by Mary Hays for Secretary Michael Wright
The meeting was called to order by Director Ludy D’Angelo at 9:30 p.m.
New Observatory Feasibility Study Committee :– Discussion centered on progress of preliminary work. Committee composed of five volunteers. Currently looking at:
- Approval Plans – Jurisdiction Hopewell. Currently Hopewell seems positive in supporting the effort. No State involvement if local accepts responsibility. Will need Construction approval, Planning Board approval, Zoning Board, etc. Things to be considered – Dept. Environmental Protection – Wetlands.
Treasurer’s Report: Mike Mitrano reported that those members who have not renewed will be sent a notice that their membership has lapsed.
Observatory: Gene Ramsey reported that the Observatory weathered the winter storms well. Access to the observatory is now impaired because two of the gates were damaged. Park Security has put a chain on one of the gates that the Observatory Keyholders do not have a key for. There is no access from Church Road. The second gate is very difficult to maneuver.
Three members will be starting Keyholder training in the near future.
Upcoming Star Party: There will be a star party at Hopewell Elementary on Jan. 17th. 6:30 -8:30. Ludy asked Gene to inform David Letcher of this arrangement. Members are invited to bring their scopes. One member suggested that any time the association sponsors a star party, that we have the association’s information brochure to give to the participants.
Website: John Miller reported that the website has been updated with a new club roster on 12/13/12. Also, speaker /meeting information is now highlighted in a blue box for easy recognition.
Program Chair: Kathleen Otto reported that the association has an opportunity for Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science, NASA to speak on February 4th. There was discussion on whether arrangements could be made in time (room availability, news releases, notification to membership) to change the normal meeting night to one week earlier. Ludy provided Kathleen with Princeton University contact information re: room requests. Also it was discussed whether the currently scheduled February guest speaker should be asked if she would be willing to change her speaking date to May, or whether there should be a second Feb. meeting on the regularly scheduled evening. There were varied opinions and a concern was expressed that the association wanted to offer all speakers an interested audience. By having two speakers in one month, some members may have to choose between the two evenings. Final consensus was to have just one meeting, that being on Feb. 4th, if all arrangements could be made.
Kathleen also mentioned that plans for the association’s 50th anniversary are moving forward, and that anyone interested in helping with the activities should contact her. One idea is to have a poetry contest.
Nominations Committee: Ludy asked for a volunteer to form a committee to select a slate of candidates for the upcoming elections in May. Jim Poinsett volunteered to head the committee. Nominations close in April. Anyone interested in running for office should contact Jim Poinsett.
To summarize, terms are for one year. There are typically three Board of Director’s meetings per year. Elected officers are Director, Assistant Director, Secretary (Membership), Treasurer, Program Chair.
Bill Murray suggested that the association plan some type of viewing for the March appearance of the PANSTARRS Comet.
Ludy adjourned the meeting at 10:00 p.m.