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Orange County RBA Phone Line

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  • wagtail1997
    Group, As I sit here under a newly leaky roof, looking at an apparent major increase in phone rates for the Orange County RBA, I m deliberating what to do with
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2007
      Group,

      As I sit here under a newly leaky roof, looking at an apparent major
      increase in phone rates for the Orange County RBA, I'm deliberating
      what to do with the situation.

      I don't remember when I took over the Orange County RBA... but it
      might be about 8 or 9 years ago. At that time I set up an expensive 4
      mailbox phone which over time has proved its worth. Eventually, the
      OrCoRBA Yahoo group was formed in 2002, and both the phone line and
      Internet RBA has co-existed since that time. This OrangeCountyBirding
      group was also set up at that time to encourage discussions of birding
      topics in the County.

      The ABA encourages RBA phone lines for out of town birders and those
      not having access to computers. However I believe that some RBAs have
      gone to an Internet only format. The reality of a phone RBA is the
      following.

      The Orange County RBA is the **only one** in California that I know of
      that is sponsored by a single person. The others have institutional
      support such as county Audubon Societies which sponsor (e.g. pay the
      bills) the various parts of an RBA. The Orange County RBA has never
      had such sponsorship or received any outside money to maintain.

      The RBA phone by necessity is a business line. When we moved into
      this house about 19 months ago, the cost for moving the phone line was
      I believe about $200 with installation. Last month's phone charges
      (with no outgoing calls being made on the line) was $16.47 for the
      RBA, and we just saw that this month's charges will be $24.68 a month.
      I'll inquire next week about why the jump in monthly charges. I
      estimate I've spent out of pocket about $2,000 during my RBA tenure on
      for phone costs.

      That sort of cost for us, now both retired, is a lot more than just a
      fun hobby expenditure, and the costs keep going up.

      What to do? I could just stop the phone RBA and maintain the
      Internet RBA. Frankly, that would be the simplest solution, although
      it will freeze out some birders. There is enough Internet traffic
      about rarities that if one shows up, most birders will hear about it.

      Sea and Sage Audubon could pick up the service. I would donate the
      current phone to them (and a backup phone of the same model to boot),
      which can be serviced remotely. That is, one can change the RBA
      messages, etc. from an external phone, and I would be willing to still
      do that with the proviso that during vacation times others would fill
      in.

      Some Birding Retail concern could sponsor the RBA......and a message
      would be added to each summary advertising their products.

      What I do NOT want is to ask for individual donations to maintain the
      RBA. It will prove only a temporary fix, and doesn't spread the
      responsibility fairly among the birding public.

      So I'm starting this discussion on the phone RBA..... something has to
      give and the beginning of 2008 I'll make a decision.

      Joel Weintraub
      Dana Point, CA
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