February 14th, in the AC-SKYWARN Email Alert List I made mention of the
problems. I had removed his pager setup from the system temporarily because of
too many errors from his service provider. Apparently they had changed their
way of handling incoming pages, and his bulletins were being continually
rejected by us. So I turned his off while we figured things out. Meanwhile, I
temporarily set his pager up for reception using it's EMAIL address as an
alternative so that he could continue to receive his bulletins. I guess I
didn't work fast enough for Jeff. He couldn't even wait a 12 hours. So on the
night of February 15th, at 12:30am, he decided to take matters into his own
hands, and VNC'd into the server. He was able to do this by AC-EMWIN system by
swiping the passwords. Here's how the conversation went:
"How were you able to get into the system, then? I kept changing the
He read them off to me: "Oh you mean ****?...****?...****?"
I stared at him in shock. I shook my head, and realized that I had an angry
look on my face, and tried to correct it, but then I realized and thought to
myself, "Why bother?"
"WHY???", I asked. "Why would you DO that?"
"...because you PISSED me OFF!!! You were taking too long to fix the problem!
So I was gonna try to figure out what the problem was and take care of it,
"Yah but, WHERE did you get those passwords FROM?"
"...Oh! (laughing) ...From your system registry!"
Again, I stared, and I got scared. This man BROKE into my computer, he was
someone in powerful positions, in LEAGUE with people of power...inside the
University of Florida, in the UF's Office of Inspector General, IT Auditing, in
the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management, in Alachua County
Fire/Rescue, in the Red Cross, the National Weather Service, in the Gainesville
Amateur Radio Society, in the Gator Amateur Radio Club, the American Radio
Relay League... He had contacts EVERYWHERE. He knew EVERYBODY. He VOLUNTEERED
his way into everyone's hearts. He was ingratiated in with EVERYBODY. He's
always doing favors for people - networking computers, electronics help.
Everyone TRUSTS him. Everyone thinks this man is such a GOD, such a GOOD GUY,
that he could do NO wrong! Nothing I would ever be able to say about this man
would be listened to by anyone. I stood there, realizing that this man had the
power to do whatever he WANTED to me and NO ONE would ever challenge him, or
even ATTEMPT to because by default they'd simply accuse me of being nuts and of
accusing a "good" man of something he could "NEVER" do. Jeff Capehart was
acting like a definition psychopath.
I was standing there with a man who was staring me straight in the face and
showing anger at me for not doing something his way, and who hacked into the
server by stealing passwords, and he was showing NO apologetic feelings or
guilt or remorse about what he did. In fact, he was placing the blame on ME for
"forcing" him to do this. This is not a man who can be "reasoned" with.
So apparently, according to Jeff, whenever he'd visit the club station he would
make it a point to sit down in front of the EMWIN station and access the
AC-EMWIN computer and go into the registry and write down the latest password
changes for Windows access, and for the EMWIN software access.
I remember there was a time where I had a suspicion that this might be going
on. I still HAVE the emails where I asked the GARC system administrator if he
would be able to write up a routine that would check for file
sniffing...unauthorized checks to password files, logging where the lookup or
file change had come from, and recording it to a log, and notifying both he and
I when it happened. The sysop thought I was being rediculous, and did not
respond to me...
(And that's typically been the response: ...that I'm ridiculous, everybody
ignores me and BEST one..."I just don't want to get involved".)
I specifically told Jeff in the past that I did not want him accessing the
computer anymore because he had a bad habit of doing whatever he wanted without
authhorization whenever he disagreed on how I should do anything. He was not an
EMWIN admin in the first place. Never was. He was never a GARC systems admin,
either. Never was. He had friends in admin who did him FAVORS, and he knew
some tricks to BYPASS those admins, sometimes, to do what he wanted. I didn't
like how he occcasionally did that, and it bothered me. He also had a habit of
trying to leave himself backdoor ways in to systems, which I'd seen him try to
do with the "ham" server, as the GARC server was called. He was always trying
to kiss butt with Ray and get Ray to allow him some temporary access to do
something and I always thought it was funny how Ray was always wary of this
wasn't always ewasy for Jeff to convince and I felt there was a distrust thing
going on in there, and I wondered why. I just figured that Jeff must have tried
to pull something with Ray in the past and that Ray was on to him. At any
rate... So I'd even turned off the Remote Desktop feature built into Windows.
