Richmond Astronomical Society

May 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

Aug 14th, 2013 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting May 20, 2013

President Jim Browder called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.

Attendees (11):
• Jim Browder, President
• Jim Blowers, Treasurer
• Chris McCann, Secretary
• David Medici
• Betty Wilson
• Ken Wilson
• Prashant Reddy
• Bill Newman
• Gary Cowardin
• Dave Walton
• Randy Tatum

Missing : John Raymond

Secretary’s report given by Chris McCann
• February’s board meeting minutes were discussed and accepted.

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers
• Balance Summary (as of 2/18/2013): (as of 5/20/2013):
• General Fund: 6588.11 7094.57
• Observatory Fund: 205.23 187.26
• TOTAL: 6793.34 7281.83
• Checking Account: 1702.55 2188.76
• Savings Account: 2861.03 2861.11
• Certificate of Deposit: 2229.76 2231.96
• Pay Pal Acct: 0.00 0.00
• TOTAL: 6793.34 7281.83
At this time, there are approximately 58 paid members for 2013.
There remains 18-20 who have not renewed their dues.
There are 21 members on the observatory staff.
After a brief discussion, the treasurer’s report was accepted by the board.

Observatory Report given by Jim Browder
• No issues
• Grass maintenance schedule issued.

Education Report (Jim Browder) :
• Astronomy Day on a Sunday
o Large turnout in the Rotunda
o Consideration will be made to have it on Sunday again, if we have to. Need to discuss with Leslie before SMV planning for next year.
o Bottle rocket launcher success – looking into getting new launchers – Aquapod ad for new rocket launcher for $24
o All positions/duties were busy with the public
o Brief discussion about getting more RAS signs for greeter, bottle rockets, solar observing
o Great planning work by Prashant – thanks!
• Numerous outreach events
• Invitation to the Nelson County Music Festival in June, 2013.
• Metro Richmond Science Fair – no awards given out due to no Astronomy projects. Sydney Mabry had project on variable stars, but was unfortunately labeled in an incorrect category.

Library Report (made by Jim Browder)
• There are no problems at the Richmond Alarm Company.

Other Reports:
• Sale of RAS Dob telescope / optics – John is trying to sell on the internet
• Equipment inventory – database is working; will email it to all; need to put forms on website
• 501(c)(3) filing – electronically filed
• Powhatan dark sky ordinance – A letter was constructed by Jim Browder and sent to the Powhatan County Planning Commission on May 6, to show RAS’s support of a proposal to improve Powhatan’s lighting ordinance. No further activity was planned for the present time. The area of concern were businesses in the neighborhood of routes 522 and 60.

Old Business:

New Business:
• Possibility of having an Autumn Astronomy Day on October 13. Possible location is SMV or Belmead.
• Options for C-8 and tripod recently acquired from SMV – 1.25” eyepieces, needs diagonal and holder; Possible donation to Belmead for club usage during future outreach projects.
• Repeated suggestion to bring new equipment or photos to meeting
• Member dues and member list are due to Astronomical League. Bill given to Jim Blowers.
• There is a need for more RAS business cards to be created. Possible online vendor is Vistaprint.
• The new PST makes the scope heavier and harder to use. Can RAS look into getting a new tripod that can handle the extra weight and stress? Estimated cost is $120. Prashant will do research into options, including comparing manual and motorized drives. There was concern about some of these drives can be broken easier than others.
• Dave Medici announced that the Hardywood Craft Brewery wants RAS to have a skywatch at their place of business, located between the Diamond and DMV (West Broad Street). Areas of discussion were liability issues for RAS, safety, lighting in the area, added restrictions for observers in immediate area around the telescopes. One possible solution may be for individuals to take their telescopes, instead of “RAS providing telescopes”. Further discussion at the August board meeting.
• Ken Wilson brought QuestLyceum to our attention. It will be a museum and community center on Bellwood Road in Chesterfield County. The founder, Rick Young, is a leading authority on the Wright Brothers. Its main consultant is Gary Powers, the founder of the Cold War Museum. More information at . From the flyer: The QUEST! Lyceum is hands-on experience that explores human achievement. By creating the most important discoveries of the past, QUEST! presents an innovative perspective on the human journey. QUEST! explores how art, creativity and imagination drive the science and technology that advances human progress.

Next Board meeting will be Monday, August 19, 2013 at Extra Billy’s at 7pm. If you want to come early for dinner, come by at 6pm.

• Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.

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