Richmond Astronomical Society

November 2012 Board Meeting Minutes

Feb 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting November 19, 2012


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


Attendees (9):

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


Ken and Betty Wilson were missing, and were chasing a total solar eclipse.


Secretary’s report given by Chris McCann

  • August’s board meeting minutes were discussed, and accepted.

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers

  • Balance Summary         (as of 8/20/2012):                (as of 11/19/2012):
  • General Fund:                        6729.38                               6417.06
  • Observatory Fund:                    91.06                                    93.09
  • TOTAL:                                 6820.44                               6510.15
  • Checking Account:                1735.37                               1422.21
  • Savings Account:                   2860.89                               2860.96
  • Certificate of Deposit:            2224.18                               2226.98
  • Pay Pal Acct:                                0.00                                     0.00
  • TOTAL:                                 6820.44                                6510.15

After a brief discussion, the treasurer’s report was accepted by the board. 


Observatory Report given by Jim Browder

  • No issues
  • Minor maintenance to the building.
  • There was a mention of getting quotes to remove dead tree stumps.
  • Bushes needed to be trimmed/removed by March or it would be too late, due to Spring growth.
  • Prashant questioned the use of stump poison, since the stumps had been dead over 1 year.
  • Jim stated to allow Randy (Observatory Director) with the opportunity to answer and make those plans.
  • Most of the suggestions were from Gary and Prashant.
  • Suggestions are good, but always remember to let Randy deal with it!
  • Jim Blowers was asked for a listing of the Observatory members to help out with grass cutting and nature maintenance.


Education Report (Jim Browder) :

  • VAAS – lots of positive feedback!!  Thanks to Betty and Ken for their hard work!!
  • VAAS 2013 is in Northern Virginia.
  • Numerous outreach events (Belmead, Petersburg, Woodlake, Gandy Elementary, Caroline Middle, Scotchtown, SMV, . . . )  Big crowds at Gandy and Caroline!! Usually quite busy in the Fall season.
  • Short range plans: Matoaca Middle, Powhatan Library, and Belmead.
  • Long range additions and ideas: Maymont and ByrdPark
  • Invitation to the NelsonCounty Music Festival in June, 2013.  Interesting and different idea.  Before we even consider committing, check with Charlottesville club to see if they need help.


  • Many outreach skywatches and events have occurred and continue to be scheduled at various places.


Library Report (made by Jim Browder)

  • Virginia reported there was no change in status.  There are no problems at the Richmond Alarm Company.


Other Reports:

  • Twelve-inch Dobsonian telescope/camera/filter set was donated by Jerry Westfall.  For the present time, Prashant will be storing it.
  • SCC Report – will be filed by Phil Roberts
  • Real Estate fee of $25 was paid by Jim Blowers
  • Someone received an email that Cliff Bells passed away


Old Business:

  • Prashant and Jim returned the scopes from the scout camp and is storing them in the observatory.  Jim (Browder) is storing the mirror.


New Business:

  • Lively discussion on equipment inventory. 
  • Dave Walton – inventory survey is in process.  
  • Questions to consider as we progress forward:
    • Do we have all requested “loaner” information from the membership?
    • How do we handle donations to groups?  Permanent donation or until they are done with it (non-existent club?)
    • Engraved tracking tags on the telescope and other important pieces?
    • Should we donate a scope to Fernando and his new Astronomy club at Clover Hill?
    • Debate about displaying who has loaned equipment on the website.  Possibility to search and find the information by someone who may try to take it illegally.
    • We are 501-3(c).  We can document and give a receipt that we have accepted a donation of equipment, but we cannot appraise it.
  • Prashant has volunteered to handle the planning for the 2012 Christmas party
  • Updates on HospiceCenter behind observatory – does not appear anything new is going on at this time.
  • Election of officers for 2013
  • 2013 meeting schedule, along with designated officer for that meeting/month:
    • January 8          Ken Wilson
    • February 12      Betty Wilson
    • (February 18      Board Meeting)
    • March 12          Prashant Reddy
    • April 9              Gary Cowardin
    • May 14             John Raymond         Vice President
    • (May 20             Board Meeting –  tentative)
    • June 11             Bill Newman
    • July 9                Jim Browder            President
    • August 13         Chris McCann          Secretary
    • (August 19         Board Meeting – tentative)
    • September 10    Jim Blowers              Treasurer
    • October 8          David Medici
    • November 12    Dave Walton
    • (November 18    Board Meeting – tentative)
    • December 10     (Eating meeting)


    • Observatory Director : Randy was given first rite of acceptance
    • Librarian:?


  • A motion was made to purchase a double-stack filter for the PST. 
    • Discussed comments: 
      • It can be used at VAAS, Astronomy Day, picnics, and other daily activities, including personal observation. 
      • New filters are more expensive, but are noticeably better than used filters, which are unreliable.
      • Double stacking allows us to visually see the lines and the ropes on the sun. 
      • It is a sizeable amount of money to be used for a small section of the group, and not for a common item that can be used by a larger group of members.
    • Final vote to spend up to $600: 4-yes, 2-no, 2-abstain.  Motion passed.


Next Board meeting will be Monday, February 18, 2013 at Extra Billy’s at 7pm.  If you want to come early for dinner, come by at 6pm.   The November 2012 Board agenda stated March 18, but it was corrected verbally and announced as February 18 before we adjourned.


  • Meeting was adjourned at 8:18 pm.

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