Submitted by Michael Wright for Larry Kane, Secretary
The meeting was called to order by Assistant Director Jeff Bernardis.
- Sidereal Times: Co-Editor Michael Wright announced that the deadline for the January issue is December 28, 2011.
- Outreach: Chair David Letcher requested volunteers for the next outreach event, which is a science fair at Hopewell Elementary School on March 16, 2012.
- Finance: Treasurer Michael Mitrano said that the club’s finances are sound.
- Observatory: Jeff Bernardis announced that electricity has been restored to the observatory so key-holder training and observing can resume. The cause of the power outage was a wire that was pulled down by wet snow and vines during the Halloween snow storm. JCP&L will remove vines from the power lines. Gene Ramsey showed the severely corroded breaker box that was recently replaced by an electrician for the cost of parts. Paying the electrician a stipend was discussed.
The water and soil pipes have been winterized. Gene Ramsey and John Church checked the computer and the C14 mount and both were working fine. Also, James McHenry tested and replaced a faulty circuit breaker. The quartz heater should not be used until the electrical system is checked. There was a long discussion about possible upgrades to the observatory’s electrical system. The consensus was that the club should have an electrician inspect the system and recommend upgrades. A permit maybe required for the completed emergency repairs and future updates to the electrical system. Jeff Bernardis will discuss hiring an electrician with Director D’Angelo. In the meantime, Gene Ramsey will check and consolidate the various powers strips in the computer room if possible.
Jeff Bernardis and John Church agreed to meet at the observatory on December 18, 2011 to remove the old alarm system and activate the new one. Directions for turning the system on and off will be provided to keyholders.
Gene Ramsey said that park rangers and township police may stop and question members in the park. Keyholders and members are allowed to be in the park after dark. There is list of keyholders on the bulletin board in the observatory if needed.
Rex Parker reminded that ice or snow on the roof will prevent it from opening. If any resistance is felt when rolling the roof back, stop and check the roof to avoid damaging the crank mechanism. Gene Ramsey reminded that the park does not plow the access road so members should be cautious about going to the observatory when there is snow on the ground.