Board Meeting Minutes, March 23, 2011

by Michael Mitrano, Acting Secretary

Attending were Board members Jeff Bernardis, Ludy D’Angelo, John Church, and Michael Mitrano, and members Michael Wright, David Letcher, and John Miller.  With notice having been properly given, a quorum was present.

1.        John Miller reported that the web site is up to date, except that the 2011 public observing duty rotation has not yet been posted.  Public observing will begin on April 1 with Team 1.  Users of mailing lists other than the roster are cautioned to check the roster each time to make sure that their list agrees with the roster.   John will set up a Facebook group for the AAAP.

2.        David reported that outreach events are upcoming on :

a.        Friday, March 25, at Hopewell Elementary School

b.       Tuesday, March 29 (rain date March 30) at Millstone River school

c.        Wednesday, April 6 (rain dated April 13) at Stuart Day School

3.        David also outlined a proposed astronomy class for the general public — following in the tradition of the course most recently taught by Vic Belanger — to be held at the Nature Center in Washington Crossing State Park for the four Fridays beginning on September 30.  They would take place from 7:30- 8:30 pm and be followed, skies permitting, by visits to the observatory.  The Board endorsed David’s proposal and encouraged him to continue its preparation.

4.        It was also suggested that coffee and conversation time be planned before the Peyton Hall lectures from 7:30-8:00, to encourage member conviviality.

5.        Ludy proposed that members be designated to attend NEAF and obtain donated gifts or purchase items of up to $300 in value as prizes for the next StarQuest.  Ludy and Jeff will prepare a letter to prospective donors and at the next business meeting, we will discuss who will go.

6.        Ludy will attend the UACNJ upcoming board meeting to represent the AAAP and obtain more information about UCANJ plans.  Their symposium coincides again with StarQuest.

7.        Michael Mitrano reported that membership is up to 83 and predicted that it will match last year’s final total.  Cumulative reserves exceed $20 thousand, and he expects a strong surplus for this year.

8.        Michael Wright reported that publicity for lectures is taking place as planned.

9.        Ludy will provide Michael Mitrano with information necessary to send a letter of recognition to the donor of the AAAP’s new Losmandy G-11 Gemini GoTo mount.

10.     The board discussed opportunities to improve its facilities at Washington Crossing and make use of the mount and a recently donated telescope.  This could be a tripod, a permanent outdoor pier and slab, or a second observatory building.  It was resolved that the foundation for any new building would not be hand-dug.  Plans might begin with a slab designed with a later structure in mind.  The board agreed that a planning group should be appointed to consider alternatives, assess their benefits, and estimate costs.

11.     The observatory will need to be ready for opening on April 1 with the water turned on.


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