On discovery of someone breaking in, I checked around, and I was VERY surprised
to discover that someone had INDEED turned the Windows Remote Desktop feature
back on again!
Long story short, I called UPD. I made a complaint to Detective Micheal Metz.
But instead of handling things carefully, UPD was sloppy. Dr. Garlitz vouched
for Jeff, and also implied that I was a problem. UPD then distrusted me and all
I could do was watch while UPD gave full trust and cooperation with Jeff and
GARC Faculty Advisor Dr. Jay Garlitz. I told Jay NOT to share anything with
Jeff or to give him any responsibilities in this. (I still have the emails.) I
told UPD same. (I still have the emails.) Dr. Garlitz used his title and
countermanded me and told them to fully cooperate with Jeff and to direct all
computer and networking-related questions to him, REAGARDLESS. UPD thus asked
JEFF is there were any logs to determine if the access had occurred, and of
course, Jeff said no, and he was believed. UPD also gave me this drivel that
because the equipment was my own, and not owned by UF - even though the crime
had occurred on UF property, that the "jurisdiction" was not theirs. When asked
who's jurisdiction it was, they had no clue. (I doubted that.) The case was
closed. Nothing was done. The bad guy got away.
In handling the case this way, however, UPD had tainted everything.
There was now no WAY for me to take this case to the "proper" jurisdiction
anymore because of the way that they had so badly handled the case. They had
gone to the accused and fully cooperated with him and given him all intel he
needed to prepare a defense and to delete logs if necessary. They listened to
the Faculty Advisor over the victim. They completely ignored me, and my
suggestions and warnings. This case can now no longer be handled at ALL because
of mishandling by the University of Florida Police Department.
So my key to the club station was confiscated and the AC-EMWIN equipment was
forced out of GARC club station and from the Dental Science Building's rooftop.
The AC-EMWIN equipment has now been relocated to my home. It's probably for the
better, anyway. While now no one can connect directly to our server for live
bulletins and map updates anymore, this WILL keep hackers like Jeff Capehart
out of the system - without having to do some pretty unorthodox things to get
in which would risk them being noticed or getting caught.
Downside of all of this is this: The ham radio community is not willing to
help. It has numerous hams in it's midst who are and who have consistently
been a danger to me. They are not willing to police their own, They are not
willing to take any responsibility. Therefore, for these reasons, I will no
longer allow myself or any of my projects to have direct connection or to
cooperate with any local area ham radio hams or their organizations due to the
fact that they have time and again proven themselves to be hostile, and a
DELIBERATE danger to others. Until the local ham community shows a lot more
responsibility, and does what it can to try to stop the bad hams in it's midst
from harming others, then I cannot in good conscience allow myself to continue
to cooperate with them, or to recommend them, or to allow people who associate
with Alachua County SKYWARN, or the Alachua County EMWIN Project, or any other
projects or organizations that we sponsor - to associate with them without
accepting responsibility for putting other people's lives at risk of some form
of harm from the hams.
And I will not support agencies or governments which support those hams without
any investigation. I cannot do that.
28 AUG 01
Copied A.C. SKYWARN site over to www.fireline.org in order to create a second
mirror site for times when AFN goes down. (Thanks to Jim Carr/KC4MHH for
loaning the space on his server to do this.) Now to get busy on adjusting URLs
and working out any bugs that will inevitably be there.
