October 12, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:30, with 35 in attendance.

The Reading Museum had the Planetarium grand reopening celebration this past weekend. Over 1200 people attended the weekend event, with about 770 on Sunday when the weather was nicer. The club had tables and telescopes set up and gave talks. We also handed out a lot of flyers for the Mercury Transit event at Blue Marsh Lake.

There was a lot of discussion regarding the $500 we had agreed to donate to the Museum to help sponsor Story Musgrave’s visit. Our original verbal agreement with Mike Feyers was that we would contribute $500 if Dr. Musgrave could meet with our club, which never happened. Apparently our condition was never passed on and Dave received a call requesting payment of the $500. Also, the weekend event was poorly managed. Our talks for Sunday were originally scheduled for the Auditorium, but they had another program in there at the same time, so we were moved to the Planetarium. Dave Brown’s talk was cut short, as they decided to run an extra Planetarium show at the last minute. Although he wasn’t told, his talk was supposed to be in the Classroom. As the classroom wasn’t even set up for a speaker (it was still set up as a classroom with desks and chairs), Ron Kunkel started to rearrange it while Dave was still speaking. The director, Ron Roth, then seemed upset that the classroom was being rearranged. Ron’s talk was also to be in the Planetarium Classroom, however, the people manning the entrance to the Planetarium would only allow 110 people in the building, which is the seating capacity for the Planetarium show, even though two events were being held simultaneously.

Bret Cadmus noted that both the Mengel Society and the Berks Mineralogical Society had received requests for a $500 annual donation to continue meeting at the Museum. We don’t know if our club is to be subject to the same request. Also, we already donated $150 earlier this year. A motion was approved to pay the $500 to the Museum as a one-time contribution, but on the condition that we have a face-to-face meeting with (preferable) Ron Roth, or Marni Churchill of the Museum to iron out details of our club’s future involvement with the Museum. Some of the topics that are to be discussed at the meeting would be: that the $500 is a one-time contribution for Story Musgrave’s visit, our usual donation of $150 would be acceptable for our staying at the museum, and our mandatory involvement in the planning of any future events that the club would be participating in, Barb Geigle will draft a letter to the Museum requesting the meeting.

Upcoming Events: On Monday, October 16 and Tuesday, October 17, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm, Ron Kunkel will be speaking at Camp Conrad Weiser, near Wernersville, with observing afterward. If the weather is clear, telescopes will be needed.

Both the Mason-Dixon Star Party and the Stella-Della Valley Star Party will be held during the weekend of October 21. Also, Dave Brown will be speaking at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 21, with observing afterward at the Turtle Pond. Volunteers with telescopes are needed.

On Saturday, November 4, we are having a bus trip to the Hayden Planetarium in New York. We will be traveling via Beiber Bus. We don’t have a chartered bus, but if you would like to travel as a group, meet us at the Kutztown terminal for the 7:30 am bus. The club will reimburse each person attending $20 to help cover the cost – keep your bus/museum receipts. Barb Geigle handed out a flyer with information on the trip; contact her if you have any questions.

On November 8, we will have public observing and a program at the Dry Brooks Day Use Area at Blue Marsh Lake starting at 1:30 pm. We will have solar observing, the transit watch, a talk at 6, and then night time observing afterward. The rain/cloud date is Saturday, November 11 (for a program and night time observing only) starting at 6:30 pm.

Keith Minnich is sponsoring our November speaker, Dr. Jacqueline van Gorkom, from Columbia University, speaking on “The Evolution of Galaxies in Different Environments”. Dave will invite members of other local clubs to attend.

Barb Geigle announced that she received the newest Night Sky Network toolkit, Shadows and Silhouettes, which covers eclipses and transits. The next Teleconference will be held on November 16 at 9 pm. Information will be in the next Pegasus.

Linda Sensenig reported a balance of $$$$$ in the treasury. If anyone is interested in ordering an Astronomy Calendar, please contact her. She will order several extra copies as well.

Our speaker for the evening was Dave Brown, “It’s not our fault!” He discussed global warming and gave his weather prediction for the winter (a white Christmas and one major snowstorm).

Respectfully submitted

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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