March 13, 2012 AAAP Meeting Minutes

Submitted by Michael Wright for Secretary Larry Kane

The meeting was called to order by Director Ludy D’Angelo.

Director’s Report

  1. AAAP Board Elections: Ludy announced that a new Board should be elected at the May meeting. Ludy asked for a volunteer to form and chair the 2012 Nominations Committee and explained the duties. Jim Poinsett volunteered and was appointed.
  2. Transit of Venus: BaldpateMountainParkhas been reserved for the event.  Michael Mitrano will check on insurance for the event.  A star party may be held after dark.  Members bringing equipment will be permitted to drive to the observing site.  A shuttle bus is being arranged to bus everyone to the observing field.  Ron Mittelstaedt said that he had hiked the site recently and the field is open to towards the NW horizon.
  3. Communiversity: An application has been submitted for Communiversity to be held inPrincetononSaturday April 28, 2012.  An answer is expected by March 28.
  4. Super Science Day at theStateMuseuminTrentonis onApril 21, 2012.  AAAP will participate again this year.

Secretary: Ludy said Larry Kane was unable to attend the meeting, but wants to thank the Sidereal Times editors for their patience this month.

Treasurer: Treasurer Michael Mitrano said that the clubs finances are sound.  The club has eighty-three dues-paying members.  Four keyholders have not renewed.  Gene Ramsey asked that he be notified when keyholders fail to renew so he can revise the duty roster.

Program Chair: The program is fully booked through June.

Outreach: Chair David Letcher announced the Friday, March 16 event atHopewellValleySchool.  Six members have volunteered.  The event will start around7:00 p.m.  The next event will be on March 28 (rain date March 30) at Stuart County Day School for which volunteers are needed.  Members were amused that the D&R Greenway requested the clubs participation in a Perseids Meteor Walk to be held between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.  David pointed out to them that the best way to see meteors is to stand still after mid-night when it’s dark.  The club will participate.

David presented a request from PEI Kids for a star party at the observatory to be auctioned at a fund raiser.  The issue had been the subject of an email discussion among some members.  A long discussion of the pros and cons of allowing non-profits groups to use the observatory in this way ensued.  Cons: no benefit for AAAP, potential for many requests from other non-profits, no keyholders willing run the events. Pros: AAAP could help organizations with related interests such as dark skies or WC State Park.  The consensus was that this request should be refused because no keyholder was willing to take responsibility for organizing the event.

Gemini Mount:  John Church reported that he was waiting for warm weather to test the mount.  He could schedule a test with Rex Parker now that spring has arrived.

Coyle Field: Jeff Bernardis reported that a virtual astronomy club, East Coast Astronomy, has been established to work with the owners to re-establish observing at the field.  The owners like having astronomers use the field because it keeps undesirables away.  Anyone wanting to use the field will have to join East Coast and share in the expenses.  Dues are estimated to be $30, but could grow when all costs are identified.

50th Anniversary: Volunteers are needed to organize a 50th anniversary celebration.  A dinner in November was discussed again.  John Church recalled that Kirk Alexander organized a dinner in Frist Center for the 40th anniversary. John and Freeman Dyson gave talks and dinner was served.

UACNJ:  Michael Mitrano confirmed that AAAP’s dues and renewal was mailed to UACNJ.  Delegates Bill Murray and Michael Wright have not received confirming emails from UACNJ.  Mike and Ludy will attend the next meeting on March 31, 2012.  Ludy requested a work detail to make badly needed repairs to the AAAP observatory at Jenny Jump.

Sidereal Times: Co-Editor Michael Wright thanked everyone that submitted an article for the March edition.  The deadline for the April issue is March 29, 2012.  As usual, the deadline is twelve days before the next club meeting.

Observatory: Public nights will resume on April 6.  Gene Ramsey passed out a draft duty roster to the keyholders.  Some teams have new leaders because one keyholder turned in his key, and others have not paid their dues.  Water will be turned on within the week.  Gene will clean the eyepieces before the public nights start.  Jeff has emailed instructions for the new alarm to current keyholders.

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