27 AUG 01
Working on Spotter Rosters (the ones on the SKYWARN Home Page). Updated the
roster that was sorted by Spotter ID Number - adding new members, updating last
classes taken, etc. Replaced all occasions of @-symbol with "&-#-64" to try to
thwart any webpage-surfing spambots from swiping e-mail addresses. E-mails
will still work just fine, though. (Now to do same for rosters sorted by Name
and by Callsign.)
Becoming apparent that a few class attendants grabbed more than one Spotter ID
card (apparently forgetting they already had one from a previous class), and
that some out-of-county attenders grabbed cards when they should not have - now
having an Alachua Co. ID number where they should have one for their own
county. (sigh!) Also, it must be stressed in future classes that members MUST
provide complete and accurate location and contact information. Many early
rosters had little or no information. I can understand the want for privacy,
but there's a point where so little information is provided that the info is
26-27 AUG 01
Uploaded A.C. SKYWARN business card templates, A.C. SKYWARN NCS Ops Manual to
FILES area of the ACSKYWARN Yahoo listgroup site.
Uploaded (created, actually) multiple spotter class attendance rosters in the
DATABASE section of the ACSKYWARN Yahoo listgroup site. Also created MASTER
SPOTTER ROSTER, there. Now members can check these class rosters to see when
they last took a spotter training class.
Created MEMBER MUG SHOTS, MEMBER PETS, MEMBER STORM PHOTOS, and MEMBER UNUSUAL
WEATHER PHOTOS folders inthe FILES section of the ACSKYWARN Yahoo list group
site as beginning places for members to upload photos to.
Added a bunch or organized links to the BOOKMARKS section of the ACSKYWARN
Yahoo list group site, including pointers to other related list groups in our
County Warning Area - Yahoo, or otherwise.
25 AUG 01
Alert List moved over to YahooGroups. Online group web site set up and ready.
This allows for assigning multiple moderators who can still get the weather
alerts out if I am not available, myself; providing multiple redundancy.
Added our logo to the ACSKYWARN Yahoo list group page; edited group
description; set listgroup/membership defaults/rules.
14 JUL 00
Updated link to NWS-JAX. It changed - again.
20 JUN 00
Updated all links related to NWS-JAX and ACOEM to reflect new URLs of these
11 JUN 00
Minor cosmetic changes to main page.
Added info about Hurricane Awareness presentation to Announcements
section of main page.
Reinserted link to NWS-JAX Hurricane Local Statement on main page.
02 JUN 00
Updated Important Numbers page.
Added map to new ACFR HQ to Spotter Classes page.
01 JUN 00
More cosmetic changes to SOP Manual.
31 MAY 00
Some cosmetic changes to SOP Manual.
30 MAR 00
Added link to Map of Surrounding County Names to Spotter Tools & Links
29 JAN 00
Added new spotter ID # for one spotter on spotter ID lists. Corrected last
names of two spotters.
25 JAN 00
Added new animated banner ad to main page advertising Alachua County SKYWARN.
16 JAN 00
Added new link to SKYWARN Materials page for magnetic, reflective
REACT-SKYWARN signs, from the Orlando Metro REACT-SKYWARN #4778.
14 JAN 00
From August 17, 1999 until present, have been experimenting with Adobe
PhotoShop 5.0, trying to learn it, creating banners for the web page,
fancying-up old graphics, adding 3-D effects, adding left-side clickable
buttons, and generally trying to make the A.C. SKYWARN web pages look more
Created and added some new mouseover SKYWARN icon buttons.
17 AUG 99
Gave the A.C. SKYWARN front page a facelift.
16 MAY 99
Updated all links to GARS-related web sites, which URL changed today.
14 MAY 99
Added announcements regarding upcoming presentation by John Holley, and the
Advanced Spotter Training Class, to main page.
02 FEB 99
Updated LINKS page.
Added link to the new Flagler Co. SKYWARN (FCEM/Comm & Warning)
17 NOV 98
Added new form for use with reporting malicious interference events.
14 NOV 98
Updated Spotter Rosters to reflect new people trained in the November
7th ADVANCED Spotter Training course.
