Connecting Ground and Sky

by John Hawkins, President and CEO, The Club

I can tell by seeing your jaw on the floor that you’ve already checked out this month’s cover photo of the ITA Microwave crew. It’s a stunner! (It was taken by our outstanding photographer, Summy Lam, who’s also our Director of Marketing, and finished by Alive! designer David Jamgotchian.)

What they do is critically important to the function and safety of our City of Los Angeles.

ITA’s Microwave Service Group maintains, fixes and restores the incredibly important City communications infrastructure, but especially the microwave system that sends City radio signals over long distances before bringing those signals back to the ground, and then out to the City two-way radios. The City departments that rely on their service include the LAPD, LAFD, Emergency Services, Harbor, Animal Services, and on and on. When a Police Officer in the Port can talk on his or her radio to an LAFD Firefighter at Hansen Dam, that’s because of the system that’s kept in tip-top shape by this crew. They climb tall towers; solder tiny wires in their Piper Tech shop; design systems to triangulate signals to set up emergency communications; and on and on, to keep you safe.

We can thank Club Members Johnnie Gomez and Michael Garcia, ITA Communications Electricians and Tower Climbers, for letting us know about their crew. They came to the Club Store about a year ago and told our Tiffany Sy, In-House Club Counselor, about what they do. She relayed the info to our editor, who eventually got the okay from ITA Microwave Supervisor and Club Member David DiLullo, and we were on our way. (So let us know about what cool stuff you’re doing in the City!)

I’m glad we could bring you this dramatic story to kick off the New Year.

JonPaul Palacio

And a quick word about ITA Communications Electrician and Tower Climber JonPaul Palacio, Club Member – while the team was doing regular maintenance on the tower above City Hall in San Pedro, he volunteered to climb higher than the others and photograph them for us. Thanks, JP!)

Moving on … have you heard about our upcoming Pre-Retirement Expo that we’re producing with the RLACEI? Save that date! … And as we begin our second year of producing an Alive! in print and online (make sure to visit us there for lots of great stuff), let us know how we’re doing, what you’re enjoying, and what we could do better. Submit those coloring contest artworks, those Picture Perfects and travel photos, and so forth. Don’t forget the Valentines, one of my favorite features of the year!

I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year, and I’ll see you again soon here in print, and online.

— John