April 10, 2012 AAAP Meeting Minutes

by Larry Kane, Secretary

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

  1. AAAP Board Elections: Ludy announced the nominees for the Board of Directors for the 2012-2013 year. They are:
    a.   Director                      Ludy D’Angelo
    b.   Assistant Director     Jeff Bernardis
    c.   Program Chair           Kathleen Otto
    d.   Treasurer                  Michael Mitrano
    e.   Secretary                   Michael Wright
  2. Director’s Report: Ludy described the new procedures set forth by the W-C Park administration. The public can no longer drive up to the observatory, but must park their cars before the gravel one-lane road leading to the second gate. Since last summer, some campers have complained about the noise of vehicular traffic going to the observatory. Anyone who cannot walk from the parking lot, or any member who has equipment to unload, will be permitted to park near the observatory, up to six cars at a time. We are hoping that by June, this will be resolved. Bill Murray suggested that the new procedures be put on our website with a suggestion that visitors bring a flashlight. Eventually, the park administration will put in a new gate where the gravel road starts at the parking lot. A discussion ensued regarding the AAAP’s responsibilities for parking enforcement. It was recommended that the observatory phone number be posted near the gate so visitors can call if they need special assistance. Ludy set out the idea of a work group for our Jenny Jump observatory.
  3. Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer’s report appears in another section of the Sidereal Times.
  4. Observatory Report: Co-chair Gene Ramsey said the first public night of the season was a success. We need more than the six parking permits we were given. Gene thanked Jeff Bernardis for helping him fix the water leak in the toilet tank. They cleaned up the restroom and took out some materials that were placed there. We now have heat in the computer room, again. Therefore, we can make the observatory available to members during the winter. There may still be a bad breaker in the breaker box. Jim McHenry replaced all the bad breakers.
  5. Outreach Report: Outreach Chair, Dave Letcher announced that we had two successful star parties in March, at the Stuart Country Day School and at the Hopewell Elementary School. The skies at Hopewell clouded up, but the event was saved when they moved inside the school and Gene Ramsey put up pictures of the Moon, Saturn and Mars to focus the telescopes on. Super Science Saturday is coming up on April 21 and the following Saturday is Communiversity Day. For the latter, we will be on the campus grounds. There is also an event in Montgomery Township on Sunday evening after Communiversity Day.
  6. Secretary’s Report: Larry Kane thanked Michael Wright for taking minutes at the last meeting.
  7. Sidereal Times: Editor Michael Wright announced that the deadline for the next edition is April 26.
  8. Kathleen Otto is working on a new AAAP banner
  9. Transit of Venus Event: We should put information on our website and ask people to register if they intend to attend. Therefore we would have an accurate idea of how many to plan for. Ken Kramer stated that he can get observing glasses from NASA. The viewing site still has to be checked out before more planning can begin.
  10. 50th Anniversary Event:Ira Pollens raised the issue of a joint trip to New Mexico in October for a star party. Airfare would be about $350 roundtrip. He will put the details into a Sidereal Times article.
  11. Losmandy Mount for the Refractor: John Church has the materials to put together a “dummy” telescope to test the mount for compatibility. There was a discussion about the best way to test it.

The meeting was adjourned by the Director.

Spring twilight at Simpson Observatory.  Credit: Michael Wright

Spring twilight at Simpson Observatory. Credit: Michael Wright

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