Richmond Astronomical Society

August 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

Nov 8th, 2015 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting August 17, 2015

President Jim Browder called the meeting to order at 7:11 pm.

Attendees (10):
• Jim Browder, President
• Matthew Roy, Vice President
• Jim Blowers, Treasurer
• Chris McCann, Secretary
• Ken Wilson
• Betty Wilson
• Gary Cowardin
• Dave Medici
• Michael Pitchford
• Ted Bethune

Missing (2):
• John Raymond, Observatory Director
• Bill Newman

The board took a few minutes to express feelings and reminisce about the job that Prashant Reddy performed with the RAS. Prashant passed away on August 10. He had been a long-time active RAS member, spending several years on the board.

Secretary’s report given by Chris McCann
• May’s board meeting minutes accepted after a brief discussion.

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers
• Balance Summary (as of 5/18/2015): (as of 8/17/2015):
• General Fund: 16343.08 16504.16
• Observatory Fund: 213.57 76.88
• TOTAL: 16556.65 16581.04

• Checking Account: 11450.13 11471.52
• Savings Account: 2862.24 2247.07
• Certificate of Deposit: 2244.28 2862.45
• Pay Pal Acct: 0.00 0.00
• TOTAL: 16556.65 16581.04

Announcement: Wells Fargo interest rate and fees changed when our finances passed a certain level. RAS needs to check around to other banks. Action item for Jim Blowers.

After a brief discussion, the treasurer’s report was reviewed and accepted by the board.
Membership roles presently contain 61 members, including 14 observatory members.

Observatory Report –
• Site cleared – Contract is over. All construction equipment and trailers have been removed. Site has been cleared and straw/grass has been setup. “Looks really good.”
• Gate damaged and post has been knocked down – as of this evening, a chain is hanging across the opening.
• Recent clean-up activities – John Raymond is getting a combination lock; cleaning was done inside
• Miscellaneous purchases – for cleaning purposes
• John hosted an open house. He said it was “very nice”, with views of the moon.
• Randy Tatum has taken an outstanding photo of the sun.
• Matthew Roy asked if we have time for a training class. Would John Barnette or John Raymond be interested in teaching?
• Wayne Boggs has requested RAS to allow him to put up a pole along the back fence of the observatory property. The pole will hoist a transmitter for the use and benefit of the Richmond Alarm Company. Wayne will contact Miss Utility. The board voted unanimously and approved the request.

Library Report given by Jim Browder (for Virginia)
• Virginia is doing a great job.
• All is fine with the library.
• No change at the Richmond Alarm Company.

Education / Outreach Report:
• Good participation and coverage at recent skywatches:
o Powhatan State Park – 50 attendees at recent event
o RAS Observatory – John hosted an open house. He said it was “very nice”, with views of the moon.
o SRSP dark sky park – Attendees must pre-register before attending. Jim Browder will help with talks on Saturday’s session.
o Joseph Bryan Park – over 100 attendees, and at least 8 scopes
• Numerous upcoming star parties are on the calendar.
o Montrose Heights School requested a skywatch
o Can we consider going back to Malvern Hill?
o L. C. Bird (David Medici) has requested a skywatch on evening of Oct 21.
• How can we have MORE publicity for some of these events?

Old Business
• VAAS 2015 is scheduled at the headquarters of National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. Check for info at website: http://cvilleastro.com/vaas-2015/
o Night activities include a tour and observing at the Historic McCormick Observatory
o There is NO UVa football game at home that weekend.
• SRSP dark sky park
• Inclusion plan – discussions with Belmead have stalled temporarily due to timing, will be resumed. Both sides (RAS and Belmead) have an interest in future development of an astronomical environment on the Belmead property

New Business
• Appoint board nominating committee chairman – David Medici and Bill Newman were unanimously selected. Schedule of board selection activity:
o September: Committee selects nominees
o October: Slated nominees will be announced at RAS meeting
o November: Election of board at monthly meeting
o November 16: Election of officers at Board meeting
• Planning for picnic for the 1st or 2nd weekend in November (7th or 14th). DavidM has been asked to be the grill chef.
o Action item: Jim Browder will make arrangements with Belmead.
o Action item: Matthew and David will coordinate, when time comes.
o Picnic will be in honor of Prashant, who usually organized the past picnics.
• Can we have a skywatch at Belmead to view the Geminids, peaking December 14-15?
• Membership manual needs to be re-constructed. Terry is believed to have electronic forms.
o Action item for Chris McCann to consider what needs to be updated and assemble data.
• Question about a past request to travel to Atlanta to pick up a telescope. Issue is that the Schmidt Cassegrain telescope may have to be un-assembled to transport back to Richmond.

Next Meeting Date – November 16, 2015

Meeting was adjourned at 8:18 pm.

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