Business Meeting Minutes – January 14, 2014

Submitted by Mary Hays

The meeting was called to order at 9:23 p.m. by President Jeff Bernardis

Larry Kane, Assistant Director, reported that he has volunteered to be the club’s representative to the Friends of Washington Crossing State Park, NJ More information to follow.

Michael Mitrano, Treasurer, reported that there are approximately 65 members with dues outstanding.  Michael will be sending a reminder note to these members shortly.

Kate Otto, Program Chair, reported that there will be a meeting on Wed. Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the dome room of Peyton Hall to discuss the club’s 2014 StarQuest.  Discussion will focus on scope and type of star party (observing only, meals, guest speakers, etc.)  Everyone is invited to join in this open exchange of ideas.

Gene Ramsey, Observatory Chair, reported that Eric Kaufmann is a new keyholder, and that there are three other members in the process of keyholder training (Dan Wilson, Casper Sandburg, and Kevin Mooney).  Gene encouraged all members to consider this training as it gives those who complete the training independent access to the observatory at times convenient to keyholder’s schedule.

Gene reported that the club’s lock is once again at the Bear Tavern Road gate (the first gate).  He also informed members that the park does not plow the road leading to Brick Yard Road and it would be prudent to go to the observatory with a “buddy” especially during inclement weather.  He and David and Jennifer Skitt cleared heavy snow off of the observatory roof to prevent damage. Thanks goes out to these dedicated club members.  Gene has also been heavily involved with outreach programs with four science teachers at South Hunterdon High School, the Chapin School, Lawrenceville Prep. School, and Hopewell Valley High School.  These teachers had brought students to the observatory in late fall.

David Letcher, Outreach Chair, has called for volunteers to support two star party requests: one at Antheil School in Ewing, Thursday, Jan 23 and at the Lawrenceville Elementary School on Friday, Jan 24.  Anyone able to help is asked to contact David.

New Observatory Update:  It has been decided not to build a new observatory with the donated dome and scope.  Plans are to test the equipment to see what may work with the instrumentation already at the observatory and to possibly sell the dome.  John Miller and Bill Murray will do further investigation on these items.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm

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