22 OCT 98
Updated Spotter Rosters to reflect new people trained in two consecutive
BASIC Spotter Training courses held last month -- one at the GARS meeting and
one at ACFR Headquarters.
18 SEP 98
`Bob' at United Way Information & Referral Service calls to
confirm information obtained about Alachua County SKYWARN for an
official listing with them. Information includes a detailed description gleaned
from our main web page, a contact name and phone number, our e-mail address,
and our web page URL! Thier number is (352) 375-4636. They are an excellent
resource, by the way, with so much more information than you could ever get
from often even a full-page Yellow Pages advertisement, and they are FREE!
14 SEP 98
Corrected changed URLs for Alachua County RACES and for SFCC-ARS.
11 SEP 98
Added another spotter to the Spotter Roster and to the E-mail Alert
09 SEP 98
Cut the front page in half in size. Cut out the links and made them a separate
page pointed to from the main page to try to cut down the loading time and to
make things a little easier on the eye.
08 SEP 98
Another spotter came to the rescue and uploaded the missing graphics. So now
graphics are again back to normal. Guess that makes us completely healed. 8-)
07 SEP 98
Already, SKYWARN web page largely back up to normal again. Still a few map
images missing, but the most important stuff is already back to pre-crash
state. Gee, I'm good!
06 SEP 98 - EARLY am
Sigh. Just finished uploading latest copies of SOP Manual...AGAIN. Worked on
text, HTML and WP60/61 versions. Will have to get Jeff to upload me the Word
version. Think I've finally got the main page back to normal again. Still
missing some of the maps we used to have. Maybe Jeff knows how to export them
from his word processor copy? Otherwise, no idea where I'd originally found
them. I can probably do it but I first have to re-learn the process. I'm such
an idiot when it comes to these things. As I get older I find more and more
how my memory fails me so quickly! Need Block Diagram, County Map, and
Surrounding Counties Map.
05 SEP 98
Uploaded our old backups. At least we've got a web page up again for people to
see. Missing some files and graphics. It's limping, but its there, at least.
Discovered that in creating the new home fileshell dir all files that were
previously there - like the address book that we had - ended up deleted. Sigh!
(Does this end anyplace?) This means I'll have to try to REMEMBER now all the
names that were on the SKYWARN E-mail Alert Activation List.
Sent out e-mails to those people I COULD remember advising them that the web
page was back up, and of the current status of things.
Who took my aspirin bottle?!
04 SEP 98
AFN opened our fileshell for us! Now we can upload our backups and start
working on getting things back to normal again!
07 JUL 98
Alachua FreeNet suffers "hard drive crash" according to Main Menu login
Anyway, SKYWARN fileshell affected. All web page files lost. Latest available
tape backups at AFN are from August of 97, a couple months BEFORE SKYWARN's
account was created -- meaning they had no backups for us. AFN's January 98
backups found to be corrupted. My OWN tape backup found to be either degraded
or corrupted; either way...inaccessible. Sigh! Figures! Never rains; it
pours. Alternate backup from Jan 98 on my hard drive but means some work in
getting back to normal since many changes were made since Jan. Meaningless
anyway, since AFN Admin seems to have disappeared, or is not acknowledging
e-mails and calls. With noone to re-open access to fileshell home directory,
can't upload our backups. SKYWARN account must endure without web page until
things get moving again.
17 JAN 98
Added a somewhat preliminary statement about the reason for having a SKYWARN in
15 JAN 98
Added information about our new SKYWARN-L Mailing List.
14 JAN 98
On Spotter Roster, corrected name-typo for one spotter, and added e-mail
pointer for another.
13 JAN 98
Added another spotter to Spotter Roster.
07 JAN 98
Added notice regarding upcoming SKYWARN Admin Meeting on Jan. 19th at 7pm, and
duplicated pointer in the Newsletters area.
29 DEC 97
Added information on Places to Purchase SKYWARN-related Materials, such
as t-shirts, caps, magnetic signs, reflective stuff, etc.
