Richmond Astronomical Society

February 2015 Board Meeting minutes

May 16th, 2015 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting February 23, 2015

President Jim Browder called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.

Attendees (9):
• Jim Browder, President
• Dave Medici, Vice President
• Jim Blowers, Treasurer
• Chris McCann, Secretary
• John Raymond, Observatory Director
• Ken Wilson
• Betty Wilson
• Gary Cowardin
• Michael Pitchford

Missing (3):
• Ted Bethune
• Bill Newman
• Matthew Roy

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

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers
• Balance Summary (as of 11/17/2014): (as of 2/16/2015):
• General Fund: 9192.03 11004.73
• Observatory Fund: 202.21 244.35
• TOTAL: 9394.24 11249.08

• Checking Account: 4291.52 6142.77
• Savings Account: 2861.81 2862.03
• Certificate of Deposit: 2240.91 2244.28
• Pay Pal Acct: 0.00 0.00
• TOTAL: 9394.24 11249.08

At this reporting, the totals include the initial deposit and 9 monthly payments made by the construction company for usage of the RAS property.
After a brief discussion, the treasurer’s report was accepted by the board.

Observatory Report –
• An open house is scheduled for Saturday, February 28 at sunset.
• Randy performed some work to fix a thermal issue on the observatory roof
• Someone asked if there was a law about lighting around planetariums and observatories

Library Report given by Jim Browder (for Virginia)
• All is well at the Richmond Alarm Company.
• Book donation from Jim Petty’s collection was accepted, included club memorabilia and moon landing information.

Education / Outreach Report :
• Good participation at recent skywatches
• Betty Wilson is contact person for coordinating skywatch requests
• Numerous upcoming star parties
• Ken and Betty have plans underway to help a cub scout group work on their astronomy belt loop
• Casual skywatch planned at Pocahontas Middle School for May 2
• Skywatch is planned to occur in New Kent, but RAS will not be running it.
• Skywatches are being planned for Bryan Park, aim to be during 1st quarter moons.
• Moon celebration planned for Landing during next full moon.
• Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) issponsoring the James River Star Party during the 3rd week of March. John Raymond will be attending and speaking too.
• The 2015 Metro Richmond STEM Fair will be held at Clover Hill High School on March 14. Who is available to accompany Terry Barker in awarding prizes for Astronomy projects.

Old Business
• No available time to discuss future goals with Belmead staff. Presently, both sides are interested in future plans with each other. We need to consider that equestrians also use Belmead on a regular basis.
• Thank you card was sent to RAS from Myron Wasuita for his gift from doing a guest presentation at a recent RAS meeting.
• RAS is planning on affixing a small plaque to a scope that was donated by Jim Petty.

New Business
• Astronomy Day 2015 – Saturday, April 25
o Day: SMV Rotunda
o Night: (weather permitting) open house at the observatory
o Board has nominated Matthew Roy to be coordinator of Astronomy Day; Action: JimBr will notify him
• Scope Donations – RAS was offered a C14 dobsonian telescope from a teacher at Johns Hopkins. Plans are to store this at Belmead after the building has been created. Since the telescope will be stored at Belmead, it will be reserved for member usage, and not for loaning to the public.
• Easement update – Bon Secours needs a gas laid across the driveway opening of the observatory. The lateness of the request make it appears there was bad planning on Bon Secours part. The proposal from RAS was presented to the construction crew, and includes a request for RAS to receive a monetary amount as an indemnity. Phil attended our meeting and stated that RAS has asked for this indemnity since RAS has no authority to negotiate with Bon Secours to protect us if the heirs question our motives. Action item: Phil will draw up a resolution for Jim Browder to represent us in this sensitive situation.
• We had a very interesting discussion of the relationship that RAS has with the building and the land. RAS owns the telescope, but only has a “temporary interest” in the land property. RAS does not own the land – the heirs own the land. To get rid of the land, the land will revert back to the heirs. Technically, RAS can walk away from the property and lose all rights to using it. RAS can retain the use of it as long as RAS uses it for astronomical purposes. If taxes are not paid, Chesterfield County can come after us for tax payment, as long as we are using the land. RAS owns the building and can remove and relocate the building, if they desire.
• Leslie Bochenski’s kidney transplant was successful. She should be home from the hospital in a few days. Justin is expected to stand in for Leslie while she is recovering from surgery.

• Meeting was adjourned at 8:03 pm.

• Presentation months/meetings for remainder of 2015
o June 9 Jim Browder, President
o July 14 Bill Newman
o August 11 Chris McCann, Secretary
o August 17 (Board meeting)
o September 8 Jim Blowers, Treasurer
o October 13 David Medici
o November 10 Ken Wilson
o November 16 (Board meeting)
o December 8 Gary Cowardin

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