Richmond Astronomical Society

February 2012 Board Meeting Minutes

May 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting February 20, 2012


President Jim Browder called the meeting to order at 7:02pm.


Attendees (9):

  • Jim Browder, President
  • David Medici, Vice President
  • Jim Blowers, Treasurer
  • Chris McCann, Secretary
  • Ken Wilson
  • Prashant Reddy
  • Gary Cowardin
  • Dave Walton
  • Bill Newman


Secretary’s report given by Chris McCann

  • November’s board meeting minutes were discussed and minutes were accepted.

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers.

  • Balance Summary         (as of 11/14/2011)                (as of  2/20/2012):
  • General Fund:                        6455.39                               7211.78
  • Observatory Fund:                    85.58                                   140.02
  • TOTAL:                                 6540.97                               7351.80
  • Checking Account:                1462.47                                2271.32
  • Savings Account:                   2860.43                               2860.75
  • Certificate of Deposit:            2218.07                               2219.73
  • Pay Pal Acct:                                0.00                                      0.00
  • TOTAL:                                 6540.97                                6351.80

Jim Blowers mentioned that RAS has 15 members who have paid observatory dues for 2012.

Treasurer’s report was accepted by the board. 


Observatory Report given by Jim Browder

  • Maintenance update (significant clearing of brush, removal of a large tree))
  • Many thanks to Tim and Karen Streagle, Bill, Randy, and Prashanth
  • Discussion on how to get rid of brush.  Discuss with Randy first.
  • A 10 foot clearance along fence is needed.
  • Prashanth will check into burning ordinance for that area.  Else the cut wood will need to be hauled away.


Education Report (Jim Browder) :

  • Civil Air Patrol skywatch – Keith Matos planned this at theChesterfieldAirport.  This was a “really good” skywatch with very little light pollution.  The 50-75 cadets were extremely polite with very good questions and comments.  Another will be planned but date is TBD.
  • Outreach is being distributed among club members:
    • Ray Moody has agreed to be RAS point person for thePetersburgNational Parkskywatches.
    • Ken and Betty will handle Scotchtown,Montpelier, andHanoverCounty
    • Chris will work with Brandermill
    • Bill will look around for a good site.
    • ScienceMuseumand Harbor Point will be covered by available members.
  • Planning for other skywatch venues.
  • Many outreach skywatches and events have occurred and continue to be scheduled at various places.



Library Report (made by Jim Browder)

  • Virginiareported there was no change in status.  There is no issue at the Virginia Alarm Company.
  • The lock on one of the cabinets needs repairing.  Prashant will handle the lock issue.  It was agreed to payWaynea maximum of $100 towards the fixing of the broken lock on the cabinet.


Other Reports:

  • Annual SCC report has been filed


Old Business:

  • Equipment inventory update – Dave
  • Draft asset use policy – brief discussion, accepted with updates from November meeting
  • Name tag status – Our logo needs to be out there.  Jim Browder passed around samples that he had created. The board accepted a version that is larger than previous name tags, has the RAS logo on it, and is secured by magnets to clothes.
  • On November 16, Ken represented RAS at a discussion about the possibilities for starting a dark-sky workgroup.  He was invited by Laura Greenleaf from the Department of Games and Inland Fisheries.  Part of the presentation was a generic powerpoint presentation.  The SMV was very receptive to the ideas and that their lighting needs improvement. Virginiapurchasing specialists will do research and consider the use of shields and LED lighting within the city ofRichmondand its surrounding neighborhoods, including the James River Parks system.  We had a brief discussion about the movie “City Dark” and the possibility of presenting it at Astronomy Day or at VAAS.



New Business:

  • Metro Richmond Science Fair prizes (HanoverHigh Schoolon March 15) – Discussion to allow Terry Barker to award cash prizes to selected students having projects related to Astronomy. Approved by board.
  • VAAS 2012 (scheduled for September 15) Planning committee – need to find a committee lead and members for planning responsibilities.  The location this year will be at the Heart of Virginia scout camp, where the shelter and dining hall have been reserved.
  • Astronomy Day Coordinator (April 28) – Prashant will head this up again.  Where are the rocket launchers?  What signage do we have?  Who is bringing scopes?
  • Transit of Venus (Tuesday evening on June 5)  Will RAS have activities?  Look for sites around the area with WNW horizon clearance with minimal lighting.
  • Annular Eclipse on May 21
  • 501 (c) (3) filing upcoming – due May 15, 2012.  It was brought up as a reminder.



Next Board meeting will be Monday, May 21, 2012 at Extra Billy’s at 7pm.  If you want to come early for dinner, come by at 6pm.   


  • Meeting was adjourned at 8:47pm.

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