26 DEC 97
Added NetMinder service to main page. Upon subscription, it allows
users to be automatically notified whenever any changes are made to the main
24 DEC 97
Added new page: Online Spotter Registration/Questionnaire.
(Minor cosmetic changes to main page.)
23 DEC 97
Updated Classes Taken column in the Spotter Roster page for three
hams. I had them listed as having taken BASIC only when they also took the
22 DEC 97
Added another ham to Spotter Roster.
21 DEC 97
Added pointer to Spotter's Travel Kit off main page.
20 DEC 97
Added pointer to Reporting Criteria off main page.
16 DEC 97
Added Beaufort Wind Speed Chart as an alternative wind speed measuring
13 DEC 97
Added another idea to THINGS TO THINK ABOUT page.
Added more names to the Spotter Roster.
12 DEC 97
Corrected spotter class info on Bill Franks in the Spotter Roster
12 DEC 97
Added December ARES/RACES/SKYWARN Newsletter.
10 DEC 97
Updated spotter training class status for three more local SKYWARN members on
the Spotter Roster page.
02 DEC 97
Added e-mail address for another spotter to the Spotter Roster.
29 NOV 97
(Minor cosmetic changes to main page.)
Added list of actual frequencies currently used by ARES/RACES
in emergency operations, and moved frequency idea plan to its
26 NOV 97 Added new page: Local Field Spotting Location Reviews.
Offers some comments on various places around Alachua County which might
possibly serve as spotter field observing locations.
25 NOV 97
Added a few more names to the member
roster to reflect those names for which I recieved Basic class spotter cards in
the mail from Fred.
Added new page: Cities and Thier Counties. Lists cities, sorted
alphabetically, and the counties they belong to.
22 NOV 97
Added a link allowing users to subscribe to the Alachua Co. ARES/RACES/SKYWARN
Added new page: What's New! Depicts any changes to the Alachua County
SKYWARN Home Page.
Added new page: Surrounding Counties and Thier Cities. Lists each
county and then lists each city in that county alphabetically. (Also intend to
create a list, later, of CITIES in the surrounding counties sorted
alphabetically, and listing which COUNTY they reside in.)
21 NOV 97
Placed Jeff's ARES/RACES/SKYWARN newsletter up for viewing.
Correction to Spotter Roster. Info for one spotter. Had only his e-mail
address, but no other info. Added his name, call, and city of residence.
Updated Spotter Roster, changing it from a text file to an HTML file,
and adding clickable e-mail pointers for each member.
Minor cosmetic changes to main page.
19 NOV 97
(Announced the availability of the Alachua County SKYWARN Home Page at
the GARS meeting.)
18 NOV 97
Received copy of Memorandum of Understanding between the NWS and the ARRL
from Rick Palm/K1CE, at ARRL HQ. Retranscribed the document to text and HTML
and then placed it up for viewing. Since ARRL did not have thier own copy
available off thier own web page, and since this document does not seem to be
available anywhere on the Internet, sent ARRL both copies as well, for thier
17 NOV 97
Problem with access to SKYWARN account fixed. There was a problem with AFN's
password file, apparently. Finally able to gain access to the account.
Got the SKYWARN account set up and ready for use.
Sent account passwords to relevant others.
15 NOV 97
Discovered SKYWARN account activated. When attempts were made to log into the
account, AFN refused to recognize the password.
09 NOV 97
Added new page: Things For Us To Think About. Lists some ideas we
might consider to get SKYWARN going smoothly.
Minor cosmetic changes to main page.
07 NOV 97
Mailed off application to AFN to create a new SKYWARN organizational account.
While waiting for the creation of the account, began work on creating a
preliminary Alachua County SKYWARN Home Page, and tested it interim using my
own personal account.
Alachua County SKYWARN
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Account Created: November 14, 1997. Last Updated: October 03, 2013. Author/Webmaster: Todd L. Sherman / KB4MHH.