by Gene Allen, Secretary
The meeting was convened on Zoom by Director Rex Parker at 1930 with the agenda for the evening. Officers also in attendance were Program Chair Victor Davis, Outreach Chair Bill Murray, Observatory Co-Chairs Dave & Jen Skitt, and Secretary Gene Allen. The 11 others attending included Sidereal Times Editor Surabhi Agarwal and members John Miller, Ira Polans, Michael DiMario, Debbie Mayes, and Len Cacciatore.
Speaker for February
The status of the audio/video upgrade to Peyton Hall is unknown but Program Chair Victor Davis has so far been unable to replace Dr. Jenny Greene who forgot or changed her mind about addressing us. There was apparently no hard copy evidence of her commitment to counter her present denial, but in any case, she will not be doing it. Member Ira Polans is unwilling to move up his program due to the unknown status of the a/v equipment. Member John Miller is a frequent visitor to Peyton Hall and he offered to try to encourage another faculty member to address us on short notice. The new Astro-Imagers Group is just forming and unable to present a program. Editor Surabhi Agarwal suggested putting together a program about fighting light pollution.
New Astro-Imagers Special Interest Group
Member Michael DiMario, who has agreed to lead the group, shared his concept of collaborative education/learning.
The group will meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
First meeting will be February 28.
Meetings will be planned to be 1-1.5 hours in length.
The name is to be Astro-Imagers to abbreviate to A-I rather than AI, to include EAA as well as astrophotography, and to focus on the participants rather than the subject matter.
Michael strongly prefers to use Groups.io rather than Discord for several reasons and will try it out.
No one offered to set up Groups.io, but Editor Surabhi Agarwal offered to research and compare them.
Director Rex Parker appointed Michael as Astro-Imagers Chair to provide him some authority in the role.
A Special Interest Group to Reduce Light Pollution was proposed by Editor Surabhi Agarwal but no action was taken.
At present there is no one tasked with member engagement. Member John Miller recalled how having a goodie table in the lobby outside the auditorium in Peyton Hall provided an opportunity to engage in conversation that has been missing for a decade. He suggested that someone organize one once again, tasking members to help by bringing snacks and sodas. Peyton could again provide a table that would be draped with our logo cloth. Secretary Gene Allen pointed out that Member Debbie Mayes has been regularly greeting visitors at the observatory and providing our Facebook presence, so she is already doing much of the job of a Promotion Chair. Director Rex Parker liked the idea and is considering appointing her to that role.
Observatory Maintenance & Equipment
Observatory Co-Chair Dave Skitt reported on continuing and new projects:
The water line that froze and ruptured in the bathroom last year due to a leaking supply valve in the Nature Center has been repaired and is holding.
No one has yet offered to coordinate professional installation of carpet.
He will purchase a small folding table for Promotion Chair Debbie Mayes to use on Public Nights instead of bringing one each time.
He still has dibs on two park benches at a building planned to be demolished.
Along with Member Tom Swords he is trying out offering wide and narrow fields of view using a 533 or 585 camera.
He will work back channels to try to get the park maintenance staff to re-gravel our entry road and take down some dead trees that impede our sky view, rather than approach the temporary, disinterested Superintendent.
We were reminded that our lease runs out in a couple of years, and the future is uncertain.
No one has heard anything about Communiversity 2023. Our participation is usually coordinated by Assistant Director Larry Kane, but his health issues have been especially challenging lately.
There is still some interest in a members gathering at Baldpate Mountain, but no action has been taken on it. It would be primarily a social event but could include some star gazing.
There is a wide consensus that we need to keep doing hybrid meetings from Peyton Hall.
The meeting was adjourned at